The Remedy

There is much filth in the world; that much is true.

But that  does not make the world itself a filthy monster. ––Friedrich Nietzsche


Today, we can be sure of one thing: that a remedy is in order.  Our fellow man has created an environment which can be toxic, and all of our lives, we absorb more and more casual disregard and indifference to our best efforts, and become steeped in a cumulative poison: contempt.  Whatever its source, contempt is a defense which stains the bearer.  Even if our dissatisfaction and contempt is born of disdain for the incompetence or cruelty of another, the contempt we feel is a cancer, a necrotic disease which spreads within ourselves.  As we place blame, even when that blame is true and just, we sicken the world to see it in contempt, and in the end our black vision, however true, rightly envelopes the seer and the seen in a single gulp––and in a just wave both right and unfair, we hold the cause and the effect in the same slippery glove: contempt.  For whenever we have been hurt, injured and fouled deeply enough to find our contempt, we discover that it is too late, the injury has already struck bone, and the contempt we find and feel for another has already found purchase in ourselves.  How grievous is the wound, how deep has the blade pierced before we are willing to spread the black cloak over and under all the world, and hold life in contempt?  What is an injury to one’s person and pride, but a successful degradation of one’s own spirit––?––an arrow well aimed strikes through the flesh and bites into the marrow to yield the first ugly result, the first and most potent victory of any cruelty is a poison drop most black, a fault struck into our self-belief, it is this which forms the red we place upon our true wound–––our self-contempt.  This is the wound, the black drop which poisons us from within, and thusly sickened, we strike out.


I am a psychologist.  I have many theories to offer, and many truths.  The past itself, the neocortical store can be changed, its affective valence, its value altered and re-polarized by way of engaging certain brain circuits. This idea, named re-polarization theory, will be written up in a few months time, and published in The Journal of Unconscious Psychology.  Oh yes, I have many theories and truths, please look over the entries and posts for this blog or contact me at:


if you want this information, this technical and difficult remedy for the human problem.  But be warned: Only those most severe and unyielding might wish to know this thing.  There is another remedy for the indifference and cruelty which besets us from the world of man, this uncaring and ugly spirit of indifferent stupidity can be answered––our worth, our light and tender heart reclaimed.  Here, I will show you.  There is more to it all, more than the hollow world: the world of man.  Take a walk with me into the heart of the other world.  I will place you within a tender soul so you can see it, see it through his eyes. Step within my novel Time Saw a Fly © 2011, you are he, you are Sam, look and see as he sees, and discovers, the human remedy:


“Sam awoke at 3:00 AM. He was sweating and his heart was pounding. He refused to remember his dream and he refused to sleep further because he might have another. He snapped on the lamp and squinted under the feeble sixty watts of yellowed light as if it were the noonday sun. His soul hurt. He had a back cramp and felt sick to his stomach. Somewhere in the back of his mind he knew it all, but now, he didn’t quite remember it yet––he just felt bad. A cup of coffee and half a roll settled his gut and it all started to become clear again. He could hardly stand it, hardly stand looking at these blessed walls, his only safe place, his apartment now echoed a sad sound, a dirty film covered it, the ugly brown ring of his failure stained the little world dull and sullen, pensive and uneasy with failure. The very sight of these walls was a self-reproach, a disgrace, and Sam had to leave. By 5:00 AM he was on the road out of the city. The sun was nourishing the horizon to a supple crimson bronze which promised to warm the night until it forgot itself. Sam let the spacious expanse of day unfold before him and open the heavens, so slowly, as a blot of light soaked into the fabric of the sky from the hidden horizon. The awakening sun warmed the hope in him to rise as well as his pain, which wrestled with his heart, a stubborn heart which refused to bear up its sorrow, but rather closed itself around its wounded disgrace and bit down, sickening and blackening the world with its suffering and its strength.

Sam pulled the car over by a forgotten country road from nowhere to nowhere, a faint dirt ribbon rarely traversed and almost rubbed out of existence by a profusion of weeds, shrubs and small tufts of strange moss which had a liking for the open sun and took root to heal the wound, for every road we travel is but a wound rubbed and cut into the earth. Like a trapper, game scout or a guide in the old west who could smell a shadow, he had found it. Now Sam walked away from his shadow down this ribbon of rubbed earth toward the sun. As the sun spread the vaulted sky out before him and opened the roof of day’s infinite blue dome, the limitless expanse of our living cathedral, the endless boundary of arching azure embraced the world in the sweep of its icy new brightness and blue chill. The late fall leaves stirred awake and dared the bite of a cruel and beautiful wind to liberate them and set them to dance with the light, hovering and falling to the ground, or swept up in a tumble of wind and belched into the air, alive again and rustling together, whispering and speaking––then silent. The crooked proud branches waved their dark cragged fingertips at him and bent their waists, swaying and nodding, fanning the air in sudden gusts of wind which brought all the arbor alive and dying, trembling and shedding itself, swirling into the air.

As Sam drank in the rustling quiet, the gracious unspoken silence of these unknown sounds, the clean air and empty spaces cleansed and held him, washing through him as brisk clear icy light, the frozen currents of white and yellow sun, the mad confusion of dancing leaves and wind whipped shadows healed him and he understood that the thoughts he had as he drove here today were wrong, they were thoughts which had poisoned him, poisoned his soul like bad meat. Yes, he was wrong to think his bitter thoughts––thoughts, clenching, raging, wounded thoughts which would not yield their hurt and tears, but would rather blacken and shame the world instead. He had known a lie in his bruised heart, he had supposed that the world, complete and entire, was a wicked dirty thing, corrupt, worthless and foul, but he was wrong. As he looked around him and knew himself, Sam understood the truth. The world has many filthy, broken, foul, crooked things in it, but that does not mean that the world itself is a disgraceful place. So Sam bore up the black tears clenched deep within his strength and unblackened his world, the tears falling silver and clear spilled out before the unblinking forgetting sun, tears painted his face with golden shuddering light, lingering drops of sun and pain, bright, silver-sweet and dying, as leaves falling to earth, cast brightly downward to die, revealing hope’s barren branch, now bare and empty, waiting to hold winter’s crown of snow and in turn to be nourished in the fragrant warm breath of a blossoming spring.

. . . The shadows and sun scattered the leaves and branches, broken, alive and dancing on the forest floor while the blue black tent of heaven stared and never saw, forgot before it looked––but the forest frothed and bubbled with life, light and beauty, swirling and painted, unknown and forgotten. Such beauty is cruel, splendid and tumultuous, so pregnant and subtle, hushed, breathless and bashful, then heaving upward, releasing, blowing its winds of light and bounty of colorful profusion tumbling skyward, so alive it must become, must consume its moment––alive––becoming, being and dying––even as it is never known. The forest is complete and living, dying and ascending, but unaware, un-remembering, and so, infinitely pure.”


So my friend, can you see it?  There is hope beyond our contempt, beyond our shallow image, the distorted shallow image reflected in the eyes of those around us, who look, and see––nothing. How wounded are we to know the sting, our self-contempt nourished upon a hollow, then sprung outward, until all the world is held beneath the boot, squirming with injustice and truth!  Oh how right is the fount of our misery!  Injustice and justice are daemons, and however true their words, only sickness springs from their breast.  Only sand, and never milk comes of this truth.  Can you see…can you see it?


We are as the forest, alive and dancing, spending, flowing, lavishing ourselves upon life as rain from a burst cloud…so unthinking and overflowing are we, so full and filled with change––as the forest, we are a painting made of liquid and light, a shadow filled up and swirling before the sun, complete and unknown, a song sung and forgotten, as breath spilt into laughter, so is our soul, a freedom spent and rising, the human prayer: a name spoken and lost–––so is our life but a song to be sung and squandered, alive and alone, dancing and full…a poem whispered into a swirl of wind…alive, unknowing and unknown, forgotten, and so––twice pure.


––Rich Norman