Metaphor Teaching Story
The Structure In Sanity
by Silvia Hartmann
What's the difference between a sane
person and an insane person?
When they both see a big winged demon, the insane person will go round telling
everyone else about it ...
One of my favourite stories about the structure of behaviour in sanity is an old
Next Generation StarTrek episode.
Here, a crew member gets randomly catapulted through time and finds himself -
It could be in the middle of a battle, or in the middle of the birthday party of
his own son he never actually had, or on a wife's deathbed he never married.
The first few dozen times it happens, he starts wailing and shouting, "This is
all wrong! I'm not supposed to be here! I'm not married to you! It isn't 2004 at
all!!!" and every time, he is jumped on, pumped full of tranquilisers and carted
off to the sick bay!
Eventually, he gets it that this behaviour doesn't serve him, so instead, he
tries to "blend in" with whatever the environment is he finds himself in, tries
to "play the game" as best he can, and then sneak out later and ask some
seemingly innocent questions of an expert in time/dimensional travel.
Over a few more dozen trips, he accumulates enough information about what is
happening to reverse the process and gets to go "home".
This is a fabulous metaphor and if I'd only known and understood that principle,
I would not have suffered so much at birthday parties, family gatherings and
when xmas hits the streets of muppetville again and all I want to do is to
scream, "No, NOOO! This is all wrong!! CAN'T YOU SEE THIS IS ALL WRONG ..."
© Silvia Hartmann 2004