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MINERVA MIND MADNESS MANIA MANIAC MANACLE
Reason Mentality Rationality
Dementia Frenzy Phrenology
Psyche Psychology Psychosis Craze Insanity Alienation Locura
This illustrated overview is focused on MIND and inherently touches upon a large spectrum of ideas found in MANIC, MATHEMATICS, MEMORY, MONEY, MAD, INSANE, ALIEN, ALIMENT, ALIMONY, CRAZE, SENSE, SCISSOR, SCHIZOPHRENIA, FRENZY, EMOTION, IDEA, IDEOLOGY, CONSCIENCE, AIDOS and MANIA. Related ideas in PSYCHE, PSYCHOLOGY and PSYCHIATRY are explored in other overviews. However, it must be stressed here that for the ancients, PSYCHE personified feelings and emotions. MIND or REASON is personified as Athena and MINERVA.
In classic mythology, MEDEA personifies an example of how extreme emotions can so alter the PSYCHE as to derange the mind to the point of inducing PSYCHOSIS or craze.
Craze in Spanish is LOCura and being LOCO means to be mentally disLOCAted. Similar to the story of Medea, Princess Juana "La Loca". The "official" story asserts she had a "craze" for her spouse Phillip dubbed as "the beautiful". These "stories" may have been fabricated to hide ugly facts (see companion entries concerning the Habsburg court and how they gained control of the Spanish crown). Phillip was unfaithful, cruel and probably was poisoned. Juana (then very young) may have been seduced or raped - she delivered Charles V (Habsburg line) or Carlos I (Spanish line) - this boy was very unlikely not a legitimate son - he had the signs of a hereditary disorder evident in the father-in-law of Juana. Probably Juana was silenced - declared "loca" ("demented") and jailed for the rest of her life. Strangely, her parents, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabel of Spain did little to save their daughter from abuse and imprisonment by the Austrian German speaking court.
In simplistic terms, MIND is a cognitive system relying on MEMORY, REASON and LOGIC which are modulated by feelings and emotions. From Sanskrit, Ukrainian and Greek we get MATa, MATy, MATos which stand for mother, mind, to have, thought and feelings of "self". In our mind, such thoughts about "self" tend to be autoMATic. These ideas are included in MANia, MADness, MNEsis, anaMNEsis, aMENsia, MATHema, MATHematics, MENtal, monuMENtal, aMENtia, deMENtia, MUSe, aMUSe, MUSic and so on.
MIND in Greek is also denoted by PHREN as in schizoPHRENia for "split" mind. One of the many unsatisfactory terms to describe mental "retardation" or hypomentia is oligoPHRENia, implying "little" or deficient mind. Dementia implies that an individual has "lost" a mind formerly present. Put another way, mental retardation implies a prenatal or mostly congenital, and mental disease imply a postnatal disorder. Further ideas about oligophrenia, moronism, idiocy and stupidity are subjects reviewed in another illustrated overview concerned with mental retardation. Memory, member, remember, amnesia and anamnesis are the subject of another illustrated overview.
MANIA implies the loss of the ability to RATIOnally RATIOn the RATIO of facts and feelings. The Romans personified such ideas as DII MANES, the Goddess of the departed. MANIcomio and MANIatar in Spanish stand for a facility for MANIcs or other mentally ill persons who once were chained or otherwise restrained as is denoted by the term MANAcle.
From ALI which means "free from", we get ALIENATED, which for the most part, implies someone who has "lost" his or her mind or who is of a "different mind". Some may think that the mentally ill are alienated because they have "lost their mind" but the problem is probably the opposite. It is more likely that psychosis is a state where the mind invades and invalidates the senses and imposes reasons that are non-SENSE. In fact, people who become isolated from external stimuli, as those in solitary confinement or those who isolate themselves like many saints did, may either begin to perceive mental sensations as grounded in reality or may loose their mind.
Mental sanity implies that a mind "knows and minds feelings" and that it "makes sense". Unrestrained feelings and emotions interfere with reasoning and can cause a FRENZY or MANIA and other forms of diminished restraints. PHRENOLOGY is another term for PSYCHIATRY, and FRENO in Spanish is brake. It is obvious that FRENetic people with FRENZY like behavior lack restraint. PHREN, as a prefix, refers to separation, restrain, as in diaPHRAgm and FRENetic.
The most complex, abstract and ancient idea about MIND is AIDOS, a Greek term conveying the idea of "self shame", "self respect", "honor", "integrity" or in short "decency". In contrast to many humans, it is rare to find a dog that is unable to feel guilty, ashamed, penitent and to be repentant.
AIDOS transcends the conventional norms of what now is called ethics or morality. Morality or "mores" is what is "normal" for a people at a given time. Aidos, on the other hand, is an internal property that arises from the genetic capacity to become a person with a personal "belief system". Many people think they are "moral" simply because they follow "rules" and trends defined for them by their families, preachers and peers. Some modern thinkers worry that developed societies stressing mercenary commercialization may devalue "aidos". Some even opine that "aidos" or "self shame" is a hindrance for success in careers in the politics of academia, business or religion. In any case, power of any sort, when unrestrained by aidos, prompts hubris or pride and a Psyche untempered by aidos, thus eases engaging in cupidity and narcissism. In the USA there is a growing awareness about "CEOcracy", a neologism referring to captains of industry and finance, and that too many of them have lost their aidos. If so, such may explain the ease with which so many seem to exploit the trust invested in them by investors.
The core content in classic mythology, upon which western civilization stands, is that Olympic Gods had no mercy on those whose aidos could not restrain their hubris. This view is upheld by most modern religions which stress that mortals have duties to society and must be humble and aware of their insignificance when confronted with an infinite and logical universe.