A beautiful state of emergency, or a a scabrous state of foreboding?
To be diseased is to be ill at ease. Set apart from ourselves, hovering on the brink, unbalanced, neither fully right, nor fully wrong, a little out of tune, out of focus, fuzzed on the periphery.
A mind out of synch (disordered), a body out of touch (disharmony), a state of bewilderment (disarray), feeling lost (disorientation), hopeless (disbelief), and helpless (distrust).
The prefix ‘di’ originates in Greek, where it means ‘two’, ‘twice’, or 'double'. In science, it is used to indicate a compound that has two atoms. In Latin, the prefix has a negative connotation of being ‘away’, ‘asunder’, or ‘apart’.
In psychological terms, this state of separation manifests as ‘cognitive dissonance', where we tip our own balance because of the inner compulsion to maintain harmony between conflicting ideas or feelings.
And therein lies the solution. Contained within the affliction is the release.
In the separation, in the doubling, is the option to reunite. The etymology echoes the experience. The word and the state affords the option to undock, to remove the leach-like prefix, to eliminate the dis.
In the case of our malfunctioning minds, it's what the late, great physician and writer Oliver Sacks called “the paradox of disease”. Where our neural pathways misfire, our brains are so hardwired by evolutionary psychology to survive that they find some way to adapt to these “neural mishaps”.
These altered states of consciousness, (instigated by neurological disorders in the cases documented by Sacks in ‘An Anthropologist on Mars’), are a gateway to “radical adaptations” that can positively fuel our life force.
It is the disease that awakens us, reminding us via a disturbing foray into the unknown that there is more to us than we think. The glitch is a prompt to change our tune, to see things differently.