The ghost and the madman
It is not possible to lose your mind. A mind may change though, may mutate into other conceptions of existence, our own existence deformed. The mind can betray us, the final and most deadly treachery, the cruelest of them all and abandon us, leave us as a ghost of ourselves, a minor animation of whom we used to be, stranded and left to exist in a minimal state of rationality. If there is an image to proof this then it is the picture of cruelty, for even a ghost has, beyond its baleful denotations, also beautiful connotations of optimism, life after the horrific and feared act of death, the survival of this last act, the fatal final curtain re-opened. A ghost overflows all this. The living ghost does not. The only thing that the flesh ghost can grasp is its momentary lapses of reason, lucidity moments that seem as fading islands, pieces of ground in transit of evaporation. Is this the aesthetic of disappearance that Virilio so poetically writes about? A vanishing memory that the mind desperately tries to hold, plunging its nails to it until the motion of decay blows it away?
After reason, way beyond that point, things are just about travelling around in time from the past to the present and back to the past, like a passenger in transit of a journey with no beginning and no end. The madman sets sail to spaces visited before or maybe never even seen. They move around as a ghost does, just appearing with no further notice, convinced they stand there as their mind undoubtedly processes the never lived experience. No other mechanism is more powerful and effective to create reality than the mind. But also, at the same time it creates it destroys, completely annihilates the conception of one valid reality by multiplying it into countless scenarios where “the real” occurs.
It is in this intersection of realities that the living ghost and the ghost from beyond meet, they start greeting themselves, distant relatives long gone reunite, gently haunting the house and the madman sees them, but the sane do not, the sane sees nothing, grasps nothing from this encounter, just an empty space and the profound sensation of loss. The sane is not invited to this gathering, it is only reserved for those who linger in-between worlds and all that remains for us is the consolation that the photographic visualization of that moment can offer.