May 10, 2011
By DAlexander SILVER, Spring Hill, Tennessee
DAlexander SILVER, Spring Hill, Tennessee
9 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Chivalry!-why, maiden, she is the nurse of pure and high affection-the stay of the oppressed, the redresser of grievances, the curb of the power of the tyrant-Nobility were but an empty name without her, and liberty finds the best protection in her lance and her sword."-Ivanhoe

I believe is not a phrase I would typically ever use. However it is the one that most dramatically suits this soliloquy; for I believe most fervently in the power of the human will. I believe in willpower deeper than any science says I should, this is on top of already having the proof for it being substantially powerful established. My belief however cranks the power of the human will up to eleven.

If you look around you will find many people that seem weak willed and flighty. That would not be the case; their substantial willpower is just working against them. The human will is so powerful that when turned against the host acts as a parasite. With great power also comes great danger of misuse.

The human will has the power to surpass the greatest tortures, create mass hallucinations, allow people to push past their physical limitations, and create false worlds in someone’s mind that will rebuff any attempt at enforcing reality. This assertion is often met with scoffs of disbelief. However I have lived through the most abject horrors that can be created by a misguided will.

Delusions, hallucinations, voices, spirits, ghosts, and creatures I thought visible only to special people. Copious amounts of discriminatory treatment, emotional bullying, and self-doubt forced my mind to create a terrifying but seductive alternate world hiding amongst this one. I was never diagnosed; however when I described my experiences to a therapist years later I was told these symptoms on the level I experienced were exclusive to paranoid schizophrenia. For two years I slowly sank deeper into the delusions. The voices told me I was special, that only special people could see what I saw. Being unique made the hallucinations attractive. I spoke to ghosts, I was plagued by evil spirits which I held off with what the good spirits told me were “psychic barriers”. One of my favorite songs across the years really explains how a slightly functioning schizophrenic acts within society. In his song “I’m Still Here” Johnny Rzeznick states, “You don’t know me because I’m not here.” That’s what happens when you fall into a world of delusion. You literally no longer mentally or emotionally exist in the real world. Be it delusions of grandeur and special powers or seeing secret and illusive ghosts and spirits…or even prophecies of the future and the voices of gods.
At some point during the second year I had a lucid moment. A moment where reality snapped back into place; I believe it was the help of my first girlfriend Amanda Kirby who allowed that moment to take place. A foreign emotion of attachment, the need to protect her, and possibly even love shocked my mind back into reality for a few minutes one chilly spring night. It was at that point that I realized I was going insane.

I spent the next three months slowly ignoring the spirits and voices, crushing their influence in my mind through sheer willpower, and when they proved too strong locking them away with visualizations of mental jails. For the next year and a half, sadly without Amanda’s help at that point, my willpower grew as I brutally directed it towards forcing my psyche back to normal. Eventually reality again took hold.

I do not know where I would be without that one lucid moment. I could very well have been sent to an asylum eventually. When your own willpower attacks you there is very little that can be done until you realize what is happening. However the human will is so strong that once you can consciously use it anything can be overcome. The insurmountable power of the human will must be properly harnessed, it can strengthen us as a species, and it can unite us as a race. This I believe.

The author's comments:
My History of Ideas (basically intro to philosophy) teacher assigned us to write a speech based on NPR's "This I Believe" series.

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