There is an anecdote from a philosopher representing the cynical school, Diogenes Laercio, which I always like to remember, for boldly manifesting freedom of expression. This homeless, homeless, homeless man – who threw his glass and spit watching a child drink in the hollowed palm of his hand and eat on the surface of a loaf – was once challenged by Alexander the Great, who stood before him and expressed his request for any wish, to which Diogenes answered : “Get out of the way, you won’t let me see the sun.”1
A while ago I was in the Coppelia area and a gentleman started shouting very loud improperios that I’m afraid to repeat, because they were directed against power, of course, he was a mentally ill man. Throughout history there has been an exchange between madness and reason where the language of psychiatry has prevailed, which became a kind of monologue of reason about madness.
In Shakespeare’s tragedies, evil is not just external, a result of chance or fate. King Lear represents the tragic hero destroyed because there is something about him that contributes to his own destruction. The work describes the consequences of the irresponsibility and errors of judgment of Lear, ruler of ancient Brittany, and his adviser, the Duke of Gloucester. The tragic end comes as a result of handing over power to two of her evil daughters equally and not to the third, Cordelia, who manifests a love capable of transforming evil for good; however, the latter dies in the end, demonstrating the idea that evil does not destroy itself. It is interesting to observe the presence of a character in this play: the jester or the madman, clown who entertains Lear, but at the same time makes him see the stupidity of his actions.
Erasmo of Rotterdam, the author of Praise of Madness, writes in a message to the theologian Martin Dorp (1485-1525): “There is no danger for anyone to imagine that the apostles and Christ himself were mad in the literal sense.”2 In his well-known book, Erasmo denies the dividing line between reason and insurce, treats madness in their real sanity.
Once our José Martí was also called unbalanced and even added an adjective: “dangerous madman”. A while ago I taught my mother – who suffered from severe senile dementia – a New Word magazine to entertain her: “Who is this?” I said. It was a picture of the Apostle. He knew full well that he would not tell me his name, for by then he did not recognize his own children, but he replied: “He who dreams of us”. I was dismayed, madness can sometimes become a high form of wisdom, often speaking and telling the truth.
This year 2020 we must listen with emphasis to Pope Francis’ reflections on this period of cultural change. I had the opportunity to attend the 1st past. November 2019 to the event “Towards a Culture of the Encounter. Change of time: challenges and challenges”. It was wonderful to hear the interventions of the guests Massimo Borghesi and Rodrigo Guerra, enlightening and full of hope their presentations. Faith grants a knowledge that overflows with descriptive reason, it is a kind of friendship, of certainty of a presence in our lives. My mother, before she left for eternity, conveyed something very important to me for the Cubans all: Martí continues to dream us. Ω
1 There is another version of the words of Diogenes: “Get away from my sun.” See Brice Parain et. al.: History of Philosophy. Greek philosophy, Volume II, Mexico City, Siglo XXI Editores S.A., p. 261.
2 Erasmo de Rotterdam: Praise of Madness, Madrid, Alianza Editorial S.A., 1986, p. 164.