Thursday, November 15, 2012
Human nature has always acted in the same way. Let us go back to Shakespeare. In his great tragedy, Macbeth, Shakespeare, long before we had any of the profound findings of psychiatry, described a perfect case of psychosis and a perfect case of neurosis. It was Macbeth who had the psychosis; Lady Macbeth, his wife, had the neurosis.
Do you remember the story? In order to obtain the throne they had Banquo, the King, murdered. Conscience bothered Macbeth so much that he developed a psychosis, and began seeing the ghost of Banquo. He imagined he saw him seated at a table. The dagger that killed the king was constantly before him.
“What is this dagger before my eyes?” Imagination was the projection of his inner guilt. Note the great wisdom in Shakespeare in pointing out that wherever there is a revolution against conscience, then skepticism, doubt, atheism, and complete negation of the philosophy of life follows. Macbeth reached a stage where to him life was just a candle and had no meaning:
Tomorrow, tomorrow, and tomorrow
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And to all our yesterdays have lighted folls
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Skepticism, agnosticism, and atheism do not have rational foundations. Their foundations are in the moral order with a revolt against conscience.
Look at Lady Macbeth; her guilt was manifested in a neurosis.
The maid said of Lady Macbeth that she washed her hands every quarter of an hour.
There was a sense of guilt in her and instead of
washing her soul, as she should have done, she projected it to her
hands. She said, “All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand.”
Notes for my class:
Wherever there is a revolution against conscience, then skepticism, doubt, atheism, and complete negation of the philosophy of life follows.
Q “What was the dagger before his eyes?”
Q "What is the dagger before our eyes?"
A Same answer
And, on a lighter note:
Source: Your Life is Worth Living, by Archbishop Fulton Sheen