Friday, June 18, 2021

Godel as a sick soul

alsoI ordered Journey to the Edge of Reason, the Life of Kurt Godel both in Kindle and in the hard copy. 

Godel was mentally unstable late in life.  Several poets that I have liked have been mentally unstable, but their brand of instability, for most of them, was manic-depression, bipolar disorder; which fits well with the writing of poetry.  One cannot write in an inspired mode continuously; so when that mode is gone, one is bound to feel a bit depressed.  Anyone, perhaps, would feel a bit of mild depression, but the ones I have in mind entered into extremes.  

Some however descended into extreme depression which seems from the little I've thus far read to have been Godel's situation.  He didn't seem to have a manic mode.  The fact that he was being deserted: Einstein's death, Roth's suicide among others who died, but especially his wife's hospitalization affected him strongly.  He believed someone was trying to poison him and so would only eat food that she prepared.  After she was hospitalized he wouldn't eat anything and so starved himself to death.

Leo Depuydt's opinions are interesting.  He thinks that if someone has deep feelings of failure, you should take him at his word.  I thought, when I read Depuydt, of William James' Varieties of Religious experience.  James classed people into two categories: Healthy and Sick souls.  Godel would be a sick soul.  Depuydt sounds as though he is a Healthy soul.  Perhaps people with healthy souls aren't very good judges of people with Sick souls.  

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