“The Unknown”– to write it, it seems like something from science fiction- perhaps from the beginning of an episode of Star Trek. The unknown is a place far away– a distant galaxy, a forgotten forest, or a hidden cave.
In fact, people come into contact with the unknown every day, and with great frequency. Not every square inch of the planet is covered with sidewalks, nor is every synapse of the brain ordered and understood.
There are days when I feel that I am coming into contact with a mystery or mysteries with great regularity– even in a sequence, or with a rhythm.
Healthy minds understand that life has a mystery to it. They adapt in healthy ways to this truth. The sane person confronts things they do not know– but they react in rational and healthy ways to these encounters.
As a schizophrenic, it has been a great struggle to calmly deal with a sense of mystery. I want to understand everything. I don’t want to be surprised. I really don’t want to take chances in life, of any kind. I don’t like admitting that there are limits to what I can comprehend.
I have had to learn not to react with panic when faced with the unknown. Having employment has helped me to do this, by forcing me to deal with people with whom I am not familiar. My wife, too, helps, as she often stretches my boundaries. She prevents my from lapsing into everyday predictability.
It’s a quiet and heroic thing about people, I think, that they have to cope with a sense of mystery, and that they must do so frequently. It’s a challenge to the mentally ill to remain coherent and calm when having similar experiences– to move with confidence towards the unknown, and to react appropriately to it.