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The Suspension Of Reality

“There’s nothing in the streets, Looks any different to me, And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye, And the parting on the left, Is now parting on the right” Peter Townshend 

Perhaps the hardest thing for a person to do is to make an honest self-examination. Going further this might be the most important thing that a human being needs to do. 

blindfolded woman photoI was prompted by a Facebook friend who posted a speech by Eric Holder saying Democrats incite violence. Intrigued I listened to the video and the closest that Holder came to inciting violence was that he said the ‘Democrats should fight’. It was obvious by context that he was talking metaphorically. When I called my friend out on this he told me that the Democratic extremists would misinterpret this. To make my point I posted a video with clips of Donald Trump clearly inciting violence.

So what is the issue, does my friend really care about inciting violence? Most likely not. Perhaps in some detached moral way, he knows that violence is wrong. Yet when I abruptly shoved Trump’s antics in his face he had no words to say. You see my friend could dissect and find something negative in everything that the Democrats said while with the Republicans he would suspend his senses of reason. Gone was any objectivity.

I think this is a common symptom of millions of people in the United States. When somebody like Judge Kavanaugh was accused of sexual impropriety all of the Republicans lined up to support him while all of the Democrats lined up against him. But when Bill Clinton was accused everybody lined up the opposite way. This was true even after it was proven that he took advantage of Monica and that he had lied under oath. What was the reason for this phenomena?

Clearly, people were greatly influenced by their political allegiance, there is no other answer. Not only were they influenced but the totally flipped flopped on their position. But if you brought this to their attention they would vehemently deny it. There is no objectivity in this group and that is tragic.

Things get worse when we talk about other issues. For example, the ‘endless’ wars that the United States are involved in. For some reason when George Bush was in power a faction of the opposition was very vocal. When Obama took over this dissension died down. Despite Obama winning a Nobel Peace Prize he did nothing but inflame the situation, continuing the wars, drones strikes and destroying Libya. But the facts mattered little to the Republicans and Democrats. It is almost as if politics was a grand sports contest where the fans were rooting for their side.

If these people cannot look honestly at externals what hope do they have to make an accurate self-evaluation? I recall when a friend of mine called for me when I wasn’t home. My dad answered the phone and apparently, he talked to my friend obnoxiously. My friend said to him “You don’t have to be so nasty.” My dad got himself all worked up. When I got home I heard his bold declaration “I’m not a nasty person.”  To put it mildly, this was not true. A mature person would have taken their words and examined what he said on the phone to provoke such a response. Instead, his fragile ego would not allow self-scrutiny.

We are in a world where we do what we are told. Education does not teach us how to think for ourselves. A great part of doing well in school is memorization and being good at taking tests. There is a great selfishness in this country where everybody is looking out for number one. The system is well beyond broken it is shattered. But people refuse to see this, especially if they are among the lucky few that are successful. Going back to politics over fifty percent of the population that could vote chose not to vote. That should speak volumes as to the faith they place in the system.

Let’s be perfectly honest there are faults in every one of us. I am not talking about minor idiosyncracies but rather deep fundamental flaws. We could all improve in a numerous number of ways. Whether you chose to recognize this or not it is up to you. But to tickle your mind let me ask you ‘Do you see faults in others?’ Most likely you could quickly rattle off half a dozen faults in those that you know best. Most certainly they could do the same about you.

“Murmurings Of A Mad Man” is a poetic journey through a dark time of my life when I was committed to a state psychiatric hospital called Graystone. It is traditional poetry written in strict rhythm and rhyme. It is a book of faith and hope.

Photos by Diamond Farah,

The Suspension Of Reality

John Kaniecki

John Kaniecki is a full-time caregiver for his wife Sylvia. He is a published writer and works with the Church of Christ. John has lived with bipolar for over thirty years and has been hospitalized nine times, three of which were committed. John has chronicled his life story in his memoirs "More Than The Madness". Also of note is John's book of poetry "Murmurings Of A Mad Man" which are poems written about being committed in Graystone Psychiatric Hospital. John believes in the power of words to change the world for the better. His website can be seen here. His books can be seen on Amazon. You can visit his personal blog "Turn A Page Or Two" here.

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APA Reference
Kaniecki, J. (2018). The Suspension Of Reality. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 9, 2020, from


Last updated: 11 Oct 2018
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