As if on a journey…

A psychosis is a journey without a definite goal. If it is travel at sea, there are storms which may sink your ship, or there are vortices which may draw you down in endless depths. If it is a hike through mountainous area, there are precipices and chasms that can suck you in, or there are avalanches which may drag you down. You started this journey all alone, without equipment, without a map or a compass, without being vaccinated – you just started the journey, not on a specific moment, but just right away, without having listened to weather reports, and without taking out a travel insurance. There is no destination, no route, and even no note with telephone numbers of people who need to be informed in case of emergency.

In De overtocht – the full title translates as The Crossing: Philosophical View on a Psychosis – psychosis is being described as a journey into an area where many differences will be dissolved – like differences between presumption and truth, between tiny cares and extreme panic, between desire and fullfilment. Also, the sense of difference needed for navigating through everyday life is at stake in this area. A journey like that will always be highly exciting, however… it is not a definitely lonely journey: in the landscape or the area where differences may disappear, you may find many traces of mystics, artists, philosophers, drug users and a host of other people who in some kind of way may diverge from giving the highest priority to being attuned to everyday life.

From his own experience, the author will focus on a number of vortices and turbulences he experienced during his adolescence. One of these whirls ended in a psychiatric hospital, another one in the Christian faith. Supported by a number of philosophers, the most important of which are: Martin Heidegger, Jacques Derrida and René Girard – the author tries to get to grips with what has happened during those journeys. Finally, we should mention Peter Sloterdijk, the famous German philosopher who once called himself a ‘psychonaut’. It is the work of this philosopher from which the metaphor of the journey is taken. Due attention will be paid to what Sloterdijk has to say about these voyages.