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States of Mind

Volume XI, Number 1 | winter 2018


The ancient physician Galen catalogued the anxious delusions of his melancholic patients, including those of a man who “believes he has been turned into a kind of snail” and “runs away from everyone he meets lest his shell get crushed,” and those of another who “is afraid that Atlas, who supports the world, will become tired and throw it away, and he and all of us will be crushed and pushed together.”

The brain may be regarded as a kind of parasite of the organism, a pensioner, as it were, who dwells with the body.

—Arthur Schopenhauer, 1851

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