I came across an article tonight while browsing through Facebook and it was terrifying. It was about these Russian Scientists who had supposedly found a specific gas that kept people awake indefinitely. So they tested it on 5 inmates or people they had chosen that were (enemies of the state) and told them if they stayed awake for 30 days they would be freed.
They locked them in a sealed room and began pumping this gas into it. After just a few short days the “inmates” began exhibiting weird behavior. By the time 15 days of sleep deprivation, they were all but mad. They had even begun eating their own flesh like zombies instead of the food they were provided. Their bodies even became unrecognizable to the Scientists.
They were little more than living breathing nightmares. Who after the Scientists decided they had had enough turned the gas off the “inmates” begged for it to be turned back on because they did not want to go to sleep. At this part of the story, I asked the question were they so intent on getting free they would risk everything even their humanity to be free? Or were they simply addicted to the noxious gas at this point?
Anyway, after the government took over and began testing the “inmates” as soon as they put them to sleep their hearts gave out and died one by one till there was only one left. Who begged and pleaded to be put back in the room and gassed. The governor obliged and as one military operative couldn’t stand to be around the “monster” he killed the governor and then attempted to kill the monster, saying he would not be locked in here with these things.
But before he did he asked the “monster” “what are you?” The thing that used to be just a man that was now some sort of beast looked up at the soldier and said simultaneously the most chilling thing I have ever heard and one of the most poetic. He said,
“How quickly you forget.” “We are you,” he continued. The researcher could only watch in horror as the prisoner explained what he had become, “WE ARE THE MADNESS THAT LURKS WITHIN YOU ALL, BEGGING TO BE FREE AT EVERY MOMENT IN YOUR DEEPEST ANIMAL MIND. WE ARE WHAT YOU HIDE FROM IN YOUR BEDS EVERY NIGHT. WE ARE WHAT YOU SEDATE INTO SILENCE AND PARALYSIS WHEN YOU GO TO THE NOCTURNAL HAVEN WHERE WE CANNOT TREAD.”
The story goes on to tell that this story is a possible hoax but the moral of the story is to get some sleep. However, I think this passage alone paints a different moral to the story.
We are all just animals trying to survive. How quickly we tend to forget that there is a certain madness to us all. Deep deep down there is a primal part of us that even we ourselves will not admit to, or see. We see this madness leak out and take over all the time. You just have to turn on the news to see it. It is by our will and the grace of God that the world is not plunged into chaos at every turn. I imagine this will be what the end of days are like brother, sister, mother, father, husband, wife, all falling prey to the madness that lurks inside of us. It will be the few that are strong enough mentally to be able to stand in the presence of God that will be forgiven for the ultimate sin of giving in to our basic human nature.
I get told I am crazy all the time, but very few have ever seen actual crazy. Being driven mad by your own thoughts. Your mind breaking and betraying you. Leading you into a false sense of freedom that will never truly exist. Watching as someone goes from loving and kind to an ax-wielding murderer. Witness the moment their mind snaps and fractures, never to be whole again.
It is a sobering thought that I have come close a time or two. To be able to say Fuck it and let the insanity take hold. Yet, I knew I would never be me again if I let it take me. So I clung to the thread of sanity I had and for what seemed like the millionth time became wholly me again.
I know what it takes to pull yourself back from the brink of insanity. I have stared down that particular abyss many a time. I don’t judge anyone’s inability to not pull themselves back from the brink. I just think there should be more of us that have come close, to be there for the ones that do. After all, we are all animals, just a different species is all.
The moral of the Russian story should be not to get more sleep, but to remember we are all driven to madness once in a while. It is what we do in those times that the darkness has become a reality that separates us from the rest of the animals in the world.