Review (By Walter Rhein) Examining ‘Gaslit By A Madman: Illuminated Poems’ by Max J. Lewy

Every now and then I pick up a book of poetry. I have a degree in English, so I’m not unfamiliar with poems, but here in the wild I don’t stumble across them with great frequency. I appreciate the occasionally well-crafted song lyric, and enjoy the effect when somebody like Tolkien throws a poem into his prose. Poetry works like a packet of seasoning in the middle of a plate of good but otherwise homogeneous food. A poem forces you to slow down and let the gears of your mind start spinning. If you charge right through, the effect is akin to running a marathon at the Louvre. Poems work a lot better when you read them out loud, and sometimes you can change a room by shouting words into it. ‘Gaslit By A Madman: Illuminated Poems’ by Max J. Lewy is a book of poetry that is much closer to Kurt Cobain than William Wordsworth, and I don’t mean that as an insult. There is a legitimate chaos in this book that is quite compelling, and the poems are all included as text and as a component of colorful collages like you’d see on a lamp post in a foreign country. In the introduction, Lewy gives some tantalizing details about his history of mental illness. The short version is that he was “[v]eritably knocked off his horse by two out-of-control, gaslighting shrinks at the tender age of 23.” More than a decade later, the unfortunate ruling was overturned. Mental health terrifies everyone simply because nobody, not even the experts, seems to know how it works. However, that doesn’t stop them from making life altering decisions. The poems that fill the pages of ‘Gaslit By A Madman: Illuminated Poems’ have a certain raw power and indisputable affiliation with chaos. As I read the collection, I found myself comparing the experience to watching a bird making a nest out of the colorful pages of a magazine. As you sit there, you observe the colors it collects and puts together. At first it seems like chaos, then you start to recognize an underlying symmetry. However, you never know for sure if there is a common understanding within your mind and that of the bird, or if there are just moments of random alignment. The first poem didn’t impress me. It’s short and not very complex with a repetitive and simple rhyme scheme. It’s not an offensive poem, and retroactively I see that it serves as an appropriate warm-up for the rest of the collection. But as I read it, I was concerned that it represented the level of complexity that would be common in the volume. It does not. It doesn’t take very long for Lewy to flex his muscles and show off some very nice wordplay. This book isn’t overly refined, but I believe that helps add to its authenticity. There are some line choices I disagree with, but overall there’s indisputable evidence of talent and purpose in this collection. Consider these lines from ‘Lobotomized the Beast.’ They have even lobotomized The Beast. Theirs is a religion stunted of both notion and emotion, Its charisma is like a poorly made wax-work dummy, Gauche and deathly cold, yet smooth in all its juvenile simplicity. It would make you too into a mannequin, An exemplary ticklist of outer inconsequentialities to set beside every barren, burning soul. For they care about only what they see, they see nothing important, And all they do is smoke and mirrors. They never awoke. Because, Wherever there is a soul burning, most people only see the smoke! Occasionally, in my travels, I’ve stumbled into a tiny restaurant in some distant corner of a Spanish speaking country. When you’re tired from the road and surrounded by all that is new and strange, your mind reaches out for words in English. Sometimes you’ll find poetry written in those places and it truly does have the power of spell casting. I think the words in Max Lewy’s book are legitimate. If you happened to stumble across them in the right context, they could completely knock you out. Here’s what I think people should do: they should get a copy of this guy’s book, and then travel through South America plastering the pages on the walls in distant cafes. That, to me, seems like a wholly worthy quest. Lewy could do it alone, but wouldn’t it be better if it happened organically? Imagine the army of chuckling travelers toting copies of a ripped and tattered collection of poetry through the jungles and the deserts. What a great legacy for words and writer both! Anyway, I sincerely suggest you check this book out. There’s some remarkable writing in it, even though it’s sometimes like discovering a vein of precious metal still encased in the stone of a mountain.

(Walter Rhein is a frequent, high caliber contributor on Medium.)


About this blog

GASLITBYAMADMAN: The CertifiablyTRUERavingsOfASectionedPhilosopher is a droller take on the subjects of mental health, political issues and Nietzschean, Christian, Jungian, existentialist and post-modern philosophy. Don’t be afraid to question your world view, don’t be afraid to think you might be a bit ‘mad’. Who isn’t?

It is based on the author, Max J. Lewy’s, own experience as an oh-so-patient patient in the N.H.S. Mental Health System. Veritably knocked off his horse by two out-of-control, gaslighting shrinks at the tender age of 23, his writings trace his recovery from this life-changing, iatrogenic incident over the next 12 or so years, exploring the ‘mad’ identity that was placed upon him and the truly insane, or certainly very flawed and eye-brow raising System which so unfortunately often does such things to quite healthy and relatively rational people. It contains beautiful visually-enhanced poems from the author’s book “Madness: a form of love”, written to aid the recovery process during some of the author’s lowest moments so far, a long with many barbed and incisive aphorisms accompanying longer pieces of text providing great philosophical and humane insight. Please do check it out.


More about me & this blog : As I explain below, I have no taste for polite codes of speech. Please don’t use that as an excuse to invade my personal space like the Mad Doctors did.


On this blog: “Are You O.K.? Are you mad?”

Someone asked me “Are you O.K.? Should we be concerned about you? Are you really mad?”

Answer: Madness is the theme I write about, but its also a part of my aesthetic and stylistic approach. I play with it and embrace it, rather than trying to distance myself from it. I don’t try to be a dry, scholarly, anaesthetized, therapeutic commentator, but also an entertainer and artistic performer, if anything more in the romantic and renaissance traditions or Artaud’s Theatre of Absurd. combined with an ironical post-modern & Platonic element, than the one of modern psychology. That is a basic reflection of how I think these things ought to be done more often; as I say in my previous post, I feel the ‘personality’ element needs to be put into things more throughout society. The melding of life and art has also been as basic concern of great thinkers like Nietzsche, Oscar Wilde, and lots of others who I’m heavily influenced by.

I feel it would be a bit hypocritical to defend madness and those deemed ‘mad’ in an impeccably ‘sane’ manner, whereas by going in the opposite direction I feel I make my own writings more authentic and morally courageous. Much of my aim is to question and break down the boundaries between ‘sane’ and ‘insane’, ‘analyst’ and ‘analysand’, which I feel are in many ways highly artificial and thus counter-productive to the real aim of authentic living and healing honesty, in many ways putting the ‘patient’ at an unfair disadvantage as the mere receiver of favors he often didn’t even ask for. How patronizing is it to say the ‘patient’ has nothing to teach, & is not providing a ‘service’ of his or her own? As the wise Seth Farber rightly says, there is a fundamental ‘equality’ to human consciousness that is belied by the highly hierarchical & stuffy ‘professional’ nature of psychiatry.

In a society which is severely curtailing emotional and verbal expression, there is also a moral imperative to maintain as wide expression as is still possible, to keep pushing at the boundaries before they become narrower and narrower and collapse in on themselves entirely into a rigid little box. I therefore insist upon the right to be responsibly irresponsible, or irresponsibly responsible. I also feel that an allergy to genuine and deep emotion is part of our general cultural malaise – a too great a wish to live at ‘the surfaces’ – as it has always been, and that a good reformer and rhetorician uses affects to his full advantage so as to make people really FEEL their existential state and the plight of others, in a way that may well appear ‘mad’, and be frightening to others used to a more ‘sanitized’ and mollycoddled, ‘mature’ yet also really infantilized regime. Of course, anyone who attempts to change a society’s values and modes is always liable to be attacked as ‘crazy’ and all other manner of slander, as he or she challenges the established interests of the status quo. By openly embracing the ‘mad’ aesthetic, I also hope to forestall any further accusations of unintentional, real mental illness (which I would argue must always be unintentional & crushing, diminishing rather than enhancing & enriching of a person’s sense of Self & the expression of their personality in order to qualify as a real ailment – although that important fact is hardly recognized at the moment! ). It is also an open pressing of this question and debate, by its mere existence.
The off kilter, anarchic approach to writing presentation and possibly quite ‘manic- depressive’, at times seemingly hyperbolic or deliberately paradoxical & offensive content and approach also in itself creates what I consider to be an atmosphere more suited to genuine thought, with its bold, even sometimes reckless daring and abandon. This aesthetic and vibe is thus a truly philosophical vibe; an intoxication of wine and berries, loosening the tongue and the constraints of vulgar propriety. It also attempts to re-invigorate with a sense of wonder, fear and trembling, cathartic sorrow, and playful, childish amazement, the perennial companions of a true authentic attitude towards the Universe and scientific quest, which always sees everything anew and as startling, as if from the eyes of a child or idiot, and feels it intensely. The overall attempt (not always successful, granted.. this is only my first prose-oriented book) is to convey a feeling for the great, dizzying PLEASURE of genuine thought itself. This decadent pleasure is in fact one of the most, perhaps even the only truly moral pleasure – as I say, most actions, most attempts to ‘save’ others, or save the world, are highly suspect & corrupt. Part of my aim may perhaps be said to intoxicate with language to prevent and avert the need for a cruder chemical intoxication in myself and others! Because language & insight is both moral & a pleasure to all truly higher mammals. The aim is transformation, not arid intellectual insight.

What makes people valuable is not primarily their ideas – its their vibration. If a person can communicate the right vibration to others, the ideas themselves will come naturally of their own accord.

(There is also a very sad factor I’m still very embarrassed about, whereby I am now in fact possibly incorrigibly and permanently drunk (though I am also quite teetotal!) as a result of the drug-rapery of psychiatric treatment itself, which, as I say, caused me severe, actual and lasting iatrogenic, nervous damage, even though the Dr.s refuse to & cannot admit it due to the nature of their own guild self-interests, as they so often deny their atrocities against others, the horror stories of which line the walls of history, & now the internet.) I do not pretend that my former faculties are by any means still intact, only that they are still well above par due to God’s grace to me early on.

In ancient times, as Nietzsche says in the quote earlier in my blog, madness and genius were not merely mildly associated, but practically only madmen could be innovators in the realm of ideas or customs; and wise men would actively pray for and cultivate an aesthetic of madness to be MORE convincing. It is also however in keeping with the true zeitgeist of our times, which in its unprecedented destruction of tradition and race towards possible oblivion, either literal or technological, ‘post-human’, a long with the omnipotence of ‘the Noble Lie’ and dual, subterranean aspect of reality and political and social discourse, as well as the more overt radical divisions and multiple competing, yet passionately held narratives of what constitutes reality and the correct values, is truly an age of strange miracles, terrifying marvels and often outright popular insanity that give the lie to ‘quiet, everyday normality’ better than anything that has ever happened previously throughout history.

Most of all, in opening myself up to ridicule by voluntarily adopting a ‘mad’ persona, I thereby ‘turn the other cheek’.

So, please don’t be worried about me, (especially as that is the very thing that got me wounded in the first place). If you want to assist me, and really care and aren’t just responding with a reactive fearful desire to contain and suppress what seems strange and unusual to you, just think about my ideas and what I’m trying to communicate here — how it must feel to be labelled ‘mentally ill’ and have your rights taken away, and become an object for others to ‘treat’ against its Will, (especially when he or she is already feeling extremely vulnerable and fragile), for instance — and please try to take them on board a bit more. If you really want to help, buy one of my other books, and help promote and popularize my work and thought further. Then why not write a review on Amazon or Goodreads? Follow me on Twitter (@GaslitByAMadman). And if I am ever subject to unwanted psychiatric or other State-attentions, why not take an interest in my case and try to defend me from further cruel abuse like I have already sustained due to no prior crime of my own. Any of those things would be most appreciated.

It is, however, natural, and actually part of my schtick and mystique for some people to be kept wondering a little on this question, so I do not resent it. It is all a question of each person’s current level.


Nietzsche On Madness

“Significance of madness in the history of morality. – When in spite of that fearful pressure of ‘morality of custom’ under which all the communities of mankind have lived, many millenia before the beginnings of our calendar and also on the whole during the course of it up to the present day (we ourselves dwell in the little world of the exceptions and, so to speak, in the evil zone):- when, I say, in spite of this, new and deviate ideas, evaluations, drives again and again broke out, they did so accompanied by a dreadful attendant: almost everywhere it was madness which prepared the way for the new idea, which broke the spell of a venerated usage and superstition. Do you understand why it had to be madness which did this? Something in voice and bearing as uncanny and incalculable as the demonic moods of the weather and the sea and therefore worthy of a similar awe and observation? something that bore so visibly the sign of total unfreedom as the convulsions and froth of the epileptic, that seemed to mark the madman as the mask and speaking-trumpet of a divinity? Something that awoke in the bearer of a new idea himself reverence for and dread of himself and no longer pangs of conscience and drove him to become the prophet and martyr of his idea? — while it is constantly suggested to us today that, instead of his grain of salt, a grain of spice of madness is joined to genius, all earlier people found it much more likely that wherever there is madness there is also a grain of genius and wisdom — something ‘divine’, as one whispered to oneself. Or rather: as one said aloud forcefully enough. ‘It is through madness that the greatest good things have come to Greece’, Plato said, in concert with all ancient mankind. Let us go a step further: all superior men who were irresistibly drawn to throw off the yoke of any kind or morality and to frame new laws had, if they were not actually mad, no alternative but to make themselves or pretend to be mad —- and this indeed applies to innovators in every domain and not only in the domain of priestly and political dogma:—- even the innovator of poetical metre had to establish his credentials by madness. (A certain convention that they were mad continued to adhere to poets even into much gentler ages., a convention of which Solon, for example, availed himself when he incited the Athenians to reconquer Salamis. — ‘How can one make oneself mad when one is not mad and does not dare to appear so?’ —- almost all the significant men of ancient civilization have pursued this train of thought; a secret teaching of artifices and dietetic hints was propagated on this subject, together with the feeling that such reflections and purposes were innocent, indeed holy. The recipes for becoming a medicine-man among the Indians, a saint among the Christians of the Middle Ages, an angekok among Greenlanders, a pajee among Brazilions are essentially the same: senseless fasting, perpetual sexual abstinence, going into the desert or ascending a mountain or a pillar, or ‘sitting in an aged willow tree which looks upon a lake’ and thinking nothing at all except what might bring on an ecstacy and mental disorder. Who would venture to take a look into the wilderness of bitterest and most superfluous agonies of soul in which probably the most fruitful men of all times have languished! To listen to the sighs of these solitary and agitated minds: ‘Ah, give me madness, you heavenly powers! Madness, that I may at last believe in myself! Give deliriums and convulsions, sudden lights and darkness, terrify me with frost and fire such as no mortal has ever felt, with deafening din and prowling figures, make me howl and whine and crawl like a beast: so that I may only come to believe in myself! I am consumed by doubt, I have killed the law, the law anguishes me as a corpse does a living man: if I am not more than the law I am the vilest of all men. The new spirit which is in me, whence is it if it is not from you? Prove to me that I am yours; madness alone can prove it.’ And only too often this fervour achieved its goal all too well: in that age in which Christianity proved most fruitful in saints and desert solitaries, and thought it was proving itself by this fruitfulness, there were in Jerusalem vast madhouses for abortive saints, for those who had surrendered to it their last grain of salt.”

— Friedrich Nietzsche, “Daybreak: Thoughts Of The Prejudices Of Morality”, 14

Memoir Of A Captive Shaman (Re-blog)

Memoirs of a Captive Shaman

by Max J. Lewy


The systematic suppression and oppression of society’s shamans and prophets by the priestcraft of psychiatry, has not only been a catastrophe for these gifted individuals—some of the most luxuriously bountiful specimens of mankind—but has also been instrumental in the demolition of Western society in toto. By casting the alarm and foreboding of our most wary seers (whose sociobiological function is in fact to warn us of future peril and present injustices) as a type of ‘paranoid schizophrenia’, or other ‘mental illness’, by drugging them to prevent their apprehensions from unfurling in a positive, healthy articulation, and by locking them away in cramped, socially occluded wards, their legitimate warnings have been silenced and ignored, permitting social maladies to dig their teeth ever deeper into the social body. The precipitous social rot of the West, which many dismissed for decades as mere speculation, but which now anyone with one eye still open & more than the memory of a goldfish can see (especially in the fate of Europe, which now seems all but sealed in the erection of a new Eurasian Caliphate/Hardcore Orwellian-Control State), is a direct consequence of the practices of this grave, unholy, and incredibly cruel psychiatric Anti-Church. In other words, our present turmoil is God’s vengeance on the wicked, unspeakably callous & complacent Western population that has unwisely purged itself of those who would blast a glaring torchlight upon the menacing demons it has summoned into its midst.  


If you harm, punish or psychiatrically ‘treat’ a bad man, he might just re-consider his wicked ways; but if you harm, punish or ‘treat’ a good one, he is liable to re-consider his good ways.


The troglodytic masses, those institutionalised non-mental-patients, while all too fatuously and recklessly embracing ideologies of social ‘progress’, are in fact frightened of a true inner transformation and are thus locked into necrotic patterns. Meanwhile, the madman (remember, the etymology of the word ‘mad’ is to ‘change’) has awakened to the need for spiritual becoming, both in himself and in others.


Enlightenment thinkers such as Thomas Hobbes and John Locke tried to appeal to and foster what is called man’s rational self-preservation, inserting it above all other goals as the centerpiece and pivot of the whole of society. Notice here how the concepts of reason and self-preservation are heavily intertwined, which still remains the case today. Madness, on the other hand, is commonly associated with throwing caution to the wind, tightrope walking over a precipice just for the sheer Hell of it, and embracing a variety of dangers that may very well end in personal extinction. However, when one considers the nature of our own inevitable mortality. . . is making self-preservation our highest goal really so rational? In order to face life in all its grim reality, is it not necessary, at some point or other, to eschew ‘rational’ self-preservation for a bold leap (if only in the imagination) towards an affirmation and embrace of this inextricable fatality? Especially if one seeks to give birth to something greater than oneself, like the Christ, and take on the grave sacrifices so often required. In other words, rather than ‘rational self-preservation’, isn’t the ability for the ‘insane self-annihilation’ of loving sacrifice an even greater sign of maturity—or of true morality? Thus also the Buddha would seem to have it, who equally, in view of the passing away of all earthly things, preached ‘Loss of self’ rather than the steady incremental Lockean accumulation of an estate that is eventually destined to perish anyway; he who is said, out of compassion, to have given his life up to be voluntarily devoured by a starving tiger. Reminds me of those ‘voluntary patients’ in the ward!


Rather than being allowed to live as shamans, the spiritual leaders of society, such men and women are quietly tortured in sanatoriums and cast into ignominy. Thereby society is not only deprived of its natural guiding elite, but every citizen is trained to feel a senseless (‘paranoid’) fear and hatred of their own deepest spiritual roots that prevents them re-connecting with these taboo aspects of themselves and manifesting their true potential. In truth, the true mental illness is the senseless conformity which the ‘mental health’ establishment sacralizes. This sanctified madness then, unconsciously aware of its own shortcomings, in order to sustain its own self-conception as reasonable and sane, is driven to a fervent quest to identify and persecute those it delusionally deems ‘mad’ for the sake of externalizing and thereby gaining some sense of control over its own deepest insecurities.


To counteract the tide of artificial, false pretenses to expert, scientific ‘objectivity’, and the docile, herd-like conformity that actually entails within social science, within the healing professions, and within society as a whole, I propose that a personal account of one’s life-story, focusing on how one has arrived at one’s central, integral values, become a standard for all such careers. This narrative of selfhood would be a move towards bolstering the development of personality and character throughout society, preventing people from hiding entirely behind their professional veneers, and presencing the true-lived experience and actual, rather than false selves. I don’t propose this merely as a helpful task for the ‘professional’ on the way to qualifying, but as a central piece that he must present to his clients (or patients); a true curriculm vitae.


His greasy trousers drove her to distraction. She very nearly called the ambulance once.

Lardy da, lardy da, lardy da.

He couldn’t care less of course, until the real threats came in. But, enough of that for now.

He only ever wanted to be a star. He only ever wanted to be cultural pioneer. He wasn’t too much concerned with his exterior everyday veneer. What a crime, what a sin; your Laws, your ‘morals’ are paper thin.

“Your trousers are filthy!” She’d cry. Optimus Einstein Bartholemew II looked at his dear mother, his tender heart hurt & bewildered as usual. He was pondering the technological Singularity, & whether Hell on earth could yet be averted in his own lifetime.

“I’m only saying it because I care about you, other people notice too but just don’t say anything!”

Yes, indeed.


Albert Einstein, Bartholemew’s namesake, had been a bit absent-minded, & shabby too at times, & he was almost universally heralded as the greatest genius of the 20th Century. W. H. Auden was a notorious mucky-pup. Nietzsche even pranced around in his room naked, occasionally hammering out Wagner on his piano. Perhaps if young Optimus were allowed to parade his lackadaisical attire for once without constant nay-saying & psychological black-magic from his mother, he might actually garner something of a reputation for caring about higher things, perhaps he might be thought of as a Saint of some kind (Nietzsche himself was nicknamed ‘the little Saint’ by his housemistress, despite his rampant ‘hate speech’ against Christians… & her cooking skills), rather than a messy, naughty little boy who couldn’t take care of himself.

It’s a little bit like the Amazonian medicine men who were ridiculed & spat upon for hanging around in only laurel leaves, & enjoying themselves all day in the forest (& actually healing people, unlike Western medicine), instead of rushing to become lumberjacks for enterprising timber-merchants, whereas now if they fancy it, they can make a veritable fortune selling DMT trips to high-flying sales consultants & rich kids from Miami. Lifting barely a finger.

Sadly, it seems that particular thought never occurred to his mother…

—nor did she take any DMT trips.

When he started gaining actual literary success, it confused her to no end that this little ungrateful brat, fruit of her loins, so recalcitrant to basic hygiene, could be seen side by side in magazines & journals with those above her own social echelon. For a long, long, long time she resisted this result with all her might, ratcheting up the personal attacks on his attire so that he spent a whole year in a Mental Asylum, losing half his genius & much more besides in the process. Still, as they say, you can’t keep a good dog down forever. (Well, perhaps you can, with enough detracting put-downs from one’s nearest & dearest…)

But eventually—fortunately—Optimus Einstein Bartholemew II did get there (though not before spending 6 months in winter on the streets of Brighton in hiding from his ‘benefactors’, of course). In his hey-day, he ended up resurrecting the Sonnet for Her Majesty’s 80th Jubilee, with a little fusion Jungle thrown in from his own youth (which Her Majesty loved also), reminding her of her own glory days as the prime symbol of the now (supposedly) harmless & ineffectual, humiliated “dress-up-doll” nature of the ancient class-tyrants.

Not that the whole episode didn’t leave a bit of a sour taste in the mouth. I mean, at first he was only doing it to make his parents proud; then, the way it turned out, it was as if he did it only to get back at them! It didn’t matter how he tried to forgive them & continue their relationship on a better footing; they wouldn’t forgive him for proving them wrong by not being a sick patient the rest of his life, or thanking them for their barbaric actions that more than half-destroyed & mangled their own original creation.

This is how we pay for the very crimes committed against us, & go on paying & paying. Until they actually do kill us.

What crimes had been perpetrated against dear Optimus’s parents to make them wage such an indefatigable war on their own legacy, I wonder? Could it be the tireless demands of society upon them to conform during their own upbringing? Hm, maybe it’s the progress of History; the older generations always feeling hard done by, missing out on all the new technologies, their marvellous abundance & the delicious fruits of their own labour.

Personally, I think they were simply born under the wrong star.

Anyway, it seemed to him that each spark of initiative, of virtue, dignity or authentic individuality he ever showed in their presence was scorned with utter vitriol & a vehement, indignant attempt to stamp it out lest it spread, & perhaps really take root. They say that spreading your own wings is the best thing you can do for others, since it gives them license to do the same. (But, some people just do not want that. Most likely your own parents are among them.)

At any rate, needless to say, the ‘success’ that his parents had once dreamed of for him as a small child became only a mortal wound after the whole psychiatric debacle, filling them with a sense of only greater bitterness & defeat. You see, once you declare war on someone by having them ‘sectioned’ against their will, there is rarely any going back…


Stop in your tracks & you are deemed crazy by all around you, & unconscious & lazy. Wear a spotty shirt to a restaurant & you better stay alert, or the neighbours will be out to get you; they could well call the cops & have you thrown in jail ‘for your own good’.

Does it even matter, though, if the inner bird does sing? “What inner bird?” they cried. “Can’t you just be a good little parrot, like the rest of us? Savour your patched eye is all!”


“And there is a charge, a very large charge
For a word or a touch
Or a bit of blood

Or a piece of my hair or my clothes.
So, so, Herr Doktor.
So, Herr Enemy.

I am your opus,
I am your valuable,
The pure gold baby

That melts to a shriek.
I turn and burn.
Do not think I underestimate your great concern.

Ash, ash—
You poke and stir.
Flesh, bone, there is nothing there——

A cake of soap,
A wedding ring,
A gold filling.

Herr God, Herr Lucifer


Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair
And I eat men like air.”

Sylvia Plath, excerpt from “Lady Lazarus”

Warning Label: This true personal account, only revealed 13 years after the fact due to the dreadful incapacitated state in which the events described left him in, will, taking a highly confrontational approach, no doubt be thought highly offensive to many (especially the perpetrators!). If you cannot tolerate a little salutary poison & malice in your panacea, please look away now. Side effects may include: much horror, legitimate remorse, bitter yet cathartic & healthy lamentation, extreme dizziness, ecstatic, trance-like states, life-changing epiphanies, rebellious outrage, vomiting up society’s propaganda, increased working vocabulary, uncontrollable weeping or laughter, shortness of breath & frothing angrily, indignantly at the mouth!

#PoetryNotPills #MeditationNotSedation #DietNotDrugs

Growing up is tough. Perhaps it has been an awful lot worse in the past. But today, it is still very hard, even in the more developed countries. Jordan B. Peterson, now the hero of a generation, makes this abundantly clear: in his work, we see how lost many people are; how lost many of us are or have been at times.

Our education system draws no attention to our spiritual life, to the cultivation of the virtues and dispositions that make life genuinely ‘meaningful’ (to use Peterson’s term). Many people, such as those Peterson speaks of, become brainwashed by the system, in a sense keeping their heads firmly in the sand and never questioning their social indoctrination. They merely become more and more fanatical.

I wasn’t like that. I suffered from, if anything, the opposite pathology. Suddenly, when I read Nietzsche’s Beyond Good And Evil at 17, I found myself engulfed by so many doubts and reservations about the education I had received hitherto, and about the ‘values’ that most people take for granted, that it paralysed my ability to continue with life—with my formal schooling—in a productive manner. However I was so enthralled to the system, so ‘institutionalized’ by 14 years of public curriculum schooling and classroom routine, that I was unable to act independently and decisively to extricate myself from this same system.

Thus I continued, going to University, pursuing a degree (Philosophy and Mathematics) that I didn’t even want. I think I would have faired better with P.P.E. — Politics, Philosophy, and Economics — but that wasn’t available at a top University other than Oxford until a year later. I should have taken an extra year and switched course, or simply abandoned the Mathematics, as I was only interested in the Human Condition at the time… but I was too indecisive, didn’t think Philosophy alone sounded as impressive or offered the same ‘career prospects’, and, not knowing what I really wanted anyway, was afraid of making any kind of a scene.

In the last year I was at University, because I was expressing my unhappiness, & had always been curious about psychoanalysis, after seeing it romanticized so splendidly in the incomparable films of Woody Allen, I foolishly consented to see a psychiatrist—thinking I would get the full, in depth couch & dreams approach, the intrepid, disabused psychological delving & diving with a seasoned guide.

But in reality….

The white-coated philistine asked me a bunch of puerile questions from his standard, poxy little ticklist, & unfortunately when he asked, “Do you think you receive messages from the T.V.?’, in my sweet naïvete, I simply answered, “Yes.” (Doh! The T.V. is a form of media; its whole job is to send you messages!) As a result of that moronic misphrased question and misunderstanding, the jumped-up invalid labelled me ‘schizophrenic’ there and then… & that’s how it happened folks! That’s how Eden got nuked! Because I claimed a T.V. sends messages!

Anyway… they didn’t kidnap me at that point. I merely returned to University after being kept in for a night on the ward, & then I just about passed my horrible course, after 4 years of intellectual sclerosis in the bloom of youth (though far, far worse was to come!)… But by the end of it, I was masturbating compulsively (to internet pornography), which continued for another 2 or so years at home again in my old bedroom of my parent’s residence. Then, to cut a long story short, I suffered a (minor) injury to my private parts, which I was convinced was more serious than it actually was, yet still I continued with the self-abuse, with ever mounting guilt and worry. I began having physical symptoms—coughing up phlegm, pains in my head—as well as extreme states of dysphoria upon attempts to withdraw from my porn addiction. I was concerned that I was verging upon doing permanent damage to my nervous system.

To combat this, as well as the unpleasant effects I just mentioned, I began fasting and meditating for days, even weeks at a time. After prolonged fasting, I would then feast myself prodigiously, especially on lots of meat (yes, I invented the ‘meat-only, ketagenic diet’ a good decade before Peterson—which now is officially being used to treat ‘schizophrenia’, btw!—and, unlike him, I was roundly committed for it!). And blueberries.

Meanwhile my worried mother took me to see a Dr. (who I just went along with, not considering it of any great significance and vaguely hoping he might send me for a brain scan to see what was happening with my nerves). However, due to the fact I had spent all of the last two years largely alone in my bedroom (one of the ‘negative symptoms of schizophrenia’); because I said I was concerned that my excessive habits might be causing a problem with my brain (together with my unorthodox but actually quite effective attempts to rectify the issue); and as a result of my frenzied feasting, they thought I was delusional. Psychotic. So one night, when I was least expecting it…they came to my house and ‘sectioned’ me (though ’vivisectioned’ might be more accurate).

The above is of course only a brief summary, and it doesn’t nearly convey the inner turmoil that I was in at the time. But that inner turmoil was nothingcompared to what I suffered after that, as a direct product of my sectioning (for those who don’t already know, this means I was involuntarily detained At Her Majesty’s Pleasure in a so-called mental ‘hospital’).

I’m sure it’s rather common (‘normal’) to be distressed when State workers accost you at your home, and basically kidnap you indefinitely (the technical term for it is ‘Kafkarian Nightmare’). But the reaction I underwent at this time was extreme, even by normal (or even abnormal) human psychological standards. Years of constant masturbation combined with succeeding attempts to heal myself via fasting, meditation, and feasting, had ignited enormous reserves of energy. At home, I had been able to keep my environment under very tight control, restricting my movements, my entire attention and dietary practices exactly as I required so as to free myself from the aforementioned addiction and its attendant malaise, along with progressing my spirit even further. When all this control was completely taken away from me, all the energies that I had been on the brink of directing toward productive purposes imploded.

I was told and basically forced to accept that all of my attempts to control my own actions were wrong and I was prohibited from acting upon them. I was suddenly absolutely terrified of all my own impulses, as every expression of them was punished mercilessly by the most vicious slander, contempt and humiliation, potentially rendering me a medical captive for life if I didn’t lie to hide my excruciating agony

When you become scared of your own impulses, Ladies and Gentlemen—especially when they are running at literally 100 MPH under heavy assault with no way to defend yourself—the intense conflict causes them to self-destruct. They destroy you. That is exactly what happened, causing precisely the nervous breakdown I had been expressing fears about previously and for which the Dr.s had ridiculed and sectioned me in the first place!No growth is possible under such conditions.

During this time, my distress and agony exceeded my tongue, and to this day that pain finds no correlative in verbal expression. For 6 months, I felt the most acute, extreme, and constant restlessness, which I was absolutely unable to do anything about no matter how much I paced around the cramped wards, andI watched internally as my nerves were crushed against my skull and gradually gave up the ghost. They said all my suffering was in my imagination. All a ‘hallucination’. They said, “You can’t feel brain damage!” They couldn’t have cared less about my agony—they laughed at me as I begged for mercy…

I suffered in Hell for 12 years as a direct result of their actions. They list in their idiotic ‘scholarly’ manuals that sleeping problems and unquenchable thirst are signs of such damage, and for the last 12 years I’ve been waking up over 20 times a night (as well as, actually more importantly, sleeping extremely shallowly compared to how I used to); whereas before, even in all my distress, I slept soundly every night. I’ve also had a more or less constant sense of some kind of nervous thirst, which nothing would satisfy and is unbearably frustrating & difficult to describe. Added to that, I have experienced a complete derangement and profound loss of my identity, memory and functionality since that time. . . I have only slowly re-gathered myself after 12 years!

Before I was (vivi)sectioned, I was extremely hopeful of writing my first novel within a couple of years. As it was, it took me 12 more years of most bitter Hell & purgatoryto recover even a semblance of my former self from the iatrogenic effects of my ‘treatment’, producing a meagre one book of extremely angsty poetry (named “Madness: a form of love”). It is only really in the last year or so , having come off the drug-poisons in late 2018, after 12 years of oppression and being subjected to ‘friendly little’ compulsory monthly get-togethers with my drug-rapists, that I have once again regained some footing and my life has become tolerable & seemingly a bit worthwhile.

Max J. Lewy (1983-) was born in the ex-coal-mining area of the South Wales valleys, U.K. to a Jewish father and English mother, and is now a recovering patient of Mental Health System abuses. He studied Philosophy at Warwick University, undergoing a spiritual transition and potential breakthrough which was aborted and derailed by misplaced ‘treatment’. He spent 6 months living on the street as a runaway from NHS ‘services’ in Brighton. He self-published his first book of poetry, Madness: a form of love last year, detailing his ordeals as a form of therapy (#PoetryNotPills #MeditationNotSedation) and defence, and is the winner of RealisticPoetry’s 2018 “Perspectives Of Love” Poetry Contest for the poem “River Of Eternity (For R. W.)”. While currently spending his time writing poetry and philosophy about Mental Health, he is also considering retraining to work in the field of Artificial Intelligence (although, as he says himself, his intelligence is already highly artificial!). In his spare time, he plays tennis, drinks pure cacao sweetened with Manuka Honey, along with various other herbal remedies and holistic health rituals, and avoids doctors at all costs.  

Recent Aphorisms, Conveying Simple, Yet Crucial Information To Any Who Lack It

The central notion of all higher people & societies is reverence , not for authority but for reality, & most of all the reality of the human soul, present in all human beings, or the soul of living things, or things as such

The essential flaw with Christianity, as it has been handed down to us, is the dictat “Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself” breeds over-familiarity, & with it, abuse, hatred & disgust.

The aristocrat of the spirit is characterized perhaps most of all by his replacing love of the familiar with love of & respect for & faith in the mystery of others, (or by combining both).

The weakness with Capitalism was always its residue of socialism & tendency towards excessive information-gathering.


The difference between an old-fashioned “Fascist” society & today’s Society, is exactly the difference between a can of poison that is sitting on the shelf with the label “poison” on it, & one that is secretly sprinkled into your food.

The “Left” today are exactly like people who become extremely — even murderously — indignant over safety labels, rather than the actual poison.

They are people who literally insist that safety labels be placed ON THE SAFETY LABELS THEMSELVES, rather than the actual poison.

The terms “Xenophobia” & “Transphobia” are precisely safety labels being placed ON SAFETY LABELS — gaslighting terms of abuse for those who don’t feel like — who are already terrified, “phobic” — of being incarcerated, poisoned & murdered BY THEM.


The secret to life is what Heidegger called “Being towards death” WITHOUT the Nazis’s & Carl Schmitt’s toxic version of it, i.e. without it becoming politically charged & active.

Today’s Left today try to give us Carl Schmitt & Nazism without Heidegger, rather than Heidegger without Nazism & Carl Schimdt.


The nature of sinners is only to be able to derive pleasure from destroying themselves and others, especially the healthy & the beautiful.

The nature of the healthy & the beautiful is to enjoy & be able to enjoy themselves without doing this.

The greatest sinners & most sick of all destroy others & themselves without even being honest enough to call it that, but calling it “medicine” & “care”.

The nature of health consists in

1) how much enjoyment you can have getting as little close to the fire as possible, &

2) how little harmed you are by getting in the actual fire.


A sexually promiscuous Society seems to lead to an advanced, pathological form of “Christian” hatred of the friend, as a form of over-compensation.

The taboo against extra-marital sex & contraception in the Bible was quite possibly intended to maintain a less intense, but stable, more mild & moderate fraternity generally within a Society for longer.


True happiness lies in what philosophers, such as Al Farabi & Plato & Spinoza, called “The Active Intellect.”, a serene enjoyment in pacifistic abstract contemplation. This is probably the only method of happiness & this will probably always be the case for human beings.


The Real is invisible & internal, whereas the external is how we tend to signal preferences or choices, because its the only possible way. The Real you is not supposed to be known, (& cannot be), only respected. At most, God could know it, an otherworldly God who can never be known by other human beings or their various gadgets.