G.K. Chesterton – the Madman and Reason

“The madman’s explanation of a thing is always complete, and often in a purely rational sense, satisfactory. Or, to speak more strictly, the insane explanation, if not conclusive, is at least unanswerable; this may be observed especially in the two or three commonest kinds of madness.
If a man says (for instance) that men have a conspiracy against him, you cannot dispute it except by saying that all the men deny that they are conspirators, which is exactly what conspirators would do. His explanation covers the facts as much as yours.
Or if a man says that he is the rightful King of England, it is no complete answer to say that the existing authorities call him mad, for if he were King of England, that might be the wisest thing for the existing authorities to do.
Or if a man says that he is Jesus Christ, it is no answer to tell him that the world denies his divinity, for the world denied Christ’s.
Nevertheless, he is wrong.
Now, speaking quite externally and empirically, we may say that the strongest and most unmistakable mark of madness is this combination between a logical completeness and a spiritual contraction. The lunatics’ theory explains a large number of things, but it does not explain them in a large way.
The madman is not the man who has lost his reason. The madman is the man who has lost everything except his reason.”
- GK Chesterton (Orthodoxy)

About S.T. Martin

S.T. Martin is an educator, experienced business executive, and self-published Catholic writer who holds an A.B. in Economics from Princeton University and a Masters Degree in Public and Private Management from Yale University. A former Methodist who was also familiar with Evangelical communities as a youth, S.T. joined the Catholic Church on Easter of 1985. S.T. Martin's works are personal testimonials to the sublime benefits of True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin as formulated by St. Louis de Montfort as well as to "Le Royaume," the kingdom blessed of St. Joan of Arc and St. Thérèse of Lisieux. Le Royaume is the mystical Kingdom of France belonging to Jesus Christ as King of Kings, to the Virgin Mary as our heavenly Queen who holds the Fleur-de-lis dear to her heart, and to Sts. Joan and Thérèse, who are the secondary co-patronesses of France. "To Jesus through Mary in the friendship and sisterly care of Sts. Joan and Thérèse!"
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