The Temple Twelve

Temporarily Insane

Last week I promised to tell what the Bock Saga actually is and what all the fuss is about. 

On the porch in the hippie paradise in Goa, India, Ior started to narrate the Bock Saga. Within minutes a heated row started with his girlfriend that led to their inevitable final split. Of the other three friends on the porch, only Michel did not end up in a mental asylum within months after hearing it. That is a reasonably close average of reactions to listening to the Bock Saga in the years that followed. 

Be careful now, you can still walk away. 

It always surprised me that this Saga has had such a strong effect on people and that it has caused such strong emotions. It did not have that effect on me. I think it works like this: people either do not believe the Saga and walk away, or they do believe it and get caught in a spider web of thoughts that is indeed very captivating and that fuse the Saga and the daily reality of the world around us. I mean, our rather chaotic lifestyles and pointless culture can be put in a historic perspective and suddenly makes sense. One of the strong points of the Saga is its inner logic. Once you see that, it is hard to ignore it. 

The ‘going crazy’ part goes something like this. First, you hear the Bock Saga. Then you start to see its logic. You make the relation between this logic structure and the world around you. So far, so good. Physics and chemistry do the same to your mind. But now comes the twist. If you start thinking you actually play a part in the still-evolving Saga, then you make a big and mentally unhealthy mistake. If you keep both your feet steady on the ground, as Michel and I did, then there is no problem whatsoever. If you opt to play a role of cosmic consequence and you act according to your interpretation of the Bock Saga, then chances are that you will lose contact with reality, as the rest of the world sees it, and become a lunatic. We have seen many of them since 1984. My book Temporarily Insane features some of them in it. As a writer, it is a great inspiration to narrate the dramatic events that accompany the downfall of such people, but I must stress that it comes with tragic mental and physical pain for those involved. So, please, before we continue, first promise to me that you will approach the Bock Saga as an intellectual adventure and keep some distance between it and yourself. 

How did I do that? I never had one thought about whether the story was true or not. I just liked the taste of it. Further, I must confess that I never in my life had the feeling that it was my responsibility to change or save the world. That was the big difference between me and the Temple Twelve.

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