Ladies and gentlemen, John Nash…

“Why do we always want to be accepted by the society?” I asked, my friend said “Because we live in it.” That was pretty obvious! But yet, why it is so important?? I had just finished watching the movie, “Beautiful Mind” based on John Nash’s life.  I could think of nothing but him and all the torments, ordeals he went through, his struggle against his own hallucinations and stigma of being insane!! But he fought against all odds and won. I must say I was greatly impressed by his life!!!

“Ladies and gentlemen, John Nash…….” People mocked him saying this line, but one day they proudly said this.

John Forbes Nash, Jr an American mathematician who made fundamental contributions to game theory, differential geometry, and the study of partial differential equations. His theories are used in economics, computing, evolutionary biology, artificial intelligence, accounting, computer science, games of skill, politics and military theory. But he was a schizophrenic!!!!

      He suffered paranoid schizophrenia for over a long time. He was subjected to insulin shock therapy, a brutal therapy!!  As a schizophrenic he saw himself as a messenger or having a special function of some kind, of having supporters and opponents and hidden schemers, along with a feeling of being persecuted. Later he learned to overcome his delusions. He began consciously ignoring them. I guess it must have been very difficult but he did.

   He said “I wouldn’t have had good scientific ideas if I had thought more normally.”  In 1994 he won Nobel prize in Economic science and in 2015 he was awarded the Abel Prize for his work on nonlinear partial differential equations. John Nash and his wife were killed in a car accident in 2015.

          I was thinking, how he felt when people mocked him. It must have hurt him! I was a little agitated, perhaps I had forgotten what insanity is! Yeah we live in a society, we follow its norms, rules and regulations and when we deviate from it we may be called insane!! But thanks to John, his quotations are so amazing which certainly pacified me.

    Here I would like to share his amazing quotation…

  • To some extent, people who are insane are nonconformists, and society and their family wish they would live what appear to be useful lives.
  • In madness, I thought I was the most important person in the world.
  • Rationality of thought imposes a limit on a person’s concept of his relation to the cosmos.
  • Though I had success in my research both when I was mad and when I was not, eventually I felt that my work would be better respected if I thought and acted like a ‘normal’ person.
  • Classes will dull your mind, destroy the potential for authentic creativity.
  • People are always selling the idea that people with mental illness are suffering. I think madness can be an escape. If things are not so good, you maybe want to imagine something better.
  • I’ve made the most important discovery of my life. It’s only in the mysterious equation of love that any logical reasons can be found.

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About the author

Shruthi Rao

Shruthi Rao

A cancer survivor dwells in a village of Hosanagara. Author of kannada book 'Baduka dikku badalisida osteosarcoma.' Interested in reading, writing,cooking and music.

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