I have had a certain amount of interest concerning John Forbes Nash Jr. ever since Julie and I saw the very loosely-based movie on his life, “A Beautiful Mind.” I also liked the fact that he was born in Bluefield, West Virginia — only a hop, skip and jump from Huntington — and I could claim a certain amount of kinship. The man was a mathematical genius, a schizophrenic and pretty odd. I do not claim any of what I just wrote as kinship. His basic theory was, “any abstract Riemannian manifold can be isometrically realized as a submanifold of Euclidean space.”
Well, shucks, most folks know that! I asked my mom why I never learned that in school, and she told me there is a wall between Bluefield and Huntington — something about the Hatfields and the McCoys — so Nash’s ideas never got that far south.
What is important to me is that this brilliant man developed mental illness symptoms around the age of 30. I am not a clinical psychologist, but there is something very important about this man’s illness. Nash — if I understand what has been written about him — began to experience his illness when he felt unrecognized, persecuted, rejected and a victim of a sort of conspiracy. He said, “I wouldn’t have had good scientific ideas if I had thought normally.” His return to a certain amount of normalcy began when his former wife opened her home to him and gave him all the love and attention she could, without judgment or criticism. This is amazing: the facts seem to indicate that Nash cured himself when he began to live in a place of total acceptance with absolute unconditional love! He “intellectually rejected what he called delusionally influenced and politically oriented thinking as a waste of time.”
Wow! When I look around and think about my world, I want to believe that most of us are a bit neurotic and some are truly psychotic. I fit in there in my own comfortable way, if you please. What I am trying to say is that there are quite a few moments when I believe I am the sanest person on my planet — which is a pretty scary thought — or that maybe I’m the odd man out. Perhaps I’m not understanding the entire picture. I should be trying to make sense out of the nonsense. Now that makes sense!
“In the beginning, God...!” Genesis is right on target when the first book of the Pentateuch tells us, “The earth was without form and void.” In simpler terms, the earth was in chaos! The earth was in disorder! The earth did not make sense! Then, God began to make cosmos — or order — and that is what God has been doing forever. Please do not misunderstand my use of the terminology. From a human point of view, the heavens and the earth seemed to be insane and only the Divine Creator could restore sanity.
All the human intellect from the beginning of our first ancestors until this very moment could never even have begun — with all our collective wisdom — the process! Only God can create cosmos out of chaos, and God began order and when His Eden was established, He said for all the world to understand and accept, “It is very good!”
Let me close with this thought: our world is suffering the illness of war, terrorism, fanaticism, immorality, disillusionment and there are more words to describe our illness than can be written. Let’s call the entirety as overwhelming sin! There is only one cure and the cure is available from the Divine Physician, God Almighty. This is not a pill, therapy session, behavior modification or the like. He prescribes faith, given in an atmosphere of absolute love and unconditional acceptance, in His Son Jesus Christ. That’s when the healing begins.