DiscoverThe Portal40: Introducing The Portal Essay Club - What if everyone is simply insane?
40: Introducing The Portal Essay Club - What if everyone is simply insane?

40: Introducing The Portal Essay Club - What if everyone is simply insane?

Update: 2020-08-1229
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If you have ever wondered whether you were crazy when everyone else claims to see things differently than you do, this is the episode for you.

Book clubs are everywhere and we are always asked for book recommendations. But what about the great Essays, Interviews, Conversations, Aphorisms, Shaggy Dog Stories, Lyrics, Courtroom Testimonies, Poems, Movie Scenes, Jokes and the like? Sadly, there is almost never a club in which to discuss them. Yet there are Essays and offerings in other intellectual formats that are just as profound and meaningful as any book while having the advantage of being much more in keeping with modern attention spans. The Portal seeks to fill this obvious lacuna. 

We thus finish out the regular first year of the Portal Podcast with an inaugural episode of an experiment: The Portal Essay Club. In this episode Eric reads aloud an astonishing essay from 1944 by Arthur Koestler which changed his world. In the essay, Koestler wrestles with a difficult question that has plagued independent thinkers for ages: what if everyone who is supposedly 'normal' is actually a maniac living in a dream world? What if the only sane ones appear crazy just as the crazy appear sane? 

During the episode, Eric first reads aloud the essay "The Nightmare That Is A Reality." and then discusses paragraph by paragraph what makes this one of the most profound yet often forgotten essays to have appeared within the twilight of living memory (1944 as it happens). We hope you will enjoy this experiment and let us know what you would like to see appear next in this series. 

Thanks for a great first year. 


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Comments (3)

Mark Russell

And where are you?

Sep 18th
Reply

Miroslaw Skalski

Eric, just to say simply: YOU RULE. A side comment: Captain Witold Pilecki (pronounced Pyletsky). There is a decent movie about him " The Death of Captain Pilecki". There were few other envoys who tried to alarm the West governments about Holocaust early in 1942 and 1943. Notably Jan Karski. Another one, advisor to Polish Government in Exile, Szmul Zygielbojm committed suicide in protest against Western Allies indifference to mass extermination of Jews. Look up for details in Wikipedia. People should know and remember these heroes. Mirek Skalski

Sep 11th
Reply

Jonathan Petherbridge

Great essay. I'm going to be thinking about that for days.

Aug 16th
Reply
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40: Introducing The Portal Essay Club - What if everyone is simply insane?

40: Introducing The Portal Essay Club - What if everyone is simply insane?