8th September 2020

Nothing feeling is as guaranteed to cause me disquiet as that of lethargy. Not tiredness, not even laziness, just a general inane unwillingness to be bothered to do anything at all. I have suffere4d fits of inertia throughout my life for a myriad of causes, some understandable, perhaps even forgivable, but often wholly in opposition to every personal conviction entwined in my being.

As devices of enormously draining output and finite energy storage capacity we are obliged to accept that even with our best attempts to protect and carefully eke out any degree of gumption we possess on occasion we must fade to the point of exhaustion if not collapse.  Such an unfortunate episode will regularly be corrected by the remedies of rest and resupply of enlivening fuel, that is to say food and water. Lethargy regretfully does not follow the same natural rulings, in complete opposition extensive rest and calorie consumption will not cure the emotive state, but rather multiply and embolden its physical and mental constituents to the point of pathological destructiveness.

Torpidity is not a particularly unusual happenstance within the animal kingdom, animals inclined to hibernate for extended periods will show such extended dullness upon their reawakening. The desire for nourishment, the completely unignorable pangs of hunger and thirst is the eventual driver that raises the beast from their otherwise quite content sluggish condition. Humans however have successfully overcome the need to tear ourselves from the lair to indulge and satisfy our appetites through the invention of all manner of preserved snacks both liquid and solid. Our inane cleverness, inventiveness, has in many senses quite ridiculously been but a continual exhaustive journey towards motionlessness.

Physician heal thyself is an overused expression, trite and exceeding irritating, particularly because of its capacity to show continued alarming relevance to our species shared reality. The piece you know read started as a pseudo-defense against mine own self-directed charge of lethargy, as if somehow writing about the disease would suddenly alleviate the condition or somehow diminish the worst symptoms. If that wonderous supposition held water then of course we could all immediately take up pen and obliterate the pandemics COVID 19, Black Death, leprosy, and innumerable other uncharacterized horrors with one extravagant flourish of the collective quill.

Fatigue without question can be resultant of a medical condition, however lethargy, in the sense I take it to mean, dullness, languidness, dormancy, laziness, tastes more emotional in its origin, the inertia that grips modern homo sapiens seems  most pointedly spiritual.

The word lethargy itself derives from Greek mythology, namely from the Leithe river flowing through Hades from whose waters the dead are required to take a draft ensuring they forget past experiences before they undergo reincarnation. A wholly desirable and sensible process for wiping the slate clean to avoid the later intrusion of past life memories.

The Greek traditions are oft inclined to touch upon seeming inexplicable human conditions that modern physiology and psychology find difficult if not impossible to explain.

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