Saadat Hasan Manto
Khwaja Ghulam Farid
Man is as much in the image of the Gods and Goddesses when he is ludicrous, enraged, or tortured, as when he smiles. Since the Gods themselves show infirmitas, one path of the imitatio dei is through infirmity. Furthermore, it is this infirmitas of the archetype that can be nurse to our self-division and error, our wounds and extremities, providing a style, a justification, and a sense of significance for ours.
Without this fantasy of archetypal illness, without returning to the Gods every infirmity, including that ‘sickness’ called ‘normalcy,’ we can never find adequate contexts for sick phenomena. They must become merely medical and contingent, or sinfully moral and punitive. Nor can we realize that to see with the eyes of sickness, which is the basic mode of psychologizing since Freud, is also a divine perspective and not something morbidly, perversely human. If the Gods are the true background to human life and we are made in their images, then our sickness too has divine origin; nor merely sent by the Gods, nor merely carried by us for them, but background and foreground, they and we, conform in archetypal infirmity.
What I am asking you to entertain is the idea of the sickness in the archetype – and this is not the same as the archetype of sickness. That latter approach to abnormality is that of a single scapegoat archetype, a morbid principle like thanatos, a sickness demon, a devil or shadow, who carries the evil so that others may remain supremely ideal. That approach enucleates the core of pathologizing intrinsic to each archetypal figure and necessary to that figure’s way of being. Whereas our approach tries to understand pathologizing as an inherent component of every archetypal complexity, which has its own blind, destructive and morbid possibility. Death is fundamental to each pattern of being, even if the Gods do not die. They are athnetos which implies that infirmitas they present is also eternal. Each archetype has a way of leading into death, and thus has its own bottomless depth so causing our sickness to be fundamentally unfathomable.
To express the infirmitas of the archetype theologically we would say that Original Sin is accounted for by the sin in the Originals. Humans are made in the images of the Gods, and our abnormalities image the original abnormalities of the Gods which come before ours, making possible ours. We can only do in time what Gods do in eternity. Our infirmities will therefore have to have their ground in primordial infirmity, and their infirmities are enacted in our psychopathologies. If those concerned with the plight of religion would restore it to health and bring its Gods back to life, a first measure in this resurrection would be to take back from the Devil all the pathologies heaped on his head. If God has died, it was because of his own good health, he had lost touch with the intrinsic infirmitas of the archetype.