A Report on Lachrymology
by Matt Nand
Lachrymology, when deciphered for it's meaning, becomes "the study of crying". The origins of this school of thought are vague at best. The only definite source of this "science" are the members of the heavy metal band, Tool. Tool claims that that "Lachrymology" was actually coined by Ronald P. Vincent in his book "A joyful guide to Lachrymology". However, there is no evidence that Ronald or his book actually exist. Why the band began this rumor is anyone's guess, and it does harm the credibility of lachrymology.
Despite the apparent lies concerning it's origins, the basic tenets of Lachrymology are still worth study, although it is a shame that the actual philosopher behind this science is unknown. The essential ideas behind Lachrymology are quite simple, the science teaches that a human cannot very well develop emotionally, mentally, or spiritually without the experience of pain.
And so I will begin this analysis of Lachrymology by asking the crucial question; what is pain? Pain is an emotional or physical experience that can only be described within itself. Pain is often intense, and more often leaves a memory of the damage it causes. It is this that makes Lachrymology so viable, for it is the psycho-emotional effects of pain that allow us to experience forward development in the human experience.
Consider Lachrymology in relation to a polarity effect. At one end, misery -- at the other, joy. Can one ever fully appreciate the positive without first experiencing it's opposite? A person who has an overwhelming period of pain, or a painful experience, will most likely experience joy and pleasure fuller when their psyche compares the two experiences.
A common situation with the human mind (especially in western thought) is the understanding that life is riddled with painful experience, touched rarely with joy, and then the individual must die. Many people spend a great deal of time in their lives preparing for pain, in hope of avoiding it. The problem here lies in the way by which people prepare for and deal with painful experiences. So much of the time, the anticipation of pain or severe loss (as perceived by the individual) leads a person to develop self destructive defense mechanisms which only hinder development as an individual. Under the theorem of Lachrymology, we understand that a person must learn to expect loss, failure, and pain. By understanding that these things are inevitable, a person can learn to embrace their losses.
The integration of pain and suffering into our psyche, rather than fighting it, teaches our souls the meaning of loss. When we accept pain in our lives, we can learn to live at the depths of emotion which pain can induce. It is in these "depths" that we can often reach true realization.
Pain functions as a tool of development by forcing an individual to concentrate. When a person is trapped in the mental snare caused by emotional or physical pain, their mind automatically begins to seek out answers as to "why" the person is suffering. As long as this process is not interrupted (such as by distractions like drugs, alcohol, etc.) the psyche will continue to operate in a progressive fashion. The individual will, at first, dwell almost solely on the pain at hand. Given time, the mind will grow used to the pain and the consciousness will automatically progress into other areas of thought. This progression of thought will, with time, lead into psychological development.
The state of mind generated by focus on pain or loss is known clinically as depression. The major body of psychiatric thought considers depression to be a "sickness". This concept should be considered as appalling to anyone who understands the significance of misery, sadness, pain, and so on. Throughout history, "depression" has been a common thread between many brilliant men. We know that Mozart, Poe, and DaVinci, among others, were so "troubled".
This is not to say that depression should be a constant state of mind for everyone. By all means depression, like all things; will likely run it's course and move on with time, leaving only mental advancements and wisdom in it's place. It must not be left unstated that the ascension out of pain, and depression is just as important as the suffering itself; for it is our suffering that enables our development and our greater appreciation of new found heights. As individuals who have survived pain, we must remember to remain aware of the pain we have suffered, and allow that pain to teach us for all that it is worth.
Another area of concern is the intentional infliction of pain, particularly in physical form. This is a highly complex matter, and it must be addressed. First and foremost, we must pose a highly important question- can intentional pain offer the same development potential as that which is not intentional? In essence, the potential of intentional physical pain is dependent on the motivation behind it's infliction. If the pain is caused for enjoyment, then it may well be considered as "masochism". The infliction of pain for enjoyment, particularly sexual gratification, should not be considered as developmental under Lachrymology. By causing pain for personal (or mutual) gratification, the psyche learns nothing from the experience, as all of the gain is sensual and derived from the pain itself. However, intentional pain could well be developmental if the goal is the spiritual or mental gain that can be offered from such experiences. This idea is evident in eastern religions and monastic societies, where practitioners inflict pain on themselves or suffer deprivation in order to experience the mental clarity that they can only gain from these practices.
Finally, the philosophical basis of Lachrymology eludes to "crying as a therapy". Indeed, crying eliminates particular toxins from the body produced when an individual is suffering stress. Also, the act of crying offers psychological healing by allowing us to better understand the pain we are feeling and cope with the suffering in a biologically sound manner.
And thus, this exploration of the philosophy of Lachrymology comes full circle. Despite it's shady roots, the theories of Lachrymology are highly sound in their foundation. Perhaps it does not have the best beginnings, but as the quote states... "all new truths begin as heresies." Only by exploring and understanding our human capacity for pain can we learn to appreciate pleasure, and experience the complete developmental potential that pain (emotional or physical) can truly offer.
Interpretate at your own risk. This was not written by me.