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Madness has always fascinated and terrified the mind of man, in equal measure. In today's medicalized, 'normalized' world, it has come to be seen simply as a 'disease', an ugly blight on the smooth, cog-like operation of the social organism. Our very language has become impoverished by the steady stream of scientistic neologisms which have rushed to take its stead, leaving us with only the cold apparatus of an all-too suspect, bullying and antiseptic 'reason. Once the most intimate bedfellow not only of depthless despair but also of high ecstasy and genius, we seem to have all but quote Socrates - once tempted us. This book examines such "altered states" of consciousness, together with the more difficult battle against the "Mental Health System" itself.