Now We’re Mad

While re-reading the scene in which we first greet the puzzling Cheshire Cat, I simply had to ask this question:

Because we students have decided to go (or rather have been shoved down by a man with good intentions) down the rabbit hole, are we mad?

Once we’ve decided to enter Wonderland in search of whatever we might find, we can find anything, can’t we?

If all we want to learn is something, and we have, then our job is done. We’ve become mad by asking questions and following ideas which may lead to intellectual epiphany. But if one is mad, by what means are they mad? There must be an alternate reality in which everybody is deemed “not mad”. If this is true then, everybody on earth who lives is “not mad”. But once they journey down the rabbit hole, they can become mad, which may be a good thing, because I certainly can attest that Alice came out with some useful lessons and experiences.

But what does a “not mad” person have to do in order to fall down this life-changing rabbit hole? I personally believe that we must simply ask questions. Anybody living in ignorance who lacks a genuine curiosity or thirst for information is “not mad” in my eyes. But gravity doesn’t force one to keep moving through the passage between mad and not mad. It is easy for ignorance to take a peek into the hole and decide not to go through. It’s a choice to accept the seemingly backwards world and learn from it.

Wonderland is certainly a place that functions in awkward ways, but we can’t all just plop down a hole and find it, because unfortunately we live in a place that is dependent upon sunlight and worlds like Wonderland can’t exist in the way that Carroll wrote about it.

So how does one arrive in Wonderland? Where is it? On earth?


7 Responses to “Now We’re Mad”

  1. 1 Angela W.
    December 2, 2009 at 4:46 am

    I love the questions you pose. How do we get to Wonderland? It is our choice. Wonderland is your ‘land’ to wonder in, right? Maybe instead of just accepting the things that happen in life, we should ask questions and wonder why and how they happen. Or we could wonder how they could have been if something else was done differently. You see, Wonderland is whatever you want it to be. It is a place for you to be you and to be curious, have thoughts. That is exactly what Carroll is letting Alice do, think, dream, imagine, when he puts her down this rabbit hole. Of course we cannot just fall down a rabbit hole and be in Wonderland, we have to go there ourselves. Wonderland is wherever you want it to be.

  2. 2 Rachel M.
    December 1, 2009 at 4:26 am

    I just don’t know what to say, your train of thought is so complex (in a good way). What i can say is this: I don’t think there is one point or one definite place wonderland exists physically. I am inclined to believe it doesn’t truly exist at all. Wonderland is not reality, it is somewhere between on the spectrum of wisdom and foolishness, rationality and rot. Wonderland is so many things because it will never be defined and because it will never truly exist. It is limbo, and the only time it can exist is when we (as living, breathing, thinking, loving, mystified creatures) let the wonderland that is found in our heads escape and become a factor in our decisions. That is when it exists for us, if only for moments.

  3. 3 Darcy S.
    December 1, 2009 at 2:26 am

    You all make very interesting points and raise questions that could easily appear in other blogs of mine… [insert famous Mr. Long virtual wink here]

    As for you Alex D, you might enjoy Benedikt’s blog “{nihil}”. It’s got some groovy philosophy for you to wrestle with.

    If this link helps any:

  4. 4 Derek_M
    December 1, 2009 at 1:01 am

    I really appreciate your in depth analysis of such a seemingly simple question. Every question we see ourselves asking over this work of Alice seems to be simple, but then when we truly think about the subject matter in depth, so many possibilities come forth. I really do believe that everyone is mad according to different people’s standards. If the chracters in Wonderland came to earth, what would they think? How could they attest that we were normal, and that everything in their world was wrong and irrational?

    What seems irrational to us, others may believe differently. In fact, it is scientifically proven that thoughts are not always compatible.

    Anyways, I like your use of specific references, as well as exploring the ideas that often come to my thought. The in depth analysis of the major ideas in this work are outstanding, and I completely agree with your thoughts. It seems that everything ‘cool’ happens to people in books. Maybe all we are doing right now is exploring a world only known to those with the ability to go there.

  5. 5 Gage L.
    November 30, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    Your ending statement, “So how does one arrive in Wonderland? Where is it? On earth?” really caught my eye! I am extremely intrigued by this question cause I’ve been wondering it all my life (little bit of an exaggeration!). I’ve come to realize Wonderland is not something you find but you simply create. Carroll created Wonderland the way he imagined it, he didn’t just fall into a rabbit hole and there it was. I believe if you want to “find” a Wonderland that you have to make it yourself. So I would have to say the location of Wonderland in merely in you own eyes and imagination.

  6. 6 Edward C.
    November 27, 2009 at 4:21 am

    To better answer this blog I think we should all settle on a definition of mad. What is the difference between mad and not mad? What is your definition of mad? To me mad is an emotion that one acquires not when others consider you “different” but when you consider yourself ‘different”. According to dictionary.com mad is an angry or ill- tempered period, mood, or spell. Once we have settled on a definition of mad where the line is between mad and brilliant. Are you considered mad because your ideas are frowned upon by the society you are raised in? Are you mad if your imagination takes you to places no others dare to take them? If so are the Write brothers mad for spending so much of their life and dedication to constructing the first airplane while most of their society believed that they were wasting time until they started making progress? I believe once you personally have answered these questions through your own opinion you can better answer your own question.
    I believe one arrives in Wonderland by finding something they are passionate about and by chasing it. Where is it? I believe it is not is a set location but in various places. I believe it is a different place for everyone because everyone has different rabbits that they desire to chase.

  7. 7 Alex D.
    November 26, 2009 at 5:53 am

    Oh yes; we’ve learned something, mission accomplished. Your ideas make sense, but they’re also really complex. Sorry dude, I can’t really think like you do. Just like Alice, although we we’re puzzled throughout the story, we came out the other side of the rabbit hole with more than when we fell in. Inside we found surprises, and eventually answers. If we ask questions, eventually we would get to the answer. To “answer” your last question, I can only guess where Wonderland is. In the big picture, it’s in our imagination, in our subconscious. More accurately, it is probably underground, unaffected by the life in Our World. Deep stuff…

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