I believe that I have sufficiently proved that Walter was always a psychopath. Someone may disagree, and write up an antithesis paper in which she shows the myriad ways in which Walter arced toward psychopathy. That paper, brilliant as it would no doubt be, would be wrong.
Walter was always a psychopath.
Having established that, we can now reengage with the original idea which ignited this series of articles. You will remember that we began by identifying a new complex, The Walter White Complex, which we described as being a state of mind peculiar to the artistic temperament. From there we hypothesized that the show, Breaking Bad, is a myth describing this state of mind. [A myth derived from the more primal myth known as The Faustian Bargain]. The next step was to draw a parallel between this state of mind and the mental condition regarded by Academics as psychopathy. Our initial sketches defined this complex as informing:
…an artist’s relationship with A Devil that is no longer physical. The demons are, and always were, inside. Who better to realize this than The Artist?
The serialized aspect of this essay has been preserved with great effort by me, I am now, however, in a position to be clear… Yet, I can’t resist the urge to be muddy one last time. I want to tell a small story about an encounter I once had with an Academic.
Summarized, he was of the opinion that
To be a genius, one must [by necessity] be isolated within one’s self.
The pressures of relating to others were too much for the expression of genius. An Artist [and in this discussion we were counting people like Einstein as Artists] will find a way to live alone.
As someone who holds, as his very first psychological metaphysical principle, the idea that Human Relationships are [not only] necessary to the expression of an Ideal Life, [but also] the ONLY thing that makes life worth living… at the same time that I hold the idea that creativity is equivalent to divinity… you can understand why this principle of my Academic friend was not at all pleasant to me. I opposed it with terrific force.
However, my academic friend’s idea is widely accepted. In fact it is much easier to think of Artist’s who fit this lifestyle choice than it is to think of Artist’s who don’t…
Batting for the other team we have… I draw a blank.
In spite of this I maintain my position. It is not necessary to isolate yourself from human relationships in order to be an effective Artist. It may be easier, but it does not mean you are better. I believe this idea gains so much legitimacy from an inappropriate use of Leibnizian inductive reasoning. Something like:
All Great Artists have isolated themselves from Society.
Therefore in order to be a Great Artist One must isolate oneself from Society.
Obviously this is just restating the premise as the conclusion and leaving out the principle of sufficient reason in between. As Hume reminds us, the fact that something happens 999 times in a row is not a sufficient reason for concluding it will happen 1000 times in a row. In the case of Human Geniuses, I doubt I’d even go as far as saying it has happened 200 times in a row.
There is no denying isolation is fertile ground for creativity. If a human life is boiled down to a single resource which we could effectively call, time, it’s no stretch to realize that isolating yourself allows you to spend that resource in a restricted way—on solving creative problems. If one does not have to wake up at night with the child with the fever, then, for sure, one is more refreshed and energized to hypothesize about why gravitational and inertial mass might be equivalently related. The problem is, no one has ever proved this idea, they’ve simply justified it be way of the principle of sufficient reason.
Breaking Bad is different. I highly doubt that the show’s creators knew what they were doing when they did it, but [quite by accident] they have offered a proof of The Isolation Principle. We will spend the next several articles outlining the steps in that proof.