Mark Vonnegut (born May 11, 1947) is an American pediatrician and memoirist. He is the son of writer Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. and his first wife, Jane Cox. He is the brother of Edith Vonnegut and Nanette Vonnegut. He described himself in the preface to his 1975 book as "a hippie, son of a counterculture hero, BA in religion, (with a) genetic disposition to schizophrenia."Mark Vonnegut (whom his parents named after Mark Twain) graduated from Swarthmore College in 1969. He briefly worked at Duthie Books and was also briefly chief of a 20-man detachment of special state police that provided the security for Boston State Hospital. During the Vietnam War, he filed an application with the draft board to be considered a conscientious objector, which was denied. After taking the psychological examination, he was given a psychiatric 4F classification and avoided conscription into the U.S. military.During his undergraduate years, he set out to become a Unitarian minister. He eventually abandoned that goal.He is the author of The Eden Express (1975), which describes his trip to British Columbia to set up a commune with his friends and his personal experiences with schizophrenia, which at that time he attributed to stress, diet and in part, drug use. During this period, he lived mainly at the commune at Powell Lake, located 18 kilometers by boat from the nearest road or electricity. The book is widely cited as useful for those coping with schizophrenia.
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The decent moderation of today will be the least of human things tomorrow. At the time of the Spanish Inquisition, the opinion of good sense . . . was that people ought not to burn too large a number of heretics; extreme and unreasonable opinion demanded that they should burn none at all.
True myths may serve for thousands of years as an inexhaustible source of intellectual speculation, religious joy, ethical inquiry, and artistic renewal. The real mystery is not destroyed by reason. The fake one is. You look at it and it vanishes. You look at the Blond Hero — really look — and he turns into a gerbil. But you look at Apollo, and he looks back at you. The poet Rilke looked at a statue of Apollo about fifty years ago, and Apollo spoke to him. "You must change your life," he said. When the true myth rises into consciousness, that is always its message: "You must change your life.
It's a little convenient, isn't it, to say that the reason you did something horrible was because someone else told you to. That doesn't make it any less wrong. No matter how many people are telling you to jump off a bridge, you always have the option to turn around and walk away.