(OMTimes) Normosis is a concept whereby following certain social norms, beliefs, and values can cause distress and can be fatal.

Humanity may be being affected by a global epidemic, one called Normosis, a sick obsession for being normal.

At one point, it was normal in the history of Humanity that two people would fight to the death to entertain the crowd. It has also been normal to burn women at stake for witchcraft and to make people work without pay with the right to physical punishment just because they have a different skin color. It was also normal for humans to marry without love. It has been normal to spend 40 hours a week doing something that one detests, lying to make money, and devastating forests in search of a supposed development. Wait, the latter is still normal.

According to some psychologists, yes. The illness of being normal is called, in their opinion, Normosis: a set of habits considered normal by the social consensus that is pathogenic in different degrees and leads to unhappiness, disease, and the loss of wisdom in life.

The concept was coined almost simultaneously by Brazilian psychologist and anthropologist Roberto Crema and the French philosopher, psychologist, and theologian Jean-Ives Leloup in the 1980s. They had been working on the subject separately until a third psychologist, the Frenchman Pierre Weil, realized the coincidence. Perplexed, Pierre Weil connected the two, and the three together organized a partnership was born and the book Normosis: The Pathology of Normality.

There is a deep-rooted belief in most people’s minds. It is the belief that everything that most people think, feel, believe or do should be considered as normal and as a consequence should serve as a guide to every one’s behavior.

The term “Normosis” is formed by the junction of the word “normal” with the suffix “ose.” The Suffix OSE which means “sick process” was adopted to designate the form of behavior seen as normal, but that, in reality, is abnormal. Want an example of “Normosis”? Always needing to find a culprit for the problems and failures of everyday life is one of them.

Normosis is a mind bug

Normosis is a concept of philosophy to refers to social norms, beliefs, and values that cause distress and can be fatal; in other words, “normal behavior of a society that causes suffering and death.” In this way individuals who are in perfect agreement with normality and of what is socially expected end up suffering, getting sick, or dying following the terms of normality.

It is common to justify maintaining unhealthy behavior by being normal, something that “everyone does,” but this justification is fallacious and ends up only perpetuating society full of norms. The brain confuses what is familiar with what is right: by seeing or feeling something that awakens some memory, the brain defines that “familiar” as “correct,” in the same new way is decoded as uncertain and susceptible of mistrust.

In the business world, “norms” can lead a company to failure, because they are frequent and commonplace, but they harm as if they are real corporate diseases.

General normosis: Being accepted by the majority of humanity

  • The illusion of Separation: Feeling separate and independent of other people and nature;
  • Wars are Fair: Wars are normal and necessary ways to resolve conflicts between nations;
  • The general feeling of Ownership: Believing that animals, Nature, and natural products are human possessions;
  • Consumerism: Consume all and everything with relative ease without thinking about social and environmental consequences.

Specific normosis:

Normosis can be subdivided into specific issues such as:

  • Food standards: Frying, sweets, soft drinks, excess meat, excess salt, alcoholic beverages.
  • Relational Normosis: Selfishness; confuse love with sensuality; sex with focus only on genitals.
  • Educational Normosis: Confusing science with positivism; do not use intuition and feelings in education.

The Cure for Normosis is achieved by individual work, but some social efforts may help. To begin with, it would be an advantage if we had a new educational model. The school could be where children discover their true vocations – instead of trying to standardize the students and convince them to be normal and follow pre-determined socially accepted patterns.

Maybe it will take years to happen, an educational system directed to incite creativity and originality. The explanation is that Normosis may be a bug we all carry in the brain, which tends always to refuse new ways of looking at the world.

This system was very useful to our caveman ancestors, who could not even eat any new berries that appeared in front of them. However, these days, which require new ideas to deal with a constantly changing world, this brain mechanism has become an obstacle to innovation. According to this thesis, Normosis is not a disease: it is a human characteristic, shaped by evolution. That is, maybe being normal is normal.


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