How to live in an insane world?

 

If we hadn’t noticed earlier, in some point in the awakening process we realize that we are living in an insane world. Not the natural world, which is beautiful although in many ways merciless, but the human world.

A world where what we are doesn’t notice itself and take itself to be a separate human being. A world where people actually believe their thoughts. A world where people create a great deal of suffering for themselves and others only because they happen to believe crazy thoughts.

So what do we do? How do we live within this insane world?

For me, the answer is the usual one. Go further. Look more closely. Use it as a mirror for yourself.

Examine your thoughts about this insane world. Identify your beliefs about it. See what’s more true for you.

Identify emotional issues triggered by this. Invite in healing for these.

Reorient. See how it is to find love for what is triggered in you around this. See how it is to find love for these people and the suffering they create for themselves.

Learn more about the mechanisms behind this suffering and learn more about trauma and trauma behavior by exploring it in yourself.

Instead of feeling like a victim (which comes from a belief and emotional issues), why not do what you would like to see more of in the world? Why not do something, even if it’s small and local, to support life?

When we see insanity in the world, we see our own insanity. It’s an invitation to go further in our own healing and awakening and bring a little more into the world of what we would like to see in it.

Note: I intentionally wrote the two first paragraphs from the view of someone seeing the world as insane. It’s not so difficult for me since I went through that experience during the first few years after the awakening, and still connect with it now and then.

CG Jung: Madness is a special form of the spirit

 
Madness is a special form of the spirit and clings to all teachings and philosophies, but even more to daily life, since life itself is full of craziness and at bottom utterly illogical. Be silent and listen: have you recognized your madness and do you admit it? Have you noticed that all your foundations are completely mired in madness? Do you not want to recognize your madness and welcome it in a friendly manner? You wanted to accept everything. So accept madness too. Let the light of your madness shine, and it will suddenly dawn on you. Madness is not to be despised and not to be feared, but instead you should give it life… If you want to find paths, you should also not spurn madness, since it makes up such a great part of your nature… Be glad that you can recognize it, for you will thus avoid becoming its victim. Madness is a special form of the spirit and clings to all teachings and philosophies, but even more to daily life, since life itself is full of craziness and at bottom utterly illogical. Man strives toward reason only so that he can make rules for himself. Life itself has no rules. That is its mystery and its unknown law. What you call knowledge is an attempt to impose something comprehensible on life. My soul spoke to me in a whisper, urgently and alarmingly: “Words, words, do not make too many words. Be silent and listen: have you recognized your madness and do you admit it? Have you noticed that all your foundations are completely mired in madness? Do you not want to recognize your madness and welcome it in a friendly manner? You wanted to accept everything. So accept madness too. Let the light of your madness shine, and it will suddenly dawn on you. Madness is not to be despised and not to be feared, but instead you should give it life. Carl Jung, Red Book, page 298.

Insanity?

 

When nothing else works, you can always claim insanity, as this former NASA astronaut.

It is of course very helpful to have relatively stringent definitions of insanity to use in court cases and for insurance purposes, definitions that have pragmatic and practical value in a limited set of circumstances.

But really, if we look a little closer, we may see that as soon as any of us believe any story, we are right away insane.

We take a story and its reversals, which somewhere we know each one has a grain of truth in them, and tell ourselves that only that story has truth in it and its reversals don’t. Only that one story is an accurate representation of how things really are. In fact, it is so true that it faithfully reflect a truth inherent in the world itself.

And by talking ourselves into it that way, we make ourselves go insane.

As soon as our stories of how things are and should be conflict, there is a wide range of emotions from anger, fear, desire, frustration, grief, and much more. And then behaviors flowing from that. All of it triggered because we took a story to be true, propping it up with a range of other stories, and ignoring the grain of truth in each of its turnarounds.

So if I tell myself that I absolutely must have that man, I obsess about him, think about him day and night, drive myself crazy by thinking that I may not get him. And if someone else comes into the picture, I drive myself crazy by jealousy, anger, fear, sadness, grief, until it gets absolutely intolerable, and I go out to do something I would never do otherwise.

We all do this, in different ways. We all get absorbed into a particular story, convince ourselves it is true, and drive ourselves mad in different ways when life does not confirm with the shoulds of this story. And then we resist experiencing it all, which makes it even more intolerable.

Even those core beliefs of I, I am, I am an object in the world and so on, are really forms of insanity. We believe a story and take it as absolutely true, ignoring the truth in its reversals, and so our whole experience of the world is filtered through these stories, making them appear substantial and true. We create an overlay for ourselves which seem very real, and we act on it as if it is real.

And yet, already in the midst of all this we know, somewhere, about the truths in the reversals of those stories, and we know, somewhere, that we are not this small region of the manifest world.

We know, somewhere, that we are this awakeness which has no form, no shape, no beginning, no end, is not to limited to the manifest world, and within and as which this manifest world happens. We know it, because it is our immediate experience, even if it quickly gets clouded over by beliefs and their effects and attention goes into that instead.

A side-effect of seeing all, even in a limited way, is compassion. I look at Lisa Nowak, and see myself. And right away, there is a deep compassion. My view is not fixed in rigid ideas of a split between I and her. My heart is receptive to both of us, including our insanity.