Being labeled crazy, delusional, psychotic, suffering from various perception disorders is so common, so frequent, it’s simply become a life occurrence, as predictable as the sun rising and setting each day. Bit tongue in cheek here, but those who believe I have a perception disorder…..oh, you have no idea what it is truly like to be in my head. Be afraid, be very afraid….
I was vaccinated very young against such accusations, because often I was surrounded by people genuinely disconnected from reality and as it turned out, I really was the only one perceiving reality correctly. That probably sounds a bit arrogant, but I assure you being sane among the truly dysfunctional is actually a disability. It’s a very lonely place to be. People are very social, we rely heavily on others to help us define our little realities.
Something that strikes me as kind of amusing, people seldom accuse me of just being a jerk. I have no idea why. If you disagree with me, why make excuses for my behavior and opinions? Why assign me several organic brain chemistry problems that if I truly suffered from, I would have no control over?
Also, what’s with all the mental health bashing and fear of psychosis? I hate to inform you, but some of the most horrendous acts the world has ever seen were done by the so called sane, those thought to have both feet on the ground and their head firmly planted in this world. Scary, I know, but the human capacity for evil is a real thing in the world. One need not be delusional to engage in it. In fact, often the truly delusional are very nice people who wouldn’t hurt a fly.
We tend to label bad people “crazy, delusional, psychotic,” because we cannot imagine that human beings with a grasp on reality could ever do bad things. People do not like to acknowledge the existence of evil or face the truth of our own natures. To do so is to admit that not only does evil exist, but that we are all vulnerable to it. Being able to blame it on upbringing, brain chemistry, or cultural conditions, provides us with a rather comforting illusion of cause and effect. If we know what causes it, than we can prevent it. It also distances us from our own vulnerability and our own capacity for evil.
People do not like to confront vulnerability. That’s completely understandable. Being vulnerable is often painful and it also interferes with our desire for control. There’s nothing wrong with desiring some control, but sometimes we cling to some rather false ideas about ourselves and the world around us, out of fear of having to admit we are not as in control as we like to believe.
In matters of faith, some atheists reveal their fear of the so called delusional, psychotic, and crazy, by endlessly mocking the wit, whimsy, and wu. There is a genuine fear there that seems to suggest that if one just keeps their feet firmly planted on the ground and their head out of the clouds, all evil in the world will cease to exist. It’s interesting because this is a very recent, westernized belief. All over the world, for centuries, people actually pursued the wu through assorted means, drugs, herbs, torture, sleep deprivation, chanting, all sorts of bizarre rituals. That’s because for most of human history it was thought that the Divine lived there, in our subconscious, our imagination, our dreams, our altered realities. What people were trying to do was to remove the self, the ego, because when you manage to do that, you are likely to have a close encounter with the Divine.
I am not advocating drug use, torture, or assorted other mood altering experiences, just making an observation here. It is only in recent, modern, westernized society that we began to frown on these things and deny the existence of the Divine entirely. Science, sanity, reason, all have their place, but it’s not particularly logical to dismiss thousands of years of human wisdom and experience.
Anyway, from a Christian perspective, that dying to self is vitally important. It’s a very humbling experience, perhaps even a bit scary. Well, terrifying actually, but not always in a bad way. We become new creatures, each close encounter with God, leaving us transformed. Is it “crazy?” Well yes, I suppose it is, but crazy in a good way. “Weird” simply means not of this world, other worldly. To say contact with the Divine is “weird” is a major understatement.
All in good humor here, but one of the benefits of letting go of self is that you realize it is not all about you, all of the time. Rather than disconnecting you from reality, it produces some genuine clarity of thought. There are benefits that come from removing your “self” from the equation and believe it or not, this does not lead to psychosis. In fact, the precise opposite. Like it or not, God is Holy, Divine, and perfect. The evil we seek to deny and avoid actually resides in our own selves and the world around us, not in God.