Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Sanity

I would like to define sanity for the moment--I may change my mind or heart tomorrow--as being consciously connected to the spirit of Goodness in a dynamic and adaptable way.

There is a wind blowing through the world--it has been called the Way--which suffuses the lives of those who breathe it with delight, resilience, compassion, and higher level intelligence.  If you can feel it, and know how to breathe it, how to be in it, then you are sane.

And if you do not, then you are some level of insane.  This is most of the world, certainly most of the "developed" world.  It continues to feel odd to me that Socialists--who as a cultural group are very amenable to diverse ways of doing things, to some forms of artistic culture, and certainly to oddness as a discipline--are so utterly unable to realize that there are rewards in life that have nothing to do with money, and that the rich are often miserable, and poor Africans who pound oil barrels into wood burning stoves they can dance around on cold nights are much happier.  God forbid they get rescued by professionals, which in most cases in the 20th century meant do-gooders creating the economic means for them to be reenslaved by their own people using Western money.  They went from one frying pan into another, while those, like Mugabe, who were copying the Western imperialist model using socialist rhetoric were praised by the "rescuers".

I watch people: at work, in bars, on the street, in restaurants, in the gym.  Everybody I see is hiding something.  Everybody I see has secret pains they in many cases cannot even admit to themselves, but which show up in behaviors they can explain but not really defend.  It is not what they really want.

This is Duhkha.  The Buddha was counseling nothing more or less than better mental health.  If your house is on fire, and you continue living there: insane.  Do you really need a reason to change other than realizing you are miserable and have been all your life, compared to what is possible?

I get this wind sometimes, for moments.  It only takes a whiff of perfume to process it, and this experience is the same.  It feels like the world is nurturing, soft, close, fascinating, and my own ability to respond with excitement and interested engagement even in the face of obstacles (which I faced literally today while I was trying to remember how wise I am (I am very wise until some mother fucking piece of shit gets in my way, then I start swearing, but, uh, in a spiritual way.  OM)) is robust.  Even bad things become interesting.  All experience becomes a source of growth and moving closer to continual contentment and frequent joy. Nothing shocks you, because you know that even in fabrics of grief there are threads of consolation, and that frustration and continually reinforced indignation are childish, churlish, and warrant starving, not feeding.

Becoming sane is, in my view, the point of life.  It is only accomplished rarely, but approximated by many.

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