The Sanity of Insanity


What if, instead of fearing it as a place we never come back from and seeking to control anyone who comes near it, we choose to embrace madness as a state of being that is not only understandable, but – every now and then at least – a necessary part of “a wise and good life”?

A short film [4mins] from The School of Life on the importance ,  nay, necessity and sanity of insanity.
The sane world is so demanding and, well, “sane” durr,  that mad moments are not only understandable but also a necessity. They are also  a gateway to figuring what we actually need.

We we can continue our doctrine of fear and control  [ and how’s that working out for ya?] or we can choose to learn,  and embrace mad moments as renewing, rejuvenating and generative – connecting us with what’s most important.

The Sanity of Insanity
images & text below are from The School of Life – though we did de-should it.

sane0Life requires us to be very sane, and pretty much all the time.

On a daily basis we have to be responsible, polite, productive, thoughtful, patient, logical, reliable and dazzlingly successful too.

sanity 5aThese obligations slowly crept up on us as we were growing up.
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sanity2 Now, they are our constant reality.
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No one can really keep going like this over a whole lifetime.
the burdens are too great, our minds too delicate.
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sanity4Unfortunately society doesn’t give us much room to fall apart. . .
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sanity 5It wants us at the desk, every day, at nine am sharp, with a powerpoint, ready to go.
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Ansanity 6d the pressure doesn’t let up until
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we’re finally relesanity 7ased to sleep after eleven at night. so we have no option but to keep going. 
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While, onsanity 8 the side, we may
be drinking too much, waking up at odd times of the night, addicted to the internet, calming ourselves down with sedatives and developing all kinds of twitches and ailments.
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Bsanity 9ut, in  truth, no good life can go by without a few open incidents  of breakdown: moments when we pull up a white flag and declare ourselves to be unable to cope or able to fulfill any of our normal “functions” for a time.
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Rsanity10ather than seeing this as an illness…
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sanity11We could choose instead, to interpreted as evidence of normality, and even helpful. .
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Insanity 12 our “crazy” moments we might be…
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lying in bed starisanity 13ng at the ceiling for long periods,
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ssa nity 14eeming to make no sense,
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sanity 15wearing strange clothing sitting on the porch all day doing nothing . .
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sanity 16shouting
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singingsanity17
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dasanity18ncing
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csanity20avorting
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sanity21being silly in a way one hasn’t been for decades
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msanity22aking some unusual new friends
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sanity24taking off to strange places.
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Nsanity25aturally, such phases won’t be easy for those around us, but we could, collectively , know how to tolerate these phases without panic, as just part of ordinary life.
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We sanoity28allow our bodies to have moments of breakdown and rest

sanity26we could allow similar moments for our minds.
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In any cassanity28e the so called “sane world is pretty disturbed too..

Its apparently in “mental health” that we set ourselves the tasks of…
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sanity29
energetically destroying the planet . . . .
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sanity30work to meet punishing but arbitrary economic targets
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lsanity31eave our selves no time for anything  but work
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sanity 29adrown in toxic media, develop unrealistic expectations about our bodies, relationships and families
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nsanity32o wonder we need  periods of true madness as corrective.
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A Good mental breakdown

sanity33A good one is where we allow ourselves
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sanity36to connect with valuable truths that we’ve lost sight of,
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sanity35emotions and insights that we’ve lost sight of or that ordinary life has prevented us from investigating.
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perhaps, ssanity 35aexual exploration, creativity, heedlessness,
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csanity 37ontasanity 39ct with our bodies,
empathy, ecstasy,
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sanity 40a new kind of self-knowledge.
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sanity42sanity41The idea is that we retur
n from the land of madness
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and plant in the fields of apparent sanisaniy43ty
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sanity44a lot of valuable seeds that can bear fruit and sustain us in the periods ahead.
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sanity46We can, at a collective level, give ourselves unfrightened accounts of what mad episodes mean
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confident that a resanity 45con
ciliation with the demands of the world
will eventually re-emerge
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sanity49We are not automatons
but highly complicated, volatile collections of proteins that needs careful and sympathetic administration.
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sanity50We can choose to expect that periods of madness do belong to every wise and good life.

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3 Responses to The Sanity of Insanity

  1. markps2 says:

    “The only difference between the sane and the insane is that the sane have the power to lock up the insane.” – Hunter S. Thompson

    Like

  2. Angela says:

    I tell everyone I’m the only sane one in my family because I had the good sense to get help. Can’t say for sure how they feel about me, I’ve always been a bit of a black sheep, but now I don’t care. Their approval is not required for me to stay alive.

    Like

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