In honor of the full moon, I remind you that the wordlunatic and lunacy derives from being "moonstruck" or falling under the sway of the moon.
How can we define whether or not we are sane? If you see your culture not merely as complex, but as actively insane, isn't trying to fit into it an act of insanity? Everyone in the asylum agrees that the clouds are made from the hair of poodles knitted together by Mrs. Clause at the summer solstice. To be accepted in that society, you must at least profess to see this too; to actively feel a sense of belonging, you must actually see the poodle hair in the sky.
There's a great deal about my daily life of striving for economic stability that smells of poodle hair. Do I join the inmates who play the made-up game of American capitalism? But is it any saner to pretend that I can drop out, pretend that I don't operate by society's presuppositions?
Therapy is grounded in a basic goal to help the patient (the "sick" person) return to functioning smoothly in society. In other words, what makes you sick is that you have fallen out of being able to function in society. The medicine (therapy) makes you well, and able to function once again in society. But is it medicine to return someone to functioning smoothly under the gentle shadows of poodle hair? Is mental health really defined by living happily in "the system of rip-off economics [that] promotes its communal senselessness by substituting "more" for "beyond?" (God bless James Hillman.)
And so we drink and dance to forget the poodle hair conundrum. And so we wall ourselves into a poodle-less fort made of Netflix. And so we keep our nose to the grindstone, never looking up to the skies so we don't have to think about the poodle or lack thereof. And so I we lash out at our lover, or the president, or "those" people" for not curing my poodle-hair problem.
Except this, said by Salvador Dali: The only difference between me and a madman is that I'm not mad."
And this: ask yourself what truly matters. Remember that most of what we say matters to us is based in fear. Penetrate as best you can down through the fear, and to the love. Live and act to bring that love into the world. As best you can. Justice is about love, not fear. God is the creator of love, and we are the creators of fear.
The soul, like the moon,
is new, and always new again.
And I have seen the ocean
Since I scoured my mind
and my body, I too,
am new, each moment new.
My teacher told me one thing,
Live in the soul.
When that was so,
I began to go naked,
- Lal Ded
14th century Kashmir
Translated by Coleman Barks
From Naked Songs, Published by MayPop Books, 1992.