Sometimes, being yourself means being a bit mad. It’s okay to be a bit mad. All the best people are. Some of the worst may at times appear to be. However, there is a subtle, but distinct difference in being mad, from being insane. The insane person lives (if you can call it that) their entire existence, in abject fear and loathing of it. The slightest thing can send them into a fit of rage. Violent, ‘insane’ behavior, that is repellant to ‘sane’ people. The worst most mad people can be accused of, is being violently happy. Some people find even this, to be a bit too much. That’s okay. The mad person finds the company of ‘sane’ individuals to be a bit of a drag. Doldrums. ‘Keeping it real’. The struggle is real, you know… Bollocks!
The mad person’s behavior is typically repugnant to sane individuals, due to the fact that the sane individual is far too busy worrying about the trivial concerns of daily existence, to engage in such a frivolous and silly emotion as ‘joy’.
The sane person thinks, “Silly mad person… don’t you know there are real things, that must be worried about! Like, where’s the car parked; Where might I have to go next and how to get there, how much is the petrol going to cost, where is the money to pay for it going to come from.”
The ‘sane’ person entertains many such trains of thought simultaneously; Concerning sustenance, shelter, companionship etc… Worry, worry, worry. While it is natural to be occasionally concerned about these important items, it is unnatural to be overly concerned about them. This is, what drives good, hardworking, ordinarily ‘sane’ people; To insanity. Deluged under an inundation of out of control worry trains, roaring and thundering into the mental station of consciousness at a rate beyond which, they cannot continue to cope. And so they don’t; And yet, they do. The affected individual is rendered incapable of action – By caring so much – that they can’t even.
By allowing the equilibrium of your mental state to be overrun with too many thought trains, insanity is likely to ensue. This leads to congestion, angry passengers, lost parcels, and mental breakdown. On the other hand, what good is an empty train station? Find the balance that is right for you. Keep positive thought trains going! Send them forth from your station, full of happy passengers, brimming with valuable cargo. Thought trains, that others will be pleased to entertain in their own mental stations. Stop negative trains at the border, and turn them around. Those trains will go in search of other, more accommodating stations. After all, misery does love company. Joy loves company too. People that are ‘too happy’ for ‘no reason’ are weird. It’s okay to be weird. Existence is reason enough to be happy.
Does a flower question its existence? Does it worry if rain will fall, or if there are enough nutrients in the soil for it to grow? No. It exerts only the very slightest of efforts, growing towards light, water and food. It sends out tendrils, seeking for the right way. If something is found, the plant ceases to exert effort in that direction and begins to absorb the available nutrient. As the nutrient is absorbed, the plant pushes further until it meets resistance. Resistance is not the universe telling you, ‘you cannot’ only that there is perhaps an easier way. Sometimes, there is no easy way. Plants are grown from small vulnerable seeds, easily crushed under foot. But yet, a single blade of grass can crack pavement, which a million trodding feet could not crush. Pursue those things that make you feel strongly; Like a plant in search of sun, and you will achieve what you seek. There will be no resistance.
Resistance can be thought of as ‘negative energy’. Do you wake up in the morning, to some clamorous noise, wishing only to stay abed, hating the very thought of putting your feet on the floor? Wishing, that for once, the cares of the day would just care about themselves, and leave you out of it? Did you know, you can do that? The world, will indeed go on. If the Pope can quit, so can you. Sometimes, ‘doing’ just gets to be too much. Resistance. Perhaps, it is time to be instead of do. It’s hard for a reason. Maybe it’s the universe trying to tell you, you’re cutout for something else. Not a pre-punched cardboard cutout; A special snowflake, made by the hand of a child; That child is you. You shaped yourself by participating in a shared reality, full of other individuals shaping, and being shaped. Your snowflake is unique, there is no other quite as unique as yours. Some people will think it’s weird, misshapen, or tatty. That is okay. If you wanted your snowflake to fit in a mold, you’d have used a die cutter.
Die cut snowflakes are perfect, perfectly uniform; Perfectly the same. Like the ticky-tacky cookie-cutter houses, in a large development conglomerate. There, you must participate in a home owners association, and mustn’t to anything to upset the perfect uniformity of the neighborhood. You’re likely to be brought up on charges, if your front grass is half an inch too long, or… Your undisciplined and irresponsible child left their bicycle in front of the garage door. Some people find such outward displays of conformity to be comforting, and pleasing. I do not. I find places where everything and everyone are nearly identical, a bit like the Twilight Zone. As if, the matrix in an effort to conserve memory, has rendered at the lowest possible complexity. Recycling, and reusing a many textures, and interaction scenarios as possible. Woe betide unto you if your khakis are the wrong shade of tan, in these bastions of uniformity. Or, heaven help you, your skin! If you look closely enough, even at things that appear on the surface to be identical, you will find an infinite number of minute differences; Determined by the resolution at which you are viewing a thing at a given time. Do to the fractal nature of ‘reality’ you can zoom in, or out indefinitely. By zooming in, you can observe the minutest detail. Or by zooming out, have an epiphany about the ‘big picture’; Perhaps, coming to realize that things are the same on every level (more or less). It’s the contrasting minutia that highlights the differences between the very large, and the very small. Only when you cease struggling long enough to observe these details without resistance, do they come in to focus.
When you achieve focus, everything becomes clear. You will face no resistance in making choices. You can enjoy your journey fully, and if faced with a crossroads, the signs will be clear and you will instinctively select the correct path. If you arrive at a crossroad, and none of the signs seem to be pointing to something you feel strongly about, maybe you aren’t on the correct path. Meandering is okay. It’s an important part of finding the correct path. Like a plant, putting forth many tendrils in all directions, growing more where it finds the good. But, you aren’t a plant. Your place in life is not static. You don’t have to grow where you are planted. If the place in which you are planted, is devoid of joy; If it feels like you’d just be better off not living… By all means, pick yourself up by the roots, and plant yourself somewhere else. Fleeing in the face of adversity isn’t always the best course of action. Just as there is a fine line between bald faced cowardice, and fleeing an over-matched foe – ‘living to fight another day’. There is a difference between a dry spell, and the Sahara desert. It’s up to you to discern that difference.
Polite society is built upon the repression of the self, for the good of the whole. i.e. Don’t be too weird, or other people won’t like you. Don’t be an individual; Be individualistic. It’s quite easy to be driven mad by an inundation of mixed messages. It’s like being a giant centipede of people sewn together arse to mouth, defecating into each other’s faces. Come to think of it, that’s a rather fitting analogy for a certain social media site… Look at me, Look at my FACE. Look at my fodder. Look at my cool stuff. Look at what an ‘amazing’ time I’m having! Look at the other people, who have looked at my stuff. They said it was cool, ’cause I said their stuff was cool too. Look at it… LOOK AT IT! Tell me how much you like it. LIKE IT NOW! It’s a bit silly really. Why?
Because at the end of the day, the only person who has to listen to the voice in your head; Possibly taunting you with the success of others, or sniggering at their failures, being overly concerned with how many people liked what you said; Or, the things that you have, the things that you do; Or… Only said that you did or have, because you thought other people would think it was cool… That voice is still you. Ergo, the opinions of others are in fact, self-inflicted. Why are you hitting yourself? Why are you hitting yourself? Stop hitting yourself! Except, the proverbial big brother on the other end of your arm, is still you.
A mad person couldn’t care less about societal norms. A mad person is truly themselves, for the sake of being so. The opinions of others are utterly irrelevant to the mad person; Just as irrelevant as if they were instead, insane. The circumstances under which someone may become mad, or insane are quite similar. However, the reaction to the circumstance is what makes the difference. At some point in your life, you will be presented with a very clear choice. Do you choose to be oppressed, or do you choose to be free. Do you choose to love your life, or to hate it. Is your life worth dying for; Is your death worth living for? ‘Till the sheer joy of existence, drives you mad. Perhaps, you choose to hate your very existence, ’till its repugnance drives you insane… Or maybe, you choose to constantly float someplace in the middle; Ever fluctuating between madness, and insanity. Dwelling in a special little place between the two, lovingly called by the poor frightened sheeple who live there, sanity. Dutifully taking care of the worries as they come, and enjoying some occasional joy while floating above the doldrums.
I choose joy. I choose a bit of madness. You may choose as you like, which is why it is called a choice. A choice you get to make a hundred times a day. Will you do what is expected, or will you do what you want to do. Will you say what is customary, or will you say what is really on your mind?
Life is a series of choices, doing or not doing – To be or not to be – Be a round peg in a square hole, fit in… But don’t fit in. A circle has no corners in which shadows may hide. Don’t be a square, don’t fit into a box. When you are ‘square’, aspects of your true self, you hide in the corners. In shadows, that others may not know your true self, because of fear. Fear nothing; Do not fear nothing. A void is but an empty canvas, and a fully laden palette awaiting the artist’s stroke. That artist, is you. Be yourself, and encourage others to do likewise! If everyone spent more time being themselves, there would be a good deal fewer busy bodies.
About the author: After many fruitless years of cubicle farm doldrums, I found a way out of the Matrix. The invisible ‘mind prison’, that keeps many firmly ensconced in their cubicles; Dutifully carrying out the bidding of their bovine overlords. I can show you the door, only you can open it. - Thomas Alexander; Website: http://www.howtolarawith.me/