Last week Mindfultrail Project participated to the Mad Pride On the Rock (Rock = Newfoundland, Canada).
An event to spread awareness on mental health issues. The main attraction was a craft market.
I went with a friend of mine, a mother of a service user, and mental health advocate.
We set up a whale skeleton. What? A whale skeleton?
Yes, my friend is also part of an environmental group that works with whales, and for educational purposes, they bring the skeleton around to various events.
It is also a great conversation starter.
We displayed books on psychiatry, mental health and meditation.
The day went smooth. Some people rolled in, not as many as I would have thought. Maybe because it was a glorious day outside, not as common around here.
Or maybe for the concomitant GayPride event at the Farmer Market, that I heard was very busy. Lots of people supporting the LBTG movement these days, why not so many for mental health issues?
Because crazy is not glamorous, extravagant, loud, excessive or any way fashionable….
Crazy is just plain SCARY.
Hard to sell that.
Also because nobody owns madness.
Madness is not of the individual. Madness is shared. It is of the collective.
We all have it, we all fear it.
“Psychotics believe their own hallucination. Those considered normal, believe a shared hallucination”, says Eckhart Tolle.
A normal person is able to ask others to confirm their own experience.
Going around nagging each other: Is this it? Yes, it is. Do I do it like this? Yes, you do. Should I feel like this? Yes, you should. Am I a lovable person? Yes, you are.
It feels comforting to have people reinforce your sense of self.
Mad people cannot ask anyone, therefore they feel lost.
This is the loneliness of the mad person.
Alone with their experience.
So the fact that we can share our experiences makes us sane?
No, it doesn’t…… it is not the definite proof of sanity
at least as long as normal people do not ask what is real…..
because this would be recognising your own madness.
Because we cannot tell the dream from reality.
The fact that the dream is shared does not make it more real.
It is like a blind person asking another blind person the difference between day and night.
Knowing that others are in the dark does not tell you what it feels like to be in the light.
So why can’t we wake up from the dream?
Because we do not recognise thoughts as thoughts. We think we are our thoughts, and this is dysfunctional.
If we want to be of any help, especially to the crazy, we must first get to know our own madness.
Otherwise we will only be adding more.
Let me give a couple example of our common madness.
This may sound crude to you:
as you are reading this, provided they are not with to you, are you sure your loved ones are still alive?
How can you know they are alive unless you are connected with them with some form of technology?
You cannot. If you think there are alive, you are only basing your deduction on a thought form.
You are making an informed guess based on memory, but it is still a guess.
It is not absolute truth.
There is no way to know it, until your awareness rests on them.
This makes them alive. Your loved ones are not independently alive from your own awareness.
If you are driving and you cut off somebody on the road and they tell you that you are a son of a ***** and you get into a road rage, you are crazy.
Not just because you may end up hurting somebody or yourself.
You are seriously mentally ill. Why?
Because the person may be right!
You are acting out based on a idea.
There is no certainty that your mother is not doing what the gentlemen is referring to
as the two of you are fighting!
And what are you doing? You are arguing with somebody because you live in a dream world.
In your dream world your mother is very respectable
and you believe is worth fighting to maintain this idea.
We all share this madness. We believe our thoughts and we think they are absolute truths.
Those considered mentally ill have harder time getting out of their stream of thoughts
and therefore show more of the symptoms, but we all share the same condition.
The so called mad have lesser discriminating awareness,
for this they live in a dream that never ends…….
PS: next blog on how to use mindfulness to get out of the dream.