Saturday, May 7, 2011
A little bit nuts
A few days ago, I heard an interview with ex-psychotherapist, Daniel Mackler, on Madness Radio. I was intrigued by him, so I looked at his website. It's fascinating. He espouses some truly radical ideas, some of which I find have a lot of truth in them - hard truths that the majority of us just do not want to hear.
He certainly takes some unusual and what most would call extreme views. He advocates celibacy, for one. I happen to think that celibacy is a darned good idea, at least for me, so it was fascinating to see anyone write about it outside the context of talking about Catholic priests.
Still, I disagreed, or was put off, by a lot of what this fellow has written. How did I dismiss it? With this, "Well, he's a little bits nuts, or maybe just plain crazy."
First of all, as they say, that's just the pot calling the kettle black. People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
Besides that, why should I dismiss anyone because they're mad? All the greatest creative people are crazy in some way, or at least considered so.
The truth tellers have always been dismissed. They're mad. They're disruptive. They challenge the status quo. They are simply challenging.
Easier to dismiss them.
We dismiss other people's ideas and opinions in all sorts of ways. They're crazy, or they're inconsistent, or they have or have had one wrong idea, or done something wrong.
The other thing (since I'm ranting), is that passion is seen as craziness or fanaticism, unless it's the passion of love. Folks who feel passionately about anything else are suspect. I know I've dismissed many people in my lifetime because they were a little too passionate about things.
I've spent too much of my life dismissing myself, my talents, and those of other people. And once again, I'm done. At least I hope so.
Image note: John Nash (pixelated), whom the movie A Beautiful Mind is about. I was fascinated to just read the Wikipedia entry about him (a good Wikipedia entry is a marvel in of itself!) Nash said, "I wouldn't have had good scientific ideas if I had thought more normally." He also posited to a meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in 2007 that mental illness exists in nature as a consequence of the diversification of species, and that it may serve the needs of adaptation by its not infrequent association with genius.