Sanity Versus Insanity

Do you know what insanity is?

No Clarity

As a clinical psychologist I have come to mistrust the definitions of sanity and insanity. And for that matter I also question the clarity of what is or is not reality. That is why this blog is called cuspofreality.com.

Most of us would like to believe we have a firm grip on reality but the “reality” is that we are deeply influenced by the context, our personality, our mood, culture and on and on. Reality changes from moment to moment as does the perception of what is or is not sanity.

What a Surprise!

Not long ago there was a great deal of excitement when someone showed the same dress as white and gold or blue and black. It was an internet sensation. How could the same dress be those different colors. It was, of course, explainable in terms of the type of light, how we looked at it, etc. But it shook people’s belief in what was reality. Could it really be both sets of colors? Sorry to say, yes it can be or at least can be perceived as such.

We do, indeed, spend most of our lives believing in that thing we call reality. And people who see things differently from us, whether it is visually or cognitively, are simply wrong. I know. I have the proper perspective.

Facing the Task, Not the Diagnosis

For those of us in the mental health field, when we have to help people who are struggling with their emotional and cognitive lives, we often have to spend time determining the role of insanity. After decades in the field all I can say is that I dislike having to make such a determination. I’m not sure the label is helpful. I prefer to think in terms of how well the person copes in the world and how effective they are in relating to other people, including their coworkers, and how good they are at life management.

If a person is harmless and happy with how they see the world, in many ways it is not important to define exactly how sane they are or are not. Labels may be rather pointless. Often we need not face the fact that most of us have varying forms of reality from which we relate to the world. There are, in fact, people who are quite insane in a fashion we can all agree on. Some people have a biochemical disorder which means their reality is fickle and they have terrible problems relating to other people.

Contextual Adjustment

What is the point you may ask? Sometimes we just have to adjust our belief as it relates to what is fair, correct, moral or just plain effective. And I am led back to the matter of the empowerment of women. We come from a history in which women’s rights were restricted. It is as if they were flawed and incapable of being truly independent. We are now rethinking this belief. And in doing so we are casting aside thoughts of sanity versus insanity or even incapacity. Perhaps we simply have to move to what is fair, correct and appropriate. We are already seeing the benefits. No matter how we view it, it is surely going to be a struggle.

How have you had to adjust your view of things in the past and in our current political crisis how do you assess reality?

###

Don’t Miss My Developing Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy

I refer to it as a work of magical realism. It is a series with a strong mythological element and a real world setting in this time when women are being empowered at last. It is a time of wonder and awakening for all of humankind.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power – Book 1

Avery had dedicated her life to work for the future of third world women. Her life was enhanced when she met the man who became the love of her life. They could not know that they shared a destiny and that a mission set long ago by our Earth Goddess was to be revealed before 

them. 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge: The Chosen Rise – Book 2

These people, called Tethyans, live in cities in the sea but can morph into fully human form and come to land to form families. They join with the warrior women called the Andromeda to fight against the forces working to impair the future of humankind. Avery has found her birth name of Chantia and she and Beck find there is soon to be a child of seeming great import just as the world falls into terrible strife with millions already dead. 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge

Fearing Women

 

In the Weeks Ahead

In this age of the empowerment of women it is distressing to see the limited focus related to the issues. It should be clear that this author is clearly in support of the women’s movement. but I’m feeling the need to do more in depth exploration of matters that need to be dealt with as women become empowered.

The Threat of Women

It is impossible to look at the women’s movement without seeing the fact that it is feared. Or at least that is my perspective. Why should we fight against equality given the benefits that are offered for all of us? Once that question is asked something becomes perfectly clear. People fight the equality of other people all the time. We have class warfare, country warfare, deep prejudice against people of color and on and on. Why not against women?

In Fact

Something fundamental has changed. Among other things, women have gained control over their reproductive capacity. Or at least they are making significant gains although there is opposition there as well. Many of us are now having fewer children in a complex and changing world. These and other changes are opening doors to women having greater autonomy and possibilities.

Not So Simple

As we begin to explore the issues, the import and complexity becomes apparent. To some the complexity is reason enough to be opposed to the movement. But, in fact, in this rapidly changing world we must examine the detailing of any such changes.  The essential nature of it is apparent and the possibility of benefits are huge. But we need to understand the impact of change and what will be demanded of us.

An Essential Question 

To some of us it is apparent that women being empowered is something that is frightening to many men. Whether they want to hear it or not, it is clear that, yes, many men are afraid of empowered women. When the subject is opened, it is clear that it is not a simple matter and we are just beginning to explore what is happening and what it may mean. And when we say what it may mean we find it may mean many different things to many people. It is time to begin to explore because the consequences are rather impressive.

Why Fear?

Yes, why the fear is an essential question. First of all it will be difficult to help many men admit they are afraid. When they admit fear it may mean to them that they are admitting weakness. As soon as this component is opened other questions come cascading out along with many alternatives.

Then There is Partnership

In fact we are not just looking at empowerment or a yielding of power. We can, in fact, join together in a new glorious day. Suddenly we open further contributions and alternatives for all of us. 

The issues are complex and unexpected. Recently a study was revealed that said teens who don’t date may be less depressed. Oooops. It actually may have been unsuspected but not surprising upon examination. Beginning dating is difficult, emotionally risky and is a major learning experience.

The Bottom Line

We have substantive explorations to undertake. We may be frightened and have to deal with the unexpected but we do not have to go too deeply to see the benefits of empowerment and the acceptance of it by men can be hugely rewarding. Not the least of the benefits may be truly complex partnership. There is so much more to come and since I am among those who seek the “what if” endlessly this is a new and glorious day.

###

Don’t Miss My Developing Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy

I refer to it as a work of magical realism. It is a series with a strong mythological element and a real world setting in this time when women are being empowered at last. It is a time of wonder and awakening for all of humankind.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power – Book 1

Avery had dedicated her life to work for the future of third world women. Her life was enhanced when she met the man who became the love of her life. They could not know that they shared a destiny and that a mission set long ago by our Earth Goddess was to be revealed before 

them. 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge: The Chosen Rise – Book 2

These people, called Tethyans, live in cities in the sea but can morph into fully human form and come to land to form families. They join with the warrior women called the Andromeda to fight against the forces working to impair the future of humankind. Avery has found her birth name of Chantia and she and Beck find there is soon to be a child of seeming great import just as the world falls into terrible strife with millions already dead. 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge

A Collage of Reality

Are we really jugglers when it comes to reality?

       

A Mutable Reality

In fact, the mutable nature of reality as we see it is not strictly related to ourselves. It also relates to what is happening in the world around us. Concerning ourselves with reality is not just a personal phenomenon. Certainly we have to keep oriented in a world filled with stimuli. Maintaining a reality relates to things personal, social and environmental. We have to relate to all the different facets of our lives.

There is the matter of what we experience moment to moment but also phenomena  and relationships throughout our life which, in itself, is a developmental process. And where we are going may be very different from where we think we are going.

Accepting Ongoing Adaptation

There was a time when vocational life was pretty much stable over our lifetime. A man would take up farming and that would be his life. A man would go to work for a company and retire from it. That is no longer the case. We cannot predict what our vocational future may be and cannot be sure of the duration of our relationships. All of those factors mean there must be many periods of adaptation.

Looking at our modern lives in that way shows why we must have an enduring belief in a stable reality. It is simply not feasible to consider all the possible variables at one given moment. It is really a tribute to our adaptability that we can maintain what we call sanity through all the changes and different stimuli. Finding enduring truth is difficult and  keeping tabs on reality is a challenge.

The Larger Context

But, in the end, we have to move beyond personal considerations because there is an inevitable social context and we also keep an eye on the future of our species. In those contexts it is important for us to not simply watch developments among segments of people and political struggles. These things can confine our perceptions.

And it is the larger matters which concern me. In the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy I concern myself with the portrayal of what might be and how it might occur. It is not just a focus on stewardship and the wellbeing of the world. Certainly those are considerations, but within those issues lie the very real issue of how women will be seen and how they will participate. Again and again I come back to the belief that we are at a tipping point and the single most important issue to which we must attend is what is happening with women and where it will lead us.

Do you have a larger focus?

###

Don’t Miss My Developing Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy

I refer to it as a work of magical realism. It is a series with a strong mythological element and a real world setting in this time when women are being empowered at last. It is a time of wonder and awakening for all of humankind.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power – Book 1

Avery had dedicated her life to work for the future of third world women. Her life was enhanced when she met the man who became the love of her life. They could not know that they shared a destiny and that a mission set long ago by our Earth Goddess was to be revealed before 

them. 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge: The Chosen Rise – Book 2

These people, called Tethyans, live in cities in the sea but can morph into fully human form and come to land to form families. They join with the warrior women called the Andromeda to fight against the forces working to impair the future of humankind. Avery has found her birth name of Chantia and she and Beck find there is soon to be a child of seeming great import just as the world falls into terrible strife with millions already dead. 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge

Expanding Our World

 

 

Other Life Forms

On a day to day basis there isn’t much reason to consider the possibility of other life forms. That doesn’t mean rabbits, deer and water buffalo. Other life forms refers to the ones we cannot ordinarily perceive. But the possibility keeps coming up.

When I started working on the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy I found story lines often led to other life forms. If humankind is, in fact, moving toward some kind of denouement or transformation, is it possible we would come in contact with or form an alliance with other forms, possibly from the spirit world?  Belief in such beings or brushes with them are pervasive.

There It Was Again

Recently my wife asked if I would like to go to a workshop about dowsing. Immediately I was intrigued. It had been a long time but I had had a brush with it long ago. We were living in an eighteenth century house in a lovely rural valley. Our water came from a thirty foot dug well in front of the house. One day it was apparent that the sewage system had backed up into it. Time for a new well.

But where were we to drill. I decided to take up water witching or dowsing. The result stunned me. I’d never done it before but could feel tugs and in one place off to the side of the house the tug was very, very strong. We had the well drilled there. What a gusher! The drilling company left the pipe sticking 3 feet out of the ground and the water settled just six inches form the top. We would have had an artesian well without it.

Another Opportunity

The idea of the workshop was intriguing but I didn’t really know much about dowsing. I learned about entities, spirit guides and other powers. There we were asking questions and getting answers. It is a rich system related to other kinds of life forms and powers.

Then I remembered something. Many years ago I had gone to a dump to drop something off and was struck by terrible feelings of fear and despair. There were two employee working at the dump and when they looked up the fear and devastation in their eyes was terrible. I came away with a terrible impression of a murder. Not just a sudden murder but a tortured prolonged affair.

Energy Systems

Human beings appear to be made up of energy systems and other forms are all around us. In the workshop I learned about entities and pervasive systems. It seems I had experienced a residual effect of a cataclysmic event. I’m pleased to say I have never encountered another one.

But the richness of dowsing goes well beyond water witching. The workshop connected me to the experiences I related previously about a ghost at one house and the spirits around another place I had lived. 

Easy to Dismiss

It’s easy to proclaim that these phenomena are figments of our imagination. But, while I don’t spend a lot of time interacting with these alternative worlds, I’m impressed with their possibilities. And then when I turned to fiction and considered the possibilities of transformation as humankind reached yet another turning point I found myself back in that world.

It is enriching to consider these alternatives and more than that, it just may be that the entities, spirits and other being are important to our growth, our development and our future. Especially as we go deeper into this current morass.

May The Force Be With You!

What of this have you encountered?

###

Don’t Miss My Developing Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy

I refer to it as a work of magical realism. It is a series with a strong mythological element and a real world setting in this time when women are being empowered at last. It is a time of wonder and awakening for all of humankind.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power – Book 1

Avery had dedicated her life to work for the future of third world women. Her life was enhanced when she met the man who became the love of her life. They could not know that they shared a destiny and that a mission set long ago by our Earth Goddess was to be revealed before 

them. 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge: The Chosen Rise – Book 2

These people, called Tethyans, live in cities in the sea but can morph into fully human form and come to land to form families. They join with the warrior women called the Andromeda to fight against the forces working to impair the future of humankind. Avery has found her birth name of Chantia and she and Beck find there is soon to be a child of seeming great import just as the world falls into terrible strife with millions already dead. 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge

Nicolai’s Truth

 

The World of Intelligence Intrigue

Lately there has been a lot off attention regarding Russia and its authoritarian regime. We have seen journalists and opposition leaders murdered. That process is not characteristic of just recent Russian history. I have a story from my past which is germane to current events and how we view our world.

Being in graduate school at Duke University working on my Ph.D. was fascinating in so many ways. The South was having a civil rights war, I found myself deep in Duke University Medical Center and I was meeting all manner of fascinating people. Not the least of whom was Nicolai.

One day a new student arrived. He was older than most of us and had a heavy Russian accent. How curious? In time I learned he had been the head of KGB operations for Eastern Europe. One night we fed him ample vodka and he told us about how his life had been as a high level intelligence operative. Like so many people, he considered himself to have been a patriot. But being a patriot of the kind he had been required to be turned out to be a proposition he could not, in the end, suffer. He decided to defect.

Betrayed!

Of course American intelligence was interested and he agreed on a condition. When he went on Radio Free America to announce his defection his wife and children would be picked up by our people and taken out of Russia. We didn’t do it and he lost his family.

Nonetheless he was true to his word partly because he could not accept the moral problems associated with the kind of murderous activities in which he had to be involved. Like other Russians recently working for reform he survived a poisoning with a radioactive substance and came to the United States to study clinical psychology. Interesting choice.

Honor and Truth

He was a touching individual and I never would have guessed his past. He was such a gentle and respectful person with a deep sense of honor. The stories he told us that night were immensely troubling. But his concluding statement about his past in intelligence was one I will never forget. “You think intelligence work is like James Bond. It is in fact like Get Smart.” In case you don’t remember Get Smart, it was a television comedy series about international intrigue. The players on that stage were often inept if not just plain incompetent. Nicolai was speaking a truth.

It was clear he meant the statement and the details of his life bore out his conclusion. What he conveyed was that we often have a view of things which we hold as truth. But truth is illusory and Nicolai’s story was yet another confirmation that we do, indeed, live on the cusp of reality.

What do you think of Nicolai’s conclusion? 

###

Don’t Miss My Developing Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy

I refer to it as a work of magical realism. It is a series with a strong mythological element and a real world setting in this time when women are being empowered at last. It is a time of wonder and awakening for all of humankind.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power – Book 1

Avery had dedicated her life to work for the future of third world women. Her life was enhanced when she met the man who became the love of her life. They could not know that they shared a destiny and that a mission set long ago by our Earth Goddess was to be revealed before 

them. 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge: The Chosen Rise – Book 2

These people, called Tethyans, live in cities in the sea but can morph into fully human form and come to land to form families. They join with the warrior women called the Andromeda to fight against the forces working to impair the future of humankind. Avery has found her birth name of Chantia and she and Beck find there is soon to be a child of seeming great import just as the world falls into terrible strife with millions already dead. 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge