Do yourself a favor, and go ever so slightly mad!
Some people might say, and I would personally agree, that the world is a little bit Mad. And it is good to start carefully, certainly it might be slightly frivolous to say that we are the sane ones, while it is the rest of the world that is truly crazy. Indeed, to think such unbalanced thoughts might be a form of insanity after all.
But, from a point of great sobriety, could we say, that the world is, well, bonkers? And that is the odd bit really, either I am insane, you are insane for thinking the world is insane as I do, or the rest of the world is the truly mad one. And if we are all bubbles as they say, if it is a mad little world, perhaps if we have not gone bubbles ourselves already, maybe we should start on a journey towards our own version of crazy, because whatever we do, we are already living in utter lunacy.
The question then becomes, are there benefits to further insanity? Is there a little bit of a silver lining, to be ever so slightly more mad?
I am being slightly cheeky. But do not judge me too harshly, at least so early in my rant. Because hidden in this mad outburst lies wisdom of an unsuspected kind. And this bit of reality-check has to do with inner alchemy, and the hard won lessons of old sorcerers, that discovered very long ago, that the world in the end, that oh so real and supposedly hard as rocks and low lying furniture world out there, well, that world, is merely a point of view, a point of cognition.
It is likely that you have heard the story of the Emperor’s new clothes. In that story, none can supposedly see, but all pretend to see the emperors stylish new gown. The story of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” is a hilarious tale about an emperor who is obsessed with his wardrobe. Two cunning weavers convince the emperor that they can make him the finest robe, but the catch is that the clothes are only visible to those who are intelligent and competent. The emperor, not wanting to appear foolish, pretends to see the clothes, as do his advisors and the townspeople. In the end, a child blurts out that the emperor is actually naked, and everyone realizes the absurdity of the situation. The story humorously highlights the theme of authenticity and the fear of appearing foolish. It’s a witty reminder that sometimes the truth is plain to see, even if it’s not what we want to believe.
Now, this is a story of consensual pressure, supposedly. From it you are supposed to get a rather sober idea of just how weighty and foolish the power of conformity can be. But here is a secret, a crazy little secrets, all hidden in there in that simple child’s story. And what the story does not go into, perhaps this is a little too much for a simple story meant for children, but what it does not go into, what it dared not say perhaps, is that the townspeople in that kingdom that did not see the Emperor’s new clothes at first, did in time, with a little pressure from all of the other pretenders around them, did in fact, in time, begin to see, to really see, the Emperor’s new clothes.
This is a terrible secret, kind of hilarious really in a nutter kind of way I suppose. And that secret is that, the townspeople in the story were mad before the con-men, the weavers, arrived. All the people in that kingdom were mad, just like all the people in this world are mad…whether we want to admit it to ourselves or not.
Incredibly, there was, and there now is, a level of madness in all of us. And this is because we all see, to differing degree, that which we are supposed to see instead of what actually is!
In the story, some people saw the Emperor’s new clothes right off, they didn’t even have to be prompted, that is how in sync they were to the crazy of the times. It was real for them, as real as punch, because the greatest authority in the land declared this so by merely acting in a certain way, and there was no questioning such authority. Others, saw snippets, a cuff here, nickers over there, the robe was starting to appear for them. Others saw nothing at all but waited patiently to finally see what they were supposed to see. They knew that in time the world would change for them, that they would finally see.
And that is the state of our world really, our madness is not black-and-white, here or there kind of thing. It is not a yes or no situation, no matter how much our brain likes to simplify things. It is instead the case that our insanity is in degrees. But of greatest concern, the really important slice in all of this, at least for a deeply mad old sorcerer like my loony self anyway, is that the range of that insanity in the world is so very one directional. Human insanity is, quite simply, so uniform, that one could say that for all intents and purpose, it is, a herding mechanism.
So, insanity is rampant in the world, and the insanity in people is by degrees. Some see the emperors new clothes as distinctly as you see your fingers in front of your face. Others see part of it and call themselves silly for not seeing the whole picture. A few see nothing but expect to see it very soon, and hardly any at all even question the madness. But the crazy thing, the interesting thing, the thing that very few talk about ever, even if they notice the rampant insanity of the world, is that human insanity seems to flow in a very specific direction. And in the end, all that one could say is that human insanity seems to be a kind of herding instinct. If the Emperor says that he has new clothes that are invisible and only the intelligent can see, then the herd will see. If the Emperor says that he can fly every time he has the hiccups, then such an assertion instantly becomes fact.
This means that from an individuals point of view, to be a loony of a slightly different kind is most difficult, possibly even dangerous. The world at large practices a kind of homogeneous insanity that is difficult to stand against or overcome because of the sheer scale of the crazy conformity.
But the crazy part, the part that will drive you bonkers thankfully, if you are not loony already, is that since the world is insane in a very conformist kind of way, to be a lunatic of a different variety can have some great benefits if you can manage it safely.
Just like the young boy that refused to see the Emperor’s new clothes, and saw things for what they were, or were not in that case, the way of inner alchemy, is the way of going against the great weight of that mad kind of conformity. By doing so you can see new things. By being a different kind of lunatic you can relieve some of the great weight of this world, find an odd kind of peace, and see, for the first time perhaps, begin to truly see, a different kind of truth.
Let me repeat that in hopefully more understandable gobbledygook. The way of inner alchemy, is the way of going slightly more mad, and on certain occasions completely mad indeed. But mad in your own way, a new way as far away as possible from the conformist madness of society.
The mass of the world sees the emperor’s new clothes to some degree. Some see parts of that new robe that the emperor is wearing, hopefully the knickers at least, but not all of it. Others see it all, perfectly, every bejeweled part of that new robe that the king is wearing. For them it is striking and beautiful and beyond doubt. But whatever the case, whether they do not see and pretend to see, or whether they see it in all its splendor, just like you see the many walls all around you now, the mass of the world is in that sense mad. And, unfortunately, unlike the story, some small child won’t save this planet by screaming out the obvious truth. Instead, you must plan your own individual escape. You must plan for your own individual kind of madness.
This is the escape of the inner alchemist. Since the world is quite mad to whatever conformist degree, then, in such a crazy and mad world, the only truly sane thing to do is to go mad yourself, but in a non-conformist way. You must go mad in your own unique way, well and far away from the herd mind.
You must go mad in a way that turns the robe invisible again, as opposed to visible. You must become so mad indeed, that in time you can turn all the walls and barriers around you ethereal, as opposed to solid and unyielding. Your lunacy must make those walls and that robe so invisible and ethereal, that you can just walk away and past all of the shackles of this place.
And I just bet, that you are one of those odd little lunatics. I see you out there sometimes with that crazy little glint in your eye. I marvel at the sight of you as you take step after step in this crazy world, the courage of you, the sheer audacity. You out there, who are so much more courageous then you realize, I revel and I marvel at the sheer existence of you.
Starting today, my courageous brethren, give yourself a break, give yourself a little selfish gift. Take a hint from this old devil and as the greatest band on earth once put it, go ever so slightly mad!
Look up to the sky, then look down at the world and say those magical words, who cares!
Like the fool in the tarot, stepping off into oblivion with that deer caught in the headlights look on his face, take a step into indifferent oblivion. Dissociate from the madness of this place, and go mad in a different way. Believe me, you won’t regret it.
Smile at it, relax in the face of it. Let it go, let it do itself. Step outside of it, care nothing for it, for anything, just smile and forget the self that’s supposed to care so much about everything. There might be gum stuck on the bottom of your shoe, the sky might be falling, super intelligent robots might take over the world at any moment, and you just remembered that you forgot to pay off your credit card. Well, say who gives a fig about that!
Who gives a blunt about it. Go ever so slightly mad my courageous and wonderful friend. Give me that gift. For a little bit forget to see the Emperors new clothes. Oh, but do not let them know that you cannot see it, that supposedly wonderful robe, those supposedly protective walls. Act as if you are just as insane, I mean rational and lucid, as everyone else. But deep down inside, deep down in places where they at least for now cannot see just yet. There, in that place that is yours alone, just go on the bonkers. Smile your lunatic smile and say to all the walls and authority of this mad little world, who cares!
If you would like to know more about the madness of this world and how to overcome it, I recommend the book, Overcoming the Archon through Alchemy.
And remember, as Bob, your uncle, once said, and I paraphrase, who gives a fig if they can’t take a joke!