Contemplating god/the gods is an excellent practice. It structures our perception of our narrower lives in a useful way. Even if your highest principle is an abstract notion, it serves the same purpose.
Madness as it relates to spirituality. It is strange. They say the more you learn the less you know. The deeper the knowing goes the less you can say anything for certain and then when you are questioned people just dismiss your responses as being obtuse. You become an expert at learning.
Buddhism is often accused of nihilism because it confronts the nature of some aspects of knowing. They refer to the realization of “sunya” or the void nature of reality. Many people just jump to the conclusion that they believe nothing of human experience has meaning and they dismiss all of the insights. I find that strange myself. I have delved deeply into many world religions for no other reason than to understand my personal life experience better. It is a perhaps neurotic compulsion of mine. But I came to understand what I think it was Shakespeare said, “Vanity, vanity, all is vanity”, but that itself is a half truth.
Jesus once spoke to a supporter of his who spoke of himself as a good man and asked, forgive my paraphrasing, “Why do you call me good, is more truthful to say I am on the path than to say I have attained.” It’s the journey that matters most. Madness, true madness is the idea that life or the world are static. Declaring I know this and this is all there is. Last I checked none of us have that encompassing an understanding and yet people do that all the time. Is this anyone else’s experience?
Is it clearly divided? Is madness so different from sanity? Is it even possible to say that there is a special state of mind that can be called all by itself madness? Having an understanding, or knowledge of anything, is all in the “mind” and in essence a thing connected with ego. Ego is madness. Many “geniuses” shared a noted quality of hubris, egotism. Generally so strong that it defeated their sense of self in the long run.
So, what do I conclude then? I don’t conclude. I try to avoid that. But consider what is there to divide inspiration from madness? The world is mad. We keep doing the same things expecting different results. That is interesting.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.