There is truth in the world. There is a way in the world. As Sting said, “There is a deeper way than this.” And it is expressed in stillness.
Today’s dark topic is divine madness. They say that it is wise to observe moderation in all things. The ancient Romans believed that even strong emotion could bring on mental illness. Yet we, especially in this day and age, also hear the phrase, “There’s method to my madness.” So we mostly live in a more or less middle of the road way as society teaches us to do. Going to no real extreme, and this does indeed have its good points.
The concept of divine madness is very old, and has mostly no parallel in this day and age. What it is is a state where someone has gotten so swept up in spiritually induced emotion that they seem to lose their down to earth center, lose touch with reality as we know it. They become completely obsessed with the object of their contemplation, be that Jesus or Gaia or whatever you might prefer. What is the common attitude about intense obsession in today’s world?
It depends on the obsession. A lot of people are obsessed with money. Perhaps so, I tend to have a hard time getting in touch with how people feel or think about things. But yes, I operate from the assumption that in general if you are anything but pliable in your world view, you are looked at as if you were at least mildly threatening.
The saying “You’re obsessed” is never done as a compliment. Well, possession is nothing more than the next degree of obsession. In the case of possession, the person has become so obsessed as to one degree or another lose their identity to the object of their attention. What is foreign to most peoples experience is that these radical states are not as piecemeal and unstable as they might seem. They have a center and coherence.
Ever notice something about the gods, both ancient and modern?
They’re obsessed? Yes. They embody the passions, even compassion. Kuan Yin of Chinese mythology is an example of the latter, and do any of them reflect a passion that is foreign to human nature?
Aspects of human nature. Yes, but confined to human nature? Do we never see rage or lust in other species?
Some would say they were created by people with human nature. I would offer that the gods existed before humanity, and that they live and breathe in everything that lives and breathes. Perhaps even in the materials that go on to produce those substances we call hormones as well as viruses.
Myths and lore created by humans. Oh, true. Humans do have to make stories to get a handle on things, and in my opinion this is both natural and necessary. They form perceptual maps that let us think more deeply on what we experience.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.