Well, this is going to be a fun one!
Walking through Seville today, working on the development of Knowmads in Spain in my head, suddenly this sentence appears in my head:
‘In the end, maybe it’s not about remaining sane but about being able to switch between forms of insanity.’
Now I’m before the problem to make sense of this – which of course is not the point – but let’s give it a try.
Inspiration for this thought were the many talks about crazyness I had in the last weeks, months and maybe year.
And from own experience;* Every time something truly inspiring came up in my mind, I have gone through a certain time of ‘brain-in-laundrywasher’ (or that’s how it feels like). This state when somehow my mind has left the shore far enough not* to find back by itself. And then the moment when you’re afraid you drown (which is why we mostly stay away from there I guess) and then you learn you can just go with the flow.
Inspiration for this thought was as well the many moments when I realized that what we call society, normal, usual, okay, is completely insane. In Israel you have this funny habit of people calling everybody else around them crazy. In Israel you don’t really question it too much, but then I noticed that this applies just the same on every society.
This morning Nanne posted this quote of Charles Bukowsi: :
No doubt, they’re all crazy.
‘It’s not about remaining sane, it’s about being able to switch between different states of insanity.’
Ah, I told you this would be fun. I’m enjoying it.
There is this amazing video of John Cleese (Monty Python) on the practice of creativity (and he should know!). And he knows. If you have half an hour (you do), watch this video. It’s going to make your life better, easier. (John Cleese on Creativity)
He talks about the necessity of switching between the ‘open’ state and the ‘closed’ state. No way to be creative as long as problems haunt you (closed). No way to be creative as long as everything is possible and there are no boundaries in which to play (open).
The trick is to switch. Close! And open up. Close! And open up. Watch the video for details.
Basically, maybe, it’s like surfing. (I’m not that much of a surfer, but I tried)
You can’t surf when it’s all calm, when the sea is flat and there is nothing to break the waves. You also can’t surf when it’s stormy and waves hit again and again. You can surf if there is calm and wave.
Now, society-wise we would usually suppose that sane is calm. ‘Stay calm and carry on’. Behave well, don’t stick out, don’t start dancing in the metro – you know. But, I mean, that’s not true. You know it. At least if you’ve been in a big city metro in your life. It’s insane. (In the literal sense of the world, in-sane, not healthy) Unusual kind of insane.
Friedrich Nietzsche – “And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”
It’s all insane. It’s all insane and sometimes people go from this state of insanity to another and in one place insanity is practices this way and in another differently. In each you call it society and culture and it’s always been like this and don’t stick out.
Fine! Hey, nothing wrong with it.
But, to become flexible, creative, able, game changers, changemakers, entrepreneurs, innovators, autonomous, grown-ups, independent… maybe the trick is to look behind each of these concepts of insanity and master them. Maybe, not sure.
It’s more than trying to adapt to the one common insanity and it’s more than trying to stick out of this common insanity. It’s mastering the various insanities, feeling at home in each. Being able to perform in the unknown, in chaos, in mystery, in things that are well* beyond your control. And being able to restrict, limit, define, clarify, explain. Maybe sanity is way beyond what we believe it is.
Maybe. Not sure.
In the end, if it’s become too clear, it can’t be right, can it?