Morning Reflection: What IS "Craziness," Anyway?


"You shouldn't listen to them, they are crazy!"

Those words are said by a lot of people, in one variation or another, and quite often. But what do we really mean, when we say that?

Landscape on an alien planet!... What, are you NUTS? It's a flower!

The Landscapes of Insanity...

What is it that makes someone "crazy," or "mad" or "off center" or "insane?"

Much of the time, it seems like it actually has very little to do with mental health... and a lot to do simply with people being perceived "crazy" for not agreeing with a particular point of view, or not agreeing with the "established norm."

"Those people in cryptocurrency who think they can just 'create money' out of thin air are CRAZY and they'll eventually have to face reality!"

That's an actual statement I read, some years ago. But if you look at it, does it really have anything to do with actual "insanity?"


Probably not. People thought similarly about "horseless carriages" around the turn of the previous century.

What is "Real?" What is "Reality?"

Of course, part of the challenge here is that this thing we call "reality" can be a very fluid and ambiguous concept. We often say that people who "hear voices" are crazy, as well.

In the field of psychology, we deal with the slippery slope of something called "anosognosia" which is really a fancy scientific word for "being in denial about reality." Or not being able to recognize what's reality, and what isn't. It's often applied to those who seem to have only a tenuous grip on reality, yet have no idea that their perceptions are anything but "normal."

But there's that word "reality," again. What makes something "real?"

Part of the reason so-called "conspiracy theorists" are often lumped together under the greater heading of "insanity" is that they tend to walk a fine line between what actually IS and what they WANT to be, and the two aren't necessarily the same. Of course, the line gets crossed when a person is unable to distinguish between the two.


Looney Tunes and Fruitloops... and so What?

Mrs. Denmarkguy and I occasionally participate as "vendors" at UFO and Paranormal conferences, which can be a fully immersive experience of examining "craziness." Attendees will run the range from people with University doctorates and scientific instruments listening for any signs of messages from the universe to people who have daily conversations with purple aliens living in their garden shed.

From their own perspective, everyone's reality is "real," but how does it translate for the observer?

Again, a slippery slope, and I have no good and clear answers.

Personally, I always feel cautious when someone's primary argument becomes "it's YOUR fault for not understanding" when questioned... especially if having to sincerely answer a question would bring into doubt the version of "reality" being postulated. Their only "tool" is to attack the questioner, rather than explain their perceptions in some (semi?)rational fashion.


Consider something like "faith healing." If a faith healer treats someone's cancer — and subsequently nothing happens — it's never a case of the process not working, it's always a case of the person being worked on "not being open to the healing." Which — at least from where I am sitting — looks like a convenient way to recuse yourself from having to be able to explain and justify how your claims are possible.

But what is real, and what is what?

Mrs. Denmarkguy is often lumped in with a group of people called "Psychics." She even calls herself "a psychic" on occasions, because it fits some of her clients' notion of what she does. At the same time, the entire idea of someone claiming to be "a psychic" will get most scientists' and skeptics' hackles up in a New York minute.

"Nonsense! She's just crazy! There's no such thing as psychics! Where's the science?"


What's Real? (Part II)

What's real is that she's a highly trained Jungian analyst with 30+ years experience, she worked as a "profiler" for Federal law enforcement, she's a highly skilled mentalist, both her memory and her attention to detail are probably in the top 1% of the population, and her pattern recognition abilities had the armed forces (and others) virtually begging her to work for them as a code/cypher breaker when she was 20-something. Put that skill set together and dress it up in "Woo-Woo" clothing and you have a bona fide "psychic" who makes observers exclaim "You can't POSSIBLY KNOW THAT!!!" on a regular basis.

Some might argue that she is "insane" for portraying herself as a psychic... but when she brings a 90% "hit rate" with very specific claims — as compared to your basic carnival psychic who's at maybe 60% with very vague and nebulous statements... who's ultimately "crazy?"

If you showed your smartphone to someone from the 17th century, would you not be practicing "magic" or "witchcraft?"

Think about it, for a moment...


Perhaps we are all crazy! What I mean by that is that we hold dear to "fragments" of our individual realities that really don't make any sense within the framework of what our world has classified as "real." But to us? They are "real."

Consider baseball players and their "lucky socks." Wearing a particular piece of jewelry because it "protects" us. Friend of mine from the past — who was an uber-logical accountant — who could only play a good round of golf if using golf balls with the number "3" on them. People assign significance to the number (time) 11:11.

And the granddaddy of the them all: billions of people interact with an invisible, all-knowing, (allegedly) benevolent being who lives somewhere "up there" although nobody's ever actually met or seen him/her/it/they in a documentably tangible fashion.

Once again... what is real?

Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful weekend!

How about YOU? What do YOU think constitutes crazy? What is insanity? What is reality? How do we distinguish between what's real and what is just our perception? Or are the two the same thing? Comments, feedback and other interaction is invited and welcomed! Because — after all — SOCIAL content is about interacting, right? Leave a comment — share your experiences — be part of the conversation!


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Created at 20220219 12:54 PST



Wow, this is really instructive and helpful. Alot of people needs to understand this concept. We look at things the way we really want it to be. There Re no clear answers.

Thanks for sharing. I found this article as I searched for the tag "psychology"