The controlling, “power-over”, dominance of man-made religions permeates all areas of our society. We recreate this religion in all constructs of our lives – in the hierarchies we adhere to, in the worship of trinkets – money being yet another external source of power, in our institutions and corporations. Although we do not call it religion and we have all but erased any reference to God, we replicate the essence of its dogma at every turn. We seek to control and dominate through instilling fear of the wrath of poverty, illness and loneliness. Through fear we are led to uphold a system into which we are indoctrinated, cursed with never being enough; never pretty, rich or thin enough. We pray for perfection and purification with our wallets and seek to escape the evil of our true nature. We deny our bodies with our obsessive need to sculpt them.
And this permeates our mental health systems as well. Any behaviour deemed as “out of control” must be controlled with medications, therapies and, if need be, restraints.
We seek to dwarf and eradicate “illusions” of grandeur and delusional creativity. These make us uncomfortable and threaten our fragile structures. These people, these “mentally ill”, do not conform to, nor do they reflect, our collective external reality.
Those who are marked as mentally ill rally against the norm; they hear voices others cannot hear, see images others cannot see. They are messengers whom we shoot with mind-numbing drugs so that we might kill the message.
The mentally ill must be restrained lest chaos reigns; chaos that results in unbridled expression.
The dull comfort of an orderly world; one in which we can count on wars, corporate greed, earth-destroying machinery, famine and soul wrenching cruelty is chosen because of its predictability. We can rely on those activities of materialism and say we are against them while we continue to sculpt our bodies, silence our minds with entertainment that relishes that which we say appals us, and bend our knees to the will of the economy and the affluent that hold its reins.
And so I wonder; would the “depressed” contemplate and plot their own escape from overwhelming sadness if they could be held and validated – assured that their tears make sense in a world where inflicting pain on a massive scale is sanctioned?
Would the “bi-polar” require medications that feed the gluttony of the pharmaceuticals if space was cleared for the expression of immense joy and expansive energy; if they had partners that freed themselves from the chains of equilibrium and danced with them in the bedlam?
Would the “schizophrenic” need to scream so loudly if they were heard?
What if the mentally ill are the barometer of a world that is truly ill, sick to the point of collapse, deaf to the collective soul that whispers to us but is unheard through the reckless din we have created?
What if God is truly among us now and those that know this, feel this presence are overcome with God’s sorrow, joy and anger? And so they give voice to God in a hundred ways that threaten to break through the haze we so desperately need in order to maintain this religion we adhere to and the idols we have constructed to worship at.
I walk among the mentally ill, know the power of a label that seeks to invalidate each thought I have, each vision I share.
Yet it is amidst the chaos of my own mind where I hear the voice of my soul, taste the tears of truth and sing the madness of compassion – none of which are mine, but are expressions of Divine Love; the insanity of God.
I stand with those who cannot live within the house of conformity and so exist outside of it looking in. Yet I have also made my home within that house and collapsed into the seductive breast of compliance. And I have learned that within it, I cannot breathe and colours are dull and food is tasteless.
As madness weaves around me and my brothers and sisters, I must embrace that which God gives me. Not ‘must’ as in commands but ‘must’ as in my organic nature. Just as I ‘must’ eat in order to live, I must live in the untamed world so that I might know life.
This religion and the lunacy of its’ materially-driven clergy is rotting, just as the walls of the insane asylums that once held the wild ones have collapsed, and the shiny falsehoods preached to the masses are beginning to be revealed for what they are.
And it is on the breath, in the sorrow and through the ecstasy of those irrational ones; those that live on the streets, in the darkness of their homes, and in the prisons of the terrified dictator, that God’s love and desire can be found – wrapped in the skin of the wounded.