I n s a n i t y

There are many ways to categorize insanity but I am content to rely upon origin to divide it into three gently blurred groups. First, there is a mental disruption that is caused by chemical instability. Secondly, there is the sort that arises from some sort of encounter, be it violence or disappointment. Without walls or a floor of their former world or the ability to absorb terror into a new system of belief, they retreat. Lastly, insanity is the creation of a new structure of belief or reality, an alternate way of thought.

Brief bouts. Perhaps you will put me away---if I say this. Once I saw my sanity slipping away, hovering above me. A pale blue kidney shaped oblong shimmering sideways, wafting upwards. When your double voice won't stop talking, criticizing, hissing, when your mind is whirling at five hundred miles an hour---round and round until the belt is worn smooth and grey---you know you are slipping. You cannot sleep and you are slipping.

Perhaps you are flung two hundred miles above the earth---everything is small and easily suffocated. And you begin to see how small things really are. They are invisible to the eye. Your existence, your pain, your fury even, is a series of small jewels set against a dark background. They are as meaningless as stars.

That is what I think of when I think of God---a creature looking up at the night sky, impervious to prayers, lashings, month-long revival meetings---noticing the stars---so many of them--- not even imagining what we have become.

Regardless of whether we have one or not---Why do we need the concept of a God---to uphold our morality? To assert our divine origin above animals? To buffer our isolation and disappointment or perhaps even deflect our immediate revenge? Or does he simply serve as a gobetween for ourselves and our immortality? What does he do? Erase pain? Do people naturally have an urge to be controlled, subjugated? Or is God simply a symbol for our desire to abandon this world? Is he in short, the alternative to suicide?

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