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« The Nature of Sanity and Insanity (Part 1) | Main | Nigeria - Wake Up: An Opinion on Recent Plane Crashes »

December 13, 2005

The Nature of Sanity and Insanity (Part 2)

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji (Seatle, Washington) --- Come to your creator as he created you, not as you made you. Give up the self you made to replace the self he created you as. Come home to what Buddha called selflessness. (A better name for it is no-separated self, for you still have a self, a unified Christ self.)


Let me rephrase what I have said above. We all undertake two journeys, the first an ego based, outwards, separating journey; the other, a Christ based, homewards bound, unifying journey.
During the first journey, we separate from God, from our true self and from other people and come to the world and look after our self’ interests. This is earthly man. This journey is directed by the ego, by self interests.
During the second journey, we let go of the ego and trust in the Holy Spirit to direct us. The Holy Spirit directs the journey homewards, to our real home and real self, the unified Christ.
During the ego directed journey, ones ego is swollen and one feels in charge of ones life. One pays the price of feeling fear, anxiety, anger, hate, hostility, grievance, revenge, lack of love, lack of peace, having personality disorder, shame, pride, humiliation, belittlement, avoidance, all in a futile effort to keep the big ego. In extreme cases, one experiences depression, paranoia, mania, schizophrenia and so on.
During the homewards bound journey, the journey inwards, love and the Holy Spirit guides one and one does not feel any of the noxious effects of the outward bound journey. One is in peace and loves all people and is always happy.


Forgiveness is overlooking the world one sees (a world one, along with other people, invented). One gives up ones ego ideals, ones plans to improve the self and world one made so as to seem all powerful from doing so. One overlooks all the hurts one had felt that made one feel angry. One loves all people, not their egos and bodies, but the spirit of Christ, union, in them. One does not judge people’s ego/body behaviors as good or bad, for those behaviors are by definition insane, since they are based on the ego and the ego is insane. What is done in insanity is neither good nor bad; what needs to be done is over look them, forgive them, to see what is truly good, unified spirit.


In the past one sought an ideal ego, ideal other people, ideal social institutions, and ideal world. These ideals are not going to come about. The ideal is mentalistic, an idea, a concept, a cognition devoid of physical properties.
Ideals exist apart of matter but real human beings live in bodies, matter; their bodies limit what they do.
In our imaginations, fantasy, we do everything, including flying. In imagination, ones weak body becomes strong and one does what one could not do in the physical world: such as excel in sports and work. Idealism is a waste of time and energy, for what is idealized and desired will not come into being.
The pursuit of ego idealism is really an escape into fantasy. One negates the world of realism and lives in fantasy. One is not doing what the real world asks of one to adapt to it. Neurotics and psychotics are usually unproductive people; indeed, the psychotic is not even able to support himself materially and others have to feed him. Still, it is true that these people did not like the world they saw and want to negate it. Negation of the world is cowardly and escapist. The courageous thing to do is to understand the self that one does not like. We must study the ego in as objective a manner as is possible, that is, study the science of psychology. We must then design a technology of thinking, mind, (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) that enables the individual to properly adapt to the exigencies of this world rather than escape from it.


Having posited his ideal mentalistic yardsticks, the idealist uses them to judge real human beings’ behaviors. He is always judgmental of himself and other people.
In doing so, he makes life miserable for himself and other people, those he judges. Judgment of the physically real with the imaginary ideal is actually an insane behavior, for it merely makes ones self and other people miserable without improving any ones life. Life on earth is not going to become art; reality is not going to be fiction, for earthly reality is circumscribed by matter, space and time.
The neurotic and psychotic mind comes up with ideals. Even though the ideal self is not real, the neurotic identifies with it and from its standpoint talks and behaves. The proud identify with a proud self and try to talk as if they are their superior proud self. They feel angry when their proud self is humiliated; they feel fearful when others threaten their ideal self. That is, the ideal self, though mentalistic, is of the mind, if believed and acted on, seems real to one and elicits all the affects in one.
If one identifies with the false, one feels as the false would when attacked: fearful, angry, sad, paranoid, hateful etc.
It is the false ideal self that feels all those upsets, the real self does not know fear, pride, shame, anger etc.
Reality is not wished, it is what it is, spirit. We wish for an alternative to it, a purely mental alternative.
Thinking, mind, can wish whatever it wants and pursue them and they seem real to it. We defend what we desire and in doing so they seem real to us.
We use matter, body to defend the idea of having a self concept, a separated special self and that makes it seem real to us. We use space, time and matter, all illusions to make these separated selves seem real and they seem real to us. We dream them but they are not real.


In our daily lives, we are limited by the reality of physical and social laws. We cannot fly unless we have wings. We cannot do all sorts of things. At night we sleep and dream and in our dreams do most of the things we wished to do during day time that we could not do. Dreams offer us opportunity to fulfill our childish, impossible wishes, to make reality of what we want it.
In reality, we are unified and were created by God; in dreams, on earth, we seem separated and self created. Once I had a dream with Jesus in it. In it, I made Jesus tell me to go write my own book on metaphysics, that is, I made him fulfill what I wish to do, write a book on metaphysics. I used Jesus to tell me to do what my ego wants to do.
What my ego wants to do, replace Jesus, if given to the Holy Spirit, can be done, not in a competitive manner but in a cooperative manner, for Jesus needs to be replaced, Bhakti religion need to be replaced with Jnana thinking.
The world is wish fulfillment, we wished to destroy God, union and replace it with separation. We seem to have destroyed union and live individuated lives. We seem to have destroyed Christ and replaced him with the ego.


Every thing that happens to the individual is his wish fulfillment. Everything happens to one exactly as one wish it, for the world is a dream in which our wishes seem realized for us. If you wish to have sex with others, you will do so in your dream. If you wish to be poor, you will be poor (for poverty makes your ego seem real to you). If you wish to be discriminated by your white brothers, you will be discriminated and discrimination makes your ego seem real to you and makes you feel justified anger and attack them and they defend themselves.
Ego wishes and dreams on earth can be understood and replaced. They can be replaced with unified wishes, still wishes hence a dream, and dreamed of.
In Holy Spirit directed wishes and dreams, one forgives and loves all people. One brings union to separation, heaven to earth, love to hate. A place where love is brought in becomes a holy place.
One is still in the world of wishes and dreams but because ones wishes now approximate heaven’s purpose of union, one is peaceful and happy.
Ones hitherto wishes for poverty and experience of poverty made ones ego seem real to one; now that one does not wish to be an ego and wish an abundant self, one would no longer be poor or suffer. This is so because if one forgives and loves all people, they forgive and love one and make ones living peaceful, happy. People who feel loved by one feel peaceful and happy around one and will reciprocate the favor; some will do their best to help one, such as open the doors of opportunity to one. Love opens doors to wealth.

The world is our individual and collective wishes represented in dreams. Nothing can happen to the individual outside his wishes (thinking) and dreams where those wishes are fulfilled.
One may deny that one wishes for what happens to one, but reality is what it is. I, for example, wished for white America to abuse me and I got what I wished. Those white Americans who wish to abuse blacks abused me.
No one is guilty for I got what I asked for. Now I wish to be loved. I love and forgive all people and they love and forgive me and make live abundant for me.
When I was a kid, I used to wish that I had a body that no bullet could destroy. I would then single handedly take over the government and transform it into doing what I thought was good for the country (mostly socialist ideals). This is fantasy. It is not going to happen, for empirically, bullets do destroy bodies; there is nowhere in history where bodies are not destroyed by bullets. History, reality, is not going to make an exception for me.
I wished to transform Africa into a modern society. That is not going to happen. Africa will evolve gradually and in the next couple of centuries catch up with other continents. Africans must learn to walk before they can run; they are not going to be at Western levels of scientific and technological attainments without first developing the educational and other infrastructures that are necessary for doing so.

Actually, my failure in life is attributable to my pursuing ideals. I do not pursue the real and did not do what is doable in the world of matter, space and time. I rejected the real and quested after the imaginary. I rejected my body, matter, space and time and sought the ideal, the mentalistic alternative to the real, that which is not going to come into being.
First, I dwelled on ego ideals and later on spiritual ideals. Both ego and spiritual ideals are concepts, mental constructs and will not occur in space, time and matter. Therefore, seeking ego and spirit ideals are ways of guaranteeing ones failure on earth.
I do not like any job in the real world; I do not even want to work within the parameters of known organizational bureaucracies. For example, I could not work for the United Nations for I did not want to operate under its political culture where the powerful nations tell the weak ones what to do. To pay my bills, I take dead end jobs; hence do not make good income.
Once you reach a fork in the road and reject the ego and its world, you cannot go back and embrace it. You have already rejected it. You may doodle and dream for a better world, fantasy, idealism, and waste your time. What you need to do is seek spiritual realism, not spiritual idealism.
Spiritual realism is not wished for; spirit is there and if you do what you must do to experience it, you experience it. If you meet spirit’s conditions, forgive and love all people, you experience it.
You did not make the spiritual world, God created it. How you experience it is beyond your ego understanding.


All human beings have mental illness, for to be human is to be mentally ill. A human being and ip so facto denied his real self and identified with a false self hence is living a false existence. Whoever denies his true self is mentally ill.
Psychiatry correctly diagnoses people as having this or that mental disorder. Most of the Diagnoses in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual are true mental states and ought to be treated. What is wrong is that the West does in lieu of treatment of mental disorders.
In this world, we all rejected our true self and live as false selves. We live in a collective illusion, Maya. Those who live within the context of the collective dream are said to be normal.
At this moment, about 90% of the people are normal, about 2% have psychoses (schizophrenia, delusional Disorder, Bipolar affective disorder etc), 6% has personality disorders and 2% has mental retardations (IQ under 70).
That is to say that most human beings are normal, and are operating within normal insanity. Abnormal persons, in addition to undergoing our collective ego dream, undertake individualistic dreams that are outside the norm. Like every human being on earth, they denied their real self and identified with a false separated ego self. For some reasons, their ego selves are unable to adapt to the realities of this world. They, therefore, reject them. They then invent different separated selves, egos, ones that are outside the orbit of what society calls the normal self.
The abnormal person wants to use his new self to replace his normal self. Thus, he has two levels of insanity: the normal insanity he shares with all people on earth and a secondary insanity (neurosis and or psychosis), he shares with no one. Such persons substitute the false self they individually invented for the normal self we collectively invented. They then want everybody to accept their secondary replacement self as their true identity. They struggle mightily to get themselves and other people to accept their secondary ideal, powerful and perfect self as their true self. They struggle to get society to approve their false secondary self as their true self. They want to make the unreal real; make an illusion real.
Neurosis is the effort to make an unreal self real. Psychosis is the belief that the false self is already a true self. The insane person believes that his false self, the self he wishes to be, the ideal, powerful and superior self is real and defends it. He avoids living in proximity with other people, lives isolated existence and wanders the streets and byways of this world, alone, just so that he convinces himself that he is his wished for ideal, perfect self.
The insane person avoids other people, so as to gratify his wish for a delusion to be true. In isolation, the untrue is made to seem true. In the collectivity, even here on earth, only what the group agrees upon as true is true. Since the group does not agree that the man who sees himself as better than other people is so, they reject him, and wishing to retain his illusion of specialness, he leaves the group and wanders the byways of this world, living in his own world, talking to himself and seeing what is not seen by other people.


Human beings are self consciousness. Indeed, some claim that self consciousness is what separates human beings from other biological organisms. (How do we know that other animals are not self conscious?)
Some human beings are extremely self conscious. They feel like other people are always looking at them, evaluating them, seeing whether they are good or not. (This may be called ideas of self reference and centrality. See Swanson et al, The Paranoid; William Meissner, Paranoid Process, Psychotherapy for Paranoid Process.)
Shy persons are generally self conscious. Self consciousness is associated with anxiety. Why so? The self conscious person posits a self he wants to become, usually an ideal self concept and ideal self image. He then wonders if other people see him as he wants to be seen, as ideal (superior and perfect). He fears that other people may see through his mask, and see him for what he is, not ideal. Anxiety derives in fear of not being seen as the ideal perfect self he wants to become.
The ideal self is a false self, it is not who the individual is, in fact. Only the false separated self can be self conscious. In fact, self consciousness is a futile effort to make the false separated self real. Thinking that other people are always looking and examining the separated self makes the separated self seem real in its awareness.
Human beings feel self conscious because they want to be their ideal separated selves. To the extent a person does not identify with the separated special self, he does not feel inordinately self conscious. (See Burke, Cosmic Consciousness.)
The separated self is the self consciousness self; the real self is not self conscious. The real self knows itself to be unified with other selves and does not know other people as apart from it. Since other people are part of one, they cannot be looking at one and evaluating one as either good or bad. It is the false self concept that feels evaluated by other separated selves and feels anxious, fearful etc.


On earth, we have all separated from the collectivity, known by religions as God. If we had not separated from the whole we would not be on earth. We came to earth to seem separated from the whole and from the other parts of that whole. We invented space, time and matter to make separation seem real. Each of us is in a body and body gives him a sense of boundary from other people; body makes separation seem real to the individual. Space between people and the time it takes to reach people make separation seem real. We live in a world of separation.
Those who live in the world of separation, by definition, have denied the truth. The truth is eternal union. The truth is union of all things.
Actually, the individual has no choice but to accept union, for it is the truth. You deliberately denied the truth and decide when you will accept it. I cannot tell you when you will accept it, for every child of God has the freedom to decide when to accept truth, indeed, he has already decided when to accept it. My function as a dibia is to remind you of the truth, not to force it on you.

Eventually, we must all return to union. We must all return to love. We must all return to God. We must all jettison our false separated self concepts and embrace our real self, the unified self. When we jettison the false separated self housed in body and embrace the unified self we become mentally healthy.
In unified state, we think as unified self, not as separated self. Unified self is spirit and cannot be in body. While in body, forms, we can, however, choose to approximate unified self by forgiving and loving every person on earth.
Forgiveness, as brother Jesus taught us, brings us closer to our real self, and as Sister Helen Schucman taught us, in her metaphor galore manner, brings us to the gate of heaven. Forgiveness gives us a happy dream and makes us live as close to the real self and real world as is possible. Forgiveness brings us close to heaven that we might as well be said to be living in heaven, the real world.
In our present world, there are levels of separation and pursuit of specialness. As noted, all of us are separated and pursue specialness. The majority of us are normal separated persons, or as I call it, normal insane persons. A handful of the people, no more than two percent of the population, are abnormal insane persons (Psychotics). A few more are neurotics and or personality disordered persons.
Schizophrenia, Delusion disorder, Mania, depression, anxiety disorders, personality disorders are more intense means of separation. These people invented more disordered special selves; they want to be perfect selves and since that cannot be possible, even on earth, for we are all the same and equal, in eternity and on earth, they separated from even the normal insane world and live in their own more insane world.
All mental illness, normal or abnormal, is pursuit of special self via separation. All mentally ill people desire superior selves and separate from other people, so as to go maintain their false superior selves. They would rather be alone, and keep their false big self than return to other people and accept our equal unified self.
(RD Laing made psychotics out as mystics and Thomas Tzas denied the reality of mental illness. Both were right and wrong; the mentally ill rejected the extant world and replaced it with his own inventions and defends that world, an illusion. It is an illusion for it is defended with fear. The real is not defended with fear and anger. Thomas Tzas is wrong in saying that mental illness is a myth; people do have mental illness and need to be healed, not through medications but through changing their thinking patterns.)
Mental disorder derives from efforts to have a false perfect self. To be mentally healthy, the individual must give up the wish that led to his mental illness. He must relinquish the desire for a special self and must stop the desire for separation. He must accept that God created him and that he did not create himself. He must give up his childish separated self, the self he invented to replace the self God created for him, the holy, unified self. He must give up the separated self concept and its self image; he must give up his ego and personality and accept the Christ self.

While still in the world of space, time and matter, it is impossible to entirely give up the separated special self and still live in this world. This world is a place of separation and specialness and those who live here must have separated selves. The most that one can do is have a normal special separated self, that is, attain normal state, normal insanity.
If you think that you have a separated self, as you must do if you are on earth, and then use it to love all people. When one uses ones ego, false as the ego may be, to love other egos, one is normal. One feels some peace and happiness. One attains what Bahaullah called the less peace. One is at the gate of heaven (Dante’s purgatory).
The lesser peace is not the same as what the Iranian mystic called the greater peace. The greater people lie only in heaven, in the totally unified world of spirit. There are no forms in heaven, so that is out of the question in the world of the here and now.
We are currently in form and that is okay. Just use your form, use your ego and body to love other children of God who also believe that they are in forms.
This means changing your pattern of thinking, from desiring special separated self to desiring unified equal self. It means stopping the defense of a special superior self. It means defending the unified, same and equal self. You give up defending your wished for ego ideal and now defend our equal self.
Though in reality, truth does not need defense to be true, but in as much as you denied it and defend the false, you must change and now defend the truth. You must defend your real self, our unified equal self.
At all times, you must see yourself as equal with all people and defend that fact, rather than defend the illusion of your superior separate self. When you consistently defend union, equality and work for our mutual common interests, have what Adler called social interests; when you forgive, love and serve all humanity, you would experience peace and happiness. If in addition, you practice meditation, you would experience what Helen Schucman called Holy Instant, what I have been calling unified state. This experience is a bit of heaven while one is still on earth. Brother Jesus called it bringing the kingdom of God, the kingdom of peace and happiness to the world of space, time and matter.
I am your ancient brother, Thomas, who has returned to teach a skeptical world that God really exists. To understand skeptical persons, he himself was a skeptical person. If you think that you are a doubting person, I am the most doubting person on earth. I considered any non-scientific notion idiocy. Then I practiced forgiveness and love and meditated and experienced a world that no one can explain to you.
Forgive and love all, affirm our sameness and equality, work for social interest and then see whether your life would not be more peaceful and happy.


Western psychiatry correctly defines mental disorders but does not understand their true causes and their true cures. Whereas neuroscience is correct in studying the biological correlations in mental disorders, the cure for mental disorders does not lie in ingesting medications.
If you have mental disorders, by all means take the medications your psychiatrist prescribes for you. You temporarily need them. When a person is in intense anxiety, he probably needs his anxiolytics to calm his over heated nervous system down; when a person is in florid mania, he probably needs his lithium to calm down his excited nerves; when a person is schizophrenic and talking to himself, he probably needs his neuroleptic medications to reduce the voices he hears; when a person is depressed, has beat himself down through depressive thinking, and no longer finds interests in the activities of daily living, such as work, schooling and play, his body is probably producing less serotonin and he probably needs his serotonin reuptake blockers to feel good for a while.
After the body has been calmed, someone ought to teach the mentally ill person to correct his thinking pattern, to go from special separated to equal unified thinking and behaving.
Mental health lies in changing ones thinking and behaving patterns. Cognitive behavior therapy seems the best means for curing mental disorders. Medications are, at best, adjunct therapy.
In the final analysis, mental disorder is thinking and behavior that says that one is special and separated from the whole, God and other parts of the whole, people; mental health is thinking and behavior that affirms our union and equality.
This is not how Western psychiatry conceptualizes mental disorder, but it is how mental disorder is. Psychiatry will, in time, come around to accepting it, for truth cannot be denied forever.
As I see it, the mentally ill person confronted a self and world that he judges as meaningless and purposeless. He does not like the world his eyes show him. He rejects the self and world and invents an alternative self and world and defends them and tries to make them real in his awareness. His new self and world are not real, they are illusions. They have to be defended to seem real. He fears their demise. Escape into ego idealism is not the solution to the problems of this world. What needs to be done is to scientifically study the self. We must cool headedly study the separated self, how it came into being and its nature.
In this paper, I have begun the effort to understand the separated self and how it thinks. I have posited that our real self is unified self and that unified self is spirit, not matter. I pointed out that in this world unified self thinks in social interest lines, it works for common good. I know that my thesis is difficult for the scientifically trained to accept. Let us then call it heuristic and study it. Of course, we must also study the biology, chemistry and physics of thinking and behavior.


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December 12, 2005

The ideas in this paper are elaborated on in my book: Real Self Psychology.

Posted by Administrator at December 13, 2005 05:27 AM


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