When I first read Eckhart Tolle referring to the fact that there is so much insanity in humanity’s behaviors, I thought, “Hmm, insanity! That’s a strong word.”
Eckhart was referring to the massacres of entire ethnic groups, the hunger-plagued countries and continents, the abuse of nature and fellow Earth inhabitants, that are still going on to this day. Yes, these are insane deeds.
Our creaturehood does not have to play out in such an ugly way. Imbued in any creaturehood, there is celebration and creation; there is deep reverence and awe for nature and life.
Then a few years later, my teacher Barbara Emrys mentioned in a sitting, “Yes, it will come to this point. You are the most sober, awake person in a drunken party. Would you rather be drunk?”
Barbara was likening the unconscious state of living to the drunken state, giving oneself a life devoid of self-love, devoid of recognition of our innate grandness that is one with life itself; the fact that we are the life force itself that animates a flesh body, that we alone have the power to give this human being love and joy.
Living amidst drunken, insane people who have no ability to choose true goodness for themselves, who nevertheless are doing their best, choosing to become wakeful, again and again, is sanity.
“Happiness is sanity. Suffering is insanity.” – Barbara Emrys
One warm, bright summer noon, a few of us walked silently through a courtyard to a restaurant after the class with Barbara, after our revolting but liberating class, to say the least. Golden sunshine graciously splashed onto the ground. I had to tell her this, so I said to my teacher, “I feel so sober.”
She looked at me, and looked to the front of us, and hugged me and said, “Good, honey, good.” I knew she was happy to have a student that began to get it deeply.
Furthermore, the student aspires to live it out deeply in each fiber of her being.
Choose to live wakefully.
Open your eyes, my dear friend. And see. And see.