Most people won’t argue the fact that the majority of societies on this planet are sick. From rampant pollution to the comodification of all things. From greed driven fractional-reserve banking to profitable war.
From paranoid xenophobia to terrorist-generating drone strikes. From billions of people suffering from propagandized Stockholm syndrome to unsustainable and tyrannical state-driven politics. From rampant homelessness to overfilled, for-profit prisons.
From 4 Difficult Truths that Will Shock You into Awareness to 4 Hard Truths that Will Jolt You Awake. The list goes on and on. It’s a veritable smorgasbord of ill-health.
The misery of it all is that we are more or less aware of this sickness, but we don’t know what to do about it. We see how rocking the boat just agitates everyone on board and causes more waves that nobody wants to deal with.
But there comes a time when we say “F$%k it! Screw everyone’s delicate sensibilities. I’m going to do something “crazy” in this sick society that doesn’t realize it’s a crashing plane. I’m going to put the oxygen mask on myself and lead by example.”
1.) Eccentricity is essential toward curtailing conformity:
“In this age, the mere example of nonconformity, the mere refusal to bend knee to custom, is itself a service. Precisely because the tyranny of opinion is such as to make eccentricity a reproach, it is desirable, in order to break through that tyranny, that people should be eccentric. Eccentricity has always abounded when and where strength of character has abounded; and the amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor, and moral courage which it contained. That so few now dare to be eccentric, marks the chief danger of the time.” ~ John Stuart Mill
Being healthy in an unhealthy society necessitates eccentricity. Sometimes in order to think outside the box you’ve got to flatten the box. Sometimes you’ve got to rise above the ill-health of it all and shout Stockholm-syndrome-shattering diatribes into a bullhorn through a gasmask while doing pirouettes on the Wall Street Bull.
So crucify conformity by capitalizing on your quirks. Embrace your own weirdness. Being eccentric is being interesting, and what makes you interesting makes you valuable.
Especially in a sick society with backwards values. Be extravagant. Be boisterous. Be a measure of health despite the sick society. It will drive them crazy.
Like Edith Sittwell said, “I am not eccentric. It’s just that I am more alive than most people. I am an unpopular electric eel set in a pond of catfish.”
2.) Flexible questioning is healthier than relying on fixed answers:
“Our highest truths are but half-truths. Think not to settle down forever in any truth. Make use of it as a tent in which to pass the summer night, but build no house of it or it will be your tomb.” ~ The Earl of Balfour
The badge of (dis)honor worn by a profoundly sick society is “having all the answers.” Ironically, a sick society believes it is the best society. It raises and praises its flags with fierce idolatry. It wields its nationalism like a bludgeon, clubbing the rest of the world’s nations with its xenophobia and fixed thinking.
The only thing thicker than its patriotic caprice is its utter obedience to authority. The authority spews out “answers” and the hooked-on-having-masters populace, the longing-to-be-ruled statists (or royalists), soak it up without question. But an unquestioned truth makes the whole world ignorant.
Unless, people learn to question authority. Which can, and will, make you seem crazy to those hooked on the answers. But the only way an “answer” can become prestigious and valid is if is put through rigorous scrutiny and circumspect inspection.
Otherwise it’s just the blind (conman) leading the blind (bamboozled). As Bertrand Russell said, “Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.”
3.) The heart is greater than money:
“I found most of my friends quite content to be used as tax-material, even though the sums of money taken from them were employed against their own beliefs and interests. They had lived so long under the system of using others, and then in their turn being used by them, that they were like hypnotized subjects, and looked on this subjecting and using of each other as a part of the necessary and even Providential order of things. The great machine had taken possession of their souls.” ~ Auberon Herbert
In this world of competitive one-upmanship, it’s “crazy” to have someone come along with the understanding that cooperation is primary and competition is secondary. People get all bent out of shape when you suggest interdependence is healthier than independence is healthier than codependence. Especially when it comes to money.
This is because, in a sick society, people are conditioned to hoard things. People are brainwashed into competing for material possession, usually at the expense of other people. People are soft-wired to be codependent on an unhealthy state, which creates unhealthy codependent relationships.
To include financial relationships. It’s a vicious cycle that only ends when the “crazy” individual rises up with a full heart and turns the table on their own codependence, thus becoming independent in order to self-actualize interdependence.
4.) Being contrary humbles the powers that be:
“We have lived our lives by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. We have been wrong. We must change our lives so that it will be possible to live by the contrary assumption, that what is good for the world will be good for us. And that requires that we make the effort to know the world and learn what is good for it.” ~Wendell Berry
There is a wealth of health to be found in contrariness. Not to mention, the pleasure gained (Which I “contrarily” just mentioned).
Being contrary in a sick society is being audaciously exemplary. It’s being a black sheep and proud of it. It’s rising up from the bottom of the pile and pulling the too-comfortable one who’s on top face-first into the mud.
It’s kneecapping high horses. It’s burning flags and bibles and Korans. It’s melting down thrones and crown jewels and polishing turds with them. It’s “climbing the highest mountain and punching the face of god.”
The profoundly sick society has survived for far too long, and the trick-doctors, the contrary shamans, the sacred clowns, have had enough. They are the ones “crazy” enough to imagine a new world. They are the ones contrarian enough to usher it in. Their contrariness upsets all apple carts in order to reveal the rotten apples hidden under the shiny Monsanto veneer.
5.) Dangerous freedom is healthier than peaceful slavery:
“When freedom is outlawed only outlaws will be free.” ~ Anonymous
You can tell a sick society by the level of its blind servitude. The sick society is subservient and dependent upon the state.
Born into bondage, the people in a sick society rarely achieve the level of self-awareness necessary to question their chains. They are too enthralled by the bells and whistles of the man-machine, too caught up in the nine-to-five daily grind, too enraptured by bipartisan claptrap and state-driven propaganda, to notice the cowardly sickness at the heart of the conquer-consume-destroy-repeat lifestyle.
In short: their peaceful slavery has made them apathetically content.
This is precisely why freedom is dangerous. It’s not a given. It takes hard work despite those who are lazy. It takes getting uncomfortable despite the comfortable. It takes being healthy despite those who are well-adjusted to a sick society. It takes being “crazy” despite the all too passively content status quo.
At the end of the day, the sick society will just keep getting sicker. Those well-adjusted to the sick society will just keep getting more adjusted to it until the world is no longer able to support that level of sickness. But by then it will be too late for all of us.
So this is a call to arms to all those who are willing to be crazy despite the tyranny of normal, to be rebels despite empire, to be round pegs despite their square holes, to be black sheep mocking both sheep and shepherd, to be healthy despite a profoundly sick society.