We will make a small break in chronology and return back to Russia in the 1990s later on.
For now I want to focus on madness again. It is all related, everything is connected, because in order to really know how to be properly mad, one needs to have gone through dramatic events: childhood drama, traumatic event in one’s life, big unusual happenings in a country where one lives. I had experienced all of that, and therefore, I understand madness perhaps better than anyone else. Real, beautiful madness is when you become saner than the rest of human population.
I also don’t look at it anymore from the perspective of mental health narrative. I had to exit this discourse, because staying there is a sure way to not only get stuck in it, but also never recover from it.
People do get unwell, people do experience problems, bad things do happen in life, but I believe that with the right approach, and determination, and sometimes simple will-power, one can always get better. The mental health narrative takes the will-power away from the individual, and the only way to reclaim it back is to say ‘fuck you’ and reclaim your own power back.
If you are truly, beautifully mad, you are a genius. You are a shaman, you are creative and you can achieve more and better things than all others, suffering from mediocre thinking, narrow-minded approach to life, and inability to grow beyond fakeness. Fake people are all around us, just have a good look: they think about which next car to purchase, how to get a rich husband, how to take advantage of a vulnerable person. Their mind is not a great mind, when they laugh at the expense on another, when the highlight of their day is to read a dirty celebrity story, when they spend the whole day on posting angry comments to a person who does better, and well, looks better.
The same kind of people judge you if you are stuck in mental health narrative. It doesn’t matter if you ended up in a psychiatric hospital one day. So what? You can always get out and resume your life, and make it even better. If you can’t exit the psychiatric narrative, then you have to outsmart the narrative. It is simply stupid to think in our modern world that medicine is all shit, and refuse all sorts of medication when it can help.
But nothing will happen if you constantly play on pity, and wait for a shaman (or donor) to come and help you out. You are the shaman, you just don’t know it yet. You have to learn how to become one yourself, and go even further in that ancient wisdom, as we live here, in the West, and material comfort does matter, and it is nice and rewarding to have a good job, and do well in other aspects of one’s life. Being a Buddha under the tree is just a concept, a concept for someone who doesn’t embrace the dance of life. If you dance, you dance with spirituality in a beautiful, sensual way. When you know that you are spiritual but can also afford a nice pair of shoes.
I learned shamanism all by myself. There was no one to save me, and so I had to save myself. And if I didn’t do it, then I wouldn’t become a proper modern shaman. You do need to become ‘mad’, but you and only you can learn how to use that gift, how to protect it, and how to stay with it grounded. Shamanism is real, but so is witchcraft, and it’s not the ones who are busy making stupid spells you should watch out for. Bad witches are all the people who bring you down, when they make degrading comments, when they say something nasty, when they try to reassure you that something is wrong with you, even when you are better, and do better than them. They want to see you fall, and this is what bad witches are all about: to derive ill energy for short gratification of ego from the misery of someone’s else life.
Yes, I had to learn it all by myself. I lived through it (the initiation), and I also studied. I studied all religions, beliefs, and ancient wisdom. I consulted I-ching oracle, I learned Tarot, I studied Kabbalah, I read about Islam. I studied the Bible, and went to Christian churches. I am a combination of all different beliefs now, where I borrowed only what really works, and what helps me in a daily reality. And I believe only in what I can see, feel and experience as real, not when someone tells me: ‘because it is so’.
Leave the average, the mundane to fight about which religion is the best, or which culture, or language. Let them in their small, boring, not interesting, unkind world. Get out and do better. Read great books, go to the best theater performances, listen to the most beautiful music, try different amazing tasty food, start writing, go and dance. Don’t listen to their opinions. They don’t have the same gift as you, and therefore, they can never get to your level.
True madness is a gift. I am not talking about ‘psychosis’ induced by drugs (that’s simply drug addiction) or being stuck in some sort of eternal depression for the rest of one’s life.
No, I am talking about what they call sometimes ‘enlightenment’. It is given only to a really few, and it has to be given. You don’t learn it, and do run from those who tell you that they will teach you how to achieve it. Most of them are fakes, as the majority of all self-proclaimed spiritual gurus. Ask to see the certificate from a psychiatric hospital first, in order to take such a ‘guru’ seriously, or proof of some mad experience. Ask them to demonstrate the experience of suffering.
And so, yes, suffering, bad things do happen, and you can learn how to live through them, and how to live well.
I was ‘mad’, and now I enjoy my sanity of seeing outside of purely material level. I also lived well in 4 different countries (in two of them – twice), I speak 4 languages fluently, I have a PhD, I have a great job, I raise a beautiful son, and take care of my beautiful cat. I have 5 diplomas from different fields of studies from different countries, I worked in 6 different domains, in different countries and languages, I fell in love and out, and saw and experienced more than the average population.
But I am also yes, different. I speak to the universe in a different language because the universe chose me to speak to, in return. I hear birds, and understand their language, I make friends with random cats, I dance with feathers, and I see occasional angels. I met the devil, and I saw manifestations of God.
But on a daily life I also spend time on thinking about nice food in the evening, a glass of great wine on Saturday afternoon, which next book to read, which music concert to go to, where to buy my next coat, and which conditioner to try next from the Body shop.
On the other hand, I also think about when to start learning my fifth and sixth languages (German and Italian), how to become a professional dancer as a hobby, what to write as a next book, when to re-learn how to play piano, and how to help those in read need. I donate to charity, and I visit patients in psychiatric hospitals, bringing them beauty treats.
True madness is a dance with God and Devil simultaneously, and one either can dance (and get better and better in dancing), or one cannot, because he or she is faking it.
I like people who can dance in life. Real, sincere, genuine people. I like cleaners enjoying their work, making simple delicious meals and knowing how to love. I like academics who want to transfer knowledge and help students, instead of being busy with building their own academic name. I like farmers who care after earth and raise their children with kindness. I like writers who fell and got up again to write amazing books. I like musicians who had the unfortunate fate to be ridiculed by the press, but then came back stronger, better-looking and happier. I like people who know how to read books, how to speak beautiful language, how to value friendship, and how to wish the best for a person, a creature, a neighbor.