Outside the Asylum

Sometimes the world makes so much sense that I feel as though I must be going mad.

Like, today, a black cat didn’t cross my path. It stopped in front of me, rolled over, and let me rub its belly.

I’m following this feeling down the rabbit hole.

Someone asked me recently, what’s my Plan B? What if this doesn’t work, what I’m trying to do?

The honest answer is that I don’t know how to answer that. No, I don’t have a Plan B. Practically speaking, I’m spending the last of the money in my savings account going on this trip. I’ve got a feeling like I’ll need to come back and do concrete work on society someday soon, maybe in a year or two. I do have a sense of urgency. But beyond all of that, what if this doesn’t work? I’m not sure how it can’t.

I’m doing this, and it’s either working or I’ll die. And even if it kills me, that doesn’t mean it didn’t work. The answer is built into the question. The outcome is the process.

It’s like going on a pilgrimage to wherever it is you end up. You’re ready to start the pilgrimage whenever it is that it starts. It starts from wherever you are when it starts. It lasts until it’s over. Maybe, it’s never over.

Everything makes so much sense that I must be absolutely fucking bonkers. And, in fact, that makes perfect sense. That this is the only thing in the universe that has ever felt like sanity.

I’m reminded of a Douglas Adams quote (of course). It’s from a character called Wonko the Sane, who has finally walled in the Asylum. What he’s built is a room. The room contains grass, a bench, a tree, maybe. Within that room, you are Outside the Asylum. Everything outside of that room, the entire rest of the world, is the Asylum.

Wonko the Sane never ventures back into the Asylum now. If ever he is tempted, he reads the sign above the doorway:

Hold stick near centre of its length. Moisten pointed end in mouth. Insert in tooth space, blunt end next to gum. Use gentle in-out motion.

“It seemed to me,” said Wonko the Sane, “that any civilization that had so far lost its head as to need to include a set of detailed instructions for use in a packet of toothpicks, was no longer a civilization in which I could live and stay sane.”

When I talk to radical, spiritual, intuitive people, people whose entire conception of the universe, whose entire way of living life, whose entire identities, are by most people’s standards insane, I feel that I have finally stepped out of the Asylum. I’m going to live here for a while, knowing the Asylum is right outside. I’m going to figure out what it is about this place that I’m at that makes it all make sense. And, hopefully, I’m going to try to figure out how to go back for the rest of the Asylum, what words to put over the door that will make them want to come outside with me.


1 thought on “Outside the Asylum

  1. ❤ keep writing.

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