Who’s mad now?

Sep 2, 2020 by

Who’s mad now?

I recently came across a quote from Abba Anthony of the Desert Fathers and decided to put it up on Facebook with a comment – and got some interesting responses.

My facebook post was this: “Abba Anthony said, “A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, ‘You are mad, you are not like us.’”

So, who’s mad, and who’s not mad? Am I mad to believe in a divine presence in which everything exists? Some scientists now say there an underlying matrix of information that holographically creates the universe as we know it. Seems just a difference in terminology to me! Am I mad to think that in some way, through our own individualised bit of consciousness, we co-create with the underlying divine informational matrix?
Am I mad to think that if we, as humanity, focus long and hard for the next few years, we can bring about a better, more healthy and harmonious environment and avert some of the possible climate crisis? Am I mad to believe that cultivating right relationships and goodwill can change things?
Or am I just an optimist!”

It’s a relevant question, which will be played out in the future. Am I just an optimist to believe that, like Julian of Norwich, ‘All shall be well and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well’? Or is it that my optimism, with that of everyone else thinking in that vein, will actually change the way things happen? Can ecological disaster be averted? The direction that both science and spirituality are heading is that we are a part of an interconnected whole, a cosmic matrix that we could call the Divine, and that consciousness plays a part in co-creating the future within that matrix. Our consciousness, the way we think, our attitudes and convictions and behaviour affect the morphic information field (mind of God?) from which reality emanates.

I had a brief exchange with a fellow clergyman in the comments on the post. It shows that many clergy are beginning to think outside the theological box. It went like this:

Him: Everything we see is a portrait of the Divine. But to use the word ‘everything’ is slightly misleading. There are no things out there. It is all in our consciousness

Me: Are we all part of one consciousness, called ‘God’ by some like us?

Him: We ourselves are not divine life or the Source and Ground of all life, we nevertheless know that our life and being is not separate from God’s life and being. We are one with it, but we are not IT.

Me: A fine distinction, ‘We are not IT’. Do you mean as in a drop of water is not the ocean, a molecule of oxygen is not the atmosphere?

Him: Yes…but we are always going to struggle to find the right words or illustration to describe this. ‘The only things we perceive are our perceptions’ (George Berkeley)

Another friend wrote this:

There is a great bit in one of Kurt Vonnegut’s books, Breakfast of Champions, where the main character, a down and out science fiction writer called Kilgore Trout, goes into a public toilet and sees scrawled on the wall ‘What is the Purpose of Mankind?’ He scrabbles around for something to write with and finally finds a dead match, with which he scrawls : ‘To be the eyes and ears of the creator of the universe, you idiot’.”

And finally, a relative wrote this: You are mad Don MacGregor but sometimes mad men make a lot of sense.”

Well, in my madness, as the world seems to descend into chaos, my hope and belief is that this is the opportunity and preparation for humanity to wake up and see that the only way forward is through mutual understanding, goodwill towards all, and cooperation in building a sustainable and compassionate future for all. Hold that vision, and we change the world.

P.S. I am not meaning to be disrespectful to anyone who has had mental health issues in using the term ‘mad’. In this context it is being used simply as a term for someone who ‘sees things differently’.

Don MacGregor

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