. . can you take it?
We all know
the story: a person is successful,
gets along well with others, looks fine to everyone around them,
get respect from their peers, works great at their jobs . . . but
a little beneath the surface, maybe things are actually a little
less than perfect . . .
of our daring, dapper, and daunting mission at LiveReal - specifically,
here in the Psychology Arena - is "the fight for sanity."
brings up the question - what, exactly, is this "sanity"
we're fighting for?
we went to the professionals. After all, psychology
is in the "sanity" business, and the concept of sanity
is the ground and basis for the entire discipline, so the professionals
must have a really good handle on what they're working for . . .
any rate, if living the good life has something to do with sanity,
we figured it was time to dive in and look under every rock, and
see what we could find . . . .
What is "Sanity"?
Something that just about every one of us thinks we have.
Something other people seem to have, until you really get to know
Webster's Dictionary: "sanity: soundness of mind";
"sane: mentally sound and healthy; also sensible, rational."
Something we instinctively, already understand, we just have a hard
time trying to spell it out.
E) Something we think we instinctively,
automatically understand, but when we do try to spell it out, we
realize we might not understand quite as much as we think.
It's something we often see the lack of, clearly, in others, but
rarely in ourselves.
defined by "fitting in," "herd behavior", or
simply conforming to the behavior of whatever people you find yourself
with. (e.g. a "sane" person
living in a cannibal community, is a cannibal; a "sane"
person living in Germany
in mid-1900's Germany followed Hitler, etc.)
"What passes for sanity is an agreed-on
form of insanity, which is an attempt to make life work out by legislating
ideals and imposing values in our minds and selling them to other
DSM-IV (the "Bible" of mainstream psychology):
(take a deep breath)
". . . a clinically significant behavioral or psychological
syndrome or pattern that occurs in an individual and that is associated
with present distress (e.g., a painful symptom) or disability (i.e.,
impairment in one or more important areas of functioning) or with
a significantly increased risk of suffering death, pain, disability,
or an important loss of freedom. In addition, this syndrome or pattern
must not be merely an expectable and culturally sanctioned response
to a particular event, for example, the death of a loved one. Whatever
its original cause, it must currently be considered (by who?)
a manifestation of a behavioral, psychological, or biological dysfunction
in the individual."
( - all clear now?)
that most people have, with a few exceptions.
that very few people actually have.
thinking and acting the way that those in positions of power want
you to think and act.
developmental:the ability to successfully master the
challenges of growth and psychological development that life throws
at you constantly from birth on.
whatever your local psychologist, based on their personal opinion,
says it is.
whatever the most influential psychologist says it is, based on
their either their personal opinion or valid scientific research.
that is strengthened through entering therapy.
that is lost through entering therapy.
not making waves (also known as "not rocking the boat";
see also "not questioning the system set up by those in authority")
is nothing more than whatever cultural biases define it to be.
is something timeless and independent of whatever is happening with
culture, trends, and social fashion.
defined by the ability to love.
the ability to direct your mind, emotions, actions and imagination
towards a positive end.
It's something that can only be defined
"subjectively," although certain "objective"
criteria are helpful in figuring out as well.
It's a product of knowing how to deal with
something spiritual, such as the measure of one's understanding
of and relationship to "God"
you do not serve God,
then the mind will not serve you." (Leonard
It's a quality of character,
like courage or cowardice, that becomes evident by certain signs,
signals, and gestures; but because it is a word and concept,
it can act as a signpost to this "quality," but can never
be more than that.
It's a prerequisite to genuine success
It's something that is strengthened or weakened
according to how you live your
It's something that's completely relative:
you're probably more sane than some of the people you know,
and less sane than some.
It's something that is not relative.
It's something that is common, easy to achieve,
and requires no deliberate effort.
It's something that is rare, difficult to
achieve, and requires deliberate effort.
It's something with a direct, parallel relationship
to awareness, and an inverse relationship to unconsciousness.
It's acting in a way that completely conforms
to people's expectations and desires, so they have no reason to
object to you.
It's a certain state of consciousness that
is rooted in the truth.
It's knowing who you really are and being
true to yourself, no matter what anyone else does.
It's a state of being completely awake.
It's what's left after you back away from
It's understanding and being in touch with
All of the above
None of the above
Some of the above.
This is a quiz that, whether you're aware of it or not,
you are, in a way, kind of already taking;
You will probably be graded, but may not be;
we're not sure when, how, or if you'll ever find out what your grade;
and we might know who will or won't be grading your papers,
but then again, we may be wrong.)
Appendix I: More Questions
So who is really "sane"?
What makes people lose their "sanity"?
How can people stay sane?
If someone is less than completely "sane," how do they
If someone is sane, how do they not go crazy?
If the people around you are not sane, what can you do about it?
If life itself isn't sane, what's the best way to live it?
- these are some of the questions your trusty
LiveReal Editors are still doggedly pursuing. If we settle the matter
once and for all, we'll be sure to let you know.
In the meantime, we recommend checking out some
as well as the ever-stellar LiveReal Products.
Appendix II: Party Topic
If you weren't sane, how would you know?
your comments, questions, answers: firstname.lastname@example.org