Have you experienced that?
You would be going about your day’s work, sometimes absentmindedly worrying about everything that’s left to do, or about some problem that has been haggling at you for long.
Perhaps, and often it happens this way, you may not be thinking of these at all.
You were simply immersed in the moment, doing what you wanted, thinking of nothing else. Or maybe an innocent question popped up, that might have answered every question you ever had.
And then, somehow, you saw or read or heard something that did precisely that.
It’s so magical, and it fills me with so much wonder when that happens. Just a moment in a multitude of moments – yet it held a beautiful rapture that showed everything in a different light.
Maybe there was a greater intelligence – a wiser being dwelling inside me who drew all that to me so I would see them. Maybe they just happened to be by random chance, and had nothing to do with me – it’s rather selfish to assume that the world revolves around me, after all.
But whatever they were, I was glad for them.
Sometimes they made me feel less alone, and more a child, hence happier.
There was a time when I took ‘crazy’ as an insult, a hurtful word that was often hurled at me. I didn’t know then that some of the wisest and bravest people in history were branded mad by people who just couldn’t understand them. While they were called mad for reasons entirely different to mine, it still arose from the society being unable to grasp their level of understanding of the machinations of the world.
For instance, ‘Naranath Branthan’ (The madman of Naranam) is an interesting character in Malayalam folklore. He often behaved oddly, causing the locals to label him mad. He had a very interesting pastime, which was to roll rocks up a hillock and then roll it back down the slope. He would laugh and cheer as it sped down the very slope that he brought it up over. He would later explain that he sought to show the vicious circle of life – the ups and downs, how people tried so hard to lift their souls but ended up throwing it to the rocks on a whim.
Lord Siva is another character from Indian mythology who could fit perfectly into the category ‘mad’ but somehow he isn’t described as such. He is the ascetic who wanders through the graves, companion to dark beasts and dead spirits. But he is revered as the ‘Adiyogi’ in yogic tradition, for his supreme control of his emotions and his austerity.
One could quote so many examples – Darwin, Copernicus, Leonardo da Vinci – brilliant people who were sadly misunderstood, who were branded heretics or simply mocked by those too blind to behold their complex minds.
I’m grateful. I would not have learned so much about people or the world in general, if I had not heard that taunt.
It doesn’t hurt me any more either.
For I found something that truly resonated with me.