why people don’t talk about “mental illness”

this is a guest post by one of my twitter friends, the barking unicorn.

“the only normal people are the ones you don’t know very well,” said alfred adler, a colleague of sigmund freud.

“most people live in a myth and grow violently angry if anyone dares to tell them the truth about themselves,” said robert anton wilson, the devoutly agnostic author of the illuminatus trilogy and many other books that have been banned.

there you have it: people don’t talk about nuttiness because they’re afraid that their experience with it will be noticed. they avert their eyes from nuts because, to every single one of us, a nut is a mirror. they don’t do anything about nuttiness because to do something about a problem is to admit you’re afraid you have it or will have it. so precious little gets done about nuttiness.

if you’ve stopped being afraid of your nuttiness then you probably want to see something more get done about it. that’s not going to happen until more people stop being afraid of their nuttiness. there are a few ways to show people that nuttiness is nothing to be afraid of:

lead by example. let your nuttiness out in non-threatening ways. i introduce myself as “the barking unicorn” and nothing bad happens. (i don’t actually bark unless asked for a demonstration.) i casually mention my past lives and don’t spill food down my shirt. people are reassured by such things. they open up and reveal their nuttiness to me, and to themselves. then we can start doing something about it.

let normal people see you hanging out with nuts. don’t hurry past on the street; stop and get to know them, and don’t mind who sees you doing so. i spent half an hour on denver’s 16th street mall discussing deep dharma with bill, a red-eyed scarecrow who swilled hot sauce right out of the bottle and let it dribble into his dirty-grey beard. you know what? a few other people stopped to join us, because if i wasn’t afraid of bill then it must have been all right. “tip this guy, he’s a holy man,” i barked, and they did!

take a nut to work; if your enlightened employer allows dogs and invader, mind-controlling space monster “cats” to wander around the office, he shouldn’t have a problem with nuts. if this practice needs to be established, talk to hr about sponsoring just one bring your nut to work day, for the favorable publicity the company can get. “look, we can attract more and better qualified job candidates if they know they don’t have to leave their nuts at home.”

most importantly, stop treating nuttiness as if it’s a problem. that’s where most nut advocates go wrong. they draw attention to the downside of nuttiness: chronic unemployment; homelessness; alcoholism and drug addiction; physical harm done and suffered by nuts, etc. well, normal people don’t want anything to do with problems, especially other people’s problems. (normal people “aren’t nuts,” remember?) they want solutions to their problems. give them one in the form of nuts, and they’ll give money to support nuts.
spirituality is a popular solution to many problems today. people are searching high and low, and paying good money, for the key to getting in touch with their higher selves, or some higher power. basically, they’re not happy with the results of what they’ve been told to do all their lives, and they’re desperately looking for different things to do. doing things differently is a nut’s forte. play to that strength instead of the weaknesses of nuts. history proves that nuts make good money when marketed properly.

the oracle at delphi made a mint, and she was high as a kite constantly. nobody could figure out a damned thing she said, but people came from miles around and stood in line to hear her spout nuttiness.

rasputin acted nutty all the time, even letting food and drink dribble into his beard just like bill. but the russian imperial family kissed his ass.

drukpa kunley became tibet’s patron saint, and never lacked for booze or sex, even though he was nutty as a fruitcake. to this day, he is revered as “the divine madman.”

native americans revered “sacred crazy people”. their nuts were fed, clothed, excused from almost anything, and consulted on important tribal affairs.

there’s a whole school of shambhala buddhism called “crazy wisdom”. bone up on it. find the crazy wisdom in the nuts you want to help, and market it. people will pay for any kind of wisdom.

i needn’t mention any contemporary western rock stars, televangelists, or political leaders. they’re all egregiously nuts and people throw money at them like rice at newlyweds. it’s all in the marketing.

so that’s why people don’t want to talk about mental “illness” and what to do about it. if you believe me, then you can do something with what i’ve explained and that will make you happy. if you don’t believe me, then you just wasted your time and that will make you unhappy.

now you have to decide whether to be nuts enough to choose to be unhappy.

the barking unicorn
“your work is to discover your world and then
with all your heart give yourself to it.” – buddha.
mine is to help you.

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