The Love of Sanity

The love of sanity is an endearing quality and almost addictive to any being who shares it with another. There is nothing so uplifting as to discover that your perception of the obvious, of the ridiculous, of the humorous in the wacky world in which we live, is understood by another. It beats sympathy by a country mile to have someone with whom you can agree on how silly this or that aberration is.

The heretical notion crosses my mind that this might be a sand trap. If it is, it is the trickiest one yet. The love of sanity, itself, contributing to aberration? How could this be? Let us examine this.

In my experience, which is the only measure I can bring you, there have been many people who were by nature unmotivated by the compulsion to differentiate between the sane and the unsane. They seemed to have a benevolent willingness to experience the noise and confusion that other beings brought to play; and their tolerance extended to talking their way through the catastrophes which failures in sanity brought to those they knew. Often they were not even especially thrown off by catastrophes; not dramatically effective about rescuing people; not intensely motivated to undo the wrongs in the world or breakthrough to the other side of some recurring aberrant condition in humanity's drama. You would think they were completely apathetic yet they also managed to live lives of one sort or another, adequately managed, not too interesting but well enough along. I have often thought of these people as benevolently apathetic, thinking somewhat smugly that I had penetrated the veneer of their social facade and spotted the true business of their souls. But this may have been self-deception on my part.

The one person who is always ready to boost the team, and every one on it, regardless of their position in the team hierarchy, is the cheerleader. To her, the morale of the team depends on her, and it is all that matters. She does not hinge her care on winning or losing; she understands at some grass-roots level that if she cares for her people the winning will take care of itself. There is a lesson to be learned here. It is this, I think just now: the love of sanity can be suborned into a judgment. When it is thus used it becomes, like so many other things, a filter of expectation; through it one allows some realities and not others. It is not therefore truly what it seems; the first exercise of the love of sanity must be the love of confronting the actual considerations present, and its first target must be the self; without this it is just another way to be right at others' expense. There is the real reason that cheerleaders are beautiful; when they chose that mode, they are willing, in a sense, to contribute to who is there before them, regardless of their considerations exactly. Of course, some cheerleaders are more beautiful in this special way than others....

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