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The Metaphors We Choose - "Crazy"


Today I want to break down another life metaphor that we commonly find ourselves trapped in. It's the metaphor of "being crazy". And whether you've ever felt crazy, known someone that seemed crazy or been in a situation that felt crazy, you'll appreciate the little journey you're about to take with me.

I feel that it's useful in life to recognize that life is a BIG metaphor, and when we find ourselves feeling stuck or trapped in some form, the solutions and answers we seek are often in the metaphors we find ourselves in. In this instance, I want to focus on "being crazy", because there are a lot of times in life when we label ourselves or are labeled by others as "crazy", "mad" or "insane". There are also plenty of times in your life when you might be called upon to help someone who feels "crazy", and the only way you're ever going to be able to fill that tall order, is you come to understand the Metaphor of Crazy.

Crazy Type 1 - Disconnected From Reality

Crazy Type 1 - Disconnected From Reality

Crazy Type 2 - Defiant of Reality

Crazy Type 2 - Defiant of Reality

Two Types of Crazy

Now, in order to understand the metaphor, first we must take the time to recognize that we humans have a way of confusing our own language - using words of one meaning to symbolize a completely different meaning that may or may not be related in some ways.

In this case, we have a way of using the word "crazy" to describe both someone with literal mental inabilities or limitations that prevent them from fully connecting back to what the general consensus would deem to be "reality" - though we also use the word "crazy" to describe someone who is willfully defying the agreed upon rules of reality.

This is important because there is a STRONG difference between someone who has been disconnected from reality due to time, age and/or environment - and someone who has purposefully disconnected themselves from reality. The former is usually someone born with social inhibitions or their brain has reached an age or build of toxicity that has prevented it from functioning on the "reality wavelength" any longer. The later is someone who may appear to be eccentric, but whom is fully aware of the implications of the socially accepted "rules of reality", even if they choose to ignore them.


Differences Matter Not

Now, truthfully, the difference between the two types of crazy are really of little importance, because whether the person is literally insane or they have decided to willfully defy the common reality, the metaphor is the same - Disconnect.

Let's look at some expressions that are commonly used to describe someone whom we might consider to be crazy:

  • Mad

  • Batty

  • Nutty

  • Weird

  • Looney

  • Out if it

  • Cracked

  • Bonkers

  • Inhibited

  • Unstable

  • Screwed up

  • Not all there

  • On the fringe

  • Psychopathic

  • Over the edge

  • Off their rocker

  • Out of their mind

  • A few screws loose

  • Touched in the head

  • Fuzzy around the edges

  • Not playing with a full deck

  • Playing without all their marbles

By now, I hope you've noticed the common pattern between all these expressions - they all describe some form of 'disconnection'. If you're fuzzy, there's something that's preventing you from making the 'connection'. If you're out of your mind, then you're no longer connected to it. If you're missing cards from you're deck and you're still trying to play the game, clearly you're in a paradox - because you can't play without all the cards yet you're still playing (which brings up the question, do you really have to have all the cards?).

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Take some time to contemplate these expressions and other sayings that you know of, as they are the key to the metaphor and the metaphor is the key to healing or bettering ones self.

The Key

Just as "the key" is the metaphor for answers, solutions and freedom from limitation - when you feel "crazy", the truth is that you feel disconnected. And not just disconnected from reality - disconnected from yourself.

Being disconnected from the self includes the body and mind, which means that there is disharmony and chaos running rampant throughout your (or someone else's) current experiences. And let's think about that, because Disconnection is a further metaphor that must be explored - what does it mean to be "disconnected"?

Merriam-Webster says it means:

  • Separated
  • Incoherent
  • Disassociated
  • Not Connected
  • Lacking in Cohesion

In these definitions lie the truth - the Metaphor of Insanity is to be Disassociated with reality by force or by choice - to be unconnected from the self, in a way that creates the illusion of a permanent lack of cohesion. Basically - "Sanity" is simply the glue the holds the connection of the body-mind-spirit. When that glue starts to dissolve - so does the connection it created.


The Door

"Without the door, the key is useless"

Which is why I would never leave you without a doorway to venture through. In this instance, it's going to be the door of opportunity to learn to overcome the limitation of insanity. Many people in this world have felt at some point in their lives, that they were going crazy or that someone they new was headed towards mental instability and that can be a scary thing to deal with alone.

If you want to venture into the jungle of the mind-body-spirit alone - I encourage you to follow the metaphors and remember that if you can re-connect what has been disconnected, you and those who have the privilege of your knowledge - will be free from ever worrying about any approaching loss of marbles.

If you realize, like many, that it's not always so easy to get through the experience of eccentricity without some guidance - feel free to contact me anytime.


Paul Richard Kuehn from Udorn City, Thailand on May 18, 2012:

This is a very interesting hub and I like all of the metaphors you use to describe craziness. Another one might be "cuckoo" which I sometimes use. Voted up and sharing.

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