wishing things were different

In many ways we’re taught to be in a constant state of friction with, to be in battle with what is. We’re taught that the way to find happiness or peace is to always be trying to change what is, whether its changing your inner experience or trying to change the world around you.

When we operate from this viewpoint, it puts us in a sense of future, where real freedom or real peace can be found in some time other than now. This leads to our deep rooted belief that to find peace and freedom, we need to change our inner or outer environment.

To tell ourselves that it shouldn’t be the way it is, is a type of insanity … which destabilizes us. It’s Β a kind of insanity to be constantly arguing with what is and thinking it should be different.

Adyashanti from Falling into Grace

Yet we are told this message and act it out every day. We become more “insane” as we reinforce it with striving to achieve new goals, and wanting things to be different.


Because we want to be happy, right?

But the more we strive in this way, the more destabilized we become.

When we stop to pause in our middle ground, we intuitively know that external accomplishments and acquisitions will never bring us what we truly seek. Happiness and peace already lie within us.

I know that as I read Adyashanti’s words about being insane, there is an inner struggle.

My conditioned thinking mind says how this surely can’t be true, and my intuitive heart embraces it with open arms and a knowing loving smile.

happy smileI trust it isn’t the grin of a lunatic …

45 comments on “* Pondering – Are we insane?

  1. Hi Val, I love that photo!!!
    The sociologist in me can’t but say that we need to work towards change as there is such terrible injustice and hardship in the world for those who are vulnerable.
    I don’t think that it is insane to work for a better future for those who are on the margins and facing the abyss.
    Yes, it is insane to always be thinking that if we did this or that that we would find greater happiness in our own lives ~ and thus let the present always pass by without us even noticing.
    I guess the issue is whether or not we should only care about ourselves and whether each individual, no matter how battered, vulnerable and marginalised, is expected to fend for him/herself. I simply can’t agree with the latter.

    Liked by 4 people

    • It does create some inner struggle doesn’t it Jean.
      There’s no right or wrong here. We have the ability to manage and bring about change, rather than passively accept our lot. Intention is key. Is the goal based on self absorption or for the higher good? … Who knows for sure. xo

      Liked by 1 person

      • Val, I don’t think it creates inner struggle at all as I firmly believe that we all need to look out for each other as human beings. That’s the only higher good so far as I’m concerned and the notion of a concentration purely on self seems both insane and fundamentally wrong.


  2. The constant tension between how we see ourselves and how we see beyond ourselves. And how that tension fuels incredible creativity. “All the world’s a little queer, except thee and me; and I have me doubts about thee!” (Wonderfully expressed many years ago by an old local Devon man in our pub in the Devon village of Harberton.)

    Liked by 5 people

    • Love this Paul!! He sounds like a real character ☺️

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, I lived in Harberton for many years and this old gent used to come into The Church House Inn two or three times a week. Came up to bar, ordered a single pint of bitter, drank it slowly standing at the bar never engaging in dialogue with anyone.

        This particular evening I was standing next to him, waiting to order my own pint, and looking straight ahead he came out with that reflection of the world, his voice rich with a Devon dialect (getting pretty rare these days). In that dialect “queer” means strange, something I’m sure you picked up.

        Do a Google search for images of Upper Barn in Harberton and you will see where I used to live, and pictures of the pub.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Well, sometimes I do feel a bit insane…but then I get over it.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Love the picture and the resonance of the words in my own heart!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I think this has to be read carefully, as it needs a subtle appreciation that is easily missed. My guess is that he’s pointing to what some have, rather unhelpfully, termed ‘action-less action’, or what yet more mystically could be called ‘doing without the doer’. He isn’t talking about any sort of dormancy, but acting without generating what he calls ‘friction’, meaning without the sense of ‘me here, opposing the world out there’. It’s simply impossible to be dormant and yet live – quite obviously. So, living impels action, action is intentional and action also produces effects – this is all unavoidable and it’s absurd to even contemplate countering it.

    What need not be present in all this is the illusorily reflected sense of any enduring selfhood within or about us (still, our self-identity as a social construct remains), which itself is no more than an evolved, morphing, and erroneous narrative belief. When that is no longer present, neurotically driving action in the world, then necessarily the sense of the doer of any action/deed also absents, and all that remains of individual complicity is pure intentionality, or volition, without the epic narrative of the egoic self-entity propelling everything along and creating what Adyashanti calls ‘friction’ between itself and the world. This is my take anyway, Val. H ❀

    Liked by 3 people

    • Your take is terrific Hariod. ❀️ I appreciate how we all see things in the way that we are able, based on our own experience and what we identify with. You always expand my thinking, and I love it!A part of me also chuckles at our pursuit of understanding.
      Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I think we need a bit of both Val. When something is wrong, like slavery, we need people who envision a world without it and act on it, for instance. I have always, however, resented the idea of change purely for the sole purpose of change – now that’s insane! ❀
    Diana xo

    Liked by 3 people

  7. …and until we heal our own wounds; look deeply within at how we see and feel about ourselves, accept who we are and tend to the work of our lives, anything we choose to “do” if not aligned with our “being” may not have the result we wish to create. Lasting, sustainable change begins from within us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love your perspective Carrie. πŸ’›
      Inner alignment with spirit and choosing actions from this space can bring about profound changes within us and to the world. πŸ’•

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Happiness is not attained through achievement, from external gain, it is more closely related to accepting, surrendering, letting go, giving gratitude and loving kindness giving.

    We journey together not in competiton.

    Happiness is an internal condition

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature

    Great post, Val, which has inspired some wonderful discussion. For me it is about balance, as you say, “middle ground.” Balancing activism where it can help and internal happiness, gratitude, surrender, dreams, belief, hope and trust, and putting the vibration of Love both in the world and into Self.
    Peace and Happiness,

    Liked by 3 people

  10. It’s so interesting to me. I think it is very hard to make a difference in the world, the bigger picture, when one has not found a base of happiness within self. Or does that kind of contentment come from the pursuit of a better world for others ?

    In either case, we all need to more mindful of the present, and all its possibilities. A very thoughtful post, Val , with wonderful discussion. πŸ’–

    Liked by 1 person

  11. That kitten says it all. Happiness is within and all around us, if we take a moment to embrace it πŸ™‚ What a wonderful restful post. Thanks, Val. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you D. This wisdom touches us at different levels … Yet we all agree that coming home to what is within us is what happiness is about πŸ’•

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Love that insanely purrrfect grin. πŸ™‚ So much wisdom in this post, Val. Yes, we do try much to hard to be happy. It shouldn’t be THAT difficult. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  13. “We intuitively know that external accomplishments and acquisitions will never bring us what we truly seek.” This is so true, Val. So much wisdom in your words. Each day, I make an effort to chose happiness, even though some don’t believe it’s a choice.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Wise Man Mr A and is his Disciple Val

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Embrace all with joy, anything can be a gift of gold in disguise ~> even temporary insanity! :mrgreen:

    Love the Cheshire Cat with its impish grin.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Eckhart Tolle often speaks of this insanity as you know Val and shares how he constantly learns from the animals around him and their ability to be with what is. I have been insane plenty of times over the years!! and hope that my daily practice keeps me balanced! Great conversation from everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I wonder if A. is referring to the larger, full-bodied resistance (‘I hate my life and can’t see a way out!’). I think it is okay to have goals to work towards and that the impetus is often being a bit dissatisfied with the way things currently are. A little friction is helpful under the wheels.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It does make me wonder if being unstable in this was is a “bad” or “insane” thing after all! Thanks for adding your perspective Eliza. πŸ’›

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Carol Ferenc

    Aww . . . love the kitty. True contentment and happiness. And no insanity.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Fascinating reading the comments here! I think the quote is a good one.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Rather be a happy lunatic Val than a sad person who has to be in control all the time. That kitty photo is one of my faves, it always makes me smile.

    Liked by 1 person

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