Ask Biella: “Since everyone sees the world from different perspectives, who has the right to say what is insane and what is sane?” - Gateway Gazette

Ask Biella: “Since everyone sees the world from different perspectives, who has the right to say what is insane and what is sane?”

By Contributor

Feature Content
Jun 19

"Since everyone sees the world from different perspectives, who has the right to say what is insane and what is sane?"

Dear John,
#3 Sanity
I like to think of sanity as the three R’s; Realistic, Responsible and Reasonable. Sanity is an Ethical Sensibility. The Sane are truly sensibly collaborative, cooperative and have a Coherency of internal and external behaviour and intention. The Sane are truly practically Kind and Generous and would not hurt or maim. There is Conscience and Accountability. Sanity is an integrated and coherent system.

Ask Biella - Perspective

Deliberate Choice
We have a choice to be sane or not. That's purely on the individual. Some choose to be insane, and they are free to do so. However, just because they choose insanity, does not make what they say or do sensible. The choice to behave insanely may seem like a sensible choice to them, but, that's their thing. From our perspective, we can only react to the sensibility of their behaviour as it relates to us. And here we also can exercise our choice. We can choose to interact or not, we can choose to give attention or not, and we can choose to completely not-react or ignore, whether they are crazy or sane, it's still our choice as to how we deal with it.

We all have a right to determine what is sane or insane, just as we are free to choose our perspectives, beliefs, ideas, conceptions and all the other parts which make up our world-view, and constitutes our life-view.

Determining Sensibility
I do try to answer questions asked of me as closely as possible to how they are presented. I feel perhaps here maybe there is also an interest in who determines what is regarded as sane. What criteria are used. The legal definition serves us well here, that's determined by the person being a danger to others or themselves. Fairly simple and standard.

More broadly, for most sanity and insanity are usually determined by the amount of benefit, value, reasonableness and logic involved. At least when there is a more careful consideration.

But then there is the insanity of unconventional behaviour. here the criteria is unusualness, radicalness, outrageousness and otherwise incomprehensible motive and outlandishness. Much of this kind of evaluation or perception is purely determined by how things "look," and is of course a very shallow perspective.

Ask Biella - Perspective

Deeper Perspective
If we look at the More of it all, and close the circle back to the individual themselves determining what is sane or not, we find this goes beyond a decision or a determination when it comes to one's own behaviour. I mean we can have an effect as to how others perceive our behaviour. We can significantly change the perception not only of our behaviour, but of us, just with how we ourselves feel about what we do.

If we are completely at ease about our doings, this will significantly reduce negative perceptions, but still not necessarily reduce ideas of craziness. That is if we are doing or behaving in unusual and different ways. Adding in an Awareness that clearly shows we know what we are doing, and we are not only comfortable about our doings, but are also confident and positive about them, we can radically change the ideas of what's going on.

Most people take their cue as to how to react from others. this seems counter-intuitive, but if we observe closely we see how this is so. Most people try to push some kind of "image" or vibe, in some way or another, even if it is the vibe or image of "don't pay attention to me."

Attention-seekers actively push how they want others to perceive them, which causes them to get the attention, but also the attention of now being seen as an attention seeker.

This same mechanism can be used to deal with actions or behaviours which are different, and may initially be perceived as crazy because they aren't understood, or they are more complex etc. If we ourselves have the attitude that not only is what we doing cool and good and useful and valuable and beneficial in some way. but also fun and exciting and something New in a positive way, we can get others to view matters differently.

Ask Biella - Perspective

Individuality
Fashion is a great example here. How often hasn't someone come along wearing something new and different, but they wore it with such an attitude that it made what would otherwise be seen as crazy, become a new fashion. This same mechanism can be used for different and unusual behaviour. It won't always have the desired effect, but it goes a long way. We might have no interest in getting others to do or be as we are, but this will help with how we are perceived.

Our behaviour can now be seen as "different" or "out there" maybe, or even as a bit crazy, but we ourselves are not labelled as such. An important distinction. There are many examples of people being "individuals" or "characters" who are and behave very very differently, but are not seen as insane. It's all very very much determined by the inner beliefs, confidence and attitudes of the individual. We determine how others treat us, A responsibility few understand or take advantage of.

Biella

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Ask Biella is a Gateway Gazette Feature Column provided by a Contemporary Philosopher and Writer. The purpose and intent of this feature is to provide readers with an opportunity to ask a wide variety of life-based questions. Think "Dear Abby," but with more emphasis on life than just relationships. 


About the Columnist

Biella is an amalgam of two Beings - Contemporary Philosophers and Writers, who exercises glorious intellectual minds which are most admirable for their profundity and sharpness. Often offering multiple sides of an issue, and provoking self-introspection. Their aim is to uncover Appropriateness, Awareness, Attention, Application, Attunement, and more, with a unique, high-level understanding of the profound intricacies that interlace these concepts.


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