“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls a Butterfly.”
– Richard Bach
Personal transformation cannot occur while we are busy conforming to a status quo, because deep transformation happens in the wilderness of our psyches, in that place beyond the social programming of our culture. It takes courage to transform, which is why many like the idea of personal transformation but lack the fortitude to actually go through with it.
Many personal transformation stories are born out of pain, because pain is the great instigator for change. The greatest barrier to our personal development is the comfort bubble that modern society offers us. Without discomfort there would be no change, which is why true seekers embrace discomfort as a launching pad into the void of their existence.
Inside the void is where you get to truly know yourself; where you go so far inside that you touch upon the universal. But in order to go that far inside, you must let go of everything and become a universe of one. And when you do this, the outside world believes that you have gone crazy.
Most people think of mental illness as a curse, as a worst-case scenario. But what if mental illness is a gift, what if the very seeds to our own becoming are contained within our psychic distress signals? What then of our constant need to medicate these, to numb these, to run away from these? What if, instead of being a disorder or a disease, manifestations such as Depression and Anxiety are actually there to teach us something; are, in fact, spiritual opportunities?
The bottom line is that we humans know very little about the intricacies of the soul’s longing for reunion, and we should therefore tread gently and humbly in this domain. We don’t know how much the suffering endured by the mentally ill is actually due to the stigma associated with these states as opposed to the actual states themselves. The mentally ill could be the canaries in the coal mine, those extremely sensitive people who cannot live within the parameters of an unbalanced social paradigm. In which case, we would do well to question our own conformity rather than marginalize their experiences.