Divine Madness: A Spiral In Time

by Lisa Coates


For all dear friends and seekers at Conscious Evolution, in this time of transition, with gratitude for all of the ripples of madness you have brought to my Heart ... and for Gregory, the Mad Hatter of the Divine ... whose Heart shines ever onwards through the light of a billion stars.

We have all felt it in our lives. Divine madness. The Inspiration. The Spark. The Muse that moves us to believe ... to create. To see beyond the seen and the mundane, urging us to live our ordinary lives in other-than-ordinary ways. The magical bestower of extraordinary days, it comes to us as if from out of the air, fills our spirit with fire, awakens us as if from a long sleep. Suddenly we’re alive again, never having realized we were dead for a spell. It waxes and wanes through the threads of time, coming to us again ... bursting through our apathy, penetrating the veil.

Microbiologist, experimental pathologist and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist René Dubos wrote of it in his novel A God Within

The preclassical and classical Greeks symbolized the hidden aspects of man’s nature, in particular the forces that motivate him to perform memorable deeds, by the word entheos — a god within. From entheos is derived “enthusiasm,” one of the most beautiful words in any language. Man today may no longer believe in the divine origin of inspiration, but there are few who do not retain the ancient and almost mystical faith that enthusiasm is the source of creativity. Whatever their religious or philisophical allegiance, all men know that there would be little chance of improving the world if it were not for the faith derived from the god within; the poet would be silent if it were not for his Muse.

In the original Greek sense, the word enthusiasm means far more than deep interest, ardent zeal, or twinkling eyes. It implies the “divine madness,” the mania that Socrates regarded as the mainspring of all worthwhile creations. As Plato worded it in Phaedrus, “In reality the greatest of blessings comes to us through madness, when it is sent as a gift of the gods ... madness, which comes from God, is superior to sanity, which is of human origin.”

Poets, artists, writers and youth know this ardent enthusiasm well, for their seeking eyes are open to imagination beyond “reality.” Beyond the veil, they rise ... beyond all hypocrisy and expectation of a weighted, third-dimensional existence. They praise in awe creations that spring from a mysterious source over which they have no control. A true poet and artist doesn’t “set out” to create. Art was never meant for deadlines or royalties. Artists are forever searching for the Grand Muse that will enliven and inspire them, helping them reach their own god within. And nothing is more tormenting to a writer than the dormant and empty time of writer’s block. For long stretches of time they may sit helpless, waiting for the spark, knowing it cannot be hastened or manipulatively attained, but, just as the soul’s journey of growth, it can only come in its own time. As a magical gift, it is rightly idolized and cherished.

Jim Morrison wrote, “There are no longer ‘dancers,’ the possessed. We have been metamorphosised from a mad body dancing on hillsides to a pair of eyes staring in the dark.”

A possession, yes. And so the writer writes in frenzy, as if entranced, possessed, through all hours of the night and day, seizing the moment as it comes, aware that such sacred possession may not last.

Consider the term “mad scientist.” We imagine a person electric with fresh genius, having tapped into a knowledge never before known to man. All unborn ideas and creation seem to come from a primal and intuitive source of wonder: the god within.

We are all potential “dancers.” None are immune to it, for it’s our origin. Our natural state of Being. It’s not exclusive to artists, but available to all of humanity, for it may permeate into our relationships with others as an unspoken faith. Again, tapping into the unseen ... beyond the illusion and images of outward action of character ... into the very soul’s potential.

I think of dogs as the best example of this. They can be horribly abused, yet still return to their owner with hope and love, believing again and again in his potential goodness within. Some would explain this away as inborn pack behavior; a bowing of servitude to the dominant male of the pack. Yet I tend to believe that this sense of loyalty in interrelation between dogs and humans is exactly that ... a sense ... a keen, telepathic intuition which dogs possess, which makes them able to see beyond man’s dark and hostile exuding energy, into the glimmer of loving light in his soul. The potential. An ultimate burning faith in the unseen. Strange how the same unconditional faith that Jesus held in humanity can be viewed as a saintly attainment, but yet veiwed as stupid and weak in dogs and in ourselves.

This world tries to design us to be tough and suspicious. With each disappointment and heartbreak we are tempted to harden our armor and close our hearts to others. We are taught to believe that we should feel humiliated by “being taken” by others. Yet, the wiser soul understands that the only one who is truly ever deceived is the one who is denying and suppressing the pure state of his own being. It isn’t we who are fooled. They fool themselves.

Love is unconditional ... forgiving and accepting of human failing. Love is hope ... forever faith. It Endures through all trials and tests of its invincibility. Eternal and unconquerable, just as Greg believed. Unconquerable ... such a strong word, and so fitting for the unshakeable power in love. For it is never weak. What braver deed is there than to Love? And beyond that, to keep loving ... keep hoping, even after it seems meaningless and pointless to do so. Love is its most divine when the world perceives us as “mad” for it.

René Dubos ended his book A God Within with these words:

To assert that there is hope when everything looks so dark may appear a naive and pretentious illusion, but it is the kind of illusion that generates the creative faith of which Carl Sandburg wrote:

I am credulous about the destiny of man,
And I believe more than I can ever prove
of the future of the human race
And the importance of illusions,
The value of great expectations.

It is often difficult to retain the faith in the destiny of man, but it is certainly a coward’s attitude to despair of events.

I thought of Greg when I read those words ... how he would have loved them. Had he read the book? It seemed so in sync with the faith he held in the world. I know that many are still heartbroken, just as I am, for missing him. And when he passed on, there was thought that his beautiful heart just couldn’t keep beating for this darkening world. But we know that isn’t so. Greg, of all people, would have never stopped believing or hoping. In his last days here with us, he was still fighting for and loving this world. He belonged to the rare breed who are able to see past the darkness into the Light of its Potential Purity.

Once the spark ignites you, it never truly leaves you. It has its dormant moments where, human, you may fall prey to disbelief. Divine madness, although a seemingly short-burning flame, leaves you forever changed in its wake. Each time, it leaves you that much more open and receptive to a potential more powerful than any dream could dream.

In the darkness of days you journey through, with a hunger-pained emptiness that quests you on, sometimes all it takes is a stinging of vision from bright solar rays in a frozen dawn. A seizing of vision ... of glowing ... of feeling alive ... and above all, belief in a world you’ve yet to see. A February sunrise ... yellow, smooth. A declaration of hope for the Spring soon to Be.