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January 31, 2013 / Fantelius

The Mossed Totem of Spiritual Madness


My father was a prince among the Joker Folk.
He was a source of amusement, surprise and wonder. His strength and energy were unmatched. His antics legendary.

Not infrequently someone in the tribe, provoked and amused by one of his deeds, would say, ”You’re crazy!”
Most of the time he would regard the ”you’re crazy” as a form of applause. On a handful of occasions he jumped up on a a table, bench, rock or log and declare with crazed majestically,
”Me crazy! You think that I’m crazy? I am the only sane one among you. You normal proper people are the crazy ones.”

Everyone found this amusing. And crazy. He would then hop down and assume a normal proper behavior… with a hint of sadness.

The years have covered me with the moss of experience, but his words still visit my memory. Each time I hear them they seem to ring truer. I’m inclined to believe that there’s nothing more insane than normality in times of crisis. I’m not alone.

Theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, who believed that ”sublime madness” can defy the forces of evil, has said,
“Nothing but madness will do battle with malignant power and ‘spiritual wickedness’ in high places.”

Reinhold Niebuhr is the author of the Serenity Prayer:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.”



“Man’s capacity for justice makes democracy possible;
but man’s inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.”
Reinhold Niebuhr


(Tomorrow: The Hounds of Frozen Destiny)

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