Heart of Madness


Heart of Madness

There are moments in life that truly test us. Sometimes these moments stretch over days or months or even decades. We fall to our knees in writhing pain, we ask for mercy, we repent, and yet the agony endures.

In these moments we may consider Job and his suffering, and we may remember Abraham and his trials. We may think of Jesus in the desert steadfast in his quarantine, tested by the advocate in each step of his journey. Yet still, the agony continues as we fall further prostrate to unyielding torment.

I once happened upon one such moment in my own journey, and it shook me to my core, stripped everything I knew from me, and left me bereft of an anchor or even a desolate crag, hopelessly cast adrift. This moment has now stretched over decades, still carving flesh and bone in a feast of tribulation to a sacrifice I know not its purpose.

What is this pain I speak of? Perhaps it’s best it remains private, and I allow you to imagine, and even better, internalize and reflect upon your own such moments. As for me, and where I am now with this seminal moment of mine, suffice it to say that I am still holding on, unable to avert my eyes – nor do I want to look away. I have but one choice now: to enter the pain and embrace the heart of darkness.

And so, I stand with arms outstretched and twirl like a dervish madman as the world bathes in not one, but ten thousand shades of madness and endless such moments of suffering strung in an infinite tapestry that defines our time.

From wars ablaze across Europe and Middle East, to famine-stricken countries in Central Asia, to homelessness in America, to rise of isolation in the age of hyperconnectivity, to endless progress that ensnares us, and brilliant Saturnine technology that obviates what is essential in us all, the human saga is pinned under intractable siege. Across the world, alienation and isolation and mental anguish are rampant without any sign of abatement.

Of all the struggles and ails that afflict our world, one of the most insidious and painful is the spectrum of insanity and mental illness. The varying shades, subtle and overt, ebbing and flowing, isolated or broad, individuals or communities, defused across time, or acute and punctuating, pervade every aspect of our environment.

Yet, while mental illness is symptomatically manifested in our broader communities, and its impact is often felt through casual social malaise and gradual drift, failed leadership, misaligned policy, and communal experience, it most acutely is felt at the individual level, one in the throes of mental anguish, gripped with pain and fear, alone, without hope.

Mental suffering at the personal level is unmitigated. It’s raw. It’s brutal and without escape. And to make matters worse, the stigma and ineptitude of social fabric interfacing with mental illness further exacerbates the trauma. At a certain point labels and convenient definitions cease to matter. All that we are left with is ourselves, or a loved one, ensnared in madness, tossed between sanity and insanity, at the edge of the world.

It is this very edge that compels me. Nowhere to escape. Lacerating, raw, brutal, swirling amid chaos and order, entropy and genesis, madness and genius, unhinged, ripping through the matrix of our rendered world, the tumultuous swing of the pendulum, oscillating erratically, and the verge of destruction and chaotic beauty.

What force must we muster, to find the rendered edge of resonance, the refracted truth inherent in light, as madness engulfs. What courage must the individual exhibit as they are thrown mercilessly about amid the black waves in a world of white, gulping darkness and gasping for light.

I suspect, and do so with good insight, that it is indeed those who are insane who are most apt to break through the veil that keeps us complacent in the matrix womb of the conscious world. The insane among us live at the frayed edge of the quantum waves crashing into our constructed Pythagorean world; and unfortunately, it is there that many souls suffer and are often torn asunder by those very waves. But for those who break through, those pioneers that push the bounds of our embryonic firmament, indeed the Ubiquitous divine truth is revealed in glorious RGB colors.

I have painted this painting, the Heart of Madness as an homage to insane champions and heroes, Phillip K Dick, Jackson Pollack, Mark Rothko, Howard Hughes, and many others who set course into the unknown, boldly, alone, thrown against the karmic tempest, creating new maps. It behooves us as nations and communities to embrace and nurture rather than ostracize those of us who traveling at the edge of awakening while the rest of us are comfortably asleep.


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