“The psychotic drowns in the same waters in which the mystic swims with delight.”
― Joseph Campbell
What makes a mystic different from a psychotic? This is an intriguing puzzle to me especially as I feel the answer is at the tip of my brain, somewhat obvious yet I can’t find the right words. Yet I have met so many people interested in answering the big questions, call the subject spirituality if you like. If that word makes your brain itch too much then use philosophy or metaphysics which ever one gives you the best water wings. Many of the people I’ve met who have sought answers have found them but in the process they seem to have lost themselves. Most often this seems to come from the acceptance of a definite answer that they know no one else will fully accept. That this bothers the same type of people who reject organized religion because of its limited scope baffles me a little but then we humans tend to be contrary creatures at the best of times.
As I was saying, the people who seem to flounder the most spiritually are those who are convinced that they have found the answer and that everyone else is wrong. I believe that with genuine mystics, the ones who catch a glimpse, return and keep swimming, they know that they grocked a big piece of the puzzle but they are willing to question that understanding and reject it if they find a better answer.
Perhaps ultimately that is the difference between the mystic and the psychotic. The Psychotic’s answers are concrete and inflexible and you know what happens when you try to swim while clutching concrete. A mystic’s answers conversely tend to be light and flexible and incredibly buoyant. I know which type I’d rather swim with.
Click on images to see full-sized: