The Psychopathology of the Average
May 24, 2010
I have the digital edition of the Encyclopedia of Positive Psychology, and I love it. (Thanks Lowell!).
I think I found the quote below under the Meditation entry. I need to do a W’NB on Meditation (I’m a convert!), but since it’s past my bedtime, I’ll be brief:
“What we call ‘normal’ in psychology is really a psychopathology of the average, so undramatic and so widely spread that we don’t even notice it ordinarily.” Meditation disciplines have been suggesting this for over 2,500 years, teaching that individual “normal” minds are untrained and often unconscious, which inhibits them from reaching their fullest potential. The intention behind meditation is to “wake up” from a suboptimal state of consciousness: Wake up to a person’s true nature.”
The quote is from Abraham Maslow, the guy who came up with the heirarchy of basic human needs, and one of the first psychologists to begin to explore the positive side of things. It totally resonates with me, and also lines up with the teachings of some of my favorite guys, Eckhart Tolle and Don Miguel Ruiz.
It also reminded me of another favorite quote: “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” That’s Jiddu Krishnamurti. I wonder if he and Abe were friends; they lived around the same time.
I’ve always felt like I needed to wake up. I’d have moments of clarity and knowing and realization, and then those moments would be covered up by the fog and distractions and bad ideas and skewed beliefs of society and I’d revert to reactionary, habitual ways of being.
Meditation gets you back in touch with The Truth, in the only place you can find it – in the stillness within you. It puts you back in touch with your pure awareness; it wakes you up. Tolle says, “You are awareness, disguised as a person.”
Another quote I came across today: “We say to others only what we need to hear.” Byron Katie.
I hope I don’t ever come across as preachy in these blogs. I only write about any of this stuff because *I* need to be reminded of it. I share things because they resonate with me – not because I think that it’s something that I need to teach to other people. I just hope that by sharing what makes sense to me, I can help others connect with that feeling of resonance too.