I saw “Black Swan” a couple of days ago.  Brilliant movie (though, admittedly far too explicit for my tastes).  Without going into any spoilers, it brought up some great questions on sanity and truth.

As a psychologist-in-training, I think often about issues of sanity, and since I am also a Christian, I think often of how my psychological philosophy can be applied to the life of faith.  After all, that’s what this blog is about: Melissa Seeking Understanding (the rough translation of Quaerens Intellectum).  Very often, I just toss questions out there for people to ponder, and I rarely expect any answers.  I love to live in the land of the theoretical rather than the land of satisfied inquiries.  So, to satisfy myself (by paradoxically leaving myself unsatisfied), I offer the following questions:

What is sanity?  Is it possible to become trapped in the room of your own consciousness? Is memory involved in keeping sanity? Is sanity an act of the will? What is reality? What do our individual perspectives do to impact reality? If we knew the definite boundary between reality and a lie, would we find that we cross that line more than we ever expected? If there were no grey areas, would we find that we are all insane to a degree?

I do know one thing: Truth is reality.  In my Christian worldview and philosophy, God is truth.  So, I suppose that when we step outside God, part of us (our spiritual side, perhaps) is insane in a way.  It’s a scary thought, really, that all of us could be so close to the brink of snapping in some way, and that even if we did, we may never realize our own insanity.   As Jim Carrey once said, “Madness is never that far away. It’s as close as saying ‘yes’ to the wrong impulse. The people who stay sane are the people who can make those quick decisions.”  Perhaps this is a fatalistic way of thinking, but at this point I’m simply questioning.    As far as we know, we are sane, and there is Someone outside us holding us together (Colossians says that all things are held together by Jesus…take that, quantum physicist!).

I suppose, in many ways, ignorance is bliss in this case.  I’m glad I know Jesus, that I know the truth. I’m glad I know many of the ways I don’t measure up to it, because it instills in me a desire to be a better person. But I’m also glad that this issue of sanity, which is out of my control anyway, is something I am somewhat unaware of.  My entire life could be an hallucination. I could be 50 instead of 25, sitting in a padded room drooling on myself, instead of sitting in my office, wondering if my body will ever warm up from the cold outside.

So many if’s, and many likely inconsequential.  I don’t even have a fancy way of wrapping up this written diarrhea of unanswered questions.  I just hope I’m not alone in my mental meanderings.  🙂