In his bestselling book, The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle uses the words “insane” or “insanity” over thirty times to describe human thinking. For example:
The mind-identified state is severely dysfunctional. It is a form of insanity. Almost everyone is suffering from this illness in varying degrees. The moment you realize this, there can be no more resentment. How can you resent someone’s illness? The only appropriate response is compassion…Nobody chooses dysfunction, conflict, pain. Nobody chooses insanity…It always looks as if people had a choice, but that is an illusion. As long as your mind with its conditioned patterns runs your life, as long as you are your mind, what choice do you have? None. You are not even there.
Mr. Tolle uses the term “conditioned patterns,” I use “mind-generated reality,” but we are talking about the same process. We Are ALL Innocent by Reason of Insanity argues that all of our perceptions are filtered through assumptions and beliefs before they reach our consciousness, so what we see is a subjective version of reality that has been slanted towards our world-view. We confuse this subjective mind-generated reality with objective reality; we are deluded about what is real. This is why we are all insane.
The subtitle of my book is “The Mechanics of Compassion,” because, as Mr. Tolle says, once you realize that people’s minds are dysfunctional, that they are in face insane, you can no longer be angry with them or hate them.
Mr. Tolle also refers to the human race as insane in A New Earth:
One can go so far as to say that on this planet “normal” equals insane. What is it that lies at the root of this insanity? Complete identification with thought and emotion, that is to say, ego…Recognize the ego for what it is: a collective dysfunction, the insanity of the human mind. When you recognize it for what it is, you no longer misperceive it as somebody’s identity. Once you see the ego for what it is, it becomes much easier to remain nonreactive toward it. You don’t take it personally anymore…Compassion arises when you recognize that all are suffering from the same sickness of the mind, some more acutely than others.
If you’d like to learn more about how this insanity works, click here to read the first four chapters of We are ALL Innocent by Reason of Insanity (free).