Normal Or Abnormal Mental Health
What happens before the first noble truth is acknowledged?
There are four noble truths:
The truth of suffering.
The truth of the cause of suffering.
The truth of the cessation of suffering.
The truth of the path to the cessation of suffering.
We all have mental health issues; it goes with being sentient. All sentient creatures perceive phenomena – physical and mental – as being real, and are subject to fight, flight or freeze – desire, fear and ignorance.
We maintain this primitive view of our existence because we are not enlightened about our true nature. In our daily life we ‘get by’ like everyone else, more or less. This is our ‘normal’, but until we ‘lighten up’, we will continue to perceive all phenomena as something to which we react.
Normal: conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected.
To be enlightened is to illuminate spiritual insight into our true nature, which turns out to be the pure light of consciousness itself – our pure consciousness. To ordinary human beings, this would appear to be ‘abnormal’ because they want us to be like them – ‘normal’. If we are not, it is perceived as a threat to them – eliciting fight, flight or freeze! Funnily enough, this is clearly evident when people of different spiritual traditions meet 😀
Abnormal: deviating from what is normal or usual, typically in a way that is undesirable or worrying.
Until we are enlightened about our true nature, we will be subject to a limited view; a mistaken, biased, obsessive, fixated view about what we normally think we are. We therefore suffer. Of course, what we normally do is cover up these feelings with distractions. If we ignore, it means we must know; we know, but ignore.
There comes a time when we can no longer live like this. We have to admit to ourselves that we are not happy. Recognising this state, we need to find a source of empathetic knowledge rather than dogma.
The first noble truth of recognising suffering is the most precious jewel. It is precious because this will sustain us throughout our whole journey along the path to enlightenment. We are extraordinary!
We could, in fact, say that our suffering is our path to the cessation of suffering! 😀 That’s wisdom for you. We do not need any substance to dull or mask unhappiness: we only need first to acknowledge (be aware) that we are not satisfied – and then the door opens.