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Within the framework of this project, INSANITY could be defined as an:
EVIDENT INABILITY TO FORM VISIONS OF REALITY BASED ON REASONING AND OBSERVATIONS
Note, the original formulation of this definition stated “to form perception” as opposed to “visions of reality.” While the word “perception” could still be used and is used throughout the text, it was found that a more broad and encompassing concept was needed to communicate the intended meaning within the definition.
Insanity could be a form of obsessive fixation on some formulated perception (vision of reality) divorced from actual contact with the target of perception (as in case of paranoia), or it could be a form of inability to maintain order in mental activity (such as in case of schizophrenia or a nervous breakdown) which would prevent someone from being able to form a coherent vision (perception construct) about something.
Within this definition, someone could be sane in one area (such as in an area of some technical expertise) and insane in another area (such in an area of human relationships), and so we can get something like a “mad scientist” or someone who can be very good in relating to others and yet have “crazy ideas” on the subject of technology.
Obviously, one would have to be able to make observations and reason within a given area to be able to form a coherent view of that area.
It should be noted that the term INSANITY on this page is most closely in line with its original meaning in Latin as opposed to being limited to more extreme cases:
In English, the word “sane” derives from the Latin adjective sanus meaning “healthy”. Juvenal‘s phrase mens sana in corpore sano is often translated to mean a “healthy mind in a healthy body”. From this perspective, insanity can be considered as poor health of the mind, not necessarily of the brain as an organ (although that can affect mental health), but rather refers to defective function of mental processes such as reasoning. Another Latin phrase related to our current concept of sanity is “compos mentis” (lit. “sound of mind”), and a euphemistic term for insanity is “non compos mentis”.
SANITY is basically a “healthy operation of the mind” and could respectively be defined as an:
EVIDENT ABILITY TO FORM VISIONS OF REALITY BASED ON REASONING AND OBSERVATIONS
The term OBSERVATION is meant in a more encompassing way to include any FORM OF CONTACT with or AWARENESS OF the target of perception. This can include anything from simple forms of perception such as through sight or hearing to more complex forms of perception such as perception of someone’s thoughts or intentions (either through direct communication or “remote” awareness – usually understood as “telepathy”) as well as perception of distant events or potential future occurrences (such as through “intuition)”.
For example, actively communicating with another person and gathering information from that communication would be a part of “observation” – very much like gathering data in a scientific experiment to formulate or confirm some principles based on that “observation.”
REASON is meant in its standard definition as “The power of the mind to think, understand, and form judgments logically.” [Oxford Dictionary]
If Observation is about collecting or developing information about something, then Reason is about processing that information in a logical way.
TARGET OF PERCEPTION could be anything from realities of the immediate environment of the physical universe (contacted through sight, hearing, touch… etc), to the emotions and viewpoints of another human being, to past events or potential future occurrences.
OUT OF TOUCH (OR CONTACT) WITH REALITY is usually a common way to describe a form of insanity whether mild or major, and it could usually be seen that at the base of insanity is a SEVERE BREAK IN CONTACT OR COMMUNICATION WITH THE TARGET OF PERCEPTION.
Using the definition here, psychosis and paranoia could be looked at as follows:
Psychosis: inability to form rational perception of the surrounding environment – hallucinations.
Paranoia: inability to form rational perception of other people (including their thinking and intentions) – delusions.
In both instances the target area (the surrounding environment or people) appears as a threat, because being unable to form rational perception of an area, the mind is UNABLE TO PREDICT it and so can be easily overcome by fear.
Using the above definition of insanity, someone could be brought to sanity in any given area by getting him or her into direct CONTACT (communication, observation) with the target area AND by getting that individual (or group) to develop CONCEPTS based on that communication or observation.
It is often not enough to simply observe or look at something. It is important to have the individual to COMMUNICATE ABOUT one’s observations or perceptions.
For example: “Look at that person. What can you tell* about that person?” or “Describe what you see about that person.”
*tell /verb [google]
1. communicate information, facts, or news to someone in spoken or written words.
2. decide or determine correctly or with certainty.
DESCRIBE can also be used for the purpose of linking communication about something to one’s observations; it just doesn’t incorporate intuitive perception or guesswork like “what can you tell” can.
Sanity in any area of address can be improved by having the subject GET INTO CONTACT with it and COMMUNICATE ABOUT it – that is, to DEVELOP CONCEPTS about one’s own OBSERVATIONS (or guesses based on intuition).
To COMMUNICATE ABOUT something is one of the most, if not the most effective ways to exercise form perception about something. That’s why when communication ABOUT something is suppressed so often goes the ability to clearly perceive and reason in that area.
In this sense, we can see that when DIRECT CONTACT and COMMUNICATION of people ABOUT each other is suppressed or is somehow inhibited, insanity in the area of human relationships is sure to follow.
It should be noted that a key factor in communicating about something as a practical exercise is that the concepts need to be linked with actual objects of observation and not to some general, abstract notions of those objects. One should not communicate about something in terms of general notions that one already holds, but to communicate based on specific observations that one has made, including intuitive perception (i.e. guesswork is ok as long as one understands it as such).
BLOCKED OR INHIBITED COMMUNICATION
It is very common for many forms of communication to become inhibited and repressed which then could inevitably lead to psychological problems (such as fixation and/or affliction) in relationship to that which one cannot or could not talk about. This can be addressed with simple question such as:
What can you not talk about? To whom? Why?
In alternative formulation of this question “can” can be replaced with “could” or “have not been able to” as in:
What could you not talk about? To whom? Why? or What have you not been able to talk about? With whom? Why?
Inhibited communication can be further related to more encompassing subjects of Suppression, Judgment and Punishment (scroll toward the middle of page), and Handling Efforts to Withhold presented on this website.
INCREASING ABILITY TO REASON
Learn LOGIC as a professional skill. The most recommended work on the subject for now is: “LOGIC: The Ancient Art of Reason” by Earl Fontainelle.
Learn some skills for effective processing and organization of information. For example, a book “Photoreading” by Paul R. Scheele teaches how to conceptualize and logically organize the material one is reading so the more detailed information within the material can be absorbed more rapidly. Good techniques for improving memorization can also be of great use in this area.
Learn multiple languages. Knowing multiple languages allows an individual to escape the limitations of one’s own language and be able to compare and evaluate languages in terms of each other. Taking the time to understand how different languages are constructed also helps to understand how thoughts are constructed using a given language including the impact of language on constructing perception.
Learn how to identify misunderstood (not understood, wrongly or poorly understood) words and terms and how to clear their definitions using dictionaries and other aids – some materials out of Scientology study methodology can be very useful in this area. See page: Study Tech.
Gaining at least a basic understanding of scientific method can also be of great use along with some study of various sciences (such as physics, chemistry, biology, and computer technology) and mathematics.
Learn to play musical instruments and create other forms of art.