Some people want to give the gift of their craziness. You know, the ones who always have some kind of drama, and they put out that it is the duty of everyone around them to routinely pick up their pieces, take over their responsibilities, fix their mess. Usually in the form of a mass e-mail plea which infects the recipients like a virus and causes a cluster of back-and-forth reply-alls and generally tests every bit of yogic patience you have been attempting to cultivate.
I give you permission to reject the gift of crazy when it is given.
Sri Ramakrishna gives two examples (liberally quoted from memory from The Gospel of Ramakrishna) of how to do this.
Ramakrishna teaches that we should view all things as having Divine essence. He says that a wild tiger has a Divine essence, but you should not go and try to hug a wild tiger. Its Divinity is best worshiped from afar. So to should we treat those who are ‘wicked’ and try to suck our energy dry with distance.
This is not necessarily always possible. So Ramakrishna offers another bit of advice, in the form of a story (again, liberally ibid):
Once upon a time, a monk was walking down a road. A poisonous snake darted out from the bushes and reared up to attack. The snake sensed the Divine power emanating from the monk, and paused.The monk said “Dear friend, you should not seek to inflict harm on other living creatures,” and he continued down the road. The snake was immediately filled with compassion, and from that day forward, he no longer attacked anyone.Some time later the monk was returning along the same road. He came across the snake lying in the road, bruised and beaten. “Dear Friend,” said the monk, “how did this happen?”“Brahmana,” replied the snake, “I was so filled with compassion following our encounter that I vowed never to attack another living being again. When the villagers saw that I would not bite them, they beat me with sticks and threw rocks at me.”“Dear Friend, you should not bite anyone, but you can still hiss!”
When we cannot keep our distance, we can encourage others to keep theirs.
Cultivating the attitudes of compassion and indifference does not mean that we must accept the gift of craziness when it is given. Removing ourselves either physically or mentally form the situation may seem mean or aloof to the giver, but it is preventing resentment and the overall perpetuation of craziness, which is working toward the greater good.
Never feel bad about insulating yourself from those who give crazy. Hit delete. If you must reply, reply only to that person so as not to perpetuate the crazy. Disinfect yourself with OM when they cough crazy in your direction. Rest in the knowledge that you need to do, and are doing, your duty, not theirs.
And if they continue to try to give crazy, don’t be afraid to hiss a little.
A long way of saying “Yes, I received the e-mails. No thank you; I’m not going to reply. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM”