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I suppose it is much more comfortable to be mad and not know it than to be sane and have one's doubts.
~ G B Burgin
That is the truest sign of insanity - insane people are always sure that they are fine. It is only the sane people who are willing to admit that they are crazy.
~ Nora Ephron
Neurotics build castles in the sky, and psychotics live in them, and people like me just pretend to live in them.
~ Andvari Huntress
Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music.
~ Angela Monet
Sanity is a cosy lie.
~ Susan Sontag
There is a pleasure sure in being mad, which none but madmen know.
~ Dryden 'The Spanish Friar' 1681
The idea that all the people locked up in mental hospitals are sane while all the people walking about are mad is merely a literary cliché, put about by people who should be locked up. I assure you there is not much in it. Taken as a whole, the sane are out there and the sick are in here. For example, you are in here because you have delusions that sane people are put in mental hospitals.
~ Tom Stoppard
I just want to know how people with multiple personalities fill out their census papers.
If you start on fire should you stop, drop and roll, or run around a bit and freak out the annoying neighbours who always yell at you for starting fires in the backyard?
In the old days, crazy meant something; nowadays, everyone is crazy.
All you need to start an insane asylum is an empty room and the right type of people.
Even if the voices are not real, they have some good ideas.
Might we not say to the confused voices which sometimes arise from the depths of our being: "Ladies, be so kind as to speak only four at a time?"
~ Madame Swetchine
A man who is "of sound mind" is one who keeps the inner madman under lock and key.
~ Paul Valéry, Mauvaises pensées et autres, 1942
Sanity is madness put to good uses.
~ George Santayana, Little Essays
I don't suffer from insanity. I enjoy every minute of it.
Madness takes its toll. Please have exact change.
The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four Americans is suffering from some form of mental illness. Think of your three best friends. If they're okay, then it's you.
~ Rita Mae Brown
See, the human mind is kind of like... a piñata. When it breaks open, there's a lot of surprises inside. Once you get the piñata perspective, you see that losing your mind can be a peak experience.
~ Jane Wagner
Madness need not be all breakdown. It may also be break-through.
~ R.D. Laing, The Politics of Experience
You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it.
~ Robin Williams
I haven't lost my mind; I have a tape back-up somewhere.
I'll be the in to your sane.
I am but mad north-north-west: when the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw.
~ William Shakespeare
Insanity is often the logic of an accurate mind overtasked.
~ Oliver W. Holmes, Sr., The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table, 1858
I have my own little world, but it's okay - they know me here.
No man is sane who does not know how to be insane on proper occasions.
~ Henry Ward Beecher
Madness is rare in individuals - but in groups, political parties, nations, and eras it's the rule.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, 1886
A man might pass for insane who should see things as they are.
~ William Ellery Channing
I feel like a fugitive from the law of averages.
~ William H. Mauldin
No excellent soul is exempt from a mixture of madness.
There is a bit of insanity in dancing that does everybody a great deal of good.
~ Edwin Denby
A little madness in the Spring
Is wholesome even for the King.
~ Emily Dickinson
Everything great in the world is done by neurotics; they alone founded our religions and created our masterpieces.
~ Marcel Proust
Today I felt pass over me
A breath of wind from the wings of madness.
~ Charles Baudelaire
Most men are within a finger's breadth of being mad.
When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.
~ Mark Twain
There is no great genius without some touch of madness.
~ Lucius Annaeus Seneca, "On Tranquillity of the Mind," Moral Essays
...and some poetic viewpoint, while we're here:
Ode to a Therapist
He's a psychotherapist
He thinks he's a behaviourist
He's really a misogynist
Should have been a ventriloquist.
~ Chris Nerney (b 1952)
I am Vertical
But I would rather be horizontal.
I am not a tree with my root in the soil
Sucking up minerals and motherly love
So that each March I may gleam into leaf,
Nor am I the beauty of a garden bed
Attracting my share of Ahs and spectacularly painted,
Unknowing I must soon unpetal.
Compared with me, a tree is immortal
And a flower-head not tall, but more startling,
And I want the one's longevity and the other's daring.
Tonight, in the infinitesimal light of the stars,
The trees and flowers have been strewing their cool odors.
I walk among them, but none of them are noticing.
Sometimes I think that when I am sleeping
I must most perfectly resemble them -
Thoughts gone dim.
It is more natural to me, lying down.
Then the sky and I are in open conversation,
And I shall be useful when I lie down finally:
Then the trees may touch me for once, and the flowers have time for me.
~ Sylvia Plath (1932 - 1963)
Heard in a Violent Ward
In heaven, too,
You'd be institutionalized.
But that's all right, -
If they let you eat and swear
With the likes of Blake,
And Christopher Smart,
And that sweet man, John Clare.
~ Theodore Roethke
When the young man with the rapt
face of a saint came to do Pottery
I was his teacher, barely a stage ahead
and two years younger. 'He's schiz
and a bit depressed.' said my Senior.
'Make sure of the tools
and chain your scissors.'
'You must wedge the clay
on the plaster slab.' I told him.
Shoulder to shoulder we stood
not talking because of his voices
his arms white as a girl's
but muscular. He did it again
and again, blank-faced,
without a question.
'Your uniform's splashed.
Where are your cuffs?'
said my senior.
Then I took him beyond
in case he lost interest
folded his hands round the heavy
kneaded ball of clay and threw it
hard down on the spinning centre.
We coned it up to the rise and fall
of a phallus. 'Now,' I said,
'put your thumbs down.
Open the clay like a flower
with both your hands.'
'He won't be coming.' she said,
right by my elbow. I was making
a vase and it went off-centre.
'He went down the railway line
early this morning.
That's when they do it.
Don't blame yourself,
there's a long history.'
I hung the tools on the shadow-board
and locked the cupboard.
~ Jill Bamber
I am; yet what I am none cares or knows;
My friends forsake me like a memory lost;
I am the self-consumer of my woes:
They rise and vanish in oblivious host,
like shades in love and death's oblivion lost;
And yet I am, and live with shadows tost.
Into the nothingness of scorn and noise,
Into the living sea of waking dreams,
Where there is neither sense of life nor joys,
But the vast shipwreck of my life's esteems;
And e'en the dearest - that I loved the best -
Are strange - nay, rather stranger than the rest.
I long for scenes where man has never trod;
A place where woman never smiled or wept;
Then to abide with my Creator, God,
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept;
Untroubling and untroubled where I lie,
the glass below - above a vaulted sky.
~ John Clare (1793 - 1864) The Asylum, Northampton