This week the western world was in shock as the news of Robin Williams’ death sent the social media world abuzz with the news, nostalgic memories, and sadness. One can only imagine how his incomparable talent, chronic loneliness, struggle with addiction, and recent diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease were inextricably linked to his decision to end his life in ways most of us will never fully understand. What saddens me and perhaps some of you most is how he was able to touch so many lives with his artistic talent and yet still found himself in a position where he believed his best conceivable opportunity for relief from his dark state was in taking his life. If anything this event highlights for us how a deeply felt sense of alienation from the world around us and the people in it is at the heart of mental suffering and anguish. Whether you’re mad, sad, confused, or indifferent to his death I wanted to pass along a video clip of a personal favorite performance of his from 1978, which I believe provides us with a lasting lesson to take from his life.
“From me to you … you got to be crazy. You know what I’m talking about? Full goose bozo. ‘Cause what is reality? … You’ve got to be crazy. You’ve got to. ‘Cause madness is the only way out to stay alive. … Ya see what I mean? You’ve got to be crazy. It’s too late to be sane. It’s too late. You’ve got to go full tilt bozo … ’cause you’re only given a little spark of madness, and if you lose that … you’re nothin’. Don’t. From me to you. Don’t ever lose that ’cause it keeps you alive. ‘Cause if you lose that . That’s my only love … crazy. Because there’s no way any government in the world can handle madness.”