In a process-relational view, there are no crazies. There are those who subjectivate with the aid of habits developed in response to conditions that have changed sufficiently that those habits are no longer very effective, or are not considered appropriate by others.

Calling someone — and treating someone as — “crazy” is a way of reifying a particular relationship between one’s own subjectivity and that other’s objectivity. In a process-relational understanding, their objectivity is an artifact of our subjectivation. In reality, they subjectivate as much as we do. Within their own history of subjectivation the habits they have developed make perfect sense. They indicate options selected from an array of possibilities to shape a certain array of subjective propensities.

Habits are everything except what we make of them. Remaking them takes work, which requires energy. Attention is a form of energy. Cultivating attention is one of the most useful skills we can develop, but it is not one that an intensively (and extensively) demanding social order supports unless it is attention specifically directed to the tasks it desires for its own perpetuation. Every social order thus breeds its own “crazies” as part of its economy of encouraged and discouraged behaviors.

The same goes for a collective entity, like humanity. In the face of our global and ecological crises, we can and ought to develop new individual and collective habits. But that takes energy which we aren’t prepared to devote to the task until the normal modes of energy circulation get disengaged (probably forcibly) and/or until enough of us begin to develop new habits voluntarily. We do that by experiment, trial and error, and learning.

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