Life Lesson: On Mishegoss…

The only normal people are the ones you don’t know very well.” – Alfred Adler


This is a Yiddish word, and it’s derived from the Hebrew “meshugga” (= “senseless,” “crazy”). Mishegoss basically refers to a given human’s personal set of psychic luggage that they trundle about with them everywhere they go, said luggage containing all of their various and idiosyncratic foibles, viewpoints, programming, habits, and general weirdness. I have my mishegoss, you have yours, and you can safely and successfully wager staggering sums of money that so does anyone else currently strolling about across the skin of this planet.

Point: “People be crazy!”

And while this seems like a simple and obvious statement, it actually provides a seed for healthier living that can be cultivated into a veritable garden of compassion, centeredness, and positivity.

What do I mean by that…?

Imagine you’re driving from one side of your hometown to the other. Further imagine that you have a set appointment on that other side of town, and that you left your front door close enough in time to that appointment’s scheduled starting moment that you’re in some danger of arriving late, especially if anything should arise during your trek over that might slow you down.

This does not bode well as far as you arriving to your appointment on time…or maybe even today…

With that being the case – looming appointment deadline, mounting pressure to get there on time – how will you feel toward your fellow motorists?

It’s not their fault that you left late – if any “fault” can be pinned to anybody in this scenario like a tail being affixed to a donkey, then that hypothetical “anybody” is almost certainly you, and not them – but in the heat of your rush to reach Point B, do you cut them due slack? Or are you more inclined to cuss them out vigorously, zig and zag through traffic, tailgate, and maybe even play it a bit fast and loose with stop signs and changing signal lights?

And when you do verbally tear into your fellow humans on the road in situations like these, why are you okay with doing this? Would you respond to them in this fashion if you were having face-to-face encounters outside of your vehicles?

Now, to be fully transparent here, I’m as guilty of this sort of low-grade road rage as anyone. I often find it difficult to remember that the other cars on the road are not annoying, dull-witted, slow-moving beings in and of themselves, but are rather inanimate conveyances populated by living, breathing, feeling people much like me. And each and every one of these people has her or his own mishegoss to contend with every moment of every day.

She looks like a nice lady…but what would you think of her if she happened to be driving in front of you at a much slower pace than you’d like while you were already running late for something…?

It could be that the woman dragging her wheels so laboriously through the neighborhood on the “Do Not Pass” residential streets that stand between me and my destination isn’t driving so agonizingly slowly just to annoy the hell out of me and make me late for my appointment (for which I probably should have gotten out of the house 10 or 15 minutes sooner…). What if she’s driving so slowly because she just got some horrible news from her doctor about that odd growth she’d had removed and biopsied a few days before, and her mind is more on her mortality than on her motoring…?

Or maybe she just got some great news back, stemming from the application she’d sent off to that Ivy League school that she thought she didn’t have a prayer of getting into at this late stage of her life, but which blew her mind by accepting her anyway, and so she’s just giddy with appreciation and a renewed sense of joy in life…and therefore, to her in this moment, racing through the quiet streets in school bus territory feels like a far away and unimportant concern?

Or maybe her particular brand of more permanent mishegoss is simply the reality that she’s one of those infuriating people who somehow always manages to leave her house with plenty of time to spare, and so she’s just taking some quiet pleasure in the simple act of driving, enjoying the journey as much as, or even more than, the eventual destination…?

Be aware of the mishegoss of others, but also remember to gaze into the mirror to identify and better understand your own while you’re at it…

The point is that any human you might meet has some kind of agenda. Some of this is due to the irresistible dictates imposed upon us all as biological organisms. Some will flow from our emotional responses to the events that life throws at us, some of which responses will be pretty intense. And some can be attributed to our longstanding, deeply entrenched personal holdings of mishegoss. This is true of anyone out there in the world…so if you can keep this truth more at the forefront of your mind, it will help you to be more forgiving, and to take most things much less personally than you might have done in the absence of this mindset. It may even allow you to go easier on yourself for having your own mishegoss.

A large percentage of the posts that I lodge here are aimed at helping people to become better Tarot readers, better astrologers, better overall metaphysicians of whatever stripe. And this post is very much in line with those aims. That is, it will help your metaphysical game immeasurably to do your work while trying to better understand just what is the nature of a specific person’s mishegoss, what might be driving them, what they might get out of the deal, and how you can help.  And this includes you, as well as your querents and clients.

Because remember, when it comes to mishegoss, we all have some. The only normal people – the ones who don’t seem straitjacketed by endless bolts of some variety of mishegoss – are the ones you don’t know very well.

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