Spiritual Tools - Define Sanity

"If one person tells me I have a tail, I don't worry about it. If three people tell me I have a tail, I should turn around and look."

How can defining sanity be a Spiritual Tool? A Spiritual Tool, for the purpose of this site, is defined as:

A non-material, situation specific process proven over time and across cultures to change attitude or awareness and promote quality of life.

"Sanity" or "sane" is often defined as “soundness of mind”, “mentally healthy” or “having or showing sound judgment”. “Sound” is defined as “free from defect, decay or damage”. This implies some universal standard of soundness.

I sensed sanity in others but had found any definition insufficient. Defining sanity for me has been more involved.

Our literature is filled with stories of the insane. At the time of this writing, four of the top fifteen or 27% of the books on the New York Times Best Seller List of Adult Fiction concern serial killers. This is way out of proportion with reality. What percentage of your life has involved a serial killer?

I used to spend hours immersed in these novels. Here are descriptions of the other books from the same list that address insanity but not serial killers: 1) “An idealistic law school graduate is forced to take a job at a large, brutalizing law firm”; 2) “A shapeshifter who works as an auto mechanic in Washington State is menaced by a vampire”; 3) “Aliens have taken control of the minds and bodies of most human beings, but one woman won’t surrender”; 4) “A Russian defector becomes a counterspy”.

There seems a fascination with the insane. I had been quick to recognize insanity outside of me but slow to see it in me.

I now define sanity as “Applying Universal Principles Consistently in Thought and Deed.”

This makes sense for me and is usable in any situation.

The quality of my life has improved in part by spending a little time defining sanity and becoming aware of my own deviations. When I use another Spiritual Tool - “Pause” - I take time to become aware of my thinking and my actions and compare these to this standard of sanity.

When a thought arises that does not meet the standard, I laugh and turn my thoughts elsewhere – usually towards fitting myself to be of service. When doubtful, I look at the solutions laying at my feet. Any one that matches The Universal Principles will result in a favorable outcome. I consider my written goals and pick the solution that adds balance to my life – thus the consistency part of the definition.

I do this for quality and peace of mind not Sainthood.

This tool is not hard to use but failing to develop and use it tends to manufactures trouble and misery.


  1. Integrity
  2. Self-Discipline
  3. Honesty
  4. Humility


  1. This tool suggests you find your own definition of sanity - a standard of thought and action.
  2. Write it down.
  3. Share it with a mentor or advisor.
  4. Revise as needed.
  5. Pause during the day and at times of decision.
    Ask if what you are thinking is sane by your own definition;
    If what you are doing is sane;
    If what you are planing to do is sane.
  6. If unsure, ask for help.
  7. Revisit your definition if needed and be willing to adjust it.


Once upon a time ...