Tag Archives: spirituality

Believing in ourselves…

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Time To Pretend

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“All the great empires of the future will be empires of the mind.” ~Winston Churchill

Digital Art by Jeanne MasarWhat I mean by hard-wiring caused by years and generations of socialization is that genetically humans are now predisposed to suffering. Suffering, in the social environment, has become normalized, and anyone who should deviate too far from this standard is considered “crazy” or abnormal.

Now, before I continue, let us come to an agreement about what constitutes suffering? Not a definition of suffering but what can be called suffering in the human condition (as we exist in a societal environment). In what form does suffering come? Suffering can be called an intangible state of being, that is, one’s being exists in a state of suffering. Suffering, once had a definite and easily determined cause, i.e., racism (but let us not veer off into efforts of indoctrination or further observations at this movement through sociology’s eyes just yet), womanizing, immigration (and by immigration, I mean, in the early days of Europeans arriving in America and their efforts at rising out of poverty), etc. [NOTE: I purposefully chose social movements, that is large acts of deliberate oppression enacted upon other groups of humans by other humans within a society. I could not go to an indigenous culture for several reasons, but mainly, because I don’t consider myself well-versed enough in indigenous culture to do so and I think much of human suffering that we are talking about stems from western culture and western society constructs. Further note: I am looking at human suffering solely from an anthropological perspective]. Okay, these kinds of mass suffering no longer effects western society as deeply, save only in a mass destructive way, i.e. Hurricane Sandy or 9/11, and human suffering suddenly comes to the forefront.

Sociology says that natural disasters are usually the times in which human beings will come together and forget about all the differences that the day before loomed so important as to cause neighbor to fight with neighbor and realize that “We are all human beings” that we bleed the same blood, etc. etc. Well, why is that? Why is it that humans only understand suffering following a natural disaster (there is a whole other element about this that disturbs me when I think upon it. In what I have been reading of late (anthropology, molecular biology, organic chemistry, which are naturally intermarried and naturally lead to consciousness) it seems as if humans do not unite because suddenly they caught a glimpse of what is really important, but out of fear and a unity in loss. Everybody understands loss)? It is as if humans require a disaster, some cataclysmic event, in order to set aside our petty differences. I think this is part of the reason why these unified acts of kindness are only temporary. Once enough time has passed, or that the event is forgotten or that some other kind of remedy has occurred, that time of bonding falls away, and we return to our “normally” suffering selves. This is a fundamental problem, I think.

I reason that there must be some deeper cause for humans’ [current] inability to understand human suffering or the suffering of others. I mean, if you believe in Kohlberg’s scale of Moral Development, there is more than one dimension, more than one scale of existence, and some humans exist on different scales. We are not all equal, in other words. Now, here is an element of reality that some are reluctant to discuss or even entertain the notion that it is true. We are not all equal. Equality can only be an extrinsic quality offered to humans in society; meaning, equal protection from police, equal representation in court, equal opportunity at law, you know, this kind of philosophy. However, it is not true biologically, psychologically, physiologically, culturally, or genetically, you know? I think we don’t fully understand this, as humans. There is a distinction in some things. It is only so on a certain level. It’s like humans try to create a unified theory of everything in everything. This would create a homogenous existence, what could be learnt from this? What use is a homogenous existence? That would be like playing the game not to lose. Risk is not necessarily a negating property, nor is chance, and I think that playing the game not to lose is to surrender risk and chance.

But, don’t get me wrong, I acknowledge that there is potential and probability that the world can be different. I think fear is a powerful obstacle. But, this too, will end. As in chaos theory and entropy, randomness slows down to order, and order slowly breaks down [entropy] and then transforms to something else, some other unrecognized pattern (what we then call chaos). We, as a race of humans, are learning that the once archetypal ways of living are outdated and obsolete. We are realizing that the acts we have and are committing upon ourselves, upon our consciences, upon our environment, upon the planet; we are now comprehending that every act has an equal and [sometimes] opposite reaction. We are learning to love what we are and then live that way. The times are changing and the time to pretend ends like a clock slowly winding down until it stops on high noon.

*Digital Art by Jeanne Masar.

Why Spirituality

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I think it was Soren Kierkegaard who said “…the majority of men live without being thoroughly conscious that they are spiritual beings…”

There are times when I think about that and even if I did not consider myself a spiritual person, I think the fear of living and dying without finding out if that were true or not would lead me to spend a lot of time investigating it further.

One of the things that always left me feeling off balance, even when I was a little girl, was my fear of missing something. Whenever my parents had company over and I had to go to sleep – I couldn’t because I was so afraid I would miss out on something important. Those always were the nights I stayed up the latest.

So what if Kierkegaard was right and I could be one of those people who might miss out on ever knowing my spiritual being? Imagine how awful it would be to miss out on something as major as becoming aware of who we really are.

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The way I see it, I’m the one person – the only person that I can ever fully know on this entire earth. I have been put here to live my life and I owe it to myself and to my creator to do the best with what I’ve been given, for as long as I’m here. I can not do any of that if I don’t know myself and discover who I am.

It is like being given a gift for Christmas by someone who loves me, but never opening it and trying to enjoy it as much as I can, even though I have no real idea of what is inside.

So, when it comes to there being any type of ‘argument’ or ‘case’ for developing our spiritual beings, I believe Kierkegaard hit the nail right on the head. The best reason to be 100 per cent certain about whether we agree or disagree with the concept of our own spirituality; lies in the very possibility of it existing. If there is no such thing, we haven’t really lost anything in our inner quest to find it. Maybe we devoted a bit of our time on what has ended up as a wild goose chase; but we’re not any worse off for the journey.

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On the other hand,if we take the time to search for our inner spirituality and we are successful, then the payoff is a tremendous one – for not only have we prevented ourselves from missing out on something very important, but we’ve discovered another level of our being that we would never have found, had we not gone searching for it.

In other words, we have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

And speaking from my own personal experience…it is an amazing journey, filled with excitement, enrichment and wonder.

Join me!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Judy is a licensed clinical social worker and has worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. Judy’s professional experience in the mental health field along with her love of writing, provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. Her fresh voice and down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life are easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!

Humanity is but a scale. . .

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Humanity is but a scale. . .

It is this hard wiring that must be reprogrammed, not so much in individual persons, but in the DNA of humanity itself. The gene must be turned back on. Like reversing the damage done by centuries of the civilized life, well, reversing it without returning to the original point, so a new point to begin evolving. In the civilized life, we forget that we are animals and start believing that we are superior. We start believing that the abilities of mental acuity makes us formidable and beyond reproach. We start thinking it makes us immortal. Although, we can possess mental acuity and we are (as energy) immortal, we are not as humans immortal, we are not untouchable, we are not an ALL KNOWING BEING. Humanity is but a scale, a dimension of existence, a level of magnification. As is consciousness.

There are such apprehensions as infinite finitudes and finite infinities. There is limited unlimits and unlimited limits. It’s more like a spiral, and by spiral, that is to say a gradient (or levels of degrees). A growing, an expansion….not some vertical all powerful CEO. Nature knows this, the Earth knows this. Take, for instance, a spider building its web above the rapids. To put what the spider did into human terminology, he will yield the most return because he built an efficient economy. Bugs gather above the water because it is a source of food for them as well, some will inevitability be trapped in the web. Spiders build webs all over sporadically it seems. But that’s on one level of magnification. There is an intelligence here, it could be on the quantum level or on the macro level [that is should we say if the earth is conscious] which protrudes from motion as a spider that builds a web above the water. The spider knows. And humans are a scale of knowing, a way of explaining the world.

And this deep knowledge (by deep, I allude to volume of Time) is projected as instinct and awareness.

“My rule is, when you are unhappy, think about it. But when you’re happy, don’t. Why spoil it? You’re probably happy for some ridiculous reason and you’d just spoil it to know it.” ~Richard Feynman

The Spirit Of Chaos

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The Spirit Of Chaos

“Take one of those individual threads in the fiber that seems to be so chaotic and go into the constitution of that, and again you will find fantastic order, you’ll find the most gorgeous designs of molecules.” ~Alan Watts, The Web of Life

Why is it that we think we must depend upon our brains to lead us through life?

CosmicFace_by_Exper_flickrIt is not the brain that experiences (the brain is more like a recording apparatus) but our minds, our consciousness experiences and perceives and conceives our environment (environment here does not necessarily exclude an urban or suburban environment). Since our minds experience, by what process do we undertake this experimental existence? Intuition. We feel, we sense what surrounds us, because we ARE our environment.

Multiplier_by_Exper_flickrIntuition is that part of us, as conscious beings, that processes those constant changes within our environment, which can be aware of those incalculable factors. What’s more can interpret, assess, and comprehend those factors, like a kind of calculation (albeit, one that does not involve counting). Intuition can do this faster than the mind can think, and even more rapid than logic can compute. Why then should we depend upon the brain and its logic? Why should we use it, rather than or as substitute for intuition? Logic is limited, therefore, finite. More, it is flawed, because it can only compute either/or, it cannot perceive a dynamo of information (i.e., factors and variables) simultaneously, all extending from separate directions, chaotic stillness. Logic, that is to say linear systems, regulates an environment, and in that regulation transforms that environment into a static environment, the reduction of infinity to the finite. Our intuition, on the other hand, embraces chaos and randomness without fear of punishment or failure, because our intuition knows that in chaos there is order. The brain and its logic attempts to order chaos. So, we as intuitive beings choose life and health, imagination, our wild nature, exploration, and experience to be more alive, to evolve. For this, we as intuitive beings are uncontrollable, incorrigible, impossible to regulate, and non-linear. If intuition is the spirit of chaos, then life be the canvas.

SoulWise_by_Exper_flickrThrough an intuitive, fully open, wide-eyed, sensual and honest experience of existence, it is possible to transcend hopelessness, pessimism, disbelief, etc. by living in the moment and accepting things as they come. To really enjoy living and look at life as an adventure, we open our hearts, minds, bodies, and spirits to our natural intuitive state of being. In this way, we can enjoy every moment of discovery in the world…and we can become like children on a playground. Now, this does not imply that we possess knowledge, intelligence or wisdom to be absolutely sure about anything, however, it does mean that we are free to change our minds quite often, because the more things we experience, the more our perception changes, and the more we grow and evolve as human beings.

persistenceofcatabolizingsublimations_by_JoelEvelynFrancois_flickrWe are not meant to be miserable beings…we are meant to be vibrant, fully open, playful, sensual, universal beings. We are more than we can become, because each of us is a fractal of light…and we are all connected.

“Light, here, means awareness  to be aware of life, of experience as it is at this moment, without any judgement or ideas about it. In other words, you have to see and feel what you are experiencing as it is. And not as it is named. This very simple “opening of the eyes” brings about the most extraordinary transformation of understanding and living, and shows that many of our most baffling problems are pure illusion.” ~Alan Watts

Thebigbang_by_CarlJones_flickr*Image Credits (all work used with permission through CC license)–
“temple of peace” by AlicePopkorn
“Cosmic Face”, “Multiplier”,&  “Soul-Wise” by Exper Giovanni Rubaltelli
“persistence of catabolizing sublimations . .” by Joel, Evelyn, Francois, . .
“The big bang” by Carl Jones

Melvin

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Melvin

Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness. ~Allen Ginsberg

This experiemental, ambient piece depicts the ups and downs, the good days and bad days, the moments when I am “okay” and those moments when I am going through hell. Melvin is a term of endearment given me by my boyfriend, Stephen, so this song is a personal one. It’s syncopation follows the daily “schizo” moments wherein madness seems to overwhelm the entirety of my consciousness and awareness and also those moments of beauty and tranquility wherein the whole of being becomes filled with peace of mind. This is my dis-ease, this is my life.  Hit PLAY.

Track 1 off work in progress and new album called, From The Mind Of A Schizo, Affected, [NOTE: Also, see new category Journal on my blog for writings taken from my journal while involuntarily commited in a State Mental Institution, like this one] which is a personal story of my days living with SchizoAffective Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Root of all Madness*Image Credit (all artwork used with permission through CC license)–
“juste avant le sourire – just before smiling” by Monch_18
“Root of all Madness” by Chris Lofqvist

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Schizo

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Schizo

To go out of your mind once a day is tremendously important, because by going out of your mind you come to your senses. And if you stay in your mind all of the time, you are over rational, in other words you are like a very rigid bridge which because it has no give; no craziness in it, is going to be blown down by the first hurricane. ~Alan Watts

WantToGoOut_by_StephaneLavoie_flickrThere is a lot of unusual experiences (from an external perspective I would imagine, as the experiences are quite usual to me, in that I have experienced them in some form since I was a child), experiences that I cannot determine are part of SchizoAffective Disorder or are somehow related but not caused by having a SchizoAffective brain/mind/consciousness or are not some other aspect of consciousness/awareness/existence as that is known and understood. You see, I must know/feel/intuit that the time is right before I can do anything, but then suffer from missed opportunity after missed opportunity thus making it ever harder to begin. It is a ceaseless and terribly horrific ride of a mobius strip.

Am I a mindless fool? My life is a fragment, a disconnected dream that has no continuity. I am so tired of senselessness. I am tired of the music that my feelings sing, the dream music. ~Ross David Burke, When the Music’s Over: My Journey into Schizophrenia

lebaiserthekiss_by_Monch18_flickrYou see, whenever I have a thought, my mind creates a tessellated reflection of whatever happening, occurrence, event, abstraction, etc. that I imagine which creates an entire series of new thoughts. I could draw what this looks in the third dimension, but it would only be a digital representation (of sorts, only not unlike a photograph, the impression of light; rather, an impression of thought, a psychograph so to speak or logograph, I guess). What I am describing (or attempting to describe) is not only how I think, but how I experience consciousness and the “structure” of awareness as I perceive and experience it at this moment. However, this, although evolving, has PhotoProjects_by_PowderPhotography_flickrremained constant within my entire life. I (as I can be known) has changed, but has always been. The Fibonacci Sequence, to me, happens to be a favourite number, sequence, harmonic series, description of the form of consciousness/awareness/intuition/life. By this, I extrapolate future happenings, occurrences, events, memories and “past” happenings, occurrences, events, memories, etc. From the present (where this form sustains allways), contains, like a spiralling set theory [a set containing the Fibonacci sequence, per se] what now once was and what now will be. It is nearly impossible to demonstrate or to convey that presentfuturepast are one and the same and the same one, but whatever grasp of English I can muster does not suffice. At least not in any written form that I know.

HumanBrainEvolution_by_hawkexpress_flickrI apply this same “model” onto the motion of an electron along a motherboard, or the machinations of what is known as the world wide web, or the function of the internet in the physical realm, or the motions of average business, or the fluctuations of populations, or a race of people, paradigm shifts, the “laws” of motion applied to technology and information systems, to systems of bureaucracy, governments, etc.; or the structure of the socially constructed self; by it I comprehend philosophy, maths, law, psychology, sociology, anthropology, history, etc. By that, I see the form of ego, the form of consumption, the form of one plus one equals two, or two plus three equals eight. And this is how I am able to perceive/see/sense/feel/emote life, consciousness, awareness, and existence. And so the experience of the third dimensional world to it is quite full, as every sense behaves in this way, as such, I experience, sound, color, taste, sight, hearing, texture as intertwining and full substantial matter, so to speak. When I taste something (not only food, but also an happening, or a sound, etc) I perceive that taste with my entire being, throughout my consciousness and awareness and existence, I do not so much as become that taste, as to vibrate in parallel, to create music with it, as to resonate at its frequency as if I (in that entirety and wholeness) were a tuning fork, its symmetrical reciprocal. It is both maddening and beautiful, freedom and enslaving.

No one is more dangerously insane than one who is sane all the time: he is like a steel bridge without flexibility, and the order of his life is rigid and brittle. ~Alan Watts

Elettroshockfinalsolution_by_LucaRossato_flickrTo see and yet carry the weight of those who cannot see in this manner and to carry the weight of thoughts that do not belong to me, but exist only in the brains of others, the idea of the social personality, that manufactured intelligence known as American people, neurotypicals, or global population, or bureaucrat, or president, or lawyer, or schoolteacher, or sister, or brother, man, women, age, etc, etc. becomes unbearable. So, suicide becomes the only option to quit the forever bombardment of mental mines. Then, I cannot fill out a form, I cannot talk to routinized human beings, I cannot bear to think for another or to control another, I cannot lie, I cannot harm another, even at my most horrible bouts of lunacy, and so forth.

Hope_by_LucaRossato_flickrAll this, you see, in attempt to explain how I am should someone contradict, or attempt to place my mind in a conundrum or paradox, or present to me a double bind. This is why social conventions, mores, and platitudes can wreak such havoc and terror upon my conscious being and mind at multiple dimensions (i.e., spiritual, psychological, emotional, etc.).

Maybe each human being lives in a unique world, a private world different from those inhabited and experienced by all other humans. . . If reality differs from person to person, can we speak of reality singular, or shouldn’t we really be talking about plural realities? And if there are plural realities, are some more true (more real) than others? What about the world of a schizophrenic? Maybe it’s as real as our world. Maybe we cannot say that we are in touch with reality and he is not, but should instead say, His reality is so different from ours that he can’t explain his to us, and we can’t explain ours to him. The problem, then, is that if subjective worlds are experienced too differently, there occurs a breakdown in communication … and there is the real illness. ~Philip K. Dick

GiftofSchizo_by_Joe_flickr*Image Credit (all artwork used with permission through CC license, see Gallery below for larger view of thumbnails)–
“Gift of Schizo” by Joe
“WaNt To gO oUT!!!!” by Stephane Lavoie
“Hope” by Luca Rossato
“Elettroshock – final solution” by Luca Rossato
“le baiser – the kiss” by Monch_18
“The Great Madness” by wili_hybrid
“Human Brain Evolution” by hawkexpress
“Photo projects – chandelier spiral 2013 DSC_0004″ by PowderPhotography

Hello, My name is Nicole and I have just been invited as a guest blogger to Free Psychology. I am one living with SchizoAffective Disorder (and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), but I often enjoy referring to myself as “A Weirdo Unleashed.” This post attempts to explain how my mind works. How I can go from contemplating the Fibonnacci Sequence and trying to find patterns in the sequence to schizoid episodes and my mood is affected to the point of non-functioning and serious thoughts of suicide and other ways of self-harm. However, with such a mind I enjoy an eclectic study of sundry subjects, that range from Law to Philosophy to Maths to Technology to Comic Books to Science Fiction to Music to Skateboarding/Rollerblading and on to many creative outlets (music, poetry, essays, treatises, drawing/painting, etc.). I consider that one of the “Gifts of Schizo.” 🙂

To learn more about me you can check out my About page on my blog, NIKOtheOrb. I also contribute nature videos (on good days, but I have found that being immersed in nature is one of the best medicines for SchizoAffective Disorder) and essays to EXPLORINGtheLATERAL.