“You know these things as thoughts, but your thoughts are not your experiences, they are an echo and after-effect of your experiences: as when your room trembles when a carriage goes past. I however am sitting in the carriage, and often I am the carriage itself. In a man who thinks like this, the dichotomy between thinking and feeling, intellect and passion, has really disappeared. He feels his thoughts. He can fall in love with an idea. An idea can make him ill.”
Tag Archives: Thought
Things To Hide: How Honest Are You?
Is anyone completely honest? Is it even possible for anyone to be that transparent? Or does everyone have, for whatever reason, at least a few things they hide?
It might be because they’re ashamed to share something, whether it’s something they’ve done or something they don’t like about themselves. Or it might be because it’s better for everyone else that they don’t reveal something: they saw something they shouldn’t have or they know something no-one else knows. I’m thinking about things that don’t harm anyone if these things aren’t revealed; so it’s no moral code that’s being broken here. The only thing that’s being broken is the ability of a person to wholeheartedly reveal all of themself to another person.
Of course, none of us can completely share everything with another person due to our brains being encased in our bodies at a ratio of 1:1. No matter how much you share and how well you share it, I will never be able to understand it or experience it the way you do. We have the gift of communication and as relational beings we can relate to each other, but I will never know if what I experience is exactly the same as what you experience, close though it may be. It’s the whole when I see blue you may be seeing purple scenario, and even if we both saw blue, we may be seeing different shades of blue and never know.
Excluding the limitations of the physical design of our bodies and things like time and memory, I wonder if there’s anyone who is known completely by another person. I naturally think of people who are married or who have been with someone for many years. I used to think going out with someone meant they would know everything about you. This terrified me and it was the reason I thought I’d never go out with anyone; not because I didn’t want to, but because I didn’t think I could share everything with another person. If a prerequisite for going out with someone was you had to tell them everything – as I thought it was – then I was doomed to be alone forever.
I’ve come to realize though, that even marriage doesn’t mean two people will know everything about each other. Sure, they will probably know each other more than any other person, but they’ll always be learning new things about each other. People can go into marriage thinking it will fulfil them because, “At last I will be known completely,” only to realize that’s not how it works. I’m okay with this. I know not to look for fulfilment from another person; that’s too high a pressure to put on someone.
I had a friend tell me, “It’s not like that,” when I told her my fears about having to share everything with a guy if we were to go out. This made me wonder, “Well, what is it like then?” Because as much as I feared having to share everything, I also desperately wanted to. In one way I was relieved that I don’t have to reveal everything, but in another way I was kind of disappointed. I wanted to be known by someone, and now I found out going out with someone and even marrying them wasn’t going to guarantee that. Was there no hope for me to be known?
This wouldn’t be an issue if I was honest with everyone and had nothing to hide. I wouldn’t have this need to be known and this desire to share everything if I was already known. And it is this that brings me back to my original question: is anyone completely honest? Or is it just me who feels like no-one truly knows me?
Maybe it’s okay to not reveal everything. Maybe it’s just a personality thing. Some people are open books; others keep things inside. I’m quiet and introverted so maybe that explains why the thought of sharing everything terrifies me and why I feel like no-one really knows me. This would all be fine except I have a need to be known. Is this something of the human condition that we all simply want to be known? And is this because we were made to be known? I don’t mean that we’re all made to be famous, just that people will know us for who we really are.
I don’t think it’s just a personality thing for me, though, because it’s only certain things I don’t feel I can share: things I’m ashamed of, things I don’t like about myself, my fears and insecurities. Do I have more of these things than other people, or do I just fear sharing them more than other people? I worry about what people will think of me. I worry they’ll think badly of me. I worry they’ll judge me.
But I want to share these things because if I don’t, no-one will ever truly know me. Maybe all the things I want to share don’t need to be shared, but I always thought if someone wanted to really know me, they’d want me to share everything. Maybe other people don’t think people are hiding anything, because they themselves don’t hide anything. I, on the other hand, know I hide things so I assume others hide things too and I want to know them. It matters to me.
I want to know people and I want them to know me.
Perfection vs Love
I love it when something can completely change my perspective. And I love it when that change in perspective has a good impact on my life.
This happened to me when I watched another marvellous TED talk—this one was on vulnerability.
Sometimes we have a certain idea of what we should be like and when we don’t live up to this idea, we can feel disappointed, guilty, depressed or angry. I used to feel so guilty that I wasn’t what I thought I should be. I was hard on myself; I mentally berated myself all the time. Telling myself I didn’t need to be perfect didn’t work because deep down I still wanted to be perfect.
But after watching this video, something clicked. Now I believed that I didn’t need to aim for this perfect idea of myself. Instead, I’ve come to accept the me with all my flaws because I’ve learnt that having flaws isn’t a bad thing.
I’m okay with being imperfect; I’m okay with me. It was such a relief when I learnt this lesson and my perspective changed. It was like the guilt just lifted off me. There’s still things I don’t like about myself but that doesn’t mean I don’t like the whole person. Having things I don’t like about myself isn’t a reason to think the worst about me. Instead, I can accept I have things that aren’t great in my life and still say that I’m okay.
The goal isn’t to have the perfect personality, appearance, job, skills, etc. The goal is to love and be loved. Think about it this way: we can be perfect and not loved or we can be imperfect but loved. All my life I’ve wanted perfection over love. Now I want love over perfection. That’s the key difference in my thinking. I believe people can be loved even when we’re imperfect. So there’s no need to strive for perfection anymore, unless you want perfection for perfection’s sake.
I wanted perfection because I thought it would make people, including myself, like me better. Now I just want to be myself. How amazing that when we are ourselves, people can love us more. And when we like ourselves, we’re free to love others better because we’re not worried what they’re thinking of us. We can just see them and love them, instead of see ourselves through their eyes.
I hope this helps all the people who think they need to be perfect, simply be me sharing what changed for me. I couldn’t force the change; it just happened. I hope it happens to you too.
Let go of who you think you should be, and just be. Take that burden off your shoulders of who you think you should be. Just be. You don’t have to be anyone else than who you are.
A Look At The Abscence of Ego In The SchizoAffective Mind
There is a point at which one becomes aware of deeper truths present in what one perceives as reality, and although scientific-management and the other social experiments exacted upon the world by those who seek to create come kind of rational human being, a superman from the nascent gene pool of human nature, attempted to insert in SchizoAffectives (although at birth it could not have been known that these particular individuals—true individuals and not the rugged individuals of whom Watts speaks—would resist this insertion by becoming SchizoAffective [or Autistic or even Schizophrenic]) this rational thinking process, the mechanism of the system, the SchizoAffective resisted, with his very life.
When a human being is born, he has no inherent thinking process; he has only sensation and awareness of those sensations. He lives only in the Now, he has no extrinsic concept of time, he has no ability of mind to predict behavior. At infancy, the human being is at his most mindful: all mind and no thought. All awareness and the glimmers of consciousness from his first intake of oxygen (and perhaps before). Through systematized familial relationships (whether that familial relationship be biological or institutional or on the street is irrelevant, for the etymological origins of the term family stem from the word “familiar”. Family is that which one is most familiar. That which one encounters and engages every day) a process of thought begins to supplant or replace that natural mindfulness and awareness. In Western Culture, rather than raise the levels of consciousness begins to break them down, to disintegrate them. Not necessarily out of meanness or malice or even evil, but out of efficiency and necessity.
To disintegrate the consciousness and narrow the awareness makes for easier rearing of a child in an already systematized culture and society. Thus begins the Social Game. Without knowing the effects of such play, the familial institutions begin to prepare the infant for a childhood of systemized living: schooling, social interactions (rather than friendships), social communication (the forming of consciousness and awareness and sensations into rational, logical, linear thought, and thought into rational, linear, logical language). A schizophrenic meanders in speech, seemingly illogical, lacking linear capacity, therefore difficult to follow or comprehend. One thing does not naturally lead to another. It takes a path untrodden through the wooded fabric of his still intact mindfulness, awareness, and consciousness. Like grasping Alice’s hand and wandering thought Wonderland for a spell, visiting bits and pieces of nonsense. Like looking at the first layer of a highly iterated fractal. The SchizoAffective mind works (not processes) like layers of fractal chaos. It tessellates. Only making any kind of sense when the full pattern of the fractal can be seen from a higher level of magnification. As such, systematized society and its rules are traumatic to the schizoid mind.
The schizoid mind is not fragmented by years of systematic abuse (that is AB-use, used badly or wrongfully) despite his speech appearing so to systematized society. His depth of emotion remains wide along the spectrum, not divided into sad/happiness, anger/contentment, crying/laughter. It retains its seemingly inexplicable nonduality and laterality: Cry-laughing-anger-smiling-sorrow-contentment-pensivity-stillness, etc. In effect, a chaos of emotion and mental associations that is like a quantum code. Every iterant absorbs the previous and results in a new iteration, which then absorbs, and so forth. Iterations can be understood to mean manners of speech, sentence structure, sensation, awareness, of environment, empathy of others’ emotions, words and meanings of others in their environment, and so on. Although, not an algorithm naturally, the mind of a SchizoAffective (and schizophrenic) behaves like one, more like IBM’s Watson, or higher level AI. The schizoid mind learns in this manner as well. Thus, he is a difficult addition to the social consciousness. He does not fit. He becomes the discordant (and contrariwise, society appears discordant to the schizoid mind; the affect to the schizo of SchizoAffective). Quite plainly, the social game can and does drive the schizoid mind into madness; hence his defense mechanism of dissociation, or isolation, or hallucination, or paranoia, or delusions.
The schizoid mind experiences intrinsically the external world like a person on LSD. His experience is psychedelic always, his awareness is synesthetic, his empathy almost like telepathy. What then of the socially constructed ego? Why is the schizo without one? Even if he were born with an ego, he would discard it out of preservation for his consciousness. The ego does not fit into the schizoid mind’s psychedelic experience and perception of the world about him. He MUST rid his mind of the ego; else, he shall not survive the continual and constant onslaught of the social order. In other words, the riddance and absence of the ego is a self-defense mechanism in the schizo.
*Image Credits (all work used with permission through CC license)–
“*aLiCe iN WoNdErLaNd-SynDroMe*” by caroline barberis
“treatment-of-schizophrenia-01” by Life Mental Health
“childhood-schizophrenia-symptoms” by Life Mental Health
“Schizophrenia bis” by Gwendal Uguen
“Daydreamer” by H.Kopp Delaney
“Samsara + Nirvana” by H.Kopp Delaney
- Melvin (nikotheorb.wordpress.com)
- Schizo (nikotheorb.wordpress.com)
- Medicinal (nikotheorb.wordpress.com)
- Melvin (music video) (nikotheorb.wordpress.com)
- A SchizoAffective Existence (nikotheorb.wordpress.com)
- What Is ‘You’? (nikotheorb.wordpress.com)
The Best Personality Test
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a personality test based on Carl Jung’s theory of types. The test determines the preferences people have in terms of how they see the world and make decisions. These preferences are what shape a person’s interests, values, motivations, skills and needs.
There are four sets of dichotomies that are measured on a scale:
- How you’re energized- extroversion (E) or introversion (I)
- How you take in information- sensing (S) or intuition (N)
- How you make decisions and evaluations- thinking (T) or feeling (F)
- How do you structure the world- judging (J) or perceiving (P)
All eight are used but people differ in which ones they prefer to use. We might not know we prefer one trait over another but it’s the one we naturally do without even thinking about it. The trait that is preferred tends to be more dominant and highly developed than the other trait in the dichotomy.
Here’s a brief explanation of each trait:
Extroversion- Focus on the external world of action, people and things
Introversion- Focus on the internal world of reflection, thoughts and ideas
Sensing- Perceive the world through the five senses and what is present
Intuition- Perceive the world through insights and possibilities
Thinking- Objective decisions are made based on logic
Feeling- Subjective decisions are made based on values
Judging- Approach the world in a structured, planned, organized way
Perceiving- Approach the world in an open, flexible and spontaneous way
Once you know which four preferences you have, you know your personality type, which is expressed as a four letter code. There are sixteen types:
All types are equal and valid. There is no best type. They are simply different ways of seeing the world and making decisions.
Get to know and love your type but remember you are not just your personality. Personality makes up a part of you, and your MBTI type is only a part of your personality (other personality tests may show you different things about yourself). There is more to you than your type and there will be unique things about you that don’t match up with your type. No personality test will be able to describe or explain you completely, but I still see their worth for the small measure they do help you to know yourself better.
I have found the MBTI personality test to be the best because it has helped me understand myself better than any other test. You can read about that in this post: MBTI and Personality Enlightenment.
How well do you know yourself?
To find out your personality type, do this personality test.
Once you’ve found out your personality type, go to this personality profile page and click on your four letter code. I have found these particular profiles to be the most useful but you can also type your type into Google and check out what other profiles say about you.
Leave a comment with your type and the name for your type – I’d love to know how accurate you think it is for you and if it helped at all.
MBTI and Personality Enlightenment
Before I tell you what the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is about, let me show you why I’m fan and why I think everyone can benefit from it.
When I found out I was an ISTJ, the duty fulfiller or the inspector, I had a light-bulb moment. I used to think there was something wrong with me because I had a combination of traits that made me different to most people I knew. To name some of them: I’m an introvert, I love studying and doing assignments, I enjoy hard work and painstaking, meticulous work that other people shudder at, I love deadlines and submit everything early, and I’m an organized freak who is incredibly structured and plans everything.
Now, being the introspective, metacognitive person I am, I knew all this about myself, but I thought I shouldn’t be all these things because other people thought my traits were odd.
That was all until I discovered MBTI and that I was an ISTJ. The profile fit me to a T and it was like I was reading myself on a page. It was amazing! It showed me that there was nothing wrong with me; I just had a particular personality caused by the way I saw the world, processed information and made decisions, which is something I don’t do consciously but could now understand.
I was worried when I told a friend my life motto was, life is about things to do and getting them done, because she just laughed and told me I was a workaholic. You’d think I would have worked that out for myself but I missed that fact. The motto isn’t what I thought life should be about; it was just how I saw life. I couldn’t help it and I thought I should get a new motto. But it reassured me when I found the name of the ISTJ is duty fulfiller. That sums it up right there and from then on I was okay with my hard-working nature and my tendency to state facts rather than inspiring idealisms.
Being an ISTJ, I got all the, what I call “hard” traits; so I’m a justice over mercy type person who likes rules. It’s why I love structure and don’t have a spontaneous bone in my body. I work well with details and facts because I take in things via the five senses so I excel in those areas, but even though I adore thinking about concepts and big-picture things, I don’t work well with those things. I would get frustrated when I had to work with big-picture things and didn’t know why before I knew I was an ISTJ, and now that I know, so much frustration is avoided.
Now, that’s only the tip of the iceberg in what I learnt about myself and how it helped me practically. I’ll give one more example of how it helped, and I use this one to show how knowing your personality is valuable because you can mould and manage it when you understand it.
As I said, I got all the “hard” traits. This was something I didn’t particularly like about myself, because I knew the importance of caring about people and not just doing things the way I liked them with rules, structure and cold hard facts. I knew there were also things called feelings and intuition, and I worked to develop my softer side.
That’s one of the great things about being an ISTJ: once we see the value of something, we wholeheartedly run with it. We’re not stubborn and don’t cling to our own ways when we see the validity of something new or different. So now I can be a mercy over justice person, not because that’s what I naturally go towards, but because I’m aware of other factors that might override justice, things that have become important to me since learning about my personality.
And now I can come out as an ISFJ with my feeling trait more developed. The profile doesn’t fit me as well as the ISTJ one and I will always naturally tend towards thinking over feeling, but because I’m aware of this, I can override it and use my feeling side. So you see, without knowing I was an ISTJ, I wouldn’t know that I lacked this feeling trait or that I was a thinker, so I wouldn’t have known how to do anything about it. All I had was this vague idea that I was a hard person who wanted to care more but couldn’t bring myself to do so because I didn’t know how I worked.
Now let me qualify this by saying, there’s nothing wrong with being a justice over mercy person and if that’s the way you want to stay, go for it. There are many other traits I have that I’m perfectly fine with and even though others might look down on them, I won’t change them because I’m cool with it.
The key is that MBTI can help you accept all of your traits and you can either love them or change the ones you’re not so keen about. I’m not sure I believe you can change your underlying preferences, but I do think you can override them if you understand them and work to develop the other preferences.
I will rave about MBTI because it helped me understand how I see and do things and I’ve benefited so much from it in so many practical ways. Have you ever had a light-bulb moment from understanding something about your personality? Maybe you’ll get one when you do the test. Here it is: MBTI
In my next post I’ll give an overview of the MBTI so you’ll have a better idea of what I mean when I talk about traits, preferences, etc.
Thinking About Shyness
I was a painfully shy kid. One of the earliest examples I can give comes from a kinder experience. We were rehearsing for a Christmas play for the first time and I was allocated to the red group. There was a frog, fairy, yellow and red group. I, of course, wanted to be a fairy being the girly-girl I am but plain, boring red it was for me; at least it was better than yellow, which is my least favourite colour.
The second time we rehearsed the play, my teacher asked me if I was in the red or yellow group. I didn’t say anything because of my shyness; I rarely spoke up to people who weren’t my family. I knew full well that I was in the red group and that I wanted to be in the red group, but I feigned that I didn’t remember and the teacher put me in the yellow group. I wasn’t very happy about this but this just shows the level of shyness I had as a kid. I didn’t speak up when I knew the answer to a question, and I didn’t even speak up when it would mean I’d get something I wanted.
It’s a common symptom of not speaking up: not getting what you want. When I ask people what they want, it frustrates me when they’re all polite and won’t say what they really want. If I ask what you want, I really want to know what you want. But I can’t blame them when I still fall into silence at times and don’t let people know what I really want.
I’m a lot better at speaking up for myself as an adult, and I think part of the reason is because I know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of a person who won’t speak up. You feel for the person but at the same time you almost want to shake them to make them speak up; you want them to speak up for their own good. Seriously, so much self-torture can be avoided if you just speak up.
If it matters to you, speak up. If someone is asking because they care about you, they will want to know your answer and do what they can to help you get what you want.
Perhaps the best example of my shyness as a kid comes from my visits to the milk bar down the street with my dad. Tony, the milk bar owner was a friendly guy and he’d say hello to us. Dad would always tell me to say hello to him but I never did; I was too shy to open my mouth. It would always frustrate my dad and one day he was so angry about it that he said I couldn’t have the packet of jelly beans he’d bought me at the milk bar until I said the word hello.
Now, any normal kid would just say hello but not me. I went to bed that night stressing over how I would get those jelly beans. I resolved that the next morning I’d say hello by simply saying it to dad when I saw him as though it wasn’t a calculated plan but a simple greeting.
So the next morning I put my plan into action except it didn’t work. I couldn’t bring myself to say the word hello and I ended up yelling “Hi.” I made up for my lack of hello by yelling hi to each family member and finishing with a, “Hi everyone!” They must have all thought I was nuts. I did!
Eventually, dad just told me to say hello and he’d give me the jelly beans, and so I grudgingly said hello and got my prize.
Now when I think back on this, I wonder why I was so shy. Was it actually shyness? Because I knew in my head there was nothing wrong with saying hello or speaking up in general. What I hated, though, was what my family would think of me if I spoke up. I don’t get it. They thought poorly of me when I didn’t speak up and I knew they’d think better of me if I did speak up; so why did I never speak up? What was my problem?
I’m still not sure to this day, and there are occasions even now when I won’t speak up for fear of what people will think of me. And in these types of situations, I’m never worried what the person receiving my words will think; it’s the people watching me, expecting me to say something, that has me worried. I didn’t care what Tony thought; I cared what my dad thought. But what am I afraid of? That they’ll think I’m a well-spoken person? That I’m normal and speak just like anyone else does? It doesn’t make sense, does it?
One of the areas I struggled in besides saying hello and good-bye to people was being served at a restaurant. If I sat with my family, I would always feel so uncomfortable when the waiter asked for our orders and gave us our food and drinks. I could never say, “Thank-you.” Mum would tell me it’s polite to say thank-you and expect me to say it. I rarely did and the times I did, it was so very awkward and I wanted to crawl in a hole and never come out.
Now why was that so hard for me to do for years? I’m very conscious of it even now when I go to a restaurant. I always say thank-you now and can do it with friends easily, but when I’m with family, it still feels awkward. It’s like all I can think about is what my family is thinking of me. They’re probably not even giving it a second thought since who makes a point of noticing when someone says thank-you to a waiter? But for me, I am incredibly conscious of it.
This is one area I don’t quite understand about myself. It doesn’t seem logical at all. I’d love to know an explanation for my strange thoughts and behaviour. All I can work out is that it has something to do with the expectation. If my family didn’t expect me to say hello, good-bye and thank-you, maybe I would have just done it because there was nothing attached to it, no pressure.
I’m not sure if this fully explains it, though, because usually I live up to expectations. Usually I’m so busy trying to find out what’s expected of me so I know how to behave and if I get no cues, I feel lost. So why then did I not live up to expectations in the case of hello’s, good-byes and thank-you’s? Why did I struggle with it so much?
When the Edge Is Near: An Outline of a Psychotic Episode
It is so easy it seems for my mind to be wrecked, thereby, wrecking perhaps an entire day, or an indeterminate number of hours of long, prolonged moments trying to piece my mind together. And people (the egos of Society) always say I am gaming or manipulating or faking or stupid or some other such nonsense to explain away the means in which my mind attempts to recover from its shattered state.
I would rather not have this happen; I would rather not be affected at any moment, like being stalked by a monster wearing your own face. Like being stalked by your best friend, whom only a second ago was still your best friend and not the lumbering, snarling, shrieking, screeching ogre stalking you. Knowing where all your favorite hiding spots are; using every secret shared; every years-discovered nuance; every shift, pitch and frequency of your voice; knowing with precision every line of your face and using that knowledge as weapons against you. Because it is your own mind that stalks, at any moment turning against you. Turning in on you, twisting and distorting an already upside down world, like an inverted stream of consciousness. A psychic whisperer so can use truth like lies.
A psychotic episode comes on like a holocaust, save there is no warning, no foreshadowing, no skepticism, no ‘wondering If’ before hand, nothing to have taken heed. Just at one second, friend, and the very next before the clock ticks completely over, monster. And it is worse when the break must be kept quiet else it may disturb others (egos in society) and cause further problems, which feeds back in on the break, pushing the mind farther towards the cliff. Suicidal ideations may be pondered and masticated in the mind, but the actual decision comes in an impulse, an instant. Because no one knows where the edge of the cliff is, so one does not know at which point one will fall, as such, suicide is an accidental decision. “It” just becomes too much and there is a knife nearby so you pick that up and rake it across your throat, without thought, without feeling other than desperation as if you are locked inside a 5 dimensional tessellated Schrödinger box. You just want. It. To. Stop. You want your mind to stop.
The misconception is that there are racing thoughts and voices forcing and compelling you. This is a bit of an oversimplification. There are no thoughts; thoughts at that point are not raw enough to embody such pain. Words cannot contain such concepts of horror. The abstraction of that kind of state of mind tessellates fractals, like a code you cannot crack, because it multiplies exponentially a new number to code with each attempt at cracking it. As if a hacker were trying to crack a password, but with each attack, the password randomly changed and used the hacker’s effort as its algorithm. Like tessellating a fractal into splitting dimensions. So, thought, the idea is like a joke. Thought could not possibly exist in this level of hell. Others assume there are only basic emotions, limbic system responses, fight or flight. This is another misconception. We are talking about a unique, personal, intimate, sensual, perfect, precise, tailored mental hell that is boundless and that changes and evolves faster than any “cure” or attempt to heal the gaping wound that SHINES its pain is so clean and perfect, like the most priceless of diamonds. We are talking about a spectrum of emotions. If you should see one registered on the face, then THAT is an external sign of an emergency, because that means that the internal hell is leaking out to the external, amalgamated reality, and that means the edge is near.
I wish I were at a place such that when these moments strike me I can immediately start making a song, like capturing its photography, like freezing light. Sometimes, that helps to get out the daemon. But when such avenues are ripped from you for reasons of social aptitude, it only pushes the edge closer. It only makes you wish for the edge. To need it, want it, love it. So much so that death becomes like a private joke within you. Only the laughter never ends.
No, not so much a spectrum of emotions, but a prism, so many occurring simultaneously that you cannot name them all. That you cannot possibly identify them, they are so subtle, so loud. To say that one is “sad” or “depressed” in this state is not only synonymous with sacrilege (in its wrongness) but also absurd to think that it was that easily named, that easily quantified. Madness has no hold here. Madness has come and fled before something far superior and far, far more terrifying. Satan has had his fill, Satan flees in terror, and this is Satan’s hell. His horror turned to reflect his un-ego.
That is what it is like to be in the throes of a psychotic episode.
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
There 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
You 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 remained 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.
I 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
To 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.
All 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
*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.
Taming Obsessive Thoughts
Taming Obsessive Thoughts
Have you ever gotten a thought stuck in your brain, akin to an awful pop tune from the eighties that just keeps replaying in your mind and won’t go away? A person I’ll call Rachel came to me to help her with a horrifying obsessive thought that was starting to affect her daily functioning. In it, she was being destroyed by a plague of locusts, much like the one that had attacked Egypt in biblical times.
A successful physics professor at a West Coast university, Rachel needed professional help for this recurring, obsessive thought, which had become so vivid over the years that living with it had become almost unbearable. She tried five years of psychotherapy, and then switched to a psychiatrist, who recommended medications that were ineffective and caused unpleasant side effects. Finally, the patient tried a “geographic cure”– a sabbatical to New York. But Rachel continued to experience the terrifying obsessive thoughts. At that point, she was referred to me.
As always, I took a thorough history. I then explained the type of treatment I had in mind. The time frame was to be three or four sessions lasting 90 minutes each. I planned to apply two cognitive techniques and one behavior modification strategy to treat the patient’s obsessive thoughts.
First, we discussed the P&P (possibility and probability) concept. There was certainly a possibility that the locusts could attack her (this generated some humor), but the probability of this happening was significantly slim. As a physicist, she easily related to that concept. That discussion lasted about 30 minutes.
Next, we discussed Newton’s third law of motion: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. When translated into her treatment strategy, this became “for every thought, there is an equal and opposite thought.”
She easily accepted that theory, and it helped to relieve the anxiety of her obsessive thoughts. Taken further, that concept evolved into thinking that for every thought there is a lesser thought — and possibly even no thought. The no-thought concept helps the patient get long-term relief from the obsessive thought.
Finally, we applied the practice of thought stopping. Thought stopping is a method in which the patient induces the thought that is so distressful and is then taught how to stop it. We used guided imagery to induce the terrifying thought of the locust attack.
Here’s how it worked: I asked Rachel to imagine a large movie screen, onto which I invited her to project the scene she had so often envisioned. As she progressed into this stressful imagery, I made a loud noise by hitting my desk with a ruler and simultaneously shouting “Stop!” In that procedure, the image she was thinking or projecting was automatically interrupted, blocked, and stopped. We practiced several times. After six trials, I stopped using the ruler and just shouted “Stop!” It worked. As we proceeded through this technique, Rachel began to take over the entire strategy and began to shout the word “Stop” to control the obsessive thought.
Moving along, we reached a point at which she was able to subvocalize the word “stop” and get the same result as if an outside force had interrupted, blocked, and stopped the thought.
Rachel’s treatment was completed in three 90-minute visits. She was quite pleased that she had gained control over her obsessive thoughts. To reinforce our work together, we audio taped the sessions so she could review them whenever the obsessive thinking began to recur. Having learned how to use the movie-screen approach to project an obsessive thought, Rachel now had a tool she could use on her own. I explained that she could also change images from the obsessive thought to a pleasant scene to help reduce the anxiety that the thought produced.
When Rachel returned to her university, she resumed her thriving and demanding academic career free of that terrifying obsessive thought.
Behavioral treatments like these are hard work, for both the therapist and the patient. Often, we need to structure the treatment to the patient’s thinking, career, and lifestyle, as I did in this case by using the laws of physics for the physics professor. In this, as in so many cases, I am continually amazed at how resilient and changeable the human mind is when people really want to heal, and customized cognitive and behavioral approaches have proven time and again to provide a quick and effective solution.
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This blog aims to present psychiatric/psychological information to a general readership, offering insights into a variety of emotional disorders, as well as social issues that affect our emotional well-being. It includes the ideas and opinions of Dr. London and other leading experts. This blog does not provide psychotherapy or personal advice, which should only be done by a mental health care professional during a personal evaluation.
- For those suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, thoughts don’t stop (reporternews.com)
- Problems in the Diagnosis of OCD (robertlindsay.wordpress.com)
- OCD and Distraction (ocdtalk.wordpress.com)
- Taking Charge of Your OCD (ocdresourcesblog.wordpress.com)
- Guest Post: Being Me with OCD: Spreading Awareness with the Help of Young People (freespiritpublishingblog.com)
- New Clues To Origins Of OCD Could Help Identify New Treatment Approaches (medicalnewstoday.com)
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