Well, this is one essay that I have had on my to-do list for years. I would like to offer some helpful,
perhaps healing, information on the mental "condition" usually known as schizophrenia (as well as some thoughts on
Depression). By the way, a bit later in this essay I hope to have you convinced in avoiding the use of the word "condition",
"disease", or any similar word in reference to schizophrenia, but we'll let it stand for now.
I actually won't be talking about a "cure" either. I have discovered early on that there are no words that can of themselves provide a "cure', but there are plenty of words that can guide you to use your own power – and your spirituality – to create a cure. (Hint: not the stern spirituality that you and I have been taught)
All of the following words will not come from books or textbooks, but rather from my personal experience, right around the time I started college many years ago at the University of Dallas in 1964.
There will be several sections:
My "Scizoid" Years
The Death-in-Life/What is Schizophrenia
Here's the Real "Decent into Madness"
Medical Science and the Purely Physical
So, uh, Where's the Cure? (Jimmie's List of Healing Tools)
We do not "have" a body
Look for the analogues
No hi-tech jobs
Possibly helpful drugs
A selection of helpful books
Good diet and especially fish oil
Develop the habit of making affirmations. We create the healing words
This essay will feature many entries from the journals that I have kept throughout my life.
I have found that keeping a log of events is and excellent way to keep track of what I did and why I did it – even
on something as simple as a home improvement project. I have written many articles on such projects for this blog,
but would never have been able to write any of them from memory.
There is absolutely no way that I can reproduce the feelings and words of events that happened 50 years ago without these priceless journal entries. Having kept these logs, I can provide the words and feelings exactly as they were when I experienced them.
And I hope you find these recollections to be helpful and perhaps healing for you.
I might suggest that you read this while listening to quiet music, music with pathos – great depth of feeling.
When I started college in the early 60s, the first year was excellent. I knew how to study well throughout high
school, and carried this talent into my first year of college - at the University of Dallas - a Catholic school near
Dallas, Texas. I aced freshman Calculus. I aced freshman chemistry - there were about 110 students in
freshman chemistry but only about 25 remained in the sophomore year.
I was one of those 25 in my sophmore year, but not in the same way.
The summer of my freshman year was the Summer of Energy Failure.
During the prior summer (right after graduating from high school) I worked at Drackett products company, and soon became the "Hand-Pack Whiz Kid". I was hand packing Drano cans right off the assembly line into shipping boxes, and soon got fast enough that I had one of the other employees pre fold the boxes and another shove them under my hands. Bam-bam. Bam-bam, a can in each hand; Bam-bam. Bam-bam, 2,4,6,8. I could ram 8 cans into a box in a few seconds. I broke the past production record once and then one more time and one more. (We each received 10 cents as a reward each time!!)
But during my freshman summer, none of that happened. This was the Summer of No Energy. I packed those boxes more methodically than enthusiastically. The energy and enthusiasm were gone.
And when I arrived back at the college for my sophmore year, I found my studying abilities to be missing. I could not concentrate enough to keep my attention on a textbook. No energy. My A and B grades turned into C and D.
So where did the energies go?
Be assured that I asked myself that question many times during that period.
About half of it had to do with the strict Catholic education I received in my youth. All my energy was spent in avoiding "sin". So I could not allow myself to participate in the sexual revolution that the 60s was all about.
You may think this to be a bit stupid. But the (traditional) Catholic Education I was subjected to in grade school and high school made it absolutely clear that one is to avoid "mortal" sin at all cost. And somehow violations against "holy purity" were considered by at least some of the sisters and priests as mortal sins. I remember one of the nuns describing lurid ways by which one could suddenly die - without a chance to "repent". I wouldn't dare describe some ot these plots on my "PG"-rated blog! They would make some of today's R-rated violent movie screenwriters jealous!
The way I described it at that time was this:
Catholic Education imparts an infinitely subtle madness that protracts childhood far beyond its years.
So the "Scrupulous Conscience" (taking Catholic Education too seriously)
accounted for some of the loss of Life Energy. The rest was complete absense of self-esteem. On the
surface it was chronic shyness but deeper down it was the fear of expressing myself - particularly
when it comes to women. I called it Fear of the Feminine back then.
A big part of the complete lack of self-esteem was the strict discipline I received as a kid. But I'm not letting Catholic Education off the hook for a some of the blame. I have a quote from my journals below about that! ("Unworthiness was actually a prayer.")
And somewhere in there a shrink gave me a one-word explanation. The doc summed in all up with
the "S" word - Schizophrenia.
So there you have it. Schizophrenia. That oughta tell you all you need to know. I "had" Schizophrenia.
Between the Catholic education and the "sickness", I managed to "solve" the problem about what to do with the new sexual feelings I began to experience. But the supposed solution took several years, consumed all my energy, destroyed my planned career as a physicist, and left me psychologically dead.
We'll call this the start of my "scizoid" years, the start of the "Death-in-Life".
And why do I call it the "Death-in_life"? Because I managed to suppress all feelings during the period. I became the Mindless Icon in the Carpeted Office.
And I call the recovery from this experience the Second Birth.
Perhaps it would be well for me to start with my thoughts about what this experience called "Schizophrenia" is. If I were asked to answer the question "What is Schizophrenia?", I would say:
Schizophrenia is a time in your life when you are disconnected from your physicality.
It is important to refer to "it" as a time in one's life - an experience - rather than a
thing, a disease. If you say schizophrenia is a disease, you then find yourself put under a
condition of helplessness.
"Oh peachy. I have Schizophrenia. Now what do I do", you ask yourself, "I have this disease, an 'it' over which I have no control."
Also if we say it is a time of life, we can make use of time. Time is our ally. Why? Because in time things change. And in time all things will pass.
As a little side note, there is a hidden "language gotcha" in these words.
"In time things pass"
This tends to reinforce problems (experiences) as things. Thus we say, "In time the schizophrenia will pass", or "In time the depression will pass", and the like.
Maybe we should say "In time the (mind-created) ideas will pass"
If I were asked "What is Schizophrenia?" I might also start with words
about doing things without thinking about them, for instance, tying one's shoe. "It flows from
the hands, not the head. I'll bet there is no one here that can describe - in words - how to
tie a shoelace. (I'm not talking about crossing the lace - 'just bring one strand across the
other' - I'm talking about the bow.)"
Touch typing is another act that flows out of the hands. No touch typing for the schizoid.
So "schizophrenia" is when life temporarily does not flow from the hands - the feelings are gone. So you are left with thinking about how to do the simple things - not doing them automatically. No depth of feeling, no natural response to other people. The hands have long since forgotten their flow. You can't even stand up straight. There may even be "compulsive behavior", as you attempt to stave off the total absence of feelings - the Death-in-Life. If you fail, the term "catatonic" is used.
Catatonic Hebrephenic Schizophrenic
Strange how the words have a nice rhythm about them, even though they describe one for whom the rhythm is gone. The catatonic is dead.
Just to relate a story, an excerpt from your past, an opinion about work-related issues, or even a joke - and to do it with depth of feeling, with the same voice that you would use to talk to yourself - this is impossible for the one with no stories, a forgotten past, no "normal" opinions, and frozen laughter.
Here's another way I might describe the experience of Schizophrenia:
Imagine a person with a bad back. Imagine this person with a bad back
walking around in a crowded mall during the Christmas season.
"Oh. Look at that person bending down to pick up something. Man, I wish I could do that."
"Oh. Look at the other one taking rapid steps up while riding a moving escalator. Wish I could do that"!
Now imagine the person with a "bad brain". Imagine this person walking (slowly) around in the crowded mall.
"Oh. Look at that person placing his hand on the shoulder of another, saying 'Yeah. I'm with you on that one!' Wish I could do that."
"Oh. There's someone telling a joke. His words are lively. They are confident."
"And look at that person over there gesturing with her hands while explaining something."
"All this looks so natural for them.
Oh God, I wish I could participate in this life like other people do!"
Why is "bad brain" in quotes? Because it's not entirely an affair of the brain. It's an
issue with the feelings.
Along the lines of not thinking about "mental issues" as things/diseases, and along the lines of how our language holds us in thrall: When someone tells us they are having a problem, physical or mental, the first question we ask is:
"What is wrong?"
One way to present the experience might be simply to give some entries from my journals. As mentioned above, I kept extensive journals through all my life. This is significant, because events from the past are soon forgotten. I would never be able to give you a decent essay about any of these events from memory. All these are direct quotes from a bona-fide card-carrying Schoid. . .
12/10/1966 Not participating in life
The tall, self-assured young man is talking on the phone to his girlfriend about a sensation he experienced.
You know how you feel little needles over all your body when something scares you? Well that's how I felt when the kid ran out in front of my car. Of course I was able to stop, but I couldn't get away from that eerie feeling. Say, I have Saturday off, and was wondering. . .
And why is the other young man, not so self-assured, the one standing dark and pensive over by the water fountain, why is he so affected by the words of his co-worker? Why so fascinated by the other's description of sensations? Is it not this: is it not that when the mind mulls something over and over, there is a hint and indication that something is wrong? Is the dark and sullen young man's fascination with the other's description of life not due to his own lack of feeling, and is this not the mind's attempt to provide the key?
I slept a lot in the daytime during much of that time
1/3/1967 a "Proem" ("Prose Poem" )
I did not ask her, of course.
And so we walked away and I carried the umbrella, the crutch.
Why a crutch? Because it kept her hair dry and I wanted to see it wet.
And later, in the carpeted office:
But I am not listening too much.
"You say you sleep a lot.?"
Yes, I had said that.
"Did you know that sleep is a psychological need. . ."
Why does he say that?
"as well as a physical need. You are getting. . ."
But I. . .
"in your sleep. . ."
"the relief from the responsibility you cannot face. . ."
"in your life."
And he waited, and I thought - or rather was aware. . .'responsibility'. . .What responsibility? Oh. he means
passion. He means sex - the feminine bed.
"Oh, you mean sex."
"No. I don't mean only sex. That is not it.
That is not it at all.
It is personality. Only those who ask the woman to walk in the rain become alive.
So. . . why did you not ask?"
Why did I not ask?
I had an extraordinary sense of the Feminine, heightened by my isolation from it.
2/12/1967 Another proem fragment:
A hand placed on an arm.
For all the frailty of woman:
The little blue veins seen in a hand.
11/28/1967 Little things (which I called "lesser influences) are felt more intensely by one with "The Problem".
Little things might be some mistake one might make in a social situation, or even
something as simple as the drone of a lawn mower in summer.
Given the Original Sickness, all these lesser influences - which otherwise would not affect a man - hurt, and ultimately repress, him. We weren't born with Original Sin. We were born with Original Sickness, passed down from our culture.
By the Original Sickness, I meant the lack of oneness with one's body, or fear of sex, or later, when the fear is understood and gone (suppressed), the absense of any feeling.
9/18/1966 Cute little insight about shyness vs self-confidence:
To seek perfection in conversation is known as "shyness". To be satisfied with imperfection is known as "self-confidence".
Here is a way to hide your psychic issues: Think of yourself as a "Writer":
9/8/1965 The Writer as solitary person
Maybe the title should be "a very lonely person"
Is a Writer a writer because he talks his problems over with himself only, because he has somehow gotten the habit of conferring with himself in his imagination, because he never talks - or usually does not talk - to others, at least as a child; because he "talks" in his thoughts, either to his other self, or to imaginary persons, or to real people but yet in imaginary conversations, talking about the same thoughts that most people get out of their systems by conversing with others.
But perhaps shyness has kept him to himself, and he releases his tensions by writing about them.
Another comparison of myself with the Artist/Writer ("Neurotic" was a big word back then):
3/12/1966 Art not too far from neurosis
The Artist's personality and the neurotic personality are similar because both are an intense awareness of the basic things of life.
Childhood discipline had a lot to do with all this. Yes, I had a very strict father.
Discipline merely admonishes for its own sake. For example, a child will leave the medicine alone, not because
it's harmful, but merely because he has been told to.
Speaking of discipline:
The little baby, after reaching out with its arm, soon notices the sensation that "this appendage of mine" causes some change in my world. After a while, hearing repeatedly the phrases 'I', 'mine', 'me', 'you', 'yours', and the like from its parents, the baby soon acquires the feeling that 'I' can change my environment.
Later the arm picks up the crayon and writes on the wall. Then suddenly comes the sharp word.
And the baby has its first experience with discipline.
But if the discipline is too strong, some of us fail to differentiate between "I have done a bad thing"
vs "I am bad."
Eventually there is a disconnect between your "self" and your "body". There may be times when you look at your hand as if it were not yours, as if you could not tell it from somebody else's. You do not walk in tune with the beat of your heart.
I have always had a soft spot for this journal entry. A girl I knew who just had gotten married had a baby that she named "Frankie"
12/5/72, Frankie, as if spoken to his mother:
Ever since the baby was born, you feed it and are the agent of everything it feels. You are the baby. It has
no "I"; you are the "I". You are Frankie. Sometime Frankie will begin to be his own I, will cry to get you to
feed him, or to hold him, perhaps just to find out he can make a change, himself, upon his world. Still,
when you leave the room it hurts, because you take a little of Frankie with you.
But he will grow, and live his child's life with various degrees of sureness and unsureness, of "I" and sometimes "Not I", of happiness and being afraid. His "I" will be some mythological hero, some Peter Pan soaring high in the air. Later, in his adolescence, he may take on many "I's" - as if to keep other people from knowing or possibly rejecting the real one. Frankie will be many people, but a little closer each day to being Frankie.
And yet, somehow Frankie will never really be himself, will never be one calm, consistent person and not many persons, will never really be free, until someday some woman takes his hand, that same hand you hold now, and says, "Frank".
1/23/1967 Cute little description of love
Love is that which comes perhaps simply from a girl placing her hand on one's arm, and possibly
saying "Help me, for I'm not all there."
Well, I've got news for you girls. We guys aren't all there, either.
So perhaps love is a making of two people "all there".
3/4/1966 Unrequited love, or unrequited well-being?
Do I still love her, or do I simply love the times of happiness and euphoria? Do I love her - or do I love a
In 2015 I went through all these notes and journal entries. For this particular entry, I see now why I failed 100% with all the women I tried to date: That's because I was so dependent on love!! Even back then I was aware that I could probably have done much better with the ladies if I wasn't so dependent. I couldn't be just a nonchalant "regular" easy-going guy because I needed that intense feeling just to stay alive! The rush of "love" is the only thing that gave me life!
Indeed, in 2015, memory prompted me to summarize all this in a journal entry
2/25/2015: The problem was that I could not "grow up"
In That Summer between freshman and sophomore years of college, I lost my energy.
My college career (and likely future career in physics) was also "lost". It ocurred to me this morning, as I was
imagining myself telling someone about that time in my life, that I could describe it is failing to make
the transition from childhood to adulthood. Indeed the journal entry that I had at the time was "Catholic
Education imparts an infinitely subtle madness that protracts childhood far beyond its years". These words
were the kind that come to mind even though their meaning is not understood at the time they are said.
That is, I did not know why I wrote them.
I understood this morning.
You make the transition from childhood to adulthood when you have the energy to undertake things that are more difficult than you ever could when you were a kid. To do this usually requires the support of another person. That's one reason for the powerful attraction of the first feelings of love. Here's this quite delightful passion that can give you the energy to study, to create, and to do things that most of us can't do on our own.
I remember the image of the 1964 yearbook picture of a playwright's wife standing in the theater doorway
watching his latest drama with him. (I copied it on the right) I had the sense that she was the real playwright,
because she gave him support.
So during that summer, on the surface I got tied down with a "scrupulous conscience" and sought counseling
from one of the priests. But the real reason I could not continue my studies was that I could not approach the
lovely lady who came in out of the summertime shower with water glistening on her arms. The real reason was
that I asked another lady to go to a concert that neither one of us enjoyed when I really just wanted to have
a picnic at the local lake.
My ongoing fantasy
In the movie A Beautiful Mind, John Nash kept up a fantasy of being a Secret Spy Operative, which drained all his energy but somehow kept him alive. My version of this ongoing fantasy was all those constant thoughts about finding an "answer" to "The Problem". I was literally trying to find my own cure, so that I could go back to my college studies and regain the success I experienced in the first year. But the search for a cure became not an attempt to live a productive life, but instead to suppress carnal urges, so that I could be compliant with the discipline imposed both by Catholic education and by my own Internal Disciplinarian - the memory of childhood sternness.
So I used up all my energies trying to find the "insight" that would allow me to avoid carnal urges. I wrote little notes on various scraps of paper for years - 1964 to 1970 or so. This was such a well-developed fantasy that I convinced myself that I was on to the Secret of Life. I even transferred a bunch of these notes to a small spiral notebook and gave it to my English Lit professor, anticipating a "Wow. This is really good" type of response. (I got instead a low-key comment that had to be due to kindness on her part rather than any perception of real value.)
So, all my creative powers during these years of youth - the very years that usually are associated with "brilliance" - were sucked up by this constant intellectual/emotional distraction.
This was my ongoing fantasy.
Nonetheless there were at least some times when I sensed that I was killing myself looking for the ultimate "insight":
8/13/1966 Another proem
It's just like the Western Desert.
We miss all the beauty, looking passionately for the springs, only to find them arsenic.
We pass up all the beauty looking for the answers which will destroy us.
So thirst, crazed traveler. The arsenic spring of insight awaits you.
Keep thirsting, for thirst is the cure of the thirst.
And here's a couple of entries that showed my awareness of who the real culprit was:
11/11/1965 One of the ways Catholic Education engenders these problems
The avowed purpose of the Examination of Conscience is to make one more aware of his actions. Most people go about living unaware of most of their actions.
11/13/1965 More on Catholic Ed
On Tuesday they will tell us about the mercy of God. On Friday, they will tell us about the requirements of a good confession, or the three criteria for a mortal sin. So by Friday we will have all forgotten about the mercy we learned on Tuesday.
Not good enough for 'ya?
Here's a much more recent journal entry that reveals Catholic Education to be the source not only of fear of sin but also the source of zero self-esteem!
3/14/2020.Unworthiness Was Actually a Prayer
In my (Catholic) education as a kid, unworthiness was actually a Prayer. It was the "Act of Contrition", and we were to say it daily. It went like this:
"Lord I am not worthy, but only say Thy word and my soul will be healed."
If I recall correctly, it was the first bead on a Rosary.
But wait. It gets worse: You could get Points for Using the Rosary(!) When I was thinking about the Act of Contrition, I remembered that you got "points" for saying prayers or using the Rosary. The phrase "Plenary Indulgence" came to mind.
So I looked it up, thinking to myself "Surely this silliness has been put to rest!" Well, I quickly found it hasn't. By saying certain prayers you can reduce your punishment!
Here's a quote from the Catholic site, catholic.org/prayers/indulgc.php:
"Indulgences are two kinds: partial and plenary. A partial indulgence removes part of the temporal punishment due for sins. A plenary indulgence removes all of it. This punishment may come either in this life, in the form of various sufferings, or in the next life, in purgatory. What we don't get rid of here we suffer there."
Is that what I really was taught?!? Is sickness or mental suffering a punishment from "God" (the Punitive, Judgemental God that many of us learned about as kids)?? How many people are accepting Fibromyalgia, Rheumatic Arthritis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and other chronic "diseases" (and yes, Depression or Schizophrenia) because they think they are deserved???
Up to this point, all of these journal excerpts have been hints. Here's a summary of the Real Thing.
I had dropped out of college after 3 frustrating years. I then did various jobs - the kind you do when you don't have a college education. Yet they, being physical and not mental jobs, brought about some healing. It was enough to allow me to go back to the University of Dallas and embark on a B.A. in Psychology. What better way to find out how to heal oneself?
I actually aced all my Psychology classes. Piece of cake. I could answer any essay question by simply drawing upon my neurotic expertize! But I was not fully prepared for the graduation ceremony. I was completely taken by surprise to find the following on my diploma:
"Cum Laude, 3.0"
Apparently the A grades in my freshman years and the A grades in all the Psychology courses counteracted all the C's and D's. The vision briefly failed when I saw that on my diploma. . .
So, the following is excerpted from a term paper that I wrote for one of the professors. Unlike
the earlier stuff I turned in to the English Lit professor, this really got noticed. Why is that? Because it was a description
of the Real Thing. Who better to describe the Real Thing but a card-carrying schizoid?!?
(The example given in the first sentence is a modern one. They didn't have any such corporate silliness in the 60s.)
Many of us have probably adopted a temporary mechanism of defense to help us handle a situation
that is hard, undesireable, or maybe just plain silly. such as one of those corporate schemes that consultants dream up
and management buys into, for example "Blending Scrum and Kanban to Create an End-to-End Agile Enterprise".
But some of us have been living in two worlds for another reason. They have taken on a type of split that ordinary folks might do to avoid the discomfort of a perceived meaningless (or threatening) situation.
Some of us have lived this split life for a long time. Such people have two separate lives. One of them is the false self, which they create in order to present to the world. It is the "self" that others see in the person, not his real personality but the one which he wants them to see. The other life is the real self. This one's hidden and lives in the back of the mind only. He is not inclined to reveal this self, perhaps because he fears it will be rejected, aware of that aboriginal rejection back, far back, in his childhood.
Whatever the reason for all this, the point is that this person cannot do anything that is pre-eminently his own. He cannot say what he feels to another because he senses this would be an assertion of his true self. So when some feeling wells up inside, he squelches it and promptly says something which would be acceptable to the person he is speaking to. One must be similar to that person in order to be accepted. R.D. Laing, in The Divided Self, points out that liking someone means being like that person, hence losing one's own identity. (p 174).
Any relationship with a woman is out of the question for our young schizoid. It's not just because he might be afraid of the feminine bed. It's the deeper questions she is likely to ask. "Who are you?" "What do you feel?" "What are your deepest thoughts?". He cannot answer "Who are you?", for example, because he fears she will not like the "I" that would be the answer. (And the answer is fast becoming "I am nobody.")
In social situations, he is caught up in What-is-Proper-to-Say. Why? Because if he says something Not-Proper he might be found to be out of place for having said something personal. Saying nothing is the safest way out for such a person. As R.D. Laing suggests, he is concerned with preserving rather than gratifying himself. (p 42)
So, what happens over a long period of time for such a person? Every time he is moved to say something, or stated differently, every time something wells up that is of his true self, it is forthwith suppressed, for all speaking rises from that movement from within which is feeling not "thought" and this feeling he dare not let out for it would reveal the I, and the I is not worthy to be seen. . .
Only one recourse is open to our young schizoid. He may claim that it is a matter of
Scrupulous Conscience and that he is undertaking it under some moral aegis. And with frigid words from the
cold forehead the Strict Moralist will try to rid one's physicality from the "undesired" sexual feelings.
But it is really nothing but the Self-Attempted Cure. What is that? It is the complete suppression of feeling.
There are very concrete reasons for a person in such a divided state wanting to be free from feelings. Our young schizoid, who has had a cleavage going on since far back in his childhood between a self he cannot reveal (yet desperately wants to) and the false self which is his physicality and what passes for his personality, has other issues as well.
Big issues. All this suppression of his real self comes at a high price.
He has certain strong feelings and anxieties which he cannot face: he suffers from deep anxiety, from depression, from terrible fears. He cannot account for these strong feelings, but they are what he is trying to be free from, although he might delude himself by saying he wants to be free from sexual tensions or from masculine weakness or some other sting of the flesh.
Just as a side note, it might be said that "sickness" might be considered an aspect or our peculiar ability to
ideal-ize things. The sick one may have made up an idea in the mind - the idea of the Stern Moralist or maybe
something like the idea of the Unfeeling Distant One. The onset of this sickness, then, might be strongest at
that time of high idealism - adolescence. But I digress.
And we shouldn't forget that our young Schizoid might have acquired a bit of Compulsive Behavior as well. This might make him feel even more separate from "normal" folks.
And now I ask you to imagine a conversation in which a "catatonic" schizophrenic person describes his condition. It'll be a completely imaginary conversation, as you might guess, since the "catatonic" label implies insufficient life to even come up with these words. So this exercise might begin by imagining that our catatonic schizoid was given some Ritalin and that somehow it conferred temporary depth of feeling.
"Do you remember what happened in Therapy yesterday?", the doctor asks.
" 'Remember', you ask. How can I remember anything? Don't you know that an event must impinge upon something deeper than the reach of eye or ear before it can be remembered. I saw things, yet didn't see them; words fell on my ears. I felt nothing. I remember nothing. Tell me what is that deeper chord of feeling you have which carries your events with you from day to day."
"Well, then. Maybe you could read something from this book for me."
"You must be the crazy one, doc. I can't read for the same reason. These words are sombody's feelings; somebody let a little of his own self out in this book, and was made free. As for me, I maybe could recite the words one by one, but they are held together by a rhythm I cannot know; I do not have that rhythm, that chord in me; the words fall, one by one, on my eyes only.
It's just like memory. Don't you see, I have no past now. Even my vocabulary is slipping away. I am forgetting words one by one and starting with longer words. Somebody had a feeling when they made them up, and you have to have feeling to remember them, and I have none. I don't mean just feelings, like being happy or sad or angry - though I do not know these either - but feeling, something deep inside. I am dead in there, inside. Most people believe that thinking is something that goes on inside the 'head'. Well that's not true: you have to feel to think. If you can't feel, you are not moved to do anything, read a book, read a magazine, figure out the different prices of cigarettes in the comissary, write a letter, write anything, take your medicine (you imagine you've done it already), say a prayer, not even dream (or at least remember any dreams). Even sleeping has been more alive than this waking. You cannot think of anything to say to anyone. The words do not come."
So our imaginary conversation with the Speechless One would likely not happen.
And why is that?
It's because the movement to speak that comes before the words is simply not there. When one speaks to another, the speaking is started even before the "idea" is complete, before all the words are formed, because something deeper within, some chord of feeling deep within one's physicality forms the movement that precedes speech.
An everyday example of this from "normal" life might be this: The young man who tries to plan something clever to say when he approaches the lady whom he wants to meet will say something stupid - every time.
So we say then that the person in the state of psychic death, bereft of feeling, speaks no words, will fail horribly in any 'intelligence test', cannot think, feels no one's hand, and is a man with no past. His childhood has been protracted far beyond its years and yet he has had no real childhood. He is moved by nothing. He is nobody.
The Mindless Icon in the carpeted office. . .
And this is where all the schizoid defenses have led to; this is the logical conclusion
of the Self-Cure. It is the land beyond sleep. The state of being able to do nothing but sleep - all night and
most of the day - is the last state in life before psychic death, the last effort of the psyche to keep itself alive.
During the day, during that half-asleep, half-awake stupor which engenders fewer and fewer dreams, the rhythm of sleep sustains the fleeting rhythm of life; the overall pleasant tingling sensation which is the physical effect of sleep keeps the thin thread of feeling alive.
In his languor, on his bed, the suffering one yet lives.
Well, there you have it. I trust you will find it to be a bit more convincing than the Standard Definition of Schizophrenia: "schizophrenia is an affective disorder of the brain, characterized by delusions, disorganized thinking and speech, and negative symptoms such as reduced social contact."
Maybe this would be a good time to discuss Medical Science's assumption that we are
just electrochemical entities, and how this might have some influence in its propensity to come up with all
Medical Science can do incredible things based on its assumption that we are just an electrochemical organism. I see perfectly now even in my 70s because of an "Intraocular Lens Implant" that I had done in 2010. My right shoulder joint works very well because I had an Arthoscopic Shoulder Operation in 2006.
And this confidence that we are just electrochemical organisms is nowhere greater than it is in the medications which are available for "mental" issues, especially depression.
It started in the 1960s with the "Tricyclic Antidepressants". The concept was that if you are depressed, it's mainly due to lack of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and serotonin. The Tricyclics would cause more of these neurotransmitters to be available at all your nerve synapses (bulging places at the end of nerves where nerve transmission becomes chemical rather than electrical). The official wording is that "The Tricyclic Class of antidepressants operates by inhibiting the reuptake of norepinephrine and serotonin at the synaptic cleft." Some names are Elavil, Tofranil, Sinequan.
So Medical Science was convinced that they had it all figured out back then. The high point was a one-do-it-all combination drug - I don't remember the name - might have been Triavil or Tofranil - which had four dosage combinations:
Dosage 1: When the patient was a little depressed and a little anxious.
Dosage 2: When the patient was a little depressed and very anxious.
Dosage 3: When the patient was very depressed and a little anxious.
Dosage 4: When the patient was very depressed and very anxious.
Now that's Medical Science at its (theoretical) best!
In the venerable JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), there were even
ads that only a doctor would appreciate. There was a travel destination ad showing a picture of a tropical setting,
with the words "Feel your nerve ends knitting themselves together at our ocean-themed hotel".
In the next iteration after the Tricyclics, the idea was to concentrate on just serotonin. This resulted in the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs). Some names are Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft.
And for more severe cases, the Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs). Neurotransmitters were Monoamine compounds. If you restrict their consumption by monoamine oxidase, you could in principle reduce depression. Some names are Marplan and Parnate. These compounds were so powerful that they would have serious negative interactions with foods containing tyramine. Red wine, craft beers, aged cheese, turkey, soy sauce and other sauces, aged meats like pepperoni. (In other words, many of the foods/drinks that would have helped you to feel better naturally!)
All of this curative drug business sounds convincing, but it is based on the assumption
that we are just electrochemical organisms.
Suppose, for example, that you have just come out of a store and you discover that someone sideswiped your car in the parking lot, and then just drove away. There's a deep dent from your rear door all the way to the taillight. Now suddenly your day has completely changed and you will have to forget all your plans, figure out how you're going to contact your insurance company, arrange for time-consuming repairs, get a temporary car. And you know your car will never again look quite the same.
You'd be a little angry, I suspect.
But what if a doctor just walked out of the same store, saw what had happened, and said. "Wow. That's a rotten thing to for somebody to do. I just happen to have some Valium in my medical kit and can give you a dose of it, if you want." Suppose you in your frustration take her up on it. So now you have your tranquilizer, your medically calming agent. Would you not be angry any more? The trank will have reduced the adrenaline and cortizol, and you might feel a bit calmer, but I suspect this won't elimate the anger.
You'd still be mad.
The point of these few paragraphs is that, as embodied beings, there is a physical
response to all situations and experiences in life, and this is a very real response. But this physical activity is
not the whole thing. If I am experiencing a time of lowered ("depressed") energy and self-esteem, then the
physicality of that is I will have a deficiency of neurotransmitters. I'll be a litle short in norepinephrine and
serotonin at the nerve synapses. But that physicality is not itself "depression".
And in regard to "schizophrenia", to say that "it" is a deficiency in dopamine or some other neurotransmitter is to speak about only the physical aspect. The experience that is given the name of schizophrenia is more than this physical manifestation.
So, the main thought I have in mind here is that Medical Science is based on the assumption that we are just electrochemical entities. Further, it is known best of all for opposing conditions. So an anti-depressant is administered to combat depression, or an anti-anxiety agent is given to oppose anxiety. Maybe that is why Medical Science wants to administer the the Major Tranquilizers like Thorazine and Stelazine for schizophrenia. The idea is to suppress "bizarre" or "excessive" behavior.
And so too, Medical Science's propensity to name "conditions" is in part due to its assumption that we are just physical organisms.
More Journal Entries
So, here's some more journal entries. I must have written them during occasional times of increased Depth of Feeling, when I caught glimpses of real life, since these entries were starting to have hints of healing.
6/15/1967 An awareness that I was seriously on the wrong path
"Look upon the wide world" you said.
"And write a poem", you have said.
And I, the gentle observer.
Reduced to a graceless icon.
I stand idly by, and look upon it all, but I am only aware of the sound of my own troubled breathing.
But not aware.
Or shall I say idly aware?
So what shall I say?
And in a poem one asks questions. Does one not?
So here is a question.
If a man becomes free from temptation, is it a matter of grace?
Or only pathology.
Have I become a graceless icon?
Every once in a while I had some vestige of real understanding:
11/25/1965 On seeking answers
Problems and life do not always conform to logic. Exact answers will not solve
the basic problems.
True love will not let logic stifle spontaneity.
11/23/1965 Starting to figure it out (about seeking answers) (I retitled this in 2015)
I accidently made the statement "We all know the answers, but we don't know the questions." Yet I wonder if making that statement was not an accident, but that it might just be true.
11/30/1965 Closer to figuring out the "there are no answers" business.
We all know the answers but we do not know the questions. This is true, I now
believe, (I could not say why before), because we do not know the cause of our suffering.
(I added in 2015: Absolutely right conclusion, but for the wrong reasons. It's not because we don't know the "cause" of our suffering, but that we shouldn't be looking for causes.)
12/4/1965 More on my initial intuition about answers, but still not there yet. . . (I also retitled this in 2015)
Many of us (perhaps all of us) have the answers, We merely do not have the questions. We do not really know what the problem is, and so we go through answer after answer, always looking for a new or better answer, because we feel that the previous one has failed.
So, the way I would express this nowadays is:
There are no answers, and it is asking questions that is the problem.
I might note that this is what the Buddha had been saying all along!
By now you will have correctly guessed that I had way-y-y too much introspection. But in my defense, may I remind you that most literature and philosophy back in the 60s was full of this sort of introspective stuff:
11/12/1967 Literature and philosophy at this time was rife with this sort of excessive "theorizing" about life.
A quote from Smith's The Wealth of Nations:
Whether this propensity (division of labor and specialization) be one of those original principles in human nature, of which no further account can be given; or whether, as seems more probable, it be the necessary consequence of the faculties of reason and speech. . .
Note the first statement: it makes one wonder whether the philosopher talks about "original principles in human nature" in order to have the last word. That is, you know, a distinctly human characteristic - to have the last word. Doctors, like philosophers, like to have the last word, too. And they have the last word by giving names to life experiences.
A couple of things about tension and the gut:
3/1/73, Tension and the Stomach
Are we not tense because we cannot take in the world? And isn't it interesting that we are tense in that place where we have taken it in - the stomach?
5/9/72 Cup of Life
There was a time when I did not want any coffee. It only made me nervous, as if I did not want
to be connected to a "body" fraught with anxieties. Medical Science would offer its reasons for this, speaking
of caffeine and its effect on the nerve synapses.
How may we express this from an aspect of meaning rather than measurement? Perhaps thus: if a person cannot inhabit his "body", i.e., cannot face being his own self, then he will not be able to face the cup of life which invites him to do so.
1/2/1967 Interesting thought: what if I (or anybody else) really DID have the answer
It is absurd to search - as the young man often does - for some way to solve his problems,
some way to live. It is absurd because obviously if were possible, then the human mind would already have
found out how, and then those who wanted to be "free from problems" would merely use The Method, and
there would be no further effort necessary.
Yet suppose life were this easy. It ocurrs to me that it would be rather boring, what with the unchanging condition of living under the norms of The Method. So it is perhaps better that there are many different personalities in the world, and hence the need for different ways of living. We cannot "define" life: there are infinitely many personalities and needs in this world. Further, each of us changes throughout life, so no single "answer" applies even for one person.
4/17/1967 We all have to release Discipline. We have to be moving beyond the parental "No", the internalizing of the Parent.
Discipline, Duty, the relentless third person that makes us go outside of ourselves,
controlling, correcting, rejecting. Yes, the cold, misanthropic third person, must be put away when we grow up.
But it has to be there at some time! And so here is the tragedy of man: we all have to overcome madness.
8/3/2005: Imagined conversation
(Sometimes, in the evening or during the night I would have a very creative daydream that
was a surprisingly good summary/recap of all these thoughts.
TIP: you should have a notebook, pencil, and a flashlight by your bedside. All the creative stuff comes at night and needs to be promptly written down.)
A person who was schizophrenic is giving a lecture about the experience to a group. One
member of the group surprises the lecturer by offering his own words as one who has also been there.
"You and I probably have an appreciation of life that is more than most, because we have been through the Death-in-Life, from which we experience the second birth - the one that is more powerful than the first because we are conscious of it.
The return to life started with walking in tune with the beat of my heart - awkwardly and consciously at first, because I was trying to relearn life. That's right. My walk in the prior state was somehow out ot tune with the beating of my heart.
There is no experience - no experience - more wild than to participate in the life of the world around you with all of the feeling that you see others participate in it. If you feel something and say what you feel, and say all the words that you feel and omit not one, then you are alive. Where life is there is speech, and the words are one with the life.
There is no more absurdity if you have lived the deepest absurdity - if you have died - for every event thereafter, every event, has meaning.
It is the case, for the sick, not that they unable to channel their energy toward some meaningful activity - studying or writing perhaps. It is not that their anxiety or neurosis takes up all their energy so that they cannot concentrate on anything. It is the case instead that they have no life to channel into anything. The anxiety, the compulsive activity, is not a mischanneling of energy. It is the attempt to find life - to stay alive.
Most folks, for whom ease of human contact comes naturally, don't understand the loss of that ease. Each and every time we do the simple things like touch someone while talking - or be touched by someone while talking - we realize then that the whole business is a gift.
And if it is a gift, there must be a Giver of Gifts. . .
The Great Spirit is timeless and formless, and we are the only way It can experience the exhuberance of Its creation. We are Spirit interpreting the Earth as us.
You ask me about the voices.
They weren't much of a problem; just some occasional background noise. But now they're gone. They're just gone. My life is richer now. I have released the fears and released the release of the fears.
Do you know what the difference between Western and Eastern philosophy is? Western philosophy says that we are a physical organism that has evolved over time to become conscious. Eastern philosophy says that we are consciousness that has learned over time to become a physical organism. [This idea was actually Deepak Chopra's, in Ageless Body, Timeless Mind]
Why is this distinction important? It's because the Eastern way allows us to have control, to know the "Truth that sets us free". We are an incarnation of Spirit that has learned how to be in Time. We are not helpless beings stuck in a broken physical 'body'. We can by our words begin to change the cells of that 'body', that physical form.
There is no cure because we were never sick.
There is no cure because there are no answers and it is asking questions that is the problem."
(Tears begin to flow freely from the lecturer.)
"I didn't learn this from doctors or books. The life is outside, not inside. You won't learn anything stuck inside four walls. Outside is where I have learned. Go to a lake shore and listen to the waves.
Lap. Lap. Lap. They gently touch the shore and disappear in the pebbly soil, each wave a word spoken by a vastly articulate existence."
3/7/03: Buddhism and just observing
(I had been listening to two Eastern Philosophy tapes. One was Buddhism, by Steve Hagen, and the other was Still the Mind - a Guide to Meditation, by Alan Watts.)
The common theme between both tapes (Hagan and Watts) is that we just observe what is
going on. Furthermore, change is the norm for all life. So if change is constant and we just observe what is going on,
then we would expect to experience different feelings from time to time. Who knows why this is - it could be serotonin,
it could be the effects of success or failure or perhaps frustration in the current task at work. Nothing is to be
viewed as the cause of this or that feeling. We feel good or we may feel bad - and Lao-Tzu reminds us that
"good" and "bad" are learned concepts. (Maybe that's why the usual greeting is "How are you?")
The point is that the feelings are simply there. They should be simply observed ("we should just see" - Hagen). Do not look for a reason for them - and perhaps the main reason that we do look for a reason is that we want to eliminate the "bad" feelings; we fear the occasional anxiety or absence of wholeness.
"It's because I've given in to my impulses."
"It's because I am trying to suppress my impulses."
"It's because I am trying to control my impulses and this has occupied much of my energy".
"It's because I am not trying to control my impulses and they are taking over and draining energy from 'good' activities."
"It's because I eat correctly."
"It's because I eat Twinkies and Ding-Dongs."
"I've not been as unselfish and loving as I could have."
The list goes on and on. And the point is that it is asking questions that is the problem; it is looking for answers that is the problem, looking for something that can explain our lives and feelings, when perhap there is nothing that needs to be done but observe, and perhaps even to let that observation be as if someone else were doing it.
That last part just might sound a bit "schizoid" in its own right. But by just observing, and even imagining that it's someone else doing the observing, we distance ourselves from all that worrying and fear.
Here's yet some more on nameing, but with the addition of one more name: "me".
1/19/2005: Medical Science as the ultimate nameing (plus a little Eastern Philosophy)
I had just read about a "condition" that could possibly apply to our cat ("mega-colon")
that could account for her eating problems. I realized later that it may not "account" for anything but instead
simply gives it a name.
It does seem that Medical Science is one of the most highly evolved systems of nameing (I am thinking about the first few lines of the Tao de Ching: "Nameing is the root of all particular things"). Medical Science and Psychological Science do seem to be all about giving form to "conditions" by creating names for them.
"Doc, my heart seems to be beating too fast."
"Oh, well you have 'tachycardia'."
"Doc, my heart seems to be beating too slow."
"Well then, you have bradycardia"
"You have hypertension"
"You have bipolar depression"
"You have schizophrenia".
Once the name has been named and the Person With Authority ascribes that name to you, then the existence of the condition is all but inevitable. The power of the word takes effect.
Indeed, it's worse than that. These last two tapes (Steve Hagen on Buddhism and Alan Watts on Still the Mind - a Guide to Meditation) speak of the erroneous belief in an "I". ("The 'you' that seeks seeks an answer to the 'Quaking Mess' does not exist.")
So that makes a double whammy for a question like this:
"What is wrong with me?"
"What" can only result in a name, and the "me" - by Buddhist beliefs - does not exist.
Here's a thought that I had entered in my journals. I don't know where to place it, so I will just put it here. I never had a problem with hallucinations, but I know some folks do. Maybe this might help.
2/11/2016: A thought Concerning Hallucinations
I had a "bad" dream during the night in which some sort of human-like people kept manipulating my hands - I
could not escape this, even if I tried to run away, and could not stop them.
We have bad dreams on occasion; perhaps they provide some sort of catharsis/release of fear. This leads me to ask if this might be what hallucinations are to those temporarily experiencing schizophrenia. Perhaps they cannot dream at night and the "dream" is forced on them in the daytime?
I have in mind the little girl on Youtube who is not able to sleep at night, as well as the older one, who is constantly fidgeting during her videos, and has trouble sleeping.
So maybe hallucinations are waking dreams. . .
Time for some humor:
8/18/2007: Cats and dogs
This is an imagined "talk" with my daughter's dog, after my wife brought it over on Saturday.
I said to the dog: "I just might learn to like you if you just had a bit more self-control, if you just weren't so, well, frenetic.
But I guess that's just how you members of the canis prickibus species are.
You have more of the exhuberance of life than cats do. You show more of the range of human emotions - I guess that's why many people are so fond of your kind. You show exhuberance, affection, hurt, gutteral anger, spontaneity.
Cats on the other hand are like, 'whatever'. The only human traits they show are manic depression or 'catatonic' schizophrenia. 'Yeah, you can pet me, but I just might bite you if the voices tell me to.' "
5/14/2018: More imagined schizophrenia conversation. "Scizoaffective" disorder, S.A.D., M.A.D
Well, now we begin 'schizophrenia 202'. What was 'schizophrenia 101'? I suppose
schizophrenia 101 is the standard medical descriptions of it.
For example, schizophrenia is an 'affective disorder'. Or sometimes we hear 'schizoaffective disorder'. If we look that up (in the "Standard Manual"), we get:
Schizoaffective disorder is a combination of symptoms of schizophrenia and mood disorder, such as depression or bipolar disorder. Symptoms may occur at the same time or at different times.
So what is 'affective' then? A problem with affection? 'Disorder'. What's that?
We have 'seasonal affective disorder' (SAD). Is that part-time schizophrenia?
We could say then that schizophrenia is 'mental affective disorder' - or 'MAD'! That brings to mind another word that had its own power in the past, when we had the theatrical phrase 'madness', and having created the word, we feared it. 'Oh, he's going mad!'
What about the 'compulsive' part? For those experiencing a hint of schizophrenia, compulsive behavior actually is where it's at. (I'll talk a bit about this later)
Here's another note about names. If I am "accused" (diagnosed) of having schizophrenia, then the meaning of the name 'schizophrenia' is this: Whatever I am experiencing at the time must be this thing called 'schizophrenia'. It doesn't really matter what I am experiencing - perhaps a time in my life in which I am temporarily disconnected from my physicality, or perhaps a time in my life in which my self-esteem is almost zero - it must be this 'thing' called 'schizophrenia'.
Why? Because the Doctor said so.
There really is a "Standard Manual" - the DSM-5-TR! It's used for "Diagnosis". Here's the release notes for the latest revision:
"The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-5-TR) features the most current text updates based on scientific literature with contributions from more than 200 subject matter experts. The revised version includes a new diagnosis (prolonged grief disorder), clarifies modifications to the criteria sets for more than 70 disorders, has addition of International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM) symptom codes for suicidal behavior and nonsuicidal self-injury, and updates to descriptive text for most disorders based on extensive review of the literature. . . The manual will help clinicians and researchers define and classify mental disorders, which can improve diagnoses, treatment, and research."
Note that the manual is entirely based on "scientific literature" and "subject matter experts", not on actual experiences.
As an example, the new one - "prolonged grief disorder" has its own precise definition:
For a diagnosis of prolonged grief disorder, the loss of a loved one had to have occurred at least a year ago for adults, and at least 6 months ago for children and adolescents. In addition, the grieving individual must have experienced at least three of the symptoms below nearly every day for at least the last month prior to the diagnosis. (I have omitted the list of symptoms).
So if you mourn the loss of a loved one for up to a year, this is "normal", But if you do this for more than a year, it becomes a "disorder".
So, uh, Where's the Cure?
I just know all of you are saying "OK. Where's the cure?" So let's talk about some curative things. Bearing in mind of course that there are no "instant answers" that will magically "fix" everything all at once.
On the other hand there are lots of things that can be said to start the process of release. . .
We do not "have" a body
Look for the analogues
No hi-tech jobs
Possibly helpful drugs
A selection of helpful books
Good diet and especially fish oil
Develop the habit of making affirmations
Before I give my list of "healing tools", it might be well to provide my journal entry on "What is Consciousness". Why? Because some of the curative stuff presupposes an understanding of "consciousness" vs "Consciousness.
(Various dates) consciousness vs Consciousness
It's early morning. You are in the midst of a dream of walking lightly - almost floating - on
a gravelly trail. Your footsteps don't crunch but rather sound more like water droplets falling on dry leaves.
This goes on for a while until you begin to wake up.
"Oh. It's raining".
You have awakened and become conscious - aware of your surroundings.
That's ordinary consciousness - with a little "c". That's what our "minds" are good at: Being self-aware. Being aware of our surroundings. Thinking. Planning for the future. Sometimes our minds are also good at worrying about that future, or fearing some condition in the present.
So what is Consciousness with a big "C"? For this, I might imagine a Creation Story, somewhat like those that appear in The Upanishads or the Rig Veda.
The Great Oneness meditated and contemplated the creation of beings in matter and time.
But immediately the Great Oneness knew It had a problem:
"How am I, the Timeless and Formless Being, going to participate in this matter and form?" But being the great Smartness, The Great Spirit immediately solved Its own problem.
"I will speak the Words of creation, and will impart my own Consciousness to that matter and form, so that it can evolve to become more like Me. All the stars and planets will be a part of my Consciousness, even the elementary particles of which they are made."
Here is where we might allow the Poet within us - our Intuition - to imagine further what the Great Spirit might have asked Itself at the Time of Creation:
"There will be planets with bright moist atmospheres scattered throughout this space I create. And how shall I fly in these delightful atmospheres?
I shall impart My Consciousness to the birds.
And how shall I know patience amid the exhuberance of life?
I shall impart my Consciousness to the trees, to the rocks, to the mountains."
Thus we say that there are no inanimate objects. People who lived in former times understood this.
The Native Americans spoke of the Great Spirit, of Mother Earth and Father Sky, and knew that the Earth is alive.
If our leaders and company executives today viewed the Earth as a living organism, maybe they wouldn't be
so rough on it.
So we distinguish between consciousness and Consciousness. It's a bit like the difference between Western Philosophy and Eastern Philosophy. Western philosophy states that we are material organisms that have evolved to become conscious. Eastern philosophy states that we are Consciousness that has evolved to become the physical forms that we are now. Why is this distinction important? It's because the Eastern way allows us to have control, to know the "Truth that sets us free". As Participants in the Universal Consciousness, we can speak the Word of healing, and it will be spoken with the same authority as was the Word spoken by the Great Spirit at the time of creation, of the Big Bang.
We are Spirit interpreting the Earth as us.
So "consciousness" says "It's raining", but "Consciousness" says "I speak the words of Health, of Success, of Abundance, of Life."
We do not "have" a body
This is the most important thing to learn. Perhaps it would be well to say this is the
most important thing to unlearn.
We have all grown up with the assumption that we have a separate "body". Countless articles on nutrition and health are worded like "Eldeberry compounds help the body to have a better immune response." Or, "Highly processed foods cause the body to produce more inflammatory compounds".
"Body??" Where's this separate body?
We do not "have" a body!
Years ago I was watching the funeral procession for a slain leader. Ths announcer stated that "His body lay in state".
I found myself struck by the idea that this is the only time you can speak of a person's "body" as separate from the person. When alive, the person is not a separate "soul" that "has a body" - the person is instead a body-soul, or body-mind.
This separation actually is said to have originated with Rene Descartes, the French philosopher/mathematician. For whatever reason, Mr Descartes suggested that the body and mind are separate entities, perhaps because the body has physical extent but the mind has none. And this separation has stuck throughout the years.
In any case, ever since that period we have been using phrases like "Good nutrition gives the body more energy and better immunity. . ." and such.
So in any writings from me, you will notice that I tend to use the word "physicality" or "physical form" in place of "body", although some of the earlier journal entries may still have the word "body".
5/4/2006 Words, body, and mind (words for depressives/schizophrenics)
Our language really should be watched, for our words hold us in thrall.
Words, after all, have great power.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. . ."
So we might find ourselves saying something like "My shoulders really hurt, and I'm anxious about
this." In other words, "something is wrong with my body, and I'm anxious."
There are significant problems with that statement.
"Something is wrong." That makes the problem a physical "thing" over which I have no control.
"Something is wrong with my body." That now casts both the problem and my body as physical things My body is a separate, biological entity, and "I" am stuck inside, subject to anything that might happen to this physical object.
"I'm anxious." Even that is wrong. Does that mean "my mind is anxious?" Or, should I associate the mind with the brain? Is my brain anxious?
"Anxious" is a scrunching up of the muscles in the gut. "Anxious" is a needle-like sensation over all my skin. "Anxious" is sweating when it is not hot or shivering when it is not cold - an inability to control the temperature of my existence.
In other words, if my "body" is anxious, "I" am anxious.
There is no separation between body and mind, or body and soul. I am Body-Soul. I am Spirit interpreting form as me.
What this means is that the part of me that is Conscious, the part of me that is Spirit, can understand "things that are wrong" in a different way. "I am the thing that is wrong, and I can change that lack of order in my existence."
The words that I say to myself about these thoughts are:
"You will understand.
You will not explain.
Medical Science explains."
5/23/2010 We do not "have" a body
I was (in an imagined reverie) saying that "life is fragile, and the merest abberation of cells
can take it down."
But that is not the correct way to speak, if we say that we are Consciousness that controls our physical form rather than is controlled by that physical form.
I have often said in the past that we do not have a body, but that we are a body-soul. Now perhaps the reason for this intuition is finally clear. We do not have a body any more than we have this or that disease.
9/3/2010 The bird is flight
(At lake Lavon). [This is a lake in North Texas]
The hawk above wobbles and floats with outstretched wings in the powerful winds blowing off the long stretch of water. It was suspended - as if held by invisible wires - and would turn its body to and fro to steady itself in the flowing currents of air that crowded up over the land.
But no. That's not the right way to say it. The right way to say it is that the bird is the physical form that swayed in the wind.
In other words, the bird is the incarnation of flight.
9/22/2015: There is no "mind"
I cut myself yesterday on my knee (by squatting/kneeling in an area where I had just
broken an old bottle). After a short delay, some blood began to flow from the wound, but after a a few pats
with a paper towel, it stopped. A few more pats of witch-hazel soaked paper cleaned it up, and the wound
remained dry. So it was just like the experience with the insect sting described on 8/20/2015 [See below] -
I am protected by my physicality. To say that I am protected by my physicality is a lot different from the
dread I briefly experienced the other day with fears of the return of the feelings of depression. The actuality
is that we are nourished and protected by our physicality.
Note that I am not saying "my body protects me", as if there was an separate "body" and that "it" protects me.
Indeed, if I say that I am my body and also say that I am part of the Universal Consciousness, then I've covered "body" and "spirit". So where is this "mind"? The mind is the part of us that wants to isolate us from body and spirit. Perhaps it is the "mind" that is the "I" that the Budda says does not exist.
6/13/99 What Am I
If asked "What am I?", the usual response is to state my occupation. "I'm a programmer",
or "I'm a carpenter"
But there are those who say we are much more than our story.
So, a more thoughtful answer might be:
First, I am a body-soul. I do not have a body and I am more than a soul. Being embodied, I say that my responses to life are partially physical. If I say I am sensitive, it is because my senses are stronger than average. If I say that I understand, it is because I see clearly. If I say I am inspired, it is because I take in air very well - inspiration is strong.
Taking the answer even further:
My physical form is the fractal boundary between Earth and Spirit. In fractal theory, all the action takes place at the boundary of two different regions. The fabulous convolutions of the Mandelbrot set take place in the boundary between 2 different mathematical conditions. Coastlines are another fractal boundary. They are intricate, being the boundary between land and water. Thus my physical form is the region where intense feelings and creativity take place. Why? Because I interpret Earth at times and Spirit at other times. My physical form is the mediator between Earth and Spirit.
2/5/2019: Additional note on "You don't have a body":
Excerpt from Richer Living (another Ernest Holmes book), the Feb 3 entry:
"We are not under the law of material problems and world beliefs. We are under the law of the Spirit, which maintains us in freedom and in peace."
And the feb 4 entry:
"Those who live without spiritual vision and understanding are forever trying to solve their problems by manipulating with their human minds and exerting their human wills. . . The recognition of Spirit as Cause and as the creative Power of this world brings victory to the soul. It does this because all problems begin and end within the individual's own Consciousness. As we realize that Spirit's Mind is in us as the basis of our individual Consciousness, we begin to solve our problems at their origin, which is within ourselves."
That is, if we do not say we "have" a material body, or that we are a "spirit" or "soul"
imprisoned in a material body, we can then begin to use our Consciousness to control the cells of our existence.
"consciousness" vs "Consciousness":
"consciousness" with a little "c" is how we refer to our daily self-awareness. It is usually what we think of as separating us human big shots from what we call non-aware things like trees, animals, and the like. It is also the activity of our "mind" when we worry about sickness, failure, or lack of monetary supply.
But "Consciousness" with a big "C" is that ability that we have as participants in the Universal Consciousness. With this Consciousness we speak the words of health, success, supply with the same authority that the Timeless Formless One has when It spoke the Words of Creation (bearing in mind that our language is often flawed: we really don't say the Great Spirit "spoke" the Creative Words at some time in the distant past - the "Big Bang" perhaps - but rather that the Great Spirit is speaking the Words of Creation.)
5/6/2020: The Life flows out of the hands
When you compose music, the music flows out of the hands.
When you type, the letters flow out of the hands (you can't type for squat from the head).
When you speak, the words flow out of the hands. Notice the gestures that most people make while speaking.
So when you are disconnected from the hands, you can't compose music, you can't type, and in extreme cases you can't even speak.
This is what we mean by "schizophrenia". Schizophrenia is a time when you are disconnected from your hands.
There was even one occasion when that disconnection became quite literal. I was lying there awake in the middle of the night. For some reason my arm was raised up from the elbow (so that the hand and arm were vertical). I found myself briefly asking the question "Oh. Whose hand is that?"
Logic might have been saying "Stupid: You're the only one in the room. So it's your hand."
But it was the feelings - or perhaps the absense of feelings - that were saying "whose hand is that".
Look for the analogues
You can learn a lot from observing analogues.
Little things go on during the course of our lives and can teach us a lot. During my time of the "Death-in-Life" when I couldn't read books, I learned from the analogues.
As an example, a simple analogue for me was the sight of a plant
surviving in harsh conditions, such as a plant emerging from a crack in a solid rock area.
10/15/2016: Old scars are gone
I tried to show my wife a scar on the inside of my arm where a boil was lanced a long time ago.
but I was surprised at not being able to find it. Later I looked for a scar on my foot at the spot of an old injury,
I looked all over and found nothing but soft youthful skin.
So it appears that my many of my old physical scars are gone. This would seem right since all the cells of our physicality are replaced every year, as many articles have pointed out.
Well, we all know what the analogue to this is. If we can release them, all the scars of old mental hurts can be gone, too.
8/20/2015: Our physical form heals itself
Somehow a bee or some other insect with a single stinger "got me" in the leg while I was
photographing the waves. There was some discomfort (and the surprise of the incident!) initially. But quickly
the pain subsided and I could continue my snapshots.
I was aware that the fully automatic defense systems were in place and working to protect me while I went about my business virtually unaffected. The localized inflammatory response was fully under way. But I stopped for an instant when the full force of that realization struck:
My physical form heals itself. My physical form is a source of protection, not the source of possible "old age" diseases which Medical Science is prone to warn about. I am protected by my physicality rather than being a prisoner in a fragile body. And if my physicality is the source of protection, maybe it can be the source of the cure as well.
4/14/2009: Muscle tension unexplainable
Sometimes one or more muscles tense up in the lower back. The results are pretty
profound (even though the condition is very simple):
It hurts. And the pain adds to the tension.
It interferes with normal daily activities.
We find it somewhat satisfying to look for "causes" for the muscle contraction. "Well, I worked too much in the yard this weekend". "I have been sitting at the computer too much".
And so on.
And sometimes this can produce helpful information, and can perhaps help prevent such episodes in the future. Nonetheless, too much searching for causes and reasons will only add further tension to the current problem, which is really quite simple: one or more muscles has developed a trigger point, or area of contraction and tension. Perhaps it can only be said that "muscles do that" from time to time, and that the tension will soon pass, as it has done many times in the past.
The important analogue is that these two conditions are common with "mental issues":
It hurts. And the pain adds to the tension.
It interferes with normal daily activities.
And perhaps the same simple thing can be said about these issues: "There may be some times in our lives when the tension/depression is there, and that nothing can be really said except that the tension will soon pass." Perhaps that is what the Budda meant when he said to simply observe - just observe.
No hi-tech jobs
This is not the time for intellectual jobs, especially high-tech jobs! It is very common in
high-tech jobs to be working on an assignment where you really don't know quite what it is you are
supposed to be doing, and you are doing it using methods that aren't even your own but that have been
thrust upon you to meet some sort of archane protocol.
In my past experience I even found big institutional buildings to be very unsettling. One has little groundedness during times of reduced feeling.
This is not the way to reconnect with your physicality!
Get a physical job if you possibly can. Build furniture. Do some home remodeling (only if it's something you are comfortable with). Do forest research. Be a park ranger. (This would be a spectacular job if you can get it.)
Do something outside if it's not too hard.
Do something which engages the spirit. (That's why tech jobs are out - they do not engage the creative spirit). Paint. Write. Do something involving music.
If you have the money, take 6 months or a year off. If you do, spend all the time you can outside, for that's where the life is.
You might find yourself driven with some rather strong desires to indulge in intense physical
activity. In my view it would be well to not suppress these desires, as long as they won't be hurtful in any way to others.
Yes, this definitely includes sexual activity! This can provide some much-needed depth of feeling, far and away
more effectively than that provided by any pharmaceutical compound. This is not the time for celibacy!
Don't have a soulmate? Might you be temporarily unable to find someone? This sort of thing lends itself perfectly to a "do it yourself" project!
I found it life-sustaining to spend some wild times around the local creeks and lakes.
(Remember, I had an issue with misdirected strictness.) Not only were these wild times energizing,
but each experience was different, and hence more creatively satisfying. I went to various parts of the creek or lake.
The experience was even more lively after a rain or in the midst of a fog.
You might be saying "Wierd!". But I always told myself "Compulsive activity is where it's at!"
I still do this sort of thing (along with "normal" times spent with my spouse). I live in Oregon now, a quarter mile from a bay. From time to time I go visit the bay at low tide, and walk around in the seaweed. While down there, I actually have taken many pictures of the various cloud types as well as of the birds. (Please see the second journal entry below.)
If you have any thoughts containing the words "should", "ought", and the like, such as "I should be writing" or "I should be doing volunteer work", this is not the time. You will have plenty of time to do intellectual/helpful/useful activity when you have released your temporary experience and moved beyond it.
6/15/2006 Curative (words for depressives/schizophrenics)
[I made a note at the time that if I ever write a book of "Schizophrenia Survival Tips", there should be a good
description of a simple trip to the creek.]
The life-giving rush provided by this simple pleasure can be a nerve-connecting, endorphin-releasing, life-reawakening event. The accompaning exersize is part of it.
Don't miss a chance to do this on a misty morning when the full moon is still out.
While standing in the cool waters, imagine the wonderful Earth Energies flowing up through your legs to all the areas of your existence (the "Chacras"). Then imagine the energies flowing back down through your head, neck, chest, stomach, groins, legs, and feet - but this time taking with them the fears, the tensions, the memories, and all the other negative feelings. Say to yourself:
"I release all the fears, the blocking energies, the hurts, the memories.
They flow out into the creek, and the into Earth itself, which gently accepts them."
The activity described in the last few lines is extraordinarily healing. I vaguely remember getting the ideas from a Carolyn Myss tape.
7/9/2023: On a possible reason for seeking physical pleasures
When we are on a roll, or "in the Zone", we are able to conduct our intellectual activity with ease. This is stuf
like writing in journals like this, working on a blog article, or perhaps composing a piece of music. We feel
the enthusiasm of life strongly and have great depth of feeling. A sense of pleasure accompanies our activity.
We drink our uplifting teas and perhaps listen to moving music during these times, to enhance the
intellectual/physical "high", the Creative Muse. I refer to this as experiencing Great Depth of Feeling.
It might be well to note that we cannot "force" these times. In the evening a glass of wine might help put us in this creative Zone.
Or it may not.
Indulging in physically exhilarating activity such as going down to the bay and walking among the seaweed, or spending intimate time with one's spouse, might help us to experience the Creative Zone.
Or it may not.
We are spiritual and sensitive beings, but we are also embodied beings. Our thoughts and expectations - our spirituality - can produce these times of enhanced creativity, but the physical aspect of the experience is perhaps due in part to some simple chemicals - the endorphins, the serotonin. And these substances are present some times but also lacking at times. Maybe we had a bit of a restless night. Maybe we didn't eat the most life-sustaining food the night before. Maybe our immune system is using a bit of extra energy contending with some sort of virus. And so we find ourselves in a bit of a fog, mentally and physically.
And it's times like this when we might find we want to go down to the bay.
That's OK too. Can't do intellectual stuff all the time. And while you're driving down to the bay, release all thoughts - if you have any - that you may for some reason be concerned with losing the ability to experience the Creative Muse.
Nothing is ever lost.
Possibly helpful drugs
It never hurts to get a little help from Pharmacology. We do that for a cold, so why not do
it for the more intense stuff. While we are much more than electrochemical organisms, there is nonetheless a
physical aspect to everything. If some feelings have gotten a bit too strong, maybe it would be well to control
them a bit, to allow for other methods to be more effective.
I am not familiar with the newer class of drugs for mental "issues". Traditionally, the "Major Tranquilizers" were given in the past for schizophrenia - talking only about the electrochemical Medical Model. These may be helpful for powerful negative feelings. I did not experience unrelenting voices or hallucinations. Maybe my success in suppressing all feeling - the "Death-in-Life" - eliminated these events.
For someone with very low depth of feeling, it would seem that a low grade stimulant like Ritalin would be better than any trank. This was my experience.
Back then I had a very good part time job - I cleaned a family doctor's office. This job is how I had access to the medical journals like the JAMA mentioned above. I would read some of these journals after I finished cleaning the office. Although this was when I was taking psychology courses, I had a side interest in medicine. The doctor was even kind enough to give me his book Psycochemotherapy, by way of which I learned about the Tricyclics and other compounds.
At that time I probably did not have the best diet, had not yet read very much Eastern Philosophy, and didn't know about the power of spiritual affirmations. So, having been immersed in all that convincing medical knowledge, I determined that that I might find benefit from Ritalin (methylphenidate).
So I hit up the doc for a Ritalin package from his closet of drug samples.
The effect was immediate and was a very powerful re-awakening of my depth of feeling.
So I asked the doc for a prescription for the compound. He hesitated at first, but when I told him that it gave me the same feelings that I imagined people would get after having sex, he immediately prescribed 50 tablets for me.
So the Ritalin experience helped me remember what it was like to be human. It helped me create the feelings that should have been there in the first place. Instant well-being, compliments of Medical Science. It would still be quite a while before I had the confidence to experience the feelings that I imagined people would get after having sex, by actually having sex!
I might note that Ritalin is quite addictive. I noticed myself thinking things like "how am I going to keep getting prescriptions for this stuff?", or "How can I make sure that I will have it available no matter where I am?" I realized that I had become dependent on Ritalin. So I forced myself to quit, by taking a tablet less and less often until I was able to stop altogether. Ritalin might be a very helpful crutch, but like all crutches, it must be put away after a while.
Nonetheless this time was the beginnings of the Rebirth. This was another time when the journal entries became positive - the "insights" about emotional control became observations of emotional acceptance.
Here's one of them:
10/30/72 Phenomenology of Drugs
In the world of Medical Science, in which the unit, the basic irreducible, is the
Central Nervous System, I can say that Elavil is a tricyclic antidepressant which serves to prevent
re-uptake of norepinephrine and serotonin at the synaptic cleft.
But in the world in which the basic unit is the human person, Elavil is a sometimes gift, not given all the time if the doctor is wise, but given hopefully at the right time to restore perhaps a tinge of the old feeling, a little knitting together of nerve ends in lieu of the touch of a woman's hand - missing perhaps at the time - so that someone might have a little steadier platform from which he might face life and may someday find the hand.
And here is "Jimmie's Titrated Daily Anti-depression Daily Dose"
(To "titrate" is a medical term for starting with small doses of a compound, and increasing the dose until it's just right.)
2/18/2023: Little things can serve as a prescription for depressive tendencies
I realized that - without actually planning to do so - I had developed a "Daily Prescription" over the years. It's little things one can do to keep the depth of feeling constant throughout the day.
Jimmie's Titrated Daily Anti-depression Daily Dose
Breakfast. I always have breakfast and always eat my "Breakfast fruit Trifecta" (blueberries, 2 slices of cantelope, and half a grapefruit.) Then I eat something more substantial, perhaps whole grain breads and one of the vegetarian "sausages" (Beyond Meat).
If you skip breakfast, you should probably not expect to have much energy in the morning, and you're setting yourself up for a big, energy sapping, lunch. If you just aren't hungry in the morning, try some fruit and maybe a substantial, not-so-sweet breakfast bar.
The morning tea, taken after breakfast, is a combination of Tazo "Calm" plus Tazo "Zen".
What? No coffee? you ask. I have found that the plant-based diet confers so much energy that I have to throttle it back a bit in the morning. But coffee is fine too. I will suggest that it should be after breakfast rather than before. Caffeine taken on an empty stomach tends to result in a blood sugar spike - just like sugar. You will later experience some shakiness and nervouseness after the subsequent droop in blood sugar, especially if you skip breakfast.
Then I look forward to the first "cigarette" - a nicotine gum. (2 mg, the lowest dose) (I have comments on nicotine below this section.)
At mid morning I eat a clem (mandarin) or two, and a bananna. Or perhaps a whole grain breakfast bar if I am doing some active project.
One more nicotene gum.
Lunch is always a nourshing and life-giving meal. I have some combinations that consistently prove to be "power" lunches: I start with beans, rice, or lentils that have been previously prepared in the Instapot. Then I top them with "quick-sauteed" red and green peppers plus some shallots, or broccoli and cauliflower plus some shallots. (By "Quick saute", I mean to slice some veggies in a purex bowl, add olive oil and seasoned salt, and microwave for 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 minutes - more for the peppers and less for the broccoli and cauliflower)
I actually have some links on my home page on preparing healthful breakfasts and other meals.
Note: Fish and Chips is not a power lunch. Neither is a hamburger on a white bread bun.
I have a nicotene gum after lunch.
The afternoon drink is a "Tension Tamer Tea", which has Eluthero. (Celestial Seasonings).
I eat a few pieces of dark chocolate bars about an hour or two after lunch. (80 - 88% cocoa).
An afternoon nicotene gum.
Dinner is another refresher.
I have an evening nicotene gum. That's 5 per day.
The evening tea is a chamomile tea bag plus a "Sleeytime Extra" with Valerian.
There's usually a bit of wine as well. I use the Hydroflask 10 oz wine flask and fill it 1/2 to 3/4 full. And I don't start the wine until about 1 hour before I go to bed. (That guarantees I will keep the amount to a minimum.)
"Nicotine!?!", you might say. I should offer a disclaimer. It may or may not be the best
thing to be taking, and you should not take this as a recommendation, but perhaps just an example of how one
person - me - maintains his sense of well-being.
When I was working, I knew a young lady who had problems with major depression. She was gone for about a month and when she came back, she told me that she was given ECT - ElectroConvulsive Therapy - this was in the 80s. She also showed me her wrists. They were scarred. . .
Her sister showed up at work one day. She was completely different. She was of good cheer, outgoing, quite content. She was, in the usual words, "normal".
But she smoked!
During most of the time since I was finished college, I smoked the "little cigars". 5 to 6 per day and I did not
inhale, but would just let the smoke roll around in my mouth and then exhale. I asked a doctor once if there
was any danger with that small amount of smoking. He said "probably not", but offered to put me on Paxil.
"How long would I be taking that?", I asked.
"For the rest of your life".
I passed on the Paxil and have been chewing my 2 mg nicotene gum ever since.
Nicotine is said to release a small amount of Dopamine in certain limbic pathways, as well as to increase the availability of serotonin. Thus it serves to be helpful for "depression". This has actually been confirmed in several studies.
A selection of helpful books
Here are some excellent books that will prove to be life-giving:
Deepak Chopra, Ageless Body, Timeless Mind
Steve Hagen, Buddhism plain and Simple
To give you an idea of what the book Ageless Body, Timeless Mind is like:
Deepak Chopra compares a set of Ten Assumptions. The First set is our current mechanistic worldview. The second set arises out of Eastern Philosophy and, of all things, Quantum Physics.
Existing: "The body is composed of clumps of matter separated from one another in time and space."
New: "In their essential state, our bodies are composed of energy and information, not solid matter. . ."
Existing: "Mind and body are separate and independent from each other."
New: "The mind and body are inseparably one. . ."
Existing: "Materialism is primary, consciousness is secondary."
New: "The biochemistry of the body is a product of Consciousness. Beliefs, thoughts, and emotions create the chemical reactions. . . in every cell."
Note that the first "consciousness" is the one with little "c" - ordinary consciousness in
the ususal sense of the word. But the second "Consciousness" is our participation in the Universal Consciousness.
Why Quantum Physics? When scientists began to study small particles, they discovered something they were not expecting: When we interact with these small particles, our Consciousness has a real effect on the observation. The outcome of experiments on particles actually and measurably changes when the particles are observed.
Also two very important books:
365 Science of Mind
These are daily "meditations", written by Ernest Holmes. "Science of Mind" isn't as cult-related
as the name might imply. It is instead based on writings by Emerson, Thomas Troward, and others. Science of
Mind is essentially a very positive Spirituality. "Mind" is the Universal Consciousness - the Spirit within. Here's a quote:
"The ability to attain your goals - to control your experiences and have them result in happiness, prosperity, and success - lies in your own mind and the way you use it. This means you control your own experiences - you are really in charge of your affairs and the way they are to develop."
Many of the daily meditations start with a quote from the Bible. But it is always positive quotes:
"I have come that they might have life, and have it more abundantly."
All I remember from my Catholic education was things like "Christ came to atone for our sins".
Also, you can't go wrong by reading some Eastern Philosophy. You will find it to be if nothing else quite relaxing. Try:
The Tao te Ching This is a short collection of interesting observations.
The Upanishads This is a much longer set of small essays, about 21 of them,
The Rig Veda This is an early collection of creation stories and myths. It names some of the traditional Hindu gods: Indra - the king of the devas (god-like entities), Agni - the god of fire. It has a very soothing section: "I banish disease from your head, I banish disease from your eyes, I banish disease from your ears, . . ." (enumerates about 20 different areas of your physical form).
Buddhism Get the book/audio by Steve Hagen, if possible.
I actually had audio versions of all these, and found it helpful to listen to them while driving, as well as at other times. I looked for some of them but most are discontinued. If you can find them, try:
Tao te Ching, narrated by either Steve Mitchell or Ursula Le-Guin
The Uanishads, narrated by Jacob Needleman - he has excellent commentary at the end
The Rig Veda, narrated by Deepak Chopra
And one last source of healing:
By all means watch What the Bleep Do We Know!! This offers powerful ways to heal yourself, based on Quantum Physics.
For example, one of the scientists offers the suggestion that you use the all-important few minutes right after you awake to make positive affirmations. He refers to this as "creating my day". And why are the first few minutes after you awake important? Because in the next few minutes your mind will remind you of The Problem and how "unsolvable" it is.
Make Your Diet Life-giving
This is another big one, quite possibly the biggest of all. You cannot have calm,
peace, and well-being unless your diet is life-giving.
If this is you, consider a change:
You skip breakfast, or worse, you have donuts and coffee for breakfast. (guaranteed to make you tense and edgy by mid-morning, and tired by lunch).
You eat lots of processed foods. (guaranteed to promote inflammation and soreness).
You consume Cokes, Dr Peppers, Mountain Dews, and the like throughout the day. (guaranteed to promote big mood swings throughout the day).
You eat primarily meats and few vegetables. (guaranteed to promote inflammation, soreness, and tiredness).
My emphasis throughout all this essay is that there are no answers that can provide "the"
key for healing, especially no single answer that would apply to everybody. But diet just might be one exception.
Your diet can easily be the cause of a wide array of negative feelings and lack of well-being. Why? Because, as an
embodied being, you are your physicality.
For example, meat takes a significant amount of energy to digest. This tends to make you low on energy. On the other hand, lentils, beans, rices, all mixed with vegetables, tend to circulate more freely. This promotes ease of digestion, less stagnation, and more energy.
I have a separate article that I wrote some time ago, well before I was planning to write this essay. It's called "Poor Nutrition as Cause of our Mental Maladies". A link to it can be found on my main page, under "Health and Nutrition".
For example, Magnesium deficiency is associated with increased stress, depression, and anxiety, and is available only in spinach and other greens, whole grains, bananas, dark chocolate (!), and similar foods. Another example is lack of probiotics/fiber. These compounds support healthy Gut Flora - the bacteria in your stomach/intestines. Believe it ot not, the Gut Bacteria - of all things - are one of the biggest sources of the magic Serotonin!
On my main page, under Health and Nutrition, you can also find articles on how to easily prepare better foods:
"Some TASTY Breakfast Ideas"
"Quick, Nutritious Lunches"
"Quick Lunches from SCRATCH"
"Vegetarian Dinner Recipes"
As a side note: The quality of our food from the American Food Industry may or may not be as life-giving as we might like. So it would be well to seek organic, possibly local-grown foods.
0/9/2019: Turning Food into Energy
The foods I have eaten today and in the past have become the energy of activity, good cheer,
excellent health, and indeed the exuberance of life for me. If this is the case, then it would make sense that
I eat the best food I can. The organic fruits and vegetables, the grass-fed milk, and the wholesome grains
have produced calm, balance, patience, and peace for me. They have brought about well-being and great depth
But what then what would I expect from some of the items that the Food Industry has produced? Would I expect peace and calm from the meat of chickens and cows that have known fear and mistreatment from birth? Would I expect good health from the same chickens and cows who are so sick they have to be fed antibiotics every day?
Would I expect to energize that health from vegetables and grains that have been grown so fast and artificially that they haven't even had time to draw up minerals and nutrients from the soil (which is itself exhausted and overextended)? Can plants whose health has been elicited by chemicals and pesticides confer immunity to me when they haven't needed to provide it for themselves? If we create energy from food, then maybe we should ask if the food that permeates our supply has the right kind of energy to provide us.
And maybe it is that very food (from Big Corporate Food Industry) which contributes to high incidence of "degenerative" (lacking energy) diseases that affect our society.
Here's another big one: Fish Oil supplements
Fish Oil provides the well-known "Omega 3" fatty acids. These have a significant influence on brain health. The brain has a high amount of these EPA and DHA Omega 3 compounds, and the typical diet supplies very little of them. (Yes, here's an instance of using our knowledge of the purely physical aspect of our existence to our benefit). You can expect to feel better after a month of two of fish oil supplementation.
You could consider starting with one tablet a day for maybe a week, and then moving to 2 and then to 3 a day. Many fish oil supplements tend to upset the belly, so take them just before meals. One brand - "Fisol" - is enterically coated, so that it dissolves more in the small intestine. It's the one I use.
Note that you can get the same effect if you eat certain fish 2 or more times a week. Usually it's "wild-caught", "cold-water" fish. Why wild-caught? Because seaweed and sea grasses contain the raw material Omega 3s. Farm-raised fish may or may not have been fed these sea grasses. Why cold-water? This probably isn't as important, but sea grasses from colder waters have more Omega 3s.
Some side benefits:
The eyes have a very large amount of DHA. So your vision will likely improve.
The Omega 3 compounds have an anti-inflammatory effect. The EPA metabolizes to one of the two anti-inflammatory prostaglandins. So this will reduce your muscle pain and/or headaches, if you have an issue with either of these. Why? Because you will have a buffer of compounds with which you can make your own anti-inflammatories.
Develop the habit of making affirmations
This is a BIG one. This is how we speak the healing words of our own cure. We are
using our Consciousness - as participants in the Universal Consciousness. So, it would be well to start making
some positive affirmations from time to time, preferably every day. "Make positive affirmations?" you might ask.
"Is this something that can really help?" Yes, it is. You will understand once you begin to read any of the books
mentioned above, particularly the 365 Science of Mind collection of daily "meditations".
As mentioned just above, in the comments about the movie What the Bleep, doing this right when you first wake up would confer the biggest benefits. Why? Because you are replacing the flood of negative thoughts about The Problem with some positive thoughts.
When you first start making affirmations, they will likely be just empty words at first. But after a while you should notice that the words will soon acquire some feeling behind them. This is when you start to "buy" the idea.
You could start with thanksgiving first. "Thank You, Spirit, for depth of feeling". "Thank You, Spirit, for release from the fears." This is better than supplicating. "Please grant me release from the fears." Why?
Remember, you are dealing with The Timeless Formless One. For this Being there is no "granting" in the future. In the Universal Mind, the release has already been given.
Remember. You are worthy. Much of our lack of confidence in dealing with the Universe and its Spirit comes from the almost universal feeling of unworthiness that we all have been essentially taught all our lives.
In time, after the period of thanking, you might find yourself speaking even more positively
and confidently. "I speak the words of release of the fears". Or, "I am the release of the fears." Remember, you are
part of the Universal Consciousness. You are Spirit interpreting the Earth as you.
Also, you want to get the direction right. You are not directing your affirmations toward some entity "up there" or "out there". You are dealing with the Spirit within.
One of the biggest reasons that this business of making positive affirmations is effective is that if you make affirmations over a period of time for some quality of life, you will begin to do the things that bring that quality about.
For example, if you affirm for supply - financial means - you will begin to do the things that result in increased supply. And it works both ways. The Universe is a neutral entity, the "Intentionless Whole" in the words of Steve Hagen. If you regret financial decisions from the past which hurt your finances, and if you find yourself saying "I'll never get out from under this debt", the Universe is perfectly tickled to keep you in a state of financial lack.
And so, my friends, I leave these words with you, affirming not that they will necessarily be healing,
or even helpful, but that they will enable you to begin to speak the words of your own healing.
As mentioned above, The Rig Veda had a calming section in which the original author offered some words as if spoken by a Spiritual Physician:
I banish disease from your head.
I banish disease from your neck.
I banish disease from your chest.
. . . . .
I offer some soothing words myself below. But I am not the Physician.
Jimmie's Words with Which You Heal Yourself
May you be understanding, and may that understanding convey to you that all of these events are experience and energy, and not reality or things.
And may that understanding help you realize that you can change experience and energy far more easily than you can change "reality" and "disease".
And may that understanding help you realize that your physical form is not just an electrochemical entity, but rather the Incarnation of Spirit - the Word made Flesh.
And may that understanding help you realize (real-ize - to make real) that you are Spirit interpreting the Earth as you, and that you can speak the words of healing. And your words shall not return unto you void.
And then may all your dark thoughts leave you, taking their departure in peace.
May you be release of fear, and release of the release of fear.
May you be release of tension and anxiety, and release of the release of tension and anxiety.
May you be release of hurt and pain, and release of the release of hurt and pain.
May the dark thoughts, the fear, the tension, the anxiety, the hurt, and the pain become mere memories, dissolved by the passage of time.
And after the passage of enough time, may you be able to recall the experiences with the same ease that you would if reading them in a book about someone else.
May your dis-ease be replaced by ease of life.
May you be calm, balance, peace, and patience.
May you be Great Depth of Feeling.
May you be Life.
Copyright © 2023 J.A.