Grief, Intense Feelings, and Pathologization: Can We Conceive a Different Approach?

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I remember when my grandma died how I was aching for days or weeks, even months. I remember when my beloved dog died how I frantically tried searching for answers on the Internet, scrolling over countless Thich Nhat Hanh podcasts or  videos, in an effort to find something that would console me because I won’t see this being ever again.

Nothing helped both times. There was this aching pain inside my belly, this hole nothing seemed to fill. I was desperately Googling countless articles about reincarnation or Buddhist philosophy, trying to find something that could fill the void I was feeling in my soul. Talking to friends helped a bit, but after I returned home the pain was still there.

One of those days, I stumbled upon a text written by Thich Nhat Hanh that referenced the concept of interrelatedness, which is popular in zen buddhism. He spoke of how everything is interconnected even when we die and how he can feel his mother in his hands. I remember trying to grasp this, but at the moment of the intense pain I also remember that I was not at a place in which this could help me.

A woman in a suit with a skirt holds a lantern while standing on a desert landscape below a night sky full of starsI did not want to feel my grandmother in my hands, I wanted to see and feel and touch and smell that person or being. But I could not. I felt the hole in my chest and and emptiness that could not be consoled.

I eventually found some Tara Brach videos that had a calming effect on me, but the aching hole stayed there for a while. It took time for it to subside. It took time for the pain not to be triggered every time I saw her house.

Although it’s been some time since my grandmother died, some of this pain hasn’t subsided still. It still comes back crawling when I remember how I used to quarrel with her. Or how she used to make most delicious cakes out of love for us and she didn’t even like cakes. When I remember how she taught me to write and how she knew the songs of certain poets by heart and would sometimes recite them when I came over.

Some of this pain is still there. And it is ok that it is there. This is not a pathology. This is a process of grieving. This is love that I still feel for that being.

These kinds of processes are still not very well understood in our culture.

We still try to shove every kind of emotion that does not fit standardized procedures into a neatly organized box, give it a label, a category, maybe even a diagnosis and an accompanying medicine that will order it, make it neat and predictable and render it into something we can manage.

Sometimes it works. Sometimes it just doesn’t.

Even if we might shove processes of grieving into neatly prescribed categories that fit the rationalist worldview in which we currently live, we human beings do not function like that. Our organisms are not neatly organized, nor is the variation among them. Some organisms go through the process of grieving very fast, some take longer. Some pains are smaller, some are bigger.

And what we desperately need to understand is that this variation is ok.

I was inspired to write this article by the book called Virgin Wife Widow Whore, written by the American-Slovenian writer Erica Johnson Debeljak, whose husband I encountered as a lecturer from when I was doing my PhD in Ljubljana. I also grew fond of her descriptions of her life from the time she moved to Slovenia from New York in the year 1991, when the war was still raging in the ex-Yugoslav territory.

In this new book she describes her process of grieving after her husband was found dead in 2016. Suddenly. Unexpectedly.

She describes the pain of the three following years vividly, in detail, simultaneously offering anthropological analogies of similar experiences through myths and stories from different cultures.

This is a valuable book in culturological sense because it offers an insight into the female experience. I also find this book to be of immense value when it comes to mental health.

Namely, Erica Johnson Debeljak has described in detailed manner what the process of grieving looks like from the inside—how it feels like when your body is aching from the pain and no amount of anything can help. Including other people. Including pills.

She described in vivid detail an intense process of grieving that our culture is so afraid of.

This is why I really recommend reading this book.

We need more accounts of real people grieving, suffering, of real processes of grieving being described with all its variations, which also include intense emotions and non-standardized types of behavior.

For example, the author describes at one point how she screamed uncontrolablly from all the pain and then humorously how people looked at her like she was „crazy“. She writes about the sleepless nights in which even pills did not help due to the loss she felt, when she wandered around the rooms in the house, about the immense pain that spilled over whatever she tried to do in those moments.

We need these kinds of phenomenological accounts of experiences of grieving in order to understand that sometimes intense emotions are not rational.  Our subconscious is not rational either—we might try to organize it into neat categories—but it sometimes still keeps pulling out and spilling over.

As a culture, we try to avoid grieving because it makes us uncomfortable. We also try to put it into classification, to isolate it, to give it a label. In an attempt to master the process, to systematize it and make it organized and to manage it in this way, we might risk drying up the process.

In reality, a paricular person takes the amount of time they take to grieve. This also includes the amount of the intensity of the pain, which is not the same for everyone. Some people might feel lesser amounts of pain, some may feel greater amounts.

The process of grieving might often be seen as strange from the outside when it contains the amount of pain that is felt to be „beyond normal“ on the societal level. People may be unable to speak, unable to move, unable to encounter everyday tasks. The pain can make one totally numb.

And we need to know that this is ok, even if it looks like it is not.

We need to re-think the helpfulness of the approach of labelling within that context.

Erica Johnson Debeljak, for example, describes in her book how a psychiatrist tried to shove parts of her grieving into the description of the manic episode triggered by strong trauma—because in the weeks after her husband’s sudden death she sometimes felt excessive energy or lack of appetite. She satirizes the situation, describing how the psychiatrist reduced her grieving to the „trigger for the chemical imbalance that has always lived within her“ and her attempts to deal with it as a „manic episode“.

The author might be strong enough to analyze this kind of discourse critically and thus not to succumb to it, but many of others are not. In that moment of intense emotions, lot of people can succumb to this kind of intepretation. Sometimes one can also feel that it is helpful, because a label is also something one can hold onto when ground beneath one’s feet feels like it’s moving.

However, in the long run, it is questionable whether this is the most constructive approach to the process.

This is precisely why I find this phenomenological account of grieving that Erica Johnson Debelhak wrote immensely valuable. Because we can trace the whole process and see how, in the end, what was needed was to grieve.

Perhaps the grief is there because this is how organism regulates itself, however conunterintuitive this may seem. Sometimes the amount of love that was felt for someone is balanced out, if we want to speak in the orderly categories that we so adore in our Western rational society, by the amount of pain that is equal to the amount of love felt. And there is nothing wrong with that, even if person is not functional for a certain period of time.

This also applies to other types of intense emotions and processes that they provoke.

Sometimes feelings of rage are there because the person has been systematically placed in situations where she or he has been robbed of dignity without the means of dealing with that. As I have already written, sometimes intense grief that someone is feeling might offer some valuable lessons.

I am not trying to imply here that one should not learn how to deal with one’s triggers or how to help regulate oneself when the pain is too intense.

What I am trying to convey is that perhaps we could start thinking about intense emotional processes in a different manner, instead of pathologizing them. By respecting them and understanding that each organism is different.

From a phenomenological point of view, we can try to see how that particular person feels that particular kind, amount and intensity of the emotion without labelling it as „excessive“. Even if grief feels like a hole that is consuming a person, which can, without doubt, be intense and sometimes even unbearable.

The process might serve as a form of long-term regulation. Emotions cannot be processed through in a night, and some intensities and levels of experience require different types of processing.

But when instead we just label this kind of experience a pathology because it lasts for more time than we think it ought to last, or bcause the intensity of it is something we don’t understand, we risk doing harm. People can start feeling that something is inherently wrong with them. This can also attach a burden,a stigma on top of the suffering. And it removes us from being able to understand that particular human being in front of us.

Perhaps we could see instead what kinds or spaces of safety we could offer to the person in times like these. Perhaps we could investigate if those spaces can be found in their body, or in certain types of company. So that the person can rest for a bit, to be able to endure the rest of the process.

Perhaps we could envision places like the Diabasis house that Michael Cornwall has written about extensively, where those feeling intense emotions could go and process this experience in a non-pathologizing manner and with the support of loving kindness, as he has also written about.

We can also teach people how to find some wisdom in the process. As existentialists teach us, if there is a meaning in our suffering, it is easier to endure it. Meaning can also offer a window to breathing space amidst such moments, a glimpse of hope. It can offer soothing of the ache on a cognitive level, which might ease the process a bit.

Consequently, already by teaching people what is happening to them we can help them with the scare that might come with all of the intense emotions.

Because the process of intense emotions sometimes will happen. This is life and life is unpredictable, with sudden deaths, conflicts, wars, climate changes, viruses, earthquakes and resulting trauma. And when something traumatic happens, it needs to be processed.

We can numb it down temporarily as we tend to do in our culture, but this won’t bring it to halt. Such an approach can numb the pain but the process will still be present, and it can be triggered years after if it has been numbed down.

And if we numb the process down and label it as malfunction, we can also risk losing the valuable lessons that can sometimes be found within the process.

It is important to remember this.

***

Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.

14 COMMENTS

  1. Elucidating the mode of action of these genes and what goes wrong when disrupted are fundamental to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying ADHD. SORCS2 has been associated with risk of ADHD6,7 in addition to bipolar disorder8,9,10,11, schizophrenia10, and symptoms of alcohol withdrawal12. We and others have shown that SorCS2 influences neurite outgrowth of CNS neurons 13,14,15. In particular, SorCS2 is expressed during embryogenesis in dopaminergic precursors of the ventral mesencephalon that develop into the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and substantia nigra. Midbrain explants from Sorcs2−/− mouse embryos exhibit increased outgrowth of tyrosine-hydroxylase expressing (TH+) projections and in adult Sorcs2−/− mice the frontal cortex is hyperinnervated, arguing for a critical role of SorCS2 in growth cone retraction during dopaminergic innervation. As a consequence, Sorcs2−/− mice are hyperactive, risk-taking, and inattentive; key traits of ADHD 11,15. Further, treatment with amphetamine at a dose that induces markedly increased locomotor activity in wild-type (Wt) animals normalized motor activity in the Sorcs2−/− mice15.

    In the present study, we show that lack of SorCS2 results in fundamental changes in the functionality of the dopaminergic system. Furthermore, the hyperactivity and response to dopamine agonists in Sorcs2−/− mice is remarkably sensitive to novelty. Our findings provide insights into how a psychiatric risk gene affects dopaminergic circuit function and the response to central stimulants.

    Altered dopaminergic firing pattern and novelty response underlie ADHD-like behavior of SorCS2-deficient mice
    Ditte Olsen, Niels Wellner, Mathias Kaas, Inge E. M. de Jong, Florence Sotty, Michael Didriksen, Simon Glerup & Anders Nykjaer

    nature translational psychiatry Published: 25 January 2021

    How wonderful to see the breakthroughs researchers are making which shed light on disorders like ADHD.

    • With all due respect, this seems to shed more heat than light on the matter. Finding partial correlations doesn’t give us any real sense of cause, because most of the people diagnosed “ADHD” or “bipolar” or whatever don’t share these genes in common.

      More importantly, these genetic findings provide absolutely NO guidance as to what, if anything, one can do to assist those having this highly subjective and heterogeneous “diagnosis.” What good is it to know that 10% of “ADHD-diagnosed” individuals have “altered dopaminergic firing patterns” if this doesn’t lead to any understanding of how to help even this minority of such individuals.

      Finally, the fact that there are genetic variations between people that express themselves behaviorally means absolutely nothing about whether or not such states are, in fact, pathological. The assumption that kids who struggle in a standard classroom setting are ipso facto “disordered” deserves extreme scrutiny, which seems to be avoided by most advocates for the idea that “ADHD” is some kind of biological dysfunction rather than simply a common variant of behavior with survival value that teachers and parents tend to find inconvenient.

      So again, not much light shed here. No one should be surprised that different behavior might be associated with different genetic makeup. Genetic diversity is the key to species survival. Different is not “disordered.” When THAT question gets addressed, maybe we can talk about some “light” being shed on the subject.

      • Steve, I appreciate your response to the clear attempt at obfuscation.

        Pete’s recital of terminology, despite the linguistic accomplishment, brings nothing of value to this conversation.

        The other fact remains that NO (zero) genetic tests are required to diagnose mental illness.

        I believe the misreprentations of non-science is the popular new ploy to minimize the actual documented consequences caused by the (still) unsubstantiated biomedical model

        • Not merely “not required,” but not CAPABLE of “diagnosing mental illness.” Of course, why would we expect they would be when “mental illness” is defined by a somewhat arbitrary collection of thoughts/feelings/behavior as “criteria” and set at TOTALLY arbitrary levels of how many “criteria” are required for a “diagnosis,” such that in many if not most “diagnoses,” two people can be “diagnosed” when they have not one single symptom in common with each other. The very idea that such a wide range of heterogeneous behavior/emotion/thought could ALL be caused by some specific genetic anomaly is absurd on the face of it. But logic is not the basis for “mental health treatment.”

          • YES! Refreshing to read! Your argument is the most important within this issue.

            They can condemn someone to a lifetime of forced polypharmaceuticals, decreased legal rights, and repeat physical maiming after a brief conversation. There is nothing to defend. Nothing to salvage.

            the biomedical model has to go. Enough is enough

        • “Steve, I appreciate your response to the clear attempt at obfuscation.” I agree. For goodness sakes, this blog is not even about ADHD, it’s about the pathologization of grief.

          But Pete Goff, tell me what you think of the fact that the antipsychotics can create the positive and negative symptoms of “schizophrenia,” via anticholinergic toxidrome and neuroleptic induced deficit syndrome?

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toxidrome
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuroleptic-induced_deficit_syndrome

          And that the antidepressants and ADHD drugs can create both psychosis and mania – or the so called “bipolar” symptoms – resulting in the misdiagnosis of millions of innocent children and adults.

          https://www.amazon.com/Anatomy-Epidemic-Bullets-Psychiatric-Astonishing-ebook/dp/B0036S4EGE

          Will the “mental health professionals” ever garner insight into the fact that you’ve gotten lost in the minutia, and need to actually step back, and look at the big picture?

    • https://youtu.be/GplXBlTNO4A

      Pete Goff, I like this Space themed video. Humanity likes the way that analytical scientific thinking can build breakthroughs. There is almost a romantic quality to the stiff application that science has, to qwell what is frightening to the caveman sense of worried doubt.

      Humanity adores science and makes a computery God out of scientific logical findings. Logic counteracts superstition. But superstition is closely linked to vibes and emotions, and these are of equal value in “choice making”.

      I like your mice comment for its sheer scientific dazzle. I am glad that Steve opted to publish it. One cannot have a healthy debate if there is only ever one “side”. So it is good to have a multiplicity of thoughts on such matters. I like some of what you say AND I like some of what Steve says.

      As for Iva’s lovely article I can only say that for me my own feelings want to keep my “label” or diagnosis. If the invisible ghost in my delusion tells me to do something I do not want to, I find it important to ME that I can call that ghost just my illness. I use the word illness because I FEEL ill all day and night, and it is not because a person in a suit tells me that this is what I am. For these reasons I am not for dropping my “label” as some might like me to do. A complication in all this for me is that the ghost in my delusion daily voices a command that I HAVE TO agree with him that I have schizophrenia or he will torment me more.

      All of these nuances considered, I do like what you say in all of your article and I do vote for every individual having “free choice” about how they feel about their own struggle. A very scientific way of understanding a problem is a free choice. A very organic shamanic emotion focused way of understanding a problem is also a free choice.

      Free choice affects inner balance. If you are ideologically robbed of your free choice to regard your own personal issue in the way you deem fit then imbalance can be the result of that robbery. I want to keep my label. You want to not keep yours. Each of our free choices adds to our own sense of our own normal for us. If a person proffessing armchair expertize takes anyone’s normal and tells them they should not have their own normal, that know-it-all pontificator likely adds to their imbalance.

      There are pontificators who do such things in the realm of psychiatry. There are pontificators who do such things in the realm of anti psychiatry.

      Balance happens when you get to define yourself in the way you believe yourself to be.

      That can be someone without a label.

      Or someone who wants to retain their label.

      Accepting your own feelings is balancing. Having some authority tell you not to accept your feelings and understandings can be imbalancing. Balance leads to wellbeing. Imbalance leads to breakdown.

      Accepting your own feelings is one achievement but you need at times for other people to be “feelings accepting” of you.

      Balance happens when you get to define yourself in the way you feel and believe yourself to be.

      Accepting that you wish to keep your label. Or accepting that you feel you do not want to keep your label.

      The label or item is not really the main bugaboo. The bone of contention lies in not having the birthright free choice to be in sync with your own feelings and free choice.

      What logic often does is it examines your feelings to see if there is any logic in your feelings. But logic is of the mind. Logic is not of feelings. Feelings are wonderfully messy, inexplicable, intuitive, nonsensical enough to love without limit.

      So when logic tries to tell a person that they ought to change their feeling of not wanting a label…or when logic tries to tell a person they should change their feeling of desiring to keep their label, it is an imposition by intrusive logical mind based thought on to some person’s contented “feelings acceptance”.

      Your “feelings acceptance” has you binning your label.

      My “feelings acceptance” has me keeping mine.

      Both are different ways for us to keep what brings us inner peace and balance and a sense of our own choice of normal for us as individuals. Balance brings wellbeing, even if you or I might disagree about each others free choices, to say have a label of chuck a label.

      It is not so much the objects or items or terminology or words in a free choice that poses the problem of bullying, but that people arguing against our own innate ongoing “feelings acceptance” of our unique free choices feels pressurizing and imbalancing.

    • I’m a bit confused as to the nature of (this) reply to a, IMHO, a wise and compassionate undertaking of the “art” of processing grief. No doubt this firebrand of scientific positivism could locate and attribute the neurite outgrowth of CNS neurons, et al., in Drapetomania subjects (the “mental illness” ascribed to slaves who fled their captors during the 19th century). Ascribing scientific attributions to human behaviors, if not entirely decontextualized (scrubbed of material biography, intersubjectivity, unconscious portent, etc…)-especially “an actual subject”, then, at best, selectively attributed, is not a remotely honest pursuit of sound episteme; a fact the Frankfurt School and legions of ensuing critical theorist have exposed and provided ample critiques/warning (of).

      With regard to ADD as either epigenetic or neuro-pathology, etc.: 500 years ago, for example, ADD behaviors were scarcely a behavioral distinction, and more often than not, socially advantageous as well as-more importantly-evolutionarily advantageous. The point here is that what makes ADD (behaviors and manifest challenges) a disorder is, more often than not, the ADD subjects relationship to our techno-fetish–driven and neoliberal-precariat society, of which wasn’t remotely the case pre-industrialization. Moreover. as an obverse example, the self described ADD (hero) portrayed in Michael Lewis’s book, “The Premonition”, having ADD (or the neuro -atypical features thereof) was not only advantageous to this doctors career, it served the “greater good” of society, notably, where “neuro-typicals'” had failed. The implications of this intersection deserve far greater space than available here. Lastly, thanks Steve McCrea for your even handed and constructive comments here.

      • A very interesting study was done a number of years ago. The experimenter created groups of three children who were assigned three problems to solve. One set of threes had an “ADHD-diagnosed” child and two non-diagnosed children, and the control groups had three non-diagnosed children in the group.

        They measured “on task” behavior, meaning how much time did the kids spend trying to solve the problems rather than goofing off or doing something else. The “ADHD” inclusive groups did far worse on this measure, much more joking around and goofing off than the control groups. However, the primary outcome was which groups solved the problems more effectively. All of the “ADHD” groups solved one or more of the problems presented and as I recall, a few completed ALL the problems. NONE of the control groups solved any of the problems presented.

        “ADHD” behavior still has survival value. Sure, if you put three “ADHD-diagnosed” kids in the same group, they’d probably have been very unproductive. But hard work from the “conventional” thinkers did not lead to solutions. We need ALL types in our society, and discriminating against certain children because they make life a little (or a lot) more difficult for adults to manage is both short-sighted and overtly destructive to our success as a society.

  2. Thanks for that.

    I have three contrasting experiences of grief:

    1 I was 7, my mother died if cancer. No one told me she was going to die. My father, after breakfast told me she had died and sent me to school, he went to work. A part from the funeral, which I didn’t go to, she was not mentioned again.

    2 In my early 30’s the AIDS crisis hit. I would go on Gay Mens holidays, meet beautiful gay men, fall in love and they would, in the next two years, die. We all knew what was happening, we discussed it all the time. People organised there funerals, friends made sure there wishes were carried out. We organised public grief rituals at every event we put on. Men howled in each other’s arms, cried, talked, hugged each other, got out old photograph albums and shared stories of their dead loved ones.

    3 a relationship with an unfaithful lover ended messily. I was overcome by rage, mainly towards other people disconnected from that situation strangely enough,(my father for one). My feelings were only relieved by screaming. My friends tried to understand but had neither the capacity, time or level of concern I would have needed to soothe my distress. Eventually I developed the worst cough I have ever had and after that post viral fatigue, both of which shut me feelings down but neither made living very easy.

    Grief is never just individual, it is always a social process and never a medical one no matter what the doctors may say.

    • I like your braving doing a very “feelings” comment. It is an emotionally befitting response to this article.

      Whilst here I want to mention Gooba Juice. It is my term for when someone or a collective of persons seem to have imbibed a juice that has them ALL voicing the same suite of notions. Almost as if they are at a soccer game and must only sing the particular slogan replete chanted out song. They seem hypnotized by some spiked drink or some liquid put through drinking water reservoirs. They almost seem zombified by their common lyrics. They become “a side” against another “side”, who also seem to have fallen under a different chant’s style. Both sides have knocked back a glass of Gooba Juice without being aware of it. Perhaps the Gooba Juice got given in their sleep and so that is why they are unaware of why they feel compelled to chant logic or chant logical religious beliefs or impassioned ideologies. Possibly angels or spirits or deities or guides gave them the Gooba Juice. But why?

      In order to polarize a society.

      Why?

      Because a new civilization is waiting to be born from what does not work in the rubble of the old civilization. Gooba Juice speeds up that process by getting EVERYONE to quarrel and fight and war with each other….SO THAT….the new civilization will have had ENOUGH of disputes and battles and squabbles and nursery school wars AND choose NOT to fight anymore as fighting only begets yet more fighting.

      So even though Gooba Juice is a rather divine intervention by galactic overseers and even though it causes an intensification of narrowed polarized bickering or “side” picking, as if ALL are hypnotized and repeating the same slogans, humans need this time of battling in order to eventually understand the futility of forcing the “different” to be like themselves. Once humanity realizes that it must follow more the adage of “Live and let live” only then will love grow and the new civilization will be ready to be born.

      So if you are puzzled by all the logal fighting and “side” mustering points going all around you it is helpful sometimes to view it as from people having gone drunk on Gooba Juice. View the painful polarizing going on EVERYWHERE as being a bit like the fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty where ALL the population of the palace ALSO FELL ASLEEP for a hundred years.

      Earth’s people are having to learn all about the positive uses of fighting AND the negative uses of fighting and learn this in an escalated fast frenetic way. Gooba Juice helps speed up that process by causing hypnotic infighting and arguing and clobbering opponents with logical righteous mockery. Behind every striving to argue about being “right” is often fear. Humans en masse are undergoing the chance to learn how to look after themselves better by not being so easily led by their mind based way of dealing with their fears but rather by sitting down with their feeling of fear and mothering that distress in a more immediate less warmongering way.

      This learning about “love” and learning about “lovelessness” is needed by humanity in order for humanity to not blow itself up in a whopping nuclear Armageddon.

      When I see some person rant in outrage at some very trivial minor matter I suspect they…

      “know not what they are doing”.

      They are sleep walking. They are dreaming. They are disgruntled about EVERYTHING and EVERYONE because they unwittingly have been on the invisible Gooba Juice.

      • I perhaps should change the term Gooba Juice into Zooba Juice or Zooba Potion because it is more in keeping with the way the human zoo have had their fears increased.

        Since this article is on grief I want to say that you can grieve for what you never yet had. So it is not just that you can grieve for what you lost. (I am using the word “you” as meaning anyone). You can also grieve for losing people to Zooba Juice. Prior friends may suddenly become your arch critic and start ranting at something innocuous that you said. You wonder “have they gone crazy or is it me?”. The argument becomes inflated in importance and the sting of a sharp rebuttal lasts weeks. Everyone on planet Earth seems to be feeling the same way about this, that “the other people” are saying outrageous vindictive critical things just for the sheer hell of it. It is a grown up’s version of…

        “You are just trying to mock me!”.

        When this occurs in the masses then all of the humans who feel mocked go to town on defending themselves by increasing overly logical arguements. But that gun fight by firing bullets of reason only causes the opponents to feel also outrageously mocked, and so then they go to town on defending themselves in increasing their overly logical arguements, back and forth it goes until the over use of logic is just trading insults and sustaining the mechanism of endless bickering. Soon one “side” agrees that the other “side”, all chanting their slogans, needs got rid of. This sense of menace is picked up as a threat that must be crushed, and so the threatened “side” then issues threats along with their argements. All of this escalates by both opposing “sides” into mountains of rage and resentment…against complete strangers.

        As a stranger you may then come out with a casual remark and suddenly find yourself menaced. As if by persons drunk on Zooba Juice. The fear you then feel then intensifies because the drunk seem to be using “any” excuse to ridicule you. They seem stark staring mad to you. You decide to feed them lots of logic about why you think they are mad. But this does not sit well with the strangers who only came out with a nonchalant reply. Why was their reply deemed nutty? They wonder. They then give lots of logical feedback about why they are not nutty but are holders of certificates of intelligence. They start quoting Socrates and Plato and all kinds of Great Thinkers, to prove their right to say what slogans they want to say, and to tear down opposing sloganeering. More logic is heaped on more logic with obscure big long words until remarks become incomprehensible to anyone but specialists or mathematicians. The argueing then becomes both threatening and impossible to follow…until people throw up their hands in despair and yell….

        “I don’t know what you want!”
        “I don’t think even you know what you want anymore”
        “Everyone is just full of Zooba Juice and fighting bogeymen on Zooba Juice, humans who keep wanting things but describing what they want in convoluted complicated ways”.

        If we all knew that some of what is driving all this is simply FEAR caused by the Zooba Juice giving all us zoo humans collective paranoia about one another then we could ATTEND to our grief at losing people who seem to have got lost in the crowd.

        Psychosis often grants a Spiritual way of understanding the bigger picture. As I said before in my previous comment, there is a purpose as to why all of the infighting is occurring on the world stage in our human zoo NOW and not say ten years ago. This is happening NOW to escalate the fighting to fever pitch in order for the fever to break and for BALANCE to be restored. A balanced way for humans to be is to live life placing equal merit on gut feelings as they do on dry reason.

        In the past there were saying like…
        “You be you and I will be me”.
        or
        “You believe what you believe and I will believe what I believe”.

        These saying are necessary for neighbours to love neighbours. But these days, because of Zooba Juice everyone is chanting…

        “you cannot be you”

        “you cannot believe what you believe”.

        Humanity is parking itself in this zone, the zone of “Zooba Juice drunken battling” IN ORDER to one sunny day realize everyone is destroying each other over simple things that have nothing to do with vast overly logical scholarly frightful arguementation.

        Humanity needs to go through this examination of the pitfalls inherent in only ever fighting in order to exhaust itself into the kind of calm needed to build a BETTER world.

        It is like the old solution for quitting smoking that involved smoking a whole packet, in order to induce sickness at the sight of a cigarette. Humans are invited, by Zooba Juice imbibing, to fight and fight and fight as if each fight is a cigarette and humans won’t stop fighting until they make themselves truly SICK OF it.

        But there are those who can step back from the fighting and see glimpses of the insanity of bickering with strangers never met. One of the most beautiful expressions a human can tell another human is….

        “I don’t know you”.

        It is an antidote to the FEAR driven horrible paranoia brewing that seeks false certainty as a soother. Certainty that those people are all bad and these people are all good. Witch hunts and Inquisitions and apocalypses are built on pyres of hot cetrainty.

        Refraining from getting enmeshed in petty arguements is easy. You just have to understand that Zooba Juice has spilled into EVERYONE’s water supply and made them feel OUTRAGE from FEAR.

        Deep down behind the fear is WANT.

        It is the wanting of almost child-like simple things like caring, love, purpose, shelter, warmth, protection, comfort, food, all the things that assist in BALANCE. Wellbeing can only be found through BALANCE.

        It is obviously good to be vocal about wanting these but when the whole of humanity is intoxicated on Zooba Juice and ferociously fighting fighting fighting they lose track, because of the convolutions of over use of logic, of what it is that they want, each of them, as unique individuals. They get swept up in the OUTRAGE, often OUTRAGE about the OUTRAGEOUS. That and OUTRAGE about “saving the planet”. OUTRAGE enough to blow the darned globe off the cosmic map.

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