Saturday, March 25, 2023

Comments by Daiphanous Weeping

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  • SYMPATHY is so powerfully healing that each person tends to keep it only for themselves, as if it is like a finite currency in a bank account that once spent on someone else will mean there is none left for number one. But actually the capacity to feel sympathy comes from the capicity to FEEL all kinds of emotions. If you can feel sympathy for someone you can “feel” enough “feelings” to include your own self in that wrap around hug.
    Instead these days people sidestep giving sympathy by giving “healing”. This being the healer is attractive as it allows you to be “better than” the sick, more sorted, more together, more experienced, more full of answers, more of a shrewd judge of character, more reasonable, more enlightened, more of a puppet on a string. Healing can often become about “doing” a marvellous miracle technique “to” the “done to” idiot who knows nothing of how to alleviate their dire predicament. You can be a healer who never has to feel sympathy or never feel any feelings at all. Indeed, medicine is all about being a flinty emotionless doctor who martyrishly “gets rid of” their luxury of feelings in order to be a paragon of perfectly executed functions and practical actions. Medicine has that version of self sacrificing heroism. It is very stirring and attractive. And new healers have appropriated that rather grandiose “know all” way of helping the suffering. But chucking the sick a method or technique or yoga blanket or pill box or meditation cd…in other words…a “doing” thing…may not be “being” with the sick in a “feeling” way, a feeling of sympathy.

    When my sister was dying of cancer I found myself sitting in a Spiritualist church. A medium came up to me at the end with a message from my late father. The message was about my dying sister. The medium said to me…

    “Your father says give your sister a bit of sympathy at this time…a bit of sympathy”.

    I recall blushing in anger. How dare anyone tell me that I did not care enough!

    But the anger was an indication that the medium had touched the raw. I was guilty of “avoiding” feeling sympathy for my dying sister. I was guilty of feeling nothing at all. I was guilty of being completely numb. I could not take on any more sense of helplessness to DO something. I could not stop her dying. So I edited out that she even was dying. Instead I called myself brave for sending her lots of varieties of “healing”. I posted to her emolients and music and cheery cards and bestseller death defying books and rare teas and bells and crystals and names of celebrity healers who knew all. I would check up on her from afar to make sure she was dedicating herself to “the healings”, as if it would be HER FAULT if she skipped chapter ten or did not rinse the crystal in mountain dew first…exhausting exhausting exhausting offers of healing that were really my exhausting closings of doors of denial. A denial that she was more or less a goner. A denial of my own “feelings” in response to her “feelings”.

    Children are brimful of sympathy. Children offer no healing. Children “be with” you in whatever sad state you find yourself in. Animals too do not offer healing but they definitely BE sympathetic. Children and animals are unafraid of “feeling” overwhelmed emotions like sadness. Grown up humans have been taught that emotional overwhelm means death.
    My sister died surrounded by lots of objects of healing. Cold dead wellwishing objects.
    It is a fate that awaits us all. The lonely place of being so mortally unhelpable that people cannot bear to face you.

  • Have I tried this? Have I tried that?
    If I say I live near a mountain that I regularly go up someone might say it is maybe not a high enough mountain. If I say I have done ten massive house moves in the span of fifteen years, physical excercise that absolutely decked me for weeks and caused me sleep in oblivion for days someone might say I really need to do twenty big house moves to get the proper level of excercise that would bannish my demons. Perhaps I ought to be sent down a coal pit or put to work in a quarry to “cure” me of my schizophrenia. And maybe if that don’t work then someone can call me lazy for not shovelling rocks fast enough or not scaling mountains often enough. Perhaps I could wear pyjamas while I process gravel in a quarry. And if voices continue to pipe up unwelcomely then I could be told it is ALL MY FAULT for not being a GOOD cripple, the sort who TAKES UP THY BED and walks up the lofty peak.
    I say all this with humour my friend. I appreciate that you are giving a kind and generous offer. You are motivated to heal. There is nothing wrong with what you, or anyone else, advocates as a best bet for how to cease suffering. The more ideas we bring the table the better. But each idea may help one schizophenic but leave another unchanged. Does that mean that the unchanged one is deliberately refusing to be fixed? Blaming the ill for remaining stubbornly ill is a risk inherent in ANY healing offer. We do not blame the heart attack victim for having a horrible coronary arrest EVEN IF it is quite clear the jaunt up a mountain might have brought them a better view in which to sit and devour their MacDonalds. We do not blame the horribly suffering cancer patient for not taking their free radical vitamins often enough. Mental torment has always been easy for the onlooker to blame on the sufferer of such torment. Healing offers can play a part in entrenching the myth of the perperually fixed human, and the myth of the insolent lazy healing-refuser.
    I am not at all saying your very good idea of mountain climbing is not great. It is a wonderful idea. What I do know from experience though is that when on antipsychotics a person typically cannot move their limbs even when they long to. Muscle rigidity IS A THING for that population, as is heart failure, as is obesity that is caused NOT be over eating but by the way pills kill the metabolism, even upon excercise. It is not that easy to just don a pair of shorts and running shoes when dying of the effects of antipsychotics. If the general public thought that all it took to master schizophrenia was a daily marathon, the effects of muscle rigidity and heart failure and obesity would soon ALSO be blamed on the poor schizophrenic who simply could not run a mile without dangerous breathlessness.

    I am not saying your idea is not good, because it IS a good idea. BUT I know for my own experience that such extreme physical exertion DID NOTHING to stop my hallucinatons. It did not mend my schizophrenia. What it did do, and this is important, is it let me live a better set of visceral experiences than if I had just sat watching day time television all day. But nice experiences did not cure me, after twenty years of having had millions of very nice experiences.
    You mention excercise as changing brain chemistry. I have seen schizophrenics run up stairs, hurl furniture around, fight with motor vehicles, physically throw themselves around for hours on end, all quite excercised and yet still they would say they feel horribly tormented by voices.
    But yes…not ALL schizophrenics are identical. Many may be “improved” by treks in wild mountainous regions. I think it would be great if you maybe founded a way to take a group of schizophrenics on such wellness retreats. I love your idea. It has medicinal healing in it. For me it would not be MY cure. All schizophrenics are DIFFERENT.


    Unless an irresistable reply arrives I need now to bid my leave of making comments. This is because my genuine “madness bad” is needing me to go off into the wilderness and go within and ruminate about ways I might cope with my torment.

    As usual I must say that I expect The Hoover Dam to break at some point in the future.

    I made a comment today on the recent article by Richard Sears, “Mental Health Campaigns May Actually Lead to Increases in Mental Distress” (click a few times on my name here to get there)…but I must stop whittering on now. I use making comments in the same way one can use a squash racket to avoid dealing with urgent personal troubles.

  • You have a lovely expression in your scenic photograph. I have just read your delicious article.

    I want to have my cake and eat it. I want to place madness at the pinnacle of human achievement because being mad is akin to being wild, wild and free, like the animals are. There is no authority but your own heart if you be mad. When I first came to antipsychiatry circles I felt efforts were brought to relieve me of my celebration of my madness, as if my championing of my liberty to be lunatic was my embarrassingly taking stigma from society rather than my rushing to buy a suit and rejoin society. People seemed keen to heal me of the horrid slur of madness. I made little comments here and there about the marvels of shamanism. I am with you on how “madness is not necessarily bad”. However, I also know that my own madness “can” be bad. So I want my cake and I want to eat it and I want to be saying madness is fantastic and I want to say madness is sheer hell. I want BOTH to be true. Madness can be ecstatic and therefore good. But being dead is never a good idea. There are the maggots for one thing. There are the pallbearers and grief stricken gnashers of teeth. Madness can be so very excruciating and degrading and despairing that you can long for being just dead. Great sympathy is needed by the dying of madness. Not wonderous acclaim. What point is there in having visions if the visionary cannot wipe their own rear end due to huge fear that the toilet paper is contaminated with cyanide. The idea that martyrhood is a high achievement for humans would not occur to an animal. To martyr oneself to be a human entranced “visions” factory is not a sign of a new holy messiah but a sign of someone falling to pieces and not in a good way. No animal would willingly plunk itself limbs akimbo on a wooden cross. It would be deemed a sick animal and be given lots of tender veterinarian care. Visions are impressive but not if they snuff out the poor person who is afflicted by them. If martyrdom is part of the vision then believe it might be a vision that cares nothing for the lovely human body and its need of balance, rest and contentment. If it is a body-hating vision like that then there is nothing worth celebrating of such cruelty. Martyrdom, like dying of madness, is not as valuable to any human as balance, survival and wellness.

    There are, it seems to me therefore TWO states of madness, a good, wild, liberating state of being, and a bad, ill, dying, waste of a life state of being. One state needs celebrated, the other state needs cushiony compassion and sympathy.

    I would also be wanting to say that there is not “a mad person” or “a fixed person” but a wonderfully messy blend of BOTH going on in all of us all of the time.

    The maddest people I ever come across are psychiatrists. It is just that this is kept secret even and especially from themselves.

    Was Jesus mad? Was Jesus sane? Why can he not be BOTH. Why must we only envisage the brain as rock solidly reliable and sane or a useless blancmange of incomprehensible idiocy? Why must we only envisage a human as having a breakdown or over a breakdown and never going through a continuous work in progress chaos of BOTH. We do not want to see ourselves as irredeemably frail and vulnerable and fluctuating. We want the confidence trick of imperviousness to threat, especially the threat of our own inner disintegration. And others put huge pressure on us to be that rock with a fixed rock hard brain for them to count on.

    I believe Jesus was a mix of madness and super wellness. And maybe this is how God wants us all to be. But this way I have of understanding there to be a God is only when I am in my faith mode. Like you, I duck and dive under the awning of atheism at times. I tend to do so not because I do not believe in some kind of Creator but because I suspect that this Creator does not want us all to be his puppets on strings only doing choices that we think he might approve of. We are given our own inner “choice making” kit to make of life whatever we will. If there is a God then he loves us enough to want us to be MORE of who we authentically are and not less. That may involve throwing off the shackles of convention and even sanity and jubilantly revel in being wild, mad and free. Madness becomes one’s own guide and God. One becomes a God when mad enough. Inflation and expansion of the psyche happens until there are no borders between the mad un and Oneness.

    But as I say…there is madness good and madness bad. Madness rejuvenating and madness utterly soul destroying to the verge of suicide and beyond.

    Some in antipsychiatry circles want to blame psychiatry for making their madness good be madness bad, by giving them brutal treatments. These people then want to say that madness should have been a good time and that psychiatry robbed them of that natural ascension. Some people DO have mostly benign forms of hallucinations and delusions and so maybe do not see what all the fuss was about, in locking them up AS IF they had madness bad, a SEVERE form of hallucinations and delusions that leave some people blubbering shit covered wrecks unable to feed themselves. In psychiatry there was also this confusion about madness good and madness bad, except for psychiatry all madness was deadly and needed swiftly tackled.

    You want to innovate a new term “Acute Religious Experience”. I think this is fine for madness good. The madness to be celebrated. But today I almost had to stop shampooing my hair because ghastly hallucinations marauded me in a way that makes me feel just ill and doomy and dying. I would cough if I had to call my intense wish to be dead an “Acute Religious Experience”. Indeed, I want to swim out of any notion that what is jumbling me up is spiritual or religious. It would add to my sense of out of control nightmare. I prefer at present to “keep it real” and have ordinary humdrum daily life hold my hand.

    Psychiatry emerged out of the haunting legacy of the Inquisitorial Church, with its notion of madness as “sin” and its chilling religious priests driving out devils and legions and squealling pigs and hedgerow herbalists. Psychiatry with its hands up to stop such religious stigmatizing of the nutty took the barmy under its medical wing and made nice cups of tea for the crazies. Then the pharmaceuticals arrived. Miracle healings that gave the mad something proper to celebrate, like never waking up. A least the profoundly asleep are not profoundly dead of blubbering and suicide or witch hunts by rabid priests. The mad now in lineny hospital caves could linger safely in suspended animation like comatose levitating Lazarus waiting for a visitor.

    Given that there are as many experiences of madness as there are individuals who have them I doubt we can ever call madness only ever good or call madness only ever bad, as a CONSENSUS OPINION. And into each madness there will be bits that feel fabulous and astounding and bits that feel grim.

    I am with SYMPATHY at the moment. I believe in its medicinal necessity. I do not feel that academia gets us all there.

    I studied Divinity for five years. The first thing I chose to do upon leaving after I graduated was to wipe my mind of all the lectures. The pursuit of knowledge beyond its entertainment value strikes me as akin to the never ending pursuit of wealth.

  • I AM independant and in my independance and my ability to make my own “free choices”, I CHOOSE to know for myself that I have AN ILLNESS which I know profoundly DISABLES me. I AM independant and so I CHOOSE my OWN life to have DEPENDANCE be a factor in it. This is MY LIFE not yours and if I want to be dependant on my dear fellow humans then I shall be and I shall feel NO IDEOLOGICAL SHAME or GUILT about my INDEPENDANT “free choice” to be what I AM which is ILL from an illness I PREFER to know is real SCHIZOPHRENIA. I want to live in a society that respects my “free choice” to define MY OWN lived experience and MY OWN sense of illness in ANY way I deem best for me. I will not be nannied by anyone else’s preference for how I must now regard myself in March, or April, or May, or June, according to the “knowledge” that OTHER PEOPLE who are NOT ME say I need to follow for my own good. If I want to “freely choose” that my suffering comes from sin or polluted carrots or trauma or possession or Jesus or a bad leaf in a rainforest or angry ancestors or the medical model or all of these combined the THIS IS MY FREE CHOICE.
    To really honour the rights of disabled people AND ALL people it is important to realize that EQUALITY does not mean we must all be THE SAME. EQUALITY means ALL of our OWN unique DIFFERENCES should be regarded as of EQUAL WORTH.
    What the author of this article seems to want is an end to treating people of DIFFERENCE differently from everyone else, an end to the way DIFFERENCE means “less than” to society. I would submit that you do not arrive at respect for difference by “rubbing out” those differences as if they do not exist. You do not arrive at INCLUSION by making everyones brain and body and personhood and aspirations IDENTICALLY the same. You arrive at INCLUSION by allowing EVERY INDIVIDUAL to be uniquely their OWN SELF even IF you do not like what they believe about their OWN SELF.

    I am disabled in MY BRAIN. I cannot write this very comment without stopping after a few sentences to gather my courage to endure horrific hallucinations that are occurring whilst I type this, and which occur round the clock, often making it IMPOSSIBLE for me to go out or cook or eat or do my laundry or sleep or bathe or chat on the phone or buy a birthday card…simple simple simple actions. Due to this SEVERE DISABILITY I am unashamed about my having to be DEPENDANT on people. Generally, out in the world, I shall not be guilt tripped or morally or ideologically or politically spoken to by anyone who does not actually HAVE my DISABILITY, MY long term ABJECT HELL of a DIFFERENCE, about how I “should” be “their version” of “independant” and be the same as everyone else in society by clocking on to a meaningful job.
    The author says that people who experience emotional or mental distress are not sick and do not suffer from an illness. Where is such CERTAINTY about how other people experience their OWN lived experience coming from? The author not inhabit my skin. The author does not KNOW ME MORE THAN I KNOW ME. The author has NEVER met ME and yet I seem to come under the auspices of the author’s notion of “the disabled” and I seem to come under the author’s notion of “people”. The author is saying that it is unfortunate that capitalism tries to turn people into productive units as citizens. Yet the author assumes that everyone wants to “participate in society”.

    What is meant by society exactly? I engage with each UNIQUELY DIFFERENT INDIVIDUAL that I encounter. Society is so often about “CONSENSUS OPINION” or “GROUP THINK”. So that rules of control can be established. RULES are sometimes essential BUT not MANY. The rule not to be abusing or bullying or cruel is really the ONLY important rule humanity needs to be strictly championing. Society though is more often the instituting of a million superfluous fussy rules that are designed TO abuse and bully and be cruel to UNIQUE INDIVIDUALS. I would rather be beautifully disabled and NOT participate in THAT “society” at all.
    The author points out that the medical model is fervid in “fixing” and “curing”. This is not just a talent of the medical moguls but most bullies anywhere and everywhere will INSIST that the crippled take up their bed and walk. Jesus knows best. Cure is “better than” sickness. The “cured” are “better nicer people” than the lazy good for nothing “sick”. By insisting that sickness and disability can be “cured” by a change in “attitude” this gives “miraculous powers” to the intellectual MIND, something humans feel anxious to uphold, as if the MIND is itself a kind of HOLY MESSIAH who comes to the rescue of the ailing body after its vulnerability to the hard knocks from life, a HIGH PRIEST MIND that can HEAL all illness by a mere “thought” rather than a mere “pill”. If you are vomitting and groaning and weeping and ill then maybe you gotta “bad attitude”. Maybe your illness is ALL YOUR FAULT. Maybe you are ill because you “think” you are ill. Maybe you are mad because you “think” you are mad. Maybe you are disabled because you “think” you are disabled. And if you can be schooled to “think properly” about your suffering then your suffering will evaporate, AS IF you just swallowed brand new antipsychotic, or a healing offering of bloody bread.
    What seems to be going on in antipsychiatry circles is the non-acceptance of the lived experience of UNIQUE INDIVIDUALS who FEEL actually ILL and really SICK from hallucinations and delusions and misery and desperation that they KNOW for THEIR OWN SELF is NOT their OWN NORMAL. It is all being repackage “for their own good” as if their hallucinations and delusions, ills that render them incapable of even eating or sleeping or bathing, are normal or will become normal if given magical tweaking not by magic pills but by the magic MIND. Soon if you are independant and freely choosing to see your own illness as a disability you may be accused of not using your JESUS magic mind to “heal” yourself. Or society, that CONSENSUS OPINION FACTORY, with its many bullying rules and many bullying jobs, will be accused of not being “inclusively” able to “rub out” the way you may prefer to regard yourself as special and your unique individual differences as utterly rare.

    I NEED looked after!
    I NEED cared for!
    I like MY FREE CHOICE to find doctors and nurses and support workers and family who are happy to do so.

    Being looked after IS NOT the same thing as being BADLY looked after. Being loved is not the same thing as being BADLY loved.
    I can ask for love as a choice.
    I can ask to be beautifully looked after as a choice.

    When a society disrespects the importance in life of being “looked after” and “cared for” and “loved” and those expressions of human need and dependancy, society becomes a regime that turns away from the sight of tent cities.

    Often it is not a fancy “cure” or “fixing” that individuals want but just acceptance of their crying. Acceptance becomes its own medicine, its own cure. But to deny that people DO feel sick and disabled flies in the face of that SYMPATHETIC acceptance that can become so healing.

    I hope you dear author do not feel I have given a tirade. I am just passionate in my own way…as you are passionate in your own way. We are very UNIQUELY DIFFERENT from each other, with none of us “better than” the other in our different perspectives. As many perspectives as possible should be brought to the table so that no consensus opinion bullies individual opinion.

    I must THANK YOU for giving me material, raw clay, to make my own creation out of what you created. My own creation is not “better than” yours. I do not “know everything”. I cannot speak for “everyone”. I “know nothing” but my own worm’s eye level view. I do not possess THE TRUTH. I do not hold “ALL WISDOM”. I am just a stray barking dog quite possibly barking up the wrong tree.

    Tell me to fuck off.

  • …still only two comments. That is scandalous.
    The wombs of women are turned into pill drenched psychiatric wards for slumbering foetusus and nobody seems to give a damn! Why does antipsychiatry seem to set the foetus so low down on the rungs of the ladder, lowest of all on the priority list for social justice? Even elder people get more hot tempered comments rallying to their support. Maybe it is because people will rally to a person who has an “I”. As in “I am John” or “I am Elizabeth”. A victim with an identity is easier to empathize with. A victim who is in a persistent vegetative state is regarded as a husk of humanity, no longer human. A victim who is a foetus is regarded as not yet a human. No rewarding “relationship” can be had with such victims since they do not respond in the rules of engagement that govern “relationships”. They do not play ball. They do not satisfyingly affirm identity in that ping pong “I-thou” transactional way. They are as if blank “zombies”, as if sedated out of humanity, as if submerged on….on….ah yes…antidepressants….antipsychotics….or as if in some preoccupied womby troubled zone called psychosis…that place that reduces grown adults to bawling foetuses…and necissitates forgetting all about them since you cannot have a sensible academically astute show offy know-all identity affirming “relationship” with such zombiefied people.
    A “nice” victim is one that can converse enough to say they feel the same pain and suffering that you do. Babies don’t do that. The psychotic don’t do that. The persistently vegetating don’t do that. The truly POWERLESS victims are just “not nice” because they don’t scream academically or cry politically or howl relatedly. So we need not bother about those truly helpless victims. They don’t give us their support. Foetuses don’t support the cause.

  • Brilliant chapter, Peter.

    In some very poor countries destitute hungry people sell themselves and even their children into trafficking in the hopes that at least some food coins will be made available. Faced with a condition of starvation and death, the desperate clutch at dusty straws. They barely care what they have to do to make it through just one more day. An NGO may enter their lives and rescue them from wicked traffickers. Stopping such harms is utterly vital. It is not ending the destitution or famine that preceeded the peoples journey towards trafficking as a quick fix. I am using a metaphor of people seeking help by treading towards trafficking, a metaphor here for turning towards psychosis pills, as it too is a simplistic risky answer to hellish problems that are already in situ. What I mean is that to mend the problem of why so many people willingly take psychosis pills there ought to be a greater sympathy with the state of desperation they feel a moment before making that choice, desperation at being driven to the brink of extinction through hallucinations, delusions and so on. Desperation that wants something of a (dubious) life saving cure right away, no matter the ultimate price. Some people have no option in life but to live for today. They have no resources to make it through to tomorrow or consider long term future impacts of desperate decisions. They may think they have no choice but to sell their possessions, sell their kidney, sell street drugs, sell their own kids.
    It is easy enough for those of us not going hungry tonight to be appalled at people who turn to traffickers to solve their abject misery. And of course it is easy to be appalled at traffickers. But would any of us be any different if we just could not find any scraps of food to fill our or our childrens aching hollow dying stomachs? If we or they were just dying of hunger or total torment?
    It is easy to think that by scrapping hideous trafficking or hideous psychosis pills all will be well. Job done!
    I am afraid that mental torment pushes people over the edge hourly, where desperation makes them clutch at such straws in the first place.

    I applaud necessary impressive diligent brave work that throws a light on the harms of psychosis piÄșls. It is so very much needed. Does it start and stop with rescuing the violated from further harm from Big Pharma or does it also involve taking a look at WHY people come to the point of despair enough to want psychosis pills?

    I see parallels with alcoholism in the cohort of people desperate enough to obliterate themselves on Big Pharma psychosis pills intoxication. Is it enough to say that the intoxicants are damaging or risky and so nobody should imbibe them, without also respecting that nobody “chooses” to go on that godforsaken journey if they are not already over the edge of godforsaken anguish. Nobody “chooses” to traffick themselves, or drink alcohol to oblivion, or seek the comforting nullifying of torment that psychosis pills pretend to offer.

    I would just like to see in antipsychiatry circles more sympathy for those with very real desperation due to unending daily, hourly, horrendous hallucinations.

  • Excuse me if I have read your comments as being pointed at my comments. Your comments may well be for general discussion. I do apologize if that is the case. But from my paranoid schizophrenic reading you seem in a hurry to fix my paranoid schizophrenia. That is very caring of you. I have no doubt your motives come from a considerate place within.
    However, I have been in a few hospice settings or at the bedside of the terminally dying and it caused me to wonder at my own hurry to fix the dying of their dying. I believe my own motive for being a “fixer” of their suffering was tangled up in my own need to ease my own suffering instead, my suffering feeling that THERE IS NOTHING I CAN DO.

    Humans are not comfortable with thinking that sometimes there is nothing they can DO about life or death or nature. It brings anxiety to feel the paralysis of POWERLESSNESS.

    A victim will always cause in an observer a moment of the experience of awful awful awful POWERLESSNESS to DO a magical CURE. The observer may then goad the victim to NOT BE A VICTIM, just so that the observer can feel EMPOWERED again.
    An offering may come from the observer, perhaps a gift, or a stock positive affirmation phrase, or a magical new pharmicological medicine, or an operation, or a bear hug, or a best seller self healing book, or a series of athletic workouts, or a year long membership to a political party that says all victims are made victims by political oppression, or a cd of meditations to scenic visualizations, or catchy tunes that give uplifting vibes, or homemade nourishing life changing soup, or the name of a top notch therapist, a family therapist, a Jungian therapist, a rational therapist, a seaweed therapist, a door slamming therapist, a nervous therapist, on and on and on come offers to fix the victim.
    Meanwhile the victim understands all about POWERLESSNESS since they have to get into bed with it every hour of the day. They have to get real with abject helplessness. As the dying do. The lonely lonely dying, who know there is no fix but death itself.
    Most mature schizophrenics know that THERE IS NOTHING anyone can offer or DO. Which is why when someone says that much, it comes as something of a relief. It is always a huge relief to have a compatriate in the POWERLESSNESS. It makes life less lonely to have someone there to commiserate that yes there is NOTHING can be DONE…this becomes an all embracing holding. Hopelessness is horrible but acceptance is not horrible. There is a fine line between these states. I have had experience of being told to hurry up and DO something about my suffering, my powerlessness, my victimhood, my dying of schizophrenia. This sometimes became a form of victimizing the victim for enduring their torment or trying to just accept it, accepting there is NOTHING can be DONE. The victim gets blamed for the HOPELESSNESS of their predicament, as if they can CURE it by THINKING properly. Suddenly their suffering is due to “wrong thinking” or a “bad perspective”. This is not that different from days of yore when religious priests would tell people with epilepsy to stop thinking in sinful ways of thinking. The offers come as curative salvations. But who is the fixing really curing? I say all this because psychiatry has turned this offering cures into a full time production line. In doing so it has often not helped the victims of hellish hallucinations and delusions and voices to try to move into the gentleness of acceptance, and find peace there.
    Nature, as you are wonderfully aware, is wonderfully accepting of whatever state we are in. This acceptingness becomes “a kind of transient lovely cure” for an hour or a day or a week. I walk often in nature and I do often feel revived by the way nature does not try to “rub out” my POWERLESSNESS but holds me most tenderly in it and unites me with all the other rather accepting and POWERLESS mortal creatures within nature. I feel companionship there, by every tree and bird and flower, befriended in my hopelessness, and this befriending BECOMES a kind of hope. A hope that despite my inability to “get rid of” my schizophrenic torment I am sort of not all ALONE in my pain and POWERLESSNESS. Nature finds a way to BE with me, BE with me as victim, rather than DO lots of fixing stuff to me.
    Healing can be a bully. Psychiatry has discovered this a little late in the day. It became a society wide manner of “getting rid of” victims’ POWERLESSNESS by DOING lots of sciency things to victims to stop them being uncomfortable locuses of grief and dying and anxiety for society. Society hates confronting helplessness even less than helpless individuals do. So society hygenically tidies away the helplessly wailing birthing mothers and the helplessly sobbing lonely dying. As if its offensive and ungrateful towards professionals and their tidy offers if a victim remains unhelpable. If being a genuine victim marks you as offensive and ungrateful you probably begin to long for the peace of death.
    Please do not misconstrue me here. The very human impulse to ease another person’s suffering is itself utterly natural and good. It comes first and foremost from love. It is just that through wobbly empathy this impulse can also come from a wish to stop one’s own anxious suffering from having to find ways of mending the victim. This swapping from attending to the victim’s suffering and then attending to one’s own suffering from helplessness to get the victim all smiling again can burden the victim with a message that their helplessness is an inconvenient truth.
    Love will always come as gifts and trinkets and cd’s of nice music and shawls and bowls of soup and great ideas for how to miraculously heal fast and encouragements to get out into nature. Love is love and love is good.
    I listen to anyone who comes out with an offer of what might bannish my schizophrenia. Sometimes fellow schizophrenics come out with the best notions of what to DO, such as place a blue thread in a small box and wear it whilst sleeping or do drumming on saucepans and lids. All very shamanic, but mostly fellow schizophrenics just BE with me. We just BE. It is so very soothing.

    You spoke of how psychiatrists keep give give giving antipsychotics. I know only from my own experience that the suffering involved in constantly having hallucinations made me often DEMAND antipsychotic cures. EVEN after finding out that they shorten life spans. On a bad day life feels like it is going to end in a day IF nothing is DONE to ease suffering immediately. There are schizophrenics who have rather mild or even pleasant hallucinations but there are many who live with severe schizophrenia with hourly torture. Yes, the pills make it much worse, in my own experience, but I know that there IS a placebo resurrection that lasts a month or two upon imbibing a NEW HOPEFUL PILL. That placebo upliftment can give just enough stamina to help a victim of schizophrenia not suicide. They pop them pills and go back to psychiatrists for a follow up appointment and near kiss the ground the psychiatrist walks on for “saving” them with that “offer”. Then three months later it becomes clear the pills did not work, and so a NEWER antipsychotic is desperately DEMANDED of by the victim. Another placebo lift occurs. Each placebo lift confering HOPE to the psychiatrist that they can DO something to ease the victim’s and their own anxious suffering. On and on it goes. Until psychiatrists look like healing bullies insisting on offers of pharma cures being tried…because several patients in a placebo false dawn loudly and emphatically say they feel improvements on them.

  • ….continued continued….

    From the outset I want to say that I love ALL religions. Love may not be “reverence”. But love them all I do.

    Laughably I sent the video link without watching the video beyond its jolly beginning. In The Begin Was (fill in the blank). But hours later, nowish, I did sit down to enjoy the video with my luncheon. That’s when I grew bewildered at how I could make it fit my prior comments. You all might have to help me. It’s a bit of a tangent. But up for a challenge I suppose I can see how our holy man here has a rascally glint in his eye as he lashes his audience with abrupt shouts. Shout, shout, shout. We must obey. His audience must do this. His audience must do that. They each must undergo hardship, travails, unflinching mortification of the flesh, wrestling with desires, gruelling fasts, purgatives, disjointing of limbs, gritty dawn scrubs, immersions in planks of frozen rivers, lonely self abnegation, howling regression, shrinking, disembodying, martyrdom, coy saintliness, bedding down on broken stones, getting rid of all reason, getting rid of all feeling, and if they do endure such tests they each may see the face of God in the luminous embers of the campfire just before they singly perish of divine discomfort.

    The audience seem like puppets on strings to this touselled pup with a pup. I wonder is it the promise of conferred “know-all” sacred knowledge. As if knowledge can end human suffering, even hurt of toothache or the pain of childbirth? The audience are drawn to his “certainty”. His certainty is that everyone else’s freely chosen path is dubious at best. His path is wiser, he assures.
    I have always entertained a loathing for any path that does not peter out in the middle of nowhere, that pathless place where I can finally sit down and hear my own self think.
    Seldom is this “nowhere” not fenced off. You often find that “nowhere” is privately owned. Paths are profitable one way or another, because they line up with “certitude”. Bully’s like to frequent paths.
    The cocksure holy man has a lot to say. People come to him in droves because he seems on a path. There is something about his demeanour and assuredness that ironically reminds me of a prestigious consultant psychiatrist. Another pillar of the scenery, mastering himself, trotting up and down the ladders of a slithery path. Both holy men, the Sadu and the Shrink, are on talking terms with God in a way you have no hope to be. One has a God of nature. The other has a God of science. Both have been given God’s own “certainty” about you, to bequeath to you, lest you do not know yourself, lest you stumble blindly into a “nowhere” after straying off a path.
    The everlastingly smiling woman seems the most beautifully lost and found, as she sits in assorted off camera “nowheres”. Yet even she seems obedient to this heirarchical notion of Great God who is bigger and better than her and knows her even more than she knows herself. A “certainty” Deity.

    There is of course nothing wrong with freely choosing any path and choosing a life filled with irrefutable “certitude”. Choosing a fussy God who demands obedience or enlightenment is a fine free choice millions of people adore making. Choosing to follow a ramshackle, rag bitten, untangling holy man is a fine free choice. A shouter. A blazing mad quasi psychiatrist in a forest preaching at sad people to go back to their family. People are free to follow whomever they are inclined to choose to. As the antilope so follow other antilope. It is just that humans like to come out with screeds of verbal reasons why it is “necessary” to be on “a path” and follow “a know-all”. Animals just admire eachother and blissfully follow one another “without ever quite knowing why”. Absent is the need for extra, extrapolated, worthy “certitude”. Following is based on feeling in animals, not logic. Certainty tends to be logic’s lovechild. So it is interesting seeing this holy man coming out with logical certitude whilst purporting to be spiritual. To my way of seeing anyone spiritual will accomplish finally getting back to the newborn’s wisdom of “knowing nothing”.
    How can a person advise anyone if they “know nothing”?

    It is impossible to be a bully if you are aware you “know nothing”.

    Unfortunately holiness and bullying often go hand in hand.

    I say…ALL ARE EQUAL.

  • I have decided that babies should be called adults. A counselling lecturer once said to a lecture hall I was in that a psychopath is just a six foot toddler. This may mean that babies are mini psychopaths. Of course I do not hold that view. I am joking. I do not think babies should be called adults. But some may say that babies are indeed mini adults and that their lack of bodily development should not be used to patronize them or talk down to them. They might say we should do away with the googoogagah babytalk. Enroll babies in euclidian geometry classes.

    But I am actually preferring my free choice to regard babies are not yet adults. I don’t think that after labour we should be shoving them squealing down coal pits to do an honest day’s labour. A danger with thinking that babies are adults is that some bad actors might try to arrange to be married to the little ones. And so it seems to me that it is important to protect bodies that are small and vulnerable from actual psychopaths.

    In my birth country used to be a language called Gaelic. Everyone spoke it in the hills and valleys and forests and sea shores. Everyone was acquainted with the words and roughly what those meant. Leeway was accepted for the expanding of the meanings of words to mean something else also. Words are flexible and evolving and not always time anchored. They organically grow other gists, or lose gists. This is exciting. You never know precisely what the hell someone is yattering on about until they further explain their new nuances by adding more and more words. Until there are too many words, not enough examples. But verbal gymnastics are all part of how language, derived from our first language of song, is a very mobile phenomenon. I digress…
    So we had a language called Gaelic but one day, at the time of the Highland Clearances, a time when hills and valleys and forests and sea shores were cleared of living people to make way for lucrative living sheep, the Gaelic language became outlawed. Children were punished for using old words, Gaelic words, and were sat in schools that drilled into them a foreign language called english. The people had to repeat english words when they were harvesting their croft land, english words when they were crying, english words when they were screaming out to a hedgerow midwife to help push a baby out.
    The people there were not allowed their OWN FREE CHOICE to use the words they knew well in their own language. Suddenly they were told that their Celtic language was offensive to the ears of english speakers. And that was that! Gone was Gaelic.
    Like gone was Manx. Like almost gone was Native American Indian language. People tried to blow breath back into the forbidden words, to ressucitate the poetry found therein. But back then languages tended to be of “consensus opinion”. The way it worked was if one “consensus opinion group” arrived to argue that another “consensus opinion group” ought not to have its own choice of language it customarily preferred then social shame got used to school everyone in new ways.

    Occasionally one or two individual Gaelic speakers surface and using Gaelic they say they want to have their OWN FREE CHOICE of what specific words come out of their mouth. If they are allowed to sing any pop song or opera song or world music song that they individually desire to sing, just as a bird is free to sing its own loved song without asking anyone’s permission, then why do humans not extend this gracious welcome for everyone to enjoy their liberty to speak words they prefer and hold dear? Whilst any individual’s free basic human right to favour their own musical tastes are not “rubbed out”, verbal inclinations are “rubbed out” by new “consensus opinion”. Your mouth can be worked by “consensus opinion” to only ever come out with the latest dominant exactitude. Musical expression gets blissfully left to your personal whim. Nobody hates what music IS. We are “allowed” to love it and play with it and be creative with it.

    But words may be placed on our tongue like consecrated wafers from a foreign belief.

    People have to rub along and not “rub each other out” EVEN IF people rub each other up the wrong way. We are this inclusive when it comes to respecting everyone’s FREE CHOICE to use the songs they prefer to sing.

    You may say “no no” and you may say “we all have to agree on what we mean by words”. As if we all have to be singing the exact same song. No variation. There are indeed points where there is little ambiguity. A baby is not an adult. An acorn is not an oak tree. A broken heart is not a healed heart. Massage is not violence. A good deed is not a crime. Romance is not abuse. Broadly speaking there can be a “consensus opinion” about these obvious distinctions that are commonly found in ALL languages.

    Abuse, Cruelty, Bullying….are what must be outlawed. There has to be verbal laws coming from “consensus opinion” that protect the vulnerable from these three disasters.

    The rest comes under the auspices of INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM OF CHOICE. It is my choice to call a potato a potaaato. It is my choice to say potato or potaaato and mean something else entirely and not potatoey, perhaps a galactic alien, perhaps a yellow robed goddess from the realm of mulch, perhaps a mood. It is my free choice to be inventive and playful and creative with my words, and turn them all into mad words or song or poetry. If I WANT TO.

  • “Inhumane practices of psychiatry”.

    A space rocket is cold and perfect and inhumane. A scalpel and needle are icy and precise and inhumane. An IV drip stand is chilly to the touch and inhumane. A nuclear power plant is frigid and inhumane. A Ferrari car is glacial and sublime and inhumane.

    Perhaps “humanity” ought to face its love of all things “inhumane” in order to explore “why” there is always a need to go beyond “earthy imperfection”.

    I recall an era when people queued up to see “a proper” professional, rather than muddle along with weeping at the clay feet of a busy neighbour. In that era people “wanted” inhumane. People wanted a professional “doctory” type who would be frosty and sublime and arid and chilly and perfectly all-knowing, a steely messenger from “perfect science”. A space rocket manufacturer. A math wizard. People “wanted” their “feelings” to be easily comprehended “mathematical formulae”, not scary chaotic vortices of breakdown. But the quickest way to have a breakdown is to try not to have a breakdown. Breakdown became synonymous with “imperfection”. Thus went up the call for the proper professional “perfectors”. Those vested with turning humans into super human heroes mastering over their own earthy catastrophic propensity to “feel”. We courted becoming “in-humane”. We were at varience with our humanness.

    But I suspect that because a collective notion of “perfection” is subject to vogues and is therefore a moveable feast, our love affair with “inhumane perfection” has not gone away but is very much still propelling our quest to have hope in mastering our messy “feelings”, in stopping breakdowns rather than letting breakdowns stop us from being so wooden. I suspect our new pursuit of “inhumane perfection” is dovetailing with an idea that nothing ever goes amiss with the messy biological creatures we are. It is a bit like how some evangelical churches perpetuate the myth of the perfectly fixed person who is now and everlastingly without “sin”. A “saved” body and soul, transformed “inhumanely” and made “super human” merely by agreeing to “a belief” that all the religious tick boxes have been checked and commandments followed to the letter, enabling us all to become risen chilly space rockets without flaw.
    Into antipsychiatry can occasionally increep a similar cheerleading and “perfecting fundamentalism” that sees the human potential to become “saved”. All rise and be rescued from the muck and mayhem of being a moody misery guts! New Age resurrection babble can sometimes seem indistinguishable to what went on in psychiatry. Both can “reject” the chaotic “animalness” of being a soft bodied human living in a hard world.

    I am occasionally told in the world that I ought to bin the schizophrenic diagnosis that seems to have emated from “inhumane psychiatry”. If I do will I become “without sin?”. Will I become differently inhumanely super human by becoming instantly flawlessly super well?

    And if I am beckonned to become super humanly, super well, through professional space rocket therapy is a therapist of such ideal perfecting of me really going to “be” with me in my very real relentlessly “imperfect” breakdown?

    Where ever there is a “Doer” and a “Done to” is an open door to potential “inhumane perfectionism”. But I am not castigating anyone for wanting to “perfect” themselves in that professionally assisted way. The FREE CHOICE to pursue becoming super human, through a space program or through psychiatry or through therapy or through New Age regulations or through old style religion or through some aspects of antipsychiatry IS a FREE CHOICE that must be allowed because if these choices are also curbed then there is no such thing as FREEDOM. Self improvement will always run the risk of attracting those who think this means the getting “rid of” the messy psyche, by all manner of prayers or techniques or politics or attitudes or meditations or medicaments. But the FREE CHOICE to do with your own self what you want to, whether improve it, perfect it, make it flawlessly impossibly impervious to disaster, make it inhumanely super human and invincible, make peace with its brokenness, destroy it, is YOURS as A CHOICE and YOURS ALONE.

  • Very impressive poetry!

    I often feel I AM a POEM dribbling through the rock hard canyons of civilization, getting stopped, so I back up and become stagnant, or gush in a flood. Madness is poem wearing shoes. It is not the brain that they want to shock but the poem.


    …again a point of clarity.

    I am NOT against a principle of anyone availing themselves of any “consensus opinion group” scientific body or field that purports to have the TRUTH of DATA. Although I do observe that with regard to “consensus opinion” on covid vaccines, and antipsychotics, that “yesterdays” watertight, irrefutable, scientific DATA had both of these seem like wonder cures for everyone so at risk. DATA can do this thing of conveying an impression that every human body is identical, as if mechanistically made in a factory. That supposed TRUTH can then be used by bad actors to rub out your own LIVED EXPERIENCE. Until it gets like there between what symptoms your body is coming out with and your soul’s ability to express your experience of the body you reside within there is a mistrust, a suspiscion that you are a LIAR about DATA DISCOVERED TRUTH about your very own one of a kind body.

    Today’s TRUE vaccine or TRUE antipsychotic “scientific” weilded DATA becomes tomorrows revealled wishful thinking. This occurs ALL THE TIME in science. As your man Harrow seems to have noticed. The memo is “consensus opinion” and “science” are not always reliable forms of THE TRUTH about individuals or other things in life. NO “consensus opinion” IS!

    That is because THE TRUTH is always a moving unfolding elaborartion that will never be completed. A blanket assumption that all bodies work the same way gets rapidly overtaken as thousands of bodies say they have been left damaged. Or a blanket assumption that nobody is healed by a twig or a leaf or crystal or a book is rapidly overtaken as thousands of bodies say the twig bannished all their bodily afflictions. “Consensus opinion”, because by its very nature of being given to groupthink and therefore blanket assumptions, is just not that great at listening to “individuals”. Who get called LIARS when they say they FEEL they really have “this” or LIARS when they say they FEEL really have “that”. Armed with lots of scientific research and data and truth of a blanketty order there is no room for individuals to express their LIVED EXPERIENCE as fed by THEIR OWN GUT FEELINGS….that TRUTH.
    Old timey science has been called out on this by antipsychiatry. An antipsychiatry that damns old timey science for not pitying the truthful talker with their own LIVED EXPERIENCE that FEELS that old timey science has done them a mischeif. But rather than champion each individual’s basic human right to hold their own “opinion” of what is the matter with them…EVEN IF this aligns with an increasingly unpopular old timey science…antipsychiatry seems to do what old timey science does, which is box individuals into blanket assumption DATA, as if…yet again…that is THE TRUTH that is SUPERIOR to LIVED EXPERIENCE.

    Both psychiatry and antipsychiatry battle each other in the bloody arena of science. Both are very fond of “consensus opinion” found in science.

    Science may derive some of its DATA from batches of peoples LIVED EXPERIENCE but because it churns out yet more DATA this then gets used to hush unwelcome LIVED EXPERIENCE elsewhere from apparent LIARS that challenges this new notion of THE TRUTH.

    DATA, SCIENCE, THE TRUTH, are all todays speculation until tomorrows fresh DATA, SCIENCE, THE TRUTH becomes deeper revealled, by an electron microscope or a James Web telescope. The search for THE TRUTH is merely a process of watching nature’s endless infinite strip tease. There is NO getting to the naked TRUTH. And to call any individual a LIAR for coming out with their preferred notion of what FEELS TRUE to them is to subordinate the individual BENEATH “consensus opinion” science, as if science is always going to be BETTER MOUTHPIECE for their own FEELINGS.

    When a “consensus” religion, or politics, or science, not of my free choosing, purports to KNOW ME….infinitely MORE….than I KNOW ME….I am called a LIAR by these and deemed a threat and MY OWN LIVED EXPERIENCE is declared NOT TRUE and I am given NO VOICE.

    Science alone won’t get us all to a beautifully respectful, tolerant, loving humanity.

    The video clip is a marvellous gladiatorial scrum where a politician braves using DATA to joust former pharma/government DATA. Or uses new science to rebuke old timey science. He uses the LIVED EXPERIENCE of vaccine harmed to add to gathered new DATA. He uses new science to box clever with old science. As befits the constantly evolving scientific process. New DATA rubbishes the FOOLPROOF old DATA. This is all brilliant and necessary for science.

    It is just that DATA is NOT ME.

    It is fine to align with “consensus opinion” found in any religion or any politics or any science.

    It just may not be ME. And if it is not ME does that rule out MY OWN LIVED EXPERIENCE as just the lying mutterings of a madwoman?

    Does DATA now prove me an unreliable mouthpiece? Does DATA now prove me INSANE for my FEELING that I do suffer from unendurable schizophrenia?

    My view…my own quirky LIVED EXPERIENCE might not be popular but when did “unpopular” mean “untrue”? Oh yes, since and for all ETERNITY. As the unpopular-in-psychiatry’s-circles Mr Harrow found to his cost.

  • ….of course there is nothing “wrong” with wanting to be part of a stirring magnificent “group consensus opinion”. It confers to a person a sense of belonging and identity. Joining a “consensus opinion” can feel healing of a former wound of being refuted over sentiments held dear. It is gratifying to have cheerleaders. It is a boost to jaded morale to sign up to a big “consensus opinon creator” group such as in a religion or philosophy or politics or science. One begins to blur the exhilaration of healingly “belonging” with a sense of moral or intellectual “rightness” and this starts to seem identical to THE TRUTH. “Consensus opinion” brings order and this reduces personal insecurity about the unfathomable nature of wild truth.

    I go on about the vital need to align with one’s own individual “freedom of choice”, to optimize wellbeing, but for many a bond of “belonging” to a collective of religious or scientists or political thinkers IS often their own fine “free choice”, for all of the above reasons and more. A “consensus opinion group” may peddle THE TRUTH as they see it and another “consensus opinion group” may rear up and try to dismantle that first group’s TRUTH with its own take on THE TRUTH.

    There really is nothing “wrong” with choosing to be “belonging” to a “consensus opinion group”. Take your pick. There are millions of the damn things. We believe this. We believe that. It gets like finding cosy niches or depositories in which to more structurely nestle your existential madness. Having “an opinion” is a basic human right. And so is forging your “opinion” to a cluster of opinions within a “consensus opinion group” a basic human right. There is no harm in having “opinions”. They are NOT the same thing as outward acts of BULLYING, even though any bully may trumpet “opinions” as if these are the ONLY sacred TRUTH to which all must kneel.

    One can grow very fond of a particular affirming “consensus opinion group” and start regarding the people within it as even more essential than family. When the group’s TRUTH seems to take a knock there can marshal a compulsion to DEFEND the “consensus opinion group” as if defending one’s very own self. But often these loyalties are subconscious or hidden and instead the DEFENDING is all about DEFENDING THE TRUTH.

    In DEFENSE of THE TRUTH more stuff needs to get poked at externally as being NOT TRUE. Maybe inspirations in other “consensus opinion groups” such as the indigenous forest dweller’s notion of the sun and the moon. Everyone knows the sun and the moon are spherical cosmic bodies in space. Everyone knows the sun and moon are flat discs like the flat Earth. Everyone knows the sun and the moon were hung there by Great God. Everyone knows the sun and the moon are a leopard and a swan. Everyone knows the sun and the moon are a trick computer simulation made of pixels. Everyone knows the sun and the moon are Nasa carparks filmed fraudulently.

    Everyone knows what lunar madness is. Everyone knows what lunar madness is not. Arguing arguing arguing over “consensus opinion”. It is okay to argue too. It is fantastic fun to. No harm in it. No harm in thinking yourself to be the ONLY person possessed of THE TRUTH. It can be thrilling and diverting. But none of this is the same thing as outward BULLYING. People often think that in order to get rid of bullying they have to wrestle with THE TRUTH. Drop the TRUTH to its knees until it says it is very sorry for getting it all wrong. This requires coming up with a fresh competing TRUTH, an even TRUER TRUTH, one that will obliterate other “free choices” of what to believe is TRUE, about the sun and the moon and lunar madness. But this deriding of other people’s “freedom of choice” to believe whatever they will can BECOME a form of BULLYING if it overshoots merely remaining a good natured arguement, about what we each individually feel we know of the sun and the moon and lunar madness.

    Having a feeling, a thought, an opinion, even a consensus opinion, and even to uphold received science or bicker anew at it, as if being a denizen of what is absolutely true, are all lovely choices we can avail ourselves of.

    It is outward behaviour of BULLYING that is the vast problem.

    BULLYING often arises within a person when that person is not allowed to hold their own feeling, thought, opinion, consensus opinion, or true for them viewpoint, but rather is taught that what is within their psyche is dangerously unacceptable according to a dominant “consensus opinion group”. The person then cuts off from their deep awareness of their own “free choices” and instead becomes a benumbed ventriloquized spokesperson for certain dogma. MORE supposed TRUTH.

    Regimes thrive not on feelings, thoughts, opinions, consensus opinions, all of which harm nobody, but on the chilling absence of the “freedom of choice” to, as an individual, fully enjoy the above.

    I heard singer Lisa O’neill say in a video concert that apparently Nina Simone was once asked what she felt “freedom” would be like. Nina answered…

    “No fear”.


    Heartened I am that my comment got published. All credit to the impartiality in MIA!

    Just back to share the above video. First part is a dull long intro so skip to around twelve minutes in to get to the journey proper. The narrator is speaking about the topic of Time. She explores the various other ways that humans throughout history have perceived the passages of Time.

    It seems to me that CONSENSUS AGREEMENT about what exactly Time is is linked to “collaborative intention”. Something necessary to build “a civilization”. Agreement insists that you will show up at the factory at seven am in order to bind to the agreement that you will be rewarded with wages.

    What is agreement? Many things. But one of these things is that you agree to suspend some of ALL of your FREE CHOICES in order to SERVE the choice of another, cooperatively. It becomes perhaps “in your best interests” to subordinate your initial free choices under the prioritizing of some “group consensus choice”. But this too can sometimes feel like it is exactly your free choice to do so. You align your own preferences with group preferences. You choose to participate in the tribe or civilization.

    In society you may be asked to sign up to “consensus opinion” in myriad areas, or mark yourself as an unruly outsider, a heretic. Sometimes it is very easy to see how a group’s “consensus opinion” differs from your own worldview. Especially if that group is an extreme church or religious temple or army or coven or band of renegades or polital party not resonant with any of your “free choices”.

    But there are other hard to define widespread “consensus opinions” that overarch small groups and encompass them in such a manner that the widespread agreed upon consensus “truth” gets taken for granted that it IS THE TRUTH. A truth that you signal yourself as mad in IF you say you do not believe in it.

    The nature of what we each perceive as TIME itself becomes one such widespread group “consensus opinion”, or “group truth”, not because anyone “knows” exactly or “truthfully” what Time is, but because forming some sort of “mutual agreement” about Time’s mechanism and experience becomes useful to “group cooperation and trade”.

    But very soon “that” TRUTH, that is established by “group think” about what Time is, has an impact on your “freedom of choice” to do with your “own” Time whatever you deem necessary to your needs and free choices. Consensus opinion can be the saviour of your free choice if you couple your choice to “group aims”, or it can be the death of your free choice.

    We rarely realize quite how much we are influenced by “consensus truth”. It is not that this being influenced is “wrong”. Humans ARE social creatures. Agreements mean that your choice is not always going to be front and centre. Someone else’s choice, or a group’s choice, may take presidence. But this taking presidence IS NOT THE SAME THING AS THE TRUTH. We all “consensusly agree” on what Time is, so that our shops and cafes stay open when desired, and buses and trains show up when expected, and we may become servants of that version of understanding of what Time is, but we need not cloud out the vision of more ancient TRUTH about Time. We can expand Time’s meaning to encompass broader definitions that DO accomodate more of our “freedom of choice”.

    I think this is some of what the narrator (Odell) was expressing, if I picked it up accurately.

    If we live under the rather draconian modern “consensus opinion” of the notion of Time, as if that mere “opinion” speaks the TRUTH to each of us, a “clock time” ordering “agreed upon” REALITY to which we must all prostrate our very lives, then it behoves us to be aware of other kinds of “establishing” THE TRUTH that similarly might box us out of our optional more “choosy” and “different” ways of experiencing the “isness” of our mortal existence.

    Consensus opinions in science have become for a rather long time THE TRUTH. A forest dwelling indigenous person may have their own opinion about what the sun and moon are. Interestingly they go unchallenged by science perhaps because their worldview is so very “different” it poses no threat. A Heretic on the other hand is in close proximity to the keepers of established TRUTH and gently rocks the boat with an air of authority borrowed from that establishment. This intimate connection, of being both still “within” the “group” yet having the audacity to quibble over received TRUTH is perceived as more “dangerous” than the very “different” far out forest dwellers notion of truth. Having your “free choice” to see life as you do see it, whilst still within a larger “group consensus” is threatening to that “agreement”. But if a group can tolerate having such “traitors” to its version of THE TRUTH it becomes itself A NEW FACILITATOR of the actual TRUTH that there is no such thing as ever completely arriving at THE TRUTH.

    When that happens something else must ascend to take the place of the hunt for THE TRUTH.

    Something like LOVE.

    To be able to LOVE requires valuing curiosity and wonder and not assuming…

    “I know you even more than you know yourself”.

    (Ive given myself a headache with my own comment. Someone stop me rambling on and on. I need help….)

  • “He followed the DATA and FINDINGS of the Chicago Followup study that often challenged the ‘academic’ understanding of schizophrenia”.

    If he was following DATA and FINDINGS he was being academic. If he was following DATA and FINDINGS was he letting PEOPLE with PERSONAL EXPERIENCE of SCHIZOPHRENIA SPEAK for THEMSELVES? To truly get away from academia there needs to be a move away from arguing WITHIN science about science’s scandals and instead a prioritizing of the SOVEREIGNTY of the PERSON’S LIVED EXPERIENCE. This means that some people diagnosed with schizophrenia may be believed when they say THEY FEEL that they do NOT have that condition and some people diagnosed with schizophrenia may be believed when they say that THEY FEEL they DO have that condition. FREE CHOICE to believe as you do believe gets railroaded by scientific academia, and railroaded by the ACADEMIC arguers about scientific academia. You do not need a sheild and lance of DATA or FINDINGS to listen to peoples LIVED EXPERIENCE. If you are coming at people with a once removed suspicion that their OWN EXPERIENCE cannot be trusted and believed emphatically then you give them no voice but the voice that you think SCIENCE, whether old science or argued new science, says they should have.

    I am in complete agreement that poison will always be a source of additional illness. I am in agreement, having myself years of LIVED EXPERIENCE of being on medication, that antipsychotics are vile. I hope no antipsychotics pass the lips of any more people. But my hope is only MY hope. It may not be what someone “different” from me wants as THEIR free choice. I hope to end the global production of alcohol. It destroys lives and especially the lives of children. Antipsychotics seem to me to be as bad as alcohol at wrecking lives.

    But I doubt that I will EVER say that I believe MY SCHIZOPHRENIA is not that but is something else. I do not care how much DATA or FINDINGS a NON SCHIZOPHRENIA sufferer passes my way. DATA is not a more FOOLPROOF descriptive of MY PERSONAL HELL.

    I am more than capable of describing what troubles me first and foremost by myself in any way I deem suitable to my choice of description.

    I am not saying this any of this with annoyance but merely a desire to clarify my own perspective.

    It seems to me that there is a hurry in the world at present to answer old scientific bombast with declarations of fraud on old science’s part, a blanket assumption that absolutely everything that was ever gathered by way of LIVED EXPERIENCE within old science’s searching must be now refuted as sham. The phenomenon of voices, hallucinations, delusions, are being, it seems to me, reappropriated and made over as being perfectly “normal”, caused perhaps by enduring enough trying circumstances. For some people voices, hallucinations, delusions may very well be THEIR normal. For others such intense torment, of a level few could withstand without suiciding, is a level of suffering that is NOT THEIR normal at all. I reserve the basic human right to call my “not normal for me” precisely SCHIZOPHRENIA. This does not mean I need a psychiatrist or want horrendous medications or treatment. If tomorrow I call my LIVED EXPERIENCE “jungle vine malaise”, or the following week I call it “Tibetan singing bowl vibration ailment”, or next month “trauma”, or next year “evil psychiatrist hypnosis”, then these preferences about how I define what ails me are also under the auspices of my free choice. I can do without yet more and more DATA or FINDINGS seeming to attempt to muffle MY OWN creative definition of what FEELS “not normal” FOR ME.

    The world, it seems to me, kind of is ironically missing this opportunity to put ALL science and academia SECONDARY to each unique individual’s FREE CHOICE to follow old science or new science or no science at all. There is prevallent elsewhere these days online a counter attacking impetus to battle old science by using its same sublime, detached, cold steely logical verbal weapons, ones that old science invented, to arrive at CONSENSUS truth. But this battle just swaps one tyrannous CONSENSUS for another one. The bane of humanity is its CONSENSUS CERTAINTY. It becomes…

    “I know you even more than you know you”.

    I would say that on a transcendental and existential level, where the nature of the fabric of reality, at subatomic particle sizes, is itself “UNKNOWABLE” through the electron microscope, THERE IS NO CONSENSUS “TRUTH”. What in God’s name do people ever mean by the concept of absolute truth? Proof and more proof and more proof is often sought to arrive at “truth”. To which the LIVED EXPERIENCE of the odd or wildly unique individual is dis-proved and denounced and ridiculed.

    Each human perceives reality “differently”. A shaman perceives the stars and clock time, that reality, “radically differently” from Western Europeans. There are many deviations from CONSENSUS “TRUTH” that offer abundant harmless free choices to believe whatever accords with each individual’s own LIVED EXPERIENCE.

    When one person’s lived experience is used to silence or dismiss another person’s lived experience, perhaps by using religion or politics or science in an effort to establish “consensus opinion” all the stars and all the time come with an instruction manual. A new “this is how you should think” quasi DSM to replace the old “this is how you should think” DSM.

    Some people, and I am NOT referring to MIA articles here, just other venues online, seem to want to rub out schizophrenia as way of mocking old science’s reverence of that diagnosis, but in doing so they might minimize or dismiss or rub out some of the authentic LIVED EXPERIENCE of the people who REALLY DO suffer hideous voices, hallucinations, delusions and so on. Mocking old science in a specifically data amassing CONSENSUS “TRUTH” weilding way, which is another academic science way, runs the risk of mocking the crippled.

    There seems now in the world an almost evangelical keenness to tell the crippled to take up their bed and walk. I have said it before…

    “The ill have a right to FEEL ill”.

    I am very glad this man was a HERETIC. I also am a HERETIC. Any community will find BALANCE by including many different and sometimes opposing HERETICS. The moment a community thinks it has its consensus opinion all worked out, as your man found out in old psychiatry, is the moment a community closes to freedom of choice.

    When we need data “first” to prioritize establishing the voices of the ill, we are not listening at all, we have left old science only to enter back into it via the enticements of its academic revolving door.

    But just to end on a confusing note…why I support the right of this article to be aired is because the decision to align one’s belief to DATA and FINDINGS and academic science…IS ALSO a WONDERFUL FREE CHOICE.

  • Hello Someone Else,
    Thank you for responding. I read it. You seem to be “preaching to the converted”, as the old saying goes, where it comes to having a dread of antipsychotics. Something I arrived on MIA already with. What many may not understand is that what I call this experience of schizophrenia is even MORE abysmal to endure, and this is why so many unfortunate sufferers of tormenting hallucinations feel like finishing themselves off, which is often a lethal prerequisite for imbing any noxious pie in the sky “cure all”, be it strong alcohol, heroin, antipsychotics, and any other method of potentially life saving distraction. I feel sympathy for people with hellish hallucinations, that make them no longer wish to be living, if they freely choose for themselves a “fix” out of despair that I find incorrigable, if it stops them suiciding on a monday or a wednesday or a friday. Yes the “fix” probably will bite them back via addiction or difficulty coming off again. There are obviously better ways to mend. I am with you on your desire to end the prescribing of psychiatric medications. That said, I am not everybody. I cannot speak for everybody.
    The tip about telling a psychiatrist of being allergic is a good one. Although to be honest it was my PSYCHIATRIST who came up with the idea of giving me a liquid form of the antipsychotic SO THAT I COULD COME OFF ANTIPSYCHOTICS. And it was my PSYCHIATRIC NURSE who went and got me tiny syringes so that I could decrease the dose down to atoms. But here marks a division between those in MIA who are okay to see psychiatry evolve into something more humane and those who just want psychiatry scrapped. I am not convinced that society can do without some form of “help” for people driven so crazy by hallucinations that they want to go shoot up a kindergarten or jump off a bridge or snuff out their newborn ten hours after giving birth. The nature of that help obviously needs to change. The medications are poisons as far as my own experience guides me to feel. I ended up almost dead of neuroleptic malignant syndrome. But EVEN after that near fatal catastrophe, some years later, and suffering nightmarish hallucinations, I wished it had sent me to my eternal peace, and that desperation was what prompted me to “try anything”, which inevitably had me re-trying antipsychotics again, even after knowing they could destroy me. If that does not tell people anything about how grim it is to live with severe unending hallucinations 24/7, that one prefers to risk life itself just to stop them, then I don’t know what could.
    You have your valid opinion on the possibility that any psychiatric medication can cause mania. I agree that the brain is very delicate to whatever seeps into it. But my own schizophrenia began long long long before I ever took any medication. Maybe I am a rarity. We should hold out for the possibility that some people have bodies and brains that are so. I do not believe in easy answers for all, as if we are all the saaaaaame. That view seems similar to the blanket presumptions of old psychiatry. There needs to be an openness to “difference”. That means we need to keep open to the possibility that YES there is an “anticholinergic toxidrome” for some people….and YES there is not this for other people. Any replacement to psychiatry ought to honour this extent of “individual uniqueness” or NOTHING has been replaced at all.

    Laughably, I hope that you do not feel here that “I, myself” have been trying to “vandalize” your “dearly held opinion”. I want a world where YOU continue to beat your OWN drum LOUDLY and LOUDER yet.

    Even though it is not quite what I say, I like your FREEDOM to say what YOU say.

    The music I put is my way to celebrate coming off antipsychotics, even if I die from having done so, because for me, I was dying hourly by being back on them.

    Heresy is not when one person hotly disagrees with everything a metaphorical campaign is doing. A heretic is unwelcomed precisely because they really DO agree with MOST of what the campaign stands for but just not quite ALL of it. It is this “close proximity” to the brotherly bonded that gets them deemed “disloyal” by virtue of a minor “difference” of “held opinion”. An accusation of betrayal is not felt towards the glaringly separate, but towards the “almost intimate”. What often matters though, even at times mattering moreso than brotherly bonding, is that we each stay “intimate moreso” to “OUR OWN” feeling, and our OWN opinion. Life is too short to be out of touch with OUR OWN PERSONAL vision of what may make an improvement to our complicated shared world. There is nothing amiss about having a dearly held vision, so long as we realize there are possibly eight billion “different” ones.

    THAT realization is probably the widest vision of all.


    …just to add…having quit antipsychotics abruptly some years ago, and having found that experience gruelling and nail biting, I said I’d give you a note of how I might find quitting antipsychotics for a second time most recently, after not going off abruptly but rather easing off with a long slow liquid tapering. I can now say that this second withdrawal has been superior in its effortlessness. The gradual tapering has been painless. It is the difference between night and day.

  • Peter,

    As you stridently and poetically write about Vast Pharma being like a machine, I send you this song because…

    “We must Rock this Machine until it Stops”.

    Rock The Machine.

    I’m losing will, love
    My hands are soft as cotton gloves
    Machine has eaten up my job
    My meaning, my cause

    Machine with the strength of a hundred men
    Can’t feed and clothe my children
    Can’t greet a sailor coming in
    Or know of desperation

    I shovel coal down Spencer’s dock
    I took your dear into wedlock
    And you did bear us a beautiful flock
    River rock the machine down on the docks
    River rock the machine until it stops

    Oh low Liffey, show me gold
    Like a heron I will go
    Oh roaring Liffey when you’re high
    Like a cormorant I will dive

    In the Galway glow at night we rise
    We’re gold enough to win back time
    We’re gold enough to win back the pride
    River rock the machine until it dies

    Today, dear, I’m unemployed
    Before I spoke, you read my eyes
    I feared of nothing or no one
    But I feel old and I’m so young

    I miss the graft, I miss the boys
    I plead for purpose in the void
    Time is inward, ticking tighter
    I wish my load was a mountain lighter

    I shovel coal down Spencer’s dock
    I took your dear into wedlock
    And you did bear us a beautiful flock
    River rock the machine down on the docks
    River rock the machine until it stops

    Oh low Liffey, show me gold
    Like a heron I will go
    Oh roaring Liffey when you’re high
    Like a cormorant I will dive

    In the Galway glow at night we rise
    We’re gold enough to win back time
    We’re gold enough to win back the pride
    River rock the machine until it dies

    River rock the machine down on the docks
    River rock the machine until it stops

    Songwriter: Lisa O’neill



    “Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the great work, even if you feel you are not free to abandon it”.

    Don’t know where I first heard the above quote.

    Over on another article of yours I made a comment or two on the importance of the part in the Declaration of Human Rights where it states that every human is entitled to “Hold their own opinion”.
    In a war or even the slow build up to a war you are not allowed to hold your own opinion but must chant the opinion of your persecutor. But in peace time holding your own opinion is the easy bit. It is “sharing” your opinion, especially with those of different opinions, that becomes a blistering nettle patch.

    There is also to be considered the fact that invariably, whatever opinions we each hold dear we will inevitably have an opinion on each human we encounter. There are sort of TWO places such an opinion on someone else springs forth from.

    The FIRST way honours one realization. It is this…

    “I do not know you”.

    This “not knowing you” opens a human as an observer of you to curiosity and wonder and interest about approaching your potential exciting and exotic “differentness”. It is a way of suspending “having an opinion” on you. Giving someone the benefit of the doubt is within this category of delaying of opinion.

    The SECOND way is a rather neurotic, analytical, swift presumption about “who you really are”. This way assumes to…

    “Know all about you”.

    So you have these TWO ways…

    “I do not know you at all and so you remain a beautiful mystery”

    “I know exactly who you are even more than you know who you are”.

    Humans wander into receptions and cafes and hotels and hospitals and schools and shops and streets quite burdened by having these TWO options to “instantly” choose from upon meeting new strangers. The expansive wondering and accepting FIRST way is more “animal” in that animals do not think long enough to presume to “know all about you”. It is why we say animals are so trusting.
    In our stressful human realm where we are indoctrinated to perceive “the different” as “threats” we align more with the…

    “I know who you really are more than even you know who you are”.

    Evidence of “being right about who you really are” is surreptitiously gathered. Your dearly “held opinions” are demonized along with you, until you can barely offer a tentative opinion of your own without flagging up your status as a “much too different enemy”. Gone is the “Way of wonder and curiosity about you”. Gone is the freedom offering phrase…

    “I do not know you”.

    As soon as it becomes assumed that you are “known all about” you are put in a cage and denied your freedom to merely “hold your own opinion”, because everything that exudes from you is regarded instantaneously as worryingly dangerous or heretical. To call someone “a heretic” is to close down “wonder”. Science is supposed to be about “wonder”.

    Although it is great that the Declaration of Human Rights states that you can “hold your own opinion”, being bannished from the halls of civilization may occur if you do.

    At this time in human history fights are escalating between all kinds of spearheading groups. In the area of gender many people have “opinions” that are “different”. Pulled into this is the SECOND way, of…

    “I know all about you even more than you know about you”.

    It grows harder and harder to leave people alone, with a shrug that says…

    “I do not know you and so you remain a beautiful mystery”.

    Refraining from jumping to a conclusion before even speaking to a person is refraining from forming a set “opinion” of “them”.

    But this toleration of any person of “difference” gets lost in the constant wish to vandalize the “opinions they hold dear”. As if vandalizing their “differentness” will soothe the neurotic analytical urge to make everyone exactly “the same”.

    Much of the time our millions of human differences are benign. It won’t harm you if I think a bit differently from you and it won’t harm me if you think a bit differently from me. The human “list” of what constitutes “harm” grows longer and longer by the hour. The “list” begins to read like commandments over what “held opinions” are a threat. The commandments begin to become a threat themselves, with everyone nervous of airing any “dearly held opinion” at all, lest it condemn them as a “heretic”.

    Opinions, like thoughts and like feelings, cannot really “harm” anyone at all. It is not until these become external organized acts of bullying that e can say “harm” is being done.

    The “more” we “allow” others to “hold their own opinions and thoughts and feelings” then the less screwed up those others will become. They will feel more at ease within to the extent they may not then “externally act out organized bullying harm”. People “at ease” do not bully. People “at ease” will not “vandalize” your work, your “dearly held opinions”.

    In the gender wars many people are divided over quite where they stand and quite what to make of people in opposing camps. But this…

    “not knowing you”

    is the “animal” way. I cannot understand why some people wave placcards. The neurotic temptation is to say…

    “I know you more than even you know yourself and so I believe you are a harmful libertine or conservative nazi or a reprobate or fascist”.

    It becomes very hard to just leave people…

    “not known”.

    Leave people unopinionated about. On social media “accusations” of “harmfulness” of “difference” are getting mixed up with an appropriate renouncing of “actual bullying” or “actual abuse” or “actual cruelty”.

    Suddenly merely expressing an “opinion” is deemed to be the same thing as “cruelty”, to which a response of punitive lambasting is returned.

    At this time in human history we are all asked to reacquaint ourselves with the difference between actual cruelty, which must not flourish, and innocuous different “opinions” which must be tolerated.

    What helps “toleration” is having the self honesty to say, before the desire to vandalize someone’s letter or comment or article or paper or podcast, when those seem so full of “contentious opinions”, is to own beautifully and wonderingly knowing…

    “I do not know you”.

    Without strengthening that capacity to stay blessedly naive, rather than pump up egotism with loads of presumptions, there will continue to be an escalation in snap judgements. Coming from the increasingly neurotic analytical paranoid mind of the screwed up human.

    All that said, I am not advising the binning of “intuition” upon encountering others. Our “gut feelings” about others are a biological necessity, lest those others are actual bullies or are actually abusive or are actually cruel. Accepting your own core “feelings” is vital. An animal would not survive without their “gut feelings”. There is therefore room for allowing for the whiff of danger to be recognized. Often it is about sensing that the other is imbalanced generally and not so much to do with separate “opinions” they obsess about. Our “freedom of choice” to “hold our own opinions” is not “external bullying”. It is imbalance that causes “external bullying”.

    Not being “allowed” to have opinions or thoughts or feelings is one of the quickest ways to arrive at the ill health that is “imbalance”.

    If we want a healty world we must try to tolerate better the differences of opinion, thoughts and feelings in others. This is not the same as tolerating “external bullying”.

    The key word is “imposing”.

    Whenever we desire to “share” our “dearly held opinion” it can be deemed to be an “imposition”. A bully may say your shared “opinion” is “imposing” on their own worldview, as if a proxy to say that you yourself are, but also a victim “who is not a bully” may say they just “prefer” their “own opinion”. It can be confusing to tell apart the bully and the victim. The bully wants to shut you up by claiming that your “human right” to “hold your own opinion” is an “imposition” that they are entitled to “vandalize”. The victim just wants to have the right to prefer their “own opinion” thankyou very much.

    In jostling over the public square and the freedom to air your cherished opinion you must inevitably and exhaustingly wrestle with arguers who are intimidated by your “freedom of choice” to believe what you do believe.

    My own preference for me at this time in explosive human history is to quit being anywhere near the global brawling over “opinions” and instead be rather yogic and retreat into blissful silence.

  • Back to add a smidgen…

    Many see the “trauma imformed care” paradigm as “caring”, as opposed to other paradigms or ideologies or preferrences that are deemed not to be “caring”. Sometimes I like to call the notion of truly caring “baby caring”, in as much as to be actually felt to be “cared for” usually occurs when our “inner child” or “inner baby” is respected for its “feelings” and “thoughts” and “opinions” and granted its dearest wish.

    So I do see “trauma informed care” as “baby caring”, as it is very much in alignment with “respect” for “feelings” and so on, and dignifies “free choice”.

    But being allowed to “hold your own opinion”, as is boldly stated as a basic human right in the Declaration of Human Rights, ALSO is “baby caring”.

    It is “baby caring” EVEN IF that person’s “feeling” or “thought” or “opinion” or “self regard” seems like the very antithesis of “self care” to someone else. What seems like a “baby caring” and “free choice” to one person may seem like recklessness or indolence or indoctrination or ideology or churchy gullibility or entrenched attitudes or political dogma or whimsy or nonchalance or even sin to another person who “holds a different opinion”.

    But if we are to make “freedom of choice” the top of the tree of fine principles for humans to aspire to have for their own sakes and for the sakes of others, then we must tolerate that what “baby caring” seems like for one person, as a path of freedom, may not seem that way to another.

    When there are two actual babies in a room, and one of them wants a teddybear you do not give the other one also a teddybear, since both babies are “different unique individuals”.

    A truly “caring” world will respect this potential to be interiorily “different” in adults and even ALL living creatures, for animals have their own version of “baby caring” needs and their needs for “free choice”.

    I have been MIA’s version of a “big baby” in routinely saying that what “feels” more “baby caring” for “me” at “this time” is not to go in for “trauma informed care” but to continue to believe I have schizophrenia. But by doing this I AM doing something “for me” that is the “same” as the “caring” within “trauma informed care”.

    A truly “caring” kind of “trauma informed care” will welcome those who snub it in favour of their own version of “baby caring” for themselves.

    All over the planet people cluster with their idea of what love is. Catholicism, Marxism, Capitalism, Hinduism, Atheism, Psychology, Tibetan singing bowls, Anarchy, CBT, Trauma Informed Care. But for love to BE love it has to be “rejectable” without punishment or ostracisation or exclusion…or it is not love, and it is not “baby caring”.


    Peter I like most of what you say. I see a comparison in the overdiagnosing of schizophrenia to what some have thought to be the overdiagnosing of body dysphoria. But this does not imply that some people are lying or confused about their schizophrenic experiences or their dysphoria experiences. I am against the view that there can ever be a “one size fits all” prevailing opinion of whatever unique individuals experience. A veiw that says yes schizophrenia is only a symptom of trauma. Or yes schizophrenia is only a symptom of a brain condition. And I am against a blanket view that says nobody has schizophrenia or everyone has schizophrenia. It is a bit like saying nobody is trans or everybody is trans. I don’t like exteme polarized conclusions that allow no freedom for “the different”. The body and brain are so very poorly comprehended and complex and enmeshed that I do not believe anyone can fully declare themselves an “expert” on my own, either an expert medical model proponent or an expert debunker of that medical model. Expertize, whether pro medicine expertize or anti medicine expertize, is about finding out what you have got going on in you. It has its place but it is NOT YOU. It lies OUTSIDE of YOU. It is lesser than YOU.
    So I am glad you wrote that there is no encouragement for journalists to consider how people so diagnosed see THEMSELVES, or whether they accept their diagnostic label, or if the professional might be wrong. This notion of reprioritizing the importance of how the patient sees themselves is essential to the Declaration of Human Rights where it says we are each entitled to “Hold our own opinion”.
    My opinion of me is that I actually do have schizophrenia. I have had about seventeen psychiatrists who would agree with me. I hasten to say that not one of them foisted that diagnosis on me. It was a diagnosis I came to understand for myself. Having the diagnosis does not mean I want any drugs or medical treatment. I believe NO treatment exists for it and the best that can be offered is palliative care and talk therapies. I do not know what causes it in me. It may be that I have a rare brain or it may be the energy field within my brain is like a berserk aurora borealis. It may be I am stuck in a dreamstate while awake or it may be a consciousness thing has gone out of sync, consciousness that may not be rooted in the brain. Or it may be that my hallucinations and dreamy delusions are a form of phantom limb pain, given that I get tactile hallucinations all day, though possible voice hearing is a form of phantom ears or phantom hearing. Brains are majestic and mysterious and so I just do not believe anyone who claims that such and such is going or such and such is not going on. Certitude is best left to each unique individual. I believe I have schizophrenia and I prefer to feel this is my affliction but even if it was not this and supposing it were caused by some forgotten trauma that was causitive, the driven mad have every right to believe of THEMSELVES whatever they freely wish to. As you point out. You may not want me to think I have schizophrenia and you may rather I “hold your opinion” and not my own. This is okay. Sharing new ideas is beautiful. But a person may not want a Muslim to wear a veil, or a Christain to wear a cross. We can want other people to think like us and hold our own opinion but at some point there has to be a wish for the other to find happiness in any opinion even if it disappoints our own.
    But you seem like a man with a mission, to improve the world, and ALL missions that offer improvements matter. But the overarcing mission should be that NO mission is more important than just “freedom of choice”.
    I am very much with you on your campaign to erradicate vile treatments that wreck lives. And I am with you on the need to cease the absurdity and scandal of over diagnosis. And I am with you on poking a stick at the arrogant certitude of blundering science. I may not be quite with you on sort of saying that the experience of hallucinations and delusions are kinda “normal”. It is not normal to suffer so much that you want to jump out of a window. Self annihilation, like self mutilation seen in zoo animals is not healthy and normal. It is not desireable to suffer to that extent and just glibly call it a tough day, even if you feel it is a natural response to awful circumstances, the state of such suffering should not be dismissed as if it does not exist, or it is of no consequence because everyone feels that bad sometimes. The notion that I DO have “something the matter with me” fits with my intolerable level suffering, from my hallucinations and so on.

    I am late for a music class so must wrap this up clumsily. This morning I saw the video linked and thought to share it. It is two philosophers talking about the brain. They drift off topic somewhat towards discussing the follies of scientific education, but the bit about phantom limbs interested me. I like the way these two gentlement are not disguising “arguement” as “academic discission” but rather seem politely curious to “know more” about our fascinating human bodies.


    Please compare these two videos. See if you can sense genuine “humility” exuding in either of them. The woman in the old photo image is called Ma. She was a Hindu Saint. The music is rather soothing…

    Entitlement is often expressed by a BULLY. Entitlement can come from “thinking” another person is “all bad” for breaking any number of a million fussy “rules”.

    Lately a new form of BULLYING has arisen that has it that “you” are “all bad” for not following “a rule” that insists that “you” must “love” another person’s “feelings” more than even that person does. This has it that you must show respect and obedience and deferrence and humility before that person’s monumental “feelings” or “you” are harmful and must be punished as an evil person.

    A BULLY can be anyone, a teacher, a pupil, a doctor, a patient, a priest, a congregant, ANYONE. No community is absent a bully or two.

    Any BULLY in ANY part of the world can become so entitled that they therefore DEMAND that “you” humble yourself before them and pander to their “feelings”. Violence is the antithesis of the “wanting nothing” found in the more spiritual forms of “humility”.
    Violence is always wrong. Any injustice can be mended without violence.

  • Humility is beautiful. So few people on the planet exude it. Possibly small children or Yogi’s living in snow caves. Most humans cannot flow with humility because it can be dangerous to not be “wary” in one’s environment. Humility asks nothing, expects nothing, proves nothing. It is a voluntary way of beautifully being “nothing” or “no thing”, just pure beingness.
    In the violent world mosr humans dispense with their inner child humility and curiosity and wonder in order to get weaponed up in order to “defend” against relentless attacks, even merely attacks by judgey people. If humans are not doing that survival strategy then they are monitoring others to see what they might “gain” out of others, and this grasping quality is not conducive to humility. So, defence and desire push humility out of the way. We might think we all go around like apes full of fears that propel defence and desire. But in truth to be an ape or any animal is also like being a child. And so our animal friends are paragons of humility often. They want “nothing” from us.
    Giving another person the amazing experience of “not wanting anything from them” is akin to unconditional love. So humility is linked to authentic love.
    But there is a misuse of humility. In various religions that are heirarchical there can grow a BULLYING demand that victims ought to shut up and be showing deference and obedience and humility and “want nothing” and not “defend” themselves. BULLYING receptionists may expect “you” to be humbling yourself at the boot heels of their cerebral judgey “rules”, that issue you with a ticket number and tell you to go feel ill at the back of the line. Rules in life are of importance. But senseless rules are there to be broken with gentle common sense. This requires not being humble but assertive. BULLIES do not overly like the assertive. A BULLY wants their survival to trounce your survival. A receptionist locked in a coffin of a desk all day and bidden to abide by a million fussy “rules” that have “judgements” of good or bad attached to those, seldom get a free moment to just “be” or just “feel”. This has a corrosive effect on their ability to be as emotionally aware as children are. When they cannot be as children they cannot be humble. Poor poor receptionists, stuck like sick caged animals in a system not of their optimal wellbeing. Their very sickness then becomes a neurotic need to seek healing by excercising total control over you and your delightfully emotional childish free choices. More “rules” get spat at you, to insist you be the humble one, the “rule” worshipping, heirarchy deferrent individual who “wants nothing”, not even to progress up the seated line.

    I say these things because we perhsps should be aware that every time we advance a pleasant idea such as “people should be more humble” or “people should not have opinions” or “people should be more feeling” or “people should think less”, even though these may be great ideas, full of healing direction, they can each be flipped over by any BULLY. Even a Jesus good idea like “love thy neighbour” gets distorted by survivalists to me that “you as neighbour” HAVE TO love me, or that makes you evil and in need of rule riddled judgey punishment. So even a feeling like “love” can get turned into an oppressive new “rule” by BULLIES, think of child marriages.

    Wanting “nothing”, that state at the epicentre of authentic “humility” may require feeling deeply satisfied on some level. There is nothing more satisfying than feeling understood by yourself, heard by yourself, loved by yourself, so much so that you do not need to demand that “other people” supply such satisfaction by sacrificing their own satisfaction. Instead, in genuine humility you become your own nourisher. Living a life barren of “feelings” is not very nourishing. So to be genuinely accepting of “feelings” does help with inner balance.
    But we must beware not to turn the healing found in acceptance of “feelings” into a petty imposed “rule” foisted on others. A rule that says “you” HAVE TO be a feeling type or you are evil and need judged and punished.

    Robots are great. Provided they are not outwardly directly BULLYING you. People should feel free NOT to be humble if they do not want to be. Being arrogant is not the same thing as being an outward controlling actual BULLY. Children can at times cavort with being arrogant and vain at splendid birthday parties.

    For to impose or force people to be humble is unlikely to see them balanced enough to authentically exude real humility.

  • Dear Peter, I had to chuckle as I caught your wee submission here because moments before it I had sent off an official complaint about a reception desk with bullying, rule riddled, robots in it. Such like comparison between our experiences. I am really trying to vacate the MIA premises so I must resist getting intrigued by yet more interesting points of view. But if I may be so adventurous I would like to share my own perspective on some of what you bring up.

    You offer a quote from a blog that says psychiatry is predicated on how the psychiatrist “feels” about the patient and not how the patient really feels. You say that it is called opinion based “medicine”.

    I want to say in response that an “opinion” is often a “judgement” that is derived from “critical thinking” and “analysis”. These cerebral qualities are not “feelings”. They come from the critical mind, not the amorphous messy emotions of the heart. So an “opinion” comes from “thinking” about a stimuli or a behaviour. Even an intuitive hunch is “fed” by “thinking”, often suspiciously. Suspicion about someone elses behaviour is often further “fed” by that behaviour transgressing “rules”. Rules are also little acts of “thinking” that pronounce judgement about moral goodness or moral badness. Rules are often bound up with inherited opinions or inherited judgements from school or religion or politics.
    Feelings on the other hand do not really strategically “think”. Sadness is an emotion that can be experienced with an absence of “thinking”, as in when people cry without knowing exactly the “reason” (as in reasoning) why. The “why” of “feelings” is more linked to “thinking” of reasons for it AFTER the feeling wells up. This may involve the imagination, in providing a “because”.

    “I feel sad BECAUSE everyone in my work thinks I am ugly”.

    This takes the feeling of sadness and ADDS the cerebral BECAUSE, as a “thought” through search for reasons why, that eventually become a judgemental “opinion”.

    A heck of a lot of humans live their lives making judgements and opinions WITHOUT being AWARE of exactly how they are “feeling”. A human can be “opinionate” all day long and be emotionally numb. In fact the more emotionally devoid of contact with their “feelings” that they are, the MORE they may tend to live ONLY in their judgements and thinking and analysis and reasoning and opinions.

    At its extreme end, a person who only lives in their calculated “thinking” and never feels a feeling, can become someone who cannot access a “feeling” even of caring or compassion. Thus an overly logical calculated human can be more prone to harsh “opinions” that are seldom softened by emotion enough to stop that person becoming outwardly judgemental, bullying and cruel.
    In short, having access to MORE deep “feelings” prevents outward cold clinical cruelty.
    It is preferrable to have a psychiatrist who is in touch with their own “feelings” more than their analytical judgements since their “in touchness” will give them access to “feelings” of empathy. Medicine involves a need for detatchment, objectivity, analysis, clinical judgement and lots and lots of cerebral “thinking”, to sort of “think” like the machinery of “anatomy” and what healthy anatomy is trying to accomplish. A fighter T cell or a white blood cell or a muscle fibre does not “feel” in the same way that the whole organism experiences “emotions”. A heart attack victim needs a fast judgemental thump devoid of emotionally to reactivate the floundering heart muscle fibres. Medicine “saves” people by being relatively devoid of the encumberance of “whole organism” emotional prioritizing. Medicine kind of trys to “care” by NOT caring one whit what the heart attack victim fears might occur when their chest is thumped.
    So, there is this cultural mix up between these TWO quite different styles of exemplary “caring”. One needing full access to “feelings” in order to arrive at compassion, and the other to be rather self sacrificially abstinent of wishy washy emotions in order to cut to the chase and be “uncaring” enough to be speedily judgemental enough to reboot the failing organ of the heart. Humans say “bravo!” to “heroes” that they see on the silver screen who symbolize either of these TWO starkly different ways “to care”.
    Psychiatry has ever evolved in such a fuzzy meandering way that it careens from trying to be “one kind of caring” or the “other kind of caring”. It vassilates inconsistently by being emotive one week and coldly detatched and clinical the next week. This very inconsistency becomes a balletic form of abuse because the patient never knows quite kind of “caring” they are going to receive next or for “why”. It is like having neither a violently cold parent nor a warm cosy parent but a nightmarish confusing mixture that can end up experienced as more abusive than if you know where you stand.

    Returning to the quote on “opinion based medicine”, I want to be saying that “to have an opinion” is NOT a crime. We are all creatures who make snap opinions and snap judgements all the time as part of our “flight, fight, freeze” biological imperatives. We move through life making value judgements based on inherited or our own busy “thinking”, to garner first impressions that might rescue us from marauders and menacers and bears and tigers. HAVING an “opinon” is often vital to our survival. We cannot be “opinionless” and devoid of “thinking” about others. Feelings are harmless because they are NOT outward, cerebrally chosen, intellectually decisive planned acts of external behaviour. Feelings cannot “hit” another person without “thinking” rushing in to provide a mental excuse to “do” a behaviour. So feelings are harmless AND so is thinking AND so is HAVING an opinion harmless. It is ONLY when thinking presses the button on outward executive behaviour that you can then say that “behaviour” is bad or bullying or cruel or pushy or punitive or controlling. If there is no outward bad behaviour then it is ok to have ANY opinion on ANYTHING. This feeds back into healthy “freedom of choice”. A human cannot “choose” to have a particular type of chocolate cake if they are scolded from being able to first be aware of their “feeling” of desire and then have an “opinion” that that cake looks better than the rest. Freedom relies on knowing how we “feel” and what our cherished “opinions” are today, and these are subject to instant change in freedom, or its not freedom.
    The Declaration of Human Rights says all humans are born equal and all humans have a right to hold their own opinion. Feelings and thinking and opinions ARE NOT BULLYING bad BEHAVIOUR. Free people tend to be happy people and so if people are free to deeply feel and deeply think and deeply have their own opinions they are more likely to happily welcome that freedom in others. Happy people share happiness. Because psychiatrists are often taught NOT to “feel” this could in certain psychiatrists have an unhealthy miserable effect on their own sense of “freedom” and this builds resentment about patients enjoying their own freedom. They may grow to bitterly think…
    “For if I cannot be free to be emotional why should you be so free?”
    Some psychiatrists may make an enemy of such “free feelers” and seek to “remove” all “feelings” from those patients by drugging them out of feeling anything at all. This BULLYING of other people’s “feelings” often occurs in a process of infantalizing them BECAUSE they are “stupidly emotional”, like little children who need guidance into how to be “rational clinical thinkers” instead. How can the traumatized be “rational”? Being rational about trauma is sometimes, though not always, an extention of the trauma.

    I would rather see a “feeling” psychiatrist if I had to. Psychotherapy is “feeling” more than it is analytical. Many kinds of one to one psychology are “feeling” also. And whatever human being I sit down in front of they will inevitably HAVE an “opinion” of me. I would rather their opinion be freely aired to me and out in the open than obscured behind a wall of factual analytical research. I don’t think we should be “feelings shaming” or “opinion shaming” or “thought shaming” anyone. But what we MUST keep an eye on ALWAYS is the outward bad behaviour that goes a gigantic step beyond feelings and opinions and thoughts and splurges out as abhorrent control feaking BULLYING.

    In paying attention to JUST the BULLYING, as an OUTWARD phenomena indicative of inner sickness, we can then leave each other alone to “feel” and “think” and “hold opinions” as we freely please.

    It is this OUTWARD BULYING that often brings a poor patient to breaking point where they trundle off to a psychiatric appointment, but it is also an OUTWARD BULLYING in the institutional career of psychiatry, that tells psychiatrists they must never have ordinary human “feelings”, that becomes a trickling down BULLYING that shakes the hand of the new patient.

  • Our eyes are bits of brain on stalks. Those crisscrossed stalks, that house the optic nerves, feed directly into the brain the magic of “light”. The stalks are as light bringers. They bathe the brain in exciting stimulus. As bits of brain, the eyes are cuddled by muscles called eyelids, that gently fall relaxed or become embracing or even pinchy in stress. Those muscles are the only muscles that tweak the emotive/thoughtful brain as it is circumnavigting life throughout the hours of the day. We go to a movie and watch a romance and our eye muscles pucker to do the same thing as the actor’s eye muscles do and we begin to notice our feelings change, we become more romantic. Same for a sad movie, our eye muscles fall and droop in sympathy to the actor and we may even emit a tear. The act of merely changing eye muscles, from drooping and hopeless to uplifted and cuddling of the eyes, hugs the brain and better brain hormones come. When we are sad it is almost impossible to raise the under eyelids as if joyful. Everything about us wants to droop. Whole body is following suit from the telltale eyes. But as an exploration it is worth trying to do this upliftment of the under lids when depressed. Raise them as if in a state of romantic bliss. Curiously after consistently doing this, often listening to lovely soothing music and reminiscing on good experiences, a fog begins to lift. It is as if our very bearing, and our eye muscles can persuade the brain that nice things are about to occur. People may think me naive here but I have experienced this change in mood just by not allowing myself to droop all day long. A walk in nature has a similar effect because one look at a dove or a squirrel or lake and the eye muscles raise in awe. This then feeds back to the brain that all is okay again. Nature is like a movie we stroll through. Our eyes mimic what we see there also. I do not know much about EMDR. A certain tribe in Africa switches their eyes from side to side as a traditional dance display that the young men do. Humans are always cavorting with eye expressions. It is ancient. Possibly healing. People in trances roll their eyes in order to recover from curses.
    Cambodian people are not different from any other people in terms of core biology. They have the same heart and kidneys and livers and bladders and brains and eyes. Humanitarian aid may well be importing nefarious psychiatry. But Humanitarian aid also imports heart care and kidney care and liver care and bladder care and brain care and eye care. All humans can become depressed. A whimsical technique to alleviate that is an option. Always good to have options. Ones that are non pharmaceutical.

  • This is a beautiful study, after my own heartfelt views.

    I would only say that absolutely ANYTHING can be captured and twisted by any bullies. Even the loving saying of Jesus.

    Thus what starts out as a plea here for humans to embrace their full spectrum of feelings, even the “ugly” ones, can become A RULE often meted out by the covertly overly “logical thinkers” that “blames” all the ills of the world on those poor individuals who make a harmless “free choice” NOT to be an emotive person. When that RULE (a rule is always from thinking and not from feeling) comes to town it tells everyone that they MUST feel anger or sadness or fear and IF those townspeople “choose” NOT to then they get tarnished as responsible for making the world “unwelcoming of anger or sadness or fear”, as if it is the FAULT of their own “inner psyche” that “you” cannot express “yourself”. This then allows a million bullies who cannot express “themselves” to BLAME the private “inner psyche” and “free choices” of random individuals, who may not be effusive, for CAUSING the bullies to be uncomfortable in themselves. Such BLAME for CAUSING how a bully unsatisfyingly experiences life IS the ongoing bullying.

    “Its all your FAULT I cannot connect with my fury!!!” says the bully, furiously beating up a reserved unemotional person.

    The word “respect” is used in this article. As if to say “how can you hope to respect someone else’s feeling of anger if you do not respect your own feeling of anger?”. But this notion of A RULE of “respect” about feelings can easily become a bully’s demand that “you” always “HAVE TO” like their expressions of violent rage.

    As a FREE person with abundant “free choices” you do not HAVE TO “respect” anyone or anything.

    If someone else has emotional constipation then that is literally their “tough shit” to sort by themselves.

    No person is responsible for how another person “chooses” to feel. All persons are responsible for outward acts of behaviour that might or might not impact how a person may ultimately feel. Feelings ARE NOT the same thing as BEHAVIOUR. A bad behaviour can oppress you. A person’s inner feeling cannot. A feeling is not solid matter. It cannot inflict any harm. Harm of an outward order only occurs when actions are momentarily decided upon. And decisions require “thinking”. The kind of “thinking” that likes to push RULES on other peoples “feelings”.

    Some FREE persons do NOT want to feel a certain feeling. We all may guess that this might constrain them in life BUT it really is THEIR own “free choice” if they choose not to be wailing or sobbing or yelling or gnashing their teeth or punching pillows or spitting or frothing at the mouth. Emotive choices are wonderful for most but not for all individuals. If “respect” might be useful anywhere it is in this realm of TOLERATING harmless DIFFERENCES.

    The armchair amateur Gods of Psychotherapy are now encouraging all to become neighbourhood “thought police” and now “feelings police”. This intrusion into any person”s private free inner psyche is A REGIME. It is designed to control “personal freedom to “be” who we each choose to be”.

    A person who is NOT free to BE who they choose to be is NOT free to FEEL at all.

  • So few comments thus far? I am often slightly appalled at how little attention this subject ever gets. It is as if “babies” are inconsequential blobs of meat that are uninteresting because they do not have an ego yet to spar with or defend or battle over. Babies are seemingly inert pacifists and so don’t matter to “the cause” or “any cause”. As if babies are next to useless at giving “the people” what they want. A burden are babies.
    And yet IF we all treated each other like precious babies the whole world would know emotional emancipation. Our collective disdain of babies mirrors our learned and schooled contempt for our own “inner baby”. We are “nothing” if we are not “productive”.
    And yet in a war it is those villagers who refuse to be productive to the war effort and who “do nothing”, as the babies do, who truly “save the world”.

    We ignore the sake of babies at our own peril.

    I am presently going through withrawal syndrome from quitting antipsychotics. I have done this once before, cold turkey. This time the slow tapering way was my route. I have to report that on both occasions I have met with a nightly surge of impossible to bear restless leg syndrome. Last night I had to get out of bed at eleven oclock, then twelve, then one am, then two thirty am, then three thirty am, then four fifteen am, then six am, then eight and up for the day. Each time I have to rise I read for a bit. I am so groggy that I can read a whole page without reading any of it. I know from experience that this restless leg syndrome will continue to obliterate my sleep for months and still be an issue after a year of quitting. A youtube video last night says that restless leg syndrome is now not only found to be linked to reduced ability to process iron in the substantia nigra of the brain but is found to be linked to “low adenosine” and very high “glutimate” or something. I am sure this brain derailment going on in me is a “new” state in consequence of my quitting. Everything is going out of sync and out of time. My point in conveying this is that restless leg syndrome SERIOUSLY stops sleep. Ah sleep…that thing peaceful babies need to do to grow their brains.
    A baby is a supine individual who cannot get out of a cot intermittently all night long when restless leg syndrome surges and just read a book. A baby is horribly trapped by its developmental horizontal state and so cannot deter those insufferable surges. All a baby can do is scream for its exhausted mother or father, every hour of the night…eleven, twelve, one am, two am, three thirty am and so on and so forth. Parents perhaps also have other littles ones to tend to during the day. Do those children go without?

    A whole year it took last time for me to find the post antipsychotic withdrawal restless leg syndrome had mellowed. A year is long time in a baby’s life to await sound refreshing deep sleep. Sleep is a profound healer. It is not just an optional Zen meditation that the brain and body can skip. Society encourages humans to regard the essential need for sleep with the same indifferent contempt that it encourages humans to treat their “babies”.

  • Dear Tom Kelly,

    In my schizophrenic ardour I once pressed a letter upon the great Eckhart Tolle himself. It was in London. I also gave him a DVD of the television program “The Clangers”. In my psychotic fervour I decided that the knitted cuddly toys on their lunar base were the very essence of Divine egolessness.

    I am much taken with your generosity of soul. I shall remember you.

  • I just want to add to my comment here that although I myself prefer to be in a world that is more feelings tolerant I have no right to “impose” my preferences on others who prefer to be different or buttoned up or reserved or tightly moral in a rule ridden way.
    Just as there are “thought police”, there are “feelings police”, who take it upon themselves to tell everyone they encounter that they “should” be “feeling” such and such feelings, like sadness or anger. Some people like religious persons do not want to be angry all day. That is their “free choice”. Some parents are not naturally emotive all the time. That is their “free choice”. I may have said it before but I have disdain for the way Psychotherapy has become a Psychological Puritanism that seeks to pursue the myth of the perpetually fixed person who feels the “correct” standard raw feelings all day. I have known some therapists who “get off” on reducing clients to writhing sobbing wrecks of catharsis NOT FOR the client but FOR the miracle wonder work of the therapist. It can approach near fetishistic missionary zeal, the need of a therapist to “transform” random people. That “transforming” usually requires convincing the client that they are more neurotically uptight than they are. And in any case who says there is anything wrong with a free person deciding to be uptight…or moral…or thoughtful…or stoic…or rational. None of the ways any human feels or thinks or behaves is at all a crime necessiting “thought police” or “feelings police” if that free person is NOT directly harming anyone.
    But here is Psychotherapy’s pin prick of accusation in what has become a witch hunt…it says that “if” you do not “feel” the “right way” then you may get sick…and it says “other people” make you not “feel” the “right way” and so those people must be condemned as spell casters of sickness. Usually this amounts to moms. Those supposed-to-be PURE vessels of PERFECTION who MUST only bestow golden emotions twenty four seven. Golden emotions that support and encourage everyone else’s emotions…and if not…then they are psychotherapeutically demonic.

    It IS very true that many offspring of ordinary weary moms and dads find their experience of being parented less than perfect. I am not talking about specific cases of neglect or abuse or shoddy inconsistent parenting. I am talking about the rise in “thought police” and “emotion police” where everyone is enlisted to keep their eyes on anyone who is not displaying IDEAL free choices. We are getting taught that to look IDEAL we must not show neuroticism or religiosity or reserve or privacy or manipulation or inauthenticity or vanity or greed or selfishness but must display the approved of feelings at the approved of moment or circumstance. I may have already said that if a person really wants to be a martyr or a peace maker or a pacifist or turn the other cheek or be moral or forgiving or give themselves peculiar old fashioned exacting standards then THAT is THEIR own “free choice”. Ageism often follows hot on the heels of this new Psychological Puritanism since elder generation persons are quite often rooted in the quite different mores and choices of their Times. Children may inevitably inherit some of those old customs but they grow up “free” to not “choose” them.

    I think I said before that indigenous parents seldom have a Psychotherapist on hand to teach them how to not damage their young, and yet those children often seem to turn out balanced nontheless.

    I am FOR psychotherapy but now it is in the hands of armchair analysts it has become a prevailing view like a quasi fundamentalism that obliterates all other forms of “being” in life, such as uptight ways of being, screwed up ways of being, nervous moral ways of being. Armchair critics ought to leave people alone to “be” exactly as those people “choose” to be.
    It is okay to be a martyr and not want some one elses IDEAL idea of perfect “healing”.

    I apologize for this lengthy add on but my earlier comments keep vanishing.

  • I am not specifically speaking to this article writer as go forth to air some things that came up for me just now.

    In my opinion there is not just schizophrenia but degrees and severities of schizophrenia. One person can have gorgeous visions and supportive and guiding voices, another person can wish to end their own life because the hallucinations and delusions are so horrendous. One in twenty people with schizophrenia kill themselves.


    It is a horrible illness for millions that gives the sufferer no peace. My own illness had many years where I felt like a world saving visionary, and I got into trouble for thinking myself that. I know full well the exhilaration of living as a visionary. It is beautiful and who would not want that. But for many with the severe forms of schizophrenia it is perhaps a cruelty to expect them to “shape up” and “think their way better”, as if they are lazy or attention seeking or malingering. That seems a throwback to the punitive ice baths of yore. Not all schizophrenics are “identical”. Not all cancer sufferers are “identical”. What works for one may be a rotten idea for someone different. I am FOR all schizophrenics being offered only the help that THEY as unique individuals want. Is that “FOR” really too much to ask after all these awful decades. It means there ought to be NO blanket assumptions about ALL schizophrenics. Some may happily get better on nothing more than a jotter and a glass of juice. Some may get better on preferring to work with voices that may not be telling them to kill themselves all day. Some may get better on regarding their illness as just but a dreamstate. I myself am currently experimenting with this. But I would not be for telling other schizophrenics or voice hearers or whatever the term is these days that their own unique ailment is gonna be fixed by writing a few chapters or merely seeing oneself in a whole new way. I have been a writer for decades. It does not ease my hallucinations and delusions. And calling myself a visionary did not heal me.

    These days I am BOTH a visionary AND a very ill schizophrenic. I feel it is possible to have a unique brain that has BOTH wellness and illness within it.

    I wish this article writer all the very best on his own voyage of discovery. I am all FOR hearing of success stories. I am all FOR hearing from the tired of hearing of those. BOTH contain valuable TRUTH.

    That’s me…not looking for a riposte. Life is too short.

  • Rasx, I really must cease commenting as I have so much to do. But I just want to say I like what you are saying here also. You are so right about “martyrish” people who would rather turn their lives into a study of pointless self sacrifice, to perhaps win faint praise. BUT…again I must blow the trumpet FOR “free choice”. If someone WANTS to AVOID anything in life THAT is their “free choice”. Even if they choose to AVOID inwardly contacting a justified FEELING like indignant anger at being abused. Think of the choice to become a Buddhist monk or nun. We do not tell those people that they are irresponsible for wanting to NOT feel their anger. Yet we give no such “freedom of choice” to the mom or the fool or the nutty of the eccentric or the baffling. They are now told that they have no choice but MUST feel their HEALTHY emotions and be HEALTHY specimens of perfect unconditional love or they shall be demonized as being vessels of MESSY feelings that get distorted and distort others. This now prevalent telling strangers how they must “think” and “feel” can be very guiding and healing and useful BUT it all too often descends into a form of bullying PSYCHOLOGICAL Puritanism that is coming from the Gods of Psychotherapy. We all like to do it. We all like to console ourselves with the notion that we are correct and we ought to tell others how to be as correct as us. But this inevitably clips peoples “freedom of choice” to “do it” their “way”.
    A martyrish person may become a mom and seem to impose martyrish beliefs on her offspring. That may inspire or hinder those offspring. Of course it can. Mothering is the one full time job that comes with no instruction guide in the labor suite. Martyrish ideologies may need to be debunked by those offspring or not. But for someone who is not a person mom, I would say that “their” choice to be all forgiving and turn the other cheek is entirely their choice. We must all be free to make whatever choices appeal to us, provided that those choices are not raining bruises on another individual. Choices are all to the good. Bullying is not. There is a fine dividing line sometimes. But to tell someone that “have to” choose to feel angry, or “have to” to choose to never feel angry is where bullying can creep in. For it is up to each person WHEN they feel, HOW they feel, WHY they feel. It is never UP TO outsiders of that vessel of feelings to prod or poke an emotion into expression. To do that IS simply being intrusive. I know loads of people who have emotional constipation to which I used to try to be a frictive laxative, thining myself smart for inducing a flurry of real expressiveness in those tight lipped composed pillars of the establishment. But now I see what I was doing was bullying the reluctant to feel more than they freely chose to. We are not all the same. Many people don’t want to cry or swear or shout or hiss. It is a “free choice” to kill oneself. So it is a “free choice” to be completely fucked up. To think otherwise strays into the realm of the “forced healings” wrought by old psychiatry.

    Being a moral person is “a free choice” that many people like to make. Their morality may spread and be wholley unwelcome by those who want to feel even “freer”. But in the name of freedom it is their “free choice” to be persons of moral scruples if they want to be. This may mean that they have fussy morals against certain feelings.They are free to do to their own feelings whatever they like or they be not authentically free at all. This applies to ALL of us. Psychotherapy has wanted us all to emote on command every five minutes. This is just as unhealthy as telling people they must not show any feelings any all. It is okay to be inwardly a martyr. It is okay to be inwardly the opposite. It is okay be inwardly a sadist. But what must not occur is hurting other innocent people with either of these polar opposite options in how to be. I mention sadism because every human has moments of that impulse whist waiting in an overly long line or sitting on a ghastly crowded bus. It is not natural to be feeling “nice” all day. The more one tries to the more likely it is to cause a sadistic snapping of tolerance. A relaxed balanced middle ground between martyrishness and sadism arrives at a midpoint of genuine caring.
    Could say more but some of the study on martyr/sadist complex comes from traditional Gestalt therapy so check it out if at all curious.

    I end by saying I am sorry your mom did not treat you well or welcome your tender and outraged feelings. It would have been good if she had.

    Psychotherapy however, has been demonizing mothers for a very long time, and fathers. I am not always sure that this is in itself healthy. I think of rural Africa communities or rural Amazonian forest tribes and how many of those moms are aged fourteen when pregnant and have even less of a clue about what they are supposed to say to their offspring. Time was that those moms were demonized and told that they had to abandon their “free choices” and rear their children in “befitting” manners. A hegemony likes to flag up suffering children in order to control the feelings of parents, and friends of the patents, and friends of the friends of the parents….until everyone gets the new memo about perfect parenting styles and perfect people styles.

    Love is seldom perfect.

  • Ps. Further to my comment regarding “forgiveness”, currently awaiting moderation, I also want to say that there are various kinds of forgiveness. There is a forgiving that never forgets. There is a forgiving that might not want to make a best pal out of the wrongdoer or plump their cushions or offer them a last dime but may be enough of a forgiveness to “walk away”. This “walking away” is not always a “letting them get away with it”. Rather it can be a wish to no longer be contaminated by the bad energy they emit. Lots of bullies rely on you never “walking away” but they prefer you remaining stuck in a continous nightmare present where they are eternally destroying you.

    A forgiveness can protect against becoming what “they” are. A forgiveness that shows them what “not” spreading swearing and spitting and abusiveness looks like. A dignified kind of forgiving that stops an abuser also robbing you of even your own last vestiges of proud dignity. Not being reduced to the sick destructive villain that they are. Forgiveness may even be too great a “wound” for the wrongdoer. Love often wounds those who cannot bear it. The refusal to play the wrongdoer’s game of locking you into a duo or I-thou dynamic sets you free.

    Freedom is what many an abuser does not want you to have. They want to occupy your head and heart twenty four seven. They do not want you to be happy elsewhere. They want you to never forget their name.

    In this sense, sometimes forgiveness is like being a wolf, who disappears through a blizzard without so much as a backward glance.

  • I agree with Rebel. AND I agree with Rasx. How can I agree with BOTH?

    I could be wrong but my understanding of some of what Rebel may have been at pains to put accross is perhaps the notion that a lack of forgiveness is a fraction of people can PROPEL them to BECOME abusers. The average abuser probably thinks they are ENTITLED to victimize another innocent person because the abuser had it far tougher. That “having had it tougher” may not be forgiven by the abuser who goes on to abuse with that lack of paying it back to exactly who “did this to them”. Paying it back may involve spending years and years in “anger”, but there has to be an end point to anger or it is not doing its job of being angry. That end point of anger, even if it takes a lifetime, needs to be a sense of satiety and emptying and resolve and rest and moving on, as a healing. Our feelings are here to “heal” us. This does not mean our feelings are here to muffle our other strong feelings. Rage is healing. However, humans are inept at fully feeling. Humans tend to “leak” out feelings “ineffectually” over spans of time, as chronic resentment, bitterness, contempt, all of which may marquerade as anger but which are in fact lesser forms of anger. Those lesser forms of anger can become abusive in a diffuse misdirected blanket heckling kind of a way. Bitterness may spill out at the populace of a whole country of “them”, or age group of “them”, or race of “them”, rather than visiting exactly “who did this to you”. When anger manifests in those lesser “leaky” ways it can inflict damage on innocent people who have never caused any direct harm to anyone, but who simply seem “linked” to the original abuser, as if bystander accomplices. This diffuse “lack of forgiveness” helps nobody. It does not help innocent victims who are “abused” by such a bitter “entitlement” to get better by meting out abuse to anyone at all, and it also does not help the abuser “focus” their “leaky” unsatisfying gall in such a way that it becomes clean anger “at” precisely “who did this to you”. There needs to be “at least” a forgiveness of who does not matter to the original injustice, perhaps a whole village or city or country needs forgiveness. Or sporadic random entitled abuse just perpetuates in the world.
    I would also say that “anger”, when it is cleanly and fully felt “is cathartic enough to mend old hurt. And this catharsis seldom needs anything of the culprit. The culprit becomes a “nothing” who does not need to grovel in apology anymore…since the full acceptance within of raw anger can eventually deliver its own state of calm. A bit like how howling in grief can soothe the grief stricken. A powerfully “felt” feeling can do this self healing so well that one does not “need” anymore the “other” to bestow it by saying a glib word like “sorry”. But the bitter can never access this full feeling of anger and so they can get stuck in never finding the refreshment of catharsis. And if they cannot, they certainly will pile on more bitterness that they cannot access such full calm after the feeling storm. This uncomfortable bitterness then gets blamed on a whole village or city or country…a “them”. Or even a toddler to be abused with bitter entitled grabbiness.

    It is right that after any abuse by a specific person that the pure anger be felt fully. It is necessary to first feel it before forgiveness can be genuine. But forgiveness is helpful as a process of moving on “after” that wounded state of fully feeling anger has focussed “only” on “who did this to you” and has been cathartic. Catharsis tends to be regarded as punching ten bells out of a wrongdoer but one can punch a person and “feel nothing”, no sadness, no anger, no emotions at all. This is allowing the original abuse to turn one into a numb punching abusive feelingless automaton. A retribution obsessed robot. All action and no deep healing feelings.

    Lastly, there are rare people who for whatever reason “choose” to turn the other cheek. Peacemakers. Their forgiveness “choice” is not “wrong” for them. It might be “wrong” for someone different. But the peacemaker may “inspire” others with their “choice”. It is okay to share our own experiences with our own good for us “choices”. This is “not” an attempt to preach or shame or guilt trip but is just a “sharing” of a “different” way of dealing with loss or rage or woundedness. We all share such private “choices” about what seems to help us “get better”. It is all a matter of “free choice”. Any “free choices” delicately offered may not be craven attempts to moralize or spiritualize but may just be a particular path of “love” that that person found mending. Half the planet’s population are religious and do believe in a Higher Court or deity who will restore justice on their behalf. They feel they need do nothing but wait. That is “the answer” for them. But half the planet’s population do not have the confidence in such beliefs and feel abandonned to callous indifference in the world. Both populations can end up battling with each other. Wars come.

  • I agree with much of this brilliant assessment. I would only be wanting to say that “for me”, the feeling then thinking then feeling then thinking and so on can become a dog fight, a brawl, an unstoppable cycle faster and faster until in blind panic I am no longer able to gage which comes first the feeling or the thinking. When that occurs I have “catastrophic” thinking…a Catherine wheel firework of “what if, what if, what if???”…and the endlessly spinning wheel of these propels huge fear in me of imminent demise.
    I am no fan of cbt. I am no fan of the Buddhist idea of getting rid of stray thoughts either. All I do know is that in a state of “disaster mentality” where I am “frightened to death” of many interlinked catastrophes it “can” be of use to sit myself down and “question” such freaked out thinking escalation in me.
    But yes, you are correct to have concerns that cbt can turn into “thought policing” for dubious reasons if meted out by fussy, preachy practictioners. Plus I do not think we are supposed to monitor our river of thinking so intensely. That monitoring can become a route to “disaster mentality” about having any thoughts at all. But I think that it is good for eight billion individuals to have at least eight billion “options” for how to settle anxiety “if” they want to. No “one way” is going to “heal” everybody. But I am glad you outlined the many pitfalls of cbt so seizmically.

  • Ps…In the line where I say…

    “Perhaps you”

    I am NOT referring to any one specific person but a collective generalized use of the word “you”. A metaphorical “you” whom “I do not know you”. I am addressing a random unknown “anyone” and “everyone” reading. A Dear Reader generalization.

  • “Synthetic chemical compounds”…
    is a great distinction between NATURAL chemicals that make up life. I am not for the vogue of imagining the body and brain is somehow devoid of natural chemicals. I made a comment on this recently (click on my name to find it).

    Quite frankly though I want to say what kept everyone in medicine from turning attention to pregnancy sooner? I have been aware of how disastrous it undoubtedly is to be pickling growing foetuses in ghastly pharmaceuticals for quite some years. Abrupt neonatal withdrawals is also a disaster.

  • The word “human” conveys a similar variety of “meanings” depending on the utterer of it. It can “mean” exhalted as a species with super consciousness, or it can be a disparaging “ugh!” term for everything going wrong in the world. Should we all cease to use the word “human” merely because we do not all agree on one meaning from it? You seem to want “an agreement” around “identity”. Why?

    Everyone has their own unique identity. Agreeing upon a mass “identity” erases individual identity almost as cleanly as you might say psychiatry does.

    Perhaps you feel you have found your “identity” in a mass or grouping and worry that if that becomes subject to wishy washy non specific variable “language” it will lead to wishy washy non specific variable “thinking”. I do not know you but is it possible that perhaps you are searching for a “feeling” of “fairness” within the nitty gritty of inky language? We all tend to seize upon “language” as threatening of our carefully clutched “identities” and we turn to logical unfeeling “language” and demand that it provide us with a “feeling”, a “feeling” of comfort, reassurance, security, that we are not being “got at”, we keep a close scrutiny on what is going on with that “feeling” of “fairness”. Such scrutiny seems to loom large as the “only” way to bolster our sense of solid “identity”, this monitoring of everyone’s sporadic turns of phrase or word choices or thought choices. But this “language monitoring”, that we all tend to do these days or this hyper vigilance over random people’s word choices, clips the wings of “other people’s” freedom to just be uniquely who they are. That clip clip clipping shears their “identity”. People then clip clip back. Until each person’s miserably threatened “identity” is at loggerheads. Out the window goes any “feeling” of “fairness” in the world when that hour is upon us all.

    As I implied in another comment elsewhere (click on my name to find it) a person cannot really hope to squeeze a “feeling” like fairness from out of a dead dictionary. In these Times humans are looking to “language” and “thinking” to provide them with nourishing “emotions”. Language is marvellous, as is intellectual thinking, but both are “limited” in that these cannot hold us or embrace us or heal us in any deep core way. Modern humans are learning the hard way that intense arguing and arguing and arguing, all bickering over words and words and words is not where the love is.

    A person may want “identity” but more, much more than this, a person may be longing for love. Love does not care what “identity” we have. If it is real love.

  • My saliva is formed of chemicals, my plasma is formed of chemicals, my breath is formed of chemicals, my hair is formed of chemicals, my fingernails are formed of chemicals. Bioluminescent algae is formed from chemicals. Pinwheel galaxies are formed from chemicals. Combustion after the Big Bang is formed from chemicals. A lovers kiss is formed from chemicals. A zygote is formed from chemicals. On and on it goes. A rose. A lemon.

    I am not going to imagine my brain is devoid of similar chemicals. I feel that the key word is rather the word “imbalance”. There is a problem with “how” humans regard “imbalance” as being akin to imperfection or just plain bad. But to me the word “balance” is holy.
    And to me the word “imbalance” is also holy.
    This is because to achieve “balance” there has to be a constant flexible fluctuation, a quivering like a trapese artist on a high wire. That quivering involves balance one moment then imbalance the next moment then balance then imbalance on and on….forever. The myth of the perpetually fixed person is like a myth of a perfectly balanced brain. The brain, like everything else in nature, is continuously going through this quivering between balance and imbalance and back again. Imbalance is not a dirty word. You do not know if you feel balanced unless there is a perception of potential imbalance surrounding it. Balance and imbalance are “near” to each other and speak to each other. They both inform optimal wellbeing. In my brain there will be balance and imbalance constantly correcting each other like dancers in a waltz.

    What has been a problem for humans is the wish to “get rid of” imbalance and “only” have balance. But without imbalance how can balance know it is balanced?

    The wish to “eradicate” imbalance by giving lots of pharmaceuticals to the brain causes worse imbalance in many. Rather than going with the flow of holy imbalance and the way it naturally tries to adjust into holy balance, busy scientists have wanted to hurry that arrival at holy balance to help people find mental peace. But holy imbalance is the best and safest way to find mental peace. A breakdown is the soonest way to recover from a breakdown. But this requires “acceptance” of brokenness or yeilding to tiltedness “off balance”. Accepting imbalance heals a person back to balance. Accepting howling heals a person back to smiling. There is no need for lots of drugs to find mental peace if we live in a world that understands holy imbalance. The breakdown is renewal in progress. But the myth of the perfectly fixed person gives no time for a lavish breakdown. Breakdowns occur all over nature. On a forest floor matter is continuously breaking down into finer fertile silt. Decay and rebirth aid each other. Perhaps there is nothing wrong with the word chemical, it is life and it is beautiful. Perhaps there is nothing wrong with the word imbalance, it is life and it is beautiful. There is everything wrong with feeding both of these “known poisons”.

  • In awe here of your breathtaking writing. The awer possibly eschews the awed as the awed are a distraction but I give my awe at your pure poetry.

    Leila and Majnun is an Arabic tale where Majnun, so devoted to Leila and yet so rejected by her, went mad and rambled and muttered madly throughout all the nomadic tents and dunes and markets and villages. Burning up with unrequited love his madness confered on him divine utterances. So that all the peoples of that land came to revere him and bear him aloft on ricketty stretchers and tendely offer him sips of moonlit goat milk. I seem to recall no matter how raving and befevered he grew Leila still eluded him as if she was a lost vital part of his own soul. Without her he relished the peace of becoming pitiful dust. He longed to be clasped to God’s bosom if he could not have his living heart, Leila.

    It is possibly a tale about the self’s inner yearning for the soul, or the yang aspect yearning for yin, or the mortal yearning for the Creator. But I have always loved the river of madness that issues from Majnun’s starving, sun crusted lips. That godforsaken madness can be close to Godliness.

  • No you misjudge me. I am delighted that you call your experiences Visions. Please continue to call what you believe is going on with you completely whatever you like. I am “for” everyone having this freedom.
    I don’t even mind if you respectfully believe that my experiences are visions.

    We must call whatever we feel we have what we want to call it. I just happen to feel okay about knowing my condition is schizophrenia for now. I am not in a hurry to change that just because someone else who is not me tells me I have to. But I might, with my freedom of choice, choose to change my mind tomorrow about referring to my own ailment as schizophrenia. Tomorrow I might call it visions. And on the day after call it schizophrenia. And on the day after that visions…and so on…because it is ALL UP TO ME what I call my interior experiences just as it is ALL UP TO YOU what you call your interior experiences…and this freedom is a good thing for each and every one of us.

    I will defend the right of the different, which means everyone, to HOLD THEIR OWN OPINION of whatever they believe about themselves.

    A belief about yourself is not a problem in the world. You can have any or as many beliefs as you like. Beliefs are not harmful. They are just feelings and opinions. Bullying IS harmful. A bully may USE the tenets of a belief to legitimate oppressing others but the act of bullying is independant of the harmless belief. Just as a bully may use the ideas in politics instead of a belief’s tenets to carry out bullying acts. The politics are intrinsically harmless. Just a bunch of abstract verbose ideas. The ideas, like tenets, may be inspiring or not, but they are a bit like inanimate books, they cannot fly across a room or do the legwork of actual bullying. I may not like the belief that a person might have in the Virgin Birth. It may seem peculiar and disturbing and nightmarish to me, yet I am more than happy for anyone to freely choose that belief for themselves. I am content to let many, many people believe preposterous things, even alarming things, unsettling things…if they choose to. I am clear that I do not “have to” believe such things just because they do. I am free to believe that my ailment is from the tooth fairy or a punishment from a wrathful God or from a bottle of fizzy soda or from oceanic pollution or my late father or inherited from a curse from Pharoh Rameses the third. It is ALL UP TO ME. Anyone can come with “their” belief and call me mad for believing I am mad. Anyone can impose their belief that I am unwell because I do not pray enough to the Virgin Mary or because I ought to read a better book on the pharoh or because I ought to filter my oceanic water or because because because! At some stage people ought to just let each other get on with believing whatever they like. And when people really do believe one hundred percent whatever they want to about themselves they will be less prone to having a worried need to defend their belief. It will become emphatic and secure within them. No need to squabble over it.
    The more “variety” of beliefs that people have the more enriching and exotic and diverse becomes our sharing of our harmless differences.

    The trouble in these times is…
    daring to be different is deemed dangerous by those in dominant groups. When that occurs you are NOT ALLOWED to call yourself a Visionary but must call yourself something the dominant group insists you call your own inner experiences…and I am NOT ALLOWED to call my own inner experiences schizophrenic anymore but am ordered to call myself what the dominant group insists I call my inner turmoil. We are told we are NOT ALLOWED to believe about ourselves whatever we find supportive for us to believe.

    I am against that pushy NOT ALLOWED TO…imposed “rule”. A person may come to me with stacks of new books from their belief, maybe a fresh scientific perspective, and proceed to tell me that what I believe of my own experience is “indoctrination”, just as that same person can go to someone who believes that the Virgin Mary has given them an experience of sorrows, and that person can try to persuade that believer that their cherished view about themselves is unscientific hogwash.
    I do not want to live in only a “science world” but much prefer that there are millions of optional beliefs one can hold about oneself. Loads of free choices. You might baulk at my using a rather sciency term for my ailment and inner experience but to me there is no such thing as reliable, absolutely true, absolutely irrefitable wisdom. It cannot be found in any belief or politics or religion or science. All of these ways of looking at things can only grasp an element of “the truth”, for that reason I consider “new science” to be just as bogus as “former science” and that both versions of science do not contain a perfect explanation of exactly why I hallucinate and have delusions but neither does the Virgin Mary or ANY belief. I regard therefore science as being a belief, about what we believe we know so far. And as a belief I do not take any of it THAT seriously beyond liking bits or it or not liking bits of it. I do take seriously WHAT I LIKE. And I feel you should take seriously WHAT YOU LIKE. Which is that you are a magnificent Visionary.

  • Exquisite poem, Jeff.

    I love the mountain goat guts and landscape imagery. All so profound. Powerfully moving. Thank you. Poetry is not celebrated enough. Poetry is the least demanding way of using any language because poetry does not tell others they “have to” agree with the opinions aired. Poetry is not a bully. That is some of poetry’s beauty.

    And I love the Buddhist quote.

  • Dear Rasx,

    To me your whole comment is to be enshrined as holy is its beautiful honesty. I am sorry for you that you underwent such a longstanding grotesque lack of true care from all those who were supposed to support you. You were left abandonned, powerless, helpless and, as usual with all forms of bullying, creepily “blamed” for inviting such painful bruises.

    I have always felt that stategic, premeditated bullying is the biggest problem in our human world. Animals duff each other up in hissy fits but they do not think enough to come up with a cold measured plan to bully just for the mean sake of it. Only humans take bullying to a doomy level.
    In current times every group on the internet is heckling every other group with accusations of “unfairness”. Linguistics get dissected to root out damning evidence of “unfairness”. Online interrogations prise apart the very structures of sentences and casually tossed phrases to hold up proof of “unfairness”. We all get swept up in hunting out “the unfairness” that we think is marring our own lives. Nitpicking over other people’s expressive language seems to be the way we all feverishly do that.
    But this morning I jotted a note at breakfast. Here it is…
    “Fairness cannot be found in logical language…that is because fairness is a feeling”.
    The more that humans try to demand evidence of fairness in turning to a rather stilted and dead aparatus like language the more the search for a “feeling” of being “loved and respected” escapes them. This elusiveness of the promise of “fairness” then ricochets around online as “evidence” of “bullying”. Someone says something nonchalant and instantly it is seized upon by an online group as proof of that person being a bully….to which that person then gets mob bullied merely for coming out with one line or linguistically put opinion. This then causes a huge “fear” in someone of being wrongly perceived as being “unfair” in the words they accidently choose, or being perceived as such a bully for using slipshod modes of speech that they then get mass bullied in a witch hunt. This “fear” of being perceived as a bully by a population of thought monitoring bullies on the lookout for evidence of “unfairness” then creates a vast climate of fear. The problem with such a climate of fear is that it FEEDS more bullying. A bully is only a bully due to his or her fear and the sibsequents tentacles that spring out from that fear namely “anger” and “the impulse to control” entirely the someone who is deemed to be “unfair”, merely by their indifferent figure of speech…in language.

    Language will never ever provide the “fairness” that love-starving humans crave. Language is a poor substitute for the actual real presence of love. Would you rather marry a cold two dimensional linguistically perfect love letter or would you prefer to marry a warm huggable flawed imperfect but lovely real individual. Yet humans on the internet are en masse hunting for a “feeling” of love by scrutinizing each other’s words and not really substantially or lastingly finding it. So they nitpick to find the key expressions that seem “unfair” and they may then call those terms of phrase “bullying” and they may then rabble rouse an army to punish someone that they perceive as being withholding of “fairness” and “love”. This then sends out a clear message that if you do not kiss the boot of such language priests then you are correct to experience “fear” of saying anything…anything at all. This climate of fear over language raises “defensive” communication, as if you are already bullied into “explaining” what you innocently said. You are already being “controlled” and “threatened” that if you do not “say it nicely” you will be regarded as a bully and ostracized.

    This climate of suspiscion within the higher halls of language makes it doubly hard to just approach anyone as just a friend. A new friend may “want to know” who you are and what motivates you to like what you like and what makes you similar yet delightfully different. This “wanting to know” is innocuous. But there is another kind of “wanting to know” that comes over as the demand by language priests that you “explain” who you are and “explain” that your own expressions are not “unfair” or “bullying”. That second “wanting to know” is itself a form of bullying.

    A person may be reticent or even phobic about another person’s cherished belief. It is okay to feel rericent or phobic about “anything” in life….from hamsters to spiders to buttons to spooky shadows. Phobia is a word for “fear” and it is a feeling that we are all at liberty to choose inwardly. It is okay to be inwardly phobic but it is not okay to be outwardly bullying. The moment a feeling like fear launches outwardly as a behaviour it goes a step “beyond” being just an inner emotion we are all freely entilted to experience. But in this climate of the internet mobs of actual bullies scutinize peoples sentences for evidence of “feelings” that they are now not allowed to experience. Needless to say when any bunch of bullies in a school yard tells another kid that they are not allowed to “feel”, what is going on is scrutinization of expressions of language, being so policed to weed out “unfairness”, in the vain hope that this will linguistically “force fairness and love” to materialize, becomes a way of telling people to shut down feeling anything at all.
    A bully only gets to becoming a bully by having “no” access to his or her own inner “feelings”, to the numb extent that a bully cannot access a “feeling” of consideration or caring or compassion towards a potential victim. It is a “cycle”. A bunch of bullies silence a someone who merely “wants to know” them and who merely has that “curiosity” based on having access to their own curious “feelings”. Once that someone is forbidden from “wanting to know” or “be curious” or “feel” the messy “feelings” they do, for fear of being punished by language priests, then that someone grows a reduced ability to “feel” caring or “feel much of anything”. It then becomes all too easy for that someone to “become a bully” and become a different order of language priest, scrutinizing any scrutinizers for proof of “unfairness” and “flagrant bullying” in other peoples glib use of language.

    I reitterate that there are two versions of approaching a person with the wish to “know” more about them. One is a full feeling impulse of unafraid curiosity and excitement about wonderful difference. The other wish to “know” is coming from a language policing demand that the different ought to “explain” themselves in precise, logical language…or they get accused of being “loveless”. And even when they do offer an indication of their amazing differentness with a complete linguistic thesis to back them up, that thesis still is not and never will be love. The “feeling” of “fairness” is not found in language. Neither is the “feeling” of “love”. Silly humans like to think that it is…because language acts as a kind of protective cold steel sheild against the raw naked experience of real “fairness” and real “love”. Emotions so craved for that the silly human worries he or she will pass out if such radical healing is ever wholly felt.

  • Dear Tom,

    Kindly refrain from giving me a nick name or I may view that as provocative. Community Rules please!

    I must confess to being just a bit confused by your reply. In my own understanding “to suffer” need not be one type of suffering but many, such as poverty or labor pains or cancer, none of which involve the ego. But I get what you mean about the ego causing additional suffering in the mind of the person who is ruled by it. And yes living in a world of petty oneupmanship egos brings about competitivity with winners and losers, victors and victims. The ego in humans is indeed behind many extended forms of suffering. I knew this already. Which is why upon reading ET I took pains to tell all my friends to “get rid of” their egos. This busy body telling people what they must and must not be like, to “save them and the world”, eventually struck me as evangelizing. My new view is that it is okay that “you be you and I be me”. Curiously this view lacks egotism. In other words taking a pop at other people’s ego “can” come “from” an egoic need to “control” other people’s free choice to be the messy individuals they desire to be. My new policy is that so long as a person is not overtly “bullying” me then they can believe and be anything they like. It is okay to have an ego provided that it is not outwardly becoming a big problem by leading to bullying. Rock stars and movie stars have enormous egos and mostly humans celebrate such exuberant puffery. Its bullying not egotism that is the problem. Just like having a leg is not a problem until you use to kick shins. In these anti-narcissist times, or anti-ego times, many are witch hunting innocent people just for metaphorically having a nice leg.

    But Tom, you may be amused to learn that soon after I gave you my previous reply I bitterly regretted my own possible pummelling of your fine free choice to believe exactly as you prefer to believe. You have the free right to hold your own opinion. This is enshrined on the Declaration of Human Rights.

  • Many years ago I wrote an observation to my own study on this matter that although feelings are not thoughts, nevertheless on an almost molecular or atomic scale they intertwine so fast that they are inseparable. I visualized the way a braid, formed of hanks of feeling and thinking is wound so tightly there is no telling which comes first, emotion or reason. But that does not mean that at the macro level there is not a clear difference between feeling and thinking. At a micro level we can barely note the difference between atoms and space, matter itself seems to be formed more of space than atoms when peered at by metaphysicists, almost to the point the boundary between these two collapses and we see how atoms and space virtually become each other. There is a lot of space going on within the atom itself. So I feel there is no great distinction between feelings and thinking in the split second both manifest. However, as with matter under a microscope, disappearing into the background fizz of the Big Bang from whence all stuff blew, at a macro level matter, like feelings, becomes obviously delineated.

    It is my view that humans in the West have a tendency to exclude emotions at this macro scale, in favour of analytical thinking. Humans dismantle the furniture of emotions because they have been schooled into believing that emotions are ugly and alarming and threatening to the rigours of rational thought. This human urge to drive a wedge between feeling and thinking carts of the most beautiful part of being fully alive, in my opinion. A new mother or father does not “rationally” cuddle their baby. A murderer kills because he or she initially feels nothing but numbness when it comes to feeling sorry for a victim. Rational death camps still exist where long suffering captives are fed the sensible reasoned cube of stale bread. To “care” requires access to “feelings”. We live in a deeply “uncaring” and “unemotional” civilization. My bank litterally has no more furniture in it. No place for the world weary emotional to flop on a seat and rest their aching bones. Go into any elevator and what you see are steel walls and a rubber floor and the only communication with your emotional dismay is a plaque of unintelligible symbols more befitting the galactic otherliness of a flying saucer. Elevators used to have splendid decor to please the feelings of the lost.

    Humans think too much. That is what is driving each of them into a cocoon of insanity. Animals tend to sidestep thinking altogether and live more emotionally balanced lives.

    All this does not mean that I believe humans should cease thinking or enjoying the game of abstract rationality. People should utterly do whatever they fancy. Free choice for everyone must always come before any one person’s notion of what is ideal. You can always tell when someone is undermining a person’s free choice because that someone says “yeah but…” and starts to surround that free choice with barages of nitpicking all designed to part the person from their choice, such as a sweet enjoyable choice to be more rational, or more emotional. We all do nitpicking. Insisting that everyone should be exactly as we are. To some extent though this nitpicking comes quicker from hyper critical overthinking. Animals, who live more in a state of graceful emotionality, do not nitpick in the same way that rational, legal eyed, intellectually controlling humans do. In the nicest possible way animals just don’t care that much what other animals “think” of them and so they tend not to want to control the interior private psyches of other animals, unfortunately like humans sadly do.

    Lastly, I am not sure that consciousness is even a “brain” phenomena. Scientists are always picking open the brain to search for the font of reason or feeling. They get excited by motor smash mangled brains that seem to point to malfunctions in thinking or feeling but I believe consciousness is “beyond brain” and survives physical death of the body. The epiphenomenon spark of life that animates our vehicle of blood and bone is “an energy” and energy does not die but transmutes into new forms. Something like this. It is all my conjecture, silly speculations from me that my “feeling” self enjoys doing and that my “feeling” self tells me I can “play” with and not “have to” get logically “right”.

    I piss on being “logically right”, as all the animals piss on being “logically right”.

  • Dear Tom,

    Would it be alright by you if I respond to some evocations in your comment?

    So good to have an Eckhart Tolle fan in MIA. I too am a devotee of much of what ET says and does. I suppose the point of Lions of Visionary Views is not to parrot their every quote but instead to use the raw materials they gift for you to create your own sensed appreciation of such essences.

    But you say, from ET, that attention is how to reach transformation and full attention also implies acceptance.

    I have noticed a thrust amongst many in these troublous times to strive for the promise of perfection, liberally hinted at in the notion of “transformation”. We are to become “enlightened” by “getting rid of” our “ego”.

    I believe that the human is an animal.

    I know of no animal who busies itself with wanting to be “transformed” “enlightened” “perfected” or “get rid of” bits of its interior.

    If attention is key to transformation and full attention also implies acceptance then it perhaps can mean that what is transformative is the animally realizition that we are “perfect” as we already are and so do not need to be or do or think or feel or know or vocalize any differently from who we are. Our “full attention” implying “acceptance” accepts we have already “achieved” being animal. A deer. A fox. A squirrel. A monkey. A human. An animal. Animals are sublime because they are not perfect and have no stress about trying to become so “enlightened”.

    Much of the current New Age philosophies seem to want to “advance” human consciousness. To my way of seeing humanity will “advance” when it returns to the blissful consciousness of the garden earth worm. A divine being who need be no different that what it is. An earth worm is vital for the interconnected ecosystems of the planet, as are humans, if only they would return to being serene animals and not fight with each other all day over who is more “perfected” or “enlightened”. That “fight” sometimes arrives at the comments section even.

    I am less inclined as I used to be to go to war on the “ego”. That war has mushroomed into a grotesque nitpicking anti-ego industry. Fuelled by the tsunami of anti-narcissist hysteria, that social media witch hunt hype that points a finger of narcissist accusation at anyone with whom one does not share an opinion with. We are all being bullied into “getting rid of” our dirty smutty greedy little ego as if to show any ego at all is akin to sinful indecent exposure. I do not believe our interior selves are so easy to dissect or compartmentalize when we allow ourselves to simply “be”, in garden earth worm mode. Compartmentalizing is what modern life inflicts upon us. It is not natural. Our natural interiors are delightfully messy and blended and perpetually in a state of visceral fluctuation. I am a bit suspiscious of the vogue of “getting rid of”, since so often it can turn into “getting rid of whole people” who cannot “get rid of” condemned parts of themselves. The poor little ego has taken a knock in recent times. I doubt there is an animal who ponders whether it has an ego or not. Mostly I believe that animals do not need to have a super inflated complex intellectual ego, but whatever little ego they may have I feel sure they do not castigate themselves for it or attend classes to purify themselves of it.

    On a separate note, you speak of people “transcending” their pain. Again I would showcase how the animals deal with pain. They allow the pain to take them over and they have a little beautiful breakdown and then they recover. The reason why humans have such long drawn out godforsaken breakdowns is because they keep trying to avoidantly fight the breakdown happening, and they keep trying to keep mindfully and intellectually be “transcending” pain rather than accepting the pain as a bear or racoon would.

    You say fear is borne of shame. I say fear is fear of “loss”, and underlying all anger is fear of loss. Shame can worry a person into fearing “loss”, loss of standing in the community, but there are many other things that threaten “loss” without it being only specifically shame.

    Lastly, you speak of how disappointing it is that we get given “classifications”. Perhaps you think we should have none. But I myself have a freedom of choice to “classify” myself if I feel I really want to. Or rather I am free to classify my own suffering in any way I deem desireable to me. If I have a fever and aching joints I may myself want to classify my own suffering as influenza, or the evil eye, or a village curse, or a spell, or a wrathful deity, or a masochistic blessing. I can classify my suffering in any way I damn well please. Ditto for anyone else. Classifications are not just “done to us” or “foisted” upon us, some people prefer to “name” what ailment they themselves believe their suffering is. You might say that they are foolishly indoctrinated perhaps, and maybe you would be quite right, but here is the point, it is not for anyone else to revile someone who freely chooses this or that indoctination. The world is chocablock with ideologies and indoctrinated fans of millions of them. This is all part of “free choice”. There are many ideologies that scare the nelly out of me and I fear those indoctrinated with those various bibles, they certainly “threaten” my “fear of loss”, as I am sure my views would do to them. But until “actual loss” is being meted out to any person by an indoctrination or religious belief, person to person, then as the Declaration of Human Rights has it, we are all free to hold our own opinion. If my opinion is that I have a “classification” for “my” suffering that another person does not like then bully for them, as the saying goes. It is bullying for any person to tell another person what they “must” or “must not” call their “own private hell”. Another person cannot step inside my interior psyche and “know all about” my depth of my own suffering. And so I name that suffering in any way that pleases me. I name it one classification one day and another classification another day, for even repeatedly changing my mind is “my” free choice. I may call myself mad today and not tomorrow but mad again next week. People rarely house themselves in “one” indoctrination or belief or ideology but often have in the background a picknmix, relaxed selection to choose from. But opponents like to think of a “choice making” enemy as only capable of adhering strictly to a damned belief in order to caricaturize them out of having a heart and mind and soul of their own. Its a way of regarding an animal as a lump of meat.

  • Dear Charlotte,

    I dunno though. I AM suffering BECAUSE I am oppressed into having to be a thinker. An analyst. A logic conjuror. I have to use great long words and quote from great men of letters from a bygone age and sound excruciatingly clever intellectually just to get my Feelings tolerated. Perhaps this is what you try to say, however, if you dont mind me being straightforward here I feel that you seem to say it in convoluted men of letters ways that to be honest I find hard to keep abreast of. I am not sure if you are saying “suffering is no bar to thinking, therefore we downtrodden can think for ourselves”…or…”psychiatrists reduce the subjective condition down to thinkerly brute facts and this is not the real experience of real life”. I believe I am with you on both, yes, but…I notice that, in my opinion, and others are free to differ, you wrote your piece in such an exclusively academic style that has me bamboozled BECAUSE it is so thinkerly.

    If you can imagine that academic language is like the Gaelic language or Hittite language or Manx language, you do not need to speak those languages to found your own more earthy and emotive and subjective language. You can just refute those fact liking languages and go ahead and create your own far simpler one. This process has always repeatedly needed to happen or we would all be speaking thee and thou and ye and nae and damsel and knight and so much knotty verbiage. Languages build up complexity and hair splitting logical factuality to ape expertise and specialism and exclude the common stock and then the people hurl mud at such obtuse languages until they break away and jubilantly form their own far easier tongue. So what is holding us all back from ditching rational factual discourse and becoming singers of our own songs?

    Yes, I know. Some like to sing the rational song and nought else. And that is a perfectly valid free choice. It is just that ALL choices of songs are to be welcomed. We are all so different…which is good.

    I wrote in a previous comment, yet to be moderated, that I write drivel in the comments section. Drivel is fantastic! Here I am suffering hugely from brain fog, from withdrawing from brain regulating antipsychotics, and I am sure someone will chastise me for not being erudite. My brain is an amorphous mush due to quitting ghastly meds. I CANNOT “think logically”. And even on or off pills my schizophrenia makes me think odd. This comments section is not exclusively for academics but for a fool like me and an idiot like me and dreamers and visionaries and heroes and timid whisperers. That is all to the good. A well rounded and accepting community where ALL ARE EQUAL.

    Charlotte, I like your article. I like the luminous pebble that you are gazing at. It is refreshing to see. I myself would maybe have written it in a more deliberately and insolently, badly written, unacademic and dilinquently off hand way. Rather than quote an enigmatic dry dusty corpus of a dead man of letters I would have quoted my neighbour Bill. As with languages not needing learned to dismantle the language from the inside out, when you can just invent your own, you do not need to appeal to the outpourings of experts to refute dodgey experts. You can become your own sage.

  • I myself like the word “mad”. I see it as a celebratory counterpoint to the oppressive imposition of “sane convention”, amongst other things. To me “madness” is akin to the word “play” and I find the revolutionary impudence and visionary appeal of “play” to be the most powerful and healing thing a person can do in a realm of restriction. That said, I am able to hold contradictory views within and so I also admire those who say the use of the word “mad” is “othering”. I feel that “any” word can have such contradictory meanings depending upon the utterer of said word. The word “gay” seems similar in this regard. It can be both celebratory and othering. Words will always be flexible and fluid depending upon the user of the words. Todays complimentary words will be tomorrows slurs. And yesterdays insulting words will be lofted with triumph on banners by those who choose to celebrate condemned aspects of human freedom. We know this. But our instinct to “control” each others murmers and language is a fear filled impulse to “control” each others very thinking, so that our thinking all becomes matched and non threatening. Difference will always be deemed threatening. And yet without embracing each others differences there can be no Oneness or wholeness in the community. How to overcome feeling threatened by differences is a task. Since feeling threatened permits the venting of anger many do not want to stop feeling threatened. Anger is too narcotically exciting and healing in its own way. And so we have these two simmering aims in a community, the aim to stay angry at all costs and the aim to play at all costs. Both anger and play are needed in equal measure in any revolution. But the angry silence the playful and the playful offend the angry.

    I digress. For me the word “mad” is a joyous encapsulation of liberation from societal constraint. In other cultures around the word being “mad” is being in touch with the holy and divine. Old Testament prophets were always regarded as mad by their villages. Being crazy was why God chose you. The mad have an openness to spiritual inspiration. You could not be a prophet without being held in complete disdain by the pitchfork mob. People have a terse need to control language as if language is sacred. I say language is a poor substitute for the better bonding and understanding found in just “being present” in an animal way with other people. That “being present” is something that the internet cannot bestow.

    ps…I write drivel to cavort with the silliness of language.

  • Fabulous innovational camp idea, Will Hall and friends.
    Intresting how there feels to be TWO realities. The reality that is a muddy, leafy, people thronged gathering, that camp, and in direct opposition, the reality that is the AI high tech social media frenzy, that camp, and how the TWO realities are coming to despise each other in the greater world. You cannot so much put a real blossom into a real rifle as a real protest from the muddy camp without the AI high tech social media frenzy camp damning that action as worthless. When one reality calls another reality valueless the whole of reality is skewed.

    The division between the populations of both of these realities or camps is a keenly felt pain or wound. There seems no way to reconcile them, those dug in behind the curtain walls of social media and those yearning to do artful play with just the mud and blossoms. It is a new kind of war.

    How telling that your passion drives you to build a beautiful welcoming camp because of the isolating factors of social media, yet so many in the greater world these days have been spearheading such an idea of a lively healing camp only to find that a number within the social media reserve such an idea with utter contempt.

    I do understand the jaundiced view of some who wonder at the point of a celebratory camp. Maybe enjoyment is an effort too burdensome to the broken. They may want to skip the camps and whimsical protests and get straight down to revolution, or war. People grow weary of sweetners. But bonding as a people provides energy for everything else, the healing, the creative solutions, and revolutions. There is a difference between bonding in real life and feeling a real embrace, than merely living for vacuous online subscribing. But many have been hurt and damaged by “people” in real life and perhaps are right to want to avoid them, yet may also be feeling fed up at being excluded by the field trampling in-crowd. Social media provides a way to partake in people-ish discussions without the inherent risk of all manner of stigma.

    I wish you well for your grande camp. It sounds delightful. Bring back Woodstock I say.

    I bid a fond adieu.

  • Ps…typo mistake corrected…I meant in my previous comment that those people who have not had a schizophrenic hallucination or delusion should NOT be telling people with those experiences what those experiences are. Its a bit like people with no experience of dysphoria telling persons with it what those experiences are. I am against judgement. Which is what you seem also to be against, in being against snap medical judgement.

    I would have editted my comment but that facility was not there just now. Thus this add on.

    I am not up for reading or replying to further comments.


    Nice article Peter. I agree with much of it.

    However…if I may say so to you and you alone…

    I still believe the nuanced things I did believe before about the brain and body and mind and psyche all being impactful of each other in ways we do not yet have full understandings of. I still believe I have schizophrenia for sure and I still believe it has no good treatments. I still believe my brain is quirky and not made in a factory and therefore cannot be concluded well or not well, one way or the other way by outsiders of said brain. I still believe MRI’s are limited and that perhaps learning more about natural brain wave variations might be revealling. We all have many different kinds of brain waves. I still believe that since brain perceptions go quirky in schizophrenia that we should not do anything to the brain but give it a chance to heal itself with lots of people support. I still believe that people who have never had a schizophrenic hallucination or delusion should be telling people who do have such an illness that they do not have such an illness. I still believe that if you do have a diagnosis of schizophrenia and you despise it and refute it then you ought to be entirely free to dispense with it without repercussion.

    I am still an MIA heretic in as much as heresy involves being closely aligned to most of the beliefs in MIA, just not all of them. I still believe a healthy website should welcome the enquiring mind and not just the logical set mind. I still believe no science is foolproof. I still believe nurturing of illness by natural means is the best form of healing. I still believe that no one should be judgemental of poor people desperate enough to try pills when there really are no prevallent alternatives for them. I still believe that it is wrong to smear antipsychotic clutchers and imbibers as if they are drug addicts who should have moral scruples one day and just quit cold turkey. We dot regard alcoholics or heroin addicts as too slow to realize that what they are imbibing might not be good for them, but rather infinite compassion is shown towards their limited life choices. I still believe MIA gets many things right but some things quite wrong. I shall not say more…

    For my own part I am currently working on seeing if my schizophrenic hallucinations and delusions are caused by a mysterious mishap in my quirky brain, past trauma, stress imbalance and zany sleep disturbance. I am studying whether my schizophrenia might be a type of dreamstate. Research has proven that when humans sleep and enter into dream sleep there are indeed parts of their brain that wake up. It is not true to say that in dreaming the rest of us is out cold. Given that this being awake whilst dreaming can occur and nobody knows why, I believe it may also be possible to be dreaming whilst awake. I am seeing my schizophrenia as like a stuck lucid dreamstate or nightmare state that keeps happening repeatedly throughout the day and my hallucinations of touch form part of that brief altered state, just like in some forms of aura in temporal epilespy. There is then, by way of reaction to that influx of weirdness, an intellectual part of me who tries to “make sense” of that waking dreamstate, and it is this intellect that “feeds” the occurance with absurdly rational reasons for those bizarre sensations.

    Anyway Peter…The enclosed video link is interesting regards the covid debacle.

    So here, in the link above, is another stunning expose of the medical pharma treatment of covid. Spoiler alert…Haldol is mentioned.


    Peter you also may like to watch this video (linked above). I sent a comment on it to Robert Whitaker, click on my name to read it but it is in the comment section under his article on Fernando de Freitas. This video garnered 84,000 views so far. And the comments are all glowing. Worth watching till the end when these men start talking on anxiety and depression and how this repurposed pharmaceutical could be used to stop those. Regulating receptors is spoken of. And so I thought where have I heard this before?

    I am tapering off my antipsychotic with the blessing of my psychiatrist and psychiatric nurse, who have given me the liquid form of abilify. This is the second time I am coming off antipsychotics, the first time I quit cold turkey and had horrible withdrawals for about four months, less severe ones for a year and a half. But I stayed off for three long years. It wasnt easy as my schizophrenia did not go anywhere and so I still had to suffer that. So now I am coming off the antipsychotic freight train the slowly slowly way, tapering incrementally, it will be interesting to me to note if there is going to be a mellower withdrawal process. I doubt it but I hope so. Good to have done it BOTH ways. But yeah, them drugs do nothing for me. That said, I was suicidally distraught when I went back on them.

    Warm wishes to you.


    Hello Robert,

    I am sorry to hear of the loss of your dear friend. The battle to turn the tide against over prescribing is finding a new niche in covid. Very concerning about this next drug being promoted as a receptor regulator. Someone more medical than me ought to reach out to these men and counter their naive quest methinks. This video got 84,000 people tuning in to it. And over a thousand gullible positive comments. Worth a watch through as they start talking about this drug’s use in depression and anxiety.

    I myself am doing fine and am tapering off my antipsychotic. I needed to revisit being back on that medication and it did not take me a few months to realize again how insufferable the side effects are. I will say that my new breed of psychiatrist had no qualms whatsoever about helping me come off the antipsychotic and it was her who suggested that rather that cut my pills in secret I might like a liquid form of the drug with a syringe to get it down to mico doses and then sail free of it. My psychistric nurse is also all in favour of my choice.

    But yes this video is a worry. Only one in a hundred or so may take antipsychotics that affect their receptors but covid? Every age group in the global population has had covid. Big market. These genuinely decent nice medical men are sleep walking into that even though their channel is popular because it is about debunking the Pffeizer vaccine and Big Pharma.

    Take care.

  • Richard Lewis, I am not supposed to comment anymore but I want to mention something. My angels are often telling me non nosey facts about people. They are not allowed to intrude into anyone’s privacy but one or two friendly observations are okay. I got told, for months…

    “We like Richard”.

    But I laughed that off since angels like EVERYBODY of sincere and polite heart. But for the last month they kept saying to me…

    “He likes Bob Dylan”.

    I kept looking at the comments section and thinking “who likes Bob Dylan…don’t be so stupid…nobody here likes Bob Dylan”.

    But beautifully the mystery found a home just now as I checked out your brilliant melodious gorgeous song “Benzo Blue” (you tube).

    Very Dylanesque, if you don’t mind me saying. What great talent you have. I am from a musical family. Music is always a bridge builder.

    Anyway, if the angels got that mystery right then maybe the Hoover Dam explosion prophecy will come to pass. And also that the future does have good in it…so we mustn’t despair. We must keep dreaming our dreams with the hope of one day seeing them all take hold and bear fruit.

    I must away now. I only came back to add this to you Richard.

  • I am all for being nurturing, on balance, to help with emotional balance. A caring world is what we seek. I suppose I just feel on edge about preaching prescribed ways of caring rather than leaving the emotions themselves to be the caring, even uncomfortable emotions like anger. Toddlers do majestic breakdowns without any lessons from psychotherapy. The breakdowns are not feared or scolded or taught. They are organic modes of instant healing. Expressing feelings is healing. But a boundary exists where if a feeling becomes an outward behaviour that inflicts harm on someone else this is different. I do believe such bad behaviour does need limiting. It is possible to hold the huge feelings, and express them harmlessly. I am not for letting person A hurt another person, person B just because person A got angry. A feeling is not a behaviour. Feelings are harmless, even loud feelings. Behaviour may not be. There is no great need to “regulate feelings”. Feelings balance feelings by themselves, when fully felt. But there is a case for regulating destructive outward bad behaviour, when possible, when such behaviour wrecks someone else’s day, or year, or life. A community needs to place a boundary against devious cruel abusive bad behaviour or it cannot thrive as a peaceable cohesive community. Murder, rape, abuse, and other such torments meted out to innocent people cannot be molly coddled and so at some point children need to know this. I know you are not saying any of these facets in your lovely and well written article. I just worry when I hear of approaches to feelings that are either applying some form of expertise in emotions on the one hand OR are not curbing excessive violent behaviour on the other hand. A BALANCE is needed. Freedom to feel. Not necessarily freedom to tyrannize someone elses feelings via bad outward behaviour.

  • I cannot believe the brawling going on here. Implying that grown people are idiotic for cherishing the philosophies they freely choose to is bullying. Taunting, patronizing, belittling, schooling, arguing endlessly over minor differences, what is going on here? This place is not an inquiring venue where different views can be mulled over like various vintage wines, it has become a wrestling match or a street fight with opposing gangs. Comment rage is like road rage, we can all spectate the blood and tufts of hair rolling in the breeze, the shattered glass, the dented steel, and we can all get pedestrian satisfaction from witnessing the brawling of such captive tigers, OR

    We can realize we are responsible for recognizing that a wish to be a bully or bully a bully back into submission is from a herd impulse to get rid of our own mounting stress.

    I am more interested in the stress that lurks behind the bickering attempt to vent such rage.

    Where are all the therapists? Are they reading this shameful comment warzone with ticket holder’s glee? Do they have ringside seats pulled close to the action? It is not peaceable bonding or “solutions” that spectators and wrestlers want, it is sharply drawn battle lines. Why?

    Because we are ALL ILL..



    but rather than weep we pick up cudgels and cosh apparent enemies. Just because they got a phrase wrong.

    The Hoover Dam is going to be exploded. I prophecy it. But a gazillion incendiary computer conversations will lead up to it, it and all the other disasters.

  • I was reared by other children, as occurs in indigenous tribes.

    I think school is the worst place to put any child.

    There does need to be a notion of “wrong” behaviour but limited to when outward acts hurt and abuse another human. In future, because social media is now more dominant an influencer than school, many sexualized children are going to be making babies with other children. That level of bad behaviour cannot be nurtured. Social media and much of the internet ought to be destroyed. In future no parent will let anyone come within a few meters of their children.

    The nurtured heart notion is an honourable vision. But like any bright vision, the billious aspects of the internet are leap frogging into it.

    The problem is that psychotherapy has become such a religion that it is even preached in kindergarten, as “lessons” for children as if those children are grown ups in child bodies. Children do not want to be mini adults. Children want to run off and play in dangerous outdoorsy places with other children.

    I am not explaining myself well here but I feel deeply troubled by the way adults are concerning themselves with the private emotional space of the interior of children. It seems like giving therapy to two year olds.

    Children do not need lessons in being just children.

    Again I turn to animals. No mom cat will put up with the jumping antics of a bold kitten. A soft warning paw swipe draws a boundary between what is acceptable behaviour and what is unacceptable behaviour.

  • Abel, I appreciate your comment based on your experience. I also like some of Richard’s comments. And I like some of Barts comments. And I like some of Steve’s comments. And Vans comments. And I like Marie’s comments. And I like I like I like….it is a pity there is no “like” button. I may not fully know why I like people’s comments and I feel that this is okay. Not to know. I just pick up a general vibe or dimeanour.

    But I will say it vexes me when in the heat of the moment people grow volatile in a personally agravating way that I find unnecessary. Dictatorial.

    It puts me off visiting this website. I am sure many agree. That is a pity for the website since welcoming diverse views ought to be a main priority.

    But we live in bickering times where people fight and fight and fight with little provocation.

    As a dignified peace focussed New Ager I feel it is healthy to work out why the excess tendency to bicker is occurring right now. It reminds me of when a herd stampedes because a sheaf of grass fluttered in the breeze.

  • Birdsong, I would rather shame a child sex abuser and be called a bully than nonchalantly look away at what is going on in our communities.

    Birdsong, you have a way of saying “DW says” that I find just a bit gladiatorial. Perhaps I am over sensitive. That is possible given that I am emotional. Birdsong with calm politeness I must ask please refrain from replying to my comments if you dont mind. I ask graciously.

  • The way the world is so vast means that no political or religious establishment can entirely govern all nine billion people on it. No one way has THE TRUTH or has ALL THE ANSWERS. But each diverse way has a PART of the truth and has part of all the answers. The globe is so vast it can house such diversity of choice so that if a person loves lovely socialism they can find it and live that way, and if a person loves lovely capitalism they can find it and live that way. A problem occurs when some people in a political establishment or religion want to take over the whole globe and tell other people that they cannot be belonging to a political establishment or religion dear to their hearts.

    The way the world is means that in nature there are ideal continents for particular animals to find optimal nourishment and habitats for their choice of place or beliefs. A sad looking wombat in a zoo in a different landscape is a sorry looking sight.

    We are not all supposed to be the same. Difference is written into the vastness. So that no one way will ever become the dominant way for very long. There will always be detractors of capitalism and detractors of socialism. There will always be ice in some landscapes and desert sand in other landscapes. It is written into Gaia that multitudinous differences make up holostic Oneness. Ponder the rudimentary sponge. I was reading last night of it in Thomas Halliday’s beautiful book “Otherworlds”. He says that the sea sponge is an ancient colony made up of individual cells. A collective. He says that if you put a sponge in a food mixer and reduce it to a blended mush none of the individuals will perish, indeed they will reassemble into a collective formed from the individuals again. The individuals are all different yet they make up the entirety.

  • Shame is like a scalpel, it can be used for healing to get rid of cancer or it can be weaponized. A bully weaponized anything, even a tender kiss. But shame, when used appropriately, is healthy in a community when it acts as a boundary between acceptable outward behaviour and unacceptable outward behaviour. A community will not survive long if it allows behaviour such as villany, corruption, rape, cruelty, pedophilia, etc. These outward behaviours cannot be welcomed by the community so they must be shamed by it. That is not bullying, it is protecting the vulnerable FROM bullying.
    It is true that bullies may use the pain of shaming others to further there bullying agenda, but shaming in and of itself is often times healthily NEEDED and JUSTIFIED by a community. Here at MIA great efforts are made to build a boundary that shames the outward bad behaviour of psychiatry. The shaming is NEEDED to protect the vulnerable. But in the wrong hands shaming can be a ploy of a bullying group who seek to control not just unwelcome behaviour but the blameless FREE CHOICES of individuals who do no harm.

    What I said before is pointing at the HEALTHY ancient tribal use of shaming that draws a clear community boundary around freedom and restriction. There does have to be some restrictions in order to define a collective or community and what they find to be their version of acceptable behaviour or unacceptable behaviour. Some indigenous people use shaming in their coaching of young children, in alerting them to behaviour that is environmentally risky to them. Shaming is powerfully protective when used appropriately. And it is sometimes used to shame the desire to be a bully. As for self righteousness I do not see why you mention it. I have not spoken about it. But if I were to I would say that there is a sharp line between how we feel within our own psyche and how we outwardly behave. A person who feels or even thinks they are special is not harmful. A person who outwardly tries to impact other people via an imperious air of self righteousness is also not harmful. A bully who outwardly uses self righteousness to control other people is straying towards being coercive. But there is some responsibility on the part of the recipient to not be so easily led or pesuaded unless they are young or naive in some way.

    This whole comment section is wonderfully impassioned and lively and it is so healthy to see many alternative visions with no one dream dominating. A community that only outlaws rape, sexual abuse, gross bullying and cruelty, but accepts everything else is a very liberating space to be in.

  • Marie, my comments are to you. In 2015 there were 163,000 people who declined going to Bangladesh or Nicaragua or Guyana or Nepal or any other socialist state but instead those 163,000 migrants, some of them doctors, lawyers, dentists, scientists, school teachers, came to capitalist country Sweden. Were they dim to do so? In the pampered West we barely know what it is like to have no education, no rights, no food, no water, no ambitions, no dreams. Oh capitalism has its massive drawbacks. But so do the alternatives. I think, Marie, this is kind of what you were merely saying.

    25 percent of Sweden is now of foreign birth. If capitalism had nothing to offer them I suppose Swedes also would be lining up to migrate away from Swedish shores. Where capitalism has darkened our collective horizon is in environmental concerns. Climate Change is upon us all, no matter where we flee to. Humanity must come together to adapt. Humanity cannot adapt without careful experimentation. New ideas for communities and societies need time and space to flourish. The best new ideas may be time honoured ancient ideas, like permaculture and giving and so on. The West has been unbelievably greedy. That has to stop. It is hard to stop greed without some form of community shaming of it. Religions used to have that role, of ethical doorkeepers, but religions themselves become infiltrated with bullying and this tends to make them the greediest of the lot.


    Globally our species’ attempts to save the world becomes what destroys it.

    All political parties and all religions and all philosophies have beauty in them…but ALL of these can be taken over by bullying…which is a separate force entirely. Many people want socialism. Many people want capitalism. Can we bear the different? Our intolerance is ending peace. 40, 000 migrants risked their lives and their childrens lives to cross treacherous oceans this year to come to a country that is capitalist. Like it or not those are the numbers. Many of the migrants are educated and astute enough to make balanced choices for themselves. They prefer not to go to a socialist country. That being said, many do want to relocate to a socialist country. No one route leads to perfection. It is bullying we must find sane solutions to, not what vision houses the bullying.

  • Gosh, there are a lot of comments on schizophrenia by people who do not seem to have that diagnosis. I DO have a diagnosis of schizophrenia and so I feel qualified to say that it is a REAL disease that is affecting my brain by giving me daily, hourly hallucinations despite not being on cannabis or any other drug. When I was not on ANY drug for many years the hallucinations were still a huge problem for me. So I know without ANY shadow of a doubt that MY schizophrenia is a Real illness and is NOT caused by medication or drugs. People have a right to their own opinion and there have been many on this thread. This is MY own opinion and always shall be. As someone qualified to say what my illness is and is not, being as I actually suffer from it, I am not going to change my view.

  • Here is another reason why people are fighting so much.

    Theatre is a big dressing up box. It is a cabaret for make believe and play. Each life needs theatre in it. Each life needs play. But in theatre the audience get more enjoyment out of the roles on stage if they suspend disbelief and take them seriously, as if the play is real. So although play is fantastical it works by being taken quite seriously.

    Reality often demands being taken seriously also. If you are in a dim lit alley and you hear a noise that alarms you, your senses scan reality in order to protect you. You need play in life. You need reality in life. Both can be comforting. Both can be rivals. Both are needed within each individual unique human. But in a state of balance. The balance between these, play and reality, is often out of alignment.

    Humans in this era are finding life complicated because the media is smushing together “play”, and the way it needs to be taken seriously to work, and “reality”, and the way it too needs taken seriously in order to work. As free people we need our theatrical playful fantasy of who we feel we are taken seriously by others or we feel ridiculed. But this then asks people to cease listening to their sense of “reality”, a sense that is needed by them to protect them when out in the enviornment and which they are using to continuously keep scanning the dim lit alley.

    In short we need playfull, theatrical “make believe” to be taken seriously or such theatre won’t work…but we also need to renounce “make believe” in a dicey situation when striding through town at midnight.

    Many people groups are saying “please take my dream of me seriously”. But many other people groups are saying “please take my reality seriously since I need it sometimes more than I need play”.

    PLAY. REALITY. Both of these are causing many various groups to be warring with eachother. Yet both of these are necessary to each person to function. Play and reality are usually held in a healthy tension or balance. Play softens the edges of reality. Reality stops play from becoming so dreamy that it fails to make any sense at all.

    At present everyone is warring because they think there has to be a settled “consensus opinion” on what gets to be taken MORE SERIOUSLY. Play or reality. And so it is a global fight. Everyone who likes more play in their lives feels threatened by those who demand more reality in their lives, and visa versa.

    Fear on both sides gives a false idea that something needs controlled in people. Gone is the old adage of live and let live. But really there are ONLY three things that DO need controlled and banned and these are sexual abuse, bullying, and cruelty.

    If the person before you is not behaving in any of those three despicable ways then they are harmless. They are harmless whether they are in the theatrical group or the realist group. Thought policing of either group is not needed but the fear stoked up due to the inharmonious imbalance between play and reality, in each human, causes rising stress to seek an outlet. Othering is the unfortunate fruit.

  • Powerful!!! Encore. I whole heartedly agree. It always has to be part of the addicts conversation, recruiting you and constantly trying to up your education on its pharmacology. No shaman spouts chemistry. Shamans respect the inherent dangers of deluging the brain. Shamans are not into EXCESS. They retreat away from their potions with due deference. Indigenous people are not into sickness.


    These two videos by Mel point at what I am myself also resonating with in this time. I myself am getting fed up with wandering through storms and feel myself reprioritizing the “choice” to be of the lightworkers. To do so you must attend to inner life and how you feel in the here and now. Nurture of the whole being is what each being craves and yet all of the fighting, arguing, bickering, is not nurture, even though ranting can be healing when one is in the wounded state of being.

    I sense a tension or friction at the periphery of these two energies. They rub up against each other as if they are the same thing or same choice but more and more I feel they are quite different as a “choice”. You can spend an eternity hating the world for being imperfect. Or you can spend time instead realizing your own foibles and limitations. We are in this era definitely having to learn limitations, our own, and other peoples. But there can come a serenity in limitations, an acceptance of ours and other peoples feelings.

  • Sometimes it seems to me that few readers listen to anybody in the comment section. All these articles recently on how traumatic grief is and yet….when people come out with their real grief in the comments area its as if metaphorically many folks just stroll on by.

    I am not saying this is always how it seems to me….but once in a while…

    Maybe I expect more heart.

    I sense a gulf between people who are looking for solidarity of a community sort…and people seeking solidarity in putting the boot into communal systems that just do not work. They are like two completely different energies and more and more it is as though each human is having to “choose” which group to follow.

    The group that are searching for change or the group that “be” the change looked for.

  • I am sorry to hear of your dreadful tragedy, Louisa. And L.Hansen, I am sorry for your loss of contact with your boy.

    I do not think mothers should be blaming themselves so readily at all. I mean Marijuana is like the nursery rhyme of The Pied Piper. It leads all the village children into a hill where they cannot get back out again. I think we need to be blaming the drugs lords who sell such addictive substances.

    In the medieval epoch women were sometimes convinced that someone had swapped their baby for a changeling. A crying infant who looked like the real baby but was altered in some subtle way. Often the women would take their infants to holy wells and walk three times around such sacred places asking for the real baby to be returned to them. It may have been due to the puzzlement of congenital diseases taking form as the infant developed. But that was way back in history, or is it? These days perfectly ordinary youths who are adored by their parents are being “changed” by marijuana. Its as if The Pied Piper is stealing all of everyones children and for what?
    What people just do not get is how awful the psychotic hallucinating brain can be. It is not just a silly party game gone wrong. It is a genocide.

  • Today had me so suicidal because of my illness. It will not let up blitzing me with hallucinations. So in my soggy sandals I stormed around town trying to catch death. I squirrelled secret thoughts of how I could deliberately catch covid and then run a marathon in a fever, make it look incidental that I passed away.
    I trudged over puddles of rain in this bleak mood. There, up a side street, and seen out of the corner of my eye, was a newly unveiled, commemorative, bronze plaque. It was in honour of medical hospital staff who had died of covid whilst doing their dedicated vocation. Raindrops dripped off the lettering. Suddenly a woman stood nearby. Perhaps she was near to my mother’s age. I realised after a few moments that she was enveloped in her own anguish. I spoke to her. She told me that her partner had only recently died of covid. He had a heart attack from it two months ago. She went on to tell me, in heartbroken sniffles, that she missed him unutterably and that he had been a volunteer health care worker in the hospitals and many care homes. He was so impeccable in his role that he won an award, which he, like the broken woman herself, will now never hold.

    I jot this poem now for both of us “peers”.


    There is vastness like a wilderness we admire.

    There is vastness like deep space that we want to travel in.

    There is vastness like a feeling of love.

    But the vastness of someone being gone, even our own going to madness, is something we can do nothing with. And this leaves us helpless.

    But such vastness engulfs and encompasses us. It turns around to include us and the all of everything that is.

    And so we need not feel so lonely.

  • I am no thing if I am not singular.
    But how do I know I am a thing unless I step back from that thing enough to see that its totality is bound up with being a singular thing?
    Yet if I retreat from it is it still completely a singular thing, or now a less than singular thing…a singular thing with a chunk missing?
    Or has it become a twosome? Often in life, or consciousness, there is this singular thing becoming a duo and then singular again.

    Dear Nick Drury, I am always scribbling. I jotted that above here “note to self”, on a scrap of paper, two months ago. Perhaps it speaks of your notion of “ditention”.

    I have written stacks and screeds but I do so from my own wonderment. I steer well away from other peoples books. And so it was a pleasant surprise for me last week to discover for the first time Mr MacGilchrist and his two brain or bifurcated brain ideas. I think he has resonance with my idea of the difference between emotional being and rational being. I will not buy his book since I prefer my own ponderous seedlings to germinate without cross pollenation. I am greedy to be regarded as original.

  • If you click on my name you arrive at all my previous comments. The Zooba Juice ones are there.

    A bioweapon can be released like a gaseous smoke that can flop a whole village flat out onto the streets, or it can be like a foggy tear gas that has people stumbling about in a daze.

    Zooba Juice is my name for an ether or smoke or juice that is “Spiritual” in that it affects the spirit of a person without their being aware of it. Depression can be contageous and anxiety too. Zooba Juice causes fear of all kinds of things, fear or poverty, fear of cancer, fear of climate change, fear of being controlled, fear of the world not being safe or saved. All these fears cause “what if what if what if what if” as a shriek in the mind and this begets more fears. Fighting is caused by anger. Anger is caused by overwhelming fear of loss. And so this is contageous, this spirit of fighting. Until soon everyone is fighting just because everyone is fighting. A person does not even have awareness that they are fighting, they just make like a muttering cussing zombie. Everyone on this smoke or juice, Zooba Juice, is fighting without much care or thought as to why. There is just a visceral need to kick or ridicule or spark up a squabble. It is coming from mass global stress. It is as if everyone is drunk. Drunk on Zooba Juice. Even little ol me.

    Zooba Juice is a stimulant to zoo animals. Humans are animals in a globe sized zoo. The stimulant to fight potential in one sip of Zooba Juice gets addictive. Why?

    Because it covers over less magnificent responses such as boredom, despair, distress, unease. But healing is found in having contact with unease, enough to realise the zoo is not natural for the human animal. Too much fighting descends into catastrophe.

    Which is why I now drink Orange Juice.


    Woman is a form of therapy.

    In the future Earth’s humans will become crueler to ALL women. Damning ALL women as out of control and needing lessons will increase. There will come about a castigating of ALL women as being manipulative or wild or borderline or narcissistic. This dreadful witch hunt will increase by puppets on strings. It has begun already.

  • Richard, thankyou for this intriguing article. Bringing up children is the most important career/vocation/life choice and ought to be handsomely paid.

    I am for some kind of universal wage. Poverty should be erradicated.

    There is one curiosity I have that you, dear Richard, might base another article on. It is this…

    Often there is a view that says the West fares worse in mental health statistics than in other, perhaps less affluent, parts of the world.

    The importance of a happy family is highlighted here in your article. Extra cash seems to add to that happiness of course. So why do families in other parts of the world, with less happiness financially, produce children with less appalling mental health statistics specifically?

    It cannot be that less cash makes for better child rearing. Less cash means less children live beyond a certain age. It is urgent that poverty in all places on our globe be stopped.

    I am just puzzled as to why families in poor and possibly squalid city or rural places in these other countries do not have the same stats on suicide and eating disorders and anxiety and depression and psychosis and so on that the West’s familes have when they lack cash.

    My suspiscion is that larger communities in which these non Western families are nested are providing different kinds of “security” and different bench marks of “success” than what passes for opulence here.

    But in any case it seems that “the family”, whatever style of “family” it may be, and whether it is held in the bosom of a holistic community or nae, is essential to child wellbeing.

  • Sam, you often come accross to me as a paragon of ACCEPTANCE. That is one of the most powerful ways a person can be that can heal another person.

    These days it seems to me that everyone is fighting and snapping and lecturing and bickering and belittling and attacking rather than accepting the exciting potential in each of our many differences. You seem to me to be a fond welcomer of unique differences. I like how you are an emissary for your beloved. It is easy to be caring, it is much more spiritually advanced to be a carer, no matter what, especially an accepting one. Oh, I know you will feel bound to tell me that it is a pleasure to do what you do since you do it from honour and love but in the world at present it seems to be a pleasure for millions to just pointlessly rant at each other rather than value the uniqueness of each other.

    I think quite a few people would say they feel just a bit jealous that you have such a lovely arrangement with your wife. In your togetherness is a hope that all the lonely unloved people can find someone who cares for them as profoundly as you care for your dear one.

  • I also want to say that stigma over difference is much like discernment. Stigma is part of a community guarding the vulnerable against violation or rape or abuse. A community DOES need to stigmatize monstrous bad behaviour such as when someone is so mixed up they try to drown themselves and their children in a car in the incoming tide. All rural, indigenous, ancient tribes and communities use SHAME as a powerful deterent to child abuse and murder. Not all forms of shaming or stigmatizing are harmful to the community. I am not sure if this is a yarn but I once heard that the people of some icy climates apparently shame young children who veer too near to the edge of a frozen lake by getting the whole community to laugh at them. That is a recognition of the life saving, guarding, healthy application of shame. These days a young man in a community can have several thousand downloads of kiddy porn and feel no shame whatsoever. A community that shames all instances of shaming is destined for collective depravity.

    What stigma is is a reflex noticing of difference and then deciding that the difference means badness. Mostly it is not true that there ever is any badness. But sometimes a mixed up person does not realize that they are being bad. A very young child abuser who is also still a child may think they are doing their classmates a big favour by introducing them all to the joys of copulation. What do we as a community do then eh? Tell them all it is ok to make babies? A few weeks back a child became a proud father at the age of eleven.

    I say someone was a coward not to stigmatize his bad behaviour much much earlier. A poor little baby is going to have to live with the fact its parents were not old enough to skip school to make cup cakes let alone new human beings.

    I would rather live in a community that overly stigmatizes than does not stigmatize anything. But the BALANCE between these extremes will always cause bickering. That arguing over the dividing line between laxity and heavy handed convention or rules always does need to stay topical and open for discussion. But rape and murder and abuse cannot be permitted in a community without the undoing of that community. Crimes of that magnitude cannot be welcomed as if healthy.

    The overly stigmatized can be harmed of course, of course. But the lack of any prudence can cause equal harm, if not moreso.

    Many on this website feel injustice in the area of stigma and seek to stigmatize the stigmatizers or shame the shamers. In many instances in our picky modern ill society it is healthy to judge the overly judgemental since judgmentalism can also be a form of abuse.

    All of these strands are important considerations that cannot be summed up in a tidy comment. Summing up is for inflexible communities. A healthy community stays flexible enough to keep applying good balance. But what cannot be left to nonchalant flexible fashion is the rule against the three worst ways to behave. Bullying, sexual abuse, cruelty. These three must stay banned. They erode individuals and they erode communities. If a person is mixed up in that way then the stigma is what they themselves need, to begin to shun within themselves, their own worst behaviour. Their recovery depends upon them finding such behaviour in them odious and loathesome or they will never redeem themselves.

    Psychotherapy has spawned an idea that love fixes everything. But sometimes loveless shaming is healthy in regard to loveless bad behaviour of a devastating sort.

    As society messes up all over the world quite soon humanity will be able to glaringly see all of this play out. When the whole world becomes a trafficked orgy the old adage of…

    “Have you no shame?”

    will sound appealing again.

    What is going on in the world now because of the wrong kind of shamelessness is a recipe for DISASTER.

  • I want to mother everybody.

    I see what you are building, like with wooden blocks, and I want to admire your fascination with what you are creating.

    The truth is people are endearing but also boring, and this is why therapists make up fabulously precise techniques, to brighten up the session. I equate it to shamanistic whirling capes and smokey guttural incantations. A magic. Humans like doing magic and having magic lift them free of despair. On and on the intimate session goes, from since the baths in Rome, to the woodlands of medieval Finland, to the confessional box in Ireland, to the student campus, the same lovely tete a tete. Someone wants to cry. Someone is there to tell them it is good to cry. Life is hard. Help is needed.

    In these jagged brittle times where it is becoming tricky to speak with ease everyone is feeling lack and loss. Loss of being held in the bosom of understanding.

    The computer is damning us all….BIG TIME.

    There fast approaches a day where we will all realize how bad the computer is to the vulnerable mortal man.

  • Sam, I do not know your wife so excuse me using my imagination here. I like how you are a sheild for your wife whom I accept in my imagination as perhaps just “shy”. Advocates in advocacy have sheilding the shy as their very point and purpose. The shy are often the most marginalized and stigmatized of all. You bear the secondary stigma that your possibly shy wife might get if she voiced her painful suffering of her debility and this, your bearing of undeserved stigma for being her advocate, is very noble of you.

    Your words are valuable as a resourse on DID.

  • 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”.
    “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.

  • I reread this article and enjoyed it better for doing so. I stand by my prior comment but I am liking a lot of this article’s approach.

    I guess animals can be “spooked”. A horse can bolt off at seeing a wizen tree. A cat can be bristling at seeing a dog shaped log pile. A fish can flick off by seeing a dapple of light. These fears are taken as real beings and are warded off or fled from. So yeah I can see the parallel with animals and the way humans “spook” at being followed or inhebriated with the “being” that is alcohol.

    I must apologize if I barked. There must be a “spirit” of “comment section addiction” that I should like you to drum me free of.