Mental Illness and the internal narrative

Most mental illness can be traced to narcissism.

Previously I said that mental illness is when the self society demands of an individual is something the individual cannot attain to. The conflict between the real self of the individual and the self society glorifies being mental illness.

Now this still holds but it doesn’t go deep enough.

Most people spend their whole lifes as if they are on stage; as if they are playing a role in a drama. Of course this role is the central role.

Just listen to the internal dialogue you have when you are feeling depressed, anxious or whatever.

“Poor me, why are they looking at me, what did I do to deserve this, why is this happening to me, they aren’t showing me enough appreciation…”

The problem with perceiving yourself in this way is that in any drama (or even comedy) there has to be suffering, conflict, and unattained desires.

Happy people have a different dialogue.

“My life is so good, everyone loves me, I’m so happy…”

Very happy and content people have no dialogue.

In a sense we construct a narrative about ourselves and then we project ourselves into that narrative. The problem here is that society doesn’t applaud positive narratives about the self.

Try telling people you think you are a genius and try telling people you think you are shit. Compare the results. I bet that you will be called names and put down if you declare a positive narrative concerning yourself but people will rally around you if you declare a negative narrative. Just look at Russell Brand and Kanye West.

What this essentially does is positively reinforce a negative opinion of yourself that few people are able to overcome or even realize as the cause of their suffering. Few people have access to a realm of knowledge that transcends the opinions of others.

No matter how much they may affirm that all because everyone says something is so doesn’t mean it is so they still cannot let go of popular opinion. They cannot let go of that crutch and learn to walk on their own.

There is a way out though but it is slow and gradual. There are no on and off switches, you are not a computer; you are a plant and plants grow slowly.

The way out is to recondition your mind to shut-up. Don’t try to replace the negative narrative with a positive narrative. Just practice shutting that voice in your nut up. This is the power of mindfulness and meditation.

Feelings and situations

First let me define some terms.

By external environment I mean our circumstance. This includes what we own, what is being done to us, and things like that.

By internal environment I mean how we feel, what we think and so on.

Of course both of these inter-mesh. For example you can have a feeling about a thought just as you can have a feeling about a situation. In fact you can have a feeling about a feeling.

This is because words are hazy and create distinctions that don’t really exist.

Most people believe that they are miserable because of a certain situation. In a basic sense this is true but it doesn’t take into account the whole of the matter.

Why do you feel how you feel about the situation?

The problem with seeing the problem at such a basic level is that most people will attempt to change the situation in order to feel good again. This just leaves you weak and susceptible to other situations. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t leave a chaotic and insufferable situation. You need a peaceful situation to start on the path to seeing the peace in any situation.

If you start watching yourself. Watching your thoughts, your feelings and your situation you soon see that your feelings are often independent of external stimuli. Sometimes an event can happen one day with no reaction but the next day there could be a reaction.

After a while the thought may occur “Why am I bothered by what I’m bothered by?”

I think the answer to this question is that our feelings concerning things are the result of our social conditioning and genetics.

Another funny thing I noticed is the similarity between the emotions. Anxiety before Christmas is called excitement.

So our feelings being negative or positive isn’t the result of the feeling itself but rather the result of the feeling in combination with the context within which it arises.

Easy

I lived my life
Trying to control
But really

 
it wasn’t easy;
I struggled and strived
denied myself my…
Self. Tried to be…
someone else.

 
I didn’t know it
but the truth is
that laziness
is the way to
the truest self
expression.

 
The easiest path
is the easiest path
because
you want to walk it.

 
Everywhere
people strive
to be what they are not.

 
They live a lie of strife
a life of effort
for no reward.
No-one claps
there is no applause
and if there was
so what?

 
what can I do with applause?

 
This need we have
to convince people
to proove ourselves right
is nothing but a
struggle to hand over
our freedom to
come under
dominion.

 
See when you see
that seeing is a slow
slow journey to
clarity,

 
That
All people walk it
few of them know it
and eventually
everyone knows this.

 
If only for the moment
when your grandma dies
and leaves a wound and
you know, you
really know that
what matters doesn’t matter
that these standards
don’t matter!

 
That mattering can
smatter itself
scatologically
across the cistern.

 
That what “matters”
has placed a barrier
between me and you
between me and my family
because I fail
I try and I fail
To live up to the
Standard.

 
I feel guilt
that I’m not
what they admire
what they respect.

 
And this guilt
with downcast eyes
and stammering lips
weaves a disguise
before our very eyes
that hides from us both
the ones we want to know.

 
Not secretly
but openly
a family is fed upon
by a guilt
that restrains the lips
from uttering trivialities
and we watch
powerlessly
as our loved ones
disappear into
anonymity.

 
But death comes
and it shows us
through the tears
in the heart of the wound
that nothing matters
like we think it matters.

 
That my flaws are
just excuses for conversation
just things to say, admit
not to hide and justify.

 
That by being me
unabashedly
without restraint
is the way into the bosom of my family
because we’re all of one stock,
one blood, one lineage
let us compare notes
not give advice.

 
Let us come together
find what we have in common
uncover the stutters
and how we have dealt with them;
The social dis-ease
the low self-esteem
that doesn’t go
however we seem.

 
For me personally
it surrounds woman.
I hanker
for the female
anchor.

 
The feisty female
who
unbidden
solicits my advances;
but I stay back
because
In my eyes
I’m despised.

 
How could a woman
with hips and thighs
ever want to stare into these eyes?

 
I know,
I know,
I could wear a disguise
of adidas
and live a life
of work and strife
but that would
lead to a ball and chain
not a woman who’s mine
and who wants me.

 
Me!
Not some fiction
I create just to get
a whiff of fanny.

The irrational cause of suffering in love

Have you ever noticed how irrational people are in their everyday social interactions.

Most domestic arguments are merely two people disagreeing about something and refusing to accept each other’s disagreement. Thus they spend hours head-butting the wall that the other’s disagreement presents. They will persist in trying to make the other believe what they believe and do what they want them to do.

This type of behaviour is often characterized by circularity. That is they just repeat over and over their reasons for believing or not believing a thing. They say and do the exact same thing again and again.

Now this mode of thought – or behaviour – is incredibly different to the mode of thought that people use to fix things.

This mind-set is typified by a calm observation of the problem and a multiplicity of different actions. They experiment with different actions until the problem is solved or they realize the problem is insoluble.

Why don’t people use the same methods in social interactions as they use when they try to fix things?

Try various ways of changing someone if you wish; but don’t just say and do the same things over and over which seems to be the default setting for most people.

Einstein (I think; though I am unsure. But it doesn’t really matter who said it because it’s just a good quote) said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again but expecting different results.” According to this definition pretty much everyone is insane.

Naughty Communication

Arbitrary expressions of affection (or any emotion for that matter) come closer to displaying the true purpose of communication than say the form I am now engaged in. We don’t really communicate to convey information; we communicate for the sheer hell of it. But because we’re silly billys we have to create elaborate justifications for communication such as “to convey information” which is a bit like the teenagers caught fucking who said they were testing what they saw in biology class as justification for engaging in their activity.

 

Both with smirks on their faces too.

The disabled and our reaction to them – plus a tangential bit on bullying

There’s a woman who works at a shop I go to sometimes; She has a disfigured face.

 

A lump protrudes above her eye-ball and there is scarring down her cheeks.

 

She’s also small; almost a midget.

 

I don’t really look at her because I worry that by doing so I will offend her.

 

I do this despite knowing that by not looking at her I am labelling her as something not to be looked at.

 

That I am depriving her of the fundamental human necessity of being recognized as a fellow human being; the most basic form of which is eye contact and a look in the face.

 

It’s just to make eye-contact; or to even look at her face, feels like taking a dive off a cliff.

 

Not because she is ugly but because I am worried that it’s not socially appropriate to stare at deformed people.

 

Plus I don’t really know when a normal “looking at” becomes a “staring”.

 

She must be constantly reminded of her face in the eyes of others.

 

Downcast like mine or staring like someone braver.

 

It must be an inescapable fact of her life.

 

In the morning she must look in the mirror and think “I am ugly” on a verbal or non-verbal level.

 

Was she born like it?

 

The first gift from God, right after life begins: ugliness.

 

Growing up, going through school and puberty knowing that you are not attractive.

 

Looking at everyone else and marking yourself as inferior.

 

Children can be beastly.

 

I don’t mean  that in the Edwardian aristocratic sense: “Oh, you are beastly.”

 

I mean it in the sense that children can be cruel.

 

They will happily spend hours methodically dismembering one beetle after another; without feeling any sympathy or remorse.

 

Children would physically dismember each other if only they had the strength.

 

Instead they do it psychologically.

 

They mentally dismember the object of their cruelty; when that object is another human child.

 

Like piranhas swarming round a thrashing monkey they bite and they bite; until the monkey’s form is revealed in it’s skeletal decrepitude.

 

You will never gain mercy from a child.

 

I think it’s because they have this belief; somewhere deep down and hidden from the lens of language.

 

A belief that they are the centre of the universe.

 

Maybe even that they are the only person that really is.

 

The only Being in a Being-less world.

 

That everything and everyone is a mere fiction created for their pleasure or pain; depending on what context the child is in.

 

I know this from experience.

 

And sadly I don’t have the solace gained from the moral high-ground; I was bullied and I bullied.

 

I revelled in the cruelty endemic to youth.

 

I can’t hide behind the fact that I was just trying to fit in.

 

It’s that very drive that causes the bullying in the first place.

 

It’s like saying I’m not responsible for the bath over-flowing I just turned the tap.

 

 

 

(I’m going to have to re-hash my opinions on free-will; it’s not that I believe we have free-will. It’s just that I don’t think free-will or determinism are appropriate terms for human actions)

 

The Aberrant is the Monster of Society and Society is the Monster of the Aberrant; The grounds for true compassion!

 

Tis a sad thing that few realize
That all are retards or none are;

That we are all abnormalities
Born with unchosen deformities;

That to call one shameful and evil
Is to call all shameful and evil.

But

If instead

We realize the truth:
That good and bad are nothing
But ways of saying:

I don’t like this”
And “I like that”

That give the illusion

That justifies the vicious acts
the likes of which were used
As the excuse to commit the acts.


Justice is ever the cover for man’s bestiality.

Have you ever looked

Into the eyes

Of a man

As he describes

What he’d like to do to those “evil” men!

And seen the same “evil”….

stare…..

Right back out at you.

As if it’s a dog on a leash

Just raring to go.

The collar, my friend, is untied by Justice!

No-one was born,
Given a contract to sign
Then told to live accordingly!

We were born free!

We washed up on the shores of life

Through no will of our own.

We owe no-one nothing!

And guilt is ever the illusion

Of the man who believed

The man at the docks who said

Gotta give us something

To be here mate! It’s only fair!”

And if a man wishes to murder
Who are we to say he’s wrong
In any inaccessibly objective metaphysical sense;
Because all we’re really saying
When we say

Murder is wrong!”
Is
“I don’t want to die, please don’t kill me!”


We have to be honest

About the basis
Of our legal system!


It just so happens the majority
Share preferences
That the majority finds bearable.


So we

The majority

Gang up on the “Aberrant”
On the “Freak”

On the “Retard”

And the “Criminal”


And with no justification

Other than might

We deny them the
Ability for fulfilment.

And I whole-heartedly participate

Because

I don’t want to get hurt,

Because

I want to keep my stuff

Because

I want to live in a world
Where we can all dance

Our freaky dances fearlessly

But there are those whose dance

We cannot tolerate.

We cannot like

Because it stops our dance.

So we gang up
And beat up
Those who can’t step to our rhythm.

To make ourselves feel better

We create the myth of morality,
Of justice!

To cover up the brute fact
Of the brute bullies we really are!

Do you accept this truth?

I do!

But it leaves a foul taste in my mouth.

I must wash it out!
But what’s the answer?

My answer? kind sir:


If the resources are sufficient
Then comfortable accommodations
Are most pertinent.


If not then we are left with the question:

A quick painless death
Or a lifetime in horrid conditions.


Which would you prefer?


Given the choice
I’d give society’s victims the choice.

Seeing as it’s his fate to be decided.

The aberrant

Is a monster to society

And society

Is a monster to the aberrant!

Why do we call certain emotions bad and others good?

When we experience some inner sensation that we call emotion we often attempt to explain it. We forget that this explanation is something that comes after the fact and is just a theory, something that is not necessarily true, concerning the causes of our emotions. From looking at my own experience of emotions they are actually profoundly opaque. The mechanism that produces these emotions is not open to us.

Often the interpretation given to an emotion is the only thing that makes a good emotion differ from a bad emotion. That is to say most emotions feel the same but given the context within which a feeling arises we assign a positive or negative status to it.

For example, take the emotions anxiety and excitement. If you look at the feelings behind these emotions you will see that they are identical. So what makes us distinguish between them? Well if we experience the physical feelings in the context where we are waiting to receive something we want – say the night before christmas – we call it excitement and if we are anticipating losing something we care about we call it anxiety.

So it is really the value we assign to a context that determines the value we assign to a particular feeling and not the other way around.

So what determines the value we assign to a context? The answer to this question is the answer to how cults can create murderer’s out of non-murderers! Tune in next time Ya’ll.

Thoughts cont…

In a very real sense we are addicted to thoughts and especially addicted to thoughts that cause suffering. In fact – and this may be very hard to admit and even harder to realize on a level deeper than merely intellectual, at a lived level – we are addicted to suffering itself.

 

I notice a certain set of physiological phenomena within me when I indulge in miserable thoughts. There is a racing of the heart, a dropping sensation in the belly. In fact I believe the symptoms are similar to those that we experience in moments of panic or danger. It is the fight or flight response. When the body performs the fight or flight response a whole cascade of hormones and neuro-transmitters come into action. One of these is dopamine. Dopamine is the pleasure neuron-transmitter. (I am of course talking from the position of a highly uneducated laymen when it comes to biology in general and neuro-biology in particular. So this may not be highly accurate though I hope it is – in all relevant aspects – good enough). Is also the compound responsible for addiction.

 

Not only do painful thoughts cause these symptoms but intense situations. Have you ever wondered why arguments are so prevalent? Why people shout so much at one another despite the fact that raising your voice adds no information? (Well it may tell the other that you are unhappy but surely “I am unhappy” is a superior means of conveying the same information!) It’s because the fight or flight response is at the helm and you let it stay there because you’re loving the rush! You may not admit this to yourself… Indeed your conscious mind may be fully convinced that it doesn’t want to argue but if this were true why would you continue exhibiting such irrational and self-destructive behavior? Ask the drug-addict why he persists in taking a drug which he claims to want to stop and you’ll get the answer for why you think painful thoughts and have domestic arguments!

Dialogue between thought and thoughts

On the way home from work today I was being hassled by thoughts concerning my loneliness. Recently I’ve been putting myself out there on a dating website, have been on a few dates and nothing has happened. There was one girl who I was talking to for a bit and it seemed quite promising but it just vanished. So there I was walking home being hassled by thoughts like “I’m never going to find anyone!”. There’s no point giving them all a written voice because they are thoughts that are all to common.

 

Instead of being destroyed by these thoughts as I used to I watched them. I asked questions of them.

 

“What is your function?”
To impart information.

“Don’t lie! If your function was to impart information why do you repeat yourselves so much? Why go on saying the same thing over and over? Information does not change with repetition!”

To make you more successful.

“Don’t lie!” I said in a slightly more strident voice. “You’ve been saying these things to me my whole life… or at least as long as I can remember. If you’re intention was to assist me in attaining what you make me think I want then you would have changed what you said by now because you’re spiel’s been as efficacious as a rotten egg!”

To make you feel.

“Now I think we are getting closer to the truth… I have noticed that the thoughts that are the most persistent are those thoughts that generate the most emotional activity. If you analyzed thoughts and attempted to distinguish between them, to find a qualitative difference between one thought and another, you’d be at a total loss to find any. There seem to be two things interacting here : thoughts and emotions. You cannot understand the hold a thought will have on a person by looking at it in isolation.”

(To be continued… )