Eros and the Eschaton – Schizophrenia

Just for information:  Currently I am enjoying my summer. So I will not write many entries these days. However, again I want you to read a part of a speech again. I think that the whole speech is of major importance and, thus, worth sharing.

The quote is from the same Terence McKenna speech as the previous quote. I would recommend everyone to read his book Food Of The Gods.

“Well, let’s go back and talk about schizophrenia for just a second. The question is, you know, schizophrenia involves basically breaking with ordinary value systems, and how does it relate to the psychedelic state; and people who have schizophrenic relatives in their family tree, how should they relate to the psychedelic experience, and so forth, I mean I’m extrapolating, but that’s the basic thing.

Well, there are different things to be said about this. I mean, first of all, how many psychiatric residents – who are the people who come most in contact with schizophrenics, whatever that means – how many psychiatric residents have ever seen an undrugged schizophrenic? Very, very few. Because the very first thing that happens is, for the convenience of physicians and the nursing staff, some outlandish drug is brought into the picture, which then deflects this healing process from ever reaching any kind of natural conclusion. Schizophrenia is just a catch-all term for forms of mental behaviour that we don’t understand. In the 19th century, there was a term “melancholia”, which we would now call bipolar depression, so forth and so on. But all forms of sadness, unhappiness, maladaptation, so forth and so on, were poured into this label “melancholia”. 

Now, schizophrenia is a similar thing. I can remember an experience I had years ago, it was in the Tolman Library at the University of California, which is the psych library, and I was looking up some drug or something, and I just saw a book and I pulled it off the shelf, a book about schizophrenia. And it said, the typical schizophrenic lives in a world of twilight imagining, marginal to his society, incapable of holding a regular job, these people live on the fringes, content to drift in their own self-created value systems. That’s it! That’s it! Now I understand! We have no tradition of shamanism. We have no tradition of journeying into these mental worlds. We are terrified of madness. We fear it because the Western mind is a house of cards, and the people who built that house of cards know that, and they are terrified of madness. 

Tim Leary once said – or I gave him credit for saying; he later told me he never said it – but whoever said it, this was a brilliant statement; someone once said, “LSD is a psychedelic substance which occasionally causes psychotic behaviour in people who have not taken it.” – right? And I would bet you that more people have exhibited psychotic behaviour from not taking LSD, but just thinking about it, than ever exhibited it from taking it – certainly in my family. I watched my parents both go psychotic from the mere fact that LSD existed; they would never have taken it. There is a great phobia about the mind: the Western mind is very queasy when first principles are questioned. Rarer than corpses in this society are the untreated mad, because we can’t come to terms with that. 

A shaman is someone who swims in the same ocean as the schizophrenic, but the shaman has thousands and thousands of years of sanctioned technique and tradition to draw upon. In a traditional society, if you exhibited “schizophrenic” tendencies, you are immediately drawn out of the pack and put under the care and tutelage of master shamans. You are told, You are special. Your abilities are very central to the health of our society. You will cure. You will prophesy. You will guide our society in its most fundamental decisions. Contrast this with what a person exhibiting schizophrenic activity in our society is told. They’re told, You don’t fit in. You are becoming a problem, You don’t pull your own weight. You are not of equal worth to the rest of us. You are sick. You have to go to the hospital. You have to be locked up. You are on a par with prisoners and lost dogs in our society.So that treatment of schizophrenia makes it incurable. Imagine if you were slightly odd, and the solution were to take you and put you – lock you into a place where everyone was seriously mad. That would drive anyone mad! If you’ve ever been in a madhouse, you know that it’s an environment calculated to make you crazy and to keep you crazy. This would never happen in an aboriginal or traditional society.”

“Reclaim Your Mind”

I want to leave you with a longer quote today. The quote Terence McKenna (1946-2000). Reading this quote is less “reading.” These are just words, just ideas. Some will see them-self here, others will not. If you want to reclaim your mind, you will reclaim your mind. If this is not your path, you will not see anything special in these words. For me, this alone, would be a reason to worry. The quote is from u want to reclaim your mind, you will reclaim your mind. If this is not your path, you will not see anything special in these words. This might simply not be your way of life. For me, this alone would be a reason to worry.

Reclaim Your Mind

(Kane Hall, University of Washington, Seattle. 1994)

“We have to stop consuming our culture. We have to create culture. Don’t watch TV, don’t read magazines, don’t even listen to NPR. Create your own roadshow. The nexus of space and time, where you are now, is the most immediate sector of your universe. And if you’re worrying about Michael Jackson or Bill Clinton or somebody else, you are disempowered. You are giving it all away to icons. Icons which are maintained by an electronic media, so that you want to dress like X or have lips like Y. This is shit-brained, this kind of thinking. That is all cultural diversion. And what is real is you and your friends, your associations, your highs, your orgasms, your hopes, your plans, and your fears. And we are told no. We’re unimportant, we’re peripheral, get a degree, get a job, get a this, get a that, and then you’re a player. You don’t even want to play in that game. You want to reclaim your mind and get it out of the hands of the cultural engineers who want to turn you into a half-baked moron consuming all this trash that’s being manufactured out of the bones of a dying world. Where is that at?”

Vale

The Dark Side Of Happiness

α 

is all we do wait?
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Eleonora Etcetera-2

Are you happy? Ask yourself and be absolutely honest. You do not have to tell anyone. I simply invite you to be honest about this. For yourself. Do you love yourself?

Many people seek happiness. There are endless keys to find temporary happiness. Happiness can become an addiction. One craves happiness so much that one does everything to achieve it. “Do I deserve happiness?” asks one oneself. Deserve. Such a vague word. Who decides if one deserves anything. In a world full of constructs, once our mind is independent, one should not make things dependent on the question of “deserving.” I am. I decide. So how do many humans try to achieve happiness?  Company, celebration, relaxation, meditation, religion, etcetera. The list is long. Every key has a lock. Every key opens a door. Except for those who do not. Should we really assume that every key has a lock? Every lock a key? Are not the big mysteries of the cosmos reason enough to assume that some locks have no key. Some keys are just keys without a lock. What is humanity? Are we a key? Why are we using other people, other ideas, other ideologies as keys? No wonder they open the door to happiness only if regularly used. How can I open that door for a longer time, maybe “forever”? How about I use the only key that I myself absolutely own: Myself. Do I need to get things done? Most likely. Do I need to achieve goals, get things done, to be happy? No. Some keys do not need a lock to open a gate. Happiness is nothing tangible. Happiness just exists, if we invite it. Maybe we are the lock, and happiness is the key that we simply need to invite. I see a problem with the idea that we can only be happy if things go well. This is, in my opinion, a product of the concept of deserving. “If I drink, and meet people, I can be happy.” “If I find a job, I will be happy.” “If I do this right, I deserve to be happy.” Happiness: A reward. Should happiness not simply be a conviction? Should happiness simply be an ideology that one chooses to follow? Be happy, and things will get done. Allow Happiness, and you can achieve your goal.

What holds us back? Maybe the whole problem with finding happiness is that we have to face our self and have to actively make the decision to be happy?

But how and why should I be happy if everything goes wrong? Have you tried just being happy? And I do not mean go somewhere and drink until you forget your sadness. Have you actively decided: I am myself, and I love myself. I am happy to be alive. If everything else fails, I still have myself. Happiness is not stating “I am happy now,” even though this might help. Happiness is not the acting of happiness. It is a small switch, a small decision., a small trigger. Happiness is the realization that when I am absolutely honest with myself I can see that I am myself. I am. Everything else is doubtable. You can doubt yourself, but can you doubt that you doubt yourself? This is proof enough that I exist. This is proof that you exist. Whatever existence might be. Happiness opens when one loves oneself.

Self-love allows an ever expanding moment of control over the present. However, loving yourself at every moment does not mean that you cannot accept mistakes. You can even think of certain behaviors as “stupid” or “bad.” One can also be angry with himself, because absolute honesty includes Absolute Honesty to oneself. Will it change much? It will change the mind. You also do not need to “always” love everything and everyone. Sometimes you might even hate someone, for it is a natural emotion to have. But never loose the sense for love for yourself, life, and the living. Living a happy life does not mean to fake happiness, when you are actually sad. It is the simple, but yet so complex, little switch that decides: “I love myself and I am hurt.” I think of this as a better approach than “I hate myself and I want to die.” As long as you love yourself you will not want to die.

You ask your self, why you should not hate your self? Who am I to decide that you should not hate your self? You asked this since you asked: “Why should I love myself just because I exist?” What is the benefit of self hatred? Have you done something so bad that not even yourself can forgive you? When we go, we go alone. We are alone at all times, even when in company. Deep down you are only you. Why hate? It is a decision only you can take. Is self-hatred the easier way, since it allows us to hate what we are? Does not this make death more acceptable? We can accept death because we think that we deserve death. How can we know if we deserve something that we have no knowledge of. Does this ease our ever expanding fear of the unknown mystery: Death. The Dark Side Of Happiness.

Does Happiness increase the fear of death? Why fear death more than before? Facing the existence of death does not mean that we have to constantly fear it. Do not forget rationalism, for without rationalism madness will grow. When we are children it seems that we have unlimited access to our creativity. We can learn how to access this again. Imagination is a powerful force. We learn rationality, for it is an important too to learn and use. With rationalism we forget a part of our childhood. Some need to forget childhood. However, I am not talking about childhood as a thing in space and time. I talk about the mind. The mind of childhood accessed by a child that became an adult.But are not children the happiest? Are not the mad blessed? What is madness? I am just a fool.

Are we cowards for not being happy, or are we cowards for fearing death? Maybe we are no cowards at all. 

See the beauty of melancholy. Imagination. Creation. See the Dark Side Of Happiness.

Will you join me in happiness?

Vale

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Tempus Vincit Omnia

Ω

Absolute Honesty

I was shocked when a friend told me something like this: “But I can’t tell the truth to everybody. You can’t just be honest with everyone.” I was even more shocked, when I realized that this friend was not alone with this conviction.

In my childhood I started getting really good at lying. Until this very day I am convinced that I am a genius when it comes to lying. However, I stopped telling lies. I do not mean that I stopped telling most lies, or some lies, or something like this.  I stopped telling lies completely and started being absolutely honest. That does not sound special? With absolutely honest I mean absolutely honest. When I catch myself lying, which is rare these days, I immediately say so and tell the truth. Why do I do this? Does this not make me an easy target? Does this not make me weak? I do not believe so. Honesty became one of my biggest strengths.

In my childhood I did not like myself. To be more precise: I thought I was simply amazing. Unfortunately I did not have it too easy. I was a very nervous, hyperactive, and hyper-sensitive child. I asked millions of questions and demanded incredibly much attention and love. When anything, and I mean anything, upset me, I snapped and got physical. This aggression is still inside of me, but I use it for creative thinking today. One day I learned that my aggression made me bad. I felt that I was an evil person. This traumatic experience made me hate myself. I hated myself so much that I thought of myself as an alien. I could not possibly be human.

Like many others, I had interesting but hard teenage years. When I left the troublesome years of adolescence I had learned how to accept myself again. I learned that self acceptance was a key to a door that I still had to find. Still, I used lies on a daily or weekly basis. I am not talking about big lies, I am talking about lies in general. When we start being absolutely honest, we will discover so many lies that we tell. Small lies, bigger lies, funny lies, lies that make a good story, etcetera. I played all these small games that people play in these years. Have you ever wondered why you can’t just go to a party and tell a person that he/she looks incredibly beautiful? I have done this, and most times I wondered why people thought I was flirting or “hitting on them.” I was just being honest. Of course, maybe it is creepy if one just does things like this, but isn’t it sad that we live in a world were this is considered weird and creepy?

I realized why that is: People tell lies, people act, people try to be someone else. Many people do this not all. Dating games, small mind games with strangers, presenting yourself as someone you are not. All these things are, somehow, accepted. I think to a certain extent that is okay. However, for me this was not the solution.

I moved away from my home country. In a new environment of many internationals I finally found the door. The key of self acceptance opened the door to the ability to love yourself. I moved to Groningen and learned how to love myself. In Groningen I started thinking about all the truths that I tell myself. I started to question things. My close friends quickly realized how often I contradicted myself. Immediately after discovering small lies or things that I do not know (but claimed to know) I would tell what I actually know. Often this meant that I just confessed that I do not know anything. In Groningen I started being absolutely honest to myself and others. Of course, I have the freedom to decide not to share information with people. I am not an open book. I advised many friends to try this method, but most of them said “they need lies.” I understand that certain people need to act and play roles, but I could not understand how these people still rejected the idea of being honest to them self. When I started being absolutely honest to myself, I saw how many things in my head were small lies or not true. I also found out that most of the people I know seem to be scared to be honest to them self. What would they discover? What could it be that is more scarier than the absolute you? Maybe nothing is scarier than the absolute you. Can we ever actually find out who we are? I believe that we should never stop asking ourself who we are. When one thinks he/ she has found himself/herself, this person should ask again. Finding out who we are in an ever expanding question with an ever expanding answer. Just like space and the Omniverse. What do we actually know? The only thing that I know is: I think I exist. Everything else is based on logical and rational (and sometimes irrational) thinking. Isn’t the best way to find solutions and answers to be honest with yourself? If we actually know nothing, at least we can be honest with ourself.

I tried this for months now, and I am not planning to stop. It works. I see myself as the character that I play. All of my acts and decisions have consequences. Everything has a consequence for the one big game that we all play, but often forget: Staying alive. We should be grateful that many of us live in societies where we do not have to think about survival. Sometimes it might help about it. When you do not know an answer to a question think about the bigger picture. Think about yourself. What would be the best thing to do right now? What would be the best thing for the bigger picture; staying alive. What gives me the best bonus for the game of life? Since the day I started being absolutely honest to myself I have almost no troubles anymore with making decisions. I simply ask myself “what is the right thing to do for me now?” If I cannot find the answer I seek information. People have information. There are, of course, other sources for information, and I do not always find what I want. At least I am honest to myself. When I am alone with myself, in a room without music or company, I can exist in peace with myself. My thoughts do not tell me lies anymore. I am honest.  I would like to invite everybody to try this for a while. See how it works out. If you think you are honest to yourself, ask again. If you come to the conclusion that you really are 100 % honest with yourself and others, you should be proud.

Honesty is one key, but there are unlimited others. Lying is a key, acting is a key, playing games is a key. I came to the conclusion that absolute honesty at least does not make you use those keys against yourself. Who does not like peace? …

Now ask yourself: If you are the person that lives. If you are your body, your mind, your character. If you are the human that you are. If you are the only choice you have. If you are stuck in your body until you reach the big mystery, why hate yourself? You are you. The only logical solution I could come up with was: You have to love yourself. Maybe absolute honesty is so scary because some people are scared to start loving them self.

Vale