a cry towards the absurd

The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.Camus
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Re: thanks, robot

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Posted by trablano on Wednesday, December 18, 2002 at 03:37:42 :

In Reply to: Re: thanks, robot posted by Spratley on Tuesday, December 17, 2002 at 18:01:15 :

: : ****

: : For others this may count but for me it was the opposite. I had had withdrawn from social activities for a very long time, and then, as I got out again, I got overwhelmed. Information overload.

: ---Well, let's ask, why did you withdraw? I won't claim to know you, but my intuition tells me that if you found everything you needed, everything that would satisfy and enrich you, in the world around you, you wouldn't have withdrawn from it. The withdrawal would be from the pain of having to exist in the world youfind yourself in --the world you cannot cope with. The resulting episode upon reinsertion intothe world is from the stress of hving to immediately adjust to a situation that you originally found painful, no? Its like living in a fire. It burns to be in it, so you step out. After your calluses heal nd your skin gets soft again, you step back in and the sharpcontrast is exceedingly painful.-----------

***** I had lived my childhood in a small village on the countryside and it meant to be a big change for me when I came to the city six years ago. Nearly all my former friendships over time ceased to exist due to the distance and I had been unable to build up a new framework of friends. I got aquaintances, but found no friendships in them. The closest to a friendship in the city I found with an iraqui living here, he invited me to his place and cooked for me and the like. Guess the mentality of the people here is not that good, it's not easy to connect here.

Anyway, as I couldn't get that social here I withdraw to my place and spent my time mostly with books and the computer. I was studying at the university that time ... and rarely went there. I lost track somehow. I thought it wouldn't matter, I just thought that I'm lost anyway.

As for your observation, well, you're right, I was unable to cope with life back then. But also I don't see how I could have changed things. Maybe by getting an interest in sports or something like this, but I simply never had one.

: : ****

: : It's typical for shizophrenics to feel as if they don't belong in this world. In earlier times doctors called this "loosing the natural sense for implicitness". I as others with the same illness suddenly felt as if anything were strange, as if they were participants in a surreal game which they are not allowed to grasp. With me, it was pretty kafkaesk.

: -------May I make a completely inadequate comparison? I use marijuana. I abuse it, really. I am always impressed by the difference marijuana makes in social situations. If I smoke a joint and go to a party I feel all kinds of social anxiety. I feel like I stick out like a sore thumb, I feel unable to make conversations with all but my most intimate friends. I can go to another party sobe and the same situations do not have that pall of paranoia and fear over them. So I think I understand what you mean. . . in a very lose and inexact way. Then again, I have experience with LSD and other psychosis-producing drugs as well.-----
**** I've used Marijuana as well, but only in little amounts. When I was in the hospital I was surprised to see how many of my age use marijuana, and it were not only the freaky types, also seemingly normal people. (I can't use marijuana anymore, it interferes with my medication. My brain seems to be very sensitive .. last time I smoked a joint I had hallucinations for over two hours.)

Anyway, the actual psychosis produces a disturbance in the brain which causes the filters to not work properly. Those filters, in healthy people, are responsible for them accurately linking hearing and seeing to feeling and thinking. With me, this is kinda fucked up, sometimes when I'm with many people I can't bear the noise they make, I also feel anxiety. I mishear what they talk about and think it's about me etc.

: : ****

: : I've had my main illness-related conflict with imagination. One day I had simply decided, I don't know why, that I was a man who had lost his love, that she had commited suicide. Not long afterwards I suddenly began to have hallucinations about that person, and others which I saw as her friends and relatives. I also had hallucinations about god and the devil. I developed a system of madness in which I saw myself as having come into a devilish play between supernatural forces and people who in turn played with those. I can tell you, I sank into this explosive mixture quite deeply and it took me long time to get out of it. I even had tried to commit suicide during those times, it was all very depressive. Anyway, once I got to the doctor and got prescriped with medicaments it all pretty soon went away. I know often wonder why I sank into that illness, know no good explanation, before all this happened I had been a very well grounded person. My doctor tells that I should rely on it all being of organic origin.

: ---------Hm. I also beleive in organic causes. But like ELDRAS, I suspect that the true cause is organic predisposition coupled with an intolerable, stressful situation. I can imagine a world where someone predisposed to schizophrenia actually copes well without medication. In non-civilized cultures such a person might be a shaman, an oracle, a witchdoctor. Such a person might have novel thoughts which shape that culture. That person might be a productive --albeit bizare-- member of the community. The key is to find yourself in a system that is tolerable, viable.

**** Well, that may be right, it makes a difference if you're looked at as the village mystery man or the village clown. This society we have has no official view about mysteries, we explain it all away. Thing is that I have recognised that what the officials claim to do about those mysteries, their scientific methods and the like, are not bad, they're just not always based on the proper facts and the proper respect towards them. Anyway, I always remember that the hallucinations I've had went away as begun taking meds. I feel better without them, not only because they sometimes were scary, like a nightmare, but because I now feel closer to reality, not the reality this society imposes, as you pointed out, but the implicit reality I knew and understood from my childhood on, when I was still healthy.

: Its interesting that psychiatrists report that schizophrenia presents itself in people at about the ages of 18-25. ITs interesting because that is the same age range at which people commonly come to understand their situation in the world. Even people who do not develop schizophrenic symptoms may feel great angst or anxiety about the world at this age, as if their soul achieves a certain vision and ability to feel. If lots of poeple are having discontented thoughts at these ages, then I don;t think we can attribute an entirely organic cause to schizophrenia whi presents itself at this age.-----

**** The age only counts for men, interestingly women most often produces psychosis after the age of 45. Seems as if the hormones help them a bit earlier. It's important what you've said about the age though, because this means that many shizophrenics get caught with their desease when they're trying to orient themselves in the world and to stand alone in it, without further support from parents. It means that shizophrenics of my age, especially those that are not very intelligent, get to get a complicated life then, often find no couple, almost always end up as bachelors.

: : That could be correct, but remember, this is the majority. Just an example ... I had great shizophrenic delusions about god when I had the illness, delusions, which I couldn't understand when I got healthy again. As soon as I really understood what I had been thinking I began to feel shame, shame about how I had sunk into such a deep lightless theism as I have had. I returned to atheism once the hallucinations went away and got very vigilant about theism at all. I projected my own shame over any theism I found. And forgot that theistic people don't usually suffer from the illness I had suffered. Another conflict at hand ...

: -----What you've said, I think it all makes sense according to what I've said. What if your delusions about God were the expression inside yourself of a need for the Sacred, for the supernatural. You return to reality, which is decidedly devoid of spirituality, and because you want to believe that this is reality, you develop shame for the "delusions" you had before. I do not mean to make your "delusions" sound like normalcy. If they didn't feel happy and free then they were not all normal. But I think it will help your spirit to see how the civilized culture you exist in and return to from "delusions" is not exactly the best version of reality possible. ITs not that concerned with your happiness, and devoting yourself to it because it is reality" might not be the most helpful thing.--------

**** Because of the experience of this all I have come to be selective with reality. I think reality is "all there is", not the specific view towards parts of this reality the majority has. What I've observed is that people don't share knowledge about reality but interpretations of it. It's simple reality that the business world is necessary but it's just an interpretation that we only need a free market for our welfare. (Here is where democracy comes into play, I think. If our people were educated enough they could understand that for instance money is only a translation of a value, and that many values are and ought to be open for choice.)

: : Well, I don't watch television, can't, I still find myself influenced by it when I do. But I don't miss it anyway. Inventing a religion is also no option ... I am an atheist who wants to perceive reality mainly in an objective way, not in a religious way.

: ------There is spirituality in the universe. I try to look at the universe in an objective way too, but I see Beauty and Sacredness behind the ordinary nonetheless. I can understand --you having suffered theistic delusions-- that you may want to keep yourself far away from any kind of religious vision. But it is my firm beleif that as long as you keep the spiritual bottled up in the interest of what I would cal the materialistic, scientific version of the world, you will not be entirely well. The supernatual exists. It may not exist in the way that scientists insist that it doesn't, but it is there --the fact that so many people see it and appreciate it is proof enough of that.----------

**** Why making the spiritual be theistic? I don't see why spirituality should be religious. I must admit that I have general problems with this. Just take buddhism ... it's a valid teaching about life and suffering, but still it's kept in its religious cage? What for? The rest of my spirituality I find in art and music, I adore its good works and find in it a liveliness which so-called real life often misses.

: : That last advice of yours is good, found it out myself. My own salvation I've found in studying art and history, in it I find descriptions of reality and wisdoms that do fit. Music also helps.

: ----In that case, my final advice, ignore science and politics and business as much as humanly possible. Stick to art and music.---

**** Though art and music are my main interest I also remain interested in science and politics, bound together by my interest in history. I have a classical standpoint for this ... I think a human's highest goal is to become truly united in body, mind and soul, and this is achieved by remaining interested in anything helpful, may it come from science or even religion.

Besides this, I still do have the ideal that anything humans do humanly can become part of the good, that mankind is not wretched but in itself a blessed race, if I may use that religios word. For such people an ideal world doesn't consist of artists and musicians alone, it also consists of workers, scientists, businessmen, whores and priests. Any of these people have this or that small ideal which they dream of coming true, and without giving proper respect to each we will get nowhere. Respect, mind you, this is not an allowance for excess.

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