Wednesday Woo

Wednesday Woo #10: Cults and Gurus

For the last Wednesday Woo, click here.

Where does one go when an existential crisis hits, or they feel misunderstood, ostracized, and in need of spiritual guidance? For some, mainstream religion just doesn’t resonate, nor does it fulfill their needs, so they seek something more mystical, and less connected to societal norms. After all, why would someone who felt betrayed by society dedicate their spiritual journey toward a majority religion that represents the masses that rejected them? Perhaps they wish to find something that has a more scientific ring to it, or is connected to otherworldly ideas – like extraterrestrials or inter dimensional beings who can whisk them away from the planet that did not accept them for who they think they are. This creates an opening for charismatic New Age leaders, who offer promises of enlightenment, peace, knowledge, power and fulfillment. While these leaders can seem relatively harmless, some of them do cause significant damage to individuals who fall prey to their manipulation. All one needs to do in order to gain an understanding of just how much dangerous potential a New Age guru can cause is looking to recent and current history.

Osho
Bhagwan Three Rajneesh, known as the “sex guru” in his home country of India, began Poona ashram in 1974, where he criticized the doctrine of organized religion, societal norms, and used his following to enrich himself, as well as have his way with as many women as possible. The ritualistic practices included strange “therapy” sessions where enraged people would seem to throw fits and assault one another while nude. Many of them had to be hospitalized due to injuries of these sessions. Rajneesh had scrupulous morals indeed, and because of his corruption and smuggling practices, eventually had to flee his own country, abandoning a multitude of adoring followers, most of which gave up everything to be with their guru.

In 1981, his trusted aide, Ma Anand Sheela, obtained a 64,000-acre ranch for his cult just outside of Antelope, Oregon. The struggles between the ranch and local/state government ensued. Sheela became quite impatient with this to say the least, and at the behest of her criminally minded guru, did whatever she could to try to stifle those deemed “enemy” by the ranch. She tried poisoning officials, setting fire to their offices to destroy documentation of their ranch’s over-capacity, flooded the towns with vagrants, threatened lives of dissents within the ranch, and eventually had followers poison 751 citizens of Oregon.

Of course, when the shit hit the fan, Rajneesh tried once again to flee. He didn’t quite make it, and was caught in South Carolina, but the horror his cult caused still brings a sense of shock. Eventually he was deported to his home country of India after a plea deal, changing his name to OSHO, and regained a following, perhaps not as significant as before, but still to this day I see people share memes with his face and quotes, as well as videos of him speaking. To be completely honest, it makes me sick to see, and each time I do, I remind people of what a psychopath OSHO was. I have only touched upon some of the story, but if you wish to know more, check out this page. 

 

Cruise.png
L. Ron Hubbard was an author of science fiction, who apparently thought himself to be in the wrong business when he said, “You don’t get rich writing science fiction. If you want to get rich, you start a religion.” Since he was so adept at coming up with nonsense that didn’t reflect reality, he decided to embark upon a woo-woo solution to mental health with his notion of Dianetics and gave lectures on the how subject. In 1952, he established the “Church of Scientology” based on his writings, and saw to its growth, which led to much controversy around the world. Australia revoked Scientology’s religious status, which of course was later reinstated, but there were also fraud charges in France, and allegations of co-conspiring international theft at the time of his death. Hubbard made many claims about himself that were false, including one that he was a nuclear physicist. If you could think of it, Hubbard claimed to have experienced it, and have extensive knowledge about it. According to his followers, Hubbard could do no wrong, and was the source for all spiritual and psychological growth.

Of course, the belief system is a quite wacky, with their ideas regarding “Thetans” – which are rather like souls, and “Xenu” – a galactic dictator. I don’t wish to really delve much into these aspects, instead, focus on their atrocious practices. What really bothers me about this cult, is how they isolate, abuse, and take total control over their members. They force them to sign contracts with terms of a billion years, make them essentially slave-laborers, and do not allow outsiders to know the goings on of the organization. It costs thousands, and sometimes millions of dollars to move up in the ranks of Hubbard’s teachings, as well as countless hours undergoing “audits” where members hold “cans” in their hands. The cans are attached to an e-meter monitored by inquisitors who ask highly personal questions. The goal is to move up the “bridge to total freedom” through clearing out imprinted memories hidden deep within the psyche, in order to attain a state of pure spirit so they can save the world. That’s not hyperbole – Scientologists actually think their religion saves the world.

David Miscavige, who seized authority over the cult after Hubbard passed, has been said to be highly abusive towards members. Those who do not hold up to his standards are often subjected to his violent fits of rage. If someone speaks ill of Scientology, be sure that Miscavige and his goons will do anything they can to smear them in the press.

Members are not allowed to research scientology, are often held prisoner at what they refer to as “the hole” if they cause a stir. If someone questions the cult and speaks out, they are deemed a “suppressive person” and their families are urged to shun them, tell lies about them, and claim they have committed crimes against Scientology. Those who suffer from mental or physical illnesses are denied access to much-needed medication, and instead, subjected to more audits, which of course, costs them more money. There is absolutely no end to the horrors and abuse this cult inflicts upon people.

If you have yet to check out “Leah Remini: Scientology & the Aftermath” on A&E, I highly recommend it. The show really highlights the personal damage caused by this cult. I have found myself in tears watching this compelling series.
Huuu

Paul Twitchell was another fiction writer from Kentucky who founded the cult of Eckankar in 1965. Much like the rest of the belief systems previously mentioned, this cult isolates its members by rejecting society, makes ridiculous assertions, and has a leader who claims to know the ultimate truth about stuff that happened long ago (without evidence, of course). Followers of this cult consider it the “path of spiritual freedom” – sounds familiar, right? Well, turns out, Twitchell was a member of the Church of Scientology, and was later placed on their “suppressive persons” list. Like Hubbard, he gave lectures on what he deemed as “soul travel”and was urged by his wife to turn his spiritual teachings into a religion. Granted, he dedicated his life to exploring the occult, having joined Premananda Giri’s Self-Realization Church of Absolute Monismuntil, only to be kicked out in 1955, and was also involved in Ruhani Satsang, until he had a falling with its leader, Kirpal Singh.

It seemed that Paul just couldn’t find his tribe, nor a master to give him pearls of wisdom he could pass on. So he decided to pull some from his ass. “Rebazar Tarzs” is what he called his ancient, imaginary ECK master, and supposedly this was the torch-bearer of the cult for over 500 years. There are so many of these fictional figures, and I will not bother to list them all, but according to the religion, they have the ability to help people reach god. How do you reach god? By singing the ancient name of god, which is “HUU” for 30 minutes a day. That simple? Well no. There’s lots of other sounds to study, and all kinds of karma, reincarnation, astral travel woo-woo to go with it. This religion is very much like the Hare Krishnas, except while they do allow Christians to join their cult, but they maintain Eckankar is the ultimate path to god.

The main issue I have with this cult is how is brainwashes people into losing their grip on reality, while defending its leaders multiple lies, plagiarism, and inconsistencies. They are told that society is corrupted, and the only way to think is their way. No questions or criticisms of their ridiculousness is allowed, and you are forced to wash away your personal identity. If one tries to break away from the cult, it takes a long time to adjust to life in society again. Read about their personal accounts here:

http://truthabouteckankar.blogspot.com

I want to assert that the following persons are not all necessarily confirmed to be cult leaders, but I do have my suspicions on how their following acts when it comes to being questioned, as well as how their beloved gurus treat them. Alarm bells also go off when I hear people completely deny reality to not only their own peril, but their families, and society’s as well. While religious apologists tend to insert god claims into the gaps of scientific understanding, New Age believers choose to conflate science in order to justify their claims. This way they can create a following by means of pseudoscience, and sometimes, outright ostracizing science itself, all while maintaining their beliefs are scientific. Many of these gurus will create false dichotomies, false memories, and program their followers to disregard any evidence presented to them that sheds a negative light on or contradicts their outrageous claims.

Teal Scott/Swan has a huge following online, and even has a house full of giddy sycophants to do her laundry, take care of her son (according to one who has lived with her), and come to her defense whenever she makes a horrible claim like: “We should rethink Hitler….” It’s usually echoes of “well, at first it bothered me, but then I listened to her more and more, and decided it was ok.”

The more I listen to her, the more I think she has lost her grip on reality:

Ok… so you’re an alien, Teal? And only YOU can save the planet from these made up creatures that wanna take it over, huh? Sounds as though you made up a problem just to deem yourself the only solution. This isn’t a new tactic. She also has a tendency to gaslight victims of trauma through her shadow work and cutesy sayings like, “What you resist persists.” Again, this is not a new idea. It seems as though Teal did some reading and decided to act as though she is Carl Jung or something. So if I am in danger, or things in my life go wrong, it’s my own fault because I’m projecting, and resisting. I should just stop and allow whoever is abusing me to continue. Sorry, I don’t buy that way of absolute thinking – surely many things are my own responsibility, but to conflate it into all things are my fault is just ridiculous victim-blaming. She forces her housemates to participate in “shadow work” which is much like an inquisition where she has them reveal their deepest fears for millions to see on youtube. There are mountains of other issues with Teal’s claims, and it’s worthwhile to look into them.

*Disclaimer: These are personal opinions; not facts.* Now, this is merely speculation, but I personally consider her a psychopath who takes advantage of people for her own amusement. When I see how people react to her, I am reminded of Ted Bundy and the adoring fans that took audience in the courtroom as he defended himself. “Oh my gawd! He’s so handsome! Surely he doesn’t torture and murder people, and even if he does… HANDSOME!”
Brain.png
Byron Katie is another one that I keep hearing about, and when I question the methods, of course, her fans get defensive. Just like with the above examples, Katie has a tendency to claim she has THE answer to everyone’s emotional problems. As with all philosophies and techniques that lack nuance, there are some problems with this, mainly when it comes to those who suffer from PTSD. Turns out, practicing psychotherapy without having a psychological degree can lead to damaging effects.

“The work” is an irrational perversion of CBT inquiry, intended as a fix-all cure with sides of suppressing critical thought, and quite possibly the reality of the situation. More victim-blaming.  Those who have participated in her technique have also been subject to public humiliation; having their personal secrets being questioned on stage, and forced to be homeless for a day. While Katie may seem harmless, and there may be some individuals who benefit from her teachings, there is reason for pause when it comes to some of these claims. As much as people pay for these self-help courses, they may as well spend their hard-earned money on a professional who won’t cause them embarrassment, and is subject to confidentiality laws.

Now these are just a few historical and current examples of gurus who mislead people in order to gain a fame, following, money, (sometimes sex and power), but there are many more out there who prey upon those looking for answers, or a sense of community. It’s best to keep your wits about you, and keep your skeptical eye open for attributes of cult-like behavior.

Warning signs of a cult:

1. Suggests they have “the answer” to all of life’s problems that only they can provide.
2. “Love-bombing” or an attempt to influence new comers with lots of affection.
3. Charismatic leader who everyone adores and must never criticize. 
4. Use of euphoric (dancing or chanting) or humiliation (exposing one’s darkest secrets publicly, forced poverty, or forced nudity) driven programming methods to break individuality.
5. Driving wedges between families through isolation and lack of communication. 
6. When questioned by outsiders, those in the cult provide the same cookie-cutter answer.
7. Demonize societal standards, and hold contempt for the law. 
8. Pressures initiates to hand over large sums of money (if not all of their money), and properties. 
9. Wild, ridiculous claims are made, which are typically outright lies. 
10. Dangerous cults do not disclose doctrine and ritual to initiates (no informed consent), and does not allow for leaving without harassment or fear tactics.

If you suspect you or a family member is in a cult, get help, and get out now! The longer an individual is in the cult mindset, the more difficult it is to gain back individual control.

More resources:
https://freedomofmind.com/ex-member-recovery/
http://ownyourbrain.org
http://www.culthelp.info/index.php
http://www.ex-cult.org

The Diary Of My Mind

Memento Mori

Stress is a strange thing for me, I guess it’s strange for all of us but for me it is very hard to pinpoint exactly what it is that is stressing me out. Obviously my grandmothers illness was wearing my mind out completely because today I had a really good day at work. Not only was I focused but I was back to the extreme focus and motivation to get a lot done that had been missing for several weeks now.

Add to this I’ve changed my shift to showing up an hour earlier, that means I get to work before things get busy and am able to get a lot of work done before things get too hectic. This led to a much less stressful day by itself. I’m incredibly averse to change but this was something that I needed to do for my mental well-being. It was a good choice and while I will have some issues with the change over the next few weeks I’m sure in the end it will have been the correct choice.

So back to my main stressor, my grandmother. I had a dream last night. I saw my grandmother lying there on the bed dying, we sat there for hours waiting to hear anything. All of a sudden she shot upright in bed, looked at me and said,

“I’m dead, Matthew, you can move on now.”

Some would believe this was a paranormal experience, that my grandmother visited me in my dream. However, being that I put no stock in those beliefs I believe the more logical explanation…My brain was telling me that my stress can now subside, I no longer need to worry about my grandmother because there is nothing that worrying can do. She’s dead…tomorrow she will still be dead, the next day she will still be dead, and a year from now she will still be dead, my life however can move on.

I awoke in a good mood, I went to work in a good mood, I completed my tasks in a good mood and as I write this I am still in a good mood. Life is moving on and with it my mind and body can get back to its normal. I loved my grandmother but nothing will bring her back, my life however is something that I can regain control over.

“Memento Mori”, remember that you have to die.  Death will one day come to me as well, but not for now, for now I will write. As Epictetus, the Stoic Philosopher said,

“I have to die. If it is now, well then I die now; if later, then now I will take my lunch, since the hour for lunch has arrived – and dying I will tend to later.”

The Diary Of My Mind

Back From Hiatus

So I haven’t been on here for a bit and just thought I would jump on and write something to let you all know that I’m still here.

So my grandmother passed away a couple of days ago and I think I’m okay. It hit me pretty hard the night she died but since then I’ve entered a beautiful state of denial which I’m not sure how to get out of. Death is so strange to me, it seems like my grandmother is still here and alive, I don’t mean in a physical or metaphysical sense but simply that I haven’t fully accepted her death yet. Life will go on and I know I will one day come to accept that her life has ended but when that will occur is anyone’s guess.

Secondly, my car broke down about a week and a half ago and I finally got it up and running again. I had a brake line that busted and required new lines to be installed. I bought the car less than a year ago and boy has it been a headache. Nothing too serious and mostly stuff that occurs on all cars at some point but the regularity of the breakdowns has been quite the stress inducer on my mind over the last year.

Third, my credit card got compromised the same day that my grandmother passed. It’s a low balance card and so when someone attempted to charge nearly $500 dollars to it, the card company instantly shut the card down. The good news is that I’m not out any money. The bad news is that I am out a credit card for the next week.

Lastly, I still am waiting to get my CPAP machine. The doctor forgot to fill out and submit some paperwork to the medical supply company. While this simply means a few extra days until I get the machine, it does mean that I am not getting any rest at the moment, which is something I am in horrible need of at the moment.

Anyhow, these are the things that have created my writers block over the last few weeks. I do feel like I am getting things under control, at least to a certain degree, and will be able to write more frequently over the coming days and weeks. Life is once again pulling itself back to equilibrium and I at least can put some thoughts together for this blog tonight.

So, now, what is the real topic of this blog?

The real reason I am writing tonight is to describe the existential crisis that I am having at the moment. Life is literally meaningless. We exist, we live, we die, and we probably do some fucking and shitting in between there. I’ve realized that in the grand scheme of things we are all Candide, believing the world has some deeper meaning for us, following systems of belief that ultimately fail, and finding that life is a cruel and indecent mistress, bent on killing us in some way or another.

When I say that life is meaningless, I’m not saying there are not good parts to life, nor am I stating that I am feeling suicidal in any fashion whatsoever. I’m actually a fairly happy person but I see life as completely absurd. We are monkeys that put on suits and pretend we are far more important in the grand scheme of things than any of us actually are. Think of the most important public figure today, and realize that they won’t even be a paragraph worth of material for students 300 years in the future. How much less will the rest of our lives be in regards to our posterity?

Anyway, I’m not the best at describing these feelings. I recommend watching the videos below to gain a better understanding of exactly what an existential crisis is and how one finds themselves going through one. Thank you for reading and have a great week!

 

The Diary Of My Mind

Why I Can’t Write.

My brain is on a senseless shuffle
I see no end in sight
life is an endless boiling bubble
emotions are my plight…

I honestly cannot tell you how I feel at the moment, which doesn’t equate well to a decent blog. I’ve been in shut down mode for the past two weeks. All I have done is played a video game and sat quietly allowing my brain to be in complete down time. This is what I do when my brain gets too much information for it to handle. Many people enjoy music, reading, a productive hobby that produces something, for me it’s video games.

At one point in my life I didn’t understand why I played video games so damn much, yet today I get it. When I am in a game I don’t have to worry about the outside world. I am one with the game. In a way, it is almost a spiritual experience, if you wanted to use those words. I’ve meditated in the past and that feeling of complete quiet and content emptiness is the same that I can get after a two-hour gaming session.

So that’s what I’ve done for the last two weeks. I start the day with the intent to write but as the hours go by and the bullshit builds up I end up in the same state where I was the day before. Why? The reason is I honestly don’t know how I should feel at the moment.

I’m still grasping my official diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, what that means to me and what my next steps are? Having that diagnosis was a liberating experience and yet as the last few weeks have gone by I have had more and more trouble using the old coping mechanisms that I learned throughout life. Three times in the last week I have gone mute, not just quiet but physically incapable of talking for a period of time. This honestly has not happened to me in years.

On top of that my grandmother is still slowly dying in hospice. Her mind has now gone completely and she spends her waking moments crying for her mother to come and rescue her. She hasn’t eaten a thing in two days and the nurses say she has somehow forgotten how to drink liquid. It won’t be long now but I know that she is in agony. I love my grandmother and hate seeing her in this much pain. I only hope her pain will soon be over.

On top of that my grandfather is still an asshole. He has done nothing but make matters worse. Constantly saying he is going to get her out of hospice care as soon as he can and how much of a burden she has caused him when it comes to the bills. It’s all a lie and only meant to make people feel sorry for him. He loves control and this is just one more way that he believes he can maintain control over her life at least for a short time more.

Speaking of that, I have no idea how to reconcile the good memories I have of my grandfather with the new image of him that I have today. I spent summers at my grandparents and loved fishing, early mornings with my grandfather. We spent hours on the bank fishing for bass, crappie, catfish and carp; my grandfather had a special dough bait recipe that he has made for years which was magical when it comes to carp and catfish.

He also taught me how to haggle at garage sales and taught me a lot of what I needed to know when I was early in the ministry. Hell, I wouldn’t even have been a minister if it hadn’t been for my grandfather. I spent a huge portion of my life trying to make him proud which I think I did but now all of that time spent sickens me. I cannot believe that I held him in such high regards for so long after what I know and have witnessed the last couple of years.

To make matters even worse, I have just learned that I have severe sleep apnea. On Wednesday i went to the hospital for a split sleep study. For someone to be considered to have severe apnea they must have 30 or more apnea episodes, periods of the brain waking up for 10 second or more, in an hour. I had 67 apnea episodes. The person conducting the sleep study then hooked me up to a CPAP machine and I was out like a light. The two hours I was connected to the machine were the two best hours of sleep I can honestly remember. I woke up without a headache, something that never happens, and had more energy throughout the day than I have had in a long time.

Anyway, so now I am waiting to speak with my doctor and get my CPAP ordered. The person at the sleep study said that a CPAP wouldn’t just help me but was incredibly important for my long-term health. This has me a bit freaked out but to be honest the worst part is that knowing I can wake up without a headache has made my last few morning headaches ten times worse.

So anyway, I’m mad, I’m confused, I’m not sleeping well and I wish I could make sense of life. I’m hoping to get back into writing soon but the time for that, outside of this article, just hasn’t arrived yet. Maybe soon, but not at the moment. Thank you for bearing with me and your continued support.

Matt

Wednesday Woo

Wednesday Woo #9: My Woo Journey

For last week’s Wednesday Woo, click here.

This week, I want to do something different and more personal. Here’s the story of my journey from woo.

I had always felt like a misfit – as if those who surrounded me on this planet did not reflect who I was deep inside. This caused a lot of anguish for me, especially after I lost my mom to liver disease nearly a decade ago. She was the only one who even slightly understood me, and even her assessments were sometimes distorted. I was all alone in the world, and desperately felt like I needed to find support and comfort. There were a few friends in my life at the time, but none of them truly seemed to understand what I was going through. They didn’t call or check on me very often, and when they did, the concern didn’t seem genuine, so it was as if I were a burden. I felt abandoned, and as though I wanted to die. There was no luster to any of the things I used to enjoy. Depression had a firm grip on me, and the only motivating emotion within option was anger; seething anger toward everyone and everything. My family felt compelled to argue with me over silly things like where mom was to be buried, and why we didn’t visit as often as they felt we should have in the past. This created a further divide; expounding upon the depression and grief I already harbored.

During these times of darkness, I ran into a lot of financial difficulty. At the time of my mom’s death, I was attending a local university in order to obtain a sociology degree. Depression did not allow me to function for quite some time after her passing, so thinking on a higher level just wasn’t an option anymore. I had a child to support, so it was time to dedicate myself to working full-time instead. Finding ample work to satisfy paying bills and providing for child care was especially tedious. There was a lot of “robbing Peter to pay Paul” kinds of tactics when it came to paying bills, and we ate a lot of ramen noodles. I ended up working at a fast food place, putting in as many hours as I possibly could. Still grieving, and in a state of isolation, despite the fact that I was in a relationship at the time, I put on a brave face, and pushed through each day. He had a wandering eye, couldn’t keep a job for more than a few months, and wasn’t really on my level intellectually. All of the financial responsibility was put on me, but at least he could babysit while I put in more and more hours. It wasn’t long until I got promoted.

One day, while I was hard at work at supervising a shift at the fast food restaurant, I saw my dead mother walk into the establishment. I knew I was hallucinating, and was really afraid, disoriented, and panicked. After having that experience, I decided that it was best to seek professional help. They diagnosed me as “bipolar” then swiftly put me on antipsychotics, which seemed to help, but also stifled some of the characteristics which I felt defined me. There had to be another solution, so I got online to research what was going on, and found some videos on YouTube describing how it wasn’t “bipolar” but an “awakening”. This shall forever be known to me as mistake number one.

My angst to find belonging, as well as my resolve to find tranquility, instigated a willingness to allow my sense of reasoning to fade, and to open my mind to anything that would make me feel better. I began watching more videos on YouTube, including Teal Swan and Spirit Science, then decided that what I need to make my life better was to find enlightenment, which was, from what I had heard, the only pathway toward the peace I required. This opened the social floodgates for me, as I joined enlightenment and esoteric groups. I found myself with lots of friends who sought the same sort of relief from the ails of life. Suffering was what brought us together, and made us question absolutely everything about the reality in which we live. We talked about astrology, tarot, astral travel, aliens and who or what controls reality constantly. Oddly enough, despite all the discussions, I was afraid to disagree with people, even if what they said was something I knew was absolutely wrong or unfounded. All that mattered was getting along, and growing my social circle so I could feel I belonged somewhere. The problem was, I still didn’t really feel like I had found my “tribe” quite yet. There was something missing. My relationship wasn’t working, and by this time, I felt confident enough to leave him, and reunited with my long-lost love, Matthew. I was so happy to be with the one person I knew would really understand me, and felt at the time that it was god/the universe who had granted me that privilege.

Being a peaceful, loving pacifist, who considered all reality to be a creation of a shared mind, I thought all opinions were equally valid. That is until I joined a Gnostics group and saw some posts about how Earth was flat, and the holocaust didn’t happen. This provoked the skeptical side of me, which led me to question the people who I was associating myself. Having been raised fundamentalist Christian, I recognized some of the same tribalistic and anti-science rhetoric from my childhood. I couldn’t help but be bothered by this, so I began researching things people said and shared online to find the truth. It took some time and effort to do this, but it was worth it to truly know if what I was told and personally believing was true. I began to say, “No, that’s not true,” more often, and it no longer bothered me if people liked my evidence or not. It wasn’t merely about appeasing people so they would stay friends with me, but rather what was moral or scientifically proven. It helped a lot that I have a Matthew, who is also a skeptic, and never was convinced by my New Age beliefs, no matter how much I tried to convince him at the time. He questioned me often during discussion, which really highlighted the flaws of my logic. I am forever grateful to him for that.

One by one, my New Age beliefs came tumbling down. After a while, I started to see some major flaws in my initial attempt to escape reality. It was difficult to avoid when I gazed into the reflection of others who believed as I did. One thing in particular made me quite angry at the belief system, was seeing a friend get outraged because someone posted a video of the Syrian gas attack. This person was only upset because it disrupted their “good vibes” that day, not at the horror or injustice of seeing children suffer by the hand of a cruel dictator. I couldn’t even begin to fathom a lack of empathy on this level. That’s when I decided the entire ideology was merely an escape from reality, and a disgusting one at that. There is absolutely no moral compass in someone who would rather deny reality, and a sense of right and wrong, for a conclusion that only makes them feel better.

While I may be a misfit, and a now a skeptic, I still have found some companionship through seeking to understand reality as opposed to escaping it. It’s a much better place, since I don’t have to pretend to agree with everything for the sake of offending others. I can finally be accepted for the contrarian being I am, and while it’s not easy, it is worth the effort. I love science, current events, social dynamics and studying the human mind. These are the subjects I find joy in discussion now, as opposed to aliens and astrology. There is so much more to learn and strive for in reality, and I don’t have to make-believe in order to find peace, happiness, or understanding.

The Diary Of My Mind · Uncategorized

Life Is Sacred With A Capital FU

I haven’t blogged in a few days and it’s because I have been angry. I wanted to wait a bit to calm down and collect my thoughts. My family is experiencing a tragedy and to make matters worse, my grandfather, the figurehead of religion in the family, is making matters much worse.

My grandmother is dying, I wrote about this a bit a few days ago but now I will expound upon that. She is dying from cirrhosis of the liver. Now my grandmother has never drank an ounce in her life, so when we found out that her liver we were pretty confounded. The doctors believe that she contracted Hepatitis C in the late 70’s/early 1980’s from a blood transfusion she received back then. My grandmother has also had several strokes which has left her unable to walk and take care of herself.

Her liver and kidneys have failed her, she is in constant pain, her body is filling with toxins and eventually she will pass away from Sepsis, hopefully sooner rather than later according to the doctors.  She is a strong woman and has regained consciousness since I last wrote. When family is in the room she acts strong, but the nurses have said as soon as the family leaves, she cries and begs for god to kill her.

To make matters much worse, my grandfather has spent the last two years trying his best to make her life a living hell. She needs 24 hour care, which she can get in a home, but my grandfather, a selfish bastard, takes her out of the home because he doesn’t want the state to take the small amount that they do from her social security check. In the past, when she was in the home she would get better, then he takes her out and she gets much worse within days.  During this stay the nurses and doctors found three fractures in her back that they believe she got from falling out of bed and not being taken to the hospital.

Anyway, the doctors recommended she be put into hospice which would at least make her last bit of time comfortable. This is also the only way that she can receive the pain medication she needs. My grandmother signed off on the hospice papers but my grandfather swooped in and claimed that she was mentally unstable and killed the hospice paperwork. She has been placed into a care facility until the 23rd when he will once again get her out and probably kill her this time.

I hate him… He was once someone who I respected. I wouldn’t even have become a minister if it hadn’t been for his prophecy and his pushing me throughout life. I always viewed him as a godly man and something to aspire to. Now I know that he is nothing but a disgusting narcissistic bastard who never deserved respect from me or anyone else.

With all of that said, I get to the point of this article. Life isn’t fucking sacred. Life is an absolute mess where you come into it shitting yourself and often leave it shitting yourself.  Life contains so much suffering I cannot possibly understand anyone who claims anything sacred to its workings. Life includes pain, anguish, depression, agony, famine, disease, murder, rape, and those are just to name a few of the awful things we can experience. What is sacred about those things?

Human life is obviously less sacred than the lives of our animal companions, since in most parts of the world it is against the law to choose to end your own life, even in cases where the cessation of life is the only thing to end the constant pain and agony that certain chronic conditions can leave a person in. If you went to someones house and their dog was in the corner, waling in agony from some chronic disease that will kill it, you would think that your friend was a monster if they didn’t take it and have it put to sleep. Yet, we don’t afford our sickest people the right to choose that for themselves?

I want to be clear, I am not advocating making the choice for someone else, this would only be an option in the most extreme cases. I could see allowing a family to make this decision for another, much in the same way that a family can choose now to pull the plug on a dying family member. If it is the most compassionate option, then it should be on the table. Why do we force sick and dying people to experience as much pain as possible before nature takes its course?

Life isn’t sacred, but there are good parts to it. The beginning and the end of life are fucking awful but yet there is beauty and wonder to life. I will always fondly remember the time that I spent with my grandmother growing up, the times I have spent with my children, the time I spend with Jennifer. Yet a large portion of life just sucks.

Anyway, I know I rambled a bit, I’m still upset about the whole situation but wanted to write something tonight. I promise to get back on schedule soon, but at the moment it just isn’t possible. Thank you for reading.

 

 

The Diary Of My Mind

Does Crying Physically Hurt You?

Oh how I hate emotions. Not so much the fact that my mind is almost constantly swimming in them, but the fact that I am so damn awful at expressing them. Along with ASD I also have SPD which, in the simplest terms, means that I am withdrawn from society and relatively flat when it comes to showing emotion. By and large I live a life of pretend even though I hate it. I smile and laugh, I frown and act upset when I hear something that is seen as sad but in reality on an emotional level I’m a blank canvas to the outside world.

When I do actually get to the point that my emotions break the surface they can be pretty severe in nature. Sadness actually makes the world seem dark and I might turn on every light yet still feel as if I am in a dark room. Anger can make me see red and I am likely to tear into someone with a verbal assault that I will ultimately regret for years afterward. The real issue though is crying…

When I cry, my whole body hurts. Is it that way for everyone? My back aches, my joints feel like they become a piece of welded steel, and my head pounds. The tear feel like daggers as they leave my eyes. Crying hurts so badly that I try my best to almost never do it. People say crying is therapeutic but to me it is horrible.

The other problem is once I start I have an incredibly difficult time stopping. I can at times bawl for hours and then all of a sudden it stops. I go back to my norm and you would be none the wiser that I had just spent the last several hours crying.

People believe that I have no emotions. That I’m cold, callused or heartless but in reality I just don’t understand the vast array of emotions. I understand the extremes but it is those pieces in between that are confusing to me. A lot of the time I am simply level, not really physically experiencing anything when it comes to my emotions. Mentally I might get stuck on the same thought for several days filled with the emotions of that thought. My emotions though are almost totally within my thoughts. I think with most people there are both mental and physical changes with emotions or at least it seems that way.

Anyway, yep…I hate emotions…