Short Story Ideas

Title? - My journey to (or through?) a strange land known as Schizophrenia

Brief intro - diagnosed in 1983 - strange and at times indescribable journey since then - places I could never have imagined without experiencing them directly - both dark and light places ...

{I scribbled most of these thoughts down while out walking ... it seems to get my brain cells ticking over ...}

What is schizoprenia? Well, it all depends on who you are asking. Give the 'standard' psychiatric definition - it is a major psychiatric illness characterised by disturbed thoughts and emotions, hallucinations, delusions etc ...

There is a vast range of opinions however. Give brief quotes from Laing - "The schizophrenic may simply be someone who has been unable to suppress his normal instincts and conform to an abnormal society." (from The Politics of Experience, which was the first book I ever read that mentioned the possibiltiy that there might be 'something more' to this than the conventional wisdom might have you believe)

Also Szasz - "If you talk to God, you are praying. If God talks to you, you have schizophrenia." - this is not just a witty remark - it addresses the heart of the matter - WHO is the authority on what is 'reality' and what is a 'delusion' - is reality a democracy? - if only one person sees or hears something is it less 'real' - what about the area of religious 'visions' or revelations - most of the saints and prophets would have been diagnosed - which does not mean that everyone hearing 'voices' is a prophet but still it makes you wonder what is really going on ...

And comparing 'disturbed speech' with the observed phenomenon of 'talking in tongues' which many people believe to be evidence of the Holy Spirit ...

Also that quote from the "Troubled Mind" -

The psychiatric disease that converts man into an other-worldly creature - at once wiser than the wisest of the sane and yet so deeply troubled that he suffers more than a terminal cancer patient - is surely schizophrenia Because of his bizarre loss of contact with everyday reality, the schizophrenic can appeal to us as a messiah bearing the message of the infinite. For our conception of the universe is bounded by the straitjacket of conventional thinking processes. A schizophrenic's self-perception is so fragmented that he seems to function at a different plane of consciousness from the rest of humanity. Some psychiatrists who have dealt extensively with schizophrenics even wonder whether the schizophrenic's "psychotic" perception of the world might not conform more to ultimate reality than does our sane vision.

Toss around a few questions - having schizophrenia forces one to confront these questions on a daily if not hourly basis - the fundamental questions about the nature of our existence - what is real - the nature of truth and proof and expereince ... I wouldn't dare suggest I have all the answers ... what i do have is a whole bunch of interesting questions I contemplate on a daily basis ...

Some of latest quotes - in chapter.htm and journal ...

There is much debate - mention Stanislav Grof - mention the 'insights' and how they just 'pop' into my head - so i spend a lot of my time simply emptying and calming my mind to make room ... raises the sorts of questions Tenzin asks - where do thoughts come from? (and feelings) - why do we have them at all - if emotions are 'caused' by external events and circumstances then why do people have such wildly different reactions to the same occurence ... examples ... 0

Include bits of Acacia experience? ... poems ... I have been to the darkest places imaginable - in fact if I had not experienced them personally i would never have imagined a human being could feel that way and experience those places ... I have been astonished that i survived ...

So few people presently recover to any significant extent they can be regarded as 'flukes' or even mis-diagnosis ... but you just have to ASK yourself what kind of an 'illness' is at work when a person can be transformed from a cynical, angry atheist who experienced frequent bouts of blind, black rage ... into a person who writes poetry and spends much of his day contemplating and meditating. I mean two years ago you could not have made me read books like "Conversations With God" or "The Way of the Wizard" or "Emissary of Light" if you held a gun to my head ... and I thought i'd be the last person on this planet who'd ever be writing inspired poetry or meditating ... or experiencing a spiritual 'awakening' in a psychiatric ward

Which further raises the question of labeling experiences - what (if any) is the difference between a psychotic state of consciousness and a transcendental experience ... (many links on web) ...

And on the question of defining 'illness' - especially a set of thoughts and behaviours as constituting an 'illness' ... well, one could say that anyone who suffers from anger or hatred or jealousy or fear or worry or cynicism or boredom or who indulges in blaming or judging anyone for any reason is suffering from a sickness. And the Buddhists would say this (excerpt from New Paradigm & John Watkins?) - and the cause is that the person is under the delusion that the material, transitory world is 'relaity' ...

An alternative definition would focus on defining a healthy individual - one who is spontaneously joyous, enthusiastic, and boundlessly compassionate and kind ... by such a criterion, most of humanity is ill. And the Buddhists and other belief systems say that those charcteristics are our true nature and that everyone possesses them ...

I realise my opinions, like anyone's, have been coloured by my own personal exoperiences.

So, the question of who is suffering from a 'delusion' and who is really in touch with 'reality' depends entirely on whose belief system you adopt. Mind you, all belief systems (and materialism is a belief system - it is the most impoverished belief system because it produces precious little genuine joy for its followers) have their limitations. A state of pure consciousness - which i have experienced several times during the course of the past 18 months or so - is a state of awareness where there are no 'beliefs' or 'opinions' of any description. (No pun intended) ... there is just this simple knowledge ...

Put any belief under a powerful enough microscope and it disappears - This is what serious meditation and contemplation is all about - it seeks to systematically take everything a person might HOLD to be 'true' or part of 'the way I am' and dissect it and examine it until it dissolves into the ocean of the mind ...

Could include some of the more 'way out' things I have believed or thought about schizophrenia along the way - such as it is the decision to completely let go of all linear thinking - it's such a tragedy that linear thinking is a basic requirement of sustaining a physical body as it it generally insufferably dull ... or the idea that schizophrenia is a doorway to higher states of consciousness ... and the whole process only goes awry because of the intervention of those who don't comprehend what is going on ...

web space | free website | Web Hosting | Free Website Submission | shopping cart | php hosting
A bit later -

Ah, yes, the notion of the 'long, dark night of the soul' - and schizophrenia is as dark as any of them - alcoholism - drugs - loneliness - rage - etc ...

On 'proof' - or rather, proving a negative - I mean no matter how 'outrageous' or uncommon a person's belief system may be ... how do you absolutely prove it is not possible beyond any doubt and thus a mere 'delusion' - mention some of my more colorful ideas and explanations of what I experienced along the way - I think some are in chapter.htm ... like the sub-atomic aliens inside the cells in my brain ... or the 'beings' who drive people crazy as part of their telepathic amusement ... just because they can and if they aren't doin it to you then count your lucky stars ... much more in the link ...


This is a very rough draft but you can get some sense of where I'm headed with all this ... then again I do favour non-linear thinking ... :)


Include "Poem written while mowing the lawn" ... and "My Favourite Psychosis" ...

Inlcude my website address & email ... and links??? ... um ... is this a 'short story' or a treatise??? ...


There's a bit in journal about chemical imbalance theory & comparing it with adrenalin ... let alone what it says in Conversations With God about 'all illness is self-created' - yes, if your 'explanation' omits the soul or spirit then it will forever remain an impoverished 'explanation' ...


After a trip to the library hwere I picked up a book E Fuller Torrey and he says Laing's ideas (about schizophrenia and how to 'treat' it) are 'romantic nonsense' ... well, like any area of human thought there is an entire spectrum of opinions ... strangely this doesn't seem to stop people being dogmatic about their views ... especialy scientists ...

I mean what hard evidence is ther that a 'chemical imbalance' actually exists in the brains of 'schizophrenics'?? You cannot monitor the chemistry of a peson's brain ... and even if you could the BIG question is which came first - the schizophrenia or the imbalance. I'd compare it with somebody who gets a fright and theri adrenalin starts pumping. Nobody would dream of saying the excess adrenalin caused the fright! ...

Not to mention the question of what caused the chemical imbalance. It's a little like saying the big bang caused the universe to come into existence ... well what caused the big bang is an obvious question ... you haven't really explained anything ...

Yes, in every era we look at how our knowledge has progressed and we presume ourselves to be close to the truth ... I am sure in 1000 years time people will look back on 20th century psychiatric theory and practise and shake their heads at what was done to people by those who thought they were trying to help ... they may well regard this as the dark ages. I certainly do ...

Let alone the question of what Mr Torrey would make of the statement in Conversations with God that all illness is self created. That is an idea which would not go down too well with many people who are rather fond of seeing themselves as victims and playing the role of victim for all its worth ...

Yes, ultimately evrything which happens in this physical reality has a spiritual component. If you omit this component from your explanation then it is a very impoverished explanation indeed ...