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Complete Psychological Topics 1: Chapters 1-2 - Part 3

 

by Ben Huot

July 15, 2012

in more formats

2.3 Having Schizophrenia

2.3.1 Introduction

Dealing with Paranoid Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a disease that encompasses a wide range of different problems, like the disease Cancer. Not all people with Schizophrenia hear voices or have paranoia. Paranoid Schizophrenia is the worst, by far.

Schizophrenia is caused by a stressful event, which is most often caused by the military, but only in people who have a genetic predisposition to the disease, which is hereditary, occurring usually only once in a generation. Drugs do not cause Schizophrenia, but can make it worse and harder to diagnose. Schizophrenia is caused by the brain not developing normally in adolescents. It affects the frontal lobe which is responsible for fear, anger, and other primordial emotions.

Men usually get diagnosed in their 20s and women in their 30s. The illness is generally not caught until there is a paranoid episode and medicine is usually not started until a (non-violent) crime is committed, as it is hard for a person to accept that they are out of their mind. Staying on the medicine regularly is the key to living a semi normal life. 1/3 of people with Schizophrenia just stare at a wall all day, one third are semi-independent, and 1/3 are almost fully independent.

There is a similar disorder that is less disabling called Schizoeffective disorder and people who have this disorder are often under the false impression that they have Schizophrenia plus Mania or Depression, and that they have a tougher time than people who “just” have Schizophrenia. This is not true. Schizophrenia as a whole is much more severe than Schizoeffective disorder and Paranoid Schizophrenia is the most disabling mental illness, by a long shot.

Many people also are difficult to diagnose, because they have taken drugs before to self medicate. Also, many psychologists or counselor diagnose people and often give incorrect labels, because they are not qualified to diagnose. To diagnose, you must be a psychiatrist, not a psychologist.

A psychologist or counselor may have anywhere between a one year certificate to a doctorate in psychology. Most have a bachelors or a masters degree. A psychiatrist has a full doctorate in medicine, plus a doctorate in psychology, plus an internship, etc. Most psychologists have no training in mental illness at all.

I have Paranoid Schizophrenia and that is what 3 independent psychiatrists diagnosed me with, all whose interest would be best served if they didn’t diagnose me. Those who diagnosed me were: the admitting psychiatrist for a mental ward of a local private hospital, one working for the Social Security Administration and one working for the Veterans Administration. It cost them all a lot of money for their organizations to diagnose me, so my case is very well founded. Also, no one who was qualified to diagnose me ever thought I could have any disorder other than Paranoid Schizophrenia and I have never been diagnosed as anything else.

The first thing to get started, after being diagnosed with any major mental illness, is the medicine. This is even more true for Schizophrenia. There is no cure yet for Schizophrenia and it cannot be treated effectively by religion, diet, herbs, meditation or counseling alone or in combination. The primary treatment for Schizophrenia is a tranquilizer (also known as a sedative). The discovery was made in the early 50s that tranquilizers would blunt the voices, delusions, and paranoia.

Many people do not want to take the medicine, because of the negative side effects. This medicine causes tremendous and rapid weight gain almost always, as it numbs the nerves in the stomach, so you never feel full no matter how much you eat. Many people feel less creative with the medicine and feel that it is given just to get the person to follow orders better. The medicine can also cause diabetes, due to the high weight gain. The medicine also make people very tired and that is why many people who have Schizophrenia drink large amounts of coffee and other caffeinated beverages and smoke cigarettes.

There are some other common symptoms to Schizophrenia, that the experts have not been able to pin down to the illness or the medicine. These symptoms include: depression, lack of motivation, difficulty concentrating, difficulty with short term memory, lack of appropriate facial expressions, lack of emotion, etc. These are the most disabling aspects of Schizophrenia, for most people.

The other negative aspect is that most people with Schizophrenia receive money from Social Security Administration, which is much less than minimum wage and so they are often the victims of crime. It is also hard for people with Schizophrenia to make friends. Although it is common that someone is not treated, until they commit a minor crime like vandalism or stealing, people with Schizophrenia are not any more likely to commit violent crimes than anyone else. I have never committed any crimes.

Although medicine is the primary treatment, secondary treatments help with some of the other symptoms that are often the most disabling for people living with Schizophrenia. Some of these secondary treatments include revealed religions, especially Christianity, as it offers the most comfort and has the least amount of obligations of these religions. Counseling can be helpful, especially as obsessive compulsive behaviors/addictions are common with people who have a mental illness. I have never taken any drugs. Another good secondary treatment is to find a hobby or something constructive to do. Some people, who have Schizophrenia, can work a part time job.

2.3.2 Breakdown

Jesus Won Paranoid Episode

I had been having some problems with spiritual warfare. I had written some stories that I merged my life with Middle Earth. I accidentally put myself under a Witchcraft spell. I walked out of my house that day with my Army jacket. I was ready for warfare. I rushed around downtown. I dropped off my books, that were loading me down in my pack, by the side of the street and an angel flew off with it. I went to the Church and knelt down before the crucifix and prayed to God to spare me. I took my web site off line with the offensive material. I saw “Jesus loves you” engraved in the side of the street that I didn’t see before or afterwards. I saw a double rainbow when I went home.

I made an altar out of our fireplace. I piled in it all my Buddhist, Feminist, and Atheistic books and lit it on fire. I kept loading books in for several hours. Some that I was unsure about I took to the fire place and, if they survived the flames, I kept them. I tore down the Buddhist goddess of mercy down from the wall and our black cat meowed out side. He was in cohorts with the Devil. I threw in the plastic snake in the fire and commanded evil out in Jesus name and turned my back to the altar. I laid on my bed and weeped for the suffering of the Church during the tribulation. I saw a vision of Star Trek as the future. I started singing “Joy to the World” as my eyes were moisturized with my tears. My eyes had hurt for 3 1/2 years before. They needed the salt they weren’t getting from flushing them out several times a day for that time. I looked down at my Bible. It was the Parallel New Testament. We were in a parallel time kept that way by people making the Bible into too many versions.

My parents put out the food for the homeless for the postman to deliver. They spoke to me in code that I was the homeless person this Christmas. I walked out of the house when my parents left. I stood on the porch walking back and forth. The radio dial spun out of control. Many years now went by.

I stood on the porch, until my parents came back. I saw them come back with the dog. I had to decide whether I was going to go out and marry my friend’s sister or go down to the Church to pray. I looked at my bank receipt and then put it in my pocket. I knew when I took it out again there would be enough for my marriage. I headed down the grocery store to buy a paper and look for a job. The paper had on it the story of how the world fell apart.

Only Eugene and Springfield were left. On the front page, they said we decided not to hire you (I had been interning down at the Comic News). I went down to the corner and saw the number to the Comic News on a sign. I tried to hang myself on the sign. I was unworthy.

I saw the parents of my friend whose sister I was going to marry aged years and they drove off angrily when they saw me. I should have gone down to marry her. I walked along the sidewalk. I knew I couldn’t go back home. Everyone had banned Christians from their houses. I looked for a sign. I picked up a wooden sign that said “777 indoor sale”. It was a secret code. I covered up the Bible so the devil didn’t know about the parallel time as I walked along. I got on the bus. I shared to them that I was a Christian and I was kicked off the bus with a scornful look.

I saw the devil car pass by, all red with antenna on the top, like horns. I turned aside and continued quickly. I continued up to the church. I stopped, where two ladies were talking. All men were now kicked out of their houses. The world was controlled by radical feminists. I asked them, if I could go in where it was warm. I told them I was the prostitute. I asked if they were Christians. One lady tried to trick me into thinking that I should go to Eugene to the Mission. The other who was Christian told me there was a Bible study at the Church. It was the only one left. The other church had slipped into just doing good works and lost their faith. I came to the Church and I started to read my Bible.

I sat with my back to the world so no one could see the Bible. I picked a version and read it all the way through the book of John. It sounded a lot like Revelations. I was going to wait 3 1/2 years feeding off the Bible for food. I would have to wait for my sister as the only other Christian on earth. As I prayed I turned and saw the sky change color and sunlight came out and I was warm.

I was happy once I finished reading the Bible and knew things were ok. Everyone was racing into the city as they had been racing out before. Everyone was relieved. God played jokes on me with the signs to relax me. I was too tense. As I walked by now with the wooden sign up for everyone to see I smiled and yelled out “777 Jesus won”. A motorcycle gang fled from me as I walked by with the police following them. The same police I heard before.

I returned to the store and picked up a copy of the newspaper. I showed a woman everything happened like in the paper. I also offered one to one of the bikers. I went back home and picked up the mail. All the letters were filled with the number 7. I went down to my friends house and dropped off the newspaper and the jam for the homeless person. I was accepted into the American Legion. As I walked down Main Street I noticed that the wind had blown away large clumps of trees and trash. The city was being cleaned up and there were red bows on all the city for me. I was welcome at any hotel.

I saw my parents and they picked me up.

Poetry

My Breakdown

At the end of the winter semester
I had an emotional breakdown
I thought I was dealing
With spiritual warfare
I tore up my copy of the Second Sex
And I burned a bunch of my books
I thought I was a prophet
And ended up in the local
Private hospital’s mental ward
I tried to take courses that Spring
After I was released for several months
In programming and social science
But that didn’t work out
I started reading philosophy again
Starting with Existentialism
And Zen Buddhism
Along the way
I spent about a year in a group home
With 8 other mentally ill men
I spent a couple years in a retirement home
And had in home care a number of years
I now am completely independent

Descent into Madness I now know the horrors exist
That are worse than we can imagine
I am now in constant pain
I carry in my eyes the unquenchable fire
The one that never stops burning
I am injured beyond repair
But my country says its not that bad
I cannot study for long
Nor can I concentrate
I manage to pass enough classes
By learning quickly and a good memory
I try to meet others
But I am too tired to extend myself
No one will hire me
Except for a phone survey place
I cannot work with chemicals
My eyes burn even worse in their presence
My paranoia continues to grow
I think I am growing a third eye
Spiritual warfare seems to make sense
But I end up in the hospital
And the doors lock behind me
I am now in Hell again
But only my mind burns
I cannot escape
But time passes by more quickly
I move out to the outside room
And am allowed to have some freedom
I go home
And continue to sleep for long time periods
I struggle to get on my own
And get acknowledged that I am ill
I struggle to read again
And am finally able to write again

Schizophrenia

When school let out that winter
I thought I was wrestling with
Spiritual warfare
But as I found myself
In the mental ward of a local hospital
I knew I was having emotional problems
I didn’t know until a month later
That I had Schizophrenia
My parents came to see my all day long
But I only remember them
Coming in the evening
I was explaining trigonometry
We were all afraid of one of the guys
He was big and not very nice
And he controlled the TV
I remember how excited we got
When we realized we could order
More than one of the food items
To one of the residents
My pastor came to see me
And said he could get me out
I knew better for some reason
I was so excited to leave the first room
Which they called Hell
And to go out into the next area
In the hospital ward
I remember we got to do
Group activities there
One guy showed me how to dance
I was hyper-religious
According to my psychiatrist
Who kept asking me if I heard voices
He didn’t introduce himself
So it was a few days later
Before I realized he was my doctor
I remember how hard it was to sleep
The dementia patients next door
Kept screaming all night
To get out
I had to under go an MRI
Which was very scary for me
But my mom was there for me
And I was given a mirror
So I could see out
When I left the hospital
I watched TV most of the day
And I slept a lot too
I finally decided to read and write
Which was very difficult at first
I was only able to
Write after 4 months
It was hard for me
To even ride across town
At first
I remember when I got back
From the hospital
I threw out
Everything sharp in my room
I was afraid to be alone
For several months
I started attending
A local recreation group
For the mentally ill
I also worked on learning Javascript
And eventually started
On my website again

Total Isolation

When you are committed
Even when voluntarily
There is no escape
From the terror
Your days pass by
With hours of no memory
The pain takes weeks
To lessen noticeably
You must stay in Hell
And there is no quick way out
You are not informed of your rights
But it would not matter
You still could never understand
You are not in your right mind
The doctor controls your fate
You can be sent to the state hospital
And never be released
Or get out in a couple weeks
You have no choice
What really scares you
Are others like yourself
You are all in the same boat
You cannot get out
Until you are scanned
You are crammed into
A small tunnel
And you cannot leave
Until they are done
You cannot see out
And they cannot give you
Enough tranquilizers to calm you
You want to return to normal
But you cannot work
For at least a year
Or you will never get
Your state pension
You have to wait another year
For low income housing
If you are lucky
You have family
Who can and will take you in
And who will do your paperwork
None of it starts until
You know about it and register
If you live on the street
You are stuck being homeless
And there is little hope
Of being able to get out

Group Home

That fall I entered
A group home
I shared the house
With 8 other men
With mental illnesses
And there was a staff person
There at all times
They basically ignored us
We had to clean and cook
All by ourselves
There was no help in this
They just required that we did this
The TV was always on VH1
And we had to leave the house
For at least 1 hour at 11am
I started volunteering
At a local Internet Service Provider
Doing tech support
I also volunteered at a local music hall
Taking tickets and checking IDs
We had to be in
By a certain time each night
And had to stay inside until
A certain time in the morning
They wouldn’t let me go to bed
Before a certain time
And I had to get up by a certain time
The reason why I was here
Was because I started out with only
200 and some dollars a month
From the state agency
And this was the only place that would take me
I visited my mom once a week
She was on the other side of town
And I got 20 dollars a week from her
Which I spent mostly on books
I kept writing poetry and reading
Mostly about Buddhism at this point
And I continued to work on the website
I started on a new medicine
Which made me less tired
When I was on the previous medicine
If I didn’t fight to stay awake
I would always be asleep
Then my money came in
From the Veterans
And I moved into my own apartment

2.3.3 Limitations

Articles

What is it like? What is it like to not have control of your mind - to lay awake at night afraid of things that will never happen - to believe that your loved ones are against you - to not know the difference between what is fact and what is fiction - to fear the police will arrest you for how you were born - to not be able to handle the stress of meetings - to not be able to be consistently on time - to not be able to sit through a play or a movie - to find it stressful to listen to music - to not have the motivation to take care of yourself - to have to rely on others for your income?

Thought Control I am very self-reflective and find meaning in every part of life. But I am not just a philosopher because many of my thoughts are not rational and I do not have control over my thoughts. I keep busy to distract myself from voices and paranoia. Quiet times like when I fall asleep at night are when my paranoia and voices are the most intense. When someone makes a comment in general and it could apply to me, I take it as a personal attack as I am suspicious that others are against me. It is impossible for me to still my mind enough to meditate.

Daily Activities Not only do I not have control over my thoughts, but I find it impossible to take care of the daily activities that are necessary to survive in the modern world. I understand technology, philosophy, and can write and draw on a level that few can surpass, but I can’t wash my clothes once a week, clean my bathroom, recycle, or show up at a set time. The modern world is based on the clock and on facts and that is how we deal with other people in our society. This is completely foreign to my way of thinking.

Responses I developed my own subculture, as I was unable to find my place in society. Basically, I have to find time to rest in order to deal with my illness, to avoid going back to the hospital. But even the rest can cause me mental pain: paranoia and auditory hallucinations. It would be good for me to have more interactions with people, as they help bring me into the modern world, but they also cause me a great deal of paranoia and many things they carelessly say cause me to suffer mentally.

Schizophrenia This is the situation I am in, and modern science calls it Schizophrenia. I am very intelligent and good at writing and being creative, but this has nothing to do with Schizophrenia. Is a person with diabetes any different except for their illness? I am no different in that way too. I know many other people who have Schizophrenia and they are no more or less intelligent or think differently than anybody else.

Schizophrenia is a broad term like cancer where many different illnesses fall under the same umbrella. Some people with Schizophrenia can complete distance education or work a part time job, but I cannot. My main obstacle is dealing with time and facts - dealing with other people and taking care of my basic needs.

Why Cows? Cows have been abused throughout history for labor, meat, milk, leather, and manure. The related words in Chinese are “jail” and “complain.”

Discrimination of the Mentally Ill I identify with cows because I am mentally ill. The mentally ill have been the most targeted group of people for persecution, discrimination, marginalization, segregation, isolation, and more. Even as late as the 50’s people were locked up for being mentally ill and even today they still receive electroshock therapy against their will.

Personal Discrimination I have been denied several volunteer jobs because they knew I was mentally ill although definitely qualified and have no criminal record nor have ever been institutionalized, I have not received federally mandated equal access to education which my only request that required effort from the instructor was oral test or test by paper, I have not been given a case worker because the county did not have any more available although I qualified, as a veteran I still have to travel hundreds of miles for dental treatment and have to pay for many medical expenses upfront, and to even get my disability I had to wait a year and a half which is not uncommon which if I worked in that time I would be disqualified, and I was not told about services available in my community and had to find them on my own.

Son of Strength I have developed the idea of raising the bar, once I reach the level that was once my goal, for a higher goal and then on and on until I die. I think I reached rock bottom recently. I have developed the ability to understand philosophy despite having Schizophrenia and with it the near impossibility of understanding abstract thought.

Based on this insight, I surmised that I could do the same thing with my physical body. I would strengthen my will to the point that I could force my body to do what it couldn’t physically much as Special Forces do. The problem is that in the Special Forces, when the training is done, that at some point the service member gets to rest. They don’t tire out the service members to the point that they have no energy, before they drop them onto classified missions.

So for me to assume that I could will myself into mastering my body is a flawed assertion at best. But that was very arrogant to assume that I could reach that level of intensity, without having even attempting that kind of training. Anyway, when I came back from my run, which I was able to push myself past more pain than I was able to do in any of my cross country running, I tasted blood in my lungs and at the point when I got back to my retirement center, one of the managers thought I was having a heart attack.

This showed me that I need to slow down and be aware that although I can dream of saving the world, I do not have the energy to. In addition to never being able to feel fully rested no matter how much sleep I have had, I can’t push past it with greater mental strength, as I don’t even have the control over my mind as a normal person does. What the Apostle Paul said in Romans is at the heart of (Christian) Existentialism. We cannot do what we want to. We are not strong enough mentally to reach our goals. We must leave saving the world to God and just help in small ways or else we will not survive long enough to see the fruits of our efforts.

I have finally realized that having Schizophrenia is not just a mental illness; it is a physical one as well. If your medicine is being effective on giving you some control of your thoughts, then you will have no energy to do anything.

I have recently arrived at the conclusion that the increased suffering of the world recently is the direct fault of Christians not following what God has called them to do, and in response to the fact and because I am in the wealthiest nation on the earth and because of my gifts of intelligence and creativity that I should be able to make a measurable dent in the amount of suffering that the sentient beings of the earth must feel. But the problem is I don’t have the strength to have the reach that I believe I should have. Many of the problems of the world, if they are to be solved by people, need more resources than I have been given. I will just have to accept that there is some reason that God is allowing this to happen by conscious choice alone.

I have had to struggle with whether to say I believe that God raised Jesus from the dead and that he was both man and God or that that is a fact. I have recently come to understand that belief is stronger than facts. Similarly to how I said when we had to mark opinion as false and fact as true that opinions could be truths but facts are not consequential enough to be truths. So it shows more certainty to say that I believe in Heaven and Hell than to say flatly that there is a Heaven and Hell and that is the truth whether you agree with it or not you will go to one, because of course its true to the limits of my knowledge which is all I can guarantee by saying it is the truth, but to say I believe something to be true means that I haven’t just proved it intellectually, but it is so true that I risk eternity on it.

Poetry

Frustration

Struggling to lift the heavy lids
My eyes burst open
And I stagger to the other room
With immense effort
I live in a dream within a dream
My paranoia within God’s thoughts
My will is strong
And my spirit unbreakable
But my mind only controls
Some of my thoughts
And my body is weak
And continually asleep
My burden is not light
As Jesus said for those
Who walk with Him
And its shadow is ever before me
When your mind cannot cease
From racing at full speed
And your body is heavily sedated
Everything is a battle of will
And your spirit pushes your body
My heart is pressed on all sides
By my unquenchable emotions
And unmovable flesh
But my heart is still wild and unwavering
How will I complete the contest?
How many years will this situation last?
When you are dead tired
And you are nowhere near the finish
You must slow down and keep going
When you would much rather lie down and die
How will I summon the energy
Without the strength of mind or body?
Will I be able to survive by spirit alone?
Do I know how to achieve solely by will?
Each day we wake up and begin
Before even thinking about “what next?”
But at night we worry over
What has and hasn’t happened
If only my spirit could know the rhythm
And my will the attitude
That can harmonize with the Way
And outlast the disease
We can only hope
And pray without ceasing

Naked Mind

Like a devout monk
My mind operates
In transparency and nakedness
As there are no obstructions
Between me and my feelings
For others they see life
Through filters
To keep their minds
From every emotion
That flies by
For me I am naked
And there is not
Even a thin white robe
Between me
And the thoughts
That race by
I feel deeply about injustice
And people hurting others
For any reason
I struggle to be balanced
And to keep my mind clear
Of the paranoid conclusions
My mind makes from
Reflection on the situation
I have to guard my mind consciously
As the normal controls and safeguards
Are not present

2.3.4 Religion

Frustration

Struggling to lift the heavy lids
My eyes burst open
And I stagger to the other room
With immense effort
I live in a dream within a dream
My paranoia within God’s thoughts
My will is strong
And my spirit unbreakable
But my mind only controls
Some of my thoughts
And my body is weak
And continually asleep
My burden is not light
As Jesus said for those
Who walk with Him
And its shadow is ever before me
When your mind cannot cease
From racing at full speed
And your body is heavily sedated
Everything is a battle of will
And your spirit pushes your body
My heart is pressed on all sides
By my unquenchable emotions
And unmovable flesh
But my heart is still wild and unwavering
How will I complete the contest?
How many years will this situation last?
When you are dead tired
And you are nowhere near the finish
You must slow down and keep going
When you would much rather lie down and die
How will I summon the energy
Without the strength of mind or body
Will I be able to survive by spirit alone?
Do I know how to achieve solely by will?
Each day we wake up and begin
Before even thinking “what next?”
But at night we worry over
What has and hasn’t happened
If only my spirit could know the rhythm
And my will the attitude
That can harmonize with the Way
And outlast this disease
We can only hope
And pray without ceasing

FAQs

Is there an effective treatment of Schizophrenia without medication? Schizophrenia was not treated effectively by society until anti-psychotic drugs were created from sedatives in the late 1950’s. The medication has been modified to remove most of the sedating attributes by the first part of the 21st century, so that many people with Schizophrenia are able to live outside institutions. Anti-psychotic medications are able to blunt the effects of paranoia, delusions, and hallucinations enough, so that people can distinguish between them and reality. But there is not a medication that will completely eliminate those symptoms or the lethargy that comes either from the mental illness or as a side effect of the medication. To help deal with remaining symptoms, religion in moderation can be helpful. Religion can provide stability, answers, and useful ideas for secondary treatments.

Why is religion rejected by psychologists in their treating mental illness? Many hallucinations, paranoid thoughts, and delusions have religious components to them and sometimes the rituals of religion can contribute to Obsessive Compulsive behaviors. This shows that there is a relationship between religion and mental illness, but it doesn’t mean that religion in all its aspects does nothing but hinder the treatment of Schizophrenia.

Can an atheist apply ideas from religion into their treatment? One of the reasons why I incorporate Chinese philosophy into my treatment of Schizophrenia, is because although the Bible tells a person how to live ethically and how to have an appropriate relationship with God, it doesn’t tell you everything you ever need to know. Not all problems are entirely spiritually based. A person can definitely learn how to think rationally without using the Bible, but to get the full comfort from religion, faith is a vital component.

2.3.5 Counseling

The Appointment, an Epic Poem

Waiting

I walk in and sit down
I am there a half hour early
I pull out my magazine
I finish it in ten minutes
I began to think
My mind starts to wander off
How will I interpret the psy babble?
How will I stupefy my ideas?
I keep looking up
As I hear what could be sounds
Will he repeat the same ideas again
Or will I get some gem of useful thinking?
A calm passes over me
I can survive without him
The room is cool
And it is bright outside
What a nice day
It took me an hour to get here
I had to take the bus
Then walk a half a mile
It is always easy to think on the bus
When people aren’t making annoying sounds
And walking always makes me feel good
At first, before I start questioning my every action
Last night it took a while to fall asleep
But it was early when I laid down
I woke up early and still felt tired
The sun wasn’t even out yet
I watched some news
I looked up - I missed the sunrise
I remember now about my chi
I wonder if he will like that
It must seem strange to a doctor
How people could know so much before science
How they used food for medicine
How doctors eventually became politicians
And how complex the diagnosis could be
When everything boiled down to either yin or yang

Preparation

Good - he’s not in the office yet
Don’t need another one of those
So much paper work
I wonder if I really need to give him this test
Like I’m going to come up with a different diagnosis
I wish I could get this damn computer to work
I guess I’ll have to call the maintenance guy tonight
No test today, I guess
Is my tie straight?
He probably doesn’t even care
Where is my coffee?
I guess I’ll have to call up my receptionist
Bring me up my cappuccino!
Thanks
Will I take wifey out to the opera tonight?
I hope I still have the tickets
She probably already found them
And has bought a new dress for it
I can finally sit down
Gee that was a long weekend
Why does my daughter always ask for money
Right at first?
I wonder what job she will get with a major in dance
And when will she actually start
She is going to be 25 before she starts again
At this rate
I forgot to polish my shoes
Not again!
I hope I get some wealthy clients
When I can only charge them 100 an hour
I can barely pay for my SUV
And second home on the beach
I think I hear the client
I should greet him
No, that would be unprofessional
Come in, now
I’m ready to see you

Hot and Cold

Like the crests of the ocean waves
My emotions rose and fell
As he tried to comprehend my ideas
And I sought to apply his suggestions
Like the calm of the lake
I kept an inner confidence
Not merely a master of intellectual wit
But one who has the benefit of powerful experiences
Like a river high in the mountains
I am always near my source
Speaking rapidly and in sudden bursts
I exude a passion for my case
Like a salmon tasting sea water for the first time
I interpret my background in new ways
Each sentence never spoken before
Each thought given a new life
And each idea connected differently
Than even the session before
Like the taste of French fries
The conversation had a familiar flavor
Addictive and satisfying
There was a depth opened up by a true desire
The darkness clear as day
By the light of knowledge
And a peace illuminated
The mystery of the night
For in the middle of my winter
I burned inside like an ember
Like the heat of the midday sun
Blood hot and palms sweaty
This was another time
Where I was really there
In the heat of the conversation
From my heart came laughter
And I was truly happy
A cold resilience
And a warm character
Both analytical and creative
I seemed unsure of which direction
Should I go
A deep set fear and a hearty laugh
Each aspect showed up the other

Black and White

My voice soft and child like
My inexperience showed through
Like my bright blue bow tie
And my beaming smile
I was outspoken and competent
But inside I felt to soft and easily swayed
I try hard to not be self-conscious
To be nothing if not proud
Of my pear shaped figure
And my big feet
Black and white
Red and blue
I am consoling yet firm
Sympathetic yet bold
What am I to make
Of this deafening quiet
And silent screams
With each word I say
He expands to a paragraph
With each inflection of my voice
His mind is stirred
He is interesting and dynamic
Trapped yet freeing others
What can I say
To one who already has the answers?
If he could just listen to himself
And remember my main point
That it is not a race for an answer
But rather a way of sitting
Not a method of thinking
But a way of seeing
A new twist on his broad background
An open window into his soul
A silence in his racing mind
A soft touch with a strong hand
Something to blend the fire and water
That consumes his heart and mind

Other Poetry

Taming the Mind

Waves lap at the edge of my mind
The interior is a vast expanse of sand
Torn by raging waters
And rugged mountain peaks
It is anything but calm
This is not the sound of silence
Messages fly like carrier pigeons
Familiar with the terrain
The ravens out fly the pigeons
The buzzards peck at the fallen ones
Overgrown brush covers the mountains
And the ocean is covered in algae
Voices from far away echo off the mountains
Voices from within get muffled by the vegetation
Dark clouds cover the sky
And settle down like a mist over the rivers
Lightning bolts across the sky
And knocks the ravens dead in their tracks
Stunned, they fall below
And become entangled in the flora
A thought travels across the expanse
Self awareness occurs
Swift and majestic an eagle soars
Crying out thoughts from the heart
The mist lifts and little villages become visible
The people burn back the overgrowth
Fish team up in the ocean and finish off the algae
The waves subside and gently rock the fishermen’s boats
The people build roads that connect the villages
They send out horses to hurry the mail along
Farms now occupy the land where there once was desert
The rivers are directed to irrigate the land
The natural chaos is contained and settled
Their is freedom from random deaths
Each thought now travels in a caravan
With guards patrolling all sides
The eagles still patrol the skies
And the buzzards clean up the fallen ravens
The inhabitants for now have tamed the land
But whenever the sky becomes dark
They remember what it was like to be isolated and alone

Heaven and Earth

There is a rhythm that exists
Deep inside your spirit
When all you hear is breathing
And your mind is all alone
Thoughts take flight
And you see nothing
Returning the power to Heaven
And the ten thousand things
Follow your mind
Liberation is a subtlety
And freedom comes from control
The hierarchy reflects nature
And the order is transparent
Within an instant
Everything fades away
The mind is ruler
And the body follows
When the mind is empty
The body is fully alert
With each breath
Heaven takes more territory
And the Earth longs
For heaven’s leadership
A unity exists
When Heaven is patriarch
And his rule is sage-like
And shows perspective
The Way leads to your heart
And is illuminated by your breath
Heaven leads the Way
And each member settles in
For a long peace
And a stable rule
The Way is narrow
When your mind is a casualty of war
It broadens
As Heaven is seated on your throne

My Experiences with the Mental Health Establishment

Not a Good Day June 6th, 2006

Today was not a good day. I was the victim of an abusive mental health worker. I have experienced the same thing, with many other people, who work with the mentally ill. They assume that they are always right and the consumer is always wrong. I continue to have to hold my tong and not say how I feel out of fear of retaliation, but they say whatever they feel like, regardless of my feelings and no ones stands up for me. The workers bring up very divisive topics, like politics and religion, and usually say some very negative things about Christianity. Then, when I try to respond, they say I can’t talk about religion or politics. Basically, they are saying only their opinion counts. What I believe is not important, because I was born different than them. I was even told be one of the managers that I know more about mental illness than they do.

Typical Conversation “What is Buddhism all about?” Aside: I only have time for a one sentence answer, but I won’t communicate that to you
“Well, first of all, Buddhism is a form of atheism and is nihilistic. In Buddhism all deities are illusions and…” Aside: Why are they giving me a blank stare? They must not comprehend, but are unwilling to ask the needed question.
“I need help with my VCR; you are good with computers” Aside: I don’t understand him but I don’t want to look stupid, so I am just going to cut him off, in mid-sentence.
“Actually I don’t know much about VCRs. What is your problem?”
“I can’t get the TV back on.”
“Just hit the input button or tv/video button several times, until you see the TV show.”
“I don’t know how to do that.” Aside: I am not really listening to you because I don’t want to learn how to do anything new. I would rather depend on other people, to fix my problems for me.
“I can hit the button for you then, but watch so you can do it next time.” Aside: I just explained it to you. I guess you weren’t even listening.
“I am so busy with work that I need you to do that for me, but I won’t be around.” Aside: I have no intention of doing that. That would be learning and that scares me.
“Ok.” Aside: I wonder what she does at work. All I see her do is talk to the her co-workers and play games on the computer

Resolution I am no longer going to answer any questions about philosophy to anyone who hasn’t first read through Philosophy Core curriculum and answered the questions at the end. Then after looking at the answers, I can tell if they are serious about studying philosophy. Then I will have them read books from the Recommended Reading List and I will answer questions about the books, only after they have read them. The Philosophy Core is based on my reading from 165 mostly classical philosophical texts and my conversations with people of various levels of education over a period of 7 years. I have finally simplified and explained it to the point, that if a person cannot understand it, they are most likely not making the effort, second most likely, they need to learn how to read better, or else they don’t have the ability (the third possibility is very rare).