Category Archives: Thoughts

Can we please hold off on anymore human foolishness for a bit?


We are SO close to a post labor, perhaps even post death world, technologically.

But, here we are.  The number of powder kegs that lead to World War 3 or some other nightmare scenario that are just laying about are terrifying.

Syria.  The China thing.  North Korea shot a missile from a sub.  People are still arguing over the whole color/gender thing.  People are killing people for their religion, ethnicity, etc.

We can be past all of this.  We can, as a species, get past this…  freaking childishness.

Then there’s the other side of things.  There’s commercial spaceflight.  There’s a plan to mine asteroids.  Genetics is doing amazing things, and it’s claimed human cloning is possible.  Artificial intelligence is becoming.  Computational speeds and abilities are insane.  There are driverless vehicles starting to go onto the roads.  Somebody woke someone’s brain up with an ultrasound recently.

I mean, dude. We are RIGHT THERE!  So close we can taste… Utopia.  Space colonization and moving industry, power production, even most of the species, off planet.  Clinical immortality is just down the block.  An end to a need for human labor is really in our faces.

We could be the generation that moves us to and through the technological and industrial and societal revolution that’s upon us, or we can muck it all up over stupidity.

I don’t know if there’s anything I can do, except to try to be a positive influence on those around me.  Maybe you have greater power or money or… whatever, in which case, any help to get us all through this would help.  Maybe you don’t. If you can do nothing else, make someone’s day a little easier.  Help if you can.  Be kind.

Maybe that’s what we need.  Everything goes viral and people embrace it.  I wonder if we could make kindness viral as well.

Try it.  Go tell someone random that it will all be okay.  That they are worthy of happiness.  That it’s okay to believe things or not, as long as you don’t harm anyone else over them.  Let your deity or whatever ism you hold dear take care of that.

If we can all just stop the fighting and hatred, our kids will be able to truly become, and their kids may never know sadness or war or mental illness, maybe even death.

#dontkillthefuture

Leave a comment

Filed under Creative ideas, Philosophical Q&A, Social ideas

The ultimate ‘What would you do and why?’ question.


Subjective experiences interest me. 

A research firm calls.  They want you to volunteer to be a research subject for mind altering experiments.  They offer ten million dollars in compensation.

If you say yes now, keep reading.  If not, drop a comment for me as to why, please.

The study will last the rest of life.  You will live in a resort like hospital, and be free to leave at anytime.  If things go badly, then your health will be taken care of, according to the wishes you lay out now.

If no now, comment below.  If yes, read on.

This is a complete roll of the dice as to how it will affect you.  You could have nothing in you change, really.  You could become smarter, you could develop a mental illness.  Death, immortality, everything is on the table.

No, comments.  Yes, keep going.

The first portion of the testing will be a treatment that will alter the way you react to things.  You will find that you are content all the time, even deliriously happy when appropriate.  Things just won’t bother you, and you’ll always be happy.

No, comments.  Yes, keep going.

The next portion of the testing will be taking some various chemicals at increasing dosages, while your health is carefully monitored.  You will be expected to record your state of mind and thoughts on an hourly basis.

No, comments.  Yes, keep going.

The next part of the testing will involve chemical and gene therapy on your brain, directly, to overcome the blood-brain barrier.  You will be anesthetized and, due to earlier testing, happy.

No, comments.  Yes, keep going.

The final stage of the testing, they surgically implant devices into your brain that allow you to directly interface with it.  You can have experiences akin to the Matrix, instantly learning things, experiencing anything you want while jacked in.

The devices can’t be removed, but you will have the choice to leave the Matrix at any time, and you are not required to ever use it again.

No, comments.  Yes, keep going.

Your experiences and thoughts will be constantly recorded and uploaded to a research computer.  It will include data that will enable them to experience your every moment, as you, believing that they are you while experiencing it.

This effect will happen while you are in the Matrix, and and outside of it.  You can ask that they delete it all on delivery.

Comments, please.  My opinion on this will be in the comments as well.  There are no wrong answers, and if you don’t want your responses published, just note it in your comment.

1 Comment

Filed under Creative ideas, Mental Health, People with interesting ideas, Philosophical Q&A, Social ideas, Things I like

Suicide


Hopeless-4fd5b14b0d0f2

So. You’re reading this because you googled suicide or something similar. Maybe you’re thinking about it. Maybe you know someone thinking about it. Maybe you’re just trying to understand why people do it.

First of all, since this is a touchy subject in the extreme, let me introduce myself. My name is Arthur. I am diagnosed Bipolar 1 with psychotic features. To make that understandable, I have physical and emotional experiences that don’t necessarily relate to current events in my life, and I always see and hear things that aren’t there. It makes life… interesting, to say the least.

I have attempted suicide multiple times, and I still think about it. Every day. The question that doctors and such like to ask: “Do you have a plan?” is almost meaningless. Potential means for suicide surround us constantly, so the plan is always available. I haven’t successfully done it yet(obviously… 😛 ), and while I make no guarantees for ‘never’, I haven’t actively attempted in quite a long time.

I still remember the sensation of every attempt, from the sawing sensation as the blade bit through my flesh, to the taste of gunmetal and blood as I scratched the roof of my mouth with it, to the fear I hadn’t taken enough pills and the ensuing chocolatey yet dirty taste of the quart and a half of charcoal I had to drink afterwards.(You poop it all out, by the way.  It’s bad.)

Sorry about that.

Sorry about that.

But why? That’s the question I want to answer. Why do I, and maybe other people, think about, attempt, and sometimes succeed at, suicide?

In some cases, I was just so tired. Every breath was an effort, all food tasted the same, and all I could think was that it just never gets better. No matter what happens, the joy is always short lived and the grinding way that life goes always brings you down.

In others, my brain just wouldn’t shut up. Nothing made sense and I couldn’t grab one of the bits of thought that was racing around in my head and tie it to another one in a way that made any kind of sense. Tons of energy and no motivation to do anything with it.

But that’s me. What about other people? (Maybe you?)

There are a million situational reasons. Maybe the person doesn’t feel loved. Maybe they suffer from an uncurable illness. Maybe they feel guilty. Maybe they’re just tired of fighting, grinding their way through life. In the end, though, it all boils down to one thing.

A lack of hope.

The thought process goes something like this: This sucks. Tomorrow, this will suck, therefore tomorrow will suck. The day after that will suck. The next week, the next month, and I just don’t think it’s worth experiencing the amount of suck that is going to occur in order to experience that potential joy that I’m told exists but that is so far removed from me that it may as well be a fairy tale.

As far as hope goes, when it’s there you never notice it. It just is. It’s part of the way you think and the way you are. When it’s gone, you don’t generally know that that’s what’s missing. You only know that everything is intolerable and you are simply done with it. That’s when the thought first shows up, for many.
That first thought is terrifying for some, and they run directly to get help. For many, it isn’t terrifying. It’s a comfort, even beautiful. It’s the most soothing siren song in the world, and if you’ll only do this one tiny little, simple thing, all the pain goes away.

It doesn’t tend to mention that it’s all a lie.

Suicide is not an easy thing. Your body, your mind, fights you even as it encourages you to do it. Pulling a blade across your skin is easy, pushing down hard enough to hit an artery is beyond hard. Overdosing and ‘just going to sleep’ is beyond difficult as well, as the dosages required to kill you are far greater than those that will just destroy your body, shortening your life span but making you live under constant watch and care as your destroyed organs fail. Putting a gun in your mouth and pulling the trigger requires you to mentally overcome every survival urge your body has, and it is in that moment that your mind tends to flounder about, reaching for any hope that it can call up to keep you from squeezing the trigger.

The main thing that I have lacked, as far as successfully committing suicide goes, is enough anger to accept that I will hurt people simply by no longer being there. Anger is as irrational and powerful as lust, I think. That emotion is what makes a person do whatever it takes to die, and is probably at the heart of these public suicides that take the lives of others in the process.

So. Hopeless anger is what causes suicide by cop, suicide by shooting people, suicide in public or with a manifesto attached. Even that quiet end where someone manages to overdose and die in their sleep, they were tired, hopeless and angry enough to take enough pills or whatever to make sure they wouldn’t wake up.

How do you fight it?

I have some survival questions and rules that have kept me from attempting for a long time. Here they are:

1: Is my pain of greater value than the potential pain this will cause others?

Generally, no.  Your death will probably cause pain to at least one other person, even if that person is just trying to bury you.  More than likely, people will grieve, probably for years, and be sad, depressed, and angry, much like you’re feeling now.

This falls apart when delusion takes over, though. If you aren’t angry, then this should be a big deal, and your empathy should kick in to some degree. In my case, I tend to fall into this place where I believe that a lack of having to deal with me would be a good thing to those that this choice would otherwise cause. That’s when I move onto the next rule…

2: Wait 24 hours, and sleep for no more than 8 of them, and no less than 6 of them.

Sleep does some amazing things, including allowing your brain to take a break. If you can’t sleep at all during those 24 hours, go to a hospital and tell them the situation. Yes, they will admit you. Yes, it will suck. Take a bag, something to read, and a notebook and pen so that you can write down all of the crap in your head.

I limit it to 8, because past that amount, I tend to feel worse. I will want to make sleep my escape, and it will turn into a situation where that’s all I do. This will hurt others just as bad, and if I don’t commit suicide, I’ll have to apologize to those it hurts, which sucks, which feeds into the thought process I mentioned above with some self-hatred and anger thrown in.

3: Do that thing you like, that you have access to, one last time.

Let’s say you like milkshakes. Go to the store, and buy one. Think about the fact this may be the last one you ever have. Love the sound of crashing waves? Go to a beach. Let yourself experience that, and think about the fact that this may very well be the very last time you do it.

You may find that you’d like to be able to do it again, enough to go to the hospital or police or whomever and tell them about it.

4: Once it’s done, it’s done. Did you do everything else possible?

Suicide, if successful, is the very last thing you will ever do. That’s it. No takebacks. Heaven, hell, reincarnation, none of that is guaranteed beyond your own personal belief. As far as you know, you are hitting the off switch on life with a hammer. There’s no turning it back on. Did you try quitting that job, leaving that relationship, moving away and starting over from scratch? People do those things, and are successful. Did you try them? Maybe you should.

I’m not going to lie to you. Life is hard. We fuck up. Other people hurt us. We hurt ourselves. We dream of comfort and stability, we imagine joy, but none of those things are guaranteed. We try to get help and the system we have has long waiting periods for appointments, and no real concept of fixing anything, only mitigating symptoms and making us manageable by society. (Seriously, world, what are you people doing? You say you care, but all you do is say it and encourage people to take the pills when we have all of this marvelous technology and money to throw at all of these other things… but I digress.)

Even then, suicide is probably not the best answer.

I know, if you’re here because you’re thinking about doing it, you’re still thinking about it. So, make a plan. Plan your death, the whole shebang, including your obituary and funeral arrangements.  Think about who will react to it, how they’ll react, and what you want them to take away from it.

At the same time, make another plan. This one is to leave the situation and just go somewhere else. Plan on being broke, homeless, jobless, and without a friend in the world when you go. It’s the same thing as suicide, but you’re giving yourself one more chance to find something tolerable. Plan it all the way out, to include what paperwork you need to take, how much you can reasonably carry, and where you’ll go.

Now. I want you to consider this: the end goal is to make the old situation go away, right? Both plans do this. Both plans hurt people emotionally, but you’ll be either dead or away from those it hurts, so you don’t have to deal with that unless you want to alleviate the pain.  One way means that perhaps you’ll find joy in a starlit night or be able to dance in the snow.  Maybe try that one?

Final Thoughts

I’ve been in there, in that space. I know. I care. I’m not the only one, but none of us are psychic. You have to talk to us, and not just the people that blow it off or don’t listen or freak out. Everyone’s not like that. Use your words. The smallest words you have are enough. If you do decide to go, though, and there’s no changing your mind, know that you will be missed. You might have been that person who I’d run into someday and we’d be become best of friends. You might be the one who saves someone else from something horrible. You might be just a comfort to the people around you, just knowing you’re there, you’ve been through hell, and you’re still here, and that’s enough to make them keep going. If you still go, know that I hope that you find it’s better on the other side.

If you comment something personal, it will remain private unless you say in the comment that it’s okay to share.
Feel free to share this out there into the world, too. Maybe it’ll help somebody.

1 (800) 273-8255 Suicide prevention hotline

http://hopeline.com/ (This one is all a chat)

Dandelions are called names, killed, and generally despised. They keep trying anyway, with everything they have. That's hope, to me, and I love them for it.

Dandelions are called names, killed, and generally despised. They keep trying anyway, with everything they have. That’s hope, to me, and I love them for it.

3 Comments

Filed under Mental Health, Social ideas, Things I like, Thoughts

France.


Courtesy joobili.com

Courtesy joobili.com

I took French in high school.  I can speak a tiny bit, but what has always really had me in awe of France has been their history.

The names and places that have sprung from those lands, Napoleon Bonaparte, The Sun King, Voltaire, Sartre, Rousseau, and so many more, give rise to imaginings of heroism, great thinkers and astounding ideas.

courtesy wikimedia

courtesy wikimedia

The architecture is amazing as well.  Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Champs Elysees, even the catacombs of Paris, the fortresses of the Maginot Line.  It’s all just astounding.

courtesy cdn.citylab.com

courtesy cdn.citylab.com

The culture is awesome, too.  I only know what I know from movies and news reports, but their passionate nature gives rise to rebellion, conquest, hedonism, and an almost amusing arrogance.

What a country.  What a people.

They must be destroyed.

Courtesy danieldupre at deviantart

Courtesy danieldupre at deviantart

For all the great things that these people have brought to the world, they have done one unfathomable thing, above all others that, to me, suggests they simply want to watch the world burn and will do whatever it takes to bring this about.

They take chocolate bars, put them on french bread, and call it a sandwich.

Courtesy photos-a-la-con.fr

Courtesy photos-a-la-con.fr

This sort of thing simply cannot be allowed.  It brings into question everything, the joy of chocolate, the savoriness of bread, existence and reality themselves.  It’s the ultimate insult to the taste buds that simply cannot be allowed.

I’m sorry, France.  You have to go.  I may visit you one day, but your madness must end before it destroys us all.

Leave a comment

Filed under Creative ideas, For followers, Literature, Social ideas, Things I like, Thoughts, Visual Art

On kindness.


What?  I like them.

Yay dandelion!

I propose an idea.

The rules of society, the unspoken rules, the ones you figure out by slow, uncomfortable experience? Let’s do away with them.  Everyone is miserable in some way.  If not everyone, a ridiculous vast majority.  Most of those people are miserable because of those unwritten rules.

Lies are okay.

Me first.

He who dies with the most toys wins.

They are bad because they look/think/believe/want/need differently from us.

The misfortunes of others give us joy.

 

So, in their place, I say we adopt the following, as a species.

1: Be kind.

Kindness would not harm another being through deliberate action or inaction.

Kindness is aware that other human beings exist and they are all affected by my decisions.

Kindness is consistent and constant.

Kindness is not the easy thing.  It is the worthy thing.  It is the right thing.  Not just for me, but for society as a whole.  We are human beings.  We have risen above so much, but somewhere kindness was lost behind.

Kindness does not judge without reasoning.

Kindness does compromise.

Kindness asks for what it needs.

Kindness doesn’t ask unless it’s a need.

Kindness is the small thing, the common thing.  The single stirring of a butterfly wing, that eventually creates a hurricane.

Kindness is powerful.  It doesn’t flinch.  It doesn’t back down.

Kindness takes care of itself, that it might better care for others.

Kindness is subjective, but always tries to imagine what it’s like in another’s shoes.

Kindness is the rock to which civilization clings.  Trust is a kindness.  Honor, a kindness.  Truth, respect, justice, valor, all derive from kindness.

 

We laud ourselves for being tool using creatures.  We call ourselves sentient.  Without kindness as a constant part of who we are as a species, are we any better than animals, really?  Given a behavior comparison, how does humanity rank against the Great White Shark?  (No, really.  Have there been any studies?)

 

As for my proposition and the rules, there need be no more.  From kindness, all else grows.

I like elephants, too.

Yay Elephant!

Now for an injection of “sanity” from the devil’s advocate.

If humans are wrong about being better than animals, then kindness becomes a privilege.  If humans are incapable of overcoming their desires to be selfish and destructive, then perhaps reality is what it shall be.  Poverty must exist because not all can have all.  Crime, hatred, war, all must exist in a world without kindness, because greed is their root. Itself, unkind.

Kindness itself can’t spread aggressively, either.  Kindness can only be an example, spread passively.  We have to choose to do it, and change is uncomfortable at best.

So, the proposition.  Let’s try it.  Choose to be kind.  Let’s see what the world looks like with that as our driving force for a century or two.  Join me?

 

Leave a comment

Filed under People with interesting ideas, Things I like, Thoughts

What racing thoughts are like…


Over the course of many years of psychiatric care, I have been asked a number of questions for which I had no good answer.  This is the best way I can think of to answer, “…and what’s that like?”…

Here’s an example “stock” answer I filed away for those times when I knew they were going to ask: Sometimes my thoughts are like raindrops.  Bold and surprising when they hit me, but I am aware of more.

I have come up with, what I think is, a way that maybe I can show you.  This will require some participation on your part, but all you need is a deck of simple playing cards.

Look at the cards.  Say each name.  Take in what it looks like.  This is me when I have a good handle on my thoughts.  I enjoy the little nuances, the texture of the card, the way it shines in the light.  Sometimes this thought-mode weirds me out, because I become acutely aware of whatever I’m doing…  like typing…  (lol)

Now, take the deck in your hands and begin moving the cards, one at a time, from one hand to the other.  I use my thumb to push them over, like I’m sorting through a hand of cards, but don’t spread them out.  You only need to move them about a half the width of the card.  (Yes, I like specific instructions.)

As you’re doing this, pick a card to watch for.  Generally, you can sort through pretty quickly and still find the one you’re looking for.  This is how a thought process should work.  (I imagine.)

My true normal is with the following added challenge:  Focus on the center of the cards as you’re doing it, and try to focus on a spot in the middle distance, that area that is somewhere about 6 inches from the cards.  It’s doable, but it can be a challenge.  Decisions take a bit longer as I try to sort through things.

More on decisions later.

“Racing thoughts” is when you take the cards and just flip through them really fast.  Like trying to spot a card as someone shuffles them.  Remember the instructions before about picking a card?  Try to stop on that one.

If possible, try to have someone else flip and stop when you tell them.  See if you land on the card that way.

Yeah, that’s racing thoughts.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under For followers, Mental Health, Thoughts

I hope that God has a lenient attendance policy…


I don’t go to church.

I have some spiritual reasons, but those are things I’m not sure I want to get into right now.  The fact, for me, is this:  I have no desire to join a social club.

There have been a few churches in my life, and every one of them had exceptional individuals.  Individuals that… well… shined.  I may not have agreed with all of the technicalities of belief, but their enthusiasm was just uplifting.

Then there were the fun ones that just made it a negative experience.  The people that you felt ashamed to talk to, not because they were necessarily “holier”, but because they projected it selectively.  An example of this would be the classic lady who gossips about how bad it is such and such is a gossip.

My brain just can’t handle that level of duality in the world.  (If you read some earlier posts, you’ll understand this.)

It literally gives me a panic attack thinking about it very much.

*******

notice: some of my personal spirituality follows.  If you are strongly offended by non-traditional views, please stop now.

*******

******************

Still here?

Ok.  I have never been able to roll very well with the whole creation/ark/etc thing as literal and using technologies of the time.  I can’t understand why so much focus is put on minor, trivial laws that Jesus seemed irritated by.  I can’t roll with the whole “visible works” thing as a scoresheet for “who’s the best christian”.  Finally, I have no proof whatsoever, nothing I can’t plausibly explain in life or otherwise as “proof” or “requiring” a deity of any form.

Let me guess.  Confused?

Let me explain.  Faith is belief in that which you have no evidence.  Therefore, faith is either a delusional state or it is an active choice.

I choose to believe in God.  I choose to believe that it will matter that Jesus died on the cross for my sins.  It makes me happy.

Based on this choice, I imagine God as a consciousness.  That consciousness has a personality, a thought proces on some level that we can understand and connect with.  This being is an extradimensional being, meaning that, to Him, we are at the same level that pictures are to us.  To us, He is as comprehendable as our finger would be to a sentient drawing of a square.  We can be aware.  We can interact to a limited degree.  We have no way to understand.

That would make Angels potentially what we think of as ET.  (Yay Aliens!)

Heaven is an unknown to me.  Reincarnation is a possibility.  Beings that we would comprehend as demigods can exist, but I don’t worry about them.  They’re interesting to think about.  (Yay Cthulhu!)  I don’t want to sing in a choir or be constantly happy.

God is perfect only by His own definition.  Consider this: God created Lucifer, knowing that he would rebel.  God chose not to instantly obliterate him.  Lucifer only actually has to fight with angels, and he hangs out in heaven.  Time passes for Lucifer and the other angels.  Therefore, angels and demons and all that are definite maybes for 3rd dimensional beings.

I think hell may be reincarnation.  Which would make this hell.  Which would explain depression and such.

Science is all just working out the “how?” of God’s…  whatever you want to call it.  I’m somewhat hesitant to call it a “creation”, because I believe that science is probably right.  Given enough time they may figure out how to reproduce it and use it to escape entropy.  Remember the alien thing?  Totally expecting aliens to show up for the Revelations/Tribulation bash.

Finally:  here are the big Jesus rules I go by.  The ten commandments are nice, but they’re pretty generic.  Jesus gave some rules and here’s how I understand them.  (You may understand them differently, and want to bring me X bible verse and interpretation, but…  how about don’t?)

1:  Be kind

This means that if you can do, do it.  If you see a need and can provide somehow, do it.  Not to the point of absurdity, but if you can help someone else and it means a little discomfort somehow for you, isn’t that what you would wish someone else would do if you were in a tight spot?  That means listening when someone talks.  That means sharing if you can.  That means saying nice things.  That means putting other people ever so slightly before yourself in importance.

2: Communion with God is right here, right now

Every moment.  Everywhere.  God sees you pooping.  Yes, that freaked me out for a while once I thought about it.  I have wonderings about whether or not we may be God’s own simulation.  (I make sure some of my first purchases in Sims 3 are steel bladder, then trance meditative sleep, hardly hungry, and dirt defiant.  Just sayin’, God.)

3: You can be a “light unto the world” without being a jackass about it

I get on a religion kick from time to time, where I want to talk about it.  Generally, though, I don’t.  I don’t want to persuade you to believe like I do or anything.  If you like how I do things and think it’s a good way to roll with things.  Great.  If not, well, this makes me happy.  It’s what I’m going with.

1 Comment

Filed under Thoughts, Uncategorized