Tag Archives: philosophy

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

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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.

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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?

 

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Internal Computing of Morality(for me)-or why I hate my brain sometimes…


mammalian-brain-computer-inside

(image credit: http://www.voodish.co.uk/articles/human-brain-simulated-on-super-computer/)

Morality. Noun. Principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior.

I always wonder how people develop their morality, how they make “moral” choices, and what they mean when they describe a person as a “moral” person. It’s honestly something of a curiosity to me.

Let’s take a look at the definition, first. “the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad”

Think about that for a minute. Does right equal good? Does wrong equal bad? Who is it that decides these things, exactly?

For some, the answer is simple. They point to a deity of one sort or another, look at their sacred texts, and come back with an answer to what is right or wrong based on that. The problem with this, is that there are several to choose from, and while societies can form that support these ideals, those societies tend to be at odds. In general, within these societies, there are also conflicts within them about the interpretation of the sacred text and what it is the society itself should be doing, causing splinters within the society.

For others, they go with instinct. The problem I have with instinct is that instinct seems lot flipping a coin or rolling dice to decide on the outcome of a given situation. There’s no real thought put into it, you just go forth and do, and hope for the best. Some of these people do well, some do not. Instinct alone is all about survival, and while you may survive and even thrive on it, it makes you a bit random. The only thing that is apparent to me that those who follow instinct first and foremost can be depended upon for is to look out for their own interests first in any given situation. Whether this is good or bad is a question that I’m not convinced even applies.

So, morality is still an enigma, as far as how other people come to their decisions and whatnot. This is how my mental computer works, as far as I can understand.

1:Input: Something is Happening.

2:Choice: Is the input signifying something that must be decided on now? If yes, continue, if no, return to input.

3:Choice: Is the input enjoyable? If yes, continue. If no, continue to step 7

4:Choice: Is the input good? If yes, continue. If no, continue to step 7

5:Choice: Is the input right, wrong, or neutral? If right, continue, if wrong, continue to step 7 if neutral return to step 2

6:Return to Input and continue

7:Cease activity and return to Input.

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

Pretty basic, right? The problem here is defining the variables “enjoyable”, “good”, “right”, “wrong, “bad”, and “neutral”.

Looking a little bit deeper at myself, I find that I have quick lists in my head. Like bookmarks. Each variable has a tab, and each seems to have a list of experienced activities and sensations attached.

The problem is this, though. I can’t figure out what subroutine in my head places things in the tabs as they are. I know that some were learned, whether by parents, society, school, or religion. Those things are all also marked as things told, not experienced.

I have another tab, though, marked experienced. This is another list of things, some of which are in the not experienced tab. These two tabs seem to be outside of my decision making process, though, as I look at my internal “program” above, I see no place where the use of either tab fits.

:internal examination:

On further examination, I find that somewhere along the way I placed in my “good” and “enjoyable” tabs the concept of increasing the number of things under my “experienced” tab. Further, this seems to be reinforced by something that affects the way I receive input. It’s sort of like this:

1: Input: Something is Happening. If input is not currently in experienced tab, check told tab for variable reference, but force continue once. If input is in neither tab, force continue once.

The problem here is that it suggests there is more to the program than I have seen so far. It appears that it actually goes more like this:

1: Input: Something is Happening. If input is not currently in experienced tab, check told tab for variable reference, but force continue once. If input is in neither tab, force continue once.

2:Choice: Is the input signifying something that must be decided on now? If yes, continue, if no, return to input.

3:Choice: Is the input enjoyable? If yes, continue. If no, continue to step 7 If no reference, go to enjoyable subroutine.

4:Choice: Is the input good? If yes, continue. If no, continue to step 7 If no reference, go to good subroutine.

5:Choice: Is the input right, wrong, or neutral? If right, continue, if wrong, continue to step 7 if neutral return to step 2 If no reference, go to right/wrong subroutine.

6:Return to Input and continue

7:Cease activity and return to Input.

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

So-I have subroutines to examine.

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

Enjoyable subroutine

1: Input: Something is happening.

2: Choice: Does the enjoyable tab have anything similar to this, but different enough to be considered a unique experience? If no, continue. If yes, mark enjoyable and return to decision making process at step 3.

3: Choice: Does this cause me some kind of pain? If no, continue. If yes, mark as “painful” and continue.

4: Choice: Does this cause anyone else any kind of pain? If yes, cease activity and reboot system. If no, continue.

5: Choice: Does this give me pleasure? If yes, mark “pleasurable” and continue. If no, force check to decision making process at step 4.

6: Choice: Does this give anyone else pleasure? If yes, mark pleasurable. If no, force check to decision making process at step 4.

7: For each pleasure, add one point. For each painful, subtract one point.

8: If points is greater than zero, mark experience “enjoyable” and return to decision making process.

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

Good seems to be similar, but different. It includes a couple of extra steps.

1: Input: Something is happening.

2: Choice: Does the good tab have anything similar to this, but different enough to be considered a unique experience? If no, continue. If yes, mark good and continue.

3: Choice: Does this cause me some kind of pain? If no, continue. If yes, mark as “painful” and continue.

4: Choice: Does this cause anyone else any kind of pain? If yes, mark as painful and continue. If no, continue.

5: Choice: Does this give me pleasure? If yes, mark “pleasurable” and continue. If no, continue

6: Choice: Does this give anyone else pleasure? If yes, mark “pleasurable”. If no, continue.

7: For each pleasure, add one point. For each painful, subtract one point.

8: If points is greater than zero, mark experience “good”

9: If points is zero or less, but activity is marked “good”, then remove “good” marking and remove “good” marking from similar experiences.

10: Return to decision making process at step 5.

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

One more subroutine… Right, wrong, neutral.

Right/Wrong subroutine:

1: Input: Something is Happening

2: Choice: If input is not marked experienced, check learned tab and continue.

3: Choice: If input is marked learned and marked right within tab, mark right and continue, if not, continue.

4: Choice: If input is marked enjoyable, mark right and continue, if not mark wrong and continue.

5: Choice: If input is marked good, mark right and continue, if not mark wrong and continue.

6: For each right mark, score one point.

7: For each wrong mark, subtract one point.

8: If points is greater than 0, mark right and continue if not, cease activity and mark wrong.

9: Choice: Does this cause anyone harm? If yes, mark wrong and return to decision making process at step 3 for reevaluation.

10: Return to decision making process at step 6.

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

Whew! That’s pretty involved.

Well, for me, the good news is that I can now examine these processes, and if I can examine them, I can tweak them. The bad news-this is just how I sort things out internally as to morality and decision making. It tells me nothing of what to expect from others, unless everyone works off of something similar.

So… how about you tell me? How similar is your own process? If it’s completely different, how is it different? Can you edit this process in ways that will make it more efficient, or line up more to the way society works?

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On love…


Love is one of those concepts that people seem like they have no real idea about what it is.

I mean, there are plenty of metaphors for love, and plenty of people will describe love as a “metaconcept”, but I tend to think that love is a pretty simple concept that people imagine is far more complex than it really is.

To me:  Love is putting the happiness of another person before your own.

People hesitate to say, “I love you,” because of the way our society and culture suggest that there is an implied guarantee in that statement.  “I love you and only you and from now on will only imagine you as being more important to me than my own happiness and desires,” seems to be the imagined promise.

Now, I can only address the concept of love subjectively, and as I stated, it’s pretty simple to me.  The confusion seems to be that people think that there’s an equation that Love=Relationship=Sex.  This equation, however, is insane.

Think with me.  I love my pets.  I do not want to be in a relationship with my pets.  I do not want to have sex with my pets.  Therefore, Love =/= Relationship and Love =/= Sex.  To take it a bit further, I have any number of relationships where I may or may not love the other party, and have no desire to have sex with them.  This leads to Relationship =/= Sex either.

It would seem to me that maybe people just need to be a bit more specific, and open to specifics.  Think of how simple things would be if a person who was in a social group could simply say what it was they were seeking from another person without implying other things which were unsaid.

Love is a verb.  Something done.  Love can be shown by example, but its nature doesn’t change in the showing.  No matter what you do, love is what it is, and everything else is everything else.

Maybe this is just wishful thinking, but wouldn’t it be nice to be able to just love freely and openly as we pleased, without other assumptions being made as to our intentions?

My advice is this:  Just love and find happiness in that love.  Whatever comes of doing this comes of it, but let the love be something on its own, without conditions.  You never know, this could be the very thing that leads the whole human race to a happier existence.

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New Life, Inc. Begin Again! (a story)


pt-waiting-room

 

I wanted to write something today and so I wrote this.  Tell me what you think.

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

“Welcome to New Life, Incorporated!” exclaimed the handsome young woman behind the counter.

Thomas looked around the storefront business.  A simple enough office, with calm to the eyes eggshell painted walls and the obligatory office art.  Nothing screamed, “UNUSUAL!” in the room.  A small counter with an attractive attendee.  A few chairs.  A coffee table with reading material seemingly purchased by a fishing enthusiast turned soap opera lover.  The carpet a mild gray, with the chair upholstery to match.

Just an average office.

Thomas had been drawn to the store by the slogan out front, stenciled on a simple plywood board painted white that read, “Don’t like your life?  Start again with NEW LIFE!”

“Ahem, hello,” Thomas coughed, almost timidly.

The woman smiled.  She was attractive, but not quite beautiful.  A noticable woman for her long red hair and animated green eyes, if nothing else.  Average body, not distracting in any way.  Her smile relaxed from her original apparent excitement to something more casual.

“I know what you’re thinking, sir.  Were you just curious about the shop, or are you actively interested in a new life?” her eyes twinkled knowingly as she said it.

Thomas relaxed.  “How about we just call it curiosity for now.  Do you have a hand out or anything that I could look over?”

The woman’s smile turned tragic as she said,”I’m sorry, but we haven’t gotten any of our pamphlets in yet.  I could give you a card with the web address, or if you have a few minutes I could just try to explain a bit about it to you.”  The smile returned in full force as she said,”To be honest, this store is brand new, and you’re the first potential customer.  I don’t have anything else to do right now, so it’d be a nice way to kill time, for me.”

Thomas chuckled.  “Pretty, friendly, and wants a few minutes of my time? Why not?” he thought.  Aloud, Thomas said, “Sure thing, I got nowhere to be right now, anyway.”

The woman’s eyes widened a bit, “Oh, that’s just great!  Well, sit down in one of those chairs over there and I’ll come sit with you.  Do you need something to drink or anything?”

“Naw, but thank you, miss…?”

The woman stood up, revealing that she was above average in height.  Her dark green dress draped to just below her knees, revealing sensible shoes.  Her pale skin, almost albino, made the color of her dress and hair and eyes just that much more vibrant.

“How about you just call me Maddy?  What’s your name?” she asked, approaching and sticking out her hand.

Thomas took it in his.  A delicate hand, soft and warm in his.  The sensation made him smile.  “Thomas,” he said.

They sat together, near enough to be conspirators or old friends.  Maddy turned and regarded him, “Well, Thomas, I’m going to give it to you straight.  I’ll practice my ‘pitch’ and you try to answer honestly.  If you like any of our services offered, I’ll give you a nice discount on it for being so kind, ok?”

Thomas nodded, internally laughing.  Salespeople always tried to sell, he supposed.

Maddy straightened, locking eyes with him. “Well, we offer a number of services.  If you were having a hard time in your life and wanted to try to fix them yourself, we offer life coaching, therapy, and even have an in-house psychiatrist, if that would help.”

Thomas looked at her, “This a mental health place or something?  I didn’t notice any Doctors names or anything.”

“No, that’s not our primary focus here,” she smiled.  “We offer far more variety of options than any traditional office of that sort.”

“Oh yeah?  Like what?” Thomas asked, intrigued now.

“Well, if you don’t have any mental health issues, we also offer the opportunity to begin a new life with a new identity, with options ranging from a simple change of identity to complete synthetic reincarnation,” Maddy’s eyes twinkled, her voice lowering as she said the words.

Thomas was nonplussed.  “Complete synthro-what?” he said.

“Complete synthetic reincarnation.  Let me tell you about it, ok?”

“Ok, but it sounds impossible, and I’m not religious,” said Thomas.

Maddy laughed a silvery little chuckle, “Nonono.  This has nothing to do with religion or anything.”

“Ok, so tell me about it,” Thomas urged.

“Well, we take a complete and thorough map of your brain, all the neurons and such.  We then do a few simple, non-invasive tests to map your memories and thought processes to the right neural pathways and their related genetics.  We then use advanced techniques to transfer your knowledge and memories, the ones you choose, to electronic form.  After that, we build a synthetic life form of whatever age you choose, from birth to age 25 with an informationally empty brain, using your genetic code as a blueprint, but allowing some random processes to effect the end result…” Maddy began.

“Wait a second.  You make a clone of me?” asked Thomas.

“Not an exact clone.  We just make one that is genetically different enough to be similar.  It’s a new body, completely.  We can even customize certain things for you, if you choose,” she smiled.

“What if I chose to be a child?”

Maddy looked at Thomas, “Then we would implant you as a fetus into the next available candidate.  They would raise you to adulthood.”

Thomas thought for a second, and said,”What about my memories, my knowledge?  What about my expertise?”

“All of those things could be input into your brain.  There might be some degradation if you chose that route, as a brain is still forming at that point, and not fully developed, but your aptitudes and general knowledge would definitely carry over.  You’d have to relearn your body and how to control and use it, but your knowledge would remain.”

Thomas’ mind spun.  This was impossible, a fairy tale. “Are you pullin’ my leg?”

Maddy laughed, “Not at all.  We have successfully done it over fifty times now.  The oldest of them is now thirteen and studying aeronautics at MIT.”

“What happens to all the ‘old’ stuff?”  Thomas asked skeptically.

“That’s why it’s a ‘new’ life.  All property and assets transfer to us.  You are declared deceased, and your body is delivered to the hospital of your choice with no signs of life.”

Thomas started at that.  “You kill people?” he asked, aghast.

“Only the body, Thomas.  Only the old you.  Your mind, your awareness, is all transferred to the new you.”  Maddy said softly.  “That’s why we have the mental health team on staff, there’s no point in transferring a person with a mental illness unless that is the absolute last resort, but it’s a definite improvement to suicide, don’t you think?”

Thomas paused.  It made sense, in a strange way.  The idea was like a flame to kindling in Thomas’ mind.

“How much?” he asked.

“Like I said, all worldly possessions are transferred to us, with the exception of twenty five percent that can beallocated to beneficiaries.  The amount of knowledge transferred is then based on your net worth, and there are grants for special considerations.  Extreme valor, intellect, that sort of thing.”

Thomas pursed his lips.  “Ok, so what’s the minimum for a full transfer to a fetus state with full knowledge?”

Maddy winked.  “I mentioned a discount, so for you, Thomas, and only because you have been so nice, I’ll offer you the full package if your net worth is greater than fifty thousand dollars.  That’s a ninety-nine percent discount, and we’d be using any viable organs to make up the cost difference.”  Maddy paused. “Of course, you’d have to do it now.  Today.  This is a one time offer, because that way we could claim you as our first success at this location,” She whispered conspiratorially.

Thomas thought.  At forty five years old, he had lived a decent life.  He had a son about to start college, and his wife had recently died.  His life insurance would keep his son taken care of for the immediate future, and his car, his baby, was almost enough to cover the cost by itself.

“Why not?” he said aloud.

Maddy smiled brilliantly.  “Really?  Oh my goodness, Thomas, I’m so excited, for both of us!  My first sale!” She exclaimed, standing.

Thomas stood.  He smiled at her exuberance and joy and said, “Ok, so where do I sign?”

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

 

I think this could turn into an interesting story.  It smacks of several interesting philosophical and religious questions pertaining to identity and the soul.  Let me know what you think!

 

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On bipolar…


I posted this on http://forfreepsychology.wordpress.com/  Like it here, like it there.  🙂

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

rollercoaster

I am not Bipolar.  I have Bipolar.  It is not me, and I live with it, but I do not allow it to have me.

I know, this is all quibbling with language, but when we use language to think, to define ourselves and who we are, our words and their meanings become vital.  All to often, people are classified, or classify themselves as “Bipolar”, as if it were a nationality, culture, heritage or something that defines who we are.

I refuse.

Cancer patients don’t call themselves,”Cancerous”, although Cancer decides much of what they do and how they live.  They have Cancer.  Some lie down and allow their lives to go the way they go.  Some fight tooth and nail.  Some ignore it completely, living with it to the end.  There may be an exception somewhere to this, but I haven’t met anyone who said,”I am cancerous.”  They have it.

So, that’s my attitude.  It’s not for everyone, and if you are a “Bipolar” and embrace it, then good for you.  It’s not for me.

How do I fight?

First of all, I take the position that, despite the way my decision making abilities are tied to my emotion and energy and the way that they don’t always make any rational sense, I am the decision maker here.  If I choose to start behaving in a way that is a danger to myself or someone else, I made that choice.  I own it.  It may have been a poor choice, and may have been helped along by having Bipolar, but I made the decision to do X.  No one made me do it but me.

This position has it’s good and bad points.  It allows me to claim control over something, when internally it’s as if I’m mostly an observer.  Society appears to be all in favor of me lying down and claiming,”But, I’m bipolar, and I am out of control.”  I don’t want that.  I am 36 years old.  I’m a father, and if one of my kids says,”I was out of control”, as a parent, I still punish them for acting badly.  I have more control than a 4 or 8 or 12 year old, even if that control extends only to,”This is getting too hard, I need help.”  It allows me to live and be productive and helpful and a positive influence on my friends and family.  It makes me “happy”.

Secondly, I pay attention.  I pay a LOT of attention to what is going on with me internally.  For example:  Right now, I am a tad stressed, but not bad.  I’m on an “upswing” towards a potential hypo or hyper manic phase, but I won’t know how far it will go until I get there, but I know it bears careful attention to my sleeping patterns and closer scrutiny of decision making.  My chest has that odd “excitement/panic/fear/happiness” tingle to it.  My muscles are “sparkly” as I describe it, that sensation of when the adrenalin is about to drop into your system before a competitive race or something.  My thoughts are quick, but not racing, yet.  This all means that my patience is less, my temper is shorter, and I should probably not make any major decisions on my own and without reflection right now.

I know what I need to do, and the decision is mine as to whether to do the things that will allow me to continue to live and be a “good” influence on those around me or not.

Third, I try to focus my energy on things that are intangible , if I have an excess.  If I am manic and not sleeping, I will try to make myself consider philosophical thoughts, and if possible, engage someone in discussion.  Maybe I’ll pay attention to a social issue, and research it until I feel that I can come to a reasonable conclusion.  Maybe I’ll work on some creative writing.  I know that, me being me, I should try to avoid people that might take advantage of my heightened energy and such until it calms down.

I know what you may be thinking,”That’s not what so many other people say/think/write”.  Nope.  It’s not.  This is what works for me and how I think.

Should Bipolar be fought against or embraced?  I think that’s a decision each of us has to make on our own.  To me, embracing bipolar means “riding the roller coaster”, or more accurately, trying to form my life to where the roller coaster takes me.  If it were just me that I was responsible for, this might be a reasonable choice for me, but other people are effected by everything I say and do.  I choose to accept this responsibility to those people I love and care about and try to set aside my own feelings as I can.

Sometimes, it gets to be too much, and I have to tell everyone that I must take a break.  They can react how they like, but sometimes I have to tell the rest of the world that, for a little while, they can all go hang, or they will be without my influence.  This is a complication to the way I deal with life that the average “boss” will not accept or understand, and that’s ok.  I live within the means that I am able to create for myself or have access to.

I am an individual.  I am not Bipolar, I have it.  It does not define me, that is something I choose.  I do not fit into the “bipolar” category.  I don’t think that anyone really does.  Sometimes I am up so high that the world seems distant and beside the point.  Sometimes I’m so low that the world is monster threatening to destroy me.  It is not those times where I can do this stuff on my own.

So, I work on it.  I think through things, to the point that I research and plan things to the point of it being ridiculous at times.  My thought process is slow and complex, as I sort through information and determine the importance of it in order to come to a decision.  The way I do things internally doesn’t work out very well if I choose to follow an unplanned impulse.  I don’t do well in oral conversation, not having time to think about what I’m trying to say or having an easy way to rewind what has been said and make sure that my own impressions are accurate.  It allows me to live, though, and I’m used to it now.

There have been times I was in a hospital because, well, that’s where the rollercoaster had taken me.  I rode the rollercoaster into a dark, seemingly unending depression, or a manic phase dotted with delusions and hallucinations, or worse, into some bizarre mix of hyperactivity and depression, or a complete lack of energy and a nice dose of racing thoughts and grand ideas that, while grand, were impossible.

It has not been an easy road.  I did not get to this point at the flip of a switch or by taking a magic pill.  I have been fighting for 20 years since my first episode.  Therapy, meds of various kinds, and lots and lots of internal work and thought and reflection.

I know that it only takes a small slip to wind up back in a hospital, so I am careful.  If I see that I am on the way “up” or “down” or otherwise entering a realm where my decisions may not be the greatest, I try to act ahead of time, talking to people who will help me to make good decisions and good choices that allow me to continue.  If the help I get in “public” is not enough, then I may seek something more intensive, but I avoid that option if possible.

I am not bipolar.  I have it.  It does not define me.  I do that.  This is my mantra.  Every day that I wake up and lead a relatively normal appearing existence is a success.  Every day that I wake up and simply live, exist, function enough to get things done that make others’ lives easier is a success.  The only failure, for me, is to board the rollercoaster and raise my hands and let life happen to me.

Will it work for you?  That’s up to you.  Do I think anyone else should or should not choose to fight and live as I do?  No.  That’s up to you and your life and situation.  This is mine though.

It’s my life.  Because I am not bipolar.  I am me.  I am an individual.  I can not be defined as bipolar any more than I can define you as bipolar.  Who you are is your choice.  It may be the only choice you get to make, so make the choice that will make you happy and that will allow you to live as well as possible.

But, I define myself, and I am not bipolar.  I have it.

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🙂

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