Welcome Back my Friends to the Show that Never Ends

11665402_10152853758167167_7660227498252654124_nWell it has been over a year since I was last here.  One of the reasons I am here is that a comment was posted by a wonder full person whose blog I have posted a link to at the bottom of this post.

But the real reason that I was moved to write was a dear friend of mine, a man who has over 27 years of sobriety, I have called him the “Lineman” in earlier writings, approached me last week and talked about his struggle with depression and how he felt it was winning. That is not something that is surprising for me as I have been led down this path of engaging with a a kind of “darkness” most run from.(Totally understandable that they do.  Trust me I wish was not on this path many many times.)

imagesYet here we are.  When I went to my regular Saturday meeting, another friend informed me that the Lineman had voluntarily checked him self into a 72 hour hold at a local hospital.  This may not seem like a big deal to most,(well to think about it, most dont think about depression let alone a stay in a “mental hospital) but it is to me.  What I hear is my friend feels like his life is not worth living.

But on a different note, I had coffee with the Fanatic yesterday.  It was really good to see her as she was on of the Four Musketeers who attended our “Depression in Sobriety,” meeting that we had for about 2 years in the local AA we are/were members of.

She has her journey and if she comes on her again she can send you to her blog if she is so inclined.  I learned that one of my favorite bloggers, Monica Cassani, stopped blogging but that one of my other favorites, Therese Borchard, still is.10347232_10201917599660507_5224584867827727870_n

I dont want this all means, I was just moved to write a few words.  I am hopeful that I can keep doing it as it helps me process some of my confusion and there are times, fewer than I would hope for, where I get some sense of clarity.

Please keep all of those who suffer in this world of projection of darkness in your thoughts.  Many many of us are wandering out in a place we cant comprehend let alone understand.

(Also the graphics have changed completely so it might take me a day or two to figure out how to put pics back in)

https://emergingfromthedarknight.wordpress.com/

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“Give a soul a night of fearless sleep.”

It was a little over a year ago that my dear friend Jerry decided that being on the earth was not something he could do any more.  With almost 34 years of sobriety and almost 68 years old, Jerry decided it was not worth doing any more.
What is happening in our world is frightening.  The exposure of the dis-ease in our culture manifested with the events that just transpired in the U.S. have brought out the fact that there are people in this world who don’t care whether Jerry suffered or not.  They will never know Jerry because they have distanced themselves from their fellow man.  As a matter of fact they probably don’t consider Jerry a fellow traveler in this thing called life.
I suffer from the maladies I do because of those deep seated emotional conflicts that were created and buried in my unconscious so long ago that I have forgotten them.  But they still have an effect on my life.  Do I like it?  I think the answer is pretty self evident by my wanting to process whatever is going on inside of me.
“Before the meek inherit they learn to hate themselves.” That is the malady that I suffer with at a  level that I cannot comprehend or even understand.  There is a lot of anger, which to me is self hate, being projected in our world.  Not just the duality of our elections, but the death and violence that have been perpetrated in the last few days around the world.
“Give me love, give me peace.” I truly believe there is a faction in the world who live on the fact that others suffer and they exploit it.  Not just husbands and their wives, or parents with their children, but in a larger view, those who control the methods of production and those who don’t control them.
What is it?  Why did Jerry stop his own life tragically?  Is it because he could no longer just carry his own anxiety and shame, but that he was carrying a share of other peoples’ shame and could not keep carrying it? The sins of the father being passed down to the son.
I believe that those who have divorced themselves from nature, from life being a cycle of helping those around you live a better life because it makes your life richer and better, have so far disconnected themselves from their fellow man that they don’t care about the man who suffers and dies a horrible death at his own hand.
I leave you with this today.  A paradigm is shifting.  It is not pretty.  As a matter is so ugly and scary right now that we just had to pick from two of the most emotionally and spiritually void people I have ever seen.  I am not interested in being right because we are losing.  The U.S. lost and the rest of the world is suffering as well.
When are we going to see that making others responsible, blaming others, is nothing more than projecting our own inadequacies and not owning them.  Then we can label them as different, wrong and eventually evil.  Because when we do that, we can harm them and we can relief from our suffering.   At least in our minds we can.  It is called righteousness.  Righteousness will get you alone and or killed.
I face it in my mind every day.  I think Jerry did too and it overcame him.
123 RW, JZ, RV, SA, PH, PA.
Quotes from Bruce Springsteens “High Hopes.”

 

 

The Healing

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I am not a mechanism; an assembly of various sections.                                                                   And it is not because the mechanism is working wrongly, that I am ill.
I am ill because of wounds deep to the soul, to the deep emotional self
and the wounds to the soul take a long, long time, only time can help
And patience, and a certain difficult repentance,
Long difficult repentance, realization of life’s mistake, and the freeing oneself from the endless repetition of the mistake
Which mankind at large has chosen to sanctify.

Written by D.H.Lawrence.  This was the first post on this blog and is being revisited for obvious reasons.

123 All and I am somewhat excited to be doing this for the first time in over a year!

“I long to live in the only place I truly can live.”

11144416_974787355951548_7417282000083361679_nWell the 10 day retreat ended on Sunday morning!.   Ten days of noble silence!   Ten days of meditation.  Ten days of what might be  called “mindfulness,” meditation.

I went to the Northern California Vipassana Meditation Center,* which is just a few miles from where the devastating “Valley Fire,” near Cobb Mt. and Middletown, CA took place less than 2 months ago. For ten days I could not talk,(and if you know me, you could just imagine how interesting that was for me!) and all I could do is meditate, eat, sleep and shower, and that was all I 11709487_911521702258127_1817418095548286627_ndid.  They would awaken you at 4 a.m. and you started meditating at 4:30.  The meditation ended at 9 every evening. We had about 12 hours of meditation a day. You only had fruit to eat after 12 noon every day.  It sounds so arduous doesn’t it?  Or does it sound easy?

But when you live alone, like I have for the last few years, it really isn’t that hard not to talk when you are at home.  It is when I am in the outside world that I talk or when I am on the phone.  I guess being on the computer like this would be considered talking.  You were not supposed to bring in _MG_0994any reading or writing utensils.  You were not supposed to use a computer or any device to communicate with the outside world.

One would think it would be hell.  But when I stood back and looked at the experience, I realize that an argument could be made that it is the life we lead that is more hell-like than the 10 days I was there.

The meditation practice would be body centered meditation if I had to define it.  You were to focus your mind on the your body.  Starting from the tip of your head and going all the way down to the tips of your toes, you were to “connect,” in my words, to the rest of your body.

20150801_063116 (2)Now I dont know about you, but I have spent a lifetime ignoring what my body “says” to me.  I have put layer upon layer of trauma and the effects of trauma between me and my emotional connection to my body.  I had to to survive.  I had to dissociate from the abuse by “leaving,” my body so that I could psychologically survive.  I weep as I write this.

So to tell a middle aged man, who has studied this thing called depression as best as I could in the last 5 years, that it was paying attention to your body that was going to be the thing that was going to help you heal, gave me quite a challenge.  I think I understand the dis-ease depression and have said for a while that the PTSD I suffer with is the foundation for the “mental health,” problems that I have.

So to be told that it is by paying attention to your body, for almost 12 hours a day for 10 days in silent meditation, that you were going to be able to heal in a way(s) that you could not heal before, would most probably for most people present quite a challenge.  But because one of the greatest gifts I have received on the journey was body centered breath work, I knew I had found another tool to help me.  So when I learned what the practice was, how to meditate, I was in heaven!

_MG_4425_2It was not easy.  The mind always wants to say “f— this sh–,” when presented with solutions that dont include it being the leader.  So I knew when I was learning the breathing technique that I had come to the “right,” place. I might write more about it later.   I would highly recommend it to those who suffer from “mental health,” issues.

The opening quote is something that came to me when I was at the retreat.  The answer is my body.

finger touching nose of baby https://www.dhamma.org/en-US/schedules/schmanda

“Their appearance is like an interruption or even an intrusion into your life.”

tumblr_luxczfdocB1qzxyqfo1_400This thing was not a interruption in my life. It was a brick wall that I could not climb over, slink under, go around or even bust through. Little did I realize that the only thing that would save me and I mean literally and metaphorically was to embrace it.   Thomas Moore defines it as a “an unnamed urge that pushes you in a certain direction.”

So I was and am still faced with this dilemma.  I want to be back in the high life as Steve Winwood would say.  But I know that I was given this depression to learn how snowyto do the Ggods work and help those who are suffering in ways I can only imagine.   My dear friends Willem3655 and the Fanatic suffer in ways I can only imagine.  I can hear them when they tell me their struggle but I cannot understand it based on experiences that are the same.  I dont think I have suffered like they have.

But these relationships are the ones that are the ones that mean something to me.  It is not that the other relationships in my way-aheadlife have less meaning.  But I was talking about it in a “meeting,” last night.  I truly believe that I was led to live in the area where the “Valley Fire,” went through to help those who have lost their houses to rebuild them. Just as I was led into depression to help those who suffer, mostly in silence, from a life sucking energy that cannot be overcome by will power alone.  Because if it could have been, just ask my friends if I would have overcome it or not.  Just like I could not stop drinking or drugging on my own, I cannot overcome depression on my own.

Jackson Browne says in “For A Dancer,” ” And somewhere between the time you arrive and the time you go may lie a reason you were alive but you’ll never know.”  That is how life normally feels  for me.   Except for as Moore says, this force is “the force behind your tenacity of your yearning.” What I yearn for is to help heal from the emotional malaise we seem to have but consistently seem to ignore as a culture.  400px-FlammarionIf 30% of the people who helped write the big book’s stories committed suicide, there is a problem.*

And damn it, my friends who are the dearest thing to me, save one person, are suffering in ways that are incomprehensible to the “normal” person, but are suffering still the same.

This thing is called our  Daimon.  Hillman talks about it as does Moore and I am sure others.  It is the thing that has led me down this path which I hillmandont have a clue of where I am going. But it is here and it is real.  The reason I trust that it is real is the statement by Moore where he say that it is “[t]he guidance offered by an inner wisdom, More an impulse then a thought.”

You see I was a content attorney getting rich in Marin and here I am about to move into an area where a fire devastated people’s lives and when I am up there, I know it is the place I am supposed to be.

123 RV, SA, HF, PH, PA, JO, Dwight, TL, TS, and Happy Birthday Cynthia!!!

All quotes from Thomas Moore’s book “A Life at Work.” * If you want to know how I see this condition read, D.H. Lawrence’s “The Healing.” It was the first post on this blog and remains the way I see the dis-ease we live with in this culture.

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sluk-dancer

“To find out what is truly individual in ourselves,…”

69206_494942070555213_1624619172_n “… profound reflection is needed; and suddenly we realize how uncommonly difficult the discovery of individuality is.”

Okay this is going to be a rant.

I am so sick and tired of not knowing who I am and what the hell I am doing here on this thing called earth.  If the Ggods have a clue I wish they would include me in their insights.  I have just taken a day of reflection(not working) and this journey through depression SUCKS!

My friends have to live with pain, psychotic breaks, shame and fear!  I live with all of them except maybe psychotic breaks.  Why?  So I can live 20150902_182534 (2)this life of what feels like aimless wandering from day to day, reaching and grasping for something that gives my life meaning and purpose.  What the hell is that all about?  What is so crucial for me to know about myself that I have gone into this five years of what seems to me to be, again, aimless wandering, searching for an answer to questions that I don’t even know.

“The best… work we can do is to withdraw the projection of our shadow onto others.” I dont know if I am better at this than I 11707660_974787155951568_4667623480132897462_nwas before the depression took over.  You see I live, when I am not conscious of those and what is around me, in my mind.  Not in my brain, which knows life is wonder full and awe full and the place where I dont have to live in fear. I live in a house of mirrors, that at the slightest provocation, can render me helpless and hopeless.

” I am concerned with the woes of the world and their causes, and I at least try to do something about them.”  I feel that I can help those who suffer from what are called “mental illness,” problems in life.  But I dont feel like I am doing enough to help my 11907367_880476258701734_723295981690581222_nfellow sufferers.  I know that there are way more who suffer from this dis-ease than are in the mainstream consciousness.  I was told a while ago, by a man who is a student of AA history, that 6 out of the 20 people who wrote stories that were included in the back of the “Big Book,” of A.A. committed suicide.  Thirty percent of the original people who had “recovered from a seemingly hopeless disease,”(1) killed themselves after getting sober.

Now I see why this blog is titled the way it is.  We get sober and then we suffer from the maladies we drank over.  But back on 11665402_10152853758167167_7660227498252654124_npoint.  There is a part of me that wants to save every man and woman from going through what I have had to go through. It sucks.  But the dis-ease makes me not share this or step out and really take on the energy that benefits from our malaise.

Well starting tomorrow afternoon, I am off line from the outside world for 10 days.  COMPLETELY!

Hmmm, maybe that is why I wrote this angry blog.  So I would not not have to feel the fear the coming adventure brings.

123 RV, SA, JW, PH, PH, AMA!

11942118_879974405418586_1067961703083782043_oAll quotes from Carl Jung except (1) which is out of the big book of AA.  I also want to thank the Allman Brothers for playing Mountain Jam, which is what I listened to the whole time I wrote this blog.

finger touching nose of baby100_1607

“Reason” is, notoriously, not necessarily ethical…”

11709487_911521702258127_1817418095548286627_n“… any more than intelligence is.” When I was practicing I called the law “The church of reason.”  I did so because the law believes it is a reasonable person standard that is the norm for behavior.  At least in criminal law it was.  I do however believe that is was all of the law that used the “reasonable person,” standard to predict what “normal” behavior was.  The underlying premise, which was never nor is it ever articulated anywhere in a treatise that everyone follows, is that someone, or a group of people can decide what is the behavior that is going to be determined to be deemed “reasonable.”

630431Now I dont have a problem with a large majority of what is reasonable, but when it comes to “mental health,” issues, I dont believe that those who have not suffered the debilitation that comes from Treatment Resistant Major Depressive Order(just using my own classification as a benchmark)  can create any “reasonable person” with Treatment Resistant Major Depressive Disorder to be able to articulate any sense of what predictive analysis let alone treatment they can come up with.

godafoss-waterfall-of-the-gods-iceland-pome-acroI will give an analogy that I think is applicable.  I have an “uncle” who is a professor of psychology at a very prestigious university.  He is a man with a Ph.D and he is renowned in his field.  However, he is not even aware that his suffering, which is not in his conscious reality, is clouding his ability to understand what and how people suffer from those deep seated, sometimes quite often forgotten emotional conflicts.  I tried one time to talk with him and hopefully get him to see that his  shadow was getting in the way of helping others who were as neurotic as he is/was.(He had a nervous facial tic that was so prevalent that he went to a doctor to get medication for it instead of seeing that it was a manifestation of his dis-ease. His weight was another issue he could not see as being related to his inner self.) But he would have nothing of it.  He let me know that he was highly educated and knew more than others did about psychology.  I said nothing because I could see that he needed to be “right,” instead of being helpful.  That is what reason can do for us.

20140708-182105-66065695.jpg“Clearly the anti-mythological trend is due to the difficulties we have in clinging on to our previous mythological tenets of belief.”  We hold onto reason because we have lost the ability to see that the mythical animals and other heros of worlds long ago have been replaced by one iconic hero whose life was an alegory is now seen as a literal historic event that truly took place in the exact same way that those who were “followers,” of his said  it did.

Mt._St._Helena_lgTo the victor goes history.  But the iconic life of the one “true” mythical hero we espouse as being a literal life does not allow for the mythical creatures that our heros of mythological times slayed and befriended to be considered.  This takes away imagination and when it is gone, then the vacuum has to be filled with something and we now have the “reason,” of men from over 2000 years ago telling us what really happened there.  The taking away of the imagination has other effects.  People stop seeing life as a mystery that needs to be lived and see life as a journey that will hopefully get us into a place “better,” than this world.

dsc09201The power of reason can allow us to strip the earth of the resources in it, since we no longer see the Ggods and Ggoddesses  as being from the earth.  Our only Ggod lives on a cloud high up in a place where we should aspire to go. But using reason, did not the Ggod we think created this thing called earth give it to us for us to glorify in this Ggods name?  Why are we then harming it and  concomitantly ourselves.

This whole one Ggod is poppycock!  Okay I apologize to all my friends who believe in “it.” It is a great myth though!

123 RV, SA, AMA, FB, HF, JW, JEW, PH, PA!

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Quotes from Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 482-488

I get so much from this blog.  I hope you can too.  http://carljungdepthpsychology.blogspot.com