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Schizophrenia, suffering, happiness and searching for Enlightenment


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I miss being drunk. I used to drink alcohol and use drugs years before I was diagnosed with Schizophrenia. I have been paranoid since I was about seven or eight years old but I didn't really share it with anyone. No one really knew I was struggling. I think they must have thought I was a little odd. I was out drunk and chased on a Sunday morning. They stole my wallet and I had a panic attack. That was eight years ago. I am 33 now and still trying to pick up the pieces and move on. I watched a documentary on the BBC about a man with Schizophrenia who is a heroin addict. I could relate, although I never did heroin. I used to love MDMA. I loved to feel love. I felt so happy and filled with love when I did it. I miss being drunk. I miss flying away into the ether. But then the fall would come and the next day unfolded and normal people started moving around the world. It was a weird juxtaposition. I was wandering the world looking for the next high but couldn't get the fix anymore. And then I got threatened and chased one morning in the south of France. 

 

I have lived with the paranoia that people are out to get me. I find bus journeys difficult. I seem to get people who have eaten onions breathing on me or somebody muttering behind me. I feel like I am followed everywhere and watched. I take medication. I have a psychiatrist and a counsellor. I think about the Pareto distribution and how I have so little and it seems to become more and more solid, this having so little. 

 

And then there's Enlightenment. The big 'E'. I watched a Mooji video four and a bit years ago and I was hooked. I started practicing self-inquiry right away. I have made some progress since then with growing up and I have discovered a few things about waking up. But, alas, I still am stuck in the dream - Maya. Sometimes I love her, but most of the time it's just a malaise. I use caffeine to self-medicate. It lifts me up and I just feel better. I want to quit it, but I am just unhappy without it. 

 

I rarely give in however. I heave a healthy dose of "fuck you determination". I just keep holding on. I let go when I remember to. I'm afraid to say that I know mostly the first of the four noble truths. I get to the second truth and let go. But as for the rest, it's a mystery. I love Buddha and Jesus Christ. I love music. I love going the Buddhist Monastery. I haven't been in a few years. When I have some money I will go and spend a few days down there. 

 

I am thinking that I wish I had something inspiring to write. Sometimes people tell me I am too hard on myself. I believe that's true. But suffering is the colour of my life. It's the melody to my existence. I wonder about God and evil and suffering and I wonder why? I wish we could all be happy all the time. I wish I was able to not feel sick when I have algae oil so that I could stop eating fish as well. I wish a vegan diet worked in the long term for me. I wish I could be better. I wish I could be happier. I wish. I wish. I wish. 

 

When I see the world, I see beauty. I haven't been traumatised enough to not see that. I believe that there is something out there that is good and that in the end, we all are just going home. 

 

I get now that there is no one writing this. But this 'someone' isn't done with me. Denying the relative doesn't work. We're all life. 

 

I really wanted something insightful to write here but the truth is, I am not Enlightened. I have nothing to offer. That's the truth. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I was on the bus today and a couple were having a conversation that I could hear. The guy was criticising somebody a lot. My paranoid mind told me he was talking about me. I am reading 'The Untethered Soul' by Michael Singer and I just didn't close. I let it all in. I let in the criticism. I didn't try to rationalise that he wasn't talking about me. He most likely doesn't know me or didn't even notice me on the bus. He was just some guy complaining about a politician or somebody he read about in the newspaper. Because I am paranoid, my mind chimes into conversations people have around me. The insight I get, is either I am being stalked, in which case, I am fucked already, or, most people are really negative and feel they have to criticise and let it all out, even so that strangers on the bus can hear what they are saying. 

 

I used to criticise constantly when I was younger until one day I realised how bad it made me feel. And I thought, "can I just stop criticising so much?" And I did. I still criticise, but I try to not get too caught up in it, if I haven't already. When I hear people criticise I feel awful, even if I think they are not talking about me. 

 

I was talking to somebody who works at the charity shop where I volunteer today and she was talking about some books she read about past lives and the lives between lives. Many things stood out from what she said. One thing in particular was that there are other dimensions and living in this one is the hardest or one of the hardest to live through. The combination of thinking about that and just not closing and letting it all in brought me peace on the bus, even though that guy was criticising and some stranger started talking to me randomly as I waited for my second bus home.  It's a terrifying idea that I am not crazy. I can deal with crazy. I can deal with people not wanting to be close to me because I can be crazy. I can deal with the isolation. Isolation is the hardest part about schizophrenia. I don't know if things will switch with people who I meet or get close to. The only people I fully trust are my family. Everyone else, it's just an experiment in trust. It's not a rational thing. I just do it because the alternative is harder. 

 

Today I let in the craziness and didn't find fault as much as possible for me. I just attract people who pick me out to make random comments to or I attract odd coincidences. Maybe in between lives I chose to be stalked or to be crazy. It's the not knowing that I don't bother with. I don't try to be rational. My mind is not rational. 

 

I get angry with pro-bearing arms people for trying to fob off the consequences of having guns available by conceding that the people who go into schools and shoot people have mental health problems. I am crazy as fuck but I don't want to hurt anybody, even when I am so angry with being breathed on and my mind spews out violent thoughts about the person. Even then I still don't want to hurt people. Even when I am psychotic and I am so fucked with thoughts that I am being stalked by a group of people out there hiding behind skin and bones who come out of the woodwork to make a random comment to me, even then, I still don't want to hurt anyone. I think if somebody goes into a school and shoots children, that's on them. Don't put that shit on me. I know who I am and what I am about. 

 

For me, personally, self-love is not hating myself. In the Dhamapadda it says, "Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. By non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is a law eternal." Today I didn't love myself, I just didn't get up on the bus and shout at a stranger and I didn't curse the guy at the bus stop who started talking to me randomly. Today I practiced compassion by not reacting on my first thought. I just let all the craziness in and didn't hurt other people today. Maybe they are stalking me or maybe not. I'll never know. Maybe when I die and I find myself in the life between lives and I meet a council of elders who advise me on what life I should pick next it will all be revealed. If I try to get into what exactly is true or not I get lost. 

 

Michael Singer's book is helping me to live in the present moment and to let it all in. Today I loved myself by letting my thoughts and emotions be whatever they were. Today I was a decent person by not telling someone to "fuck off".  My best has never been not going into a school with a gun. I don't go there inside. But when I have bad days and people seem to get very very close to me and inside my mind, those days, I was a son of God who could hold his head high by not pushing or punching somebody. The pain I feel is my pain and it's between me and God how I deal with it. My best is worse than someone's worst sometimes but that's what I have to give, craziness and all. 

 

I look back on all the years while I am writing this and the amount of times where I could have been sectioned for reacting badly to someone and I didn't start coming up. It's been hard. That school shooter. That was his worst. I'm no saint but that guy gave in that day and did his worst, that's between him and God. I feel for those families. I feel for all the people who feel like me that because of something like that, people will avoid me. First I am crazy, that I have had since I was six years old. Maybe I chose that. And second, I either attract crazy people or I am being targeted. That's between those people and God. What I have to deal with today is doing my best to just be skin and bones and nothing more to most people I meet or walk past. 

 

I am a kind person and I don't want to hurt people, even when my 'id' pipes up and wants to sucker punch someone. My shadow is a part of me and I am getting to know it more and more. I'll never be perfect like I thought I wanted to be. That's what I thought Enlightenment was, that then if I had it I would be perfect. I have to be on medication. Negative thoughts will always be hanging around waiting to pop up.

 

I am not a good person because I am inherently good. I am good because I choose to not be bad. Hatred isn't stopped by hatred. Hatred is stopped by non-hating, not fighting with reality. I just let the violence and the messiness be as much as I can and I just walk on by and smile with people and be courteous. 

 

I don't feel like I loved myself today. I just didn't hate myself. That's a result. Tomorrow or some day in the future, maybe I'll get to unconditional love. I hope you have a good day. I hope that you feel love. I hope you chose that for yourself. I hope this world doesn't get too bad for most people. It's a fucking nightmare sometimes. I just don't know anymore with people if they will switch on me. I don't know how long I can have a friend anymore. I don't really have any friends anymore. Psychosis kills that for me. But, everything I have written, observed or complained about, that's between me and God. Today, I am in my room now. I ate a junk food lunch but it was all plant food. Today I saw some military planes fly over me in London for the Queen's Jubilee. Today I saw the trees and the blue sky and the sun. And I let it in, the messiness, the divine, the ordinary. I was an observer watching the world. I recommend Michael Singer's book. It's really good.

 

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When I look at spiritual truths I think it is that the opposite is often true. Some people say there is no separation. But if I survived a plane crash in the middle of the Atlantic then suddenly time and space really matter. I would be over a thousand miles from the closest country and I would have two or three days left before I died of thirst. When I think about pain and suffering, the absolute message of non-duality becomes limited. One could say from the absolute perspective that there is no time and no experience of time. But if I were at a bonfire on an evening on a beach and I flashed my hand through the fire, I would have a warm tingling sensation in my hand. If I left my hand in the fire for five seconds then the skin on my hand would be burnt. If I left my hand in the fire for 10 minutes I wouldn't have a hand anymore. All of a sudden time really matters and the experience of time really matters. 

 

One could say that we are infinite and eternal. If we are infinite then how can people leave this infinite space that is in my perception, have experiences outside of my infinite experience and come back into my experience and tell me about it? I am not saying the absolute message is wrong. I am just saying that I have come to the conclusion that reality is the intersection of the relative with the absolute. We live in a world of three, like the Trinity. Two is needed for the relative and a negation of the two, a 'no-thing' or spirit is also true. 

 

I'm not really sure why I named this journal "James is here". I think I was thinking about the relative and the absolute. From the conversation I had yesterday about lives between lives and what I have read about life outside of life I very much believe that there is something individual and real about "me". I no longer look at teachers and believe that they don't have an ego. I am hardly one to say this but I think that the term 'ego death' is a misnomer. I think that the ego gets quieter with Enlightenment but these teachers up on stage next to flowers, they still have an ego. They are still subject to the relative, even if they don't want to talk about it. 

 

I mean, the sentence, "there is no time," happens in time. The only reason that sentence makes sense is because at the end of it you can remember the beginning of it for it to form a cohesive point. 

 

What I mean is that you are alright. You don't have to kill your ego. You don't have to be perfect. You don't have to be eloquent or have a really high IQ. You don't have to be beautiful. You are you. You are magic. And if the relative is tearing you apart, you're not wrong for having negative feelings about it.  

 

 

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Thoughts arise about separate selves, egos, teachers, in space, in time, a relative and an absolute, separation, others, etc, and when believed there seems to an experience of an illusion that One is a separate object, thing, or self which is seeking enlightenment, wholeness, fullness, completeness.

 

But the content, the implications of appearing thoughts, is never found in perception. 🤍

 

There isn’t transcending an ego, killing an ego, minimizing an ego, there is an experience of “self” referential thoughts believed about a self that is separate, or, that there is, “an ego” which “has” separate things. There is an apparent experience of being in time, but no self in time. Self has no beginning and no end. Ourself is all apparent beginnings and endings. All is well. All is Home. All is Self. 

 

 

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All is not well. My mental health sucks or I am being stalked. Either way, it's bad. I think non-duality is one perspective and it can be tautological. It sometimes sets up its parameters of reality and then redefines everything to fit within those parameters. It's like the story of five blind men each touching a different part of an elephant. Each man describes accurately the tail, an ear, a leg etc but none of them are talking completely about what an elephant is. 

 

There are over 7.5 billion humans on Earth. I would say that reality for most is pretty awful or will be awful at some point for most of them. I am not a nihilist nor a solipsist. I think the human race is remarkable and there is meaning to be had. 

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Hey Phil,

 

I thought about what you wrote. I took it the wrong way and was abrupt or in fact rude. Sorry about that. I realise that you were just trying to be helpful. I'd still like to post here. 

 

This morning I was outside the charity shop I volunteer at and I was just relaxing and releasing what arose and it felt wonderful and I realised that in the midst of difficulty there can be freedom, peace and happiness. I think that's my practice now. Not sure if that makes a Taoist or not but I really the Tao Te Ching. 

 

I hope you're having a good day and I would like to get feedback from you if you want.

 

Thanks. 

 

Edited by James is here
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I spoke with a non-dual teacher yesterday. Her insight took me back to something my counsellor talked with me about - the distinction between life and my life. Is there such a thing as my life that is separate from life? I was at the charity shop today and something about relaxing into the moment throughout the morning and the insights that have been shared with me brought me to these places of emptiness and wide open awareness. Except, it wasn't a place; it was me. Even now when I type I can see that I don't have to identify with the narrative.

 

Shame is so sticky and gluey. As soon as it arises I can't wash it away. It's a part of me that is ugly. But that space of open awareness doesn't judge it as good or bad. It just allows it. What I am allows me to be what I am, whatever rabbit hole I go down or place of expansion that I enter into. It's a question that lingers within me. Must I force myself to suffer to try and make right the wrongs I have done? If someone came to me and told me that they should cause themselves to suffer to pay the debt back I think I would feel compassion for them and say, why not just let it go? 

 

How much suffering will be enough for me? Awareness isn't judging it. Yet I feel that I owe some debt and I can only pay it by causing myself to feel bad. It's kind of odd writing it out and seeing it. When I was young I learnt to internalise anger and it got channeled into intellectualising and resentment. I had all these half-baked ideas of how I was going to find the perfect comeback. But that was just suffering. And the situation had long gone anyways.

 

On the bus I realised, or I think I realised, that I am everything because it's all connected to how I feel and think. What I take myself to be isn't separate from the content of experience. What I take myself to be is the content of experience as well that which knows it.  It's this contraction in the body that creates this energy into business and selfness. I contract and then I go  into the stories about how things are and how they should be. All the while, I am here looking at it and feeling it without judging it. 

 

It seems that this experience is circular and parts of the past come back around from the future and into the present moment. It's like Pointillisim and the dots eventually connect and I can see the bigger picture. I am what I am. I am everything and the nothing that contains it. 

 

The other thing that I realised about non-separation is that things are connected by what they are not, as well as by what they are. Right now a Rogue Planet isn't crashing into our Solar System. The deficit of that experience is allowing me to sit quietly at my computer and write. Maybe a better example is that at those times in my life where someone has insulted or made fun of me, my response of stoicism, suppression or compassion, as opposed to cursing them blue in the face, meant that the people in that situation had a better day.

 

The Universe is deciding if I should suffer or not. So, just let go. I think I can do that. 

 

It all comes out in the wash. What purpose does it serve to dislike or shame myself? Can I live free from being 'self'-centred?

 

 

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I wrote something and then deleted it. I was looking for the right combination of words to induce a letting go. But I can already let go. I can just do that, or rather stop the holding on. I think of it like loosening the grip. 

 

When I was first psychotic eight years ago I got triggered by a random person who I saw two times and the realisation came just to let go. Just stop trying to control reality. It's going to do what it's going to do. 

 

I was on the bus yesterday and I don't know if I should say this but I am on the tail end of a psychotic episode. It was bad six months ago. It's mostly fine now but there are some experiences which capture my attention. On the bus yesterday there was a couple having a fairly loud disjointed conversation about some guy and they didn't have much of anything positive to say. I just went inside of my body and rested there. I realised from that that I don't have to look for other people to fix me. 

 

I don't have to look for anyone to save me. Maybe my perception isn't wrong, who knows, weird things have happened. Read about Jean Seberg or Ernest Hemingway. It's not pleasant reading but it makes me wonder sometimes. But here I am. 

 

I believe that death is not the end. I believe that life goes on and I think that I can dedicate myself to going inside and living there. I think that's a worthy cause instead of looking for me to be Enlightened. I don't have to hold the world responsible for how I act in it. I can do good by paying attention and loosening the grip.

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