Consciousness in the 17th Century

 

17th Century Representation of Consciousness;  Wikipedia Creative Commons terms of use
17th Century Representation of Consciousness

 The Mind is like magic!

I love this kind of stuff. Anything about the mind interests me. The mind is a Pandora’s Box full of unknown (unconscious) wonder and potential. It feels similar to “real magic” to me, and it seems this was the case in the 17th century as well. That amazes me; as little as we know today (more and more each day with VMRI, and so forth) yet all the years back to the 17th century, very little seems to have progressed in the science of the conscious mind or consciousness itself.
 

Where and what is Consciousness?

Meditating, dream analysis, and inner work, cultivates awareness, thus consciousness. You become conscious of your world only when you become aware of the world around you; consciousness is awareness. 
 
I read and listen to long-time Buddhist practitioners, Buddhist Monks and Nuns, and meditation practitioners (sans Buddhist teachings.) One thing they all have in common is the understanding that meditation, whether part of Buddhist traditions or not, requires practice. Every book, video, audio I read, watch, or listen to all have the same direction: practice. They themselves use terms such as “…my meditation practice…” or “…when I practice meditation…” My point is that meditation starts as an awkward, vulnerable, and at times embarrassing action that we have only read, heard, or viewed; it is difficult to start, but starting is no different than six or ten years from now- practice, practice, practice. There is no end to practicing meditation or learning the Dhamma, if you choose, as both are life-changing regardless how much you practice; however, the more you practice, the more your suffering subsides to nothing.

 

 

 

 

 

Borderline Personality Disorder – My Personal Hell

For two years I suffered deep emotional, physical, and mental pain. I didn’t know where it was coming from and I didn’t know how to control it. It controlled me. Borderline Personality Disorder controlled me.

 

Warning: My story may cause triggers in other’s that are suffering from personality disorders.

My life, without warning, fell apart. It made no sense to me. It was like walking through a maze in the dark. Sometimes a horrible clown would jump out and I would faintly hear him whisper, “This is your home now.”

Other times I would be chased by zombies and demons that would chase me into grasping arms. They would be slick and cold. They would claw at me with their sharp nails, and then with a blink of an eye they would be gone.

Every once and a while I would see a brilliant light, I would quickly make a turn towards it, only to find that it was nothing but a tease. But it would still leave me with a glimmer of hope.

Other times I would end up in a fog and was quickly dragged down by freezing rain and thick mud. At least I think it was mud.

This was my darkest time. I was in Hell. I was going mad! I relate this time in my life to the wonderful Walt Disney movie Alice in Wonderland, but I am unable to trust myself, my thoughts, and my frightening delusions.

The cat in Alice in Wonderland has always intrigued me. You think he is your friend; he gives you such a welcoming smile. You start to trust him and then you realize that he is taking you to a darkness you never thought existed.

It took me two years before I realized I was the only one who had the answers. I knew the way out. I had the key. I just had to the find the door.

I stood disconnected, watching myself from the outside. I was confused, angry, and depressed with a deep aching hole right in the middle of my chest. There was a point that I truly believed that my heart had been torn out. It didn’t matter how much I cried or pleaded for mercy. Nothing eased the pain.

I studied myself from every angle. I was constantly trying to make the puzzle pieces in my head come together. I would hit hundreds of dead ends and have to back track, always trying to find a way out of the pain and away from the monsters. I would cause harm to myself which would then hurt others. Self-injury would briefly alleviate the pain but would soon be replaced with more pain and misery.

I then again hit another dead end. I was done. I couldn’t do it anymore. I finally layed back against the cold dirty wall and sank down, I was bruised and tired. I was ready to give in and let the fog take me. And then I saw it. The door, it had to be the one I’d been looking for! It was a long ways off, but it was there. I was sure of it. I checked my pocket and felt the key inside.

I started running, but the door moved further away. Maybe it was a hallucination? I became tired and slowed to a walk; my feet became sore and heavy. How long had I been walking? What if I didn’t make it? I then fell to my knees and started crawling. Tears were pouring down my face. My body ached everywhere; it felt like I was being held back by an unseen force.

I was determined to get out, no matter what it took! I wasn’t giving up! I start to remember that I have children and a husband and they love me. I miss them. I have got to get home! I start calling their names and I can picture their beautiful faces.

I finally reached the door; I was covered in bloody bruises and filth. I pulled myself up and grabbed the knob. It was slick with slime. I can’t get it to move. Then I remember I have the key! I pull it out of my pocket and reach up to the knob. I find the keyhole below it. I carefully insert the key and turn, I hear the lock disengage. I grab the door knob and pull as hard as I can. It gives way and opens to a brilliant light. I had made it, I was home. There were colors and smiles. I made it through the most horrible darkness of my life. My heart beats again and the hole is gone. I have been given a second chance. The bruises and sores start healing and I’m warm and clean. My family is here! The love I thought I had lost is here!

My life isn’t perfect and I still have a long way to go. The scars are a reminder of the pain and horror I have overcome and the strength of spirit I have gained. I will no longer doubt who I am or take the love of my family for granted. This is my life and now I have control!

 

Mental Illness

 Mental Illness

I will be writing several articles over the next few months on mental illness.

There are many people who know next to nothing about mental illness and I would like to help people become more aware and understanding of those who struggle with it every day.

I have dealt with a lot of ignorance and insult in my life over my own mental illness. People don’t have the time or patience for it; it seems like the mental illness is lot of “nonsense” to them. Mental illness can cause just as much pain, if not more, as physical pain feels to a person living with uncontrollable, chronic pain.

pillspic

It’s a tricky subject. Mental illness can impact anyone, you, me, those you love. Sometimes the person with a mental illness doesn’t realize it, and once they do, and are diagnosed, it can be devastating. For example, I was diagnosed with “bi-polar with borderline personality disorder” by three doctors before I finally gave in and realized they were right.

I felt embarrassed, ashamed, and was very angry that I had to take pills for the rest of my life. Not only do the mentally ill deal with the day-to-day challenge of the mental illness itself, but the medications as well.

I have gone to psychotherapy for sixteen years, and I still struggle with emotions that come out at inappropriate times. I have tried to tell a few people about my illnesses and was quickly judged and avoided because of it, which has impacted me to the point that I keep people at a distance. I write about it with the hopes of helping myself and others.

I would encourage and appreciate any feedback. Good or bad. There is always more to learn.

Self Compassion – Accept Yourself

Why Self-Compassion Is the Key to Being Our Authentic Selves – Tiny Buddha


I don’t often site other blogs because I don’t want to plagiarize, cause conflict, basically I don’t want to piss anyone off. However, this article hits home for me and I wanted to share it.

The article is on Tinybuddha.com and starts with the following quote:

“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

 

Puppy falling asleep gif
He barely catches himself…too cute.

After you finish watching the cute puppy, go read the article:

http://tinybuddha.com/blog/self-compassion-key-authentic-selves/

Read it a couple of times and share it. Everyone I know struggles with this. “Keeping up with the Joneses” causes much anxiety and depression, and it is unnecessary.

Enjoy.