Sunday, 6 September 2009

Honouring Negative Experiences and the Realness of the Illusion

In order that what I'm saying in this post would make sense, one needs to know what I mean by illusion versus reality. You need to postulate, that ultimately human beings are not just limited physical beings, but limitless beings of love. Limited existance here on Earth would thus be a sort of illusion. A lot of people tend to dismiss experience on this level as "only illusion", however. I rather promote a paradox which allows for this reality to hold a quality of "reality" as well. Really what I mean is that they are two sides of the same coin. I can't go into that in detail now since I have other things in mind, but this is the starting point.

Most people really want to live in lala-land. Which is perfectly understandable, since no one wants to suffer. While poverty and misery may help some in understanding deeper truths about life, it's not a virtue and really causes more negativity in the world. The well-to-do don't always realize it just as they don't realize a lot of things that compromises their comfort in the present moment, but their reluctance to take action to help change things will eventually creep up on them. Well, in many countries the rich are already living in their highly protected residences and the nature of the problem is pretty obvious to the onlooker, however in the Nordic countries this scenario hasn't quite hit home yet.

The smorgasbord kind of religion or spirituality that the New Age is, is particularly attractive to the Western middle class. The reasons are surely obvious; these people have the luxury to sit and ponder the meaning of their individual success on all levels of life and have the means to do research in order to find the particular tailored spiritual brand that suits them the best. They have the money to participate in all kinds of specialized workshops and seminars. Because their lives are already reasonably affluent, they can imagine a sort of paradise on Earth rather than in the after life. There's nothing wrong with all this, but we need to keep Maslow's hierarchy of needs in mind. There are plenty of people who don't have access to this sort of spirituality. They are stuck in the kind that is offered by their particular environment and limited to spending only a minimal amount of time and energy to pondering the deeper meaning of their belief system. They usually also don't have the education to understand the value of questioning social and/or religious authorities. I'm only saying this because it's easy to forget the 90% of the population who are really poor and unpriviliged. If you don't belong to this group, you tend not to want to know about it, because it's a threat to a sense of security that may nontheless not have much basis in reality. I'm not saying that there aren't some New Agey sort of people who have a real grip on things and also find a sense of security in an honest and true relationship with the "higher dimensions" or Source or whatever you wish to call it. However, I'm not so sure there are that many. Most people are really just enclosed in their safeguarded residences where they can share their visions as well as illusions with likeminded people.

Who am I to make this sort of judgment call? Well, one reason is that there have been very few people who have been able to make a real difference in my own life. I've had to find out the hard way that most people around really are very "middle class" regardless whether they are ordinary agnostics-or-atheist-or-passive Christians or "consciously spiritual"-or-New Age-or-Buddhist - these are the groups that I've been in touch with personally so I won't venture to talk about people with other forms of belief systems. It means that in general they love the comfy clichés and stereotypes that they can resort to in order to make it seem as if life is under control. Of course, clichés exist because there's a hint of truth in them, albeit they have frozen into a mold that is applied on all and sundry. These people love handing out advice about other people's attitudes, because that way they feel that they are under no obligation to actually do anything concrete. Whether people like to preach about a subjective form of spirituality according to which people have only their own bad attitude to blame for their misery or whether they just like to blame others in general, the burden of other people's suffering is always pushed away from themselves. They don't want to get their hands dirty so by talking about "attitude" rather than real life problems, they can live with the illusion that they are doing something good in the world. Of course, not all people are only doing this, some actually do also act on occasion. But in that case it's mostly for money. Few want to risk their sense of physical security.

What I'm describing here is really quite a nice life, and it allows for plenty of theories that continue to keep the illusions going. For instance, people love Tolle's "Power of Now". While what he presents are old viewpoints that have been said many times before, it's really quite a comfortable attitude that can lull you into believing that no concrete action needs to be taken. And I also wonder how to tell this attitude apart from the hedonistic attitude about living the here and now without concern for consequences? While I can sense the difference, I wonder if everyone can. Self-help authors usually become popular only if they offer a confirmation that a comfortable life style really is quite okay and you don't really need to sacrifice any of it for other people. So where does it leave us? Well, people may be finding personal fulfillment but how long does it last? If people were really present in the Now they wouldn't look to 2012 for changes, but act on the problems that exist right now. Again I'm sure there are people who understand all this, I'm just worried about the others... and I'm also concerned that narcissism is getting the better of people.

In reality, not many are there for other people. Even mother Theresa is said to have been a fake. It's amazing how many people buy into the myth about her without questioning whether it's true or not. So you only have yourself in the end. I know, it sounds like a cliché. But what I want to say is that the image people have of the sole survivor and the strong individual who survives all of life's adversities like a true hero is bullshit. People just don't want to look at misery and acknowledge that not all endings are happy endings. If they did, the illusion about their own comfort would be challenged. Now I personally don't want to watch movies that have unhappy endings, it really is distressing. So I understand this tendency in human beings. Problems arise when denial is on all the time and people can't really tell fiction from reality. Of course, the more overwhelming misery in the world is getting, the more people will want to be in denial. All this is normal but problematic nonetheless. One does wonder if this particular nightmare will ever end?

What is the cure for this state of affairs? Some would say "ascension" and I can't really rebuke that in any way. I just think it's a bit funny that some wait for divine intervention while they cross their hands. Whatever the case may be, it seems to me there really is only one way of really getting in touch with reality, and that is learning about life the hard way. As a spiritual person, you may think that you understand the deeper issues of life and understand that this 3D reality is not "reality" but an illusion, however only when they get so painful and tormenting that you can absolutely not doubt their realness, then you actually learn something. Understanding that life without love is an illusion is one thing, but seeing that its opposite is every bit as real is in my opinion to have a real understanding of things. As I have always pleaded, it's about paradoxes. You can't sit in your residence like an armchair philosopher and understand what life is really about by thinking about it only. It just doesn't work. Of course love is important, but I see it more as a complement rather than a cure-all (strategy and action "male style" is every bit as valid in this reality as the exchange of positive vibes "female style"). So even if you know that what you're going through is an illusion (and really you're bloody fortunate if you do), if it doesn't feel absolutely real all the same you are not "getting it". When I realized this I understood why all my negative feelings are valid. They are the simple result of the fact that one's life's struggle appears so very freaking real that one feesl like killing oneself (not saying I will but only that the deeper into the "illusion" you go, the more it hurts and the more you want out of it at any price). You get that close to self-destruction not because you are living a negative illusion of life, but because it torments and haunts you more than anything you could ever imagine in an armchair in a comfortable residence or a totally different dimension. Honouring the fact that your spirit has agreed to limit itself so much that this experience has become possible is surely the first step towards a really useful enlightenment. And who knows, many an "enlightened" spirit may be walking around without having any means of proving that they actually are. While we do need to strive towards a happier outlook on life, the experience of many negative feelings may sometimes be a doorway to a deeper understanding of the problems that other people are experiencing. If nothing else, it helps you take action rather than remain a dull preacher. And of course, ultimately an experience is just an experience. What's the use of hell if nobody goes there, eh? ;-)

Artwork: Digital photograph by author, all rights reserved 2009

Saturday, 5 September 2009


Okay, so some people excercise power and others are victims. Inbetween there's a rather gullible middle class who believes in authorities and feels sorry for those victimized, but is unable to truly relate to either or. What they want is just comfort and a happy life, characterized by a whole set of comfortable clichés and stereotypes that contribute to a feeling of familiarity and thus security in an insecure world. Among these clichés are pseudo-psychological ideas about how politicians are selfish, victims victimize themselves, and nothing can really be done to change the way of the world. Because nothing can be changed, the only thing one can do is resort to jargon. I know that when I feel helpless and confused, I become more judgmental and easily get stuck in mental and emotional patterns. At the other end of the stick we have the mechanism of denial, which focuses on eliminating negative thoughts in favour of the positive ones that may ensure a smashing future for the individual in question.

If you don't really want to belong in either of these three categories, you probably become an outcast or a dissident. Yes we all have human feelings, as we are after all human beings on a very arduous journey here on Earth! So for instance, we all feel sorry for ourselves every once in a while. I hate it when people either stigmatize others for feeling this way or pat them on the shoulder with some insipid comment that is supposed to be encouraging. "You can do it, everything will be alright", and so on. While sometimes these words can be of comfort when accompanied with real love and concern, most of the time they are just annoying empty phrases. Hope is after all not a taken at all, it's a simple mechanism of survival. There is no other basis for hope than a religious belief that bad things can't last forever or a simple wish that one will at some point gain more power to fight the negative challenges. Still, human beings usually have a will to live and a fear of death, so having hope is a natural means of trying to make it in a harsh world. After all, hope is not directly connected to feelings of control, and so can not be harmful.

I have had to deal with many people who have tried to exercise control over me. Some people enter relationships of dependency without paying much attention and others simply suffer in silence. I'm talking of all sorts of relationships, not only intimate ones. I'm one of those who kick and scream, however. I refuse to be submissive. For instance, my position as a disabled person has turned into a nightmarish fight for survival within an totalitarian social system that leaves no room for personal freedom. Once a person is being removed from working life and has to ask the state for money to survive, the authorities lock you into a prisonlike system that denies you a whole bunch of human rights. The less you have worked in your life, the worse it gets. Someone with a basic pension has to beg for some extra from the social services, and this puts them under the influence of certain laws that cut down their freedom to the max. For instance, such a person is not allowed to gain any money, take any loans, exchange any money within family members, travel anywhere, use any other services than the ones appointed by the social services (for instance in the case of the glasses that I didn't want to get from the local optician this summer), and is obliged to report just about anything to do with their personal life and financial choices. Of course, the scanty money you're supposed to live on doesn't only limit your life but prevents you from actually having one. Usually you don't really know what you enter when you are being pulled into the System. If you're unlucky, you will be treated like a second rate citizen the way I am at present here in the small town where I moved some years ago. Other people in other counties are more fortunate and also receive more money to help them get by.

I participated in yet another radio show about social injustice for marginal citizens and got my say in, but it does take a toll on me to have to expose my basic lack of security to the rest of the world. The programme clearly showed that politicans have little interest in helping people like myself since I'm not considered a significant booster of the economy (which ultimately serves the highly paid politicians). Taxes are certainly being lowered but for some reason there is no money to increase the pensions to at least the double, which is considered reasonable at this time. It's as if I'm expected to live some sort of medieval life while the well-to-do rush by in their fancy cars and play with their technical gadgets. It's truly surreal.

Another thing that has taken a great toll on me lately is netdating. Speaking to all these middle class men online has left me disenchanted and sad. No one cares to truly get to know me, indeed they may pretend that they do but they are only trying to see what faults I have that will disqualify me as their partner. What I resent the most is the manipulation. I have written more extensively about these things in Swedish on my other blogs but here are a few points to watch out for:

  • An ambiguous way of talking. For instance, the guy may ask you to reveal everything about yourself but doesn't really do the same for you. He may be playing at "I do want to meet you, but right now I can't because..." and so on. There will be an uncomfortable element of "let's see", and you feel somehow watched. As soon as you feel it's time to open up a bit more in order to get anywhere, you get rejected. He's a scumball because he didn't give you a chance to present yourself in real life, and that's just a way of exercising control. Alternatively, the man wants to meet you at once and doesn't have time to hang on the internet talking to you. That's probably bullshit because most men do spend an extensive part of their day online. Perhaps they only want a quick lay.

  • You open up a lot but the guy doesn't comment, and that's a way of exercising control over you and the situation. He's probably sitting there evaluating everything you say, and will stab you in the back when you least expect it. Suddenly it's clear he hasn't understood anything you said. And the sad part is that you probably felt it all along and now you're frustrated because you have wasted time and energy on yet another imbecile.

  • Men who keep you waiting are exercising control. The guy is too busy to write regularly, and is evasive when you ask what he wants. He may suddenly take an interest but you can bet that he's only interested to discuss that one word in your profile that could be interpreted as something to do with sex.

  • The guy complains that men should be treated just they same as men are expected to treat women. He's got the equality issue all screwed up and doesn't realize that equality is not about switching roles. Swedish men have this sort of passive-aggressive and thus controlling attitude quite a bit. It's really disconcerting because they are not really in touch with their manliness and so they can't treat you like a woman either. He'd be better off be you friend or become gay.

  • The majority of all men online appear dyslectic. I've tried to accept a lack of proper writing but it never gets me anywhere. These men are just sloppy and probably neither well educated or particularly intelligent (in other words, they are not true dyslectics). You won't get any real sympathy from them dispite their sleazy wording.

  • If a guy keeps insisting he's told you things he hasn't, then that could be a sign of a passive-aggressive attempt to control you by messing with your mind. I can't even begin to describe the way such men talk, it's truly surreal since they are not there with you at all. Maybe one day I'll translate one such discussion.

  • Men who straight away give me an nick name (such as Viva, which for some inexplicable reason is a number one) or keep misspelling it, turn me off. It's as if they want to own me somehow, by putting their own label on me and insisting that my own wishes don't count.

  • A spiritually minded guy might put you to the test to see "if vibrations connect". For instance, he could say that he's from some really remote country just to see if you'll still be attracted to him. Be aware of any little lies like that. They are probably a sign that he's a control freak.

  • Some men want to save you from your sordid life, but that would be a major means of gaining control over you. See my blog about the saviour's syndrome.

  • Obviously women can behave in similar ways. Well, all this has left me more suspiscious and reticient than I was to begin with, and there's not much I can do about that right now. Now to another highly frustrating issue of control. The man I visited two years ago in the USA has been holding onto the belongings that I left there because I wanted to believe that I would return. I was probably under some influence of this man, energetically speaking. Once I realized that he was an extremely selfish person and that I was better off not returning, I felt very keen to get my things back. I did not want to give in because I didn't want for him to keep my things. As long as he did, there was a bond there that I was unable to severe. The things also happened to be important ones since I meant to stay in the USA. So are all his excuses for not sending off everything at once valid? Well, he's a man of excuses. He also over-reacts to my frustration and regresses to the state of a five year old. I suppose that his strategy of behaving like a child is working, because I have to become the adult and usually give in to his tantrums. Needless to say I have not really been up to this role play and so many an angry word has been exchanged between us though most of the time he doens't even bother to read my mail. I have heard of men and women who have done the same thing with children, and obviously that's even worse. Still, my nervous system is not strong enough to deal with this on top of all the above issues.

    Lastly, do I need to mention the swineflue pandemic that actually kills less people than any other flu, or New Age mindcontrol such as the law of attraction that only increases negative feelings such as self-blame, guilt and a belief that making money is always okay (which it would be in a perfect world, but this isn't, is it?). Not to mention how "manifesting a partner" sounds more like an issue of imaginary control...

    Artwork: Digital photograph by author, all rights reserved 2010