Thursday, September 20, 2007

Mental masturbation

Warning: A Looong post ahead, with some SERIOUS navel-gazing.

In response to my recent post about how I still thought that some of my so-called "psychotic" experiences contained a genuine element of supernatural phenomena Raine posted the following telling questions:

I wonder just how much of a difference it would really make in your life if you decide there are links rather than it being psychosis or if you decide its all psychosis. What will actually change? Will you live your life differently? Make decisions differently?

These questions are actually a HUGE part of my life right now (as if they haven't always been...). This past week or 2 I've been in a state of fairly deep confusion and flux. I find myself in a quagmire of diverging philosophies, beliefs and decisions. Maybe it is the upcoming "Should I emigrate" or "Shouldn't I" decision that has thrown everything into such sharp relief and forced me to re-examine my life. So Raine's questions are at the crux; deeply involved with my entire belief system and personal identity in the world. Something I don't always see (thanks, Raine)

The problem is that once you've been through an industrial strength psychosis, you can never really put it behind you. I don't think there can be any other experience which is so intense, frightening and life changing (think a bad acid trip x 1 000 000). For sure there have been years in my life where I've put the memories on the back-burner. But even in those years I never shelved them because I had finally realised they had been 100% psychosis and that the supernatural part was mental masturbation. No, I repressed them because I felt that dwelling on them was not useful at that stage in my life (usually stages where financial goals were high).

But right now the Big Question is right at the fore in my thoughts. Truth be told, I have NEVER (not even for one second) in the past 20 years totally accepted that my experiences were ALL psychosis. (not something I'd ever admit to a P-Doc)

Why is this so? Why do I cling to the notion?
I have come up with several possible explanations:

  • As I said, this whole Big Question is integral to my belief system. I have basically equated the "All-Psychosis" route with a world with ZERO understandable meaning and ZERO answer to WHY. It goes like this: If all the coincidences and links I saw were totally random, then the whole universe is also just one big random coincidence. That, for me, is not an easy thing to accept. It renders life MEANINGLESS (other than He-who-dies-with-the-most-toys-wins). As a deeply philosophic type ( I was born with my fist under my chin like Rodin's famous sculpture "The thinker". see left) this would be an extremely depressing situation. Existential Angst to the absolute MAX. (It is not for nothing that it was said that no philosopher should be taken seriously except for the philosopher whose philosophy has driven him to the brink of suicide) (Or that Marx said that "Religion is the Opium of the Masses")

  • Possible explanation 2: Besides leading to the greatest depression, my dismissal of "Meaningful Messages" has another implication: that I, BiPolarGuy, am/have been a SERIOUSLY mentally deranged person. Not just a BiPolar type 2 or even Type 1, (which I've pretty much accepted in the past 3 years) , but a person who the military psychiatric ward called "the worst case they'd ever seen".

    That is not an easy thing to accept. Prior to my institutionalisation I had everything going for me. Not least of all a sense of total confidence in myself and total confidence with the future. And yes, pride too. So right from the first day I was released, it might be said that I invented this more acceptable (maybe even admirable) reason for what happened to me. My way of rationalising the whole ordeal and keeping any notion of self-respect intact.

  • Possible Explanation 3: Or maybe all of the confidence and pride were false? Maybe deep down I was a very unhappy and disturbed teenager? Ask anyone from my High School days and they'd endorse this for sure (but not necessarily after I left High School). Maybe the whole reason the psychosis even started was because I needed an "Escape" from my world. In BiPolar literature so much has been said about a manic bout leading to bad depression, and less ius said about it working the other way too - unbearable depression leads to flights of mania (mental masturbation).

    Maybe in that light it's not even a bad thing, maybe it's the minds survival mechanism for avoiding suicide.

  • Possible Explanation 4: Or maybe masturbation (simulated sex) is a more profound analogy than realised. Maybe the very fact that simulated mental sex exists implies that somewhere out there exists REAL mental sex. The blissful union with an Other Worldly Mind. And at the pinnacle of the bliss a whole new realm is created. And those of us that participate in mental masturbation are the only ones that know that the Reality exists somewhere out there. And we pine after it...

The truth is that I WILL NEVER know.

And so I've rambled on and on here and have just seen that I have not fully answered Raine's questions yet: Will you live your life differently? Make decisions differently?

But best I leave that for a Part 2 sometime lest I reveal too much of the Master Secret (this one especially for WBF ;)


  1. i believe in the latest harry potter movie (which i've yet not seen), he's questioning professah dumbledore whether all this shit is FERREAL or just happening in his head and so dumbledore says: dude, who the fuck cares? just enjoy/live it!

    i've been through more industrial psychosis than you have, trust me, because i've known you and your stories for a long while and i've started being God/Jesus and all that bullshit and it got way more interesting than that after that too and i tell you: YOU CAN GET OVER THIS BULLSHIT.

    go sit with a teacher or do you want me to ask my buddy who went to cape town to train with some shaman in the art of "liberation through lucid dreaming" or some such shit mebbe it'll make your dream life more interesting?

    & why all this angst over whether you're seriously mentally deranged? someone's gotta do it! accept that some of the time it may have to be you and move along home!

  2. I had all sorts of slippery notions to comment about while reading your post but they seem to have skipped my mind. Here's one I can recall: please remember that you are just one infinitessimally minute fragment of that entity called humankind. Also, who you are is the culmination and resultant effect of your family and society. You became psychotic because there was most likely something not right with your world, either, and your psychoses was just a symptom of the greater unease. Points to ponder. (One of my least favourite columns in Reader's Digest, actually. I much preferred Life's Like That)

  3. Some people find the "Why?" through God. Maybe if you found God then all the "Whys" would fall into place?

  4. If you came to realization that you were seriously ill- I prefer that to seriously deranged, would that also not possibly mean that you were seriously MUCH improved? and then there is also the possibilty to be considered..... Perhaps bi-polar guy is simply a human, and perhaps humans are not meant to understand the meaning of the universe. I dont feel this would be something you have to fall into despair over but possibly have to maybe work on acceptance? Maybe its ok to say "I dont know?" Just food for thought.

  5. P.S. if there were a blog award for "mental masturbation" I would totally award it to you. Baby nobody does it betterrrrrrrrrr LOLOL


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