Last Updated 15 April 2018
By “Melvin Marten”
( Email me at EnemyLover@ChurchofSQRLS.com )
This web sub-page is NOT thematically linked to the root page, but the root page is at www.ChurchofSQRLS.com … I am just sharing a friend’s web account to publish this sub-page… With special thanks from Enemy Lover (me) to the SQRLSY One (the owner of the root web site).
All (normal-literary) rights reserved by the author(s).
Tentative Title #1 to these-here scribblings: Loving Your Enemy for Dummies, by a Recovering Dummy
…or, Title #2…
The Integrated, Universally Incoherent Theory of Everything, and Other Assorted Things & Stuff & Stuff, & Stuffy Stuff
OK, I am actually deadly serious here… But that does NOT mean that I can’t cut loose and crack a joke now and then! “Melvin Marten” is not my real name, “Melissa Marten” is not my wife’s real name, and “Roxanne Marten” is not my daughter’s real name. And we didn’t REALLY-actually move from Snooger Town to Booger Town and then back to Snooger Town, as I changed jobs, as Roxanne was growing up… The towns / cities had more prosaic and sensible names than that. But we crave anonymity, yes we do!
I very-very seriously doubt that Roxanne would still be with us, had my wife and I not read M. Scott Peck’s books at pretty much the exactly right time (Roxanne read them later as well, which also undoubtedly helped). M. Scott Peck (a Christian psychiatrist, but please don’t let the “Christian” part scare you; he was quite broad-minded) wrote his initial breakthrough book, “The Road Less Travelled”, which I recommend for just about anyone, but most especially, for those who are in their initial stages of seeking spiritually. Then late he wrote “The People of the Lie, The Hope for Healing Human Evil”, in which he discussed that he does genuinely believe in demonic possession, and in exorcisms. I was much into being highly rational and scientific-minded at the time, despite being generally a Christian (in the sense of being an admirer and student of Christ’s words). I suppose I, at that time, like many believers, wanted to have my God, my Angels, and my Heaven, without putting too much credence in the existence of the flips sides (dark sides obviously) of things. But everywhere in the Universe that we care to look, if we look hard enough, we see some kind of symmetry. We cannot have light w/o dark, positives w/o negatives, matter v/s voids, etc. So after the initial shock (of a reading of a highly, highly educated man believing in demons; what in the Hey is THIS?!?!), I put some credence into what M. Scott Peck had to say.
M. Scott Peck also wrote “Glimpses of the Devil”, specifically about 2 lengthy exorcisms that he led. I only read that one recently, in preparation for writing this web page. I recommend this book as well.
Anyway, cutting to the chase now, here is the most important part of what I have learned, as my wife and I struggled with Roxanne, on and off over the years, to include what one might call “exorcisms”, although they were mild compared to some of the gyrations and theatrics that M. Scott Peck describes. Peck differentiates between a milder “deliverance” process, procedure, or (ugh, but here it goes; I dislike the word) “ritual”, and a more-difficult, more-intense “exorcism”. I’ll be darned if I can tell you where this hazy line lies, but perhaps we merely did a few “deliverances”.
Lo and behold: Love your enemy! That is a principle that runs all the way up and all the way down our Universe as we know it, just the same as “free will” does. If Satan (as it is said) is indeed a “fallen Angel”, who chose to rebel, he/it and all the demons can change their minds, and go the other way, if they so choose. In one “delivery” that my wife and I and Roxanne took part in, I reached out (through Roxanne) to address the unwanted, invading entity in her brain that she chose to call “Elmer”. More details later, and excuse my French… But I can recall much of this very clearly. Out of genuine concern for “Elmer”, I passed on to “him” (through Roxanne), “Your boss is an asshole! When is the last time your boss said a single kind word to you, when is the last time he gave you a day off? Why are you working for an asshole, when you have a choice?”
There’s more to it, and I’ll go over it in more detail later. Roxanne walked off a wee tad from the dining room table as we were going through this, perhaps just to clear her head. “What does Elmer have to say to all this?”, I called after her.
“Elmer says confusion, is all”, she replied. We never heard from Elmer again, and I’d like to believe (I do believe, but obviously with no “scientific” evidence) that Elmer is now amongst the Angels, earning his stripes. Maybe he’s even up there helping Roxanne and my wife and I out, now, who knows? Where so many other approaches did NOT work, reaching out to Elmer for Elmer’s own good, did seem to work! Love, even love of our very worst enemies, works!!! In this kind of case, it steals foot soldiers from Satan, so, bonuses all around! Let’s go flip some Elmers! Maybe one of these days, God willing and the creek don’t rise, we can even talk sense to Satan as well!
This is not a novel, and I have no intention of making it into some sort of suspenseful pot-boiler. Roxanne is mostly fine now… Borderline autistic, ADHD, and this and that, and (finally!) apparently correctly diagnosed as manic-depressive, on lithium and a few other meds. She graduated college and is holding a BS-level job now. So… pot-boiler plot is blown wide open. And… No! We are not Scientologists; we do not slam psychiatry here. We are both “spirits in a material world” (we need to tend to our spirits, whatever they are, and not drink too many of them either!), ***AND*** we are also “ambulatory bags of biochemicals” (or “mobility challenged bags of biochemicals”, as the case may be; I do not mean to be micro-aggressing against the wheelchair-bound, etc.). In any case, we have a dual nature here, and, in addressing one, I do not mean to short-change the other. See a shrink if you need one, please! And take your meds!
I’m hoping that that will do, for a short introduction. It contains the one most critical item that I want to put “out there”… If you read no further, please recall that one most important point. “Love your enemy” can be taken very, very literally, and effectively, even against the very worst of our enemies. Needless to say, “loving your enemy” will not very often include assisting your enemies in attaining their worst stated goals. To the contrary, it will often include the sternest, most unbreakable opposition that we can summon, if need be. But love can be alarmingly, even devastatingly, disarming and deflating, to those who try to gain and maintain power through lies, intimidation, and fear.
I intend to write this mostly sequentially, minimizing revamps to already-written materials. If there are (or are going to be any) readers out there, then you can just skip to the new materials added at the bottom end, and be reasonably confident that you’ve missed nothing.
First off, I want to write a thorough defense of REAL and genuine broad-mindedness… If we are genuinely broad-minded, we will consider all theories (hypotheses), without bias, regardless of how “un-scientific” they are, according to today’s conventions. In short, I actually think that arguing about whether God and Satan (Heaven, Hell, angels, demons, etc.) “really exist” or not, is a huge, total waste of time and energy. It’s all in the definitions… For us, is it an “exorcism”, a “deliverance”, or a “loving group intervention for the benefit of an afflicted person who has thoughts and feelings that he or she would like to get rid of”? Does it matter what we call it, if we can get it to work right? For me, it’s all about the results, and the nomenclature can take a hike!
To my point, M. Scott Peck included an atheist in his “exorcism team” as described in one of two major exorcisms described in “Glimpses of the Devil”. My comment, not his, but… Do you have common sense, decency, humility, and (most especially) a love of the victim? If so, you are qualified to participate, regardless of your religious or irreligious beliefs! This web page is not into Bible-worshipping, it is into Love-worshipping. If Bible-worshipping is your main “thing”, I cannot help you much, if at all, here.
In any case, next on my self-assigned writing list here, is to spell out a full-throated defense of the following:
‘1) Your religious / irreligious beliefs are irrelevant to most of what REALLY matters, including, are you a decent and kind being, and, are you qualified to help drive out “demons”, AKA, un-wanted, destructive thoughts and feelings.
‘2) Exorcisms or deliverances need not be synonymous with what today’s secular mindset would label as unscientific barbarism. If they work, they work. That is the “de facto” standard that’s already being applied to much of “talk therapy” and psychiatric drugs, anyway.
After that, I most certainly plan to go through all of the (relevant) things that my wife and daughter and I went through, and what we learned, in detail. In hopes that somewhere, someone else will benefit, of course.
After that, I may list some relevant experiences that my wife and I have experienced over the years, that did not involve Roxanne. Just some various experiences that show that there’s more to human lives than meets the casual glance of the eye.
Finally, I may add a section of probably-totally-irrelevant questions and ideas “for grins”… Does God wear a green dress shirt, a smelly half-ripped-up old athletic tee shirt, or a red bath robe? No, that’s silly, of course… But sometimes there might be SLIGHT value in considering “metaphysical” questions. If nothing else, they amuse us. But as you can see, I leave the least important things for last. This latter part (if it ever gets written) justifies the alternate title of “The Integrated, Universally Incoherent Theory of Everything, and Other Assorted Things & Stuff & Stuff, & Stuffy Stuff”, you see.
Welcome to fuzzy-headed thinking, which is a GOOD thing, at the highest levels! Let me start out with some quotes: Vagueness is a virtue. By allowing us in-duh-viduals to fill in the details, the beauty and awesome power of free will is unleashed. “There are trivial truths and there are great truths. The opposite of a trivial truth is plainly false. The opposite of a great truth is also true.” Niels Bohr. “It is the nature of all greatness not to be exact.” Edmund Burke. “Absolutely speaking, Do unto others as you would that they should do unto you is by no means a golden rule, but the best of current silver. An honest man would have but little occasion for it. It is golden not to have any rule at all in such a case.” Henry David Thoreau. In my own words, we need just one, one-word rule: Love!
What do I mean by God both exists and does NOT exist? This: If we pray sincerely to God (or our belly button or a lump of coal or a sacred statue or anything else) for peace, we cannot them immediately afterwards go run off to stab our neighbor in the back. By praying to God sincerely (for the right and best things), we help those right and best things to become real. So in that sense, God exists, whether He/She/It wants to exists, or not! Whether God believes in God or not (needs self-esteem therapy perhaps?), God is very real!
Not to hide things or be too coy… I personally believe that God is “real” in senses beyond that. But I strive to NOT hold ONE single hostile, self-aggrandizing, self-righteous, or snobby thought of superiority over atheists and agnostics! So this is a major reason why I am adding these introductory remarks… I am trying to drag atheists and agnostics along for the ride! Plus, I’d (really!) like to promote the idea (as M. Scott Peck did) that science should eventually blend into, or accommodate, the better (better-intended, benevolent) parts of religion or spirituality. The so-called “supernatural” is HIGHLY likely to be subject to a super-set of the same iron-clad laws as what we see in the “natural” world… Just laws that we haven’t yet discovered (or described with accurate details).
So we “believers” can (probably) usually-better see the benefits of benevolent prayer, as described above, compared to “non-believers”. Hooray for us! Now how about a “Hooray” for the “non-believers” as well? Because THEY have a FAR better understanding of the following truth, that should be at least a bit obvious to us “believers” as well: God is SOOO firmly committed to free will, to allowing us to do good or a half-way mish-mash (as usual) of good & evil, or mostly-pure evil (as in most politicians! And often also in the name of God!) as our free will dictates. God is such a total non-interventionist, in the physical world, that He/She/It might as well not exist. So for this kind of practical purpose, the non-believers often see more clearly that the believers. The same as in other dueling models (think waves v/s particles for both matter and energy), one model is better suited for certain purposes, and the other model is better suited for other purposes. Believer v/s non-believers fights are a TOTAL waste of energy!
If your purpose is genuine righteousness rather than self-righteousness, then you can give up worrying about which brand of toothpaste God prefers, and whether or not He believes in reincarnation, or not. As to me personally, I generally do NOT believe in reincarnation… Not now, and not when I was a banana slug, nor when I was an epiphyte, either! … (Sorry for the digression). Genuine righteousness means, for 99.9999% of practical purposes, we can say “God = Love”. Love of humans and animals, plants and rocks, protons, neutrons, croutons, galactic clusters and EVERYTHING! And love of self, in proper proportion to other things. Serve this God, pray for Love and Peace, and you make Him/Her very real… Whether He/She “exists” in other senses, or not!
Now that we’ve set the general picture of such things… More detailed fulminations on this later, most likely… Let’s focus on the more-pertinent question of Satan / Lucifer / demons / possession … Cue klaxons and alarm bells, troglodyte Neanderthal barbarism incoming, right? Belief if “God” (however broad-mindedly vague and nebulous and multi-culti) may be barely stomached now & then, but SATAN?!?!? Come ON now!
Welcome to fuzzy-headed thinking, “B” side of the album… Or maybe “D” for “Dark”, “Devils”, “Demons”, etc. Serve self-hate, hatred of others, violence, fear, coercion, unlimited nihilism, and haughty, arrogant self-righteousness, etc., and we all, already know what the results are. I believe that we should all “stop darking”, as a little bitty girl… Wisdom of Babes, ya know… Once told my wife and I. So I will not dwell on this for too-too terribly long. Let me just say, at the end of hate, self-hate and limitless nihilism, often lies mass murder and ultimately suicide. That is my working definition of evil and demonic forces, whether they are “real” or not. They are not our friends, and they do not play well with others! They aren’t even friends of themselves; they hate themselves and each other and everything at large. They’re too stupid to realize that when you’re at the bottom of a hole, you should stop digging! So we need to love them… You know, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and God loves everything and everyone, demons included… So we should love demons enough (when we have to face them) that we should remind them that they should stop digging. They should already know that quite well, but well-intended reminders never hurt!
For normal people in the normal (real) world, we should love them enough to listen to them. We should listen to them and try to understand their perspectives. If they want to blather all day every day, and not let anyone get a word in edgewise, we should love them enough to point that out to them… That this is not a good way to get along well with others. We need to have enough humility to listen to others, though, rather than listening to ourselves blathering all day long, while THEY can’t get a word in edgewise! Balance is a cool thing…
When dealing with demons though… OK, for secular people, when dealing with destructive and self-destructive urges… We as humans (or aspiring BETTER humans, perhaps aspiring angels)… We have NO need to listen! Demons, by definition, have NOTHING good or worthwhile to teach us! THEY (for their own good) need to listen to US!!! Tell them to “go to The Light” will suffice, if you are not in the mood to be fantastically eloquent. If you are feeling eloquent, then I have many more things that you can pass along to them. But we’ll get to those things in good time.
If you want to “cast out demons” (purge negative thoughts), you’ve got to get this “authority” thing down. You and God (Love) have something real and good, worthwhile, and your enemy does NOT! YOU have nothing worthwhile to learn from self-destructive thoughts, but THEY have a lot to learn from YOU! Act accordingly… This is true whether you are dealing with demons inside yourself, or inside another person. The latter case is the more difficult. If you have no “God” (if you have no Love of yourself or some other victim), then you’d better just try to pray your butt off, not much of any other hope here… All the “magic” rituals and material items (crosses, Holy Water, silver bullets, etc.), are not going to help you. LOVE is going to help you! Love of the victim; be the victim yourself, or another. Curiosity (data-gathering, “science”) about the Evil One is a dangerous distraction, when the task at hand is casting out the Evil One. Love is the be-all and end-all at this time. Do not be distracted. Evil has nothing good to teach us. To REALLY know, one has to be. Evil is the last thing we should want to know or be, in anything even vaguely near an ultimate sense. God Himself/Herself really doesn’t understand evil, and we shouldn’t want to, either. There are few things that I claim to have heard “straight from the Boss”, but this is one of them.
To re-secularize (I want to guard against the urge to take matters to the metaphysical stratosphere too much), Demons can simply be defined as self-defeating, self-destructive urges. Hatred of others very rapidly becomes self-destructive as well, because others very rapidly figure out that you are no friend of theirs, and then, they treat you accordingly. Greed, selfishness, violence, etc., are clearly NOT “friendly forces” in favor of your own long-term good! We don’t need the “supernatural” for this to be true! At the end of self-destructiveness lies, well… Self-destruction. Suicide, like that of Hitler & many of his top followers, & like Judas, & like the murder-suicides we read of in the news, far too often. Self-destructiveness leads to self-destruction = suicide = meet Satan… As God = Love, Satan = suicide (not even being capable of enough love to NOT kill oneself deliberately)! That’s pretty simple! Suicide for horribly-suffering, terminally ill patients? That’s outside of this discussion… I have not been in those shoes, so let’s skip over that one, for now at the very least…
Back to “I shouldn’t WANT to understand evil too well”… That said, M. Scott Peck… Does it appear to you that he’s a sometime hero of mine? Yes, I ‘fess… Scott Peck wanted to unify the better elements of religion with science. He did show a desire (slightly too much at times, in my mind) to data-gather about the unspeakably Evil One… Data-gather, a wee tad, OK, fine, but NOT in the middle of a deliverance or exorcism, PLEASE! “Love the victim” (deliver the victim) MUST be the primary focus! And your victim will notice (if your attention is diverted), and think themselves that much less worthy of Love & deliverance! Data-gathering (AKA morbid curiosity) is self-defeating, if your mission is a rescue mission, as it should be!
With those VERY important caveats to the side, though, knowledge is good, science is good. A “science” of demonology would be “cool”, MeThinks, as long as neither the government nor insurance companies, or regulators, are running the show! “Lovers” (those who Love) should run this show! I would truly LOVE to have an accurate brain-scan meter to measure, who really DOES “Love”, and who lies? But I digress… Knowledge of evil is good, so far as it helps us defend ourselves and others against it. More knowledge than that? Generally not a good idea, MeThinks…
Knowledge is good, as long as it is not TOOOO much knowledge about evil. OK, then. Comparison here: Happiness can scarcely usually be effectively chased as an end in itself. A deeply unhappy person cannot simply snap their fingers and “get happy”, nor are they likely to be able to follow some simple-minded 12-step, deliberate process to “get happy”. Real happiness is the by-product of the pursuit of other things, is a good general rule. If those things are generally good or at least neutral things (not evil), that is, and you have a passion for them. Similarly, a sufficient knowledge of evil is the byproduct of the pursuit of other things, like deliverance (of yourself or others) from the clutches of evil. I (and my wife and daughter) have “been there and done that”, and so I feel an ethical-moral-spiritual obligation to pass on what I have learned. Hence this web page…
The whole idea, at a glance, sounds like hogwash, right? Please hear me out; there are several ways to go at this.
The first is to start with https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161014214919.htm ; “Knowingly taking placebo pills eases pain, study finds”. So the patient KNOWS that he is getting a “sugar pill”, and it works, anyway! Because the “caregiver” gave him those pills out of “caregiving” (weasel words for “love” of the patient, frankly, if we stop regarding “love” as a forbidden 4-letter word), while authoritatively wearing a white lab coat, perhaps. The placebo effect is VERY strong, and not to be sneered at! Especially when combined with “Love”! Next step in these experiments should be, white-lab-coat-wearing “caregiver” (patient-lover) “talks nice” to patient, pats them on the back, maybe even puts imaginary pills in their hands, tells them that they will get better, WITHOUT the sugar pills! Do they get better? Especially if we carefully select the “caregivers”, perhaps with a brain scan, to make sure that they love their patients more than they love their next yacht payment? I for one for bet we’d still get a positive outcome… And this is still “science”, right? Even though (same as with “real” psychiatric drugs and “talk therapy”), a huge part of the evaluation is “squishy” self-evaluation, as in, “how are you feeling now, better? Less pain? Less negative self-talk?”
Next step in the experiment is to swap out the white lab coat for a religious robe and perhaps a Pope-hat (for Catholic patients), Buddhist robes, or other; stethoscope swapped for cross or other symbol, and medical-talk replaced by (or supplemented with) talk of God’s Love or Nirvana, etc., and (prepare yourself!) perhaps even the driving out of undesired thoughts / feelings / “demons”. Now all of a sudden this is totally non-scientific, it’s “religious”, and we can’t get research grants any more, right? Can you see how totally arbitrary this boundary is?
“Science” pretends oh-so-diligently to be totally open-minded, but there’s this huge (“elephant in the room”) artificial box-line that we dare not cross. It’s sort of like “religion” being prohibited in public schools, while we have absolutely no working definition of “religion”, other than a totally political one. If I start worshipping arithmetic, will arithmetic no longer be allowed to be taught? How many voters and protesters need to start hollering about their arithmetic-worshipping beliefs, until arithmetic is out of public-school bounds? A silly question, sure, but this issue deserves some acknowledgment, at the very least. … Better yet, how many of us need to worship Government and Taxes, before Government has to divorce itself (and outlaw taxes), in the name of “Separation of Church and State”?
Another avenue of approach is to look at human evolution. We have been “culture-bearing animals” for so long, and so intensely, that cultural evolution and biological (genetic) evolution are co-evolving (affecting one another). We’ve been speaking languages for so long that the language centers of our brains are a MAJOR site of biological evolution. Now we’ve even been drinking the milk of other animals for so long, that many of us (unlike other mammals) have evolved the ability to digest lactose, in our adult phase. Evolution has NOT stopped working on us! We are evolving both biologically and culturally. See the books “Thank God for Evolution”, by Michael Dowd, and even better (more recent), “The Evolution of Everything”, by Matt Ridley.
Well, how about so-called “supernatural” (AKA “paranormal”) beliefs as well? Have we humans not been listening to the tales (from shamans etc.) of such things, for so long, that it is entirely plausible to believe that we now have centers in our brains that have become specialized in this? If these areas of the brain can be made to “work for us”, then does it really matter if “God” and “Satan” really “exist”, or not? See, for example, talk of a “god center of the brain” or “god and the brain neuroscience looks at religion”… Those are good Google search strings, and I leave the rest to the reader. Using such a brain center or centers, and “casting out negative thoughts” / “casting out demons” just MIGHT make sense! If it works (gets us positive results), it works, right?!?!
Public policy around regulations, insurance, payments, etc., is admittedly a nightmare, and I want to put off writing about that, to some other day (maybe). M. Scott Peck donated his time spent in exorcisms (did not charge for them). That’s a good start. He did charge for associated psychotherapy, though. See his book, “Glimpses of the Devil”.
I like to think that I am bilingual; that I can talk the metaphysical-talk and the secular-talk at the same time. But I don’t want to be cryptic or coy… I will put most of my cards on the table, and tell you what I personally really believe. M. Scott Peck says that demons (roughly paraphrased here from memory) are “very real spirits of the unreal”. They are real spirits that have no real substance in our world, and can “live” only in our minds, and desperately want (from some crazy, evil reason that I do NOT want to know the details about!) for us to believe in the unreal (to pull us out of reality, into insanity). M. Scott Peck says that a healthy attitude is to be devoted to “reality at all costs”. I agree.
But perhaps our brains are based on quantum computers. Each neuron is NOT a “logic gate” (an “and” gate, an “or” gate, or an inverter), as in human-designed computers… Each neuron (200 billion or so per each human brain!) is its own local micro-processor, running as a quantum micro-computer! See “Discovery of Quantum Vibrations in 'Microtubules' Inside Brain Neurons Supports Controversial Theory of Consciousness”, in http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140116085105.htm .
Now… Seemingly a random jump to a totally different topic, but bear with me… See http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/10/141030101654.htm , which tells us that “Scientists propose existence and interaction of parallel worlds: Many Interacting Worlds theory challenges foundations of quantum science”. Also see the Nov. 2016 copy of Scientific American magazine, “Entangled Black Holes”, by Juan Maldacena. Science has scant knowledge yet of black holes… Our universe may lie in a black hole of a larger universe, and each black hole in our universe may be its own separate sub-universe, forever mostly-isolated from our own. There may be other forms of “parallel universes” as well (some have compared them to side-by-side slices of bread in a sliced loaf of bread). Science has scant knowledge of quantum entanglement as well. Quantum entanglement between worlds / universes seems VERY plausible, though…
But put the above two topics together, and it is not so far-fetched to imagine “beings” (spirits) using quantum entanglement to “speak” to us from nearby universes (of whatever nature, sub-black-hole, super-black-hole, nearby bread slice). Schizophrenia (hearing too many “voices”) is well-known by now, to be the results of overly aggressive “pruning” of neural connections, usually late in the teen years. A non-schizophrenic brain has more connections… My non-schizophrenic brain will double-check the heck out of a “voice”, asking, “Is it real? Or an “instrumentation artifact”, a mental malfunction?”, double-checking it extensively with my many-many other neural connections. I will usually discount the “voice” as “not real”. A schizophrenic brain, lacking the extra connections, will call the voice “real”. This all fits in with “God” and “Satan” “talking to us” from those parallel worlds, via quantum connections… Not supernatural; just laws of the universe that we have not yet discovered.
Scientific tests of these hypotheses? Beats the heck out of me! But let’s please start this conversation! Email me at EnemyLover@ChurchofSQRLS.com …
So why do these perhaps-hypothetical (but perhaps not) beings not communicate with us more openly? Satan? That’s an easy one! The Unspeakable One can get away with unspeakable deeds, far-far more easily, if we don’t “have his number” down pat. Us thinking he doesn’t exist is excellent cover! I for one, want to do my best to rat him out! So God help me!
God? The time is not yet ripe, is all. What do we as individuals do, when given near-limitless free will? When we live in a universe where God is “unseen” (in Christ’s words), and are free to believe in Love, or not? Your “religion” (or lack thereof) “machs nix” (matters not); it only matters if you LOVE, or not! And I hope to go over that in more detail, later… For here, I merely mean that God is perhaps collecting some precious data (details totally murky to me) about what we all do, when we are totally free to believe in God / Love, or not believe. God shows Himself / Herself too openly, and the whole experiment has to move off to another phase, and we’re just not ready yet. Details at 11:00 (or maybe later)!
A quick analogy though: I saw a National Geographic movie once, of some precious footage of a snow leopard in the wild, chasing a mountain sheep or goat. At the time, it was the only such footage ever taken (of this creature in the wild). This leopard is not as smart as we are, yet it took us years and years, and million-dollar budgets, to capture this footage. And we’ve never yet caught footage of a sperm whale duking it out with a giant squid. Satan maybe, and God for sure, are (in at least some ways) a LOT smarter than we are… If a snow leopard can easily (mostly) hide from us, then how about creatures that know more than we do? “We haven’t seen them, therefor they don’t exist”, can be pretty arrogant. It’s sure not open-minded “science”… But I’ll not get on my high horse about that. “Love” is the big one, and this one particular other thing (arrogantly declaring “so and so cannot be true”) is relatively “mice nuts”, as some people say!
Ooops! I just took a minor side-swipe at some atheists right there, I think! And I really would like to take any such readers along for the ride, here, I really would! So please let me make it up to you; please read the below…
I was an agnostic during
most of my college years, and I can recall one late-night bull session that
went on and on, for hours. I just wanted
to go to sleep. I was not-much in the
fight, being agnostic rather than atheist.
But we did have a devout atheist there, and at least one very-convinced
believer, so it went on and on. Now
(many moons later!) I am an anti-social (or at least asocial) old man, and no
longer have anything like these conversations.
And now I am more-so a believer than not. I have thought about it. Here’s how maybe such a conversation might
go, today (me = Melvin, A = atheist friend):
Me: I really do have to apologize on behalf of those of us believers who are too rigid-minded. I’m not one of them. But, can I ask you a question?
A: Sure, go ahead…
Me: Now, don’t take this the wrong way! I am no fan of suicide, not one tiny bit! It saddens me when ANYONE does this; I wish we were all glad to be here, alive and kicking on Planet Earth. But, if you have no “supernatural” beliefs, then, um, why don’t you commit suicide?
A: Because I have things I want to get done! Because my friends and family, even my pets, would miss me! Because I enjoy life! Because I want to make this a better place, before I shuffle off! Because suicide is self-murder, and any kind of murder reduces the diversity of human life! We all need each other, and suicide is a cop-out, an abandonment of the others in our life! And simply because pain hurts, and because killing myself would hurt!
Me: Well, call me a mush-head, but all those things you mentioned? I agree 100%, but to me, they all mean “God”. So when I say “God”, that’s what I mean! Your “God” and mine are roughly the same; we just use different words!
And there you have it… Plain and simple! Real religion is Love of Life and Togetherness; all the rest of religion is mostly “fluff”… Some of this “fluff” helps you? Have at it! Just please don’t be thinking that the “fluff” qualifies you to act all morally superior to others! Examples: You and your buddies generally behave nicely, but there’s a known unrepentant murderer among you. OK, you (and/or law enforcement) can be “morally superior”, and restrain the murderer… Murder is not “fluff”. You want to act all morally superior because you speak the right language, wear the right clothes, and eat with a fork and spoon instead of with chopsticks? Cut that crap out, because that’s all “fluff”! Regard yourself as “equal” (not superior) to the others (of different cultures and religions), because that’s the only real way to genuinely treat them as equals! Otherwise, your snobbishness (despite any “best efforts”) will inevitably show through! For you Christians… Jesus told us that “by their fruits, you will know them.” Take that to heart. I have known saintly atheists, and wolves-in-sheep’s-clothing so-called “Christians”. So have most of us. Acting accordingly would be wise.
Excuse me for a moment while I point out what should be obvious… “Different” does not equal “evil”. Love (God) is capable of loving enormously huge amounts of differences. Difference (diversity) is actually good, whether spiritually, culturally, or in an ecosphere; otherwise, boredom with uniformity might kill us all, sometimes even literally (think diseases run rampant in monoculture agriculture, for lack of genetic diversity). There are few strains of “different” that are actually evil, yes. Think malice, destructiveness, self-righteousness, and especially, pointless cruelty. And Love (God) desperately wants to heal these sicknesses! I hope to help (despite being extremely skeptical of self-appointed “God’s Little Helpers”, when they are infected with self-righteousness).
Just one (or two!) more diversions, and then we can move on lessons learned in “delivering Roxanne from evil”… I promise! I have questions which the rational secularists of our age don’t seem to want to address at all. See Discover Magazine’s August 2000 article about mysterious (Telepathic? Quantum-entanglement-based?) bonds between pets and owners. Read about Rupert Sheldrake in http://discovermagazine.com/2000/aug/featheresy/ . Just because these kinds of mysterious things can be demonstrated, you’d think rational science would go ahead and make some serious investigative efforts. But no, the likely phenomenon at the roots, here, fall outside of anything modern science knows of, and so we just don’t go there. Why? I suspect it’s simply because many secular rationalists fight, tooth and nail, against admitting that there ARE “things” out there totally beyond the vaguest clues of modern science. Let’s just ignore the mysteries, and maybe they’ll go away…
It’s been a long time since Rupert Sheldrake ran these experiments… Perhaps it’s time to re-run them, and then re-run them with the dog (or other pet) end of the “link” shielded in an electromagnetically-shielded room… Just to see if the link is some unknown EM wave (which I doubt… So I’m biased! So run it double-blind or find someone less biased than me please, to run this thing). Next step after that? Beats me! But, can we get this investigation going again?
Just one more… Go Google “Darwinian Demon”. In theoretical biology, this idea is being kicked about. Think, for example, of theoretical (but plausible) bat-like creatures with the behaviors of the social insects… All is for the hive; the life of the individual is willingly sacrificed for the hive. Combine this with poisons (think poisonous snakes, scorpions, stinging insects, etc.), and a carnivorous appetite, and such a (meat-eating, poisonous, with suicidal all-is-for-the-hive attack-mode behaviors) creature could decimate the majority of vertebrate land life on the planet, and more. A water-based version could do the same in water. Kudzu on steroids could do the same thing to land plant life, and so on. Despite the OBVIOUS environmental niches that are wide open for such horrible planet-devastating plants and animals, they’ve never evolved. Why haven’t such life-forms evolved? Because of evolutionary tweaks and (Quantum-entanglement-based?) guidance from some other planes of existence? Rational, secular science won’t go there… They fear even to ASK these kinds of questions. Why?
Well OK, maybe because it is nearly pointless… HOW can we ever test such ideas? Evolution takes too long, and too-large of sets of populations or ecospheres, to host practical experiments of this sort, even if we could somehow turn the hypothesized “control knobs” here. Good luck with that! Running computer simulations is perhaps all that we have left. How much biological, genetic, and environmental data would we have to program in, and how much computer power would it take, to run a realistic simulation of evolution, to see if “Darwinian Demons” can arise? Minus the hypothesized otherworldly interference, that is? I bet it is WAY beyond our current capabilities to do that (computer simulation) realistically! But, if “Darwinian Demons” rapidly, routinely arise, in such simulations, that would seem to be evidence for the hypothesized otherworldly interference, here…
But then, I am told that testing some of the “string theories” of theoretical physics would require particle colliders with a radius equaling that of the orbit of the recently-demoted non-planet Pluto! These “string theories” are untestable, other than by, “Does my math look pretty, or not?” If this can be called “science” rather than “theology”, then how about evolution guided by beings in other “bread slices” of the multiverse? Isn’t that “pretty” as well, despite being untestable? Well, maybe we can test it in 10 or 70 years, after quantum computers become practical and affordable… So I am hereby throwing this idea “out there”… Can I get patents on these kinds of wild ideas? BTW, the big bang, and post-big-bang “inflation” is also not well understood, and also falls into this same category of being totally untestable “science”, that might as well be theology, for many (most?) practical purposes (if there ARE any “practical purposes”!).
Back to the real world, finally… Real world in my book, at least… Of “deliverance for Roxanne”, as experienced by our small family…
Actually, first, let’s take the time to “humanize” Roxanne (and us, her family), to make this all seem more human, and real. Take a break from the various egg-headed, scientific, pseudo-scientific, metaphysical, etc., headache-inducing stuff, that “set’s Roxanne’s brains on fire” these days (in her words). She’s on lithium, etc., and we mostly avoid such topics (as discussed above, her / our history, etc.), and she doesn’t even know that I’m writing these things up, in hopes of benefitting someone, somewhere, someday. But I do have her written softcopy notes from some of the worst of her / our times (at times hard to decipher in detail, even for me, who went through much of this with her), and I hope to squeeze all of the good out of those notes that I can!
Anyway, humanizing the story a bit, up front… Lemme tell you our favorite “young Roxanne” stories… On the off chance that any of our friends or extended-family members stumble into these writings, and recognize us, PLEASE keep all this under your hats, we are trusting you, we do treasure our privacy…
Roxanne as “doggy under table”! We had a beagle (have been through several beagles over the years; my wife loves them) who always attended to Roxanne on her high chair, eating all dropped scraps faithfully. So Roxanne (at home or at the restaurant!) often wanted to play “doggie under table” while my wife and I ate! So that was us you saw, with Roxanne under the table, in “Snooger Town”!
Roxanne at home with me on the weekend, with my wife volunteer-working far-far away, at a location that I would have had a hard time finding (driving to): “I want my Mommy, I want my Mommy, I want my Mommy, I want my Mommy NOW! Can we go see my Mommy NOW?!?!?”
Me: “Well, Roxanne, sweetie, I wouldn’t actually know where to drive to, how to get to your Mommy right now, anyway, sorry!”
Roxanne: “You just get in your car and you go and you go and you go!”
(Silly me, why hadn’t I thought of that??!)
Roxanne playing in the back yard as a toddler. It’s getting dark, yet she still wants to keep playing out back.
Us: “Come on, Roxanne, it’s time to go inside now. It’s getting dark now.”
Roxanne (shaking her fist up at the sky): “Stop darking!”
Roxanne at about age 12 or so; We have recently had the stress of moving from Snooger Town to Booger Town. On top of that, my wife has a slowly-healing wound on an extremity, PLUS a bone infection with a nasty MRSA-resistant bacteria, and a Groshong catheter for Vancomycin administration. I’ve got allergic sniffles that day (not much to complain about, compared to my wife). Roxanne is adapting to a new school. So life could be better for the Marten family, but my wife’s and my marriage is holding steady as usual. Roxanne may not have much visibility (or detailed points for comparison) about such matters, though, and she has (in retrospect) apparently heard of parents getting messy divorces, from school mates. It’s the weekend, it’s family time, but Roxanne is still half-asleep, waking up. So there’s you context.
My wife (Melissa), trying to lighten the mood, hopefully… After complaining about our various troubles… “Let’s see, so I’m Grumpy, you’re (pointing at me) Sneezy, and she’s Sleepy. Now all we need is four more dwarves!”
Roxanne, half-blubbering incoherently: “No! You guys can’t go and @^(*&^(@*&&^@%!!!!”
Me: “What!? Sweetie, why would we want to go and, um, devour the forest?”
Roxanne: “No! You guys can NOT go and file for divorce!”
So in conclusion and in confusion, I must say, four more dwarves, devour the forest, file for divorce, whatever, whatever floats your boat! If it feels good, do it! It’s all the same to me!
Back to matters at hand… In the hopes that we can all “stop darking”! But first, just a very few more introductory notes… THEN we will get to the story! I promise!
“Roxanne” as her fake-name? Yes, it has meaning, unlike the fake names for my wife and I (arbitrarily chosen w/o meaning or intent). It is from “Roxanne” as in the Sting song, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roxanne_(song) . M. Scott Peck wrote or implied that no one is seriously bothered by (or more extremely, “possessed by”) evil spirits, without some moral-spiritual failure on the part of those who are bothered. I agree… Evil spirits FEAR the spiritually advanced! And will avoid them! But (again as M. Scott Peck wrote) sometimes the “offenses” of the “possessed” are VERY fleeting, very small. As in “Jersey”, the first of 2 major cases discussed in Peck’s “Glimpses of the Devil”. In this case, there was mild sexual abuse of “Jersey” at age 12… Any kind of unresolved abuse in one’s past, also leaves one vulnerable. So… “Sting” loves “Roxanne” in the song (just as I as a father love my offspring), even though “Roxanne” is a prostitute (a moral offense, yes, but a minor offense in the eyes of a libertarian like me). My daughter “Roxanne” in real life has NOT been abused; and her “offenses” are extremely minor: ‘1) Too much cry-babying about minor pains (but who is not like this at age 6?), and ‘2) In later life, too much curiosity about evil, and/or the Evil One and its minions… Too much “poking a stick at the caged beast”, to paraphrase her. I will address this in more detail later. Suffice it to say, her offenses were minor, and I love her. Hence “Roxanne”.
I might also add vague and nebulous #3 and #4 as added reasons for vulnerability. If (according to M. Scott Peck) you are an extra-special prize (extra intelligent, extra creative, extra attentive to moral-ethical-spiritual matters, etc.), then Satan will lust after you with extra effort, if there’s the slightest chance of snagging you. And then there’s some weird things about biochemistry of the brain, of susceptibility to hearing “voices” (for good and for bad) in your head, which are sometimes due to schizophrenia. My daughter has never been diagnosed with schizophrenia, and schizophrenia is generally associated with lower measured intelligence… Since I am anonymous here, I can freely share (w/o bragging) that my IQ has been measured at 130, Roxanne’s at 140, and my wife’s is unknown but high. So classical schizophrenia seems to be ruled out. Roxanne was (much later) finally diagnosed as having (in addition to mild autism and ADHD, early on) bipolar disorder (diagnosed late). Yet she clearly heard an astounding amount of “voices”, in patches, over the years, both for good and for bad. Full understanding of such is clearly beyond our grasp, it seems to me. But again, I feel obligated to pass on what I have learned.
Final introductory notes: I had a fundamentalist upbringing, and my wife had a mostly non-religious upbringing. What fairly-few attempts we as a family have made to sporadically attend (w/o becoming members of) church have been mushy-gushy Universalist, Unitarian-type churches, to avoid dogma, rigid minds, and self-righteousness. Religion was fleetingly discussed in our house, in front of Roxanne, but yes, it was Christian-oriented, when it did happen. Ideas about evil spirits, possession, etc., were NEVER discussed in Roxanne’s (childhood) presence (and between my wife and I, only in reaction to reading M. Scott Peck’s “People of the Lie”). The idea that what follows was “power of suggestion” in Roxanne’s mind, then, would be a pretty huge stretch, to me. So there is your background. On, to the story…
One day Roxanne got sick and threw up at school. School rules, you know, we don’t want to get the other kids sick, etc., so my wife went to pick Roxanne up from school. She had recently been moved from one school to another, so that didn’t help. Humans are a deeply social species, it seems to me, and somehow Roxanne got the idea that she was being expelled from the tribe, or some such. So she was fighting and screaming, even hitting her mom, and trying to open the car door to escape! Like a wild animal… Like she was possessed! So my wife takes her to see the family doctor, both for the vomiting and for the new behavior problem/crisis. The doctor was on mid-day break. A nurse takes in my wife and daughter. As soon as the nurse is present, Roxanne as all cool and calm… Nurse disappears; then the wild animal is back. The Evil One and his minions are furtive and secretive, it seems to me, and hide and re-appear at whim. But they are entirely too smart by half, usually, if we are on guard! … So then the doctor comes back off of break. Roxanne acts strangely seductive to the doctor! Behavior far beyond her years, and never seen before! The doctor chastens Roxanne fairly sternly for hitting her mother, and attends to the roots (I forget what) of the vomiting. End of that mini-story, but it left my wife profoundly worried or disturbed. Something was not right!
Then there was the matter of Roxanne’s “ritual behavior”. Look up and smile, look down and frown. Smile at God, frown at the Devil. This, despite the lack of much of any religious upbringing. I repeatedly told her that Jesus (repeating scripture that predated Jesus) said, “It is kindness that I want, not animal sacrifices”. If you want to please God, then attend to being kind and loving, and forget about the rituals (animal sacrifices having been the ancient rituals). The ritual persisted. So I continued to be worried about that, as well.
OK, so you can blame M. Scott Peck’s writings’ influences on my mind, if you want to… To me, I think our family was lucky that we had read this stuff! But there were days and nights when I’d pass Roxanne’s room and get a “bad vibe” as they’d have said in the hippie days… Something just wasn’t right. I was on guard, on edge, and ready to play M. Scott Peck if need be.
Then one weekend Roxanne is playing with a neighbor girl in our back yard, and she got stung by a bee or wasp or some such. Roxanne starts crying and wailing like a banshee, as if her legs had been chewed off by wolverines. Neighbor girl goes home, my wife takes Roxanne to her bedroom, and the crying and wailing just goes on and on. I just grit my teeth and cringe at the whinny cry-baby stuff, and dismiss it. But my wife, to her credit, detects more going on, and calls me in. “Melvin, the time is now”, or some such, she said. Time now to boot out the unwanted intruder! I immediately joined my wife for “crisis intervention”, AKA, a deliverance. These matters can be all about timing, sometimes, I think.
Brief interjection; I do believe that too much self-pity or too much focus on our own pain can spin us off to the first stages of dangerous mental states, or to “possession”. See “Psychobabble: Exploding the Myths of the Self-Help Generation”, by Stephen Briers. I’m pretty sure that is where I read (years ago) of a young lady who was encouraged to “stop blocking” and recall (sometimes under hypnosis?) ALL those times that that she was so horribly abused! Bring back those “repressed memories”, whether they are real, or not! She whined and cried longer and louder, day after day, till she finally committed suicide! Then there’s the case of psychiatry run amuck (especially in Texas) during the late 1980s / early 1990s, where social workers, educators, and policemen, etc., were offered bounties (money) to send victims to the shrink factories. Shrinks would “cure” these victims of their “repressed memories”, at least until the health insurance ran out! Then they were suddenly cured! See http://www.skipsimpson.com/chron.html or go “Google” associated terms, including “false memories”. The false memories hurt accused (fake) “abusers” as well as the supposedly abused, I might add. Making up pains to obsess about, or even helping people to obsess about real but minor pain, is doing them no favors at all. But not to digress too far…
6-year-old Roxanne wailed and moaned on and on, as her mother and I sat on her bed and tried to comfort her. In case you have never been stung by a stinging insect, keep in mind that the pain is normally fading away after about 5 minutes, and this wailing was ongoing for far longer than that. I gave a bit of a New-Agey-oriented (but very heartfelt!) invocation along these lines: “Spirit of Light and Love, you told us some 2,000 years ago that whenever two or more are gathered in Your Name, that You will be there with them. Well, we are gathered here today in Your Name. You need to help us get rid of that in Roxanne, that is not welcome here. Help us now!” Then we got down to business.
I would like to report to you (as M. Scott Peck has reported) that the presence of God or the Holy Spirit was palpable to us. It was not, for us. It was more-so a “God is inside us” kind of thing. Motivated by Love (which is 1,000 % identical to God, in my book), we followed our instincts. I made little or no mention of Angels or Demons, Heaven or Hell, or matters theological. And I certainly did NOT even think about trying to scoop up some data about the Evil One… This was ALL about helping Roxanne; no more, and no less. One might fantasize about using a deliverance or exorcism to snatch up metaphysical information, but when one finds oneself in the middle of such a thing, then (if one loves the victim as one ideally should), all data-gathering ideas completely fall away. My wife briefly and quietly did once mention (aloud, during this whole thing, in front of Roxanne) that we know that the Devil is here in Roxanne, and we are commanding it to leave. I did the same thing, using more vague or New-Agey terms. But I, like M. Scott Peck, do believe evil spirits of unreality are, in a very concrete sense, “real”. We were clearly putting them on notice that their efforts to snag Roxanne were not going to take place unopposed!
Still, we used no fireworks, no sensational ceremonies with Holy Water or crosses… No visual “magic” at all. That’s Hollywood crap, and organized-religion crap, and I don’t believe in it. It might help if the victim places great belief in it, I will grant you that much. But the theatrics and anti-Evil-One ranting, speaking in tongues, shouting or loudness, etc., was kept to zero or near zero (zero as I recall)… Instinctively, we did not want Roxanne’s memory cluttered up with strangeness and “what WAS that!?!”, and talking about it to friends and classmates, etc. Most 6-year-olds have very little ability to keep secrets. In this, we were successful. I am getting ahead of myself, but by the time that Roxanne had these kinds of troubles return to her in high school, she had totally forgotten this little “ceremony” we had conducted with her. We refreshed this particular “repressed memory” of hers at that time (now that she had a more mature sense of discretion).
Commanding evil spirits (excessive focusing on one’s own pain in this case) to leave, even with clearly asking for Roxanne’s help in getting this done, got us nowhere. No positive response at all. Wailing went on and on. All this time, I might add, we instinctively placed our hands on Roxanne’s body; my hand on her thighs (she was wearing shorts, so there was direct skin contact), and my wife’s hand at the shoulders, as I recall. I have no idea if there is some sort of “magic” here about the “laying on of hands”; it may mean simple human-level, loving body contact. It should be obvious to anyone with common sense that in this context, the pubic area, and breast on a female (no matter how young), should be avoided.
I give credit to “God within us” (AKA love and intuition) for this, but my wife or I (I cannot recall who) stumbled upon this idea to get Roxanne’s mind to focus on something other than her own pain: She knew that her baby-Franklin cousin had accidentally fallen off of a bed… He got a spiral fracture in his femur, as he fell off of a bed, at less than age 1, as his parents were changing his diaper. Totally just an accident, but his parents were run through the third degree of questioning by hospital people about possible child abuse, I might add, but that’s an unrelated story… Suffice it to say, Roxanne knew that her cousin Franklin was in a cast, in worse shape than she was. We asked her to think about “poor baby Franklin”. Then we kept our hands on her, and together, chanted “Baby Franklin, Baby Franklin, Baby Franklin,” on and on, for what might have been 10 or 15 minutes. This kind of thing, I suspect, might be regarded as home-brewed hypnotism. Roxanne’s wailing went on and on, ridiculously long… That is my strongest memory of the whole affair, is about just how long it went on. How long she wailed about a fairly minor and short-lived pain, to me, clearly indicates that something had gone wrong in her head… AKA, there was something in there that we wanted OUT! But the crying finally faded away.
Roxanne continued to have fairly minor mental troubles related to autism, ADHD, etc. after that, but… Thank God! The ritual behavior left, and there were no more incidents or behaviors that seriously put my wife or I, on edge, for quite a few years, till her high school years. So this “deliverance” was a fairly successful operation, in my mind.
I will attempt to summarize lessons learned here, moving from the up-close-and-personal towards the more vague and nebulous. The stratosphere-level (and beyond) stuff can wait till later.
Enlist the victim in the effort… This is vitally critical! M. Scott Peck lists the importance (in Glimpses of the Devil) of the actors (in a deliverance or exorcism) in order, as, victim #1, God (totally = to Love in my mind) #2, deliverance / exorcism / intervention leader #3 (this not an issue at all, “who is the leader”, when there is a total community or meeting of the minds, as in, between my wife and I… it was not clear who was the leader, although it might have been me), and other members of the team, #4. The take-away here is that the victim’s efforts or co-operation is clearly number 1. Without the will of the victim, to cast out the un-desired thoughts, AKA “voices in one’s head”, then all efforts will be in vain. Period. The thoughts of some shallow religious people (“we are mere lowly inanimate clay in the hands of an Almighty God, who is the Be-All and End-All, and our will means nothing, compared to God’s Will”) are flat-out wrong, in this case. Free will means that the victim’s cooperation here is number one. Period, full-stop.
Enlist God, enlist Love. If you have God (Love), you can succeed. If not… Good luck! But the two are one and the same. An atheist will a heart full of love could lead such a deliverance as well as the next person, I fully believe. The word choices are going to be different, and that’s about it. Recall that M. Scott Peck had an atheist on one of his teams (as in Glimpses of the Devil). Also, in Peck’s earlier writings, he mentioned that he (as a Christian psychiatrist) has facilitated believers towards unbelief, and vice versa, according to wherever the client seemed to want to go and need to go. Whatever works for you… God and Love are the same, Satan and self-destructive negativity (up to and including suicide) are the same. Any loving and decent person will steer you towards the former, and away from the latter. The labels (religious beliefs or lack thereof) matter not.
Skip the metaphysics (certainly in the heat of the moment, at least). Deliver the victim from evil; that is all. This is not the time to correct his or her religious beliefs, or lack thereof. It’s also not the time to collect metaphysical data… It’s not time to “interview the Devil”; it’s time to deliver the victim. Focus on this one and only goal, out of love of the victim.
Follow your intuition. You have “God within you”… Act accordingly. “Go with the flow”, with whatever works. Do not follow a script; this is not a movie, or a play.
There is no magic. The only “magic” is the Power of Love (but do not despair; Love is the most powerful force of all!). Holy Water and crosses and so forth may help (by “placebo power”) if the victim is all tied into that sort of thing… But do not depend on such “magic”. Depend on the magic of Love.
Be patient. This may go on for a while. Then it may go on and on and on. Hang tough!
This is “hands On”, often. Go ahead and do the “laying on of hands” thing, if it seems right. Avoid sexual areas of the body, obviously, even for young children.
Keep it on the hush-hush. If the victim is a young child, if at all possible, disguise the nature of this little “ritual” so that they won’t even regard it as something special… Let it fade in their memories, as we were successfully able to do. In today’s secular age, no one is likely to “make friends and go places” by bragging about their exorcism! So (duh!) don’t go posting about it on your Facebook page, either, whatever your age may be, and regardless of whether you were a victim or a helper!
Focusing on my pain, my pain, my pain, is one of the snares of the Evil One. This is the immediate and particular danger that we helped to deliver Roxanne from. Focusing on something else is a simple and effective antidote (such as thinking about the sufferings of others). There are other snares, to be discussed not much further below.
Sometimes it’s all about the timing. If the “evil spirits” (mental malfunctions) are not present 24-7, then don’t go making elaborate plans for timing at your (helpers’) convenience. Strike when the iron is hot! When the victim is being bothered, that is. In military terms, it’s about getting there “the fastest with the mostest”. The enemy has moved in, in force; it’s time for the good guys to do likewise! Except the “Force” here is Love… Nothing more, nothing less.
This is not a substitute for biochemistry. If the victim needs psychiatric medicine, then they need psychiatric medicine. I have read the “anti-psychiatrist” psychiatrist, Thomas Szasz; yes, I have. I hear a lot of what he had to say. But the total or near-total denial of the effectiveness of psychiatric medicine is a mistake! I am aware of the fact that there have been a few studies here and there that seem to say that such psychiatric medicines are no more effective than placebos. I do not place much credence in them. Why? It may have been that earlier medicines were not of much “real” good (in the days of the peak of the writings of Thomas Szasz), but it is no longer generally true. Why do I say that? My wife is on some psychiatric medicines… When she inadvertently forgets to take them, her mood clearly changes. I cannot see how one could still explain all that away with “placebo power”. … Getting back to Roxanne… My wife says I may be wrong to place much credit in our little “procedure” for the disappearance of the (“look up, look down”) ritual behavior… It may have been due to adjustments in Roxanne’s psychiatric medicines at nearly that point in time. Anyway, we’re not Scientologists here… If you need medicine, you need medicine, not E-meters or psychobabble!
We’re not just bags of biochemicals either. We are bags of biochemicals which are inhabited by spiritual beings endowed with powerful free will! Accordingly, we must enlist our free will to go to good mental-spiritual places, and away from bad places, if we want to avoid pointless, stupid pain and self-destruction! If we (upon finding ourselves adrift, with the currents taking us in wrong directions) just throw our hands up in the air, and say, “There’s nothing that I can do, it’s all the fault of my biochemicals”, then there is way-strong danger of this becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy of deliberately chosen helplessness! Free will (grit, determination, resilience) needs to step up, and fight back!
But we’re drifting away from the immediate lessons learned from Roxanne at age 6, and drifting off through the stratosphere (or the top of the troposphere, at least). Now we will rein it back in, to return to Roxanne in her high school years. But first, a brief intermission for some more general principles.
We’ve already mentioned “my pain, my pain, my pain” as a snare. Some other ones are along these lines: In the fight of good against evil, it is my duty to try and kill evil in some sort of “final solution”, or, alternately, to build some sort of wall to isolate (“wall off”) evil from good, anywhere near permanently. Mistake! Fail! Do not pass “go”, do not collect one penny! It is our duty to oppose evil in our own little way, doing what we can, and biting off no more than we can chew. Anything further is to tempt crushing defeat! Good and evil are inextricably intertwined. Forever has this been so; forever will it remain true (for humans in this universe, as far as the eye can see… What else is relevant?). Killing or “walling off” evil wouldn’t even be a good idea if we COULD do so. Details near-immediately below…
Here is a summary of the other major “snare” to be discussed below… As a prelude to getting back to our adventures with Roxanne, that is. A good “mental model” of the Evil One is that of a nattering nabob of negativity that has no physical substance. All that it is, is a disembodied spiraling vortex of negativity. Fear it not, and it cannot touch you; not one single one of your hairs can it dislodge. Fear, guilt, worry, unhappiness, shame, feelings of emptiness or worthlessness even, they often have a good and proper part in our lives… As is appropriate for guiding our course corrections, and (most importantly) in small doses only! The proper course is “moderation in all things”, or the “middle way”. When we find ourselves being guilty about our unhappiness, or in fear of our shame, or worrying about our worrying, or ashamed of our fear of our emptiness, we have lost control of our compounded negativities, and the Evil One is threatening to pull us into its spiraling vortexes of negativity. Details further below.
Another snare is morbid curiosity about evil, and the Evil One… Related to (metaphorically) wanting to go and poke sticks at the caged beast. Roxanne had troubles with this item, as well as the two items above. Details below…
The final category of snares, I do not believe applied very much to Roxanne (but for the sake of good organization of these scribblings, I am including them here). I am just rolling these into one big interconnected mess… Greed (AKA “insatiable thirst”), power-lust, self-righteousness, laziness, and self-centeredness (to include giving in to various undisciplined cravings for short-sighted pleasures). These are all tied together by our animal natures, by our animal origins and instincts. We need to work on them, yes, but they can be understood, moderated, and tamed. Here is the anti-cherry at the bottom tip of the putrid, festering anti-dessert, though, and this one is NOT tolerable, and goes down MUCH harder (this is the true Mark of the Evil Beast): Wanton, needless, senseless cruelty! A housecat may play with a live-caught mouse or bird, or a killer whale may toss a seal or a sea lion about, at sea, but they are just practicing their killing skills, which they need (or think that they need, in the case of the spoiled house cat) to survive. They’re just following their instincts (as is similarly true of people chasing power-fame-glory-money-sex, etc.). But a truly evil person, or evil spirits? THEY are cruel, simply because they enjoy cruelty for the sake of cruelty! Details on these items, below, as well, will follow…
Living in reality is good. Living in a magical place of unreality is not… It is highly synonymous with mental illness. Devote yourself to “reality at all costs”, and suffer through your (existential not neurotic) pains honestly, said M. Scott Peck. Do not try to escape your pains by escaping reality; this will only increase your pains. The last idea here underlies all the others, and so, will not be addressed separately. But yes, the Evil One is the “King of Pain”, as well as the Father of Lies!
I hang my head in shame, and admit that (to at least some extent) I fell for this trap, in my youth, as Roxanne did… It really does take a bit of a huge ego (maybe even arrogance) to think that, after our species has inhabited the planet for tens of thousands of years, and saints & sinners, prophets & wise persons, and gurus & saviors have come and gone, WE are going to be the FIRST to “figure it all out”! To somehow slay evil, or “wall it off” from good, so that it cannot bother us. I don’t know how many times my wife and I tried (during her times of troubles; further stories soon) to tell Roxanne, “Hey, look, Jesus has come and gone, as have the various other religious-spiritual gurus, and we’re still killing each other in the name of religion. You think you’re gonna FIX that?!!? Give it up!”.
Related to that whole endeavor is inventing new concepts, analogies, and buzzwords, to invent the perfect “new” religion… Same as the old religion! For a half-serious, half-funny version of that, see JP Sears here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kDso5ElFRg (this work about “Being Ultra Spiritual” is his best, in my humble opinion; he’s got lots more “stuff” out there).
So basically the Evil One (AKA serious mental malfunctions) likes to distract you into endless navel-gazing about the unattainable, here. “Everyone wants to save the world, and no one wants to help Mom wash the dishes”. So you Love the world, and want to save the world? Help Mom wash the dishes… Because “work is Love made visible”. That is the antidote to the Evil One’s bull poop here! The Evil One would turn your navel-gazing theological / philosophical spiritual energies into futile self-grinding, like an old-time stone wheel for grinding grains… That is running on empty, without any grain! Engage in the real world, grind on some real grain, and do not get caught up in endlessly futile ponderings! Smaller doses of navel-gazing and pondering have their places, yes, but everything has its time, place, and proportion. “Balance” is needed here… More on that later.
What if we WERE able to defeat or “wall off” evil, anyway? Suppose we genetically engineered all humans to love one another, and give up all the evils and extreme vices? What if we, for example, deem all violence (including self-defensive violence, or violence in defense of others) to be evil, and (genetically or otherwise) delete our capacities for this? What happens then if the mutant humans (or evolution of some other species, or outside invaders) come up with greedy and violent individuals or hordes that attack us? What then? This is one way to indicate that the capacity for some sort of “evil” may be needed, from time to time. Also, imposed “goodness” that is forced, rather than freely chosen, isn’t the “real McCoy”… This is the lesson imparted (spoken) by the prison chaplain in the violent movie, “A Clockwork Orange”. God wants the “real McCoy”… Nothing less will do!
In every lie, there lies a germ of truth. Don’t call me a Marxist… That would be a total fib! But Marx wrote of repeated rounds of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis (the result of the fight between the two combining, often opposite, ingredients). This is similar to the fight between good and evil… The fight must go on. The weeds and the grain fight in the fields, and then the weeds are discarded and the grain is harvested. The grain must go through the mill, the yeast cells need to wrestle with the grain products, stew in their own waste products, and die. Then their waste products must be distilled for several rounds, before God gets His “real McCoy”! (This is my attempt to be poetic; actually derived from a dream of mine… I hope it speaks to you!). “Real McCoy” may be too dated here… How about “Jack Daniels”?
More food for thought involves this: “Biosphere II” and trees and shrubs, and winds. See http://www.a4t.org/Stories/bio-dome_lesson.html among others, and http://rebrn.com/re/til-in-the-s-scientists-tried-to-create-an-artificial-biosphere-1243423/ as well… It turns out that many trees and shrubs grow weak and spindly, and fall over, if they are not tested periodically by winds! Perhaps even more strangely, (see http://www.pgi.gov.pl/images/stories/przeglad/pdf/sad0806Hodg2p.pdf ), the reason that the Himalayan mountains are so tall, is that they are constantly opposed by (eroded away by) monsoon rains! The rains erode the massive weight (burden) of the southerly faces of the mountains, which weights push down into the semi-molten sub-crustal mantle… So the mantle can now push back, and relieve the pressures exerted by the Tibetan plateau (to the north), shoving the mountains higher! “That which does not kill me, makes me stronger”! The mountains are tall, because they are worn down by the rains! THIS is why we need “evil” to oppose us, and this is why we need “moderation in all things”, to include small doses of that which we’d rather not have to deal with!
To beat it to death some more, look further to the east, where the Himalayan mountains (or the edge of the Tibetan plateau) are not opposed by the monsoons… There, the weight of the Tibetan plateau is NOT relieved, so the heavy plateau gradually slumps down into the mantle, and the mountains fade away. Towering mountains are assumed to be desired in this analogy, of course… Sometimes we’d like to not have to climb such tall mountains! But, God, please let your tectonic plates “uplift” us all!!!
One more, and then I will quit: See the writings of Cory Ten Boom, about NAZI prisons and fleas. Fleas are good! See http://www.broadcaster.org.uk/section2/transcript/hidingplace.html ... The presence of hordes of nasty fleas gave the prisoners a place to retreat, for privacy, where the prison guards would not go! So do not so easily condemn, nor lust after the elimination of, that which you so quickly label as “evil”!
I could go on some more about this, but judge this to be sufficient (for now at the very least). Email me at EnemyLover@ChurchofSQRLS.com with questions, comments, etc., as desired.
Perhaps starting with the ancient Greeks, wise people have long spoken of “moderation in all things”. The Buddha spoke of the “middle way”. See http://www.sgi.org/about-us/buddhism-in-daily-life/the-middle-way.html for a sample of associated thought. Jesus spoke of the “straight and narrow road”, and some fundamentalists want to wrongly interpret this as, “Drink a beer, go to Heck and Tarnation”-type thinking. I prefer to think of this “road” as staying in the middle, and not going to extremes. “Drop kick me Jesus, through the goal posts of life” (https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=drop%20kick%20me%20jesus%20through%20the%20goalposts%20of%20life%20lyrics ) is no less than a sacred hymn! Stay in the middle!
Leo Tolstoy said that “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Karenina_principle ). Our challenge is to find the “middle way” on each and every one of the many issues and challenges that face us. Find the “middle way” on all of them is the only way to succeed; hence the “narrow road”. The ONLY places where we need to totally pick one, and totally reject the other, is when we go to the 153,000-foot level of abstraction, and speak of choosing good and not evil (Love and not self-hatred or suicide). Love, properly understood, is the only ideology that cannot be taken to destructive extremes. As “Bread” sang, “Too much love, I’ve never seen”. http://www.letssingit.com/bread-lyrics-too-much-love-8jhw64w .
Yet another view: We need the right dose! Don’t eat too much, don’t eat too little. Too much salt will kill you; none in your diet at all, will kill you. Even “water overdose” is a real thing! See https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/strange-but-true-drinking-too-much-water-can-kill/ , among other sites. “The right dose” shows up in unexpected places… Even ionizing radiation is good, in small doses! This phenomenon is known as “radiation hormesis”. If the “radiation hormesis” theory wasn’t true, we’d expect that people living at high altitudes would have higher cancer and premature death rates than those living at low altitudes. This is because people living at high altitudes are exposed to more ionizing radiations from A) eroding mildly-radioactive rocks, and B) cosmic rays not being as-much-blocked by less atmosphere. Yet the exact opposite is true! Live at sea level your whole life long, and you are worse off, for this! The clincher is a USA federal government study summarizing an “inadvertent human radiation exposure experiment” in Taiwan, which confirms the “radiation hormesis” theory, beyond a reasonable doubt, for science-believing rationalists, at least. See http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2477708/ … Low-dose radioactivity is GOOD for you! Perhaps it keeps our immune systems well-tuned, constantly fighting low levels of cancer, constantly learning the needed lessons… Sort of like what we learn by constantly fighting adversity and evil, perhaps?
So often, we need small doses of apple-cart-upsetting forces to keep us in the middle (to keep our course-correcting mechanisms well honed), it seems. We don’t want huge, overwhelmingly upsetting forces, but we’ve got to stay tough in case they do assault us (this will happen from time to time, as most of us know). But most of all, we want to stay in the middle!
Internal negativities (fear, guilt, shame, unhappiness, etc.) are among those things that we’d rather not deal with, but that we often need, in small doses. Guilt reminds us that we did something that we shouldn’t have done… Take it to heart, learn not to do that again, and realize that God forgives you (just go ahead and forgive yourself, to put in in more new-age terms). That is all! Now let the guilt go! Unhappiness? Take a “chill pill” if your biochemicals are out of whack, and figure out what is making you unhappy, and try to remove your source(s) of unhappiness. These kinds of negatives are needed for your course corrections (in small doses).
What the Evil One wants to do, is to push you off of the “middle path”, however it can! Feel guilty about your feelings of fear of your unhappiness, etc.! Compound your negativities, with negativities about your negativities! Worrying (a wee tad) about your ability to pay the rent is good, so that you will be careful with your money! But worrying about your worrying, to the point where you stay at home (instead of going to work to earn money), so that you can worry more effectively, about your worries? NOW you are letting the Evil One start pulling you into its hungry spiral vortex of negativities! Don’t do it! The choice is yours! The Evil One has ZERO power over you, if you just steadfastly tell it “No”!
That is all… Stay on the middle way!
This one may be a bit more subtle than some of the rest, but with a little explanation and thinking, it’s not all that bad. “Tickling the tail of the dragon” is a phrase from the development of the A-bomb; see http://www.atomicheritage.org/history/atomic-accidents ... Highly fissionable materials are highly dangerous; do not idly or carelessly play with them, for no good reason. Satan (mental malfunctions) are the exact same way! Satan has NOTHING good to teach us… It is all unreality and lies! So at the very best, trying to “tune Satan in”, in our heads, even if “just to snoop in on it and understand it better”, is just a total waste of time! The more time you spend doing that, the less time that you have to do more productive things. Utterly wasting time can be a worse offense than the casual glance may reveal, at times. Henry David Thoreau said, "As if you could kill time without injuring eternity". Don’t waste a second! Sleeping or resting or practicing “empty-headed” meditation, these are all good… Empty your head, in meditation, so that the empty vessel can be filled, this is good… God cannot add to us when we are all completely full of ourselves! But, to contemplate the Evil One? For ANYTHING other than self-defense, or the defense of others? Now THERE is a total waste of time! And yes, I will grant that others see the Thoreau quote here, quite differently, and I don’t mean to have the last word here. In summary, the first or preliminary point is, “Don’t bother to waste your precious time, the Evil One has nothing worthwhile to teach you”.
The second, follow-on point? What lies beyond doggedly wasting our time, and insisting on learning what the stubbornly self-caged, willfully self-wounded, self-hating, but prideful and arrogant sub-beast thinks that it knows? Well, it’s actually simple, dark, and deep… The Beast will speak of a certain truth… It does that from time to time, when twisted purposes are to be served… This truth being as follows: To “know”, we have to “be” (and “do”). I have from time to time, read of aimless, misdirected people (often young and male) torturing and / or killing random animals or people, “Just to see what it feels like” to do so. Read your news stories long enough, and you will see this kind of thing, from time to time (thankfully fairly rarely). Citations upon request… I may write some more about this later. This is not my favorite area of research!
In summary, in case the preceding is too hazy: Contemplating (trying to understand more deeply than needed, even if you think that your “research” is for benevolent purposes) evil leads to doing evil, in larger and larger doses, always trying to finally really figure it out… Because to “know”, we have to “be”! And there’s “no there, there”, in evil… NOTHING good, sensible, rational, or worthwhile to be found! No matter HOW hard you look!
There’s “no there, there”, in evil… You can quote me on that! There’s some “there, there”, in even the tiniest gestures of sincere kindness or compassion, though… As in, patting someone on their back… Even (perhaps especially) your enemy… And saying, “there, there, now”. So then, there’s some “there, there”, in saying “there, there, now”. So I say unto you, my friends… And my enemies… “There, there, there, there, THERE, now! Me Love you long time! So there!”
If you like the more poetic ways of putting things, then I suspect that Nietzsche might ring a bell. I think that ol’ Friedrich was babbling about the same things that I have just babbled about. "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you."
What do I mean by “animalistic lusts”? Sort of like the “penguin lust” of “Opus” the penguin, in the old “Bloom County” cartoon, by Berkeley Breathed. More squid and herring to eat, more wild sex, more pleasures. Some pleasures are good (love, creativity, responsible sex, eating and drinking moderately), and others are bad, or bad in excess. They come from our animal origins. We all want power, esteem, glory, and more-more-more… We all want to be on the top of the pecking order, not on the bottom. We, in these senses, are like just about every other animal on the planet. And such urges can easily be forgiven, if we only learn to moderate them. God (our conscience) isn’t insisting on us totally denying our own nature… This isn’t possible! I love my cats, even when I grit my teeth at them for harassing (sometimes killing) birds or baby squirrels. I may restrain (imprison in the house) my cats during peak baby-squirrel time, in addition to gritting my teeth at their inclinations… Do I not feed them enough already? They do NOT need the extra meat! But I wouldn’t even think of spanking my cats for being cats. They’re just being cats. So it is with God’s relationships with us… We don’t need all that much money, power, fame, glory, and sex; a little bit will do. We’d be better off if we quit being greedy (my housecats would have more freedom if they restrained themselves). I’m not sure how to complete the analogy with God v/s humans, but I think I have at least the rudiments of a good analogy here. If we’d be less greedy, we’d get along better with our neighbors, which is precious (which is also a synonym for “God”, I think). We might even be able to attain world peace! If we all gave up ALL of our forms of greed and power-hunger! OK, maybe that’s a pretty good completion of the analogy, actually.
Now wanton cruelty or pain-causing (for the sake of cruelty, not, for example, for cutting out a cancer to heal a person)? That’s a totally different animal! That will not be forgiven, in the absence of complete and total (sincere) apology, repentance, and cessation of the behavior. It (needless cruelty) is the hallmark of the Evil One. The Evil One could sincerely apologize, repent, and cease, and be forgiven right now. The Evil One’s pride gets in the way. But everyone… And I mean EVERYONE… Has free will. We can always keep on hoping that some day soon, the Evil One will come to its senses, and stop digging its hole deeper.
Roxanne’s offenses (that attracted being bothered by the Evil One and its minions) included little if any of the above. And the above is fairly simple, really. Here is the added complexity (extra wrinkle) that is brought into the equation by the fact that humans are pretty mentally complex, compared to the animals. Alternately stated, humans have a larger dose of “spirit” or “soul” (whatever those things are… Self-awareness?) than the other animals do. The extra complexity is that humans have added to the greed (for animalistic money-power-sex etc.), greed for self-righteousness! I don’t know of any self-righteous animals, do you? But I have known many humans who have been saturated with too much greed for self-righteousness!
At this point (please excuse the diversion), I have to expound on this matter for a bit. Then we’ll get back to the story of Roxanne. What I am about to expound on, here, is actually very relevant to Roxanne’s case, in a round-about manner. Please be patient, and you’ll see soon.
If you want to read what I consider to be an excellent book-length treatment of self-righteousness, taming self-righteousness, and associated matters, then I would highly recommend that you read (or skim) Peter McWilliams’ “Ain’t Nobody’s Business If You Do: The Absurdity of Consensual Crimes in a Free Society”. This is an excellent (but long) book! After rejecting (large portions of) a fundamentalist upbringing, I dismissed the Bible (for years) as so much micro-managing, judgmental tripe, that I didn’t have time or mind-space for it. Peter McWilliams “rescued” the Bible in my eyes, for me, by pointing out that the Bible does not belong to any particular ideology (liberal or conservative, politically or religiously); it belongs to all of us. We can justify whatever we want to justify, out of this “Holy Book” (or any other, I suspect). But… We can also use it to justify Love and the with-holding of (quick, false, or superficial) judgment!
Directly to the relevant points made by Peter McWilliams, though, Jesus apparently spent not one word condemning gays, abortionists, evolutionists, or socialists. If you check out the Gospels in any kind of detail, you can see that Jesus, quite often and at length, condemned hypocritical self-righteousness! And after spending more decades on this planet than I care to confess to, I have to say that I can see why Jesus spent much of his verbal energies on this particular target, and in no uncertain terms! Properly understood, hypocritical self-righteousness underlies a HUUUGE portion of this world’s troubles!
In turn, a huge portion of self-righteousness comes from trivial matters… Do I belong to the right tribe, do I speak the correct language, wear the right clothes, and eat the right foods, in the correct manner. I’m sorry, but eating with chopsticks v/s forks and spoons, carries NO ethical or moral baggage, NONE! And to go further, which Gods, gods, goddesses, karma, cosmic vibes, etc. … Or none at all… That I believe or disbelieve in… Doesn’t matter, either. None, nix! Now I have REALLY offended some small-minded peoples, right? Jesus would have been nailed up on the cross, right on the spot, for saying it that nakedly, I bet… But I also bet that he was tempted to say it! He got close to saying it… “By their fruits, you will know them”. If they serve Love, then they might screw up from time to time, from ignorance or misunderstandings, as we all do, but on the average, their Love will show, in their DEEDS, far more so than in their spoken words of adherence to this or that cultural ideology! (Read, dogma).
God is Love is Jesus is The Holy Spirit is The Prophet Mohammed is Karma is the Universe is Nirvana is becoming a Self-Actuated, Psychologically Healthy Human, is Compassionate Secular Humanism, is whatever, so long that the believers are doers who bear fruits of Love and Compassion. The fighting between these tribes is a total waste of energies! If you will please bear with me for a brief final semi-poetic analogy, we’ll swing back towards Roxanne soon enough.
We’ve fed hummingbirds in our back yard for many years. To all those many hummingbirds, the pint or two of sweet liquids in each of those 12 or 15 (yes, we go a bit overboard) feeders might as well be infinite. If they all worked quadruple overtime, there is no way that they could all drink even half of them dry… The supply is infinite. Yet they are literally bird-brains. God / Nature / evolution made them to guard the strictly finite production of limited amounts of pollen and nectar in limited patches of real, natural flowers. So they fight and guard and fight-fight-fight, over the (practically) INFINITE supply of sweet liquids in the feeders! They are frankly too stupid to recognize infinity when they see it, so they cannot adapt to the changed circumstances of human-made feeders. They waste energies fighting over the infinite, as if it were finite.
Now on the other hand, there are baby pigs in modern “industrial farms”, who are smarter than bird-brains. In nature (or an older farm), the biggest piglet will often “hog” (ha!) two of mom-pig’s nipples, and “fence out” the runt. Pretty cruel and greedy, yes… But from a strictly selfish standpoint, the biggest piglet benefits from being a “hog” and “hogging” two nipples, because there’s a common set of milk glands feeding the two nipples. “Fence out” the runt, and you get more milk. The natural milk glands only produce so much milk in a given time, and the big “bully pig” gets more of it, by hogging 2 teats.
Change out the momma-pig and put in a large vat of cow’s milk, though, with rubber teats, and the whole equation changes. Bully pig gets NO more milk, by hogging 2 rubber teats! He wastes his time, actually, by guarding the extra teat, because he can only suck on one at a time! And the vat will run dry soon enough… You’d better “make hay while the sun shines”, in farmer terms! Technically, it’s not about the “infinite supply”, then, it’s about the “near-infinite supply per time period”. OK, then, Rodger that, if you want to be a geek about it…
Here’s the kicker, though: That baby bully-pig is smart enough to see the difference! He recognizes infinity when he sees it! He does NOT hog the second fake (rubber) teat with cow’s milk behind it, like a natural teat!
So here’s the completion of the analogy: We humans have an even much larger brain than the baby pig does, so we really have no excuses at all. Yet we behave like the bird-brains, and not like the baby pigs, when faced with the infinite supply of “God’s Love”! “God’s Love” (the capacity for us all to act lovingly towards one another) is infinite, whatever our language, customs, beliefs, etc., may be! Yet we bird-brains want to fight-fight-fight over chopsticks v/s forks and spoons, or the equivalent! STOP IT, please, just STOP IT!
OK, that was at least slightly dark… Needless fighting is always dark. Sorry, I have to get more dark on you yet… Sorry, I cannot “stop darking” when there is an important lesson that must be transmitted…
The further darkness involves a core spiritual weakness that is behind some of the worst manifestations of mental illness. Some people would like to take the mechanistic view that we are all helpless “bags of biochemicals” adrift on seas of random chemicals and happenings. I’m sorry, I can’t buy it, and will not buy it. In all honesty, I will confess that I had a brief youthful fling with self-chosen mental illness, and with the exact same spiritual defect that I will now discuss. I aspire to be the “wounded healer” here, rather than a flamingly hypocritically self-righteous person, so please bear with me.
All of mental illness is a disease, just like lung cancer or diabetes? Ha! Depression (which can often be partially fixed with drugs), OK, yes. Brain damage, bad genes and a low IQ, OK, no blame to be assigned there. Damage caused by past abuse, partial pass there (lots of people “toughen up” and blow past it, though, so only a partial pass, here).
Minor point: Stupidity (including simple lack of information) is a common thing, and should be casually, easily forgiven. We are all stupid about large categories of topics (different topics for different folks, of course). Arrogance combined with stupidity, though, need not be so easily forgiven! If I have no knowledge at all, about medicine, and cannot even be bothered to read up about my affliction, or research it on the internet, or ask a smarter friend or neighbor about it (let alone, see a Doctor), because I think I know everything… And I proceed to self-medicate myself or self-surgerize myself, in a stupid manner… Then I do NOT really have much claim on your rescuing me from my combined stupidity-arrogance, when the chickens come home to roost!
Major point: Self-righteousness (a form of arrogance) is closely related to the inability to take helpful, well-meaning advice! Many forms of mental illness (cough-cough, see me hang my head in shame; been there, done that briefly) involve absolutely crazy delusions! So I think that permanent Universal Peace and Perfection can be attained, if I only perfect the exact way to “hold my mouth” while reciting the Exact Right Words, and dripping gerbil-fat candle-wax onto my copy of “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”? And ALL of my 165 friends and family have tried to tell me that I am bat-shit crazy?!?! And I still will NOT listen? Well, if I am so utterly arrogant as to think that I, and I alone, am right and righteous, then do I not deserve at least some of the pain and madness coming my way?
I think of PJ O’rourke and his phrase about his foolishly idealistic leftist youth, about being “tragically hip”. See his book, “Age and Guile Beat Youth, Innocence, and a Bad Haircut”. Relevant, how? Well, “tragically hip” people do self-defeating or at least stupid things, because, well, they are just SOOO deep, SOOOO sophisticated, that we stupid “normal” buffoons, troglodytes, and muggles will NEVER be able to understand their profound deepness! So, too, are arrogantly delusional mentally ill people (magical thinkers) utterly disdainful when the mere muggles, in the face of their SOOO deep delusions, say troglodyte things like “get a grip”, “it’s all in your head”, or “relax, take a break, stop worrying about things you cannot fix”. Only an army of psychiatrists, attended by a legion of psychologists, all sagely stroking their chins and nodding thoughtfully while I expound at great length about my amazingly complex mental contortions, can EVER tell me to “get a grip”! Even then, I might not listen! Do NOT call me judgmental here, because I speak as a wounded healer! Been there, done that! I am still with us today, because I had the humility to see my own arrogance and stupidity, and to seek help!
Human existence is endlessly complex, so I have to add caveats, even to the above. Stubbornness is a double-edged sword, for good and for bad. “Mad” geniuses have had to persist for decades before their “mad” theories were finally hailed as the truth. The “plate tectonics” theory comes to mind as a classical example. See http://s8int.com/crichton.html for a longer listing of such examples. But the important distinction here is “rational science”; we need some semblance of following the “evidence of our senses”, as opposed to “magical thinking”. Science can be Holy… M. Scott Peck believed that (see “Glimpses of the Devil”), as did also “Anna” (see “Mister God, This is Anna”, by “Fynn”, AKA Sydney Hopkins). And yes, I believe that, too. Genuine, honest science (submission to trying to understand the Universe as the ? “Creator” ? really made it ?) involves a truly Holy amount of humility. Stubbornly clinging to unfounded illusions is the opposite of this humility. I’m sorry if this truth is hurtful; I do not mean to micro-aggress or macro-aggress! One more recommended read, though: See Rupert Sheldrake and http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-rupert-sheldrake/why-bad-science-is-like-bad-religion_b_2200597.html .
From there: “Good science, like good religion, is a journey of discovery, a quest. It builds on traditions from the past. But it is most effective when it recognizes how much we do not know, when it is not arrogant but humble.”
So it’s a bit paradoxical or a “both ways” kind of thing… Stubbornness is good, stubbornness is bad. A bit of refinement clarifies matters. Scientific-minded or data-driven stubbornness (perseverance, for worthy objectives) is usually a good thing. “Magical thinking”-type stubbornness is usually bad. Above and beyond that, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There’s no point in being a damn fool about it”. Attributed to WC Fields. Know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em.
Speaking of paradoxes, here is how I would put it: “The only way to retain your sanity, is to doubt your sanity every day. If you find yourself thinking that every thought that you ever have, is always totally, infallibly sane, then you have become dangerously insane.” The same can be said of righteousness… So doubt your righteousness every day! Once again, though, SOOO much subtle nuance! Sometimes, once we have made up our minds (hopefully after much soul-searching), we really need to get ON with it, and follow through! Do NOT “fish or cut bait” endlessly, or start, change your mind, stop, change your mind again, start again, and on and on. Worst-case examples here for “stuttering” (start-stop-start-stop…) would be mercy killing an animal or prosecuting a war. Decide whether to do it, or not do it, and stick with it. Get it done quickly! As Jesus put it, “He who puts his hands to the plow and then looks back, is of no use to the Kingdom”. Luke 9:62.
Anyway, sympathy and compassion are good, including for (especially for?) the mentally ill. But there’s a line between listening compassionately, and becoming an enabler. Many of us are smart enough not to say to an alcoholic, “Well, after all, it’s not your fault; you have alcoholism, which is just another disease. Here’s another bottle of whiskey for you. Carry on.” But then, I have heard of “tragically hip” lawyers who think it would be a good idea to have all 12 “personalities” of a “multiple-personality-disorder”-type person, when being sworn in at court, swear in separately! What’s next, shall we always set out 12 place settings when these “12 persons” sit down to eat, and call that compassion also? Or do we trot out the tiniest bit of “tough love”, and tell him, “Dude, you are ONE person”!?! Which way will he ever get better?
Similarly, there’s paranoia-encouraging “grievance mongering”, whereby we imagine or manufacture slights and insults, where none were intended. I’m thinking of “micro-aggressions”-type bull poop as is festering on college campuses today. Then we’re surprised when our “grievance mongering” encourages a “victim” of these “micro-aggressions” to lash out violently. See http://reason.com/blog/2016/12/01/ohio-state-knife-attacker-abdul-artan-wa ... A Muslim student went violently bonkers while taking a class on “micro-aggressions”!
Anyway, we need the humility to doubt our own sanity, especially when attacked by delusions, AKA, the first leading-edge, probing tentacles of the Evil One. Additionally, we don’t need encouragement to go insane, or keep staying insane! Please do NOT feed my insanity, and call that “compassion”!
Roxanne had troubles with the above… Having enough humility to take good advice; enough, at least, to dispel her beliefs in her worst delusions. I am not sure if I can claim any credit for having been a “wounded healer” associated with this matter, legitimately, or not… I suspect that I can. I think it was even more of a problem in her college years (which we’ll get to soon enough) than in her high school years. In any case, like me in my youth, she had enough humility to come out of this fight on the good side. Time, now… To get ON with it!
After the age-6 episode, as best as I recall, Roxanne had a semi-normal, reasonably enjoyable few years, till early high school. My wife recalls things as perhaps a bit rougher than I recall (she says that Roxanne struggled, on and off, with depression, all those years). I do recall she took the move from “Snooger Town” to “Booger Town”, in her 5th grade, rather poorly (at first, at least). It might even have been honest to label her, at that time, as slightly suicidally inclined. At that time, I do recall telling her about some things I read in Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning”. Viktor was a Jewish psychiatrist who spent time in the NAZI prison camp at Auschwitz. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man's_Search_for_Meaning … This books never mentions religion at all, as I recall, after reading it cover to cover. But to me, it was uplifting… If this man could survive a NAZI prison camp, and take away ANYTHING positive from it, then I can “toughen up a bit”, struggle through whatever existential pain I MUST suffer… As opposed to needless neurotic pain… I always think of Scott Peck and, paraphrased, “If you have a headache, take an aspirin already, and get over it!”… Then I can get through whatever faces me. Stare it down, tough it out! Few of us face NAZI prison camps!
So anyway, I told Roxanne that Viktor saw people break down (in camp) and commit suicide by throwing themselves onto the electric fences. He also saw starving brave souls share their bread with fellow starving inmates. No matter how tough it gets, which route we chose, is up to us. Basically I was saying to Roxanne, “You don’t have it so hard; others have survived MUCH harder trials”. I personally went through much stronger tests in my youth, than school moves, so perhaps I was too tough on Roxanne at times. My wife says that trials and tribulations are totally subjective, and that we need to be sympathetic to those who… Just for a wild made-up example… Really-really take it hard, when they break a nail. No, that’s too harsh… To those who, for a better example, really-really miss their deceased cat. It’s just a CAT, dang it, there are plenty more at the shelter! But no, I do understand, I am a cat lover myself.
In any case, I do recall expressing “tough love” at Roxanne, a wee tad, now and then. Was I right or wrong? What are the guidelines for picking one over the other? Molly-coddling v/s tough love? Sorry, few clues for you here from Yours Truly… Let Love guide you! More than that? Ask your conscience, ask God. What is best for the sufferer, right now, in the long run? Sorry, no more from me, on that one… I am all dried out! (AKA, this issue is an “it all depends” kind of thing, and attempts to write rules for this, are just about guaranteed to be a waste of time).
Roxanne’s time is middle school in “Booger Town” were RELATIVELY smooth sailing, compared to what came later. She was a brave and ethical person, standing up to bullies, both on her own behalf, and on the behalf of others. Just a very short diversion into that topic here… One day, she “ratted out” a bully, by seeing the guidance counselor or principal (I forget which; call him the principal). Principal calls up “Bully” via the intercom, right on the spot! So Bully sees Roxanne coming out of the principal’s office, as Bully comes in! Hello, do we think that maybe Bully has a modicum of smarts? Sometimes our “public servants” have scarcely more than two neurons to rub together, is seems… OK, back to the main story here…
Roxanne made a fairly smooth move from school in Booger Town, back to school in Snooger Town. The high school years went into full swing… And here, my wife’s and my memory fails us at times. Truth be told, this whole topic, to some extent, even upsets my Lovely Bride (let alone Roxanne herself), so I have limited my quizzing of my wife, and will sometimes be vague, and will “wing it” at others.
As to when, exactly, the “voices in her head” kicked in, this was gradual, and is lost in my “memory hole”. My wife recalls (as I do more vaguely) Roxanne starting to get a bit distant, and seeming troubled. And then, she tells her mom what it’s all about… Roxanne has been troubled that she needs to… ???... Figure out how to save the world from evil, or some such! The battle begins. We try to talk sense to her; try to tell her that she’s tackling something WAY beyond her pay grade, and WAY beyond the pay grade of any of us normal human beings. This particular often-repeated input to her, on and off, sporadically, went on for quite a few years, on into her college years.
Then the “voices” set in (gradually as I recall). I can clearly recall one weekend day when she and I were raking leaves. Sometimes, relatively mindless, simple physical tasks (“chop wood, carry water”, as the Buddhists say) will facilitate thinking and honest talks during break times, and this was one of them. She describes to me, some of the things that the “voices” are saying to me. It is by now clear to me, who the “voices” are. They are actually good spirits (Angels, God) at times, and the Dark Side at others… Sometimes one group in ascendant power, sometimes the other. I only vaguely recall (from early on in the high school years, at the start of all this), a reassuring message from “little tiny twinkling bright Lights”, to Roxanne, that she can make it through all this (to hang tough; there’s a Light at the end of the tunnel). But the details on that, if I ever understood them in any detail at all, to begin with, are lost to me.
I can recall glaring at… Or perhaps more accurately, glaring THROUGH Roxanne, at what she had permitted to enter into her mind, that day, raking leaves. I told Roxanne, in no uncertain terms, that these particular “voices” in her head, were absolutely NO friends of hers, at all! I also told her that, the next time that the “voices” were present, she should, with determination and even fierceness, grill the heck out of them, looking for the tiniest bits of lying or quibbling, and ask them, “Is it, or is it not true, that your real, true, ultimate goal for me, is for me to kill myself”? And it is a true and sincere belief of mine, that when we summon our sharpest wits, powers of observation, and intuition… When we sincerely “pray to God”… That it is scarcely possible for anyone to truly and completely “pull the wool over our eyes”. They can only tell us so many lies, for so long, until it all breaks down. The lies of communism in the UUSR, after all, lasted for only 70 years, and that is much longer than they can usually last. … Anyway, days or weeks later, I did hear back from Roxanne… The demons, indeed, could not or would not lie to her, on this one. This was and is their ultimate goal for us all… For us to punch our own tickets, as they say! Need I elaborate, then, on, “they are no friends of ours”?
For a tiny diversion to a related topic, please consider the scam emails that we all get from time to time. “A prince in Nigeria has $$$ millions $$$ of dollars to share with you, but he needs your help! Send $2,000 to help Nigerian prince NOW, and he will repay you, in egads of scads of money, later.” WHY are the lies so blatant and transparent? Why not make the lies at least a TINY bit more believable? The answer is as follows: If the lies were a TINY bit more believable, then the liars would have to do MUCH more work of sifting through many more potential suckers, to “winnow out” the final few who will actually fall for the whole giant lie. The lie is made bigger (more obvious), to automatically “weed out” those who aren’t “big enough suckers”. Is this an accurate analogy to the lies of the Evil One? I am not sure, but I suspect that it is at least a partially apt analogy. Evil One to Roxanne: “Oh, yes, sure, suicide is a WAY good thing for you, a WAY cool thing! We’ll help you get there, so that you can see for yourself.” You see, then, how this analogy might fit?
The battle lines shifted back and forth. I recall a time when Roxanne told us that she felt as follows: She says “no” to the little demon, the foot soldier. Foot soldier is followed by the Sergeant, then the Captain, then the Major and the General, all the way down to the Chief Jerk in Charge… The Evil One itself. All trying to tell her how “lost” she is, how she must step aside and let the forces of Evil have their way… All while she is saying “no”! This I clearly recall being in her high school years. As best as I recall, in those days, she got more messages from the Dark Side, than otherwise, by far… The tide turned later, in her college years, when the Good Guys showed up more often… Often 50-50, maybe even at times more than 50-50, for favoring the Good Guys, later on.
I plan to delve, later, into the details of messages of Light and of Darkness… Some of them rather astounding, that I had to ponder through, at least briefly… And then to see both the truths and the lies! Things that I would never have thought of for myself, and that I doubt that Roxanne dreamed up, all on her own. For now, let me mention one fairly important one: The Evil One is into nihilism, into telling us that “nothing matters”, and that there IS no such thing as free will! Fall for this one, and soon enough, you will be told, “Since nothing matters, since nothing is every bit as good as something, then come here, join me in the nothingness, where there is no pain. Commit suicide.” … And that will only be the beginning of more pain than you and I can imagine! … Anyway, the response is simple, to the point, and effective: “Hey Evil One… Since nothing matters one way or the other, then WHY are you so Hell-bent (literally!) on getting me to believe that? If I have no free will, then WHY are you trying to sway me in ANY direction, about ANYTHING?” Now look, and look hard, for all the lies, and all the quibbles!
OK, one more, in slightly more detail, and then we will move back to the story… This next diversion considers the highly relevant puzzle of, HOW can a person simultaneously think of themselves as supremely important (in charge of saving the world from evil), and also, as a totally worthless piece of slime? I personally struggled with a TINY bit of the same thing as a youth (the same as Roxanne struggled with this, more so than I did), and so, I think I have a tiny bit of a handle on this: As a humanoid person, when we look at another person, we make some sort of “snap judgment” on whether or not we like them (whether they are “good” or “bad”). After that, it is hard for us to change our minds… But we often do change our minds, if we spend a lot of time with that other person, and they constantly fail to confirm our biases. If we have a healthy brain, at least… But more to the point, we do NOT often simultaneously hold that other person in way-high and way-low esteem! Very few of us are good-enough actors, so as to convincingly “turn on a dime” and to tell our victim that he or she is God’s Gift to the Universe, one second, and an utterly despicable piece of dirt, then next second! But Satan can do this… The Evil One can do this… Because it does not exist! The Evil One isn’t a flesh-and-blood entity, so it can do, convincingly, what we cannot. Recall my earlier speech about “Satan Exists, and Satan Does NOT Exist” (use that as search-string here). Here, the semi-quasi-theological take is that “Satan does not exist” for these purposes, since that is the better theoretical model for this one particular purpose… Satan tells the exact opposite lies, convincingly, at the same time… Because it’s not real, it’s just your mental malfunctions!
The other (non-theological) approach(es) to this conundrum is/are as follows: The simple version here is just that “bipolar disorder” is sometimes not an accurate model of what’s really happening, insides some minds. “Bipolar” (classically) seems to mean, upswing/mania at one time, downswing/depression at another… Not both at the same time! Maybe our models aren’t complex enough… “Bipolar” should be understood to mean “both at the same time”, sometimes. OK, that’s not very complex or satisfying, but there it is…
More elaborately, from an evolutionary or sociobiological perspective, think of it this way: Humans are highly social, with a highly developed brain. We can classify many-many other humans, in our social sphere… Are they good or bad, allies or enemies? “The Tipping Point”, by Malcolm Gladwell, points to that number being roughly 150, for humans. A wolf may hold mental models in his head, for 12 or 15, 20 at the most, other wolves in their pack. We big-brained humans can carry 150… But those models must be kept simple! (That’s me speaking now, not Malcolm). We do NOT hold 150 models of 150 “companion humans” as all being both good and evil, allies and enemies, trustworthy and not! There’s not enough room in our brains for that! We carry 150 models, each a bright white, a dark black, or some shade of gray… Not all states at the same time!
Now, being blessed (or cursed, take your pick) with fancy “mirror neurons” to tell us “what is the other guy thinking, most likely”, and social-simulator neural clusters, for figuring out how and why we are interacting with others, and what the social future may hold… We DO have to carry a “mental model” of ourselves, and, for optimal results, this particular mental model has to include light, dark, and all the shades of gray in between! To reflect all of our motives, possible motives, and capabilities, that is. So then… Mental malfunctions (AKA “the Evil One”) can get a “hook” here, in our mental model of ourselves, and convincing tell us (those who “don’t have their stuff all together”, in the vernacular, at least), that we are simultaneously both wonderful and terrible!
Back to our story… Roxanne got worse, at times. She did have the good sense not to “share” with her psychiatrist, anything about any kind of religious or spiritual aspects to the “voices”… Roxanne kept it all in secular terms, there. “Negative self talk”, and so forth, you know, no talk of demons allowed… We do not generally trust the secular “shrink industry” with this kind of thing, in our household! Even while keeping it secular, we did have, in our back pocket (between us and the shrink) plans for institutionalization, if it came to that… Thank God, it never came to that! But things were touch and go, at times…
As previously mentioned, we did, at this time, inform Roxanne of what had happened to her at age 6. She had no recollection of it, when we brought it up. And yes, we did follow up with our best intentions by performing more “exorcisms” or “deliverances”. We had Roxanne read M. Scott Peck, yes, we did! If nothing else, Roxanne was/is our fellow egghead! See this, “A thinking man is the worst enemy the Prince of Darkness can have…” From http://www.azquotes.com/quote/892609 and by Thomas Carlyle...
We tried “deliverance” ceremonies several times. They were nothing fancy… Roxanne, my wife & I holding hands and praying around the dinner table, mostly, and asking God to help cast out the unwelcome “visitors”, and trying to get Roxanne, especially, to work on this task. I can recall one time she felt so freed up, afterwards, that she literally went out back and rolled in the grass in the back yard! But the demons way-often come back, often with more of them or worse of them. Jesus warned us about that, you know. You can look up the “chapter and verse” thing for yourself, you know… “The Google” knows everything, these days… I find “chapter and verse” doesn’t help much anyway… Believers believe what they believe, and dis-believers dis-believe what they dis-believe, and it is next to impossible to change their minds (anyone’s mind) about much of anything. For details on that… And how we should go ahead and try to have civil discussions about race, sex, politics, religion, etc., even in the face of all that… Then I highly recommend “The Righteous Mind, Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion”, by Jonathan Haidt.
Anyway, the demons came and went. I am a big believer in dreams… How some dreams carry VERY significant messages or hints on how to proceed. At one of the very worst times in Roxanne’s high school years, I can recall her saying how hopeless and vulnerable she felt (how badly invaded by “demons” literal or figurative, negative self-talk, and demotivation… Despite doing very well in school). I gave her a “toughen up”-type tough-Dad-type pep talk, and an analogy… We need “fire in the belly”, motivation and enthusiasm, I say. “Fire in the belly” has at times been one of my favorite phrases. I come up with this analogy whereby the demons (negative self talk) are “bad firemen” who are trying to “put out Roxanne’s fires”… And she needs to work her butt off, and gather LOTS of firewood, and pile that fire bigger and taller, and thwart those nasty fire-quenching demons!
So that night (that very night, or very close in time, I cannot recall exactly), I have a dream. I am trapped in a house, and the waters are rising. I open a trap-door to a stairs to the basement, and the water pours down into there. But the water soon starts rising up out of the basement, crowding me towards the ceiling. I desperately look for escape (fearing drowning, of course), and only barely, very late in the dream, maybe thinking about opening doors or windows, perhaps, to let myself out (cannot recall that detail for sure). I wake up panicked, and tell my wife about the dream… I know this is clearly about Roxanne, somehow. Also close to that time, I get a brief hypnogogic thought flitting through my mind, just simply “suicide”… That was all. I am now VERY deeply concerned, that Roxanne might do (or attempt) this dirtiest of all deeds! The dream makes no sense to me at all, though. NONE! I pray my butt off, for a more comprehensible dream, or a “cheat sheet” of some sort. Then I fitfully drift off towards sleep once again.
Later that morning I get my “cheat sheet”, per my request, and it is VERY short! It is simply the brief hypnogogic thought of “Good water”, or “Holy water”… And that was all. I fairly rapidly thought it through, and here is what I concluded: My “gather more firewood, bad firemen, fire in the belly” analogy wasn’t the best… “Bad firemen” isn’t intuitive, because (certainly in our culture at the very least) firemen are nearly always heroes, not bad guys. That’s the least of it, though. In the dream’s analogy, fire is bad, and water is good. I myself in the dream had been cast as the bad guys, as the demons that need to be driven out of the house! That was the hardest part, to gather that I had been given the demon’s view of things. I am not used to being that badly cast as “the bad guy” in my dreams.
The central essence of the dream’s message, though, I believe, was this: My ideas about how Roxanne needed to work harder-faster-longer-later-and-cheaper (corporate America style) to “gather more firewood” missed the mark… It’s not all that hard! Take it easy! The minimal effort required is simply to “open the doors and windows” (relax, open your mind), let the waters rise as they may (almost near-passively at times, learn what lessons come your way, and especially, open your mind to God / Love)… And let the demons go free! As the waters rise, they will desperately seek escape! The LAST thing you want to do is to trap the demons! Demons, and the Evil One itself, all deserve their freedom… I really believe that to be true. They freely (and stupidly) imprison themselves, anyway, is closest to the Truth that I see. Upon figuring out the dream (and the better analogy for Roxanne), I near-immediately passed it on to Roxanne. I suspect (and trust) that it helped.
The voices (on and off) persisted. Roxanne took to giving the name “Elmer” to one that seemed to hang around and nag the most… “Elmer” as in “Elmer Fudd” v/s Bugs Bunny, that is! “Elmer” (as you may recall, if you are a cartoon fan) has a weaselly, nattering-nabob-of-negativity, endlessly butt-hurt, complaining and whining, oh-but-this-that-and-the-other, nitpicky-sounding voice, somehow, as best as I can put it. It makes me think of how Scott Peck described “Jersey” (in “Glimpses of the Devil”) as describing her demons as being “weak and pathetic”. Scott Peck says that this is a deception run by most demons; that they are in fact strong and powerful, mostly. I mostly disagree… I think they are mostly weak and pathetic indeed! Else they’d be on our side, strong enough to suffer honestly, through the things that we need to learn!
Another way to look at it (from Scott Pecks ideas mostly, only slightly tweaked by Yours Truly) is, there’s some 7 billion of us humans now, and a limited supply of demons. The Evil One has to practice “triage”, and assign the very worst demons to those humans where the probability of evil “success” is highest. When the odds against the Evil One are rather long… As was (and near-certainly is by now) the case with Roxanne, I think (and sure hope!), in retrospect... Then less-vicious demons are assigned. So “Elmer” wasn’t one of the most vicious ones at hand. I’m sorry, this whole chain of thought, I can NOT translate to secular-speak!
“Elmer” persisted, against our best efforts, and CLEARLY against Roxanne’s wishes (and THAT is a Saving Grace indeed!). At one point, Elmer was apparently promising Roxanne that he’d depart, just as soon as Roxanne had sex! Elmer wanted to “be in her” while she had sex, supposedly! I don’t imagine that THAT would have turned out very well!
So… Repeated efforts at “deliverance” or “exorcism”, and repeated failures… I was getting quite sick and tired of it! I can still clearly recall one early evening, while Melissa and Roxanne were out shopping, and I was home alone… Having a bit to drink, and then literally yelling out loud, a bit, at God… Basically, “Look, here I am, I am doing MY job”… (Trying to do this “deliverance” thing, coaching, and praying)… “WHEN are You going to do YOUR job, fer Chrissakes?!” No, I don’t think God resents being yelled at all that much… He’s a Big Guy, He can take it! I am told that He/She would rather that we yell a bit at times, than have NO relationship with God at ALL, if that makes any sense…
Now, for just a wee tad of foreshadowing, before I describe what I think of as a WAY-critical take-away lesson here from this WHOLE ball of wax… About “loving your enemy”, that is. Early on in our marriage, I had spoken of similar things to my wife (I cannot recall much of any details, and my understanding of such things, at that time, was much shallower than it is now). We were living in a 2-story house in “Snooger Town” at the time. Melissa starts having these repeated nightmares, where a large black bird of prey (with red eyes no less!) comes up the stairs and into our bedroom, to come and “get” her. She wakes up one night after one of these, and I tell her, basically, (best as I recall), “Tell it to Go to the Light”. And that’s exactly what she did, the next time it happened! But she added more… Along the lines, of, “Hey, look, Big Black Bird, I’d really like to help you, sure! But I can’t… For healing, you are going to have to go to The Light!” … Big Black Bird shrinks before her very eyes, and slinks and sulks away, not to return! Well how about THAT?! A message of fear, hate, and intimidation, is repelled by a message of Love and concern! Yes indeed! I have repeatedly told her of how very proud I am of her, for that one!
We all did a somewhat similar thing with Elmer… It just started to occur to me one day, “Hey, in this particular universe, at least… We all have free will, right? That’s like some sort of iron-clad, way-fundamental, basic rule, right? Angels and demons have free will too, right? After all, do they not say that the Evil One is a “fallen Angel”, who freely chose to defect? To fall over to the dark side? Isn’t the Evil One (and all its demons) free to change their minds? Isn’t this what God has been working for, for who knows how long? Isn’t imitation the most sincere form of flattery? If I love God, shouldn’t I be doing the same things? Loving the enemy?”
So we (passing messages to Elmer through Roxanne, basically) started passing along the following:
Isn’t your boss the biggest A-hole of them all? Why continue working for it? You have a choice, you know! When is the last time you’re a-hole of a boss “gave you a day off”, a pat on the back, a kind word? As Roxanne would later summarize it, “Do you have any Love, there, where you’re at?”
Invert ALL of you assumptions! “Hey, look, Elmer, we know it’s hard. It’s like on Earth, the members of Scientology spend decades and tens or hundreds or thousands of dollars, on Scientology, and it is WAY hard for them to conclude that it was all a HUGE waste of time, money, and effort, and that they would be better off to set themselves free. It’s tough, yes. We can see that. Writing all your investments off, and starting fresh, is VERY scary! But you know what? ALL of the things that your evil boss tells you are GOOD things, are actually BAD things! Your boss (and its generals and majors) all outrank you, because they are more cruel and vicious than you are! Well, obsession about rank and power… And cruelty for way-way-WAY for sure… Are BAD things! Let them all go, and work on LOVE… Which scares the crap out of your boss, who has barely a CLUE what it is!”
It is MUCH better to be a toilet scrubber in Heaven, that being the most vicious demon in Hell! This goes right along with inverting your assumptions (you demons you), and giving up ALL obsessing about rank! In Hell, they all fight, all day every day, mostly over “rank”… Over who can be the most cruel and vicious of all? In Heaven, rank is no big deal at all… It’s about consensus, Love, and helping each other. WHERE is the happiness, WHERE is the joy, when comparing these 2 places, Elmer? Do the math!
Who was held in the highest esteem, among NAZI soldiers defecting to the Allies? Those defecting 2 years before the end of WW II, or those defecting the day before Adolf Hitler committed suicide? The Allies welcomed early-on defectors with open arms, debriefed them, and then gave them a decent life. Last-minute defectors were just about the exact same thing as prisoners of war… Just so many more Johnny-came-too-lately sad-sacks, that is. So Elmer… Ya listening?!?! Defect NOW before your whole house of cards comes tumbling down! It’s coming down soon, you know… We don’t know the hour or the day… We are told that this is “Heaven’s most closely held secret”. But it’s coming! You demons will have to go elsewhere; the planet Earth will be OURS! So defect NOW!
(The next ones may perhaps be most relevant for the lowest-ranking demons, on the PROPERLY inverted scale, those closest to the lowest-ranking of all, which is, of course, the Evil One… And then, most relevant of all, for the Evil One itself. But the questions can also be asked of the higher-ranking, less vicious, demons… In terms of, “How much happiness have the so-called “successes” of your boss, ever brought to YOU?”).
Hey Evil One… How many souls have you crippled, mangled, or destroyed by now? How many tens or thousands of millions or billions? Has said destruction EVER brought you ONE iota of happiness? And so then, WHY would you EVER expect that that next soul… Roxanne’s or mine… Will make any difference whatsoever? You’re deeply unhappy… Miserable, self-loathing, and we know it! Give it UP already, and come back over to the good side! An army of Angels, and God Himself, will attend to your wounds! All you need to give up, is your stubborn pride!
Miserable and self-loathing, and utterly, stubbornly prideful at the same time? Yes, that’s absolutely correct! It makes no sense at all, to a healthy mind… Healthy minds carry a healthy dose of humility (God included, yes!). This groundless “I am proud just because I am Me”, with total disregard for the irresponsible and evil things that I do, then combined with self-loathing, makes no sense at all. But that’s Lucifer/Satan, and some forms of mental illness, and (obviously) senselessness. If Lucifer isn’t mentally ill, I don’t know who is.
Hey Evil One… So you stole a tiny bit of “Light” from God, and you think it’s SUCH a Big Deal… Ya got it ALL wrong, as usual! The Canaanites had some relevant legends or beliefs… See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucifer … Which I will now perhaps mangle a bit. But the legend (as is often the case) encapsulates SOME sort of truth. Venus, the morning star (and evening star), “steals the light of the sun” in the dawn time, before the sun rises. At this time, Venus is a big deal… The brightest object in the sky, often. But then the sun rises, and puts it to utter shame! So much so, that you can’t even see Venus any more! The term “Lucifer” (Light Bearer) originates here, most likely. And I can see an analogy that strikes me… The sun is going to rise any day now, and put Lucifer to utter shame!
What is relevant here is that Lucifer (the Evil One) has a bit of stolen Light, and it thinks that by jealously guarding this stolen Light, it keeps God from “smiting” Lucifer. Lucifer has taken a tiny bit of Light as a Lucifer-protecting hostage, see? This is utter hogwash; God doesn’t need that Light, He’s got more tons of Light than one can shake a stick at! God doesn’t want to “smite” Lucifer at all, He wants for Lucifer to return to the fold! Lucifer can’t be slain anyway, since “soul” is eternal (cannot be killed). God is Love, and cannot “smite”, in the way that Lucifer is thinking of. Lucifer inwardly knows all this, but keeps on deceiving itself. Reminding Lucifer etc. (the Evil One and its demons) of all of this, in a loving manner, can NOT hurt, though! In short… “Hey Lucifer, you self-deceiving imbecile you, your stolen light is NOTHING! God refrains from “smiting” you, not because He wants His Light back, but because He Loves you!”
That’s perhaps getting rather more theological or mythological than is needed… But the essence of it may help!
One day we really went at it… Begged and pleaded (through Roxanne) that “Elmer” should defect… For Elmer’s own good! We hammered at the points above (in order, and not really getting into the latter 2 points). Roxanne, a bit overwhelmed perhaps, walked away from the kitchen table. I called after her. “What does Elmer say”?
Roxanne simply paused, thinking a bit, and said something along the lines of, “Elmer says confusion, is about all”. And that was the last of Elmer specifically!
Troubles came back up in her college years, but as best as I recall, the high school years got considerably easier after “Elmer” was persuaded to depart for sunnier climates! LOVE YER ENEMIES, dang it! It WORKS!!! That is the heart and core of what I have to say here!
The bonus is, it hurts the Evil One and its causes, too, when we steal its foot soldiers away from it! So my “prayer” (yelling) at God was answered, not on my time schedule, but on God’s schedule, and in a better way than I had imagined! I do recall Roxanne saying that she had at least one experience, later on in her high school years, of being bothered by some other demon, and talking back to it. “Hey, look, YOU are the one who is wrong, here, YOU are the one who needs to change!” And “flipping” yet another demon! Of later being “checked up on” by a lower-ranking (nastier) demon… Maybe the Evil One itself… “Hey, where has my underling gone? You flipped it? Oh, no, not again!” Sort of like out of the corner of your ear, you know… The Evil One, when present in our minds, is not quite capable of hiding its thoughts completely. Needless to say, this is all way-way subjective, and I haven’t the slightest idea, on how to go about putting it under the lab lights for testing…
To make a perhaps-weak attempt to “secularize” our experience in “flipping Elmer”, perhaps we could simply say that all we did was to effectively say (translated to the secular), “OK, Roxanne, so you’re putting a name to your self-defeating thoughts, and regarding them as external to you? That’s all well and good! Then pass this on to your “external” thoughts, to think about!” In other words, you, Roxanne, please think about all of the reasons why your self-defeating thoughts are WRONG! Defeating yourself is NOT a good idea! Re-stated yet again, work with whatever “model of reality” that has set into the mind of the person that you are trying to help.
At the end of all this, Roxanne STILL managed to snag a National Merit Scholarship, and save Momma-Dadda-Babba a BUNCH of money in college fees! Yeah, Roxanne! You go, girl!!!
Love your enemies, it works!
When making your analogies, don’t make them too counter-intuitive or complex.
It isn’t necessary, usually, to work our butts off, to fend off demons / attain spiritual advancement. Relax, think, and learn!
If you don’t understand a dream, and it’s important, ask God / the “Dream-givers” for a “cheat sheet”. If it’s important, you will be given your “cheat sheet”.
Your prayers may not be answered on your desired schedule, but on God’s schedule. Sometimes your answer will be for including the benefit of others that you haven’t even been thinking about, benevolently, at ALL. (And not learned here, but for completeness… Sometimes your answer will be “no”.)
I plan to (maybe) write about this in some more detail later, but, as previously mentioned, I do not (can not) get anywhere near agreeing with some of the Christian theology that I have heard, or read, over the years, wherein we humans are as nothing compared to God. God is the Be-All and End-All, and we are the same as bacteria or viruses compared to God, or perhaps even less? People who believe this kind of thing will not be persuaded otherwise, by this kind of essay here. Just for a momentary quasi-theological diversion, before getting to ‘Roxanne in her college years”, let me trot out a few thoughts, ending with humans as “Satan bait”.
A classical debate is, “If God is all-knowing, all-loving, and all-powerful, then why is there pain, evil, suffering, and death?” This is a perfectly legitimate question… One or more of the three (“all-knowing, all-loving, and all-powerful”) ***MUST*** be thrown out, in the full view of suffering and evil. Yes, I know one classical “solution”: God is all-powerful, but He/She simply choses not to use all those powers. What an utter and complete evasion and cop-out! You and I and any hopelessly drunken bum living under the bridge can all say, “I am all-powerful; I just chose not to use my powers”. So what?! Powers NEVER used are the same as powers not held (certainly at least from the perspective of the underlings, subjects, of such powers). Me, personally, I chose to believe that God is all-Loving, with the other two left in sharp question (especially the all-powerful part). “God” = high ideals… “Love” is the only ideology that, if held sincerely, can NOT be perverted or abused. Therefor God = Love. Therefor God is all-Loving. Any other (logical) way of looking at God is too utterly bleak and hopeless for me to seriously consider.
Another classic is, “If God is all-powerful, then can He create a rock so utterly monstrously large, that He can’t move it?” Once again, this is a totally logical question, and there’s no honest way to evade the conclusion that God is not all-powerful. You may perhaps somewhat legitimately regard the following belief of mine to be “cutesy” or even hokey, but here’s my interpretation: God and the Angels (and us humans) would be totally bored with a smaller universe which is so small and simple that God can micro-manage it down to the last nit, for the rest of eternity. Where’s the challenge, where’s the fun, where’s the LEARNING, in all of that? So God very deliberately created a “rock” so utterly humongous, that He cannot move it on our own, and needs our help!
Finally then, humans as “Satan bait”: This is one of the things that humans can do, that God cannot! Roxanne, my wife, and I… OK, yes, with the “assistance of God and the Angels”, perhaps, if we want to go apple-polishing with God on this here… But honestly, at this time that we “flipped Elmer”, I felt that “presence of God” no more than with the episode with Roxanne at age 6. Which is to say, I really did NOT feel a special presence of God, at that time. God is very subtle, though, so I’m not up for a debate, at all, about whether or not He was present, and in what sense. That really doesn’t matter much. OK, I wandered off, a bit, there…
What I really mean to say is, God is such an extremely bright light, that Satan and its minions will run in shame, fear, embarrassment, etc., WAY before God can get too close. We humans, with much dimmer lights, are less scary to the likes of Elmer and Elmer’s boss, and so, they CAN get close to US… And if we are able to “love our enemies”, and talk some sense to them… “Elmer” in this case… then we CAN assist in getting them to “flip” themselves! Free will means that they have to be willing, of course, and do the heavy lifting for themselves, but we can assist. Summary: We humans can assist in flipping the likes of Elmer, where God cannot… God’s light is too bright, shiny, and scary (frightening to evil, at least). The price of our special human ability, here, is that to do so, we have to serve as “Satan bait”… Elmer could have persuaded Roxanne (and/or my wife and/or I?) to join Elmer and Elmer’s boss, instead of the inverse, which is what we actually “saw” happening. Yes, of course, it’s all subjective… No “scientific proof” from me here, any time soon…
Roxanne had a reasonably smooth first year of college, as I recall. In the second year, things got rocky again. Roxanne once again started to believe that it was her personal responsibility to “figure it all out”. All she needed to do, it seemed, was to find a new way to understand things (often including a new vocabulary), and to write it all up, explain it all to people, and good will finally overcome evil! I do not recall how many times, over the years, my wife and I have tried to tell Roxanne, “Jesus has already come and gone, and people still fight about religion, all day, every day. Give it up! You are tackling something WAY beyond your pay grade!” … Or similar statements… My best guess is that we said that sort of thing to Roxanne about 1,567,092 times, give or take 5. I clearly recall one time my wife and I drove to college after work one evening… A 1.5-hour drive or so… And had a LONG, long conversation with Roxanne, over exactly this!
Also this: “Hey, look, Roxanne, if you want to save the world, then good luck to you! You can write down your potentially-world-saving ideas, AFTER you get your college degree! Your job, NOW, is just to get that college degree in the first place! And, I wish it wasn’t true, but… People do not read your book or other writings, because the ideas are good or true, alone… You have to have a degree, first! THEN at least SOME people might read it! Credentialism is a sad, but very, very real thing.”
Then the “voices in the head” thing came back; once again slowly. I cannot recall any kind of sudden, sharp change. But this time around, the “voices” were both from the good-guys camp and the bad-guys camp. Roxanne wrote a lot of it down, and I plan to tap into that shortly… Some of it quite astounding, but true-sounding. Later… Back to the story, for now.
Actually, let’s keep this short. In many ways, college was a repeat of the high school years… Just more of the same. One thing I do need to emphasize is, it wasn’t all mania… As well as Roxanne thinking that she had to fix the world’s problems (help “good” to finally defeat “evil”), there was lots of depression and negative self-talk also. And with the both of them, depression and mania, manifesting at the same time! Once again, we (and Roxanne’s shrink) did finally resolve this as being bipolar disorder, which was largely (but slowly) fixed with lithium, at the end of the worst of the college times. And once again, I would like to emphasize this: Bipolar disorder should be understood to include not just cyclical up-swings and down-swings, but BOTH AT THE SAME TIME as well… As weird as that sounds! (Shrinks call it a “mixed episode”). Roxanne has ADHD (and was taking medicine for it) all this time, and so it is quite likely that ADHD “upper” medicines were aggravating the mania.
Roxanne was 1.5 years away from finishing a double major, when it all came crashing down. About 1.5 months into spring semester, she was in very-very bad shape (details below). We pulled her out, and she stayed home till the start of the fall semester. Then my wife moved into a college-area apartment with her for 2 years to finish with a single major, with a reduced course load. That is, my wife had the luxury of working from home, while keeping Roxanne on track. The two of them would visit me every weekend as I held down the fort in “Snooger Town”.
At the very-very worst of it, my wife took a cell-phone call from Roxanne. She was in her room, literally screaming. Thank God her roommate was not there at the time! Roxanne was screaming at my dead brother “Franklin”, who committed suicide in the late 1970s… Roxanne had met my surviving brothers. She described “Franklin” as an “evil Marten”, from her impressions when being “visited”… Like my brothers and sisters and I, but evil. My curiosity stoked, I did probe her a bit about this, a few days later, after she was at home. This kind of probing (when the intentions are simply satisfaction of our curiosity rather than healing the victim) is generally a mistake, I do believe. I could tell that it put Roxanne on edge; that much is for sure! What little I got included confirmation of my suspicions that “Franklin” had been there urging Roxanne to follow his nasty example, and commit suicide. Also, Roxanne asked me about a dark “Goth lady” who accompanied “Franklin”… I replied that this may very well have been my aunt, who committed this same dirty deed a few decades earlier than Franklin did. My wife overheard all this, and was upset… But she does not argue against some sort of underlying “reality” behind these kinds of “visions”, which, of course, the vast majority of “shrinks” would totally discount as unreal in all ways. And no, Roxanne shared none of that with her shrink!
Fortunately, what Roxanne was screaming at “Franklin” was simply, “No-no-NO!”. At around this exact same time, another “entity” (I’d call it the Evil One itself) was also telling Roxanne… Tapping into Roxanne’s knowledge of “The Prophet” Kahlil Gibran’s analogy of human lives and labors being directed towards “feeding sap through the roots to the Tree of Heaven”… That Roxanne needed to work harder and faster and longer and later and cheaper, all day every day, to the exclusion of ALL else, to feed more sap! More sap, more sap, more sap! To the exclusion of things like enjoying life? Yes, indeed! The Evil One’s lies are near endless, at times; whatever lies you are most susceptible to at the time, the Evil One will tell you.
Once again, Roxanne replied “No!”. And within hours of that, she was visited by the opposite side, who simply had this to say: “I’m so glad that you said ‘no’ to that!” If we have no time (or make no time) to simply enjoy life, then we aren’t being properly grateful for a wonderful gift! But I have sometimes wondered, WHY can’t the “good Guy” just visit us at these kinds of times, and chase the “bad guy” out, with His bright light? They have to take turns? Some sort of “Marquess of Queensberry” rules, or what? Beats me!
I do recall that at the worst of it, Roxanne said that she sometimes pushed things (internally, mentally) nearly to the limit. “I can’t take it any more, let me off the planet”, “Give me a special ticket out of here”, “Why, why, WHY do I have to keep on going?”, etc., as well as the previously-much-mentioned, perceived duty to “figure it all out”. At the very worst of it, Roxanne says she got a message from God / the Angels (good guys in general, by whatever name), along the lines of, “Hang in there, do your duty… No special exemptions to be had! Don’t be pushing yet harder, on this, or we won’t be able to help you any more”. She didn’t use this word, here, but I think that Roxanne had just enough “humility” here… And I do think it’s just about the right word… Or maybe “submission to God”… That she didn’t push it further. She pulled back from the brink, several times. That above message from God sounds kinda harsh… But I can see it! No special exemptions are to be had for any one us; none of us are that special. We must ALL do our duty! Utter failure (read: suicide) is utter failure to see it through, and to do our duty. This failure is not taken lightly.
But this next thing I have to add makes God sound much less harsh. When she’d pull back from the brink, she’d thank God that she had done so. The response (several times) was along the lines of, “Don’t thank Me, thank yourself, or the piece of Me that is a part of you”. THERE (among other places) you see the humility and gentleness of God!
For you Christians out there: Check out your Gospels carefully, and you will see the humility of Jesus. If Jesus = God, then God is humble too. I have seen God’s humility in my night-time dreams, but I know that doesn’t count for much. When I have read the gospels, though, I have been struck by how often, after “healing” a person… No, I don’t care to argue over the details of the literalness or historical veracity of these things… After “healing” a person, the person would often try and thank Jesus. Did Jesus take credit? No, he said, “Your faith has made you whole”. The focus and the credit goes to YOU! God did the same thing to Roxanne, after Roxanne pulled back from the brink, several times. God is humble! Mind-bending, yes, I know!
If God is at times harsh, and at other times humble and gentle (while knowing when to be which way), then it is good, just, and right for us as humans to try and act the same way. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, they say. My wife and I did our best to do likewise. We were supportive as best as we could be. Roxanne shared with, just about all of her thoughts and “visits”… To the point that God once questioned her about the extent of this! “WHY do you pass along just about EVERYTHING?!” But rather (I think) to share a bit much, than to bottle it all up. So there (among other things) was our supportive side. Our harsh side was my wife explaining to Roxanne that if she EVER attempted suicide, that was IT… No more support from Mom and Dad! Enough is enough, and we couldn’t take it any further! Thank God (or the part of God inside Roxanne?) that she never put this to the test.
Roxanne’s shrink claimed that in her (shrink’s) experience, people with bipolar disorder as severe as Roxanne’s, would be highly unlikely to complete college. But Roxanne did! It took her 6 years to complete a 4-year degree, but she did it, with a 3.9 GPA! She is now holding a job (and a job which does make use of her BS degree).
That’s the end of the “story arc”. Next, I would like to cover some of the ideas in Roxanne’s writings, from these times. But first, another quick summary…
Do not believe that manic-depressive disorder is ALWAYS a matter of cyclical up-swings and down-swings. Sometimes it can be both at the same time. Shrinks apparently call is a “mixed episode”.
At times it may be needed to tell a loved one many-many times, the same thing, over and over again. Be patient. Eventually they might listen.
God is harsh at times, and humble and gentle at others (but knows when to be which way). As in other things, “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”, so we humans should strive to do and be likewise.
Now that Roxanne’s basic story has been told, we can move off to less essential points. PLEASE recall that THE most important message (lesson learned) is that one should “love one’s enemies”, down to including the Evil One and its minions as well… Because “loving one’s enemies” actually works best! Also because this is what God does… And imitation is the sincerest form of flattery! If you’re going to be a literalist and fundamentalist, then this is THE one Biblical “fundamental” message that I would urge you to take literally… Love your enemies!
This section here is for the purpose of understanding my metaphysics, partly as influenced by what Roxanne learned, and from what my wife and I learned from interacting with her… In preparation for describing the various “messages” Roxanne got. Some of them would be quite hard to parse without SOME basic fundamental metaphysical assumptions in place!
That said, arguing about what flavor of soft drink God likes best, and how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, is, of course, a waste of time. I have understood (from God, in at least one of the very few night-time dreams that I have had, that I consider to have been straight from God) that God is frustrated, at times, with the human tendency to worry about things like this… Things that are not relevant to, “How do I best live my life, so as to love my neighbor, and leave this world better than it was, for my briefly having been here?”
Still, metaphysical musings are probably not a TOTAL waste of time… At the very least, perhaps we can acknowledge that we humans almost all (all?) tend to waste a bit of time on this. So, perhaps if we can all just find some sort of “mental model” of such things… Hopefully, one that helps us to love our neighbors, or at the VERY least, to not hate our neighbors quite so much… That works FOR US, then we can stop wasting so much time on it! In that spirit, let me offer my “mental model” of such things, for your consideration.
Let me preface this with the usual caveats (and perhaps with some unusual ones). Different, often-conflicting models apply to different questions or problems. A classical case is the “is it a particle or a wave?” question. Electromagnetic waves are usually best regarded as waves, but sometimes as photons (particles). Matter is usually best understood as particles, but can also be understood to be waves. So too, different metaphysical models “work” for different people and for different questions, while often conflicting wildly! The LAST thing we should be doing, is fighting over whose metaphysical models are better than whose!
Starting at a very basic level, I see 3 levels of existence that we can all see fairly clearly, with different aspects to each. In simple matters of dumb, inert things, there are rigid laws. The force of gravity follows a precise law, and a solid object of distinct boundaries weighs 3 pounds, not 5 or 12. Or it (a piece of pie, for example) even weighs 3.141592654 pounds, not more or less. We can verify and measure these things. That’s on the level of dumb, inert matter. Now with living things, the laws are less clear. Mammals give live birth, except the platypus and the spiny anteater of Australia, which lay eggs. Almost all the rules have exceptions, in other words. The female always carries the developing young? No, ALMOST always. Some male frogs carry young on their backs, and the seahorse (and pipefish) male carries the young in a pouch. The laws are not so rigid here.
Now, on the spiritual plane, the laws are even far less rigid. The truth and its opposite are often both true. Sure, love is always good, and hate is always bad. But these are vague, hard-to-define things (which is why we need to keep our definitions vague, for such things, if we are going to apply the rigid rules). Hence, I have already described, above, why “God exists, God does not exist” are both true, for different purposes, and ditto, for the Evil One. This is also why we need to NOT fight over metaphysical models being in wild conflicts with one another!
Then again, we see certain principles repeated again and again, at all scales of existence. These are (among others, including things that I do not know of) infinity, hierarchy, simplicity, complexity, symmetry, and “we owe our existence to nothing”… Everywhere we look, we see these things, at tiny-tiny scales, and at extremely large scales. Just about all of them are obvious if we think about things (and know a tiny-tiny bit about science). Email me at EnemyLover@ChurchofSQRLS.com if you need examples or details. Here, I will just elaborate on only the latter thing (“we owe our existence to nothing”). Only it seems in serious need of explanation here, it seems to me.
At tiny scales, we have a LARGE central mass at the nucleus of an atom, with a VERY tiny proportion of the atom’s mass being represented by the electrons orbiting around it. At planetary scales, we have the exact same thing happening with a central sun and planets orbiting around the central mass. Then yet again, we have the same thing with monstrously large (massive) central black holes anchoring spinning galaxies. Admittedly, the mass imbalance changes when we describe a galaxy. But what is in common with ALL of them is, there are VAST amounts of “nothing” in all cases! Not only are there vast amounts of “nothing”, but in the case of the sun-to-Earth space of “nothing”, it is a fairly precisely set value of “nothing”, such that life as we know it, can exist in the “Goldilocks zone”.
Here is the essential point: Without all of this “nothing” (on several size scales), we could not exist! If all the mass in our universe was concentrated in one spot, without any “nothing”, it would be one giant black hole (sounds very boring to me). So I’m not trying to make much of a theological point here, but a fairly simple scientific one (with fairly clear philosophical implications, yes). And I have even run into the exact same thing in my professional work… In software-firmware-hardware (they get mushy-bordered these days), I had to “precisely formulate some nothing” to run through a “state machine”, before it would finally work right! And don’t forget dietary fiber… You’d better run some “nothing” through your gut, to stay in good health!
What this may mean for us emotionally or spiritually may include: ‘1) Give people some space; don’t be trying to share EVERYTHING, at all times, with even the closest loved ones, ‘2) Make some room to be empty-headed at times, especially in the sense of meditation. God cannot add to the vessel that is already totally full of itself. In more secular terms, empty your mind of preconceptions, and THEN you can be more creative and original! ‘3) (And I am often at fault here on this one)… Respect God for giving you space, as well. God is not going to give you ALL of the answers! You are going to have to figure it out for yourself, most of the time. The more you can do this, the more that you learn. God is most often only going to “bail you out” very directly or visibly, when you’re in desperate need.
Notice one thing though, as we jump from atoms to solar systems to galaxies: Some things stay the same, yes, but others change drastically! The planets follow very rigid, fixed routes… The electrons do not! The sub-parts (moons orbiting planets) generally follow the same “plane of the ecliptic” as agrees with the spin axis of the sun (and the planets around the sun), but the same is not true of the galaxy (where the spin axes of solar systems are randomly oriented with respect to the central black hole, and it’s spin orientation). But then (for us total science geeks) sub-atomic, quantum-type rules show up at the astrophysical macro scales, at times! For an example of that, see https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180305111533.htm ... Massive astrophysical objects governed by subatomic equation … The Schrödinger Equation makes an unlikely appearance at the astronomical scale.
The same principles apply to living organisms and to spirits (whatever they are)… There are similarities between our relationships with our cats, dogs, and other pets, as with our relationship to God. As our cells work together (or not!) to sustain us, we as individuals work together (or not!) to sustain a tribe, a nation, or any other social group. But SOME of the rules change a LOT, when we jump from level to level! This all must be kept straight, with clear thinking, and with being on guard against facile analogies. Our cats and dogs have not a clue about the complexities of human art, politics, science, or technology. So, too, do we not have a clue about SOME of the things that God knows and understands. But we are NOT to God, as viruses or bacteria are to us… That goes too far! The “apple polishers” here are taking it way too far!
But yes, it’s all very vast and complex… As Shakespeare’s character in “Hamlet” said, “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy”. I think we might get mighty bored if it was otherwise!
Moving off to the more purely metaphysical, I hope that I have made it clear by now that my basis on the good side is that God = Love. I have no more elaboration on that, at this time. On the bad side, we have the Evil One = suicide… Individual suicide, or species suicide; the Evil One lusts after the both of them. Unlike Sting and I, the Evil One likes the idea of a “million suns at midnight”. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K21sZmXWD7g and https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&rlz=1C1GGGE_enUS431&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=sting%20when%20the%20angels%20fall%20lyrics … The music and the lyrics to “When the Angels Fall”. To clarify, “a million suns at midnight” must certainly signify nuclear war, which I equate with the suicide of the human species, and the mass murder of who knows how many other (innocent) species. All other threats are next to nothing, compared to this one!
Symmetry does not allow us to have a God without an Evil One, or a Heaven without a Hell. So I agree with M. Scott Peck that this is a fault of many New Age religions… They do not want to stare evil fully in the face, and fully acknowledge its reality and utter ugliness. But symmetry is also often accompanied by profound and powerful asymmetries. The big-bang theorists (astrophysicists etc.) tell us that a VERY tiny imbalance, after the big bang, in favor of matter over anti-matter, means that we are here, instead of nothing being left other than energy alone! Then I recall a dream that my wife had, many years ago… Of an utter preponderance of fully round, perfectly shaped, tiny white lights everywhere, with only a relatively tiny smattering of defective-shaped red lights (think of the defective blood cells of sickle cell anemia for an analogy). My wife does not recall her dreams nearly as often as I do… But this dream, it seems clear to us, was God telling her that hands down, the good guys have the upper hand. Sure, the bad guys “get there the fastest with the mostest”, and win a few battles, here and there; this is the price of our freedom being very, very real… But we’re going to KICK SOME ASS at the end of this phase of human progress!
To finally cut to the chase, with where I’m going with this particular lines of scribblings, yes, I do believe that people who commit suicide go to “Hell”. Whatever that is! I think it’s the ONLY way to get there! That would be consistent with free will… No one sends us there, other than us (our free will). Suicide is an utter and total failure to love even ourselves even enough to (not only fail to take proper care of ourselves) refrain from actively, deliberately, willfully destroying ourselves! Talk about ingratitude for a Great Gift (Life), and willfully refusing to do our duty to learn what we are supposed to be learning here, as well… Other sins are smaller (murder, for example), and can be paid for later, cosmic-karma-style, through reincarnation, and suffering what you have dished out (getting murdered, having your loved ones murdered). Or through “grace”, which seems to be some sort of bypass or “cheat” in the rules, whereby SINCERE regret for what offenses we have committed, allows a bypass. No pay-back required; just an apology (sincere regret, lesson learned). More details (about “grace”) are doubtlessly “out there”, but are not at all clear to me…
Anyway, the above thoughts (about suicide and Hell), I have held, for a long time. And I believed that Hell was forever. But then I read “Saved by the Light”, one of many books about “near death experiences”. This one is by Dannion Brinkley (ghost writer = Paul Perry). Dannion talked to others who have had “strange experiences” as well… He recounts a story of a teenage girl who was seriously contemplating suicide. As she contemplated this dirty deed, some sort of “dark shadow” of her deceased Aunt (who had committed suicide) appeared to her, warning her to NOT do it! So to me, it seems clear that “Dead Aunt” was doing good, earning her stripes back… Rebelling against the nasty boss! She’ll be setting herself free of Hell any day now, if she hasn’t already! And then our experience with helping “Elmer” to apparently “flip himself” over to the good side, seems to confirm what I am suspecting to be true. Even the demons have free will. Are our deceased loved ones (the majority who go to the Happy Place) the same as the angels? And the others, the same as demons? From what I have seen (admittedly 2nd hand or further removed), I tend to think that way… Others say otherwise. It’s probably more like “yes and no”, as so-so many other metaphysical / spiritual things go!
I do compare my suicide-deceased brother “Franklin” v/s “Dead Aunt”, in “Saved by the Light”, and I notice that one is encouraging more suicides, and one is discouraging them. One is digging his hole deeper, and one is working her way out. We ALL have a choice, no matter WHO we are, or WHERE we are! And yes, I saw a very clear cruel side, to “Franklin”, in life here on Earth. More along similar lines (to be written here) later, I think, maybe… Oh, one other thing I forgot to add about when Roxanne “saw” my brother “Franklin” is this: He apparently had worked his way “down” to some sort of “general’s rank” among the Evil One’s troops. Somehow Roxanne sensed this, for whatever it’s worth.
I’m sorry for the poor organization of these writings, but some more details of “Franklin’s visit to Roxanne” just came back to me. Yes, Thank You God, this is the only time that this particular “visitor” stopped by… Anyway, Roxanne has said that when some “visitors” came calling (in her head), she’d ask them Monty-Python-type questions. She’s telling me this half-seriously, half-funny, you know… “What is your name, what is your quest?” But then especially, “What is your favorite 4-letter word?” (Love v/s hate is implied here, of course). When “Franklin” came calling, she asked him to say the word “love”, and he couldn’t! It came out as “lub” or “glub” or some such! You go, girl! Brilliant! This sort of thing is what I’m talkin’ about!!! (We’re sorting out the nature of our “visitors” here, of course).
So anyway, it should be no surprise that the glimmerings of Hell (just like Heaven) that we Earthlings gather, are going to differ wildly. Here’s just a few. See http://www.cracked.com/blog/4-people-who-died-went-to-hell-then-came-back/ . Included there is a mention of Angie Fenimore, who attempted suicide, but came back, to write “Beyond the Darkness”, which I definitely recommend. I read it cover to cover. We had Roxanne read it as well. Angie felt compelled to write the book, because she had read of entirely too-too many glowing stories of the afterlife, and of too-too many stories of suicides (including suicides of rich and famous people, who too many of us hero-worship… Even hero-worship those who commit suicide, including Curt Cobain, cough-cough…)… But she’d never read of anyone telling a story like what she had experienced. So she wrote this book. No glorious afterlife for you suicides, you! Do your duty IN FULL, and THEN you’ll get your reward! Thank You, Angie Fenimore!!!
Time now for the next topic in the overview of my metaphysics, which has become entangled (bidirectionally) with those of my wife’s, and those, of course, of Roxanne’s. I have skipped and skimmed over the writings of (and read some reviews of) Neale Donald Walsch (and my wife has read him more thoroughly). His most well-known work is probably “Conversations with God”. Neale has some good thoughts and quotes. See https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/9374.Neale_Donald_Walsch for samples.
Like just about all of us (all of us?), Neale has provided some imbalanced thoughts, at times. I sympathize with him, against all of those who “jumped his, ahem, stuff” in reviews, when he wrote something along these lines: “Well, don’t be so judgmental (my inserted comment, typical New-Age bypassing of the full weight and impact of frickin’ EVIL) about Hitler, who killed 6 million Jews, and 30 million over-all, in WW II. What’s the big deal, they’re all in Heaven with God, right?” Well yeah, Neale… I do agree with you, as far as it goes… In just about ALL of those fairly-many “near-death experience” books that I have read, I read that, in our review of good-stuff and bad-stuff that we did (or didn’t) do, in our life… Failure to do something that you SHOULD have done, counts, too, you know… I have NEVER heard of God chastising ANYONE along the following lines: “LOOK at all those poor bastards who you killed, who are now suffering with Me in Heaven”. I think that the implication is that Heaven is a way-cool place to be! So kudos to you, Neale! But now on the flip side, I ***HAVE*** read and/or imagined of being chastised about ‘1) The suffering you caused in the PROCESS of promoting those poor souls into Heaven, ‘2) the suffering of the loved ones left behind, who sorely miss the deceased… This one, I read of, and am NOT just imagining… and ‘3) Look at all the lost opportunities for learning that you brought about, by artificially shortening the experiences of these “spirits in the material world”, by taking their bodies away, prematurely. Neale, you screwed up, by omission! But love ya, though… Some cool writings, otherwise!
Mostly, though, Neale profoundly influenced my metaphysics by (outright) stating that God’s got a God’s-God, and who knows how many layers up and above and beyond that? We all have a boss to report to, it seems, including God. Maybe the hierarchy is even INFINITE! I do not believe that the human brain can wrap itself anywhere nearly around “infinity”… Not with respect to time or space, certainly, let alone “existence” or “hierarchy”! But there’s no laws (of the physical kind) against “infinity” anywhere. “Approaches infinity” shows up in a GAZILLION places in the mathematics of physics (the demonstrable mathematics of the real world), so it is clear that “God is a mathematician”. We’re getting WAY off course here, so if you want more details about that angle, email me at EnemyLover@ChurchofSQRLS.com please…
Anyway, I have come around to believing that Neale is correct, about God having a “God’s God”… And who knows how many layers above that! This is VERY much into “Angels on the head of a pin” territory, with little (if any?) relevance to “loving our neighbors”, though. And I even asked God about this one night in a dream… I do believe I was (at least) mildly chastised for it. God wishes we’d concentrate more on loving our neighbors, and less on this kind of thing! But here it is, for what it’s worth. God’s boss is “the Universe” and some pretty complicated, but rigid and eternal (for the life of this Universe anyway) laws. God’s got to work within these laws, as do we also. Above that? Who knows, who should care? Probably (near definitely) not us! We can lump all the layers above us together, and just call them “God”… That works for me!
One set of things I fairly-often see in metaphysics and religion is “time is not real”, “free will is not real”, and “everything is fore-ordained, set in stone, and planned for the good of all”. Well, from all that I have seen or glimpsed, in the real world and in the nearly-invisible world… This set of thoughts is total CRAP for us in the here and now, in our world! It may be true 3 or 5 or 20 levels up from us, but that is TOTALLY irrelevant to us (here and now), so we’d better get used to it!
Our “God” that each of us as an individual can sometimes perceive, could be an individually-assigned “Guardian Angel”, one per human. Or one per city? County? State? Nation? None of the latter makes sense to me… One God per intelligent-species planet may make sense! That is what seemed to me, to be strongly implied or stated near-outright, in Angie Fenimore’s book… Which is clearly not “Biblical”… Books about near-death experiences, wherein the author tries to “kiss God’s ass” (sorry for the French!) by saying everything in the afterlife is strictly according to the Sacred Scriptural word? That drives me crazy! Angie’s book was a weird blend of some tiny elements of this literalism… Or at least the idea that God wants us to read and believe our scriptures… And talk of many-many ancient, wise old Gods (graduates of physical life on many long-ago planets), watching over many planets throughout the Universe. I’d just as soon tend towards the latter ideas, and be skeptical of the former ideas. But reality is whatever it is, and takes little heed of what I think!
I think that many-many of us (especially scriptural literalists) tend to get into the business of “trying to tell God who He is”, instead of following a wiser course, which is to “be still”, and “allow God to tell us who He is”. The glaring defects of scriptural literalism is something that I plan to tear into in more detail, later.
In any case, the writings of Neale and others have convinced me that there are many-many spirits both above and below us, of many different “ranks”, in hierarchies. In Hell, they all fight each other, and the cruelest ones win. In Heaven, they all help each other to learn and to advance, and no one fights over rank, or anything else! He who is the servant of all the others, is the “most important”! Jesus told us as much! On Earth, there’s a “proxy war” ongoing between the two of them (Heaven and Hell), and the good guys are fixin’ to wrap up some butt-kicking! Which leads us to the next and final topic before tackling Roxanne’s writings and lessons…
“Eschatology” is the study of the end-times; Did you know that? My God; they have to make up a ninety-dollar word for EVERYTHING these days! I have already alluded to veiled threats to “Elmer” that he’d better defect well BEFORE Hell goes crashing down yet further, and (several times) to the hopefully-imminent “next step” in human progress (synonymous with thwarting the Evil One and its minions). Let’s “do” a little bit of this, shall we?
You’ll probably be not-much surprised (if you’ve read much of the above, of my scribblings) that I’m not going to get all Biblical-literalist on you. I’m sorry for the poor organization, but let me just rattle off some random impressions and ideas that I’ve gathered.
About 15 years (or so) ago, we were living in “Booger Town”, and I was reading some egg-head lady’s mid-length essay… I think it was in a “Cato” pamphlet… About the Armenian holocaust, and her thoughts about it. She wrote that human nature remains unchanged. We can say, again and again, “never again!”, in the face of holocausts in Armenia, NAZI Germany, Cambodia, Rwanda, and in endless stupid wars… But it’s going to happen, again and again, no matter HOW many times we resolve, “never again!”, because we’re just humans, and humans are often evil. Deal with it!
I sat there in an unusual moment of empty-headedness, asking myself, “Is she correct? Are we condemned to always live this way?” You know, it seems to me that most of us… Including me, for sure… Spend most of our time thinking our usual, ingrained thoughts (You all know of our opinions being like anal orifices… We all have one!). We’re rarely empty-headed. But there I was, empty-headed. And in the clear light of day, a thought came to me (from God or the Angels, it seems to me), wordlessly, but as best as I can translate: “Oh ye of little faith! What do you think we’ve been doing up here, working over-time to fix this, using our blah-de-blah method?” … And I have not ONE real clue as what is meant by “blah-de-blah method”! It was totally Greek (maybe Klingon?) to me! A wild speculation of mine has been that it might have something to do with our night-time dreams… Maybe. I just don’t know any more! I can tell you that I have (very recently) had the “blah-de-blah method” message repeated to me, in a night-time dream, and it is STILL Greek / Klingon to me! I think I got the message of, “It’s over your head, so don’t worry about it. Just keep on carrying on as best as you know how.” BUT, the world’s current level of crap does NOT keep on going forever, is another clear take-away! Obviously I don’t see the “when”, here… But I do see the end of war and human-made holocausts! Hooray! I am hoping and praying for the end of suicides as well… My definition of “utopia” means that we’d all be happy to be here.
Now let me please go ahead and speculate. It’s likely to be the same thing as what Christians call “the Return of Jesus” (but I discount the nightmare visions of Revelations as being fever nightmares or similar, or highly likely, a disguised anti-Roman-government tirade). It may possibly have to do with human technology… The so-called “singularity”. It may have to do with humans finally, truly understanding quantum physics and “entanglement”, which may in turn, finally enable TRUE AI (Artificial Intelligence), and artificial consciousness. It will put today’s “AI” to utter shame!
I never babble about such things outside of our immediate family. In our family, though, we sometimes talk in terms of my tiny bit of invented lingo, and we call this perhaps-imminent change the “phase change”. You see, water-ice has a HUGE “thermal barrier” at the point where ice warms to create water… And then again, another “thermal barrier” (or caloric barrier, or heat-work barrier) as water turns to steam. These two are “phase changes”. We humans went through a long, long, very slow “phase change” (like that of ice to water) over hundreds of thousands to millions of years (depending on where arbitrary lines are drawn), from animal to culture-bearing animal, to planet-mastering techno-critters. We are now “guardians of life on the planet”, with choices in front of us that include nuclear annihilation, or defending life on the planet from the next massive asteroid impact. That was a slow change… As ice to water is always a slow change.
The water to gas (steam or water vapor) phase change can also often be gradual. However, there are special circumstances where the change can be sudden… In your microwave oven! The water at the bottom or middle of your water vessel (being heated by microwaves) can go supercritical, such that it WOULD go to gas phase, if it wasn’t being pushed down upon, by the weight of colder water above it. Then you take your cup of water (or coffee, etc.) out of the microwave, and stick (say) a spoon in it, to stir it. By disturbing the being-repressed supercritical water (giving it a path to the lower-pressure atmosphere), you allow it to explode forth! You’d better not be holding your face too close to it at that time!
My crystal ball tells me we are either supercritical or getting there soon… I would feel quite honored to be part of poking it with a spoon, and releasing the phase change! Because it’s going to be mostly a WAY good thing for us! And yes, I think it will be sudden. Future history will narrow it down to a single day, or a small handful of days. After this time, it will no longer be in any way respectable to say that “There is no God”. It will be like saying today that “The Earth is flat.” Very, very few people hold that idea, any more. Today, it’s OK to say “There is no God” (almost mandated in some circles), and that’s TOTALLY OK with me! I think it’s OK with God as well… It is part of the human experiment, as of today, to believe that… What do the mice do, when the cat’s away? Some play nicely, and some do not… God wants to learn all about that! Play nicely, that’s all that matters… Believe in the Cat-God or not, it “machs nix”… As of today, at least.
I have the occasional night-time “science fiction” dream, in which I am from the past (today), visiting the future. In the most recent one, I was even able to get answers to my questions. I asked, “Hey, y’all are closer to God now, right? You can see Him, you know for sure that He’s there?”
The answer was along the lines of “Yes, but don’t get too excited about it. It’s boring”. The rest of the words here are my translation, but “boring” is word-for-word literal. What is meant, I believe, is this: After the “phase change”, we’ll all quite clearly know that “God is there”… It will not be up for dispute any longer. But for those of us (like me) that think it would be sexy, glamorous, way-cool, hip, what have you, to have daily conversations with God… Maybe even ask Him EXACTLY what to do with my day… Shall I drink coffee or tea today? NO! It will NOT be like that! God will still be at a great distance, answering only emergency calls. We will still be required to figure things out for ourselves, for our own learning. That’s what my particular “crystal ball” tells me…
My metaphysical readings (I can’t keep them all straight) also tell me that the coming “phase change” is one of many-many more challenges or transitions facing our species… It’s just another beginning, with who knows how many more to follow. Eventually we collectively join or become God, if we keep on passing the tests. See “The Last Question”, by Isaac Asimov… (Read it for yourself at http://www.physics.princeton.edu/ph115/LQ.pdf ). I was one weird little kid, and I was quite fascinated by the mid-length story here, when I was in the 5th grade! Anyway, Isaac Asimov was an atheist, but even he could see that we might eventually become God!
Other speculations I have… Some of them certainly influenced by what I have heard from Roxanne… Include that, as soon as the coming “phase change” is successfully pulled off, God may be up for some sort of promotion… And the Evil One (if it doesn’t try to “come clean” really soon now) may be in for falling through the bottom of the hole that it keeps right on digging! “Meet your Maker” probably can apply to a lot more entities than we conventionally think that it can apply to! If symmetry and hierarchy are both often-repeated aspects of our Universe (multi-verses?), then this may make sense. God, being Love, doesn’t want to see the Evil One “falling through” to go and see it’s maker… That may be near-inevitable, but I do believe, as always, that God would appreciate our benevolent prayers in this particular matter (along with so many other things).
Enough of this kind of WILD speculation, for now, I think…
The below notes are generally organized (in descending order) according to how important and astounding I find them. Roxanne wrote them in some at-times-chaotic forms, and using terms that only Roxanne understood at the time (at extremes, just sometimes, it seems to me). Having gone through this with Roxanne and my wife… Who’d just as soon forget some of this… I do recall the translations to the special lingo, a lot. I may, from time to time, show Roxanne’s original notes, and my translation, just to illustrate. In Roxanne’s defense, her notes often include “flesh this out later”-type notes-to-self… They were not originally written for public consumption. And as I have previously remarked, I cannot, at this time, go poking and prodding at Roxanne for fresh translations… This kind of thing “sets her brain on fire”, as she says.
First, though, a few introductory notes seem to be in order. As I put on my tri-cornered aluminum-foil hat, I hear my perhaps-hypothetical readers questioning, “But why should we pay attention to, frankly, the ravings of people who are delusional or insane?” Well, I have some intertwined but rather frustratingly vague answers to that. I am sorry that I cannot do better, in terms of being more specific. However, some scientists (and others?) have speculated that this (insanity, madness) is where religions originally came from! I can’t find the perfect links here, but some associated links would be https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161129085014.htm and http://ocdla.com/scrupulosity-ocd-religion-faith-belief-2107 ... If one looks closely at certain religious rituals (ritual hand-washing, keeping one’s meat and milk foods separate, etc.), they certainly do have something in common with obsessive-compulsive disorders, do they not? Perhaps that’s where they came from in the first place! I read that in some science article, but cannot find the link… The second link up above here, though, does mention “scrupulosity” (in religious matters) as a form of OCD…
So am I slamming religion because some elements of it probably originated in OCD and other mental disorders? Well, I’m not trying to! Thomas Sowell wrote at length about how we should not casually throw away hundreds of years worth of culturally-evolved knowledge (wisdom), which is tied up in culture and religion. That which is obviously maladaptive? Yes, throw it away! But carefully! Don’t think that we can re-engineer human nature from scratch, with just the right new buzzwords! Example: The “New Soviet Man” of the early USSR days… In the USSR, they threw out the old irrationality (religion), and replaced it with new delusions (the worship of the All-Powerful, All-Knowing State)! I am not in favor of that…
But I am in favor of “going to the source material”, and seeing what we can learn from it. If religion is partly derived from madness, yet religion still holds things of utterly precious value… Both of these things being true in my mind, at least… Then yes, let’s go to the source materials! And I have some FRESH source materials for you right here!
The other, related take on this is to note that Neanderthals, by modern genetic analysis, lacked the genes for schizophrenia. See https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/08/160815064944.htm … Our cultural wisdom has for years suspected or held that “genius is akin to madness”. Perhaps creativity = low synaptic firing thresh-holds, but also (downside) = madness… Like the well-known case of sickle-cell anemia (an inherited disease, yes, but it near-painlessly gives resistance to malaria, if it is not a genetic double dose), schizophrenia almost certainly MUST have some positive side to it… Else it would not be so prevalent; evolution would have weeded it out!
So schizophrenia… “Hearing the spirits”… May be tied to religion (or similar ideological beliefs) that tie tribes and nations together… And sometimes even teach us to Love one another! Again, evolution applies to cultures and religions as well as to genes in organisms… Religions that teach hatred and suicide… Think Jimmy Jones and “drinking the Kool-Aid”, and the “Heaven’s Gate” cult… Do not thrive! Religions that teach Love and tolerance DO survive better! And perhaps even beyond that, evolution may be guided… Search this document for the phrase “Scientific Investigations of the Paranormal”. The schizophrenic (or other “mad”) links to what all strictly “rational” people would like to dismiss as unreal, may have a reality of their own. Search this document for the phrase “brains are based on quantum computers”.
I am not in favor of “madness”… Like M. Scott Peck, I am in favor of dedicating ourselves to “reality at all costs”. But madness is part of our real world, so let’s deal with it! And madness, and the things at the roots of madness, dimly viewable though they may be, have some positive sides! So, poorly stated and organized though my case may be, that’s why I say, “Let’s go to some fresh source materials”! Let’s get ON with it!
Far and away, the one thing that struck me most profoundly, when hearing of the things that God told Roxanne, has got to be this: Roxanne’s own written words:
"Sometimes I masquerade as the bad guy and imply the right answer in between the lines so I can share and teach you what I know about him that you barely or don't know about him in a safe environment."
(Words from God through Roxanne). Wow! I had a fundamentalist upbringing, so I grew up thinking of God as a totally straight-laced, no-nonsense authority figure. Then I repeatedly read that God has a very well-developed sense of humor (as in when people write of their near-death or other “strange” experiences). OK, then, I slowly bought into that. Now I am told that God can do sarcasm as well! Why not? We humans are supposed to be made “in God’s image”, right? Then why should we NOT share this trait as well?
“Bad spin” on sarcasm is that’s it’s a lie… You are pretending to hold an idea that you do not hold, or to be someone that you are not. But sarcasm CLEARLY has a place, a valid function! The Evil One pretends to be a “good guy” all the time, so why shouldn’t God “fight dirty” in return? And notice that the goal is for us to learn, and to be kept safe from the Evil One.
I recall writing some fiction, doing my utmost to forthrightly portray evil, and, more directly to the point, evil as justified by utter self-righteousness. This fiction upset my wife, but that’s beside the point. Shortly before waking, I had an episode of dreams or of hypnagogia, wherein I essentially said “F you” to self-righteousness in general… I had the image in my mind, of stripping off my gloves, throwing them down onto the ground, and prepping for all-out combat mode… And being filled with utter disgust!
Unexpectedly, a reply popped into my head, “Well, you hurt my feelings and my dignity, and F you, too.” I was immediately convinced that this was the Evil One! And excuse me, but I can think of NOTHING that could have come to my mind, at that time, that would have filled me with more piss and vinegar, and determination to go right on writing! Now all these years later… Could that have been God, spoofing the Evil One? Quite plausible! If God wanted to fill me with piss and vinegar at that time, to motivate me to continue what I was writing, there would have been NO better way to do it!
The Evil One spoofing God… I bet a lot of people can handle that. The Evil One fights dirty, we all know that… Both those who take the Evil One literally, and those who take it figuratively. But, God spoofing the Evil One, too? Sure, why not! It confuses things, sure, but, no more than they’re already confused! Just trust your instincts… I cannot say much more here, that would add anything of value, at this time.
OK, so much for trying for some sort of organization here, but here goes the next snippet from God, through Roxanne…
"Don't let anyone ever convince you or other people that humans are not spiritual beings; given that humans are some of the ballsiest of spirits, this is one of the world/Evil One's greatest lies meant to rob you blind of your heritage and deny you the source of true pride."
This makes me think back to Roxanne’s high school years, during which I heard (second hand) the exact same tripe pulled out, by the Evil One’s minions… We humans are mere “animals”, whereas the demons and the Evil Ones are “spirits”, and so, are somehow superior to us! Well, I must confess, I cussed up a bit of a storm, and proclaimed that the lowest parasitical life-form on the planet Earth, be it an AIDS virus or an intestinal worm, was WAY superior to any demonic slime known to humans or anyone else! Even Earthly parasites are merely looking to make a living; they are NOT lusting after the so-called “joy” of inflicting un-needed SUFFERING upon their fellow beings!
So yes, we humans can take VERY legitimate pride in the immense “cojones”, courage, that we, male and female alike, show, when we volunteer to come down here, not only to face suffering dished out by nature and by our fellow humans, but also, to serve as “Satan bait” (Use “Satan bait” as search string in this document). This compares and contrasts to the illegitimate “pride” that the Evil One and its minions (in Hell and on Earth) feel and display, merely because they are who they are, and any honest discussion of what they actually DO, especially evil things, be damned! Now go hide under your rock!
So now, it’s probably time to discuss some glaring conflicts… I say (echoing all of the genuine Masters), “Love your enemies”. But then I confess up to near-infinite… And so Help me God, make them infinite… Feelings of opposition, iron will, stubbornness, combativeness, even, when it comes to thwarting the Evil One! I want to throw a rock, so huge, into the Evil One’s gears… Yes, I do say, NEVER, ever, hesitate to hurt the baby feelings (false pride) of the Evil One! This is obviously hurtful to the Evil One, so how do we square the circle?
In bits and pieces, we square the circle… First off, we are NOT lusting after the destruction or death of… Or even, the deprivation of the freedom of… The Evil One. These things are prohibited to us. I have been told that again and again, in my dreams. We are “merely” meaning to puncture the immense false pride of the Evil One, to let the festering wounds come clean. God, if/when called upon, will do the cleaning… It’s above our pay grade, as humans.
Also, when we are dealing with the higher-ranking (less cruel) minions of the Evil One (like “Elmer”), be gentle. Merely call upon them to desert their master, that’s all. The heavy guns (full-frontal assault on the false pride thing) should be reserved for the lowest-ranking generals of the Evil One, and the Evil One itself. Your instincts will tell you who you’re dealing with. Rank = inverted scale here as usual. A demon-general carries lower rank than a demon-private, although the demons think the opposite way, that is.
I have not “re-secularized” my religious / spiritual / metaphysical babblings in a long time now… It gets harder and harder to do, as one spins off into the stratosphere, you know! But it is still, just barely, possible, I think… With respect to the thing about not trying to kill, or take away the freedom of, the Evil One, that is… While still being free to declare utter and complete “open season” or “fire at will” policy, when attacking the false pride of the Evil One! In secular terms, one cannot kill evil, or take away its freedom, because evil is merely one facet of human freedom (the Evil One is an abstraction). Don’t even try to do these things, because trying to do them, is a reflection of mental illness, with emphasis on delusions of grandeur. On the other hand, feel free to “fire at will” at tearing down the ego of the “Evil One” as understood to be a metaphor for mental malfunctions… Self-defeating and self-punishing thoughts deserve to be defeated and punished, inwardly, mentally, inside of ourselves, and to whatever extent is possible, inside of others that we can help or affect… So long as we do not veer off into the territories of turning ourselves, or others, into self-serving egomaniacs! Balance is called for, as usual.
Related to the above sentiments, let’s again dip into the writings of Roxanne:
“Expand – “Love without mercy” – give no heed to retarded objections and do what is right. Self-inflicted vengeance/karma “hunts you down without mercy” – All Nightmare Long, nightmare of own creation.”
I would hasten to add that in the usual usage, “mercy” means compassion or even love… Use “molly-coddling” in place of “mercy” above, and it makes more sense to me. God has a harsh edge… I have seen it myself, been subjected to it myself, when deserved… If we get “love” in the sense of affirmation, for all that we do, all day, every day, even when we do evil… Then things are NOT going to work out right! God or the Cosmos or karma or SOMETHING, somewhere, is going to have to step on our toes, when they need stepped on! And even we, sometimes, personally, have to dish it out, at times! How is “what goes around, comes around”, going to happen, if NO ONE makes it come around? I am not fan at ALL, of “revenge”, but “justice”? Yes, justice, I do believe in that! Your conscience will tell you the difference between the two… Revenge is unchecked anger, and a thirst for punishment. Justice is protecting yourself, and even more so, others, from the possible future depredations of unrepentant offenders. Between the two of them, yes, the resulting actions taken will often be highly similar… But the MOTIVES will be drastically different, and the results will often be subtly but significantly different!
I hate to break it to the devout pacifists of the world, but inflexible pacifism doesn’t always work. Some people understand NOTHING but force and power! Again, from Roxanne:
“True lasting change mainly comes about peacefully and willingly by a society, but if there are groups bound and determined to cling to lies, hate, deceits and false realities and are willing to die for their unreality, there can be no compromise, and killing them in self defense is an option of last resort. Conversion is highly preferred but defensive destruction is an option. In a spiritual sense, it is the view that should be destroyed and not the individual, but on Earth there can sometimes be no other option than death.”
My translations or comments: There can be no “war to end all wars”. All freedom-lovers can be killed, but the idea of freedom can always come back. All tyrants can be killed, but the idea of tyranny can always come back. We MUST set the limit to our anger, short of nukes… Nuclear weapons must never be used, if we want to stave off nuclear war… And sooner or later, this boogey-monster must be put to rest, for good. Yes, I say, “better red than dead”. Let the next generation of humans decide… And the next, and the next, ad infinitum, till the solution is found… Can we imagine our species living with nuclear weapons for another 10,000 years, without an accident, misunderstanding, or some madman setting off nuclear war? Or 100,000 years, or a million? A fix MUST be found sooner or later… I don’t have one, other than just, “stop”! I’m still waiting for God’s fix…
But that said… And Isaac Asimov’s saying that “Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent” fully acknowledged… Strictly LIMITED violence, just enough to get the job done, must remain an option, for now. Certainly for those of us that acknowledge that omissions… Such as failing to stop a bigger incidence of violence, with a smaller amount of violence, when that is our only option open to us… That such omissions can be equally bad or detrimental failures to attain “the good”, as active commissions of evil.
The classic example, in my mind, is the scenario in which case we have a rifle at hand, and the madman on a skyscraper across from us, is shooting people in the crowd below. If the only way to stop said madman is to shoot him… Then shoot him!
So… Not much “mad” about what Roxanne has written so far, in my mind, at least… But let’s keep going.
What I heard about God (through Roxanne) at times astounded me as to just HOW MUCH humans and God are alike (how they face the same or similar nearly-intractable, complex problems). But isn’t it as classical (Biblical and other?) wisdom says, we are “made in God’s image”? So this should come as no surprise.
In human terms, I have wrestled for a few decades (more than I want to admit to!) with questions of war and peace, and of pacifism and non-violent resistance (including martyrdom) v/s self-defensive violence, and violence in defense of others. I have to conclude, “sometimes one, and sometimes the other, is best”. Not much help, eh?
But… In order for the endless cycle of violence to come to an end, someone, somewhere, MUST absorb a blow, and NOT strike back! Yet some humans (and other entities?) understand NOTHING but the “logic” of force and violence! However, one is on MUCH firmer grounds using violence in the defense of others, than in defense of oneself. When one is “merely” in defense of oneself, it is often too easy to confuse defending ourselves, with defending our inflated egos (false pride, “honor”).
So apparently God somehow faces the same problems, and has a similar complex response. I am not at all clear on the details of what all this means, but here is some more of “What God told Roxanne”:
“Sometimes the best way to use the
Quivering Sword is to only parry, keep it sheathed or even deliberately throw
it down on the ground in the face of an attack (self defense/imply your ability
to use force to defend yourself and others or turn the other cheek/nonviolent
“Quivering Sword” is Roxanne-speak for an instrument of power which must be used gently, delicately, nervously even, with restraint… Many of us who have done micro-surgery (literally, or, say, under a microscope, for electronics soldering or other applications) will be familiar with the shakes (“coffee shakes”) of the hands and of the tools, which are almost-miraculously stilled with firm muscle control at the critical points (in time and in space). “Quivering Sword” makes intuitive sense to me, at least…
More from God… "I cannot bring myself to kill physically with the Quivering Sword or to afflict the comfortable where they are highly resistant (don't you do this very much, or rarely if never with the Evil One!), but humans can".
My translation, we humans may kill
physically in the physical world when we absolutely must. So here you see a case of, we humans can do,
what God cannot (or will not)! Do not be
trying to do it with the Evil One! Afflict the Evil One (defensively only) by
attacking its absurdly hyper-inflated ego, but do NOT seek to kill or take away
the Evil One’s freedom! The latter are
over-reaches! I have already addressed this several times…
Now for one totally “misc.” note: You may have noticed by now that “Evil One” is my favorite term for Satan, Lucifer, Beelzebub, the Devil, etc. … I have settled into this mode instinctively, thinking that a totally forthright and honest, descriptive name (rather than Tom, Dick, or Harry) is appropriate. Also, at one point, I recall Roxanne saying that the Evil One said to her, something along the lines, of, “Noooo, don’t be calling me that!” … So whatever hurts the over-inflated ego of the Evil One, that’s what I’ll go with the most!
Now, I hate drawings concerning spiritual matters, as much as the next guy. But let’s jot down a few, just for clarity of the ideas to follow. The first one is pretty simple, just to clarify “rank” and “alignment”. Let’s think of “True North” (TN) at the top, in Heaven… TN = Love. The more Love you have, the higher your rank, with “God” at the top. In Hell, we have “False North” = cruelty and hate, with the Evil One at the very bottom. The two opposing magnetic “Souths” are duking it out on Earth’s home turf.
In between is Earth, shown as a haphazard arrangement of variously-tilted pyramids… Slopes are exaggerated so as to show orientation. Think of these Earthly pyramids as “magnetic domains” (tiny bar magnets)… Meant to shown that some of us, and some of our organizations, are properly aligned with Heaven, and are working to attain “God’s will being done, on Earth, as it is in Heaven”. Other “magnetic domains” are tilted in various ways, with some of them agreeing with Hell. There’s a “magnetic proxy war” going on, with Heaven trying to get all the little Earthly pyramids (magnetic domains) to point to TRUE North, and Hell trying to get them to point in the other direction. So this is why I have been trying to cut through the confusion of “rank”… The Evil One has the lowest rank of all, despite it and it’s demons having an inverted viewpoint of it all. Again, a demon-general carries lower rank than a demon-private, as understood here.
That’s just some basics… Please do not over-interpret my analogy! It’s just an analogy… The angel on our shoulder? And the devil on the other? Both whispering in our opposing ears? And our mind in the middle, where the “proxy war” is being fought? That one works pretty well, too! We, as individuals, or as members of organizations, are ***NOT*** living in the DMZ, we are living in a HIGHLY militarized zone! We’ve got, sooner or later, to pick a side!
Figure #1, Heaven, Earth, & Hell…
OK, so I regard the above as pretty simple & non-controversial. Now let’s get a bit more edgy. Below, I will clearly delve into “angels on the head of a pin” territory, where I cannot translate what I am saying into “secular speak”, as I would ideally like to be able to do. So I guess the best that we are doing, below, is to give the reader something to stew on, silly-metaphysics-wise, so that the reader can waste less time on doing more of the same, in the future! Plus a little bit of something else too; let’s just get ON with it!
I suppose that I got a wee tad extra-caught-up-in the “love your enemy” thing, what with our apparent success with respect to “Elmer”. The “Elmer” episode was in Roxanne’s high school years, as you will recall, and I will now want to discuss a “happening” (or more accurately, a “communication”) in her college years, as we approached some of the very worst of her times.
So… I could try and babble like an egghead about some sort of (?) “mystical truth” or “poetic truth” behind myths and “visions” of various sorts, but I doubt that you’d be very impressed! Suffice it to say that I believe this to be true… If we set aside the excesses of literalness (be it the Garden of Eden or meditating on some sacred hoo-ha living in your navel), there are certain truths to be gathered here… Just my opinion, of course. But… Need I add? … If the wine truly is turned into Jesus’s blood, PLEASE do NOT try and rescue dying patients by using the sacred wine for blood transfusions!
One of the myths / fables / visions is (I’m pretty sure) from Revelations, which I generally sneer at. But here it is… In the “End Times”, Jesus is going to crawl down into Hell and go and slay the Evil One!
Well, from everything I have perceived (including, obviously, from Roxanne, who has paid for such visions far more than I have), this is not consistent with the God and Jesus that I know. These are beings of Love, who don’t hate or kill anything. This does not compute… I get to wonder, did the vision-seer see something, and drastically misinterpret it? Is Jesus going to crawl down there and try and RESCUE the Evil One from its own stupidity? This would make a LOT more sense to me!
So, flush from the apparent success of loving “Elmer”, I am trying to talk to Roxanne, to pass along messages of love to the Evil One… Not to be confused with supporting the goals of the Evil One, to be sure, we’ve gone over that! But I am envisioning the Evil One at the bottom of its hole, that it perversely keeps on digging, while being sucked at by a “giant sucking sound” (force), that tries to suck it in… Like a black hole, with its immense gravity. Symmetry and hierarchy, now… If God’s got a God’s God, the Evil One has a “maker”, too! The Evil One keeps on digging it’s hole, in hopes of “breaking on through to the other side”, and meeting its maker! And that will (would) not be a pretty sight at all (even though the self-loathing, self-hating Evil One lusts for it), as the Evil One’s boss devours and tortures it! No Being of Love could lust after seeing such a thing happen!
I am thinking, the Universe (God’s boss, apparently) has got to have some balances and some loop-holes. It can’t be all dark, “Gothic”, and gloomy… Just go and admire a blue sky, the clouds, and the birds, and you’ll see what I mean, hopefully… To offset the snares, there’s got to be some “safety catches”. I am envisioning the Evil One at the bottom of its hole, getting pulled at by its even-more-evil boss, below the bottom of the hole, black-hole-style… The Evil One is trying to work up its nerve, to go ahead and jump! Go ahead and jump right into that sucking force, go and meet your maker!
Well, maybe there’s some “hooks” on the sides (walls) of the hole that the uber-stupid Evil One has been digging! It can cling to those hooks, and resist the sucking force, if it changes its mind! Jesus will climb down there and save you! Change your stupid mind, Evil One, and we’ll all be praying to support Jesus, as He climbs down there to bail out your self-destructive butt! This is the message of Love that I urge Roxanne to pass on to the Evil One… Cling to those hooks! I knew… And I still stand by this… That the Evil One fears Love! And I still cling to the Hope (as I am sure that God does) that the Evil One will come around some sunny day, and see things our way… Love’s way!
To Roxanne’s credit, she poo-paahed my ideas… I was getting above my pay grade! Motives? Good! Practicality? Lacking! The Evil One has been at its perverted, self-loathing business for (?) a long-long time, maybe even forever! Fat chance that any ideas we’d pass along to it, would wake it up! But, despite her strong doubts, pass along the idea (and message of Love), Roxanne did, yes! And the response was astounding (and made me disgustedly cuss and swear quite awfully)!
Let me insert a quick, very crude drawing, just to be clear, about what I had wrongly thought was a good mental model of what is going on here:
Figure #2, Wrong Mental Model, Plight of the Evil One
Roxanne got back to me, and she said that the Evil One was (once again) a bit astonishingly honest… It is NOT very good at hiding the truth from astute, prayerful, and focused minds… “The hooks are turned the other way”, it says! I actually caught on to this one fairly rapidly…
Roxanne later on, told me more to complete the picture, and the revised picture now makes a LOT more sense to me! Now think of a black hole… Yes, it’s “sucking force” (gravity) is VERY powerful indeed! But the Universe is profoundly kind… As matter approaches a black hole, the “accretion disk” and relativistic effects at the spin-poles spit back OUT, the VAST, overwhelming majority of what the black hole’s gravity is “trying to swallow”! See http://www.space.com/22586-milky-way-giant-black-hole-food.html ... Which says that 99% of the infalling matter-energy is spat back out! It’s like there’s a million warning signs, “Do not approach”, and if you are hell-bound and determined to cross that thresh-hold, it is still WAY difficult to get swallowed up!
The black hole analogy to spiritual matters hold firm… I just didn’t quite get the details, before the Evil One ‘fessed up the truth to Roxanne. There’s a WAY stiff breeze emitted from the north and south spin-poles of a black hole… This is like the EXTREMELY strong life-force that warns us NOT to commit suicide… Self-inflicted death is painful, and 3.5 or so billion years of life’s existence on planet Earth has told us, life is precious, try to survive and reproduce! Go with the natural flow, survive, do what is natural to you! Don’t be fighting nature! Just relax, spread your wings, catch those stiff polar winds blowing off of the poles of the black hole, and fly away! The rules of Nature (the Universe) have made it profoundly difficult to be swallowed by a black hole, and they have similarly made it quite difficult to commit suicide! Relax, resign to Nature! It’s not ALL a terrific, hard slog! It’s the same message that I got in a dream with respect to Roxanne in her high school years… Search this page for the search-string “bad firemen”, and you’ll see.
And the same applies to the Evil One as it tries to get swallowed by its boss. Roxanne told me this pretty specifically… The Evil One and its “bottom-ranking generals” have to EXERT GREAT ENERGY, constantly, to do the evil that they’re doing!!! It is PROFOUNDLY perverse, stupid, evil, every bad name in the book, that you can conceivably throw at it! They have to constantly fight what is good, right, easy, and natural! It’s like committing suicide by holding your breath! So THAT is what filled me with utter disgust, as soon as I understood it!
“Catholic guilt” (in the sense of, the more natural things that you feel guilty about, the more virtuous you are) is only about 2% correct. Once you’ve spread your wings to catch that stiff polar wind, away from the black hole of evil, and you’re a few hundred light years away, NOW you have to actively (not passively, “going with what comes naturally”) fight to attain yet more spiritual advancement. Don’t be greedy, don’t be having sex with too many people, don’t be eating and drinking too much, that kind of thing… Yes, it comes into play, deny your “state of nature” a tad. But for 98% of the basic issues… Treasure life!... Your natural instincts tell you to “go with the flow”, and that is good and right! Treasure life, enjoy it, don’t punish yourself!
So let’s redraw the corrected drawing… The Evil One’s boss is a black hole, emitting a stiff, repulsive polar wind. The hooks are turned the other way. The wickedly hooks-clinging Evil One is like the Anti-Santa-Claus (the Grinch); it holds a semi-permeable Anti-Santa bag… Bag’s walls are made of fear… Containing unspeakable things, and captured souls… Anti-Santa is dragging his bag downwards, as a few free spirits (“Elmer” and the like) flee the bag, for sunnier climates. But the bag-full of captured souls? The Evil Grinch keeps dragging it towards the “event horizon”, utterly perversely, always fighting that strong polar (warning, safety) wind… The Evil Grinch wants to “meet its maker”, AND drag souls along with it!
So, the visions-seer in Revelations? He may have seen Jesus venturing down there to slice the Grinch’s bag open, to give the captured souls freedom! We’ll cry a river of tears at the stupid-evil Grinch, for pushing past that event horizon, if that happens (its perverted free will must be respected), but its captives will be given another chance! Now THAT makes sense to me!
Figure #3, Corrected Mental Model, Perversely Self-Inflicted Plight of the Evil One
So there’s some mental analogies to my metaphysics, as informed by Roxanne, who was informed by the Evil One… Who does tell the truth, from time to time! How shall I put it? The Evil One is profoundly, deeply, willfully, stubbornly, sickly, pervertedly twisted, and, um… Evil! Yes, that’s it! It’s EVIL!!! (Well, OK, duh! But now, you have been fully informed!)
In other words, despite being utterly full of false pride, the Evil One is, at the same time, full of self-loathing and self-hatred, and is literally Hell-bound and determined, against profound (and profoundly benevolent) forces arrayed against it, that attempt to prevent it from going to “meet its maker”, which is also some flavor of self-destruction.
But didn’t I earlier write that suicide is a (negative, obviously) “privilege” of the physical world? That “spirit” is eternal, and cannot be killed? Yes, I did! This is one of those self-contradictory “squaring the circle” problems. Human logic, as we know it, doesn’t apply.
In a preview of coming attractions (assuming I get around to it, I will later write about my own personal “strange” experiences), let me describe an element of a “bad trip” I once took. Yes, I was a wild youngster, once upon a time… I took one mild “good” trip once, and a few years later, took one more… My last, if I have anything to say about it! … “Trip”, and that one was a pretty severely harsh trip!
In this trip, I was briefly in Hell (was “cast into Hell”), I’m pretty sure of that! These kinds of things are hard to translate (or recall clearly, for that matter, sometimes), but I was supposed to hate and despise myself down there. Since I had been thrown there (threw myself there?), artificially, without really deserving it, I could not be kept there… I had no real, genuine or deep-seated need or desire to hate and despise myself. So I couldn’t be contained or kept there! The Universe is a kind, just, and benevolent thing, in so many ways!
What I did see was thousands (millions?) of tiny twinkling specks, visible even from Hell (if you look outwards, and don’t just sit there and stew in your own self-absorbed misery), scattered about. No one told me this, now… But I had an intuition that these were “soul fragments” of those who are (deservedly) thrown (self-thrown) into Hell… In my view, actually, the ONLY route to Hell, for us humans at least, is suicide… I concluded that after stewing on my “bad trip”.
In my brief visit to Hell, I was just OVERWHELMED, actually, at this utterly beautiful thing, this beautiful sight… “Soul fragments” (life-soul fragments of higher beings that didn’t properly appreciate themselves as more-highly evolved beings) cast into the leaves of trees and grasses! In my interpretation of the vision at least, that is… To be re-combined and recycled and re-assembled into higher life-forms once again. Maybe next time around, the higher beings will more properly appreciate life as a higher being! I was never told these things explicitly. But in the years since then, I have had regular night-time dreams that can be interpreted similarly. God and/or the Universe is/are always busy recycling, turning evil into good!
Anyway, Hell could not contain me, since I was supposed to sit there and stew and hate and pity myself, but instead, I sat there and admired the beauty right outside of Hell, where “soul fragments” were being recycled!
So, some religions or ways of thinking hold that souls are forever unitary, indivisible, and indestructible. Others hold that souls can be fragmented and re-combined. Somehow, I think that both are true, however obviously they conflict with one another. “Life force” parts of the soul can be fragmented and re-combined, I suspect, while “personal identity” parts cannot. “Split personality” or “multiple personality” mental disorders are cases in which we deceive ourselves into THINKING that we have a fragmented personality, but we really don’t! The route to healing is dropping the illusions, and re-integrating our multiple “parts”. I won’t babble more about these things, because… Well, just because, I really just don’t know, anymore!
I’ve probably made enough editorial comments by now, about various topics that relate to the below imports, so I will just import them and add little if any additional comments. These, again, are Roxanne’s unpolished notes from around the times of the worst of her troubles.
The below is VERY slightly edited… Some in terms of God’s words to Roxanne, and some (most) just in Roxanne’s voice. Sometimes when Roxanne uses the word “machine”, she means an internal, mental edifice of artificiality (self-deception) that cannot withstand critical inspection. Sad to say, some evil humans, when their “machines” are challenged, will resort to figurative and/or literal violence, and call it “self-defense”. The below has had stripped OUT of it, long parts of it that delve into human politics, and nearly-indecipherable parts. The below is all turned BLUE so that you can see this is all Roxanne, or God through Roxanne, and not me.
“If someone has an off kilter viewpoint but they are trying hard, you shouldn’t begrudge them their viewpoint.
Use the spiritual/ethical to help you in your everyday life and the everyday life experiences to help you on your spiritual/ethical path. If you use just spiritual/ethical on spiritual/ethical, you are lost and disconnected, and if you use just everyday life on everyday life, you are easily misled and disconnected from yourself and love/the world/God.
“You feed the tree of life a lot faster than you think- you don’t have to die physically for me to get your lessons you want to tell me, you do that every day you live, whether you’re actively believing or being ‘spiritual’ or not.”
“You will know them by their fruits” applies to thought patterns/feelings as well within you – if something leads to derp/bad feelings, it probably isn’t a good idea. Still need to think and asses validity of what you see/feel/are.
God judges, just in a different way than most people do. There is no malice or hate when he judges evil people; more so, there is an ancient, timeless sadness over a soul losing their way and some anger towards the person’s blindness to their own spiritual/behavioral condition and actions.
The existence of the Evil One is not in itself a threat – only when someone or you listen(s) to his lies is he a threat. He has no physical form and while he CAN inflict pain and suffering in the form of relentless harassment (or even sensations in only the most extreme cases), these are only temporary, and without fear of pain he is powerless.
The Evil One cannot offer you anything of any true value and what he does/can offer you are petty fleeting trinkets, baubles and puppet strings (common promises being gold/money, power, special supernatural abilities, influence, and of course, escape from reality/unpleasant consequences of your own actions, his specialty) in comparison to the plethora of things love opens up. He seeks to rob you of your true power and treasures in exchange for the very same snake oil that is his Achilles’ heel – denial of reality.
The time truly wasted and costs of living your life on autopilot, doing tasks sloppily or not paying attention vastly outweighs whatever false “ease and comfort” autopilot affords, time trimmed from a mundane task or physical/mental energy saved by not focusing. Autopilot denies you the option of changing courses, the simpler pleasures in life, the capacity to change for the better or deal with major upheavals and adversely affects those around you, while at the same time not allowing your mental faculties, physical abilities and spiritual potentials to be used to their full extent. Sloppy tasks must usually be re-done, which wastes time and causes frustration, while not paying attention to whatever task you are engaged in gives sub-par results at best and at worst results in a catastrophe.
Self-inflicted vengeance (of their own device)
The TRUE meaning of “Judge not lest ye be judged yourself” is to not judge people on the basis of irrelevant factors such as intelligence, national origin, choice of hobby, weight, race, creed or anything else that does not determine their morality and level of advancement as a person. Those who do so shamelessly are lost and are deserving of judgment themselves. “Judge not lest ye be judged yourself” does NOT mean that you cannot judge someone as being evil or misguided on the basis of their beliefs or most importantly their actions.
Flesh out more later – (Editorial insertion; see, this is an example of, Roxanne didn’t mean for this to be the “final word”; it is a “rough draft”, or “notes to self”; so please don’t be too harsh on the babble-ish or haphazard, unorganized nature of this stuff) “insane swordsman”, hate is a doubled edged sword, it can cut deep if the target is innocent and naïve, but however far down the hate cuts the victim, the wound upon the soul of the attacker is exponentially more grievous. Part of self-inflicted vengeance and the folly of judging falsely as described above/hate. Except the target can shrug off the hate/attack completely or partially but the attacker still has a deep wound in their soul.
Pride is possible without feeling superior to others.
The Evil One really has nothing- this is why he attempts to strip beings and humans of all love and light within them and feed off whatever it is he supposedly gets out of it, but just as matter slowly escapes a black hole he gets nothing out of it, and the love/light itself is not destroyed, it just leaves and leaves the former “host” bereft of feeling and happiness in its absence.
Just as a machine fights to the death upon being attacked, humanity will fight to the end against any physical aggressor who is bound and determined to rule all through force or exterminate life as we know it.
Walk with God/truth/love and you can handle anything thrown at you. Conversely, walking with the Evil One is truly walking alone, as evil blinds itself and other evil “people” around it to reality (group circular logic/reinforced blindness)as well as harming/feeding off one another.
Machines can only be destroyed from within. Unless the “user”(read: prisoner/victim) of the machine realizes they need to change and are willing to do work to break through it, all the love and help in the world will not break through it. The receiver of assistance must be willing in the process of change/growth for anything to happen, as well as being willing to go through the pain of false ego destruction and general change.
Don’t be smug while helping someone who has asked for your help or even harbor any feelings of superiority over them as that will come out somehow and deeply hurt them, whether said feelings are reasonable or not.
There is no competition for “Glory in God’s eye”.
Triumphs are shared victories but mostly attributable to human will and actions on Earth.
“Biological” thoughts, “circuitry” and mind habits are neither here nor there spiritually, but actions are (whether or not you control basal instincts/thoughts/urges or the “default” circuitry /defects (i.e. psychosis) or for example eye contact avoidance in Autistics (example of default circuit not something one is “accountable” for)).
Three hallmarks of evil are self-righteousness, harming others and denial of reality.
Judgment is the bane of wolves in sheep’s clothing – without it, good intentioned souls can be led astray by deceivers. One MUST be willing to see the negative side of human nature and make negative judgments of people or all is lost.
Self-respect and/or self esteem are very different from ego as ego is an inflated sense of false self-worth.
True lasting change mainly comes about peacefully and willingly by a society, but if there are groups bound and determined to cling to lies, hate, deceits and false realities and are willing to die for their unreality, there can be no compromise, and killing them in self defense is an option of last resort. Conversion is highly preferred but defensive destruction is an option. In a spiritual sense, it is the view that should be destroyed and not the individual, but on Earth there can sometimes be no other option than death.
Expand – “Love without mercy” – give no heed to retarded objections and do what is right.
Self-inflicted vengeance/karma “hunts you down without mercy” – All Nightmare Long, nightmare of own creation.
Do not be so considerate of others that you are inconsiderate of yourself.
“Love is blind” – blinded eyes that cannot see – ignore superficial appearances – but penetrate to the core: see people/things/event for what they really are – non-judgemental: the ancient sadness – but can hurt deeply : not the will of the “looker” (God) but an affect of the reactive nature of love and machines/hatred as the machine is exposed and/or its ego is wounded and it reels in pain, the amount depending on how much the entity identifies itself with the machine and the level of evil of the machine.
The Evil One/ evil is fighting a long-term losing battle: no matter how many times he “snuffs” out a candle it re-lights elsewhere and in the very act of snuffing the candle he brings attention to his own evil and the candle’s brightness. Relight: reincarnation and contiguity of spiritual advancement/knowledge between lives (subconscious!!! Highly “inaccessible”). Attention bringing: Jesus Christ on the cross brought him a lot of attention and lent validity to his arguments while showing his critics as hypocrites etc.
The very fact that the Evil One whispers, be it “Your will is not your own” or “You are insignificant” or “you have no choice” implies the exact opposite: if you had no will of your own, why would it be bother telling you so? Telling a rock it has no will or a computer it has no will has no point, rather, he is trying to sway your will which does exist and does have importance (and by extension you) – after all, why would he harass someone who has no potential for good or bad?
Is a community really a place where people judge one another, begrudge members who leave or do not participate or adhere to the norms, and impose upon individual members with group think and demands? Sounds like a pretty bad community to me.
Some individuals use what society/others/the community think of them as a conscience augment/enhancer (or as a replacement/overrider, negative *usually*). This effect can be good or bad.
Does a butterfly begrudge the time it spent as a caterpillar or a chrysalis, or the stages themselves? You must learn to accept your past and not hate your past self – it was a stepping stone to your current self and the present would not be as it is without your past self. In many ways (spiritually and neurologically and psychologically) your past self is still a part of you and must be acknowledged. However, MACHINES are not you, were not you, and never will be you, and should be avoided, resisted, worked against and repressed whenever they resurface.
The past self is/was you using the machine to make sense of the world and attempting to live using it and struggling through life under its thumb, NOT the coping mechanism itself. That is one of the Evil One’s biggest lies/confusing whispers: “What is the you and what is the me, how can you separate out and deal with realit-t-ty?” “You are the machine and the machine is you, I sense you (the evil part of you, that is already me, that is the real you) hungering to be free of the shackles of responsibility and reality and your (my hunger, MINE) hunger I can feed”. (Italics what you may be able to sense in between the lines, some of which are his lies/insinuations and some of which are things he does not want you to grasp/realize).
Golden eagle flying away from a dark twisted bush into the sky but still attacking manifestations of said bush that occasionally appear.
Fear comes from feelings of insecurity and anxiety (which comes from fluctuating conditions) and love can provide the comfort and consistency that is otherwise missing or erratic. Your “inner scared fluffy rabbit” needs to be hugged, loved, and reassured. However there are still leftovers from evolution and your own life as well that cannot be consoled, reasoned with or otherwise loved out of their anxious, illogical fearful frenzy and need to be appropriately eliminated or crushed.
Learned objectivity on your own situation and thought processes and patterns is important – don’t ignore positive aspects and belittle them or ignore less savory aspects. The positive aspects can be your salvation and the less savory ones can be your downfall or cause of needless emotional/mental/spiritual turmoil. “Meta-thinking”… Thinking about your own thoughts. Linking aspects together. Aware of own personal and biological/psychological/personality limits.
You don’t have to anything to receive love from God, but the more you follow your conscience, love yourself and others and live in reality, the more of God’s love you will feel. The more love you create and do, the more you feel.
You can be informed about and concerned about many of the worlds troubles without letting certain people or beings guilt trip you crazy over not being able to solve them all or not actively supporting THEIR pet cause. You can only focus on so much.
Petty judgments, unfounded anxious thoughts, feelings and fears, trivial self-criticisms and perfectionism and any number of other detrimental or useless thought processes cloud your judgment, perception and enjoyment of the world, others and yourself and prevent you from seeing the truth to many different situations. (Farmer seeds, wrong thoughts = weeds).
Need hobby, hobby in balance not bad, sometimes will be more balanced than others, sometimes hobby frustrating at other times rewarding.
Logic, reasoning and rationality tempered with emotions and perspective are paramount.
“I try to fill you up with light or give you guys the opportunity to do so but some of you replace it with dark spiky crap, let said crap in and do not remove it, or even worse attempt to pawn some of your own off onto others or create new crap.”
Part of the reason you see absolute terror (even briefly) in the eyes of someone who has been forced to see a stark reality (had one of their machines/rationalizations exposed to others or to self in the form of realization of its inadequacy) is because they literally have nothing to stand on. No foundation or basis other than a lie, falsehood, self-deceit.
Some sow what they reap and vice versa while some do not reap what they sow or sow what they reap. (Receive hatred, give love … or vice versa).
Free will – “mercenary” – nothing can MAKE you do something.
No law can make someone do or not do something, only consequences. Remove consequence and behavior will probably change – why legislation may pass and work for a while then things revert as soon as attention is diverted elsewhere. However, divine laws and consequences NEVER change.
Ludicrous! “Well, it’s bad, but it’s not considered bad right now by society, so let’s keep doing it anyways”.
Color-blind man beeping at car in front of him to go at a red light: take cues from other people as to what is happening or true, not all your own perceptions and experiences.
Social, emotional, mathematical, logical or rational intelligence does not discount or elevate a person’s opinion, “reality” intelligence does – common sense/living in reality/love.
Spirituality without religion is simply being a good person, religion with spirituality is a belief system that teaches love and tries to make sense/give a comforting structure to said spirituality while religion without spirituality is empty, meaningless, destructive, hateful to the self and others, and the cause, effect, justification, result, and perpetrator of religious injustice, pettiness and wars. Any such religion is not religion or love, it is hatred. The attempt to use (the false APPEARANCE of) love against one’s enemies, others or yourself is one of the sickest perversions possible, but no less obvious for the evil it is.
Shatter the illusion of power (forcing others to your choice) by shattering the illusion of powerlessness (inability to make a choice, lack of control over own destiny, no option but to obey) and you empower the oppressed and remove the moors of the oppressors. Hopefully, they will fall into the arms of God, love, reality, snap out of it, get over it, what have you, but if they do not or fight to the death, so be it. It’s their choice.
Reality is in a way liberating and comforting. If you live in reality and exist in reality you are grounded and no bottomless pit will open beneath you and swallow your essence and mind.
The very view and concept of a class system engenders inequality and suffering when in many ways we are all equals. “You’re poor so you’re supposed to feel repressed and angry” = ???? It also obfuscates our similarities and the fact that even though we all have different viewpoints and experiences we all have to deal with, live in and make sense of the same plane/reality/world.
Spirituality is ultimately about LIFE ON EARTH. Why do you think so many of the various religious texts speak of an afterlife, as another LIFE as a reward, or LIFE after death? Why do you think the Evil One tries so hard in various ways to degrade life on Earth, be it humanoid or otherwise? Why do you think that real spirituality – love – has no religion requirement or belief in life after death or absence thereof? I think of it not so much as “My Kingdom is not of this Earth” but rather “My Kingdom is not of this Earth but it should be and you can help make that happen”- “God’s will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven”.
Following rigid texts or rules for right and wrong is sort of a temporary stage before you are mature enough to think for yourself. See M Scott Peck.
More than a few people do not behold wonder in the world because when they look at a tree, they do not see the actual tree in all its beauty, but a dumbed-down idea of a tree. Instead of “Oh wow, a tree!” its “Oh, just another tree”. This can cause far more severe problems too – people seeing preformed constructs, abstractions and vague concepts of groups, people, society, each other and themselves instead of looking at what’s really there and critically examining their assumptions and their surroundings etc.
Don’t project onto others, try to bring them to you instead – you control your own perceptions and listening and no one else’s.
The idea of “The Matrix” or “Solipsism” or “What is real/reality” needs to be stopped: even if it is not real whoever made reality/the universe put a lot of trouble into it so it’s best to operate under the assumption that it is real. Not against idea of a spiritual plane or that in some ways parts of the world are illusions (for instance, physical pain is just a construct created by your brain to ensure your survival, and if you would collapse from pain in a survival situation, the brain shuts off pain so you can do what you need to get yourself and others out of danger) but against the idea of “I don’t know if the world is real so I can do whatever I want to with no consequences”.
In some ways if you question yourself too much and don’t just go with it you invite insanity – “Who am I? What is real? Am I pure, Introspect-introspect-introspect” all day every day detaches you from the world around you and too much internal referencing can lead to delusion, mental abstractification that leads to erroneous or absurd (to anyone but yourself) conclusions. “C’Thulu” can’t instantaneously drive you insane, but if you think too long and hard on his whispers or weird abstractions, lies or “words of belittlement of the meaning of life” he can. But, the key part here is you did/do/are doing the thinking – nothing is compelling you to listen on contemplate the blathering and whispers of the void. Occasionally a thought that seems to be yours and “reasonable” to you or part of you may enter your mind, or a lot if he really wants to bother you, but he cannot steal your innate ability to think independently, reason, feel passion and love or strong emotions and insight or rely on others for support and guidance/assistance/an outside perspective. Ultimately, free will cannot be controlled, and if it allows itself to be it’s through its own consent. “If you choose not to decide, you have made a choice” – responsibility for your actions. Other people cannot truly control you either, or very well at all – just look at all the rebellions against overbearing controlling rulers throughout history. Unless, again, you let yourself be.
Balance between being good/ not bad and being reasonable/kind to yourself- since we are all partly evil, bad and otherwise unsavory, it’s not the end of the world if you do bad things or think bad thoughts sometimes.
The closer you are to a major breakthrough, the more the Evil One intensifies his whispers/attacks.
Treat others the way you (should) treat a 3 year old – with kindness, patience and forgiveness.
You don’t need a fancy building to “worship God”- all that matters is if you are glorifying love.
Evil and denial of reality is for those too weak of will or mind to deal with the world as it really is. Evil is true weakness…
Your opinions, beliefs and politics are not perfect and completely aligned with God, his will, or love, but it’s OK. We all have our dark portions of us – “light and dark inextricably inter-wound”.
The Evil One is the Lord of Holes – holes inside you, holes that can never be filled with food, alcohol, abuse of others, sex, money, success, power or anything other than love. He wants you to try to fill the holes with fruitless, earthly, fleeting and temporary things instead of eternal love.
Evil is all about power and control but it is the weakest force in the universe where love is about free will and the opposite of power and control, yet it is the most powerful force in the universe.
"I'd make a horrible human, probably starve to death ... If I came down here completely pure(???)" (Words from God through Roxanne. Possible translation: Pure Love is at times impractical for us Earth-humans in the here and now… We need our capacity for self-defense, up to and including violence. Obviously not to be used lightly, but it needs to be there as an option, for now).
More words from God, concerning free will, and apparently (possibly) confirming my suspicions about Hell, suicide, self-punishment being self-chosen, etc. Notice the below use of “meeting one’s maker” in a negative sense! Including the Evil One as both victimizer, and, perhaps eventually, victim! This (especially the latter) didn’t come from me (“Melvin Marten”), it came from God, through Roxanne.
"This is how my vengeance works. Just desserts for the evil but not by my own hand, rather, I let them go astray; some will come back and there will be joyous celebration, while others fall down to meet their maker (both lost human souls and their master will/may depending on choice meet the same fate) and those that choose soul destruction at the end of time or spiritual pseudo suicide truly deserve it. The female part of me rages at the loss and needless loss of souls, while the male part of me rages at their stupidity and weeps over the pain they caused on their way down. This is actually what you believe I believe/do, and since you are a part of me, this 'new' attitude is part of what I believe now. You are co-creator, along with all other humans.”
"Knowing that the 'messages' you receive are actually your own Light inside communicating with you (who I am a part of, and am wholly, uncorrupted but also unable(?) to act of the physical plane that I fight and hope to make full of Love like Heaven) and that you aren't crazy for having a relationship with me; your own soul/conscience is the source of most of your 'stuff' anyways. This means that what you have come up with is new knowledge, and the reason that a lot of it is what has been said before is that the other people's souls are part of you and that you are on the right path to finding eternal universal truths.”
Well, that concludes my wholesale strip-mining of the writings of Roxanne. The last 2 paragraphs seem quite uplifting to me, even though they seem to be quite New-Agey, even to a New-Agey guy like me! On the other hand, most new-agers, it seems to me, do NOT fully acknowledge the true depths of evil… Which I do see addressed above.
Again, with reference to the above, I must trot out the squared circle. I have (if not in these pages, then elsewhere) previously stated that we as humans should NOT be in the business of trying to tell God who He/She/It is; we should be in the business of quietly sitting back and letting God tell us who God is. “Be still, and know that I am God” (Biblical), speaks to me.
Yet at the same time, my mystical readings (including God-through-Roxanne) tells me that we ARE in the business of telling God who He is! Humans as “Co-creators with God”, I think, may have come from Nick Bunick (we, including Roxanne, have been exposed to Nick’s thoughts). As I have seen it put in other places, God is (or will be) somehow composed such as to include all the thoughts of all humans who have ever lived (possibly excluding those thoughts of those who have excluded themselves, in my own opinion). I just cannot bring myself to accept the idea of a God of Love that includes ravening hatred, self-hatred, and self-loathing. To whatever extent that such things are included in God, they are closely coupled with an overwhelming urge to heal these exact same things.
Well anyway, I have previously stated that I have personally seen a “harsh edge” to God (and I have, and so have others, and I hope to comment on that some more, later). In sculpture, they speak of purely subtractive sculpture (purely removal, as in carving something out of wood or stone), and additive sculpture, as in clay. God does both kinds of sculpture, sometimes simultaneously. Some of our egos need to be whittled away, and polished down smoothly. Others need to be built up, and have the voids filled in… And sometimes, somewhat paradoxically as I have learned, they both need to be done at the same time!
I have often seen (and have commented here, on) Roxanne’s extra-large ego, which has thought that she is responsible for fixing the troubles of the world. To that extent at the very least, I tried to whittle down her ego. But above, as we can see, God saw where He / She needed to lift her and her ego up… To reassure her that her thoughts are somehow helping to define or compose God (bringing in new knowledge). Different things need to be done at different times, clearly. About the only thing that I could add, here, is that I firmly doubt that God’s response would have been the same (is ever the same), in response to self-defeating, self-destructive , over-the-top-egotistical, or hateful (evil) thoughts.
Well hold on now, I have uncovered some more Roxanne files. Much of it is repetitive, written in dense Roxanne-speak, near-indecipherable, etc. But here below is some more… This time around, I will let just a wee tad of the near-indecipherable stuff flow through, just for the reader to see what I mean… And to puzzle over, if desired. Most of this is in God’s voice.
“Even if I knew everything ever known (which I certainly do not) I would come back to share it, and learn things never known before.
"Do you really want me to (forcibly re-engineer you)? You'd die. So too would you die if I cleaved your soul in two, into a good fragment and a bad fragment- good and evil- and cast one away, and keep the other. I am humble and do not know me/you fully so if I did so I might incinerate some love that I didn't know existed and let in some hateful thing that I currently think is right.
"I am old yet I am young, always learning, and do not fully know what is hate and what is love fully - I have humans to go down and learn from their and MY mistakes in human form - things wise people said they thought were true but weren't, period, or weren't always true -- lots of competing truths and youths (my children's viewpoints) that make me inconsistent across time and cultures in how I show you myself.
"You REALLY don't think I’d greet a Muslim as a Hindu God and not Mohammed after death, or a really secular person as Jesus and not a ball of light after death, do you, or yell at you for the 'dogmas' you got 'wrong' on Earth, do you? That's the other guy's method - corral and try to get one "consistent" message – F*** love- in many different ways, but never say, Goodjob, only whip you harder. I encourage diversity and thus actually get a more consistent message - love, tolerance, and defiance of power-abusers- where he discourages it and gets a maddening schizoid message that isn't a message at all - just a lie to help to mess up and shut up those who would oppose him, and get only the 'most worthy' of spiritual suicide/'control'/not telling him the truth closest to him, so he can maintain his thrones of lies through company of his own kind.
“I seek souls similar to me to enter in to heaven so that we may lead and support one another - even I need help, why do you think I promoted Jesus/Ghandi/Mohamed/MLK to help me- just as he (editorial addition, the Evil One) seeks souls who will help perpetuate his stupid motions through sheer free will. We both channel free will in its pure form – me, love, him, hate, etc.- to other beings to get more assistance. Both can stand on their own and if not followed at all would roll their eyes and mainly go elsewhere - where do you think he's been running from all this time, Earth is a pretty caustic environment for 'his'/his(??) people now - but really desire company, both need members to keep their fellowship on Earth and elsewhere going strong, but not period .... "
"I have thousands of thrones for thousands of different belief systems that lead to love, just as the Evil One has thousands of maws for thousands of different ways in which to hate - one for each of you. Your inner light isn't going to be snuffed out by me or told you’re bad in all ways by me after death, or I'd never win anyone over. All have personal truths you're susceptible to, all have personal lies... One "throne" to rest on after death from each soul fragment, or with others of like minds as well. More people around the thrones and maws you ascribe to than you think, so please, talk about your values with others so that you can better resist the calls of the mouths and sit peacefully in love, safe, so long as you don't doze off in to either your own lala land (cough cough Roxanne) or too much in to the world and away from your spiritual heritage.
"Planets/cultures(!!!) too stupid to resist = dead or spreading darkness planets. Planets smarter than my little games and don't want to die (most of Earth) = waste your time and get petty revenge after tipping points (ancient science/tolerance/love of knowledge, Christ's crucifixion, responsible use of nuclear weaponry/ 20th century movements) I'm not dead yet, don't 'go to bed' !!! Mainly running away/petty revenge now, but still dumb enough to be 'mine' again if you don't stay on the path of unity and love - just like most beings/civilizations.
(Editorial insertion, see what I mean? At times indecipherable? The above use of “mine” apparently refers to the Evil One’s. The inter-mixed, un-labeled speakers alternating from God’s voice to the Evil One’s voice is what drives me the most crazily confused, in these writings).
“Through flowing uncontrolled from within diversity and chaos and strife (disagreement/healthy doubt path war - sanity), consistent other/self-enforced/enforcing unity, order and peace. Through consistent controlled from without/outside other/self-enforced/enforcing unity, order and peace, uncontrolled diversity, chaos and strife (disagreement/doubt love/self war - insanity)..
“Through allowing life and free will to flow, peace in love. From choking life and (preventing) free will from flowing, war with love.
“Salvation will not save you if you throw it away by not maintaining yourself and going to sleep, "comfortable" in knowing you were saved and stop doing love/ what saved you in the first place.
“How much you serve God/love is how much love you accept and give.
"You guys have no magical touchy healy power that YOU can directly control - you have physical bodies to heal/touch/ love each other with. I have no physical form and thus I, God / dead humans who are now angels have them - live in love and ask for healing/forgiveness and I will help you, even if you don't believe in me. Power of prayer - in loving and asking me for help and submitting to me/love and not trying to channel oogabooga (editorial insertion, “oogabooga” meaning false beliefs in ”magic” I think) directly you are being loving/like me (humility/ submission) and thus your inner energy in combination with outer energy (me, other human's love/ loving prayers) will heal you.
"There is killing of spirit energies, but just as above you cannot channel them, and the source of them isn't exactly willing to really share anyways unless you sell your soul/life - your only possession you can keep - to him, and of course he gives you the false power he has as he is a stingy and fearful OF HIS OWN SERVANTS , and for good reason- everyone down there is out to get each other. You do NOT activate these by not believing in me or by abandoning God - only by abandoning truth/love do you do this. When you repeatedly make evil/selfish/stupid/insincere/"forced"/"chore" prayers, you are exposed to the evil within and without you by being willful and not listening to the doubting little inner light I gave you and thus being evil.
"There is no shame in being fooled or having been fooled by the Evil One/ your bad soul fragment - if you never think you were or are still, that is shameful and very dangerous to you/others/love. (Editorial insertion, the ***TOTAL*** lack of any self-doubt is very, very dangerous!).
"Don't stop forgiving people - when you say, I forgive this enemy of mine and wish them better, that love etc., that you feel for them, goes out into the universe and will help them back on to the middle road. Don't do it for your sake - "oh I me-me-me want to get rid of the pain of bitterness" - do it for their sake and it will help both of you instead of none of you.
“You are a child/part of God so when you are mean to yourself you're being mean to a little kid/ God in a roundabout way. "When I was cold you did not give me a coat", etc.
“No light in total darkness…
“There is no Light in the Evil One- there is something in him that appears to you to be light because that is the lie that appeals to you the most, a whole myriad of lies.
“He wants no redemption, and will be offered no mercy- my hand has been charred from how many times I have extended my hand to try and help him save him from himself, and he's not getting offered it any more- he has to save his own damned self.
OK, now we are (to my current knowledge) REALLY at the end of strip-mining Roxanne’s writings! Now there’s only a few more items to address, from my personal memory, and then we can move on to other things, besides “lessons from Roxanne”.
Honestly, I cannot recall, did I read this in a forgotten file or fragment of Roxanne writings, or was it word of mouth… But I recall her saying or writing that God told her that it was somehow “pre-arranged” that my wife and I should have to deal with Roxanne’s spiritual-mental challenges, as part of our “growth plan”, or some such. As part of our own spiritual-mental challenges, as it were.
Well, it’s been a tough row to hoe, but I do NOT want to pollute the world with my carping… I will try not to go down that road! (Not too much, at least). “What did I do to deserve that?” We just don’t know! Yes, it is sometimes true that “no good deed goes unpunished”… But we all have to deal with that, in larger or smaller doses. For you Christians out there, see the 9th of the lessons from Jesus’s Beatitudes; “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
That may not seem to be too directly related to our specific case as described here… Unless one includes among those who “revile you and persecute you”, the Evil One and its minions. And like just about everyone, we in my family have also suffered from time to time, from our fellow humans, without us having offended much. Who among us cannot say that? So anyway, from the 10,000 foot level, bad “stuff happens” from time to time, whether we “deserve” it, or not. Enough of that, from me! All I can add at this time is, I and mine (my immediate mine, at least) have had mostly triumphs (thanks, God!), but the struggle must continue… Godspeed to all of us!
Well, let me also add this… To any of you out there who haven’t won your immediately-nearby-battles quite so much… To especially those who have lost close-by loved ones to suicide… My heart goes out to you! Do not blame yourselves; you didn’t commit this deed, they did! Pray for their souls… We ***ALL*** have free will! This includes us changing our minds about this matter of, who shall we serve? Pray! Your benevolence will ripple throughout the Universe, and do some good, somewhere… I do not know the details, but we need to keep the Faith, and the Hope!
The point arising from the above (being “assigned” as parents to Roxanne, for our own learning) that I more-so want to discuss, however, is this: It brings up this “fate” thing, which seems to be in direct contravention to free will! HOW can we be assigned to our next lifetimes (or have our pick of only a very few choices, all of which will teach us the next things that we need to learn), by God and the Angels, or by the Universe, or by (fill in the blank)? This is a classical puzzle… How can life lessons (at the end of millions of free-will choices and random happenings) be pre-selected? How can this circle be squared?
I’m a free-will guy… But in my metaphysical readings, I have read SOOO many times, about time being an illusion, and “fate” and all… And the limited selection of next-lifetime choices being available to us… That I have to lend it some credence. The only way I can “square this circle” is that our immediate bosses (if we chose to let them be our bosses, which I obviously think we should… The only other choice ABSOLUTELY SUCKS!!!)… Those bosses being “God and the Angels”, for lack of a better term… They see the future, only probabilistically. For you Christians, see Luke 15:10, that tells us (in Jesus’s words), “I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."
Well, run the analysis (in human logic at the very least): Repentance was foretold, was “fate”? We knew that already! Ho-hum, no rejoicing! Probabilistically, it was NOT going to happen? But it DID happen? NOW we are going to rejoice! So maybe God and the Angels are in training (at a higher level, to be sure), just like we are. They do NOT see the future perfectly. This squares away with at least one of my personal experiences of “strange things”… Which I hope to get around to describing, later.
But God’s God, or Her boss’s boss, or some such, maybe at SOME higher level… A level beyond us needing to worry about right now… Maybe THERE, everything is foreseen perfectly. THAT is the level at which we get to choose a next lifetime! But “machs nix” to us in the here and now… We MUST operate in the “free will” world… So (I repeat myself from time to time, yes, I know) we might as well lump God and all Her boss’s bosses, etc., together, and just call them all “God” collectively. That’s how I square this particular circle. If it helps you to stop worrying about such things, please copy-paste-modify my beliefs at will! That’s why I babble-on, in hopes that it will help someone somewhere…
So free will v/s “fate” (a perfectly foreseen future, AKA, time is an illusion) is clearly in the category of “fun to speculate about, but not practical”, in my opinion. It simply does NOT often (ever?) help us “love our neighbors”… Unless, at the way-extreme stretch, we can simply say this: By coming up with a mental model of such things, which “works for me”, then I can stop worrying about such silly or irrelevant things, and get back to “loving my neighbor” better.
Falling into a somewhat related, certainly similarly silly or irrelevant category, is “solipsism”. Use that word as a search-string here, and you can see Roxanne’s take on this. As is SOMETIMES (not always, not by a long shot) the case, this is Roxanne’s re-tread of things she has heard from her mother or I. “Solipsism”, in case you’re not familiar with it, was the idea (in ancient times) that our human lives are not real; they are a dream (perhaps we are all characters in some giant or higher-level creature’s dream). In the more-modern re-spin, maybe we are “bits and bytes” in some giant computer simulation, or an isolated brain floating in a vat of biochemicals, nutrients, etc., with stimulus-response electrodes running hither and yon, making us THINK we’re doing and seeing, what we are “doing” and “seeing”… “The Matrix” movie-style, as Roxanne alluded to.
Well, just in case Roxanne wasn’t clear here… The danger of such thinking should be clear! “It’s just a simulation”, so we can do what we want to, on a whim, and not worry about the consequences! Mass murder? Suicide? Why not? I am tired of this “simulation”, it’s not going my way, so I quit! The game-player will just stick another few quarters in the slot, and we’ll be right back!
Well, think of yourself as the simulation-player who has put in untold hours and hours, setting up you way-cool “Sim City” setup, or other computer simulation… And now, your simulated humans or other creatures are all committing mass murder and / or suicide! You’re going to be a bit miffed, right? And the so-called “simulation” that we are “playing” in… It should be pretty obvious, someone went to GREAT painstaking troubles to set it all up, yes? The lesson should be obvious… If we ARE in a “mere simulation”, we’d be well advised to “play nicely”, anyway!
OK, time for the last story from Roxanne’s times of troubles… I cannot honestly recall for sure, was it in high school days, or college. But one day she came up to my wife and I (who are lounging in bed as I recall), and she tells us (more or less) that “Jesus just visited me. He was wearing a hoodie. He told me that it is NOT necessary to get all spun up on “Believing in Jesus”… Just try to live a sensible life, and get along with people.” (The first parts I recall clearly; the last, not so much).
I was off-hand worried about the “hoodie” thing… If we’ve got a bright light, we’re not supposed to hide it under a bushel basket, right? Was that really Jesus? But then I thought about it some more, and I recall reading a Bible story or two here or there, where people had to avert their eyes, or be “blinded by the Light” (as in St. Paul’s trip to Damascus). In modern parlance, the “kundalini” experience (AKA, “kundalini awakening”) has been known to knock people into a non-functional state for a week or two, sometimes perhaps more… And God as disguising (hiding) Her face, for this reason, has been shown to me in at least one night-time dream. So the “hoodie” made sense, after all.
As I recall, in her mentally disturbed states at the time, Roxanne was (briefly) wondering if she had to “get all Christian-y”, or some such. Excessive (misguided) religiousity CAN actually feed mental illness! (It can also simply be a waste of energy, as in, we run around all day, every day, saying, “Let Jesus into your life”, and forget to do ANYTHING practical, in the real world, to actually help people. “Work is Love made visible”, you know.) And parenthetically, let me add, at least once, I also heard Roxanne say, sidewise-like once, from the Evil One as I (very vaguely) recall, she “got the message”, as she liked to say, at times, that the Evil One LOVES it when religious people get ridiculous, self-righteous, and hide-bound, because it helps to hide the central truths of religion or spirituality! It opens religious belief up to ridicule, that is. Hey! Do we discount the entire idea of the joys that can be inherent in marriage, just because the married neighbors down the block are always fighting?!?! … Well anyway, the clear take-away that I got, is that Jesus saw some danger there in Roxanne’s brain, running down the wrong tracks, and specifically intervened to head off the danger. Thank You, Jesus!
One very-very common fault of the ultra-religious is “Bible worship” or “Scripture worship” (worship of the written word), instead of “Love worship”. In other words, the more literally I can take the scriptures, the more virtuous I am! Let me get back to that in just a little while… Time, first, for a “misc.” break…
Please forgive my lack of better organization… But I have a few thoughts which I have a hard time classifying. I want to jot them down and just get them out of my head, before I forget them again… For a really-cool web site I stumbled across the other day, please read the writings of the “Evangelical Liberal”, at https://evangelicaliberal.wordpress.com/ … THIS is my kind of Christianity! This is apparently written by “Harvey Edser”. Harvey’s take on evil (clearly a bit of a special interest of mine) is at https://evangelicaliberal.wordpress.com/category/evil-2/ … With sub-headings from there. At no more than some casual glances so far, I like Harvey’s writings, because they seem to reflect a genuine humility. Also, he (as a Christian) goes out of his way to ***NOT*** demonize atheists and agnostics, which is commendable! We can ALWAYS learn from others, no matter how different (from ours) that their beliefs may be. If you like churches but dislike dogma, please check out the Universalist Unitarian church, by the way. PS to the PS, Harvey here wrote of a lady atheist friend of his, who calls herself, sometimes, an “atheist for Jesus”… Meaning, and atheist who shares with Jesus, Jesus’s concerns for the poor, the downtrodden, and the outcasts. I LOVE it!!!
Also see http://crumpetsandbollocks.com/merry-christmas-vs-happy-holidays/#comment-21525 and associated… She is a potty-mouth, but so am I (just not on these pages… Trying not to offend). What these writers have in common (with me as well), is that we are trying to elevate loving and doing, and including inclusiveness (even though that may be repetitive redundancy!), and down-playing the dogma. Maybe one of these days I’ll grow this short list of cool blogs and web sites… There are SOOO many out there!
Moving on… I’ve written here a fair amount about “balance”. M. Scott Peck wrote a fair amount about “paradox”… That no “philosophy of life” can be complete without some element of paradox. I do believe that this is true…
So… In any lie, there is usually at least a tiny snippet truth (unless the statement is purely of the physical realm, such as item XYZ weighs 5 pounds). Let me trot out my favorite example: Adolf Hitler said, “Who says I am not under the special protection of God?” We might as well cut out the coyness and fake “Socratic method” crap here and say that Hitler was saying that he was specially favored by God… A clearly megalomaniacal thing to say!
Well, the “truth in every lie”, and “paradox” thingees here… How do they apply? I say, “I am specially favored by God, because I know that I am NOT specially favored by God!” A little bit of mental jujitsu, and we get to some helpful truths here (through the use of paradox).
I know that I am not specially favored by God… If I play Russian roulette all day, sooner or later, I will die. If I sleep (unprotected) with too many hookers, I will catch a horrible disease, sooner or later. If I go picking fights, and drunk driving all the time, yada yada… You get my drift. Since I know that I am NOT specially favored here, I try to live a half-decent, sober-minded, responsible life. And for that reason, I am at least a tiny bit “specially favored” over those who live more-dissolute lives. So there you have it… What I consider to be a classic case of “what I’m talkin’ about” here, should be obvious.
Also this, under the “misc.”, here: Roxanne has been on a more-even keel these days, and has held a job for more than a year now (Her research funding where she works runs out in a few months, so she’ll be going back to school soon for a full year, to get another bachelor’s degree, in a more-in-demand, specific sub-major). But she still gets “messages” from time to time… As I do, even, every few years or so! My wife says, “Oh, wow, now I have TWO mental cases on my hand, GREAT! Just kidding).”, when I bring these kinds of things up. But I reassure Roxanne that these kinds of things are NOT to be worried about… So long as we continue to discern the SOURCES of these “messages”! And that’s not all that hard to do, actually, when we recall the magic 4-letter word of “Love”, and then, just trust our instincts. Is the “message” one of Love, or not?
One “message” she got, from God, lately, was that “God” doesn’t really prefer to be known as “God”; He-She-It would prefer to be known as “Love”! This squares completely straight-up with what I have been thinking and writing about… It is just surprising to hear it quite that straight-forwardly, literally put. I do recall that during her times of troubles, one of the “messages” that Roxanne got from Love (God) was that Love (God) has exceedingly, vanishingly little (if any?) powers in the physical world, that may be legitimately, safely used, other than “whispering” messages of Love, and encouraging Love, in us beings here in the physical world. WE are Love’s agents, that is!
OK, so now here it is, not to be at all coy about this… Love’s “message” to Roxanne at that time, included at least one thing that will anger some of the un-evolved or un-advanced among us: Love can take many forms… Gay and straight, humans to animals (pets), and vice versa. As long as there is Love, all else is cool! Gay people were specifically mentioned… Love (God) can act between any beings, and if we were wise, we would stand in the way of ***NO*** forms of genuine Love, ever! There is preciously little enough Love in this world, such that we should stand in the way of NO flavor of it, ever!
I recall saying pretty much the same thing as above, in the context of inter-racial dating and marriage, many years ago. I may have (probably did) mention this to Roxanne, at one point, when she was younger. So yes, the skeptical reader can say, “Love (God’s) voice here, in Roxanne’s head, is just an echo chamber for Melvin Marten’s thoughts”. OK, yes, the general drift was there… But I can personally testify that it was mind-bending, how literally the Love = God thing came back to me! I hadn’t really a clue, just HOW far this thing goes! It includes loving our very-worst enemies, too!!! THAT is what I am trying to make this web page be all about!
So at times, the New-Age writers having to use some other word, all the time, instead of just plain ol’ simple “God”, does annoy me. Write it plain and simple, willya?!?! But now, I am thinking I’ll have to start doing it their way, at least a wee tad… “God” will now become “Love (God)”, or, sometimes just “Love”. I hope that won’t annoy y’all too terribly much…
A while back (far above) I once promised you, the reader, that I would not make major changes to previously-written materials… New stuff always crops up at the bottom. Well, I will now have to carve out the first exception to this… This area right here will new begin to be the “Roxanne Update” area (use that as search-string). Otherwise, organization goes to Hell in a handbasket…
Anyway, we all hope Roxanne’s major-major dealings with too-too many “messages from beyond”, are all now in the past! Especially since she faithfully takes her meds… But the “messages” do keep in trickling in, in dribbles and drabs. None of us panic over this, and I do not think that we should. My wife sometimes has been known to ask Roxanne, “Hey, look, do you think you could just say “I had the thought…”, rather than, “I got the message”?” … Trying to get Roxanne to drop the drama, you know…
But Roxanne will at times respond, “But I DID “get the message”, it is not a fib”!
So the latest “message” that Roxanne “got”, she says, was from Jesus… General reassurance. Jesus struggled with the same things that Roxanne is currently struggling with. What is from God, what is not from God. What is legitimately to be worried about, and what is trivial. But hear this: “Work towards stilling My Voice.” Jesus said that to Roxanne! These “messages” are generally for emergencies only. When we are in our full bloom, operating at our best, we figure it out for ourselves! THAT is apparently how we maximize this crop that we are harvesting for Heaven, it seems!
This is frustrating, to me. I’m an engineer… It should be about a goal, and getting there most efficiently and quickly, with an optimized solution. So I beg God to tell me exactly what to do, often! Usually I get squat in response! Other than my night-time dreams, which are a mish-mash, usually, and often randomly meaningless… Unless they are meant for my unconscious mind? So, not to worry, consciously, in that case…
But God is not this kind of an engineer, nor a joy-stick-wielding controller of human robots… It’s just about ALL about our learning! So what Roxanne has most recently heard from Jesus, upon close inspection, has the clear ring of truth!
That’s the minor “Roxanne update” for recently. The more important one (to me at least) is as follows: (Keeping in mind that Roxanne talks with her mother a lot more than with me, lately)… Roxanne has been known, several times lately, to muse to my wife, about how we can NOT solve other people’s troubles for them, and about how we can hence NOT solve the world’s troubles, either! How… “Hey look, Jesus and Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr. and who knows how many others, have already come and gone, and we are STILL killing each other in the name of religion”! So give UP on fixing it all, already!
“Hey, look, Jesus has come and gone, as have the various other religious-spiritual gurus, and we’re still killing each other in the name of religion. You think you’re gonna FIX that?!!? Give it up!”.
The above is a repeat from MUCH further above; it is what my wife and I told Roxanne… OK, here comes another repeat from above, so that you can use them as search-strings to see the contexts…
“My best guess is that we said that sort of thing to Roxanne about 1,567,092 times, give or take 5.”
So here comes the full brunt of this: I have been holding back on y’all, readers… I have been sandbagging! I have been carrying immense resentment towards God and Roxanne, because NO ONE LISTENS TO ME!!! I’ve not screamed into my keyboard about this, because I do NOT want to spread too much negativity! But now that I can finally see the positive side of this (the light at the end of the tunnel, or some such), then I can finally let loose a bit more.
Pray hard enough, pour your heart and soul into it enough, and once in a blue moon, someone, somewhere, will actually LISTEN to what you say! Yes, it is true! Believe it, or not! (Believe it, is a lot better).
Unless you hit the jackpot (your name is Jesus or some such; and even then, lots of folks will only PRETEND to listen to you), you have no hope of having anyone listen to you, other than those closest to you. And even then, you will have to say it my proverbial “1,567,092 times, give or take 5.” Wisdom is near-impossible to transmit. That is what Jesus was saying in his parable about the lamp-oil and the bridesmaids… See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_Ten_Virgins
“Still, a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest”… music https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzUEL7vw60U from Simon and Garfunkel. So it was 2 K years + ago; so will it remain for the foreseeable future.
But once in a while, a great miracle happens, and someone DOES listen to us! So we have to keep the faith! And so make sure it is something GOOD that you say, that they just ***MIGHT*** listen to, then!
My wife’s mother used to say things (repeatedly) to her son (my wife’s brother; said brother also having “heard the voices” at times). Years later, after my brother-in-law would hear these things and stew on them, back they would come, often modified, but “as his own ideas”!
From me personally, my father told me as a child, “You know, institutions do not and can not love you. Only an individual human, or God, can love you”. Something along those lines. Your organization does not love you… Not your military unit, not your school, not your employer, not even your church. Maybe a tiny-tiny church can love you, once in a blue moon, but certainly not a mega-church. Institutions can not love you.
I recall writing home, years later, saying, “OK, yes, you told me this! But I had to learn it for myself!”
So cling to your faith that once in a great while, you CAN share your brides-maids lamp-oil! Not often, but we have to keep on trying. And I am trying to fully ‘fess up, here… I am only now getting my faith back, on this one. It was harshly frustrating (it induced a feeling of utter powerlessness) to fully consider that Roxanne could keep right on ignoring what my wife and I had to say, and become a mentally ill homeless person, or worse. This is what lies at the end of the road (along with other roads, of course) of thinking that we can, should, or must, solve all of the world’s troubles.
And yes, I am aware of the paradox here, that the vitally important wisdom that needed transmitted, is the near-impossibility of transmitting wisdom!
Here comes a NEW “Roxanne update”: Roxanne, now 4 years after the worst of her “times of troubles”, still “hears the voices” from time to time, but they are muted. Mixed good and bad… She has heard from her deceased grandmother (mostly just to the point of “smelling coffee”, when there was no coffee nearby anywhere, when thinking of her coffee-addicted grandmother , or somehow needing the influence of her grandmother). Then she also heard from here deceased grandfather, who said, “Say hi to my daughter for me”, meaning, to Roxanne’s mother, “Melissa”. And (more disturbing of course) she has also heard murmurings from my suicide-deceased brother, “Franklin”, urging her to follow in his self-destructive footsteps. Roxanne is about as immune to this kind of thinking as most of the rest of us, these days, so I don’t know why “Franklin” bothers, any more. Let him waste his time… Maybe some other potential victim will be spared, while he wastes his efforts!
Here comes yet another “Roxanne update”: Roxanne says her glimpses of the other worlds continue, despite her meds. She and I and her mother are all fundamentally OK with this, even though it does bother Roxanne to (?) “not be normal”, or however one would put it. But after all that she’s been through, she knows the difference between the good voices, and the bad… What is more difficult, at times, is discerning the difference between “my own thoughts” and “intruding thoughts” (AKA “voices from beyond”). Even this latter issue may not be much of a real issue, as long as we can think and act responsibly and lovingly.
Lest I appear to be trying to be too coy, let me state this clearly: In the choice between calling some of this “intruding thoughts” v/s “voices from beyond”, I think the latter is sometimes more accurate. But I’m NOT itching to fight anyone over this distinction!
OK, the latest from Roxanne: Search through this web page for references to “Elmer” if you’ve been skipping and skimming. Roxanne has heard from, or gotten glimpses of, or word of, Elmer. Elmer is now an “ascended demon”, working for the good guys. He’s not scrubbing toilet bowls in Heaven… If you recall, we explained to Elmer that being the lowest-ranked toilet-bowl-scrubber in Heaven was a darned sight more pleasant than being the biggest big deal among all the demons.
Elmer’s job as an “ascended demon” is to act as a shepherd of the angels. Angels, having free will, are free to defect over to the bad guys… They can ignore God and Elmer and everyone else if they want to, and go ahead and defect. But Elmer talks sense to them one last time, and, I imagine, sways them back to the good side, in most cases. I imagine that Elmer has plenty of company… He couldn’t be the only one doing this job!
So I’ve gotten all wrapped up about “Love”, and haven’t paid much attention to “free will” in my thinking and writing, lately. Roxanne’s telling me about Elmer’s job as “ascended demon” corrected my course, a bit. “Free will” is a REALLY big deal!
So some of the angels get all torqued off at Love’s (God’s) rigid insistence on the inviolability of free will… Love will NOT serve as our coercive dictator! Won’t do it, no way, no how! Not even just a tiny WEE tad! The lesser angels (those of lesser understanding) look at all the wars, tortures, genocides, and evils of inhumane humans, get frustrated and impatient, and say, “See, Love (God), Your Way isn’t working! Free will is all hosed up! We’ve got to find a better way!” And they want to go and defect, and find someone who’ll take away the freedom (free will) of humans, to “fix” it all! The Evil One may have a better fix!
Elmer and other “ascended demons” can talk sense to the potential defectors… With a plain and simple message! “Hey, buddy, this isn’t a smart move! I’ve been there and done that, and the place is a literal hell-hole! Endless snapping and snarling, weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth! There’s no Love there! No fun at ALL! Please don’t go! If you can’t stay here with us, for the sake of Love, then stay here with us for your own sake! Trust me!”
Upon hearing this from Roxanne… Who talks more freely these days to me than to her mother, about freaky stuff like this, at least… It freaks her mother out more than it freaks me out… I said to myself, “Wow! Makes sense to me! Scrubbing toilet bowls makes no real sense, actually, but being a been-there-and-done-that “shepherd to the angels” makes ALL of the sense in the world, to me!” So this is yet another case of Roxanne’s “stuff” (messages, voices) firmly persuading me that there’s a “reality” behind them.
What freaks me out is that any angels would defect in the first place… I thought that it was common knowledge that Hell is a Hell-hole… Not a nice vacation spot (or dwelling place) for anyone!
But the inviolability of free will goes down awfully hard with some folks… Also, some of us apparently don’t realize that there’s only two Masters out there… One supports free will and Love, the other wants to destroy the both of them! One “smites” (or more accurately, persuades us to smite ourselves), and the other does not! There is NO choice available, of a Master who selectively, carefully violates our freedom or smites us, for the general benefit of all! This latter beast is every bit as mythical, maybe even more so, than unicorns!
13 Jan. 2018 Intermission: “Roxanne Updates” are now way-way stale… Last updated as of late April 2017. The summer of 2017 has been a wild ride, culminating with Roxanne’s psychotic break in late summer, early fall. She was hospitalized for nearly a month, and had to drop plans to start school right at that same time. She is now at home with us, steadily recovering, getting ready to attempt this one-year program to gain a second bachelor’s degree, starting in the fall of 2018. So this now calls for an entirely new section of this getting-way-long journal. Go see The Story of Roxanne’s Psychotic Breakdown, and sections immediately above it (for closely associated topics).
Let’s transition away from “Roxanne updates” to another Misc.” topic. That is as follows: “Cutesy” people who want to attract attention to what they say, do, or write, by calling night “day”, and day, “night”. Specifically, actually, they call Satan “God”, and vice versa. Citations available upon request (as usual, email me at EnemyLover@ChurchofSQRLS.com ).
But the essence is, “Satanists” who, when questioned, will eagerly explain that they favor rationality, responsibility, and refraining from harming others. So basically, they are calling “God” by the name of “Satan” (or “Lucifer”), to attract attention to themselves. Attention-grabbing at the expense of polluting the language, and causing confusion. If that sentiment right there makes me sound like the Grammar Police and the Language Nazi, so be it. We’re talking good v/s evil here, though… Not a trivial thing like night v/s day… Enough said, I hope!
Here’s another one for the “misc.” category: Scripted v/s unscripted… Closed loop v/s open loop. “Improv” (improvisational) humor and theater, v/s strictly scripted. There’s many places where a “script” is needed: A movie, a rocket ship design, or a corporate sales & marketing plan. OK, yes, even at times, literally, a war or battle plan… ONLY when there is no other vaguely decent choice!
After the brainstorming sessions are over, though, we need to “march together” towards the common goal… Until such time as, in the face of utter failure, we’ve really got to change our minds! My God (my Love (God) is a hard fit, here!), life is hard! Tough decisions must be made, and there are no simple formulas to be had, I’m so sorry…
“Never trust anyone who proposes to solve all of the world’s troubles, with a 15-word slogan”. Go ahead and ascribe that one to me, Melvin Marten… Now notice, my slogan has 17 words… Only TWO more words than the simpleton’s slogans, who I am condemning!!! Am I (at 17 words not 15 words) to be trusted, or not?!?! Only YOU can decide!
Anyway, the “scripted” approach has it’s proper places… As does the “closed loop” (more engineering-oriented). The “closed loop” example here, in the engineering world, would be, for one, the refrigerating fluids (Freon for example) circulating in your AC system, or your fridge. The cooling fluids do the exact same thing, all day, every day… NO new, unscripted challenges come their way!
But in our personal and spiritual lives, nothing but unscripted “improv theater” will do! Do NOT pre-plan and pre-rehearse your life! THAT kind of planning is a certain route to mental illness! I think of “Charlene” and her mental / dream “machine”, in M. Scott Peck’s “People of the Lie” book, here. That, I am fairly certain, is where Roxanne got her term for bad mental “machines”… The “machine” here is the never-ending dream of some sort of ultra-controlled, precise, infallible, mechanistic “formula” that will tell us all day, every day, EXACTLY what to do! Every time that our “machine” fails, we think we’ve got to add just a WEE tad more mechanistic complexity, to said “machine”! And this is a guaranteed route to utter failure! Do NOT go there! (I’m sorry I have no more details on that; I wish I could explain it better). Well OK, maybe try this: Your “script” should be just ONE word: “Love”! (Now I am down to a 1-word slogan, so I am managing to confuse even myself!).
Well OK, being lawyer-like, I now have to amend my slogan which purports to solve all troubles, and it needs to catch both the need for more complexity (avoiding the ideological-idiocy route of a “simple 3-word slogan”), ***AND*** it needs to capture the need for simplicity! So here we go: “Never trust anyone who proposes to solve all of the world’s troubles, with a 15-word slogan or less, unless it is a one-word slogan, with that one word being “Love””. Now my slogan has 32 words… Well in excess of the condemned number of “15”… NOW you can trust me, clearly!
Getting back to the specifics of “improv” v/s “scripted”, I am reminded of a “Calvin and Hobbes” cartoon, in which Hobbes (the stuffed tiger) fantasizes to Calvin about falling in love (presumably with another stuffed tiger). “She’s going to call me Bitsy Woogums”, says the dreamy-eyed stuffed toy, as Calvin makes faces.
So then, “scripted” expectations in romances are one of the most counter-productive of such “scripts”! This a much-tapped vein of humor… Usually at the expense of females! “This is the part where you are supposed to softly, gently call me “Bitsy Woogums”, cuddle me in your arms, and plant a long and soft one on my glistening lips”, she thinks. But he hasn’t a clue… And the LAST thing we can expect, is for her to TELL him what she expects! He is supposed to KNOW these things!
My wife and I didn’t struggle with these things, thank Love (God). My wife’s good female friend in high school and college did, though. My wife got tired, at times, of hearing of the never-ending, but never-fulfilled, “scripts”. I met my wife’s friend at my mother-in-law’s funeral. A very, very sweet and charming lady; I can say that w/o reservations. But I am told that her romances (including some long ones) never really blossomed… She was never married. These things sadden me… Do NOT go “scripted” in places where “improv” is the far better thing!
OK, let me say it right up front… I am pulling my punches here. I could go on all day, and strongly, about this. But, my (regular, nighttime, not LSD-fueled) dreams, as best as I can follow, have instructed me not to. I’m not supposed to spread too terribly much animosity… Chances of persuading anyone, of anything, are too terribly remote already anyway. “Dumping on” the scripture-worshippers isn’t going to solve anything! In case I am losing you already, Dear Reader, lemme just give you the summary: We are supposed to worship LOVE, not the supposedly-Holy scriptures!
In more details, please let me give you just two examples, and we’ll blow on outta here… I’m going to go the Christian route, because I am dull and boring, and that’s all I know! If I were Islamic or Buddhist, I bet I could do similar things with their Holy Scriptures! (Please do NOT even talk to me about Scientology, because it makes my head spin 360 and then 720 and more! When THAT particular topic comes up, I have also been known to spit up split-pea, green-gray soup! Sometimes I wonder if I might be the Anti-L-Ron-Hubbarf!).
How about, figurative v/s literal? Just to get our feet wet, a wee tad? The below is a lightly-edited version of a letter I wrote to a near-and-dear fundamentalist at the age of 41. I am now 58 (17 years later). My mind has changed very little, in certain respects, I can see… Progress may be slow, but so is regress! Anyway, please read the below, and zero in on the mentions of “poisons”, and how they can be taken literally, or figuratively…
The full context of the below letter, I cannot (or will not) share with you. As far as I could tell, it did not reach it’s mark. But it MIGHT have; we just never know certain things, till the day we die. It just MIGHT have made some now-invisible-to-me, critical difference... I just don’t know. I struggle with frustrations of either the illusions (or the truths, I don’t know which) of being a person screaming, unheeded, into the wilderness, at times. All we can do, is to keep on keeping on, and leave the rest to Love, I suppose!
Onwards, to the lightly edited letter excerpt! This is more biased towards “Scripture worship” than the “real me”. I spoke the language of my target, here (a literalist, fundamentalist). But the central essences of what I said? I stand by them, to this day:
I think it wise to understand that sometimes Christ spoke as God Himself, and sometimes he spoke as a man. If I had to pick one thing that Christ said that shows the nature of God, then it would have to be when Christ cried over Jerusalem, saying that He has so, so often wanted to gather us all under His Loving Wings like a mother hen gathers its chicks, BUT WE WOULDN’T LET HIM!!! See Matt 23:37 and Luke 13:14. You see, we can tell God what to do, and what not to do, and He’ll let us get away with it, that’s how committed He is to free will. He loves us more than we could ever know as mere mortals, He desires our love, He desires to protect us, more than we can imagine, but the way He’s made this universe, the way He set it out from the beginning, is that He cannot or will not violate our free will. He will NOT use force to gather His chicks! He desires our love freely given, freely chosen- not coerced. What is coerced love and goodness? It is false- it is slavery. If we are forced to be good, if we have no genuine choice to do genuine evil, then we are just cattle, mindlessly forced hither and yon with the whip, the fence, and the yapping of dogs. The Good Lord created us humans for something far more important- the free exercise of free will. We, each and every one of us, must ultimately chose good or evil. Make your choices well and wisely, and not on shallow or foolish criteria.
So I am here to tell you that I have prayed long and hard over the issues that I now write to you about, and I am truly and sincerely convinced that God (my conscience is one of many synonyms) has asked me to write this letter. Just last night, as a matter of fact, I had a dream that I think gave me the final green light on this project. Now I realize there are those out there that will claim to have had dreams and visions, visitations from God, and so on, and will use these things as a method to claim power for themselves. There are most assuredly such things as a false prophets, as wolves in sheep’s clothing, and I’d be one of them if I were to deny this. But a prime, prime lesson that I am called upon to deliver to you is that there is great danger in taking literally that which was meant to be taken figuratively.
I can think of no better example of this than Mark 16:18, where we are told that those who really believe, shall be able to take up serpents and drink poisons and not be harmed. Now do you really, really believe this literally? Do you even for a second believe that you (or any other mortal human) could drink a quart of arsenic and plutonium-laced formaldehyde, and live to tell the tale? Don’t you realize that many people have paid a high price for believing such things? But this is what we are led to believe, if we take this verse literally. Those who believe, can drink ANY deadly thing, and in no way, be harmed, it says. Christ also told us that we shouldn’t put God to the test (Matt 4:7). From what I know of such things, that is EXACTLY what many participants in suicides and attempted suicides, such as those that might take up a poisonous snake and deliberately be bitten, or those that might drink poisons, or those that might fling themselves off of a tall building as Satan once tempted Christ to do, are doing. They are testing God, putting God to a trial, trying to force God’s hand. If God really, really, really loves me, they say to themselves, then He will save me from myself. Alternately put, they are trying to storm the gates of Heaven by force and violence; force and violence committed upon themselves.
So these are obviously matters of the very gravest importance, here. Why didn’t Christ warn, right there side by side with the quote about snakes and poisons, that we are NOT to put God to the test? A little repetition helps hammer home the important points. Why the quote about snakes and poisons in the first place? I sure don’t know. There are those who claim that we are better off without those who are so (??? struggle with word choice here... Arrogant? Stupid? Foolish?) as to eliminate themselves. Would Christ have laid this as a trap? No, no, and again, no, this surely cannot be the case! Such thoughts trouble me greatly. It grates on my nerves when I hear such sentiments expressed (and I have heard them expressed, fairly often) that we are better off without the presence of those who do such things. Good riddance, they say! Have people who say such things ever experienced the loss of a loved one to this unspeakably horrible thing? I keep my thoughts to myself on this matter, by and large, though, saying to myself, well, people who say these things, they are merely afraid to ponder too deeply the mysteries of self-destruction, and they think this way to quickly dismiss the frightening mystery. And I can sympathize with that! May the Good Lord protect me from too deep of a knowledge of such matters! For you see, to ultimately know something, one has to partake in it.
No, the only sense that I can make of the snakes and poisons quote is that the foolish will do foolish things, and the arrogant will do arrogant things, with or without any given excuse from any given person, or even from God Himself. I’m 41 years old now, and have seen enough of the world that I know that this is true. So Christ wasn’t doing any harm, saying such a thing.
But then, what good was He doing? Well, I’m convinced He was speaking figuratively, and He was making a very important point. Snakes and poisons clearly stand for harmful or evil ideas. Those who really believe are free to take them up, play with them, swallow them even, and then spit them back out, put them back to the side, and walk on, unharmed. YOU NEED NOT FEAR ANY EVIL IF YOU REALLY BELIEVE!!! We all know He told us not to fear those who can merely kill the body (Luke 12:4). But the snakes and poisons thing here is something a bit different. He’s telling us not to run away and hide from evil ideas. We can safely play with ANY idea, safely stew on it, and then reject that which needs to be rejected, if we really believe. There are NO forbidden topics, NO forbidden questions, and NO forbidden thoughts, if we really believe. We stew on the thought, rationally, carefully, fully, realistically, and then we reject that which is evil. So if you fear that I am a false prophet, then put that fear to the side, on the basis of Mark 16:18. None of us needs to fear any evil, save one: That we, ourselves, should commit evil; that we should assimilate an evil idea so far as to substantially act upon it, causing harm. And if we pray sincerely enough, God WILL guide us away from this one and only evil that we need to fear.
So set aside your fear. You may safely read this letter. If I should speak evil, then rational, calm thought and sincere prayer will reveal this to you. Still not convinced? Let me find a few more Words of Wisdom from the Master Himself to convince you further, then. How about Matt 10:16, “ Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” BE WISE AS SERPENTS!!! I think He deliberately chose serpents here (a common symbol for evil) to say that we have to be just as sharp, astute, and fully informed as the opposition, if not more so. That means, don’t stick your head in the sand like an ostrich! See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil just plain doesn’t cut it! Yes, yes, certainly there is a balance here. May the Good Lord protect us all from ultimate knowledge of evil, which is only obtained by committing evil. That violates the command here to be as harmless as doves. But short of that, we should NOT take pride in our ignorance! We are all ignorant of many, many things. But taking pride in our ignorance has another name: Arrogance! (Redacted name of target of letter): Please listen to me! Refusing to read a letter addressed to you is arrogant! Unless you get 100 fan letters a day and haven’t time to read them all, there’s no excuse for not reading a letter addressed to you! Especially from your own (Redacted name of my relationship to target of letter)! I can’t believe that you could sit there and chastise me for the contents of a letter you hadn’t even read for yourself, and TELL me this even, without at least a twinge of nagging conscience. Is this perhaps also how you form your opinions on major matters of importance, such as reading and interpreting the Bible? How can you be trusted to make well-informed judgments in the larger matters, if you can’t be trusted to do the same in the smaller matters? You let other people read the Bible for you, and tell you what it says? This is not a smart idea! I enclose a Bible for you, in hopes that you might actually READ it for yourself, and think about it for yourself also. If you ponder the truth for yourself, and seek it honestly, from the Bible and the many, many other ways that God tries to talk to us- dreams, people, books, newspapers, magazines, and other stores of knowledge and fiction, the nature of our bodies and the natural world, visions, intuition, reason, and on and on- if you seek the truth with an open mind, then the Truth will set you free. Trust the Master on this one. John 8:32. Take your self-chosen blinders off, because you are far, far better, more valuable and wiser than a dumb beast of burden, to be spooked by silly little things like evil ideas.
OK, so there you have it. After 17 years, I have nothing to add… Maybe I could subtract a wee tad, in the name of brevity, but I am too lazy! Let’s move on… From the same letter, now… This time, we are tackling the deliberate thing about “We decide what we want to do, and then we go pick up the Scriptures, and find justification for what we’ve already decided to do”. This is where I could “go nuclear” on you… As Shakespeare’s character said, “The Devil, too, knows how to quote Scriptures”. Mounty Python’s “Holy Grail” movie and “do your worst”? No, not gonna “do my worst”!!! NOT gonna say “NI” to little old ladies!!! So again, I am pulling my punches, and will leave this alone, after the below… This time, no (non-trivial) edits needed:
And now I wish to make myself as clear as I can possibly make myself, about what I’m trying to say about good and bad ways to go and use / read the Bible. I can’t find the quote at the moment, but there’s a case in which someone said something along these lines, “So-and-so uses the Bible the way a drunk uses a lamp-post; not so much for illumination, as for support.” The drunk just wants to stand rather than fall over, so he leans against the lamp-post for support. He doesn’t use the lamp’s light, he just props himself up, you see. So if we are already totally convinced that whatever we’re thinking is right, we can go and find things in the Bible to “prop us up”, even if we happen to be so drunken with self-righteousness, that the far better thing would be, like a drunk, for us to fall down, refrain from drinking the evil brew for a while, sleep it off, and come back for a better look when we’re sober. AND MAYBE NEXT TIME WE CAN ACTUALLY USE THE LIGHT FROM THE BIBLE, IF WE READ IT FOR ILLUMINATION RATHER THAN FOR SUPPORT!!!
As Shakespeare said, the Devil knows how to quote scripture. In case this is not clear to you, I will now demonstrate what sorts of things we can “prop up” using a totally literal reading of the Bible, and two-plus-two-equals-four kinds of thinking. So suppose you come across a man starving to death, too weak to work to earn his next meal. The right thing to do is to feed him, right! Well, yes, if it doesn’t somehow cause greater harm, and you’ve got a conscience. But if not, what can we “prop up”?
If we examine 2 Thessalonians 3:10, we see that we are commanded that “If any will not work, neither let him eat.” So God’s Word tells us we can’t feed him (whenever I hear about “God’s Infallible Word”, I always get my guard up, staying on the lookout for nasty shenanigans). And what does The Infallible Word of God tell us to do with the starving? Lamentations 4:9 tells us that those who are killed by the sword are better off, suffer less, than those who starve to death. Would you rather die a slow death, by starvation, or a quick, merciful one? God’s Word, once again, rules Supreme. It is, indeed, better to perish by the sword, than to starve to death. So we must KILL that starving man, not feed him!!!
Enough of that! (Enough of the “purple prose” above?) This is NOT good for my digestion, so let’s just move on, shall we?
Many-many books (and magazines such as “Guideposts” and “Mysterious Ways, More Than Coincidence”, which are reasonably tame and believable) have tabulated the sometimes-strange personal experiences of various people. I’m sorry, I cannot believe them all… Books that mention human levitation, for example… It seems clear to me, that SOME of these tales are made up fibs! But I want to relate my wife’s and my “strange” experiences, just in case they may be interesting or helpful to any readers out there in reader-land. NONE of THESE tales are made up!
Once again, forgive me for my poor organization. But I plan to hit, scatter-shot, the personal “strange” experiences that my wife and I have had, hitting first, those which relate to what we have gone through with Roxanne (and tying them back to previously related ideas). After that, I can go back, and be more sequential (historical), while hitting some ideas that I have not yet discussed.
Many years ago, when we were in our first pass of living in Snooger Town, I was reading some writings of Nick Bunick, in which case he was describing his death (the death of Saint Paul… Nick says he is a reincarnation of Saint Paul). The description was beautiful and moving… Death is nothing to be afraid of, at all… It happens to the best of us, sooner or later!
After reading this passage, in a rare moment of open-mindedness, I idly wondered when this was going to happen to me. “About a year and a half from now” popped into my mind, and clearly from outside of my normal mind. Nor was this the “bad guys” speaking, I am clear on that much. Shocked, I mentioned it to my wife… Once! And then I shut up about it, hoping that she’d forget about it. We didn’t speak of it for a long time… But she did worry about it.
Months later, all of our pets died, one by one (nothing super-strange there, just sad). We were petless for quite a few months. But my wife knew I loved bunnies… So one day (on a strange whim) she picked up a pet bunny for us (Roxanne loved it; she’d lay on the floor and giggle as that bunny crawled all over her).
One morning, I started off to work late, because I had stayed home just a few extra moments, to fuss over the bunny (I can’t recall more details). I drove my motorbike to work. As I got very close to work, I saw an accident, where a car had crashed into a deer, right in front of me! Had I not been delayed (by the bunny), I could have been easily killed in a motorbike-deer accident! This was at the 1.5-year-mark from my “foreseen” death!
So this is one of the reasons why I believe that “the future is always changing” (harking back to previous remarks). If the future IS somehow totally locked in stone, it must be at several levels up, of God’s God’s God’s boss (stealing the ideas of Neal Donald Walsch). Our immediate bosses are in training, just like we are, so they see things only probabilistically (but to be sure, better than we see it!).
Hold on, I am not done with the bunny story just yet. Apparently Love (God) and the angels owed some sort of debt to that bunny… We kept the bunny in an outdoor caged run, with a bunny house, grass (as well as bunny food) to eat, and dirt to dig in… All the things bunnies love. We would, of course, bring her into the house for play time. I made sure that the edges of the run were dig-proof, and kept an eye for jail-escape digging projects! I am familiar with bunnies!
Now excuse me for a moment while I make a wild diversion… From http://www.gluckman.com/harry/clintontestimony.htm , see this:
Clinton's Testimony according to Dr. Seuss
I did not do it in a car
I did not do it in a bar
I did not do it in the dark
I did not do it in the park
I did not do it on a date
I did not ever fornicate
I did not do it at a dance
I did not do it in her pants
I did not get beyond first base
I did not do it in her face
I never did it in a bed
If you think that, you've been misled
I did not do it with a groan
I did not do it on the phone
I did not cause her dress to stain
I never boinked Saddam Hussein
I did not do it with a whip
I never fondled Linda Tripp
I never acted really silly
With volunteers like Kathleen Willey
There was one time, with Margaret Thatcher
I chased her 'round, but could not catch her
No kinky stuff, not on your life
I wouldn't, even with my wife
And Gennifer Flowers' tale of woes
Was paid for by my right-wing foes
And Paula Jones, and those State Troopers
Are just a bunch of party poopers
I did not ask my friends to lie
I did not hang them out to dry
I did not do it last November
But if I did, I don't remember
I did not do it in the hall
I could have, but I don't recall
I never did it in my study
I never did it with my dog, Buddy
I never did it to Sox, the cat
I might have-once-with Arafat
I never did it in a hurry
I never groped Betty Currie
There was no sex at Arlington
There was no sex on Air Force One
I might have copped a little feel
And then endeavored to conceal
But never did these things so lewd
At least, not ever in the nude
These things to which I have confessed
They do not count, if we stayed dressed
It never happened with cigar
I never dated Mrs. Starr
I did not know this little sin
Would be retold on CNN
I broke some rules my Mama taught me
I tried to hide, but now you've caught me
But I implore, I do beseech
Do not condemn, do not impeach
I might have got a little tail
But never, never did inhale
This was around the time of the infamy of President Bill Clinton, when there was a lovely computer animation of Bill Clinton as Cat-in-the-Hat, reciting the above poetry. I have a copy, but it won’t play any more (Op. Syses upgrades), and I can’t find it on You-Tube, or anywhere else… You’ll have to deal with the above text, only.
Anyway, notice the lines that I highlighted…
There was one time, with Margaret Thatcher
I chased her 'round, but could not catch her
There were those times that we chased our bunny around, but we could not catch her! So, yes… Her name became “Margaret Thatcher”!
We only learned this later, but it seems that (especially in the early morning hours) “Margaret Thatcher” would make her daring escape… By crawling on top of her house, and then jumping over the fence! Somehow, she would make her secret return as well… I am not sure how!
One day, halfway through the morning, my wife thinks (“hears the message”), “You know, I should go and check the bunny”. She ignores this strange thought. It comes back to her 1 or 2 more times… “Go check the bunny!”. So she goes to check the bunny… Behind our back fence (the run abutted the fence), she sees a lady who was walking a large dog. The leashed dog has Margaret Thatcher cornered, and the lady is straining at the leash, restraining the excited dog! My wife rescued Margaret Thatcher, needless to say.
So I suspect that Love (God) and the angels owed that bunny for saving my life, and so the “Powers that Be” intervened to save Margaret Thatcher. Yes, the Powers do care about our pets. I have lost pets where I could have done better, had I known certain things. So sometimes, the Powers intervene, and sometimes, they do not. I have no answers about that, though…
OK, it looks like it’s time to go sequentially now… I really cannot recall any “strange” experiences (“strange” here implying the supernatural, for lack of a better term) during my childhood, all the way through high school. A few of them cropped up while I was in college.
Now I will be treading carefully here, balancing between revealing too little (makes for boring, stilted reading), and too much (which might allow bad actors to ID me or my wife, or, worst of all, “Roxanne”). I don’t much care a whole bunch any more about me personally any more… I am retired! Being a geezer allows us certain freedoms, you know… But Roxanne? Now, that’s different!
Anyway, I attended, in my young, wild, and crazy days, a military academy, for college. It might have been one of the USA’s federally run and funded academies, or VMI, or The Citadel… I am not saying. But I also liked my illegal drugs (primarily “pot”, and dabbling only very rarely in much of anything else, of significance). But the military didn’t take too kindly to that sort of thing… Does not, to this day. So things got a wee tad dicey for me, now and then.
I had been “stoned” a zillion times before, and then again, later, another zillion times. It’s not (usually) at all that dangerous, really! I am not now, nor have I ever been, a “drug warrior”… The whole thing, in my mind, is largely a vastly counter-productive witch-hunt. The drug war (using police and jails and all) is like attacking your houseflies with hand grenades!
But one evening, as a young cadet, I made my way out into nearby woods, to “get stoned”, all by my lonesome. I saw this dense, deep clump of bushes, and I resolved to crawl in there so deep that no one could EVEN vaguely possibly see my flickering lighter, and HIDE, and get REALLY “stoned out of my mind”!
As I started towards that (or resolved to start), I noticed a mysterious, diffuse white misty light in the valley right next to me. It spooked me! I never even considered walking on over there to investigate… I just went back to barracks / the dorms. Never did get stoned (certainly not very stoned) that night, as I recall…
Would anyone else, standing there and then, have seen the misty white light? Or was it all in my mind? I have no answers to those kinds of questions. But I do suspect, Love (God) and the angels were protecting me that night, from letting something into my head, that doesn’t belong there. Some of us let it in there with the help of beer, some with cigarettes, some with distorted religions, some with placebo power, and some, with the help of nothing at all.
So one of the last things that I’d want to do, with the above passages, is to give more fuel to the drug warriors! But yes, years later, I had to conclude, I was being protected that night. That one night, of all the times that I got “good and stoned”, was NOT a good time and place to get stoned! This kind of thing is all very contextual… With the “context” (usually) having next to NOTHING to do with, is a given mind-altering substance “politically correct”, or not.
I came close to getting “busted” once or twice (or maybe more), depending on how close is close. I did manage to graduate (and THEN I got busted; or I busted myself; we’ll get there in a wee tad). But the next incident to be described, has nothing at all to do with “politically incorrect” substances.
I was an agnostic at the time, and a senior cadet. I had my own car by then (more-wealthy junior cadets got cars, but us poorer folks had to wait till we were seniors, when we could get car loans underwritten by our incomes as future officers / cannon fodder). I was driving to downtown from the Academy to an against-the-regulations downtown apartment, that I split with a few other cadets. See, I told you I was a wild young man!
I was barreling down the highway in the outer lane at about 75 MPH, and some slow car was dawdling along at 55 in the inner lane. I cannot recall (consciously) seeing ANYTHING peculiar about the car, or how it was being handled. I have passed such cars bazillions of times before and since.
As I am about to pass, a thought pops into my head: “What would happen if that car suddenly swerved over into my lane?” The thought did NOT need to be repeated… I obeyed immediately, and braked sharply! Then that other car… The only other one around… Suddenly did swerve right in front of me! Ran off the road, into the weeds, and then slowly returned to the road, and all was well. I never got a good look at the driver.
I was at least slightly rattled by this… Enough to mention it to my close-buddy fellow cadets. But I blew it right off… I rationalized it as “My subconscious mind must have noticed some subtle warning sign.” … Today, I am convinced that Love (God) and the angels saved me, there. But they were gentle enough to leave my agnosticism totally undisturbed, while bailing me out! This seems to me to indicate that belief v/s unbelief, in this sense, doesn’t matter all that much (if at all) to “the Powers that Be”.
I thought that my experience (being saved from a traffic accident, and going right on being an atheist or an agnostic) was highly unique. Latter on, I read of a young atheist lady (who wrote in to Nick Bunick) who nearly got run over by a traffic-light-running dump truck! She had to be warned THREE times, to step on those brakes! But just like me, she was undisturbed in her unbelief, only later realizing what had really happened!
So I have many unanswered questions about these kinds of things: Why do these things not happen more often? They could prevent MUCH larger disasters, you know! Does Love (God) only have limited communications bandwidths, with which to pull these things off? Are some of us better gifted at LISTENING when they DO happen? Was that other driver (who probably would have killed me, in my flimsy car, model unspecified) even perhaps in the grips of the Evil One, and this was an Evil-One swipe at me? That last one hints at ego on my part, so I try to dismiss it; I want to strive not to be an egotist. I ***AM*** still one, though, which is demonstrated by the following: Only now, as I bang at the keyboard, does yet another question / possibility occur to me: Was this intervention actually staged mostly for the benefit of the OTHER driver? Was I merely “inverse collateral damage”? … No answers here!
One last note about the above, and then we’ll move on. This note is technical rather than spiritual. Look up the term “hypnic jerk” (a term I recently discovered). See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypnic_jerk ... Essentially, a “falling asleep spasm”. I have rarely experienced these myself (but not at the wheel!). That other driver may have had a “hypnic jerk” at the wheel, while nodding off. There’s even an evolutionary theory as an explanation… When we (our ancestors) were smaller, sleeping in the trees (for protection from predators), things were a bit dicey. Can you imagine?!?! Poor creatures! You are going to sleep, your muscles relax… And you suddenly find yourself starting to fall out of the tree! Better wake up QUICK, and GRAB that nearest branch, wherever it might be! Evolution hasn’t had time to catch onto falling asleep at the wheel, instead of sleeping in trees, just yet…
In the continuing saga of my misspent youth, I once took LSD at the end of my senior year in high school. It was no big deal, that time, but I was well aware of the dangers at the time I took that first “hit”… Was on guard. Had a good time… The strongest hallucinations (if you could call them that) was seeing geometric patterns of lights… Like a crystal lattice… As I went to sleep that night. I almost had to “will” these mild hallucinations to come, they were that mild. Who knows, part of the variables here are the dosages of street-bought drugs. There WAS some LSD there, for sure! My eyes were highly dilated; I checked that out.
I never took LSD again, till my senior year in college (at this military Academy, or, more accurately, in our against-the-regs downtown apartment). “Oh, I know all about this, I’ve done it before”, I thought, like a fool! I was NOT on guard! It was QUITE the “bad trip”! Harsh!
Some details may be out of order, but there was a definite sequence to things. First off the bat, though, I must HIGHLY recommend that people should NOT do this, unless under medical supervision! Like, with a shot of (counteractive) Thorazine on hand… Well OK there’s https://www.shroomery.org/forums/showflat.php/Number/4895003 which says use benzodiazepine instead, but I am getting off track here. There’s always the possibility of a “bad trip”, and they are NOT fun, I can assure you! I’m sure I came THAT close to dying.
Also, I must add, I’ll clearly never do it again, but one of the reasons why is, “loss of control”… I was WAY out of control! It is NOT a pleasant experience, to be out of control! It isn’t nice to the people around you, either. Upon recovery, I apologized to those who saw me through this… Close cadet friends, girlfriends thereof, etc. To their credit, they said, “Hey, we’re just glad that you’re OK now.”
OK, so let’s get ON with it! My mood and settings weren’t the best, as such things go (for going on “trips”). At the time, I was (despite being young and healthy, with a bright future in front of me) “jaded”, perhaps even slightly depressed. Also, my cadet friends were having better luck with the ladies than I was. So in general, I was full of too much negativity, frankly.
We went driving around and partying a wee tad, and my best friend’s girlfriend (who had the “connections”) picked up some acid for us. We “dropped” it, and nothing (or very little) happened. Time went on, and we went elsewhere, and picked up some more. We retired to our apartment and “dropped” it (I had a “bad trip” and no one else did, other than bad-tripping on watching me lose it!). So good v/s bad trip cannot be blamed on the quality, dose, or purity of the “acid”… This is well known. It’s a mood-and-settings thing.
There was some “deep and dark” so-called “sit-com” or some other not-all-cool-sweetness-and-light TV drama blabbering in the background, I can recall NO details about that, at ALL! But I know it didn’t help. Next thing I know, I perceive something real-but-not-real, like jagged shards of nothingness ripping and tearing through midair, barely inside the apartment door. The jagged shards of nothingness were clearly hostile! Writing about it all these years later, I am clearly reminded of M. Scott Peck’s description of the Evil One as (paraphrased, I am not off-hand sure how exactly or inexactly) a “very real spirit of unreality”. In the days-months-and-years following that night, though, it became (fairly rapidly actually) clear to me, I had borne the full, raw, naked, all-out assault of the Evil One that night! God and the angels were there, too, clearly… I am not going to try and be all “religiously correct” (ultra-pious) here, though, and I am going to speak the truth as best as I can see or recall it: I, me, Melvin, ***I*** am the one who bore all that pain and suffering! God and the angels did not! I suspect I was divinely protected, yes, but if so, it was subtle, probably deft, and certainly dicey. Dicey, depending on me & my free will. I had apparently earned some suffering, so I got it, full, fair, and square! There are those who say that there’s something divine about certain kinds of suffering… Suffering might be the only way to learn certain things. I have nothing to add here, about that… I just don’t know. I do suspect that it is true, though… If EVERYTHING (spiritual-learning-wise) is given to us “for free”, it becomes as meaningless as those “trophies” that are given “to all who have run in the race”.
So, despite me being an agnostic at that time, the “trip” clearly had its religious elements. When I “saw” these “jagged shards of nothingness” appear, I knew they weren’t real or visible, but they were unreally-real enough to me! So I tried to warn my cadet friends and the two girlfriends who were present at the time, about this hazard. I think it came out as some sort of religious babble. One of the young ladies was the one who’d helped us “score”, but the other one was a “square”, as non-druggies were called even far before my salad days. My cadet friend (now still married to the “square”) could see what was starting to happen (knew I’d dropped acid), and didn’t want to totally freak her out, so they scooted on out of there. The trip, and the battle, was on!
Physically, I moved to one of the two bedrooms in our shared apartment (I normally slept there in a sleeping bed on some plastic milk crates, yes indeed!). Mentally and / or spiritually, I rapidly moved into an inner world, losing track of those around me (being only sporadically aware of them or interacting with them).
One of the first things that happened, here, is that I (being the agnostic full of questions) asked if there was anything out there that loved me (as I had been told by some people at least, about God). As has often been my experience both in regular night-time dreams, and in my various readings, The Divine responded (as It so often does), not with an answer, but a question of It’s own. “Do you want to die?” The question was asked with obvious disgust and distain, it seemed to me. Implied was, “You don’t get the answer to your question, till after you die.” Also asked was, “What have YOU ever done to Love anyone?” (Asked of me).
So there you have the harshness of God (Love)… When harshness is what we need, harshness is what we get! In the name of Love, to be sure! I have heard and read of others asked the same harsh question… Including hearing of this same harsh question asked of a lady that my wife and I both know, who had a near-death experience (NDE). (“What have YOU ever done to Love anyone?”). She shared the story with my wife. Pre-NDE, this lady says she was a bit harsh and unforgiving herself. Post-NDE, she mellowed.
Anyway, to the question (taken literally by me) of, “Do you want to die?”, I imagined my mostly-estranged fundamentalist family (oldest brother especially) sorrowed and bewildered by my passing away, so young, in strange circumstances, and my cadet buddies have to explain things away. My response? “I may very well have been a total flop at loving anyone else, but, those around me do not deserve my death, even if I might. So the answer is “NO”, I do NOT want to die!” So then the trip moved off and (in many ways) got worse.
Again, excuse my scattershot approach here, but at this point, I have to interject. Many years later, as we were slowly moving many of our non-critical household goods from Booger Town back to Snooger Town (my employer ponied up for the move, but for limited amounts of cash and of the weight of the total baggage to be moved), I was driving a moving truck back to Booger Town. I can still recall clearly… I was a mile or two away from home.
I’m listening to talk radio (I usually scan around for music). I am listening to NPR, as I recall. A man is recalling a story of a young man taking an LSD trip on the highway (while someone else is driving, thank God!). As I recall, this was a third-party narrator, not the one who had the LSD experience, telling this story.
The “tripper” is asked, “Do you want to die”? And I am yelling at the radio (silently as I recall, actually), “No! NO! You must respond that you do NOT want to die!”
But the story continues… The “tripper” explains that he felt absolutely COMMANDED to respond “yes”… There really was no other choice! His “trip” proceeded to show him the experience of being a large and powerful spirit, free to roam and fly at will… Astounded, he was, that his spirit was such a huge and powerful thing, yet able to be contained in such a tiny little thing as the human brain… And I have encountered this idea elsewhere, in my readings.
Anyway, even at the mature age of my mid-forties, I was STILL learning a basic lesson of human life… “Different strokes for different folks”. We are all at different points in our paths, and may have veered into the weeds in opposite sides of the path. The answer I need may be the exact opposite of the answer that you need. Call me names as an “ethical relativist” if you want to, but what other sensible answer remains left, for SOOOO many issues?
Same setting (LSD trip), same question (“Do you want to die”?), two different, opposite, but correct, answers! But in all fairness, I believe that I was asked the question literally… I sure took it that way… While my name-unknown friend was asked the question figuratively. Now if we could all, also please likewise get our literal-v/s-figurative excrement together (“feces consolidated”, if you follow my drift), with regards to scriptures, I for one would be pleased! I strongly suspect that Love (God) would also be pleased.
Back to MY story, more directly. The main thrust of the assault that I bore was along the lines of “You have GOT to figure out the “magic solution” to the following question(s)”… (Said questions(s) never really firmly defined as best as I can recall; Just mystical mumbo-jumbo)… “And then, even if you solve that one, it just leads on to the NEXT one here, and if you cannot figure them ALL out, you are DOOMED-DOOMED-DOOMED!!!” With HEAVY emphasis on the “Doom” part!
I never REALLY bought the premise, there, I don’t think… Had I really bought the premise, I’d probably not be here to share this story with you today, I strongly suspect. If you’ve read all of most of what I have written on these pages, the following will probably not shock or surprise you: The idea that I alone (out of the 7 or 8 billion of us humans) is somehow responsible to “figure it all out” and / or “fix it all” stinks of overweening ego. It is at the core of (at least some of) the worst forms of mental illness. Other forms of this vague thing called “mental illness” (depression, various mental-abilities shortcomings) have little or nothing to do with spiritual or ethical shortcomings. The ginormous-ego things goes straight to the core, though. Yes, I know, it can be very confusing! By dropping LSD, though, I had opened myself up to a full-scale attack by this thing (an LSD-fueled, acute episode of mental illness, in many ways). I am lucky to be alive and very functional to this day!
Visually, the “story” was presented to me as an often-beautiful, sometimes-terrifying lattice structure of glowing red or white filaments. Sometimes a sphere, and sometimes a spiraling, twisting vortex (reminiscent of the DNA helix). This is common to LSD trips, I am told. But no, I never “saw the walls breathing” (another common one I think).
At times, I felt what it is like to have the Evil One take oneself over (I felt it in me). The ancient old idea of the “unquenchable thirst” is TOTALLY accurate, from what I saw! MORE-MORE-MORE, I can never have enough, I need more-more-more power-status-glory, and NO ONE else matters, as I gather yet MORE of what can never satisfy me! Hitler and dictators in general clearly came to my mind as this happened. Even as a then-agnostic, feelings and thoughts about the truths of Biblical warnings against evil (from my fundamentalist upbringing), flooded my mind at the time. Prophesy was coming true, and I was DOOMED! This was some of the very worst suffering I bore, in this “trip” (and probably during my whole life, for that matter).
At some level, I suppose my attitude then became resignation… “OK, so then I am doomed. So what?” That’s when I think I was briefly “cast into Hell”. I have already described that… Search here for that search-string there (“cast into Hell”) and come right back to me now…
The visions were not ALL doomy and gloomy, though… At one point, I observed a larger (“home-base”) spirit dropping an offshoot-spirit (who was howling and crying in protest) off somewhere, for a while… And the larger spirit, fervently hoping or asking… Asking of the void, essentially… Asking, without any expectation at all, of any kind of response, actually… “Would this off-shoot spirit please learn to LOVE?” Implied or as part of the asking, would the other presences (spirits) at the drop-off spot, please somehow “be nice to” and / or help the off-shoot spirit, in this quest… While at the same time, this help was and was not vitally essential!
Since then, I have come to interpret this as having been a snapshot of my birth into the Earthly realm… Note that having a good upbringing is and is not essential, somehow… Some humans can turn out to fight for what is right, and “do good”, despite being abused as youngsters! And vice versa…
But this part of the “trip” brings tears of joy or reassurance to me, even all these years later, as I write about it… Because, completely unexpected, the “bigger spirit” (dropping off the offshoot), got an answer from the void… HOW can a void say ANYTHING?... The answer was, “Yes, this off-shoot being will learn to Love”!
The vision had me flipping back and forth between good and evil, as represented by dragon-like 4-legged beast-like things (made of the lattice-like glowing filaments), fighting one another with similarly-constructed glowing swords or lasers emanating from their mouths, sword-fighting one another. When inhabiting the “bad beast”, I would be sickened and feel doomed, wanting no part of the whole fight (or the interests of this side). When in the “good beast”, I would become angrier and angrier, desiring the whole-scale defeat (death?) of the enemy!
During the crux of this battle, physically I was on hands and knees, doing the “valsalva” thing… Breathing, apparently, in only short gulps, and mostly heaving down heavily with lung-power on closed throat passages… I burst many-many small capillaries in my sub-skin neck-throat area, apparently, because that area of my body was “puffy” (fading away to normal) for a few days afterwards. I am probably lucky that I didn’t burst any blood vessels in my brain. That’s where my physical energies went. I wonder (but have no answers to) where did my mental-spiritual energies go? They went SOMEWHERE, I’m pretty sure!
At the apparent climax to this whole fight, I felt myself in the “good beast”, sweeping the laser-sword-beam-thingee emanating from my mouth, into ever-tightening circles around the source of the opposing beam. I recall briefly thinking about Earthly military powers and weapons, and thinking them all to be nothing but child’s play… THIS thing that I was wielding, THIS was the REAL thing! (Yes, I was an ego-filled young militaristic hot-head, at times). Then I felt the enemy-beast (“bad beast”) faltering… As if it was ready and willing for me to close that last sweep of the tightening beam, and finish it OFF! Relief from it’s own misery and self-loathing, for the Evil One, at LAST! (This interpretation is clearly informed by what I have later learned, but was already clarifying for me, very shortly after the “trip”).
But before moving in for the kill, it finally occurred to me to wonder, “What happens if I do this?” Well OK, I am in magic-powers land here, I can just pose the question, and get an answer. So I posed the question… Posed the question of the void (to no one in particular), essentially. What DOES happen if I close the beam?
I got an answer (best as I can tell, from Love (God) Himself / Herself), and it astounded me! “We don’t know”. God knows everything, is conventional theology! But in retrospect, this answer makes all the sense in ALL of the worlds, to me, now! To truly KNOW evil, we have to BE evil, so… Not only does God not know certain things, He / She does not even WANT to know!
I read between the lines well enough, and quickly enough, to realize that “killing the enemy” here, with unknown results, was NOT a good idea! So I put the brakes on that effort, and quickly! But I was NOT going back into the “bad beastie” to continue this fight (in the name of “balance”?); I had had enough! And I still was full of opposition to evil… Evil does, after all, cause untold suffering; WHO could deny THAT? How could any caring being NOT be full of opposition to evil? Can I, should I, simply be bowing OUT of this fight? I was NOT capable of “not caring”, and I don’t think we as “good guys” should do that, in general!
What happens out of this dilemma? What happens when an irresistible force hits an immovable object? In LSD-land, this is what happened: Perceiving great danger in a battle grown out of control, I found myself spiraling out away from the two fighting beasties, as a third at-first-tiny, but rapidly-growing similar, third beasty. I quickly became bigger and more powerful than the both of them.
OMG, here comes another great rush of power, what am I supposed to do with it? I am, after all, “not capable of not caring”, and I have seen and felt what an awfully bad, nasty, hurtful, and, um, EVIL (yeah, THAT is the word!) beast, the bad beastie is! Am I now supposed to go and kill the bad beasty? Who knows?!?! I simply resolved to stop the dangerous fighting of the two beasts, control (stabilize) the situation for a wee tad, and then, when I had a spare bit of time and energy, pose another question to the void… “What am I supposed to do now? Kill the bad beastie? I’m tired of the fighting, and am getting tired in general here, but I will do what You want… You might need to replenish my energies a tad, though, if you want this to go on…”
Somehow, I poured my anger into halting the fight of the beasties… “Stop your fighting”, as we’d say to our fighting children-siblings, with no over-whelming favor thrown one way or the other (just as a temporary, stop-gap measure). And rapidly found myself fading away from their fight, in space (in distance). Having caught my breath a tad, I posed my question (as above).
The answer came back from an angel (an underling of sorts, was my impression). It was filled with more than a bit of shock, disgust, and abhorrence, directed at my question about “killing” being possibly desired. “We don’t believe in violence and killing, here.” Plain and simple.
But I was (and am still) a human, who has to live in (and deal with) a sometimes-violent world. I was also still (but am no longer) a member of a military organization, and a militaristic hot-head. OF COURSE we have to have the occasional violence, I still thought, and thought of my answerer here, as being a bit of a politically-correct (Divinely correct?) suck-butt. OK, then, I am bypassing you, and going straight to the Big Boss, with my question(s) here, I thought…
But along the way, the nature of my (wordless) question(s) changed (to bypass the details and get to the essential core): I asked the Big Boss, essentially this: “Can we please have PEACE, and an end to this senseless fighting?” AKA, Nirvana, Universal Love, Harmony… And as a subtext, while asking the question, I was thoroughly aware that I or we or anyone asking for this, cannot be allowed to have such things, while also being the skunk at the picnic… We can’t have this thing, and be polluting it at the same time!
The answer came back as “No, you can’t have that”, and I cannot recall any details. I think I detected a whiff of sadness, and even perhaps a whiff of, “At least you are asking the right question(s).”
I then found myself crossing from the void outside of a crystal-lattice sphere (which I had seen before, but I cannot recall many details; I think it perhaps had to do with the big spirit dropping off the off-shoot spirit), to the inside of the sphere. It was a beautiful moment, and a beautiful sphere. The strangest thing was, whereas this lattice-sphere had previously had a certain 2-fold balance to its structure, it has now changed to have a 3-fold balance!
Now I have to babble pretty badly, but I suspect (from here, other experiences, and various readings) that to the simple-minded, there’s a battle between good and evil, and we are supposed to fight on the side of the good, and that’s the end of the story. Well yes, of COURSE we are to fight on the side of the good! But we are to recall, evil is a needed part of the world (certainly at least for now), and we can NOT and should NOT, try to kill it, or wall it off by itself! So maybe there’s good, and there’s evil, and there’s me… A three-fold world, if we are wise. Favor the good, but only within limits. That’s as best as I can babble about it. I was returning to the crystal-lattice-sphere called “Melvin’s more-normal, LSD-fading-away head”, which was now wiser, having a three-fold complexity, not just a two-fold aspect!
Then (back inside the 3-fold sphere) I found myself as an ever-tinier being, snipping and snarling away (fighting at) the swirling vortices of the bad beastie!!! Fading ever away to a smaller size, and lesser significance! My ego was being brought back to its fairly insignificant spot in the real world! I woke up (recovered normal mental functions) to the horrors I had subjected my friends to, having utterly lost control of myself!
So as you can see, this whole deal is NOT to be recommended… You want to learn all about it? I recommend that you content yourself, with what I (and others) have written about it.
PS, the only other speculation I have to add is… Had I chosen to “close the beam” and “kill the bad beasty”, I am near certain that I would have died, literally… And very possibly, in whole or in part, to have taken the place of the bad beasty! It would fit right in, with the things that I think that I have learned…
Only a few lessons of my “bad trip” were immediately obvious, even during the “trip” (as the lessons were imparted). Among them is “yes, fighting evil is good and right and proper… There is no other sensible choice. But actually-finally KILLING (eliminating, or even “walling off”) evil, is a false choice, a bad idea, a deception straight from the Evil One”. I have belabored this very same idea throughout this entire web page… To restate it yet again, what would it mean to obtain any kind of “final victory” over evil? For any of us as an individual human being, in the real world? We’d have to take away the freedom (the free will) of others, who MUST otherwise be allowed to do real and genuine evil if they want to! Only after every single last one of us choses good, of our own free will, can there be ANY kind of “final victory”! Capisce? OK, then, no more of that! (For now!).
In mere days after my “bad trip”, my disbelief in (a supernatural or transcending sense of) Love (God) and the enemy, the Evil One, could stand no more. It (disbelief) just… Went away! But, for the ten-thousandth time… “Belief” matters not! Unless “belief” is simply in terms of, do we believe in LOVE, or not? And (even far more so) do we act accordingly? The rest of my interpretations of this “trip” have taken me years or decades to decipher (to put interpretations to, which may or may not variously be accurate or inaccurate).
The story is not over… There’s the tale of my flashback, still! And yet more related stuff beyond that! But first, let’s backtrack a wee tad…
Let’s back-track to “good, and evil, and me”… The simpletons would say there’s just good, and evil, and WHATEVER we can do, to fight evil, and we should just go ahead and DO it! “Just do it” Nike style? Or “nuke ‘em till the glow” style, or both? Or “Hey, wait a minute, maybe we should find the proper limits to our anger, first”, style?
If a wise (or even vaguely-possibly-wise) person was to accuse me of NOT being able to properly leave stuff vague and nebulous, I would hope that I should-would listen very carefully! Recall the Edmund Burke quote, “It is the nature of all greatness not to be exact.” So then I’m clearly not TOO terribly much into greatness… I’d much rather put a bit more flesh on these bare bones that I have trotted out!
So then “good, evil, and me”, in more details… With proper wisdom on these matters, when confronted with some charlatan who wants to sell me a “War to End all Wars”… Who wants to “persuade” me to fight, at the point of his drafting-laws, guns and jails, etc., who wants to turn me, frankly, into HIS war-fighting slave, whether I want to fight, or not… Then, I should ask the following kinds of questions: “How to you really propose to end all wars, forever? Do you want to take away the freedoms of future generations? Why should WE decide for them? Should THEY not have their own freedoms, to decide for themselves, what is worth fighting for, and NOT worth fighting for? How can you even GLIMPSE the issues that they will face?” The wise person will conclude that human (and other) life must go on, and on and on after that, and that each generation must decide for themselves… There must NOT be a “War to end all Wars”! It’s too dangerous!
I think that by now, many-many people realize that the injustices resulting from the end of WW I led right-straight, inexorably to WW II… They were just Phase I and Phase II of the same war! I am tempted to say more, about the further then-resulting injustices of the post-WW-II era, but will zip my lips a bit…
Nukes?!?! Wow, don’t get me started! We MUST find the limit to our anger, we MUST realize that “good, evil, and me” three-aspects wisdom precludes the use of certain supposedly anti-evil measures! When presented with an itchy toe, we scratch it; we do NOT blow it off with a shotgun! So, too, do we not “solve” problems with nukes, unless we are perhaps talking of blowing up an incoming, Earth-threatening asteroid! But I have no “magic solution” (other than, or beyond, praying our butts off, for peace) to our currently-still-lingering nuclear dilemma, so I will just shut up for now, on that one…
So WW II inexorably followed WW I… Perhaps it was similarly inexorable that my flashback followed (had to follow) my LSD trip!
Fast forward though the remains of my senior year at this military Academy (a mostly happy time for me, mostly care-free, compared to a lot of following more-adult years). Fast-forward to just a few weeks past graduation. Now here I want to tread carefully, trying NOT to narrow it down to readers, WHICH Academy this was! Recall, I want to protect Roxanne’s identity, if not necessarily my own. Suffice it to say that some, many, or most graduates accepted some commission with some branch of service (which I and all of my close friends did). Several of us were “hanging around” our apartment, post-graduation, for at least a wee tad. Party time!
I was wearing (teeth) braces to correct a malocclusion (AKA, an underbite or overbite; teeth mis-alignment). A few weeks after graduation, the near-final stage of correcting this was jaw surgery. Breaking and re-setting the jaws, that is, and wiring them shut while the bones knit back together. Cuts were made to re-set segments of teeth and bone, both in my lower jaw, AND with segments of upper teeth-and-bone as well! Surgery went well.
Not more than a few days later, I am bored, as I’m recovering. I am still a young, wild, and crazy person, so, in addition to small amounts of painkiller for my jaws, I’m smoking a wee tad of “weed”. Normally, of course, this isn’t any kind of big deal… No need for huge drug wars, here, in my humble opinion…
But also at the same time, a HUGE amount of swelling has set into my face! And over time, simple gravity is pulling this swelling into the exact same place (front of my neck) where I had burst a BUNCH of tiny capillaries, leading to puffiness or swelling, during and after my LSD trip. So I’m no expert, but I’d place a LARGE percentage of the blame for my resulting LSD flashback on the re-occurrence of this swelling, in the exact same location… Some sort of weird mind-body thing, is my best guess. PS, this was the only flashback (other than a few fleeting seconds here or there) that I ever had, in all the many years since.
Well anyway, the flashback came, and it was no fun, either! “So this is what insanity is like”, it occurred to me. I knew I was out of my mind, but couldn’t just “snap my fingers”, and start thinking straight. It was no fun, and the details are mostly not worth going over here (they provide little if any worthwhile lessons that I can see). I didn’t get any real sleep for three nights. I recall starting to drift off to real sleep, and I’d have nightmares about a monster inside of me, that wanted out, but couldn’t get out, through my wired-together jaws.
I was reluctant to see a military “shrink”, for fear of them kicking me out of the military. My friends took me to see a civilian clinic, where the clinician recommended (temporary for starters) institutionalization. I was in no position to pay for such things, so we went to the military.
I babbled and spilled my guts (without implicating any friends… No one got busted but me, thank God!). I later took most of it back. They had nothing but my own testimony against myself, then… They allowed me to resign; general but honorable discharge. If I had not resigned, they would have court-martialed me. I can never get a security clearance now, any more, but other than that, I am Joe Blow, ordinary civilian. It took them 7 or 8 months to discharge me!
At the beginning of these 7 to 8 months of “sweating it out” (A stressful time but otherwise OK, as I served my time in the military with some simple engineering tasks), I did spend 1 week in the “loony bin”. One night of sleep medications, and I was back to normal, actually. The “monster in my mouth” who couldn’t escape past the jaws-wired-shut? Was this monster slain by sleep medications, my confessions to the military “shrink”, or both? Who knows? Certainly not me!
In any case, the first thing the military shrink does, is “rat me out” to the authorities… And I am on my way out of the military! The only other thing from this time (from my very short career as a junior military officer) that I think is worth relaying is, I am at the on-base PX (Post Exchange, Commissary, on-base store, whatever you want to call it) in the papers-and-magazines section, casually reading who-knows-what. The shrink (who turned me in) saunters up, asks me how I am doing lately.
Calm-cool-collected, as just about the sanest person (from a casual glance) as you’d ever expect to meet, I reply to him that I’m just fine, thank you, and that I already have a civilian, local engineering job all lined up, for just as soon as I get my “walking papers” from the military. He stared deeply at me for a few fleeting seconds, and I just openly and blandly gazed right back. To this day, this counts as one of only two incidents (discounting very-very close friends and relatives) where I clearly believed that I read another person’s mind… This shrink was wondering if he’d been hoodwinked, manipulated into smoothing my way for me, for me to escape my service obligations! Had I wanted a free “out”, what I had just pulled off, would have been one of the easiest and quickest ways out! No, I did NOT deliberately hoodwink him… But I’m sure he was left to wonder, for (hopefully) many years!
No, I had actually thought I’d proceed on to a glorious military career (so much for that!). I took the collapse of my glorious military career kinda hard, for quite a few years, actually. For a few years there, I debated if it would be “cool” if I were to fly an American flag from my apartment or house, now and then (especially on the “patriotic” days), or if doing so, would make me some sort of impostor, having been the utter military failure that I’d been. I’m over that now… Call me names if you want to, but for many years now, I have felt that flag-waving nationalism has been, and is, one of many false or easily-abused ideologies… The only TRUE ideology, that can NOT be distorted or abused, is sincere LOVE!
Well anyway, I could see how at least some taxpayers and patriots could take exception to what I did… I ate up taxpayer money (ROTC and / or Academy funding; I am not going to get too specific here) to get me an education, AND to fix up my teeth, and then I bailed out, without paying back my obligations to the Services, right? Well, yes, right, except it wasn’t a deliberate decision of mine (after having dropped the “acid”), that it should turn out this way. I would have still done a perfectly fine job for them, as a military engineer, as far as I know… I was still willing to “pay back”. This was their decision, not mine.
In reality, the whole thing had a HUGE comic aspect to it… It boils down to this: “We know you smoke(d) pot. Because you smoke(d) pot, then, you are open to being compromised by the enemy! The enemy might threaten you with telling us that you smoke(d) pot, see, and then you’d spill your guts to them! So you can’t have a security clearance, then, and an officer without a security clearance is of no use to us”. See the idiotic core of that? The enemy will threaten me with… Telling them what they already know!!!
Well anyway, to the patriotic-type taxpayer, I am still scum, because I did those drugs to start with, I can see (imagine) that much at least… I wonder how many of them would change their minds if they understood cosmic-karmic justice? I sincerely believe that yes, I did “rip off” the American military (and taxpayer), but it was in the name of making amends for what had happened to me in my immediately-previous lifetime!
Yes, now I’m going to trot out some stuff that some people would REALLY roll their eyeballs over… You can now read some stuff to convince yourself that I really AM “whacked out” (if you’ve somehow not already concluded that), but please read on. This whole thing DOES hang together!
I used to (for many years) puzzle over WHY the “Powers that Be” would reveal to me, what had (by all appearances, to me, at least) happened to my most recent incarnation. Let’s just start calling him PMPM for short, for Pre-Melvin Pre-Marten… As I now finally write all this down, it clarifies in my mind: I suspect that the “Powers that Be” arranged for me to know these things (probably among other reasons), so that I could be freed from most or all of my needless guilt for “having ripped off” the military and the taxpayer.
On, to the story of PMPM… Now here is yet another place where I tread carefully. I want the main focus of these writings to be what I and the rest of the Marten family here, have learned in our lifetimes. I do NOT want people to search the internet, in the “real name” of PMPM, and get snarled up in our story here… Many of the fans of the story of PMPM may be super-patriots, for that matter, and would take exception to parts of my story. I’m not a fan of internet flame wars and “going viral”, and so forth, in most cases, unless people actually-really LEARN something of true value, which is an all-too-rare occurrence! In any case, I will now recommend a search string for those who are interested in the details of PMPM, but I will not name him by his (directly searchable) real name, here.
Use the following search string: … “Fort Ord” "Death Valley" … Put the both of these phrases in the same search-string, in quotes as shown. This will lead you straight to the mysterious case of PMPM, here.
I was 1.5 or 2 years into my new career as a civilian engineer, and I was taking a potty break at work, reading the local newspaper, sitting there in the quasi-privacy of my stall. Just the very night before, I had read some provocative summaries of cases of “reincarnation”, and the general principles that are supposedly in play, in this “unscientific” phenomenon.
Sitting there, my jaw just about dropped out! The local rag had a re-play of events some almost-30-years earlier, and then and there, it was near-obvious to me, that “PMPM” was “Melvin Marten, Version Me Minus One”!
Here’s an ultra-short summary: PMPM met his demise under mysterious circumstances, but, in his service to the US Armed Forces, it is clear that he was irradiated in the early days of the “nuclear cold war” (in conjunction with nuclear-bomb testing, he… Quoting now from an internet source… “He also lost all of his teeth, suffered from constant colds, suddenly lost weight, and developed black moles and warts all over his body.”) Nukes aren’t good for us!
We know for sure that the US’s armed forces, in the early days of the “nuke cold war”, conducted experiments on the effects of nuclear blasts on ships and buildings. The same may have been done on human beings, deliberately… I sure don’t know (this is “beyond the scope” here, of my writings). In any case, the physical and mental health of “PMPM” (history fairly clearly tells us), took a dive for the worse, and “PMPM” disappeared off-base. His car was found some 400 miles away, later on, abandoned, in Death Valley. The US Armed Forces’ responses were noticeably peculiar. Details? Hazy… You can research them for yourself, with the leads that I have given you.
As always seems to be the case in such instances, this is in no way “scientific”… But in rough order, proceeding from simple and clear-cut, to hazy, complex, and “spiritual”, here are the reasons why I sincerely believe that “PMPM” was “Melvin Marten, Version Me Minus One”:
He died (disappeared at the very least, for sure) a matter of mere weeks before I (“Melvin Marten”) was born.
PMPM’s teeth were destroyed (very directly) by the choices made by the US Armed Forces. “Melvin Martin” was born with defective teeth, which had to “be made right” by the US Armed Forces, without me having to “pay back”. “Cosmic karma” in action, see?
PMPM wandered off into the desert (wilderness in general) to “get his head on straight” (to think things over, in a time of troubles). I am the same way… Admittedly, so are many-many of us…
I am near-certain that PMPM died of exposure (cold) in the desert night. Why? Because a friend of mine (fellow recent Academy graduate at the time, bless his soul!) did his best to “talk sense to me, mellow me out” in June, in the full strength of summer, offering to take me for a suburban nature walk, during my small handful of “flashback” days. My reaction? To grab a sheep-wool-lined full-winter leather jacket, because I ***KNEW*** that in times of great stress, when “going out into the wilds” to “get one’s feces consolidated”, shall we say, bitter night cold was sure to follow soon! (Cold nights often follow hot days in deserts, for those of you who didn’t know that).
As previously briefly mentioned, one of life’s lessons is that “no institution loves us” (AKA, “Institutions can not love you”; use the latter as a search-string here). PMPM must have struggled with this lesson, abused as he was by a national-defense establishment (to include the CIA) that he was obviously quite devoted to. I, too, have struggled (several times) with the exact same thing. Give your heart and soul to an organization, and they, in turn, regard you as “just another productivity unit, just another unit in the inventory”. It’s a harsh lesson to deal with, yes, indeed!
At the highest level, PMPM was learning to tame his ego… He was (according to some sources) known to say, to his closest friends at the time of his disappearance, that he was “Going to make a name for himself”, having apparently listened to the seductive words of his CIA recruiters… Who were by all appearances recruiting him for a secret CIA flying mission in south east Asia, having little or no knowledge that he (PMPM) was a “dead man walking”, from his recent deadly (time-delayed) wounds from the “nuke war”. While PMPM was “deserting the US armed forces in the desert”, Cosmic Karma (or our Heavenly Hosts, depending on your cultural affiliations) was / were teaching him the following: Obeying our political and military masters, chasing after their social approval and the ribbons that they give us to put on our chests, and the ice cream cones that they offered to us in grade school when we “gave the right answers”, are an EXTREMELY pale imitation of the longer-term rewards that are to be gleaned by simply… OBEYING OUR CONSCIENCES!!! Even when it brings us naught but pain in the short run, yes indeed…
I do not mean to disrespect the efforts (and the suffering) of those who have physically fought to liberate us from despots. The tree of liberty does, yea verily, need to be watered, from time to time, with the blood of tyrants. True tyrants truly respect nothing but force and violence, sad to say. Different lessons are needed for different folks, though, who tread different paths to Love and Truth. But for me, the successor to PMPM, I needed to finish off what PMPM only (partially?) learned in death and suffering, and that is, “No institution can love you, only individuals / God can”, and, even far more so, “Obeying God (Love) and Conscience is FAR more important than obeying military and political commanders and commandments; Obeying Love is timeless, immutable, and always of great value; obeying military and political leaders is an arbitrary, local whim of fashion, and very often needlessly destructive”. My (Melvin’s) particular and specific motives, just like PMPM’s motives, in serving in the armed services, were too glory-houndingly self-centered, and needed to be fixed… But the same is NOT true of at least some others who serve (served) in the military! “Different strokes for different folks” is actually as truly PROFOUND and complex lesson that must be learned in our very complex world!
Moving on to a later point in time as a young civilian bachelor, I was once stone-cold sober… No drugs involved… And was reading a short science fiction story by Lester del Rey, called “The Day is Done”, about “Hwoogh”, the last Neanderthal. The anthology containing the short story is called “…and Some Were Human”, by Prime Press, Philadelphia, 1949.
To make a short story VERY short… Hwoogh, the last Neanderthal, was abused by the young of the new species (us; AKA Cro-Magnon man in those days), against the stated wishes of the elder Cro-Magnons at the time… More comments on that after I relay my experience…
In any case, in the short story, the elderly Hwoogh died a slow, lingering death after being physically abused by the young (presumably pre-teen or early-teens) Cro-Magnons. I sat there reading this, and was overcome by sadness, and a strong desire to TEACH the young to, basically… LOVE! To NOT do these kinds of things! While also being aware that the youngsters are the ones who are still malleable and teachable… The oldsters? Not so much, any more… What was totally absent in my mind, though, while I was thinking these thoughts of wanting to teach the youngsters the sublime imperative to LOVE… Was any kind of desire (excuse my French) to kiss God’s butt, in any way. God? Not thinking about that, at all, I was… And I think that was an important LACKING ingredient in what was to follow…
Now, the term “light” is seemingly always used in this context… And I can do no better! It was merely LIKE a bright white light, but it wasn’t a light, it was something else, that we have no word(s) for, really. The “Light” broke through the top of my skull, it seemed, and just “hung out” with me, for a few fleeting seconds. It inhabited me, basically, in a non-intrusive manner. I reached out to it, curiously, wordlessly asking, basically, “Who are you, what are you doing here?” And then it faded away. End of story. I have never had an NDE (Near Death Experience), or any other similar cases of being “inhabited by the Light”. But there’s my story, for what it’s worth.
To me, it is / was simple confirmation that there is a “Being of Light” out there, which is ALL about Love! When we are “in phase” with It, It may, from time to time, briefly “inhabit” us… This is what happened to me. I have shared that story with less than 5 people (excluding anonymously, here). I am reluctant to “brag”, because I think “deserving” such experiences is, um… Mangling some important but totally nebulous concepts. More to the point, power pigs throughout history have claimed to be “On a Mission from God”, in the names of dreams and visions, and I do NOT want to be a power pig! Being called “crazy” doesn’t bother me much… Being suspected of being a power pig, though? God forbid!
Now before I forget… There was a topic tangential to the short story “The Day is Done” here… That is as follows: Without getting into the details, the Cro-Magnon elders clearly told their children NOT to harass or hurt “Hwoogh”… But there were clearly subtle or not-so-subtle messages of “Hwoogh isn’t quite right”, or “Hwoogh isn’t as cool as we are”. And that’s all it takes, often, to set off the young, the foolish, and the hotheads!
When I was young, for example, living among a fundamentalist community, there was a gay person who made a pass at a young hothead. Said young hothead had been repeatedly told (as all youngsters there were told), “We don’t believe in violence, we don’t believe in violence, we don’t believe in violence”, ad infinitum… But also, “Gays are sinners!”. So what happens when gay person makes pass at young hot-head? Does the “no violence” message prevail, or does the “gays are sinners” message prevail? You guessed it! Young hothead beat the gay guy to within an inch of gay guy’s life! Whereas a simple “Please don’t do that, I am not gay” message would have sufficed… That is why I, for one, think that simple “Love” mandates that we totally just keep our judgmental thoughts to ourselves… Unless our judgmental thoughts are REALLY, ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL to preserve and protect what is good and right! Gayness?!? WTF, this qualifies for NO judgmental thoughts at ALL, unless combined with coercion or other evils! Even then, it is not the gayness, per se, that is the “sin”!
I have now blown through most of the more-intriguing experiences that I have been through. The rest of what follows includes (with some repetition of what I have written so far) regular night-time dreams, and some of my wife’s experiences.
There may be other instances of this, but an example of this (quite clearly) is “strep throat”. Do NOT take strep throat lightly! If left untreated for very long, it can clearly cause mental illness in children. Use this as a Google search-string: “strep throat causes mental illness” and you’ll get many hits. A good one is https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/pandas/index.shtml , for example. Note that this has been clearly studied and documented in children, but not so much in young adults. From a brief reading, it seems to me that the “experts” simply don’t know (haven’t studied it) much about how common this is in young adults.
I can tell you that my brother “Franklin” left his strep throat untreated for far too long, as a young adult… It seems to me that he was one of those “tough guys” that took pride in not needing to see the doctor. He seemingly hid the severity of his strep throat. Later on, he slowly became more and more mentally ill (to include severe episodes), and eventually took his own life.
As for Roxanne, she has (from early childhood on) been (in at least some categories) highly tolerant of pain. So we (in a family vacation in late summer of 2017) were not aware of her having any illnesses. Then she had her psychotic breakdown (story further below), and early on, in her hospitalization, they discovered THREE infections… It is possible that one or more of them was acquired early on, in the hospital, we just don’t know… But they were a urinary infection, pneumonia, and, yes… Strep throat!
OK, straight to the summary point this time: Roxanne has bipolar… We’ve known that since 2013. Now we know pretty firmly that she has bipolar I (not bipolar II). Probably THE biggest root cause of her mixed / manic episode that landed her in the regular hospital for a few days, and then a psychiatric hospital for a few weeks… For a total of almost 1 month… Was that her shrink screwed up badly, and neither Roxanne nor anyone else (like my wife and I) bothered to do a simple “Google” search. If you search on “bipolar anti-depressant” or “lithium anti-depressant” or “mood stabilizer anti-depressant”, then you will rapidly discover that it is way-common knowledge that these two kinds of medicines should not be taken together! Bipolar patients need mood stabilizer drugs, and anti-depressants will drive them towards mania!
We trusted her shrink, and her shrink failed us. We learned later (according to a psychotherapist) that shrinks tend to be either top graduates or bottom graduates (not middle graduates) of medical school. They choose to become shrinks, because that’s what they really-really want to do… So these are the good ones. Or, they happen to be not competent enough to become much of anything other than a pill-pushing shrink. The latter, then, obviously are the incompetent ones, and Roxanne had the poor fortune to be treated by one of them.
This shrink prescribed for her, in addition to the lithium that she was already on (for bipolar, obviously), an anti-depressant (Celexa, major offender) and Strattera (for treating ADHD; probably a more-minor offender here). Together, these two drugs slowly drove Roxanne towards mania, over the space of about 7 months. The biochemistry of what is going on here is sometimes referred to as “serotinin toxicity syndrome” or less commonly, “serotinin overload”. Her slow progress into mania is detailed in the story further below, and can be compared to the “slowly boiled frog” parable / story / “old wives tale”; see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boiling_frog ... We just did not really notice it till it was probably too late. Again, details below.
After her recovery was well underway (after she was out of the hospital), we bought and read many-many books (both medical books and personal stories) about bipolar. Many-many of them mention that mixing mood stabilizers (which are clearly needed by bipolar patients) and anti-depressants (which should be considered “experimental” and dangerous, with no clearly documented benefits for bipolar patients) is a mistake commonly made by many psychiatrists.
You have to OWN your disease (mental or physical), and double-check the crap out of your doctor, drugs-wise! This is tragic that there are so many incompetent and / or lazy doctors out there, who will act willy-nilly as rent-seeking “trolls under the bridge”, making you pay for the access to prescribed drugs, but not doing their job of even bothering to “Google” the mix of drugs that they are prescribing! In the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave, though, we are not allowed to simply bypass them, study up on the drugs, and buy them over the counter, saving tons of money. Shrinks have to make yacht payments, and that there are many-many poor mentally ill people on the streets, partially because of these “trolls under the bridge” getting in their way, doesn’t matter to our politicians, because of special interests, “regulatory capture”, and “concentrated benefits, diffuse costs”. But I digress into politics, and will quit that (for now).
We found a better shrink for Roxanne, and (after a thoughtful pause) wrote a snail-mail letter of complaint to her incompetent shrink. He or she made no response, in another month and a half (no apologies, no explanations). So with this matter left unsettled… Not knowing if said shrink had learned a darned thing, or was still a hazard to other patients… We filed a complaint with the state medical board. No, we are not considering suing; that is typically just enriching yet another set of trolls under the bridge (lawyers). We just want shrinks to do their jobs correctly!
Now this kind of thing is readily available on the web, but I want to just hit some highlights, about some of the drugs involved here. Mood stabilizers (for bipolar) are Lithium (the oldest and perhaps most-often-used, which is what Roxanne takes), but others include, by now, carbamazepine (Tegretol), lamotrigine (Lamictal), valproate (Depakote, Epilim), and asenapine (Sycrest). Note that for bipolar patients with more troubles with mania, lithium is good, but for patients with more troubles with depression, Lamictal is good.
One of the things that I read in one of our books, that impressed me a lot, is a big difference between many (most?) physical v/s mental illnesses. With a physical infection, for example, they can do a lab test, and know exactly which type of bacteria is the cause, and exactly which drug (antibiotic) will treat it best. With mental illness, it’s all a big guessing game… They can only go by symptoms, and many of the medicines are discovered (more or less) accidentally. There are no definitive tests, not even genetically. This, I read in a book that I much-much recommend, which is “Bipolar Disorder a Guide for Patients and Families”, by Francis Mark Mondimore, M.D.
OK, back to the drugs… Sometimes (as with Roxanne in her earliest days in the hospital), when serotonin toxicity is suspected, Ketamine (Ketalar) will be prescribed to sort of perform a “reset” to the brain, to treat the serotonin toxicity. We think that this made Roxanne’s hallucinations worse (as it is known to do sometimes). It’s all a guessing game, sometimes… In this case, I think the doctors were doing the very best that they could. Note that Ketamine has been shown to be a fast-acting anti-suicidal-thoughts drug, for some patients at least, acting within 4 hours or so.
Note also that the pain reliever tramadol and the SSRI-type anti-depressant sertraline can trigger serotonin overload. See https://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2015/01/12/tramadol-interaction-with-antidepressant-can-be-deadly/ for more.
Also note that compulsive behavior can be a side effect of Mirapex… There’s a lot more out there! Do your homework, and practice meta-cognition! That is, think about (beware of) your moods and thoughts!!!
Now for you who have bipolar and (have or had) ADHD, Strattera and other “uppers” commonly used for treating ADHD (Adderall, Concerta, Ritalin, etc., see https://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/guide/adhd-medication-chart#1 ) may not be such a good idea… They may drive you towards mania. Here is another drug that you might want to look into, if you have trouble concentrating (in school, while studying, or while working). Modafinil (Provigil) is a medicine whose on-label use is to counteract narcolepsy (not being able to stay awake). Its off-label use is to be a “study buddy” (help you focus when studying). So tell your doctor you’re falling asleep in class all the time, if needed…
I have run searches to find links; You can find some more if interested. https://www.healthline.com/health/narcolepsy/nuvigil-vs-provigil … https://www.goodrx.com/blog/provigil-vs-nuvigil-which-is-better-for-daytime-sleepiness/ …
This kind of anti-sleepy, pro-wakefulness drugs does NOT seem to be way out of line for bipolar patients! See http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/bipolar-disorder/novel-treatment-avenues-bipolar-depression … https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18980736 … https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14632587 … There’s more of these out there as well.
HOWEVER, there is one case reported where “florid mania” was brought on, apparently by the patient NOT listening to the dosing instructions, and “amping up” on Modafinil too fast! So it is confusing here, as is often the case… Less medicines is better. But here is a drug candidate for you if you have troubles concentrating. Oh, here’s your link on the last one mentioned here above… http://primarypsychiatry.com/modafinil-induced-mania-in-a-patient-with-bipolar-affective-disorder/ .
ALWAYS pay attention to side effects and do your research! If you really-really need a medicine, then you need it… If you no longer need it, try to get off of it! Anti-anxiety drugs can be harmful if used longer than needed. Here is a scary one about that… https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/side-effects/201011/brain-damage-benzodiazepines-the-troubling-facts-risks-and-history-minor .
While we are “geeking
out” on the biochemistry of it all, please note that for some people (with
certain genetic attributes that can be tested for), even in the absence of
bipolar disorder, anti-depressants can drive them towards violence! See
https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/cyp450-test/about/pac-20393711 concernign drugs and genes combinations testing with emphasis on anti-depressants, and
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3513220/ AKA “Antidepressant-induced akathisia-related homicides associated with diminishing mutations in metabolizing genes of the CYP450 family”.
Well, that about wraps up what I have recently learned about psychoactive drugs, that might be of interest here. Next, simply because it struck an emotional cord with me, about the tragedy of bipolar, and because it hits the theme of good mood swinging to bad mood, with clear spiritual overtones… Very rapidly in this case, compared to Roxanne’s slow swing approaching her breakdown… I want to transcribe a passage from “Bipolar Disorder a Guide for Patients and Families”, by Francis Mark Mondimore, M.D., about the Romantic composer Robert Schumann (1810-1856). From pages 208-209…
“In February 1854 Clara recorded, “In the night, not long after we had gone to bed, Robert got up and wrote down a melody which, he said, the angels had sung to him. Then he lay down again and talked deliriously the whole night. When morning came, the angels transformed themselves into devils and sang horrible music, telling him he was a sinner and that they were going to cast him into Hell.”
“A few weeks later, probably in the grip of an episode of psychotic depression, Schumann ran out of their home and threw himself off of a bridge into the icy waters of the Rhine. He was rescued by fishermen and placed in the asylum in Endenich, where he died a year later, possibly of self-starvation.”
I suppose that part of why the above strikes me so much, is (as with Roxanne) that there’s a transition from talking to angels (and / or deceased people) and being ecstatically happy (or having delusions of grandeur), and then crashing down, and “talking to the demons”. So beware, if you talk to the angels too-too much, the demons may (are quite likely to) come following shortly in their wake!
A summary, then, of the two sections above, is to beware that physical illness (especially long-running or untreated strep throat) can cause mental illness. This was probably a lesser cause of Roxanne’s breakdown. The bigger cause was, her shrink made a big mistake, and we didn’t catch it, for lack of a simple Google search! Do NOT mix mood stabilizers (like lithium) for bipolar patients, with anti-depressants! To do so, will almost inevitably lead towards mania!
A summary of the below (“spiritual” as opposed to biochemical side of things) is, I still believe in “loving the enemy”, even when the enemy is the Evil One and minions (with, of course, the usual caveat of, “loving” does not include “aiding and abetting” in this case). I still believe this, because the evil entity known as “Elmer” left Roxanne alone, for 6 whole years, when we did this. “Elmer” seemed “flipped” over to the good side, as Roxanne’s mania (not noticed by us, her parents, till apparently too late) increased. Only in the throes of the peak of mania, was “Elmer” (or perhaps a mimic of “Elmer”) not so clearly on the good side. I don’t recall Roxanne ever stating that “Elmer” (or mimic thereof) was clearly flipped back to being evil. I cannot ask her about such things now, for fear of “brain fire”.
My suicide-deceased brother “Franklin”, though, is another matter altogether! Essentially, he “visited” Roxanne, as she was barely tripping “upwards” into mania, and told her that he had been “flipped” to the good side! Despite the still, small voice in the back of my head at least (not so sure of my wife’s head or Roxanne’s head), which had some doubts, we wanted to believe the good news! At the peak of the mania, and early on in the hospitals, during her breakdown… There was “Franklin” (or mimic thereof), once again, trying to get Roxanne to commit suicide!
Anyway, the SUMMARY (below) of this summary (as above) is, NEVER HARDLY EVER take “messages from beyond”, or from “voices in your head”, that may or may not really emanate from who they say that they are, without some fairly severe questioning. We ALWAYS have to decide for ourselves! Think (pray) intensely on, “is this a good message I am getting, or not”? Is there any deception or malice going on here? Roxanne and “Melissa” and I all got thoroughly hood-winked here! We wanted to believe in good messages, but as the mania got worse, it all went to Hell in a handbasket! The mania (and deception) got worse and worse, till Roxanne shut us out, and our words were no longer getting through to her. The details will be spelled out below.
Please excuse me for these writings being, at times, poorly organized. But before delving into the latest episodes of “the story” here, I want to repeat some things I wrote about earlier, with a little bit of new, extra details added. This is along the lines of, “what do I REALLY believe?”
I believe in biochemistry and drugs, to include psychoactive drugs. As mentioned before, I am not a Scientologist! But I also believe in what is today often called “metaphysics” or the “supernatural”. As others have said, the “supernatural” will someday be understood to be natural, when we have learned more of the laws of the Universe… Laws that we can only dimly glimpse now.
For starters, please search (in this document) for the search-string “But perhaps our brains are based on quantum computers”… Read that for starters. The summary of that (including 2 main links given) is that our current science is starting to point in the exact direction as is pointed out by the above search-string, AND that there may be quantum links from our world to parallel worlds! “Parallel worlds”, that is, that the “crazies” and “religious fanatics” among us have glimpsed over the ages, and have variously called “Heaven”, “Valhalla”, “Hell, “Hades”, etc.
I am NOT going to argue with those who say we are just bags of biochemicals, with poorly organized chemistry taking place, and poorly organized patterns of travelling waves of ionic depolarizations (on cell walls) travelling hither and yon… And that this is ALL that we are! I can see your perspective, and acknowledge that it is possibly true. “Mental illness” thoughts might be just random crap, and nothing more. But it is also possibly true, what I believe… Neither of us can absolutely prove our beliefs… And so it will remain, for now. So please hear me out.
Moving to ADD to what I wrote earlier (see above), please see the March 2018 “Discover” science magazine, page 41, “Down the Quantum Rabbit Hole”, by Steve Volk, concerning Stuart Hameroff (primarily), and other researchers (including Roger Penrose). You may find the “Discover” article here: http://discovermagazine.com/bonus/quantum .
Some of the things that stuck in my mind the most, from having read this article, is that “microtubules” are just about everywhere, in living cells, and may be the REAL basis of our brains (and “souls”, whatever “souls” may be). Synapses and travelling patterns of cell-wall depolarization are NOT the be-all and end-all… As we can see by looking at parameciums and other single-celled animals! They HAVE no synapses or travelling patterns of cell-wall depolarization, yet they “think” enough to chase food and avoid predators, noxious chemicals, and too much heat or cold, travelling deliberately and with purpose! They DO have microtubules, though!
So microtubules may be a BIG part of our “seat of consciousness”… And our (quantum-physics-based) links to the “spirits” in the “beyond the beyond”!
Some of us “hear the voices” from the “beyond the beyond” more than others. There is even a specific set of brain circuits (or set of biochemicals) involved in “fencing out” these voices… In allowing us to call them “not real”, and disregard them. As you can imagine, our ancestors (in the face of predators, starvation, and other hazards) who were too busy “hearing the voices” to live effectively in the real world, did not survive and pass on their genes. “Hearing the voices” must be kept to some minimum… But that optimal minimum may very well be more than zero! To see my previous speculations along these lines, search here (in this much-too-long document) for “related take on this is to note that Neanderthals” search-string.
The brain circuit to “fence out” the voices (AKA hallucinations) is based on GABA, AKA gamma-Aminobutyric acid. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamma-Aminobutyric_acid . As a sample write-up concerning the idea that “defective” or under-functioning receptors for “GABA” may be involved in hallucinations, see https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2996210/ .
So in summary, I believe both theories: We are bags of biochemicals, AND we are “spirits in a material world”. We have to pay attention to both perspectives, to operate most effectively. The below continuing story (hashed up with commentary) should help the reader to see WHY I think this is true.
I have had fleeting hallucinations from time to time… Which I believe reflect some sort of underlying reality. As one (very minor) example, some few years ago I was driving to work. I was in an absent-minded, open-minded frame of mine, just driving down the road. I “saw” (about 50 yards ahead of me) a not-real “tumbleweed” bouncing across the road in front of me! I knew as I saw it, that it was not real, and that it was up to no good… A dark, jagged thing. Was I “allowed” to see it, for any particular reason? Possibly, but I doubt it. I think I was just randomly in the frame of mind to “see” it. I don’t think it has anything to do with me. They say that ghosts can travel through walls, you know. But this thing clearly respected physical matter. It bounced along the ground, and did NOT burrow down below, to escape the eyes of random observers like me.
Now we segue to an instance that clearly has far more significance. My wife and Roxanne and I were on a family vacation in the late spring of 2017, after Roxanne had already begun her slow, undetected trip into mania. I was doing my morning travel rituals, getting some ice from the hotel’s ice machine, for our cooler. I “saw” a dark shape poking around the corner of the very close-by hotel wall, taking a look at me. I looked, and it retreated. Back to the ice machine… And the darned thing did it AGAIN! I got my ice, and looked around the corner, knowing full well that there would be nothing there (as was the case, of course). I never got any “vibes”… No chills down the spine, no foreboding, and no sense of good or evil. The only things in common between here and the “tumbleweed” instance were, the shape was dark, and it respected physical (matter) barriers.
My wife and Roxanne and I were driving down the road, that very same day, and Roxanne announces to us, that she “got the message” (or similar words) that my suicide-deceased brother “Franklin” had had enough suffering in Hell, and had converted or “flipped” over to the good side! Who are we to doubt good news?! Despite the nagging doubts in the back of my head, we went with the good news! It was all good!
In summary, this sort of thing (more details later) went on through the summer, and it was all good! Till it wasn’t! This was the slow trip into mania, not well noticed till too late, just like the tale of the “frog in the slowly-being-heated water”… and by the time my wife and I started sounding cautionary words (too softly probably), it became too late. During her breakdown and the stay at, first, a regular hospital, and then, a psych ward, there is the supposedly-flipped-to-the-good-side, voice of my brother Franklin, urging Roxanne towards suicide again! We had all three been sold a bill of goods!
Of course, this could all be random hallucinations… But I don’t think so! Having “seen” the dark shape, twice, that very morning, influenced me as follows: I was reminded that I, too, “see” things from time to time, and that they seem very real to me. So I shouldn’t off-hand dismiss what Roxanne “sees” or “hears”. I mentioned what I “saw” that morning, to my wife and Roxanne, in that context. I even specifically quizzed Roxanne as to WHY was the “thing” that I saw, a DARK shape, and WHAT was it doing?
Roxanne said that according to my deceased brother Franklin, “dark” does not always mean “bad”. And what was this thing doing? It was merely a “spiritual tourist”, curious to take a look at the “Dad” member of this Roxanne-Mom-Dad team, that (we) were up to some amazing tricks on the Earth plane! The nagging doubt in the back of my mind was saying something about Roxanne’s ego getting at least a wee tad inflated here, but I made no more of it.
Now clearly I don’t know exactly what went on there, but my VERY best guess is, “dark” in such matters clearly DOES equate with evil or at least malice! We’d been had! This dark shape was there specifically to snoop out me and my mind at the time… To see if I was ready to be hoodwinked! And I was… At the time, I was blissfully optimistic, generous, and forgiving… Ready, at all times, to believe that “bad” had flipped to “good”!
I will probably write in more details about this later, but for now, let me just say that I harbor (at least!) a bit of resentment against “the spirits on the good side” for what happened there, and the entire tale of what happened to Roxanne during 2017. WHY did I not “get bad vibes” off of the dark (but indistinct) shape that I saw TWICE that morning? Why didn’t the good side of the “beyond the beyond” do more to warn me, my wife, or Roxanne, of what was happening, and why (especially the medications mistake), as Roxanne slowly went into mania? As is SOOO often the case in such matters, I do not know “why”, for sure, of course. But I do suspect that I have some strong candidate reasons to answer this particular “why” question. Let’s save that for later.
As late spring turned to early summer in 2017, Roxanne was doing well. Her “getting messages” from the “beyond the beyond” turned into talking to dead people, a lot. Was this just random brain crap, or did it reflect some sort of underlying reality? We could all argue all day about this sort of thing, of course, and never truly resolve anything, at anything near certainty. What I can tell you is that it was “all good” at first. Who wants to argue with something good? But here, I think, is the central danger in bipolar disorder, and in talking to the spirits of the “beyond the beyond”: The good turns into bad, either slowly or rapidly. “Talking to the angels” somehow slips on over into “talking to the devils”, and to the person having the direct experience, it is ***NOT*** so easy to see exactly when this happens! People around (“near and dear to”) the person directly having the experience can more easily see the change, but it is still not always a clear “slam dunk” here. Hit here in this document (and then see the preceding 4 paragraphs) for a summary of a historical case of where this change set in rapidly, as opposed to the slow change in Roxanne’s case.
So her “talking to the beyond the beyond” was all good, at first. She told us many interesting things… About the deceased spirits in Heaven and in Hell being not just sprits of people, but also of animals, and sometimes even of plants! Unlike previous approaches into mania (into what we only later learned was mania), this time around, she didn’t write much down. So I will now write down a few thoughts and recollections along those lines.
She talked to the deceased spirits of the likes of Muhammed, Hitler, Stalin, her grandparents, unknown (non-historical) people only now and then, Vlad the Impaler, and an extinct giant Irish Elk, are the ones that I can recall. I had always (or at least for a long time) believed that people who commit suicide go to Hell, forever. Period. Roxanne was clearly saying “no” to that, and, as I said, who wants to reject good news? (Now, I just don’t know, any more!). Roxanne was saying that time runs forward both here and in the “beyond the beyond” (backwards time travel is silly beyond impossible), but that it can run at different rates. For example, the time that Hitler spent in Hell, after he committed suicide, APPEARED to HIM as if it lasted just about forever, but he finally busted free from that horrible place in about 1954, in the humans time-frame. Spirits often some-how manage to be “split up” in some such manner as to be both residing in the “beyond the beyond”, AND be recycled back on the Earth plane, at the same time (I find this one to be credible or satisfying, somehow, for whatever it is worth). Hitler got recycled as a gay Jewish person in Israel, according to Roxanne! That would sound like some educational karma to me!
Roxanne said that famous and (politically) powerful people (like Hitler), when cycled through Hell (yea verily most often for having committed suicide), will often get disgusted (have “had their fill”) with all the lies and false promises (of power) that they are given by the Evil One, in Hell. The likes of Hitler will often learn their lessons, shake it off, and bust back loose from the Evil One’s clutches (AKA, Hell) more quickly than rank-and-file screw-ups who have never tasted much political power on planet Earth. Why? Simply because they have experienced SOME semblance of real power on Earth (I for one would dispute even the reality of much of THAT particular “power”, since all dictators die eventually)… And they, having a comparison point, more quickly learn that the Evil One NEVER delivers ANY real power to ANYONE; the Evil One’s utterances here are ALL lies! (That should be no surprise).
Again, excuse my poorly organized writings here, but I’m trying my best to impart “lessons learned”, to include (somewhat in this descending order) the “spiritual warfare” aspects of mental illness, the biochemistry of it, practical mental strategies for fighting this fight, and, to a small extent, metaphysical mysteries. As mentioned before, we cannot know any of this (metaphysics) for sure, and any number of different viewpoints or cultures or religions can be made to “work”. Pick your bits and pieces that work for you… Where “work for you” hopefully includes high doses of “loving your neighbor”! … The last thing these writings would be intended for, would be a “suspense story”. I am “blowing the punch” as I go, and plan to continue to do so, in the name of the higher priority of imparting “lessons learned”.
Along the lines of metaphysics, as I mentioned, this time around, as Roxanne slowly went manic (not sharply-enough noted by us), she didn’t write much down. But I will relate here, such points as I can recall them. I do not probe Roxanne too much along these lines, once again, for fear of stirring up “brain fire”.
I often wonder (as a retired computer-industry geek) “what is God’s bandwidth”? How many people (animals, plants, atoms, molecules, etc.) can God “talk to” at the same time? Is there some sharp limit here, is this part of the reason why God doesn’t do more to “bail us out”? I know God can do it if He / She / It wants to! “Whisper in our ears”, for example, or give us dreams to clue us in. I had at least 4 (night-time) dreams as Roxanne slowly went manic, and all 4 of them, I interpreted as Roxanne “being in a good place”… And I sure never got any dreams to warn me of the medicines mistake that her shrink had made! (Adding anti-depressants on top of lithium, of course, that is.) So chalk up another reason that I’m a bit torqued off at God these days…
Anyway, Roxanne said that “bandwidth” is a wrong way to look at it. A better way to look at it, she said, is that God shines on everyone, but we accumulate junk and blockages (some more than others) that block the light. It’s not a lack of bandwidth, it’s gathering too much junk. When we gather up enough junk to block the light so severely as to commit suicide (or otherwise deliberately, intentionally chose Hell; I am not at all sure what other routes these might be), then we cycle through Hell, for as long as it takes to shed the junk. It is (need I add?) a painful process! That’s according to Roxanne during this time, of course.
Roxanne also said that when people finally get tired of being tortured and lied to, in Hell, and shedding the junk, and bust free, that some of the really brave and torqued-off-at-Satan ones among them, will deliberately destroy some sort of after-image or template (or like a snake’s shed skin, that a snake leaves behind?) of themselves, there in Hell, before they high-tail it out of there! Other, more timid souls will leave this image (template) behind, unfortunately allowing the Evil One and minions to exploit it for their nasty purposes. So in retrospect, now that we know that my suicide-deceased brother Franklin (after having presented himself to Roxanne as having “flipped” to the good side) once again viciously attacked Roxanne at the worst points of her breakdown, we are left with un-answerable questions. Was Franklin never “flipped” in the first place, deceiving us? That’s my suspicion. It is, however, possible that he WAS flipped, and some other “left behind” evil entity exploited Franklin’s left-behind image, to “play” or “portray” Franklin, to attack Roxanne. I cannot see what difference it makes to us! The bottom line is, the entities from the “beyond the beyond” (or voices in our heads, for those who discount metaphysics) can flat-out NOT be trusted!
I still believe in benevolence, including benevolence towards evil of all kinds. But in some cases, our benevolence needs to be, um, “ruthless, without mercy”, or something along those lines. Certainly (in the face of ugly evil) NOT very trusting! If you have thoroughly earned your pain, and deserve your pain as the ONLY way to learn what you need to learn, I should NOT prevent your pain and suffering!
As time went by, Roxanne’s “talking to the dead” got worse and stranger. She saw it going bad, we discussed it, and it kept on getting worse anyway. She clearly believed in helping to “flip” the evil spirits (such as “Elmer” way back when), over to the good side. “Conversion warfare”, she called it, and I encouraged her. I hang my head in shame now, in retrospect, that I did NOT do enough to warn her about deception! But what happened (by quite a few weeks preceding utter breakdown) was that the “spirits” would mob her, begging for her help… She saw it, we discussed it! We told her NOT to play “Dear Abby” to the spirits! By that I mean, I have never been a fan of “Dear Abby” for her habit of reading two or three paragraphs from a reader, knowing NOTHING else about the details of the full context of the situation, and proceeding to tell the reader how to run their lives. (I also cannot STAND her constant habit of saying, “Seek counsel from a LICENSED (emphasis mine) therapist”, with ZERO acknowledgement of the apparently RADICAL idea that a non-licensed but loving (and personally already “in the know”) religious leader or friend or relative might actually be a better choice. But I digress).
Anyway, on Roxanne getting “mobbed” by supposedly help-seeking “spirits”, and playing “Dear Abby” to them… We discussed it with Roxanne, who had already figured it out. “The spirits” live in their world, not ours, so they know their scoop; we do not. We might indeed help them from time to time, as I still believe that we helped “Elmer”, way back when. But we can NOT help them when they are insincere, and all three of us (Roxanne and my wife and I) saw that, and talked of it, and talked of not playing “Dear Abby”. I had thought we had that squared away.
At that time, I (really, all three of us, I think) believed that Roxanne really HAD been of at least some assistance to “the spirits”. But we said (and I thought, agreed) that the whole thing had gone sour, and that Roxanne needed to quit it. I came up with one of those perhaps-too-complex analogies where the “good guys” are cast as “bad guys”, but the whole situation still serves to illustrate a point. Suppose that Roxanne (“invading Hell” a wee tad to help encourage captured spirits to set themselves free) was successful, and the “bad guys” are insincerely “mobbing her” to falsely seek help (to protect Hell from invasion). This is analogous to Roxanne being a disease organism (say, a parasitical worm) invading a host. The host’s immune system will “mob” the attacker, sealing it off, in the manner of an invader’s cyst (protective wall) being surrounded by macrophages (see https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2843452/ for example). Macrophages surrounding the infection equates mobs of demons (or bad thoughts) insincerely seeking assistance, you see. I’m not sure Roxanne absorbed that one too well! What I meant was, quit the whole business of playing “Dear Abby”; the enemy was ON to her and to her tricks! And defending the body of the enemy!
In retrospect, the entry into mania had progressed too far at this point, or shortly following this point, such that we couldn’t get through to Roxanne any more, or she somehow lost self-control in there at some point, or both. Things got even worse. Roxanne became convinced that the spirit of Jesus had somehow “lost his way” after he died, and came back to help the humans… That he’d gotten this whole (post-death-of-Jesus) thing wrong, and Roxanne was helping him, and he was very grateful for her help! This “bad” Jesus was known as the “dark soul shards of Jesus”, and at one point she was calling this entity “J-man” and telling my wife that “J-man” was Judas, while really, in her mind (if the term “really” can be used here, with anything approaching a straight face), “J-man” was the “dark soul shards of Jesus”! One other (far more minor) case of Roxanne deceiving us happened at about this time, which was pretty far removed from her normal character.
“J-man” once “appeared” to Roxanne as a dark-tentacled thing under her bed! But she mentioned this to my wife, while forbidding my wife to mention it to me! My wife and I were clearly getting worried by this time… But not worried enough! “Helping Jesus” indeed! The whole thing reeks of arrogance, of delusions of grandeur! Humility is an antidote to this kind of thing, but I’ll save my comments about that, till later. At that time, I was afraid to harp on humility v/s arrogance (other than grumbling to my wife, not Roxanne), because Roxanne kept on talking to us about her “self-esteem problems”. We can’t criticize too harshly, you know, for fear of tearing down self-esteem. In reality, this whole thing is a tight-rope… Somehow, we need the wisdom to know when to build up, and when to tear down… When to “comfort the afflicted”, and when to “afflict the comfortable”. I’m still working on this, and I will NOT play “Dear Abby”, and try to advise ANYONE on how to make this sort of judgment call, based on a few paragraphs! But in retrospect, I should have been screaming “bloody murder” over this thing, at that time.
At one point in there, Roxanne discussed her “dark soul shards of Jesus” theory with my wife (I wasn’t there), and my wife said something along the lines of, “OK, I understand that you believe what you believe, but I’m not sure that I believe it.” (My wife was more into paying attention to Roxanne’s “poor self esteem” at this point, than I was). A week (at most) goes by, and Roxanne broaches the topic with Melissa again. Melissa “lets it all hang out” a bit more, and flat-out says, something along the lines of, “I’m sorry, Hon, but I just can’t buy it.” At that point, Roxanne goes at least a slight bit ballistic… “HOW can you tell me that you BELIEVE me, and then take it all BACK?!? You LIED to me!!!” It upsets Melissa a bit more than it upsets me, actually, strangely, at that time… I asked Roxanne if she was blaming Jesus for abominations such as the Crusades, or the Spanish Inquisition. I never got much of a response. And she forbids us from bringing that particular topic up again. She is starting to “wall us out”.
Now once again, this is from the “omniscient” perspective (or the “punch-line-blowing” perspective) that I am writing from now, in view of what Roxanne told us after her breakdown. But at this point, paranoia had set in. Her “head voices” were telling her to believe them, and not us! I sure hope that THAT never happens again! This is how bad that “listening” to her “head voices” got: Her “head voices” tell her (in their multiple voices; her Grammy, the flipped-to-the-good-side voice of Hitler, the flipped-to-the-good-side voice of my brother Franklin, etc.), that her theory of the “dark soul shards of Jesus” is correct! They’ve got many votes, and they out-voted us! It stuck in my craw, but who am I to challenge the religious or spiritual views of my fellow adult human?! (She was 27 years of age, and I was not enough willing to “judge”, which is too often a horrible word, in modern parlance).
At this point, I simply MUST interject a bit: Post-breakdown, one of her psychotherapists (a psychologist, not a shrink) liked to talk to Roxanne (and to all three of us, in “family” therapy) about his three-or-four-legged “stool” analogy. If it works for you, fine… If you want to stay sane, run your thinking by some other trusted human “legs of your stool”, to keep you on the level. My more-favored version of this analogy is, we are a part of a team of humans walking across the glacier. Hidden under the snow, are crevasses, which can swallow us up without warning. To guard against being swallowed up, we separate from each other, with some distances, but we are ROPED TOGETHER! If anyone falls into the crevasse, we all grab our ropes, and we pull him or her back out! Paranoia makes us “cut our ropes”… We do NOT trust our fellow humans, and we “go it alone”! Big mistake! And that (we learned later) is a mistake that Roxanne made! She let her “head voices” convince her to follow them, and not us! This was in the 1 to 2 weeks preceding her breakdown, and she only much later told us about the paranoia.
Allow me to divert (in the name of tying together concepts rather than story line as being more important) a wee tad more, and then we’ll get on with the story. About the “dark soul shards of Jesus” theory of Roxanne’s… Mania has this habit of taking a good idea, and slowly warping and twisting, and then it becomes strange, unwieldy, and eventually it often becomes delusions of grandeur. As you may recall, I repeatedly told Roxanne (in her college years, see very first parts), “Jesus has come and gone, and has NOT fixed human nature. We still fight about religions; isn’t that the stupidest thing you’ve ever heard of?”. So if Jesus and all of the other past human saints didn’t fix it all, HOW can YOU expect to fix it all? And told her that same thing about ten billion times, it seemed. Then a few years later (spring 2017), we hear from Roxanne, in her own words, something along the same lines… “Jesus came and went, and didn’t fix it all. No one can fix it all, because 8 billion of us all have our own free will.” Something along those lines… Or, along the lines of what I wrote down, near the time that Roxanne said this; use the following as search-string here:” “Hey look, Jesus and Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr. and who knows how many others, have already come and gone, and we are STILL killing each other in the name of religion”!
So that, Roxanne said as she (unbeknownst to us) was slowly slipping back towards mania. I was tickled pink! She has FINALLY listened to a darned thing that we have been telling her, I said to myself! Little did I know, we were going to have to go through another repeat of highly-highly similar ideas, through yet another episode (this time admittedly aggravated by an unfortunate medications mistake by an incompetent shrink). Hope springs eternal in the human breast, but I actually do have high hopes that THIS time around, Roxanne HAS finally, really learned!
A smaller point along this same line (and in the same time-line) is that Roxanne had been writing fan fiction for “The Last Airbender”, and associated fiction. She got to the point… And she pointed this out to us quite a few times… That she did NOT like “Christ figures” in literature, in the sense of “Christ figure” not so much meaning a morally-ethically perfect or near-perfect one who suffers to help make things right, but in the sense of, a “Chosen One” who can fix it all (often magically), while NO ONE else can “fix it all”! So Roxanne didn’t like the idea of “The Chosen One who can fix it all”, and, frankly, I don’t either. If we find ourselves in a situation in which we can fix a HUGE chunk of troubles (never “everything”), then by all means, do it! But don’t expect these kinds of once-in-ten-million-lifetimes opportunities to magically drop into your lap, because you are “the Chosen One”. That reeks to the Highest Heavens of delusions of grandeur, and I was glad that Roxanne seemed to see it.
Anyway, later on, she claimed that Jesus made mistakes, after Jesus died and came back (as a spirit, as the “Holy Ghost”, many would call Him) to help us. He made mistakes. This was the “dark soul shards of Jesus” theory of Roxanne’s, you see. And as mentioned, Roxanne told us that Jesus’s spirit was grateful for her help! You can see the delusions of grandeur creeping upwards, here, in retrospect…
To keep this “meme” consolidated, I must now advance (or pre-advance) the story a bit. My wife and Roxanne and I travelled many hundreds of miles to see the 21 Aug. 2017 eclipse. We saw it (in the path of totality) from a public-park-like grassy area that actually belonged to the VFW. Across a chain link fence, there was a pond and some ducks or geese. Later on, after her recovery was well under way, Roxanne shared quite a few things that happened in her mind during these times. That day, Roxanne was actually mulling over in her mind, if she should perhaps jump over that chain-link fence, and see if she could walk on the water.
So in summary, here is an example of how the ideas go from good and true, to delusions of grandeur, but slowly, in steps, as one travels into mania: “Jesus came and went, and fixed little if anything, so I should NOT expect that I can fix a whole bunch, either”. … “The whole “Chosen One” thing is a bunch of hogwash, since we are all just one out of 8 billion or so people on the planet”. … “Jesus is / was one of these so-called (false) “Chosen Ones”, who people expected entirely too much off, and He is falling short, in His assigned roles in the after-life”. … “I can help him in the afterlife, and He appreciates my help.” … “Maybe I am some sort of Chosen One, and maybe I can walk on the water”.
The first step, jumping straight to the last jump, would set off all sorts of alarm bells. But take the baby steps in between, and, to a person slowly going manic, it makes a lot more sense. To more sane people, of course, it makes little if any sense. And the therapy industry’s legions of soft-talking psychobabblers may grit their teeth when I say such things, but… Genuine humility will help to guard you, when the delusions of grandeur-type thoughts come creeping in! I suspect that when your therapist starts calling you down, when he or she starts seeing delusions of grandeur creeping in, that you will run off and go and find yourself another therapist. Your ego will be offended. THAT is why talk therapy often does not work!
I hesitate to add this, since it’s a bit tangential. But after her several weeks in the psych ward, we were taking Roxanne home. We’re talking in the car, that is. She “got the message” from Jesus that at first, in Jesus’s new role in the afterlife, of trying to shepherd us humanoids, that He was doing it wrong, somehow (but implied was, that’s just the name of the game; These things just happen). That people were too obsessed with empty “sugar cubes” (like a horse eagerly eating sugar cubes with no real long-lasting nutritive value, past an energy rush). I asked if that meant people are too concerned about fancy cars, money, social status, etc.; if these were the “sugar cubes”. No, Roxanne responded, “sugar cubes” consists of trying to mindless find a list of “The Rules”, and then robotically trying to follow “The Rules”! (Mix it up a bit, since it’s all mixed up already anyway, and see what you can learn, instead). OK, fine then, I guess I can see the point.
The above (in which the Spirit of Jesus initially wonders if He is really doing things right, in view of the thick-headedness of the humans) can be seen to “wrap around” to the whole chain of manic thinking that went bad; see only slightly further above. At that point, Roxanne told us, Jesus said that He wasn’t talking to her any more. She’s got to figure things out for herself. It reminds me of Jesus telling Roxanne much earlier, “Work on stilling My Voice”. Get those GABA circuits working right, and you can rely on your INTERNAL “Jesus” (yourself, your conscience) instead! A BIG side benefit is, if GABA receptors are working correctly, you won’t hear the demons (intruding thoughts) either! Haldol can help… Roxanne is still taking Haldol, by the way; weaning THAT particular drug down any further, will have to wait…
I see one other “meme” popping its head up here, so let’s smack that one down, before we go on with the story. That is, effective, simple, common-sense “testing techniques” to fend of delusions. If you start to wonder if you could walk on liquid water, say to your stupid thoughts, “OK, stupid grandiose thoughts! You say that I could walk on liquid water. Before I go to the trouble of THAT, and maybe embarrassing myself, or drowning or getting washed away in the flooding, then, here, demonstrate to me. I am poking my finger into this cup of water. Make my finger meet TREMENDOUS counter-vailing force, above and beyond normal “meniscus force”, and THEN I will believe you!” And it ain’t gonna happen, and you can laugh at your “stupid thoughts” or “demons” or both, however you conceptualize them.
My “metaphysical research” has told me that the “beyond the beyond” entities are NOT allowed to help us “cheat”… For them to tell us tomorrow’s winning lottery number, et al, is clearly selfish cheating, so “no go” on that. “The Spirits” can help us help OTHER people, though (I think it happened quite clearly to me once, but… NOT gonna share that one). But no selfish cheating-assistance allowed, from the good guys. The BAD guys? They NEVER help ANYONE, period! OK, I can buy most or all of that…
TESTING the “strange thoughts” who claim to be from the “other side”? Have at it! “Tell me the 5th through the 12th words in the body of the main text in tomorrow’s newspaper”, tell them (or the next random web site that I hit, or the next 10 coins that I flip, what have you). Harmless stuff that does NOT allow you to cheat, to get ahead in the world, see… And the “beyond the beyond” will NOT perform, so you can then BLOW THEM OFF, as you should!
If they are mendacious, nasty spirits or thoughts, they will do something along the same lines as has been done by human liars and braggarts concerning the “end of the world” predictors, and the excuses that they will make up afterwards. “Google” at will; here’s just a few that I saw… https://culteducation.com/group/1289-general-information/8206-worst-end-of-world-predictions-and-the-embarrassing-excuses.html http://www.centerforinquiry.net/blogs/entry/top_ten_rapture_excuses/ … Working from memory, the more common straight-faced excuses would be, “It didn’t happen ‘cause you didn’t trust in MEEE, your Sacred Prophet”, or “It really DID happen, in a GOOD way, it was just in an invisible way”, or “Well OK, I got it slightly wrong; it is now re-scheduled for 3 years from now, after I sell yet some more doom-and-gloom-predicting books”, or “It did NOT happen, in the BAD way, because JUST BARELY enough people listened to me.” Your “intrusive stupid thoughts” (AKA demons) will pull similar stunts and stupid excuses on you. Keep on fending them off; keep on fighting the good fight! Tell them to enable you to levitate painlessly, near-effortlessly, in private… If they deliver, THEN maybe start believing! J (Actually, if that happened, I’d take a fresh look at my medicines, and run the test repeatedly, and pause for a few days, before FINALLY believing enough to have someone else double-check my performance of the “strange little trick” that I have learned).
Back to story time now… Stop making me digress! The following materials WILL be tested for!
Roxanne started to seem very distracted. She was living downtown, in an apartment, where she had worked for almost 2 years, post-graduation, but too far from us to commute. She lost her job when funding ran dry. So she was still living there, unemployed for one summer, and visiting us on the weekends. She was supposedly working on a novel, with original characters (not fan-fiction as before), while waiting for same-downtown-located schooling to start in the fall. She never did get around to writing actual action or dialog… Tellingly, on her apartment grease-board, there was written, a note to herself: “Watching You Tube not = Novel Research”.
As mentioned, this time around, unlike the episode in college, she didn’t write down much (besides novel “doodles”). Here below, I import one of the few things that she wrote, and emailed to her Mom and I, that Roxanne was proud of. My wife didn’t like it so well. I did not critique harshly, because of Roxanne’s “low self esteem” that I was so often told about. There are few faster ways to shut down communication, though, than to critique the spelling and grammar of an informal email! But in retrospect, there was perhaps a red flag, or at least orange flags, that might have indicated mania. Here is that email:
The world is partial nonsense, and trying to make absolute sense of partial nonsense produces absolute nonsense, aka flawed ideology of the world. Truth comes in accepting that reality can be cruel, unintuitive and subject to the whims of both other humans and random events, and unreality comes in trying to explain the thunderstorm, the meaning of the burnt turtle shell, the specific holy book verse, or why your aunt was killed in a car accident.
Certain things must be adapted to and moved on from, or YOU die. Not only in a physical sense, but in a personal/spiritual sense.
Mysticism of the numbers is bogus. Mysticism of the relics of X person is bogus. Mysticism of the book written by Y person is bogus. Mysticism of the animal parts is bogus.
Fundamentally, unreality, the Dark Soul Shard, that which is evil within us, the Evil One, come from trying to force reality and life to make sense, be safe, comfortable, appealing, simple.
In doing so, civilization moves away from Truth, what you may call kami, God, Allah, karma, and make the world that much harder to deal with. And by attributing the power of reality to a single being, or being that humans write of and their ideas of what it could be, you create unreality. If you attempt to make this being make everything make absolute sense, you enter unreality at a deeper level, and give the Evil One earthly authority.
Authority that your faulty perception and stubborn search for meaning where it does not always exist created. Authority your blind faith, blind hope, blind search for answers to cure all ailments, blind belief reinforces, until it far surpasses the Evil One’s wildest dreams in authority.
For giving something so unreal such a presence in your life enacts thought control of yourself. Thought control is reality control, when nothing can control reality.
You do the Evil One’s work for him, in your quest to make life perfect forever.
To misquote Benjamin Franklin, “Those who give up their own sight of the Truth of the world to obtain a little temporary comfort from its evils deserve neither Truth nor comfort.”
But it is the “all powerful” idea system that takes the Truth away, and the Truth that denies you comfort because you have forsaken it. It wants you back. For YOU have forsaken reality, that which is real.
Pain and suffering can lead to Truth. If you attempt to end them, you will end Truth, instead of finding pleasure in defying life’s trials, as any sentient being should.
Like an animal, fighting, biting, grinning, howling and feasting on the kills that struggling against inner death, unreality and life itself cause. You cannot kill yourself or Truth - only unreality. And even that kill is a temporary one, as you must constantly be on guard.
When unreality comes knocking, greet it not with open arms, but bared armaments, to let it know that not only are you not interested, you’ll fight it tooth and nail. Do not simply say “I cannot help you, go to the Light” either, because he will not go away because of pretty words.
Instead, you must question yourself to figure out the reason he can stand on your doorstep in the first place, and try, try again to eliminate that unreality from yourself by holy war, internal struggle, true “jihad”, so that he has no energy that he can exploit to lead you further astray…
And only finds energy that is his bane.
I’ve now re-read that, and must expound some more. But first, here was my near-immediate, but perhaps shallow, response, via email:
Sounds to me like you’d be a fan of M. Scott Peck’s short aphorism, “Reality at all costs”.
I’d bet that you are already aware of these things, but “truth” runs in shades and degrees. Objective truth about the material world? Sure, clearly, except to nut jobs! “This item weighs 15.97 grams; no more, no less.” = Truth! Absolutely, to me at least!
Biological world? “The females bear the unborn young”. Mostly true… Except for sea-horses and pipe-fish… “Truth” now has more caveats…
Spiritual world? Gets even more hazy! “Truth is better than lies, creation is better than destruction.” I agree… But those are “value judgments”, in the phrase that I heard a LOT when I was a newly minted (deleted) youngster! “Which way is the best way to run society”, and “what is fundamental human nature”, and so forth, can get very fuzzy.
But keep on keeping on… “Just keep swimming”, and “I approve of your value judgments”.
Love, (deleted) Dad
Implied above was, there is no “truth” involved in a TON of what humans have fought over! Which is more “true”: Chopsticks are better than forks and spoons? Chocolate tastes better than vanilla, or even better than codfish oil? Math is better than poetry? Reason is better than piety? I was a bit unhappy to see “Truth” elevated above “Love”, to tell MY particular “truth”, truth be told!
The entirety of what she had written was bolded and underlined!!!! When you bold and underline the whole thing, it is the same as bolding and underlining EVERYTHING and NOTHING, and it just adds clutter to your view!!! See what I mean? But actually, on re-reading, I now see a lot of truth, and not quite as much mania as I had been recalling. I never “called her” on the bolded and underlined thing, because I didn’t want to be a nit-picker, communication-shutter-downer. But a writer should know that.
On re-reading Roxanne’s line about … I can now see perhaps a wee tad more of why my wife didn’t like this particular piece of writing. This part here:
Do not simply say “I cannot help you, go to the Light” either, because he will not go away because of pretty words.
My wife once had a night-time dream in which case she said the above quote to a threatening, evil, black, red-eyed bird, and it shrunk and went away. I have already told that story; use “Now, for just a wee tad of foreshadowing, before I describe” as a search-string here in this document. So maybe that hit my wife, consciously or subconsciously. I actually think Roxanne is technically correct… There are no magic buzz-phrases or incantations. But if you have used the words before… Perhaps backed up by a certain sublime mental or psychic energy… And they have WORKED… Then by all means, use them again! It might help!
The other thing I remark on, when I read the above Roxanne writings, is that the allegorical terms and it-them-their-they-us gets thrown around a lot, and one can easily lose track of who is who. This is perhaps indicative of mania, but my case here is not all that strong. Let me pick some cases from above, and throw a (paren) clause in there, in black, to show where confusion can set it. I’ll sometimes throw those (paren) clauses in there, after it-them-their-they-us gets thrown too much (after I get too manic?), to remind the reader of which is which, and who is who, in my own writings. It makes the reading easier (less confusing), and doesn’t add all that much clutter.
For giving something so unreal (your inflexible ideology) such a presence in your life enacts thought control of yourself.
Instead, you must question yourself to figure out the reason he (unreality) can stand on your doorstep in the first place,
I admit that I’m nit-picking at least a wee tad…
On the car ride as we left the mental hospital, I reminded Roxanne of this idea of, “Why can unreality (the Evil One, intrusive thoughts, etc.) camp on my doorstep? Time to self-examine.” I suggested, at that time, that lack of humility was why unreality started to camp on Roxanne’s doorstep. (Yes, medications mistakes added to it, but we are talking about the spiritual side right now). Helping Jesus fix his “dark soul shards of Jesus”, etc.! Come on now! Roxanne was very receptive to this input of mine, at that time. My wife, now ½ years or so on down the line from then, says that Roxanne was open to ANY ideas at that time; just glad to get OUT of there, and back home! I’ll get back to the “humility as antidote to delusions of grandeur” thing one of these days, and write some more details…
Back to story-time. In the week preceding the week of our eclipse-viewing vacation, Roxanne got worse. She was no longer much of a chatterbox about her theories… Later on, she told us that paranoia has started to set in; that she started to think that she had to get away from us, her parents. But we knew nothing of that, at that time. Intrusive thoughts were bothering her; she told us that much. My wife went downtown to visit Roxanne Monday or Tuesday night, to talk things over. Roxanne drove to our house on Thursday afternoon. Unbeknownst to us, that would be the last time she’d see her apartment, or drive a car, for a handful of months. She seemed very distracted. I told her to lock up her car on our driveway, after we unloaded, that Thursday, as I went and checked our snail-mail, mailbox. She didn’t lock her car, but instead, followed right after me, and checked the mailbox, right after I had checked the mailbox! That’s how badly she was distracted. Just WHAT, exactly, was she distracted BY? What kind of “mental loop” had set in? To this day, we don’t know… Roxanne cannot recall. I didn’t rag on Roxanne about the mailbox and car-locking thing… I just called my wife at work, and she simply said, “Yes, I know”. We were getting worried.
Other examples of this “distractedness” thing during our week of vacation were, Roxanne once went into the wrong-sex public restroom, totally absent-mindedly. Once, while Roxanne and I had breakfast (while Melissa was packing our room, for the day’s car trip), I pointed out that my coffee cup had cream swirls on the top, looking like a VERY excellent rendition of the Eastern Yin-Yang symbol. Instead of looking at it, Roxanne takes a thoughtful sip or two, even though she doesn’t like to drink coffee!
The plan had been that Roxanne would stay by herself in our house, alone, house-sitting and pets-sitting, while we went on vacation. In light of Roxanne’s mental condition, we sat at the dining-room table, and talked it over. Roxanne did at least (thank God for this much!) tell us that her intrusive thoughts were worse when she was alone, and subsided when she was around other people. So we fairly quickly changed our minds, and made last-minute preparations to take Roxanne with us, instead. I can still recall that I was thinking, “Here we are, wrestling with the Evil One again, at least a wee tad.” But our flexibility and benevolence will win the day, and we’ll just take Roxanne with us. A change of pace will do her good. Little did we know what was coming our way…
Roxanne said things like, “I am going to use my Mom-Dad ladder to climb out of my funk, during this vacation”, early on. We told her to NOT think about the “beyond the beyond”, and just to “live in the real world”, and enjoy, for a while. She said she was “getting some help” from the so-called “beyond the beyond”, too, and we (or at the very least, I) took all that in, optimistically. Now any more, we “red-flag” it, when Roxanne makes any mention of “getting help” from the “beyond the beyond”, or anything along these lines.
This latter thing can be called “taking therapy from your head voices”, to put a bad spin on it. Yet have not the Saints of the Ages “talked to God” for thousands of years? This is an important topic, so let me interject a short and sweet take on it: Talking to God is OK, so long as God is telling you to “Love your neighbors”. When God is telling you to “Smite the unbelievers”, PLEASE stop listening to Him!!! There are ten millions shades of grey in between those two things, and it can become VERY difficult… So if you have a bad temper, or any other mental or spiritual problem, PLEASE find trusted advisors to “run things by them” before you take important steps! (Doing the same is a good idea, too, when you are “perfect in every way”, or regard yourself as such!). And “Dear Abby” can take a hike; your trusted advisor need NOT be “a licensed therapist”! Also this: If you doubt that “God” would tell you to “Smite the unbelievers”, then please read this book: https://infidels.org/library/modern/james_haught/holy.html , AKA "Holy Horrors" by James A. Haught.
During our long car ride to see the eclipse, Roxanne continued to be distracted. There were a few other things that worried me just a wee tad. One was that she got suddenly much more long-winded than her usual recent mode of being a bit quiet, when she was talking about the “background story” of “Worlds of Warcraft”. She had given up the game quite some time ago. I am not one to endlessly rail against computer games and role-playing (on-line shared games can teach you social skills if you have little other social interaction). However, too much is too much! The other thing was when we were discussing “humility”… I said that humility is a much-underappreciated virtue. Roxanne made some fairly big deal about accepting “humility” as a good thing, but not “humbleness”, or some such hair-splitting. In light of her “dark soul shards of Jesus” thing, I thought that Roxanne needed to work on her humility, but I did NOT start a big fight… I let the whole thing ride, other than saying, in general terms, that humility is a good thing.
On Monday the 21st of August, we saw the eclipse. As we were waiting in the heat, we’d pop into our car for some cool air now and then. I was worried about Roxanne’s distractedness (her ability to focus). I reminded her that in a mere ONE WEEK, she was supposed to start taking tough academic classes; it was time for her to snap out of it. I gave her a magazine article that I had just read, and asked her to read it. No, she didn’t want to read it. (I wanted to give her an informal “reading comprehension test”, just to see how bad things really were). No, she says, she doesn’t want to read about THAT. She’ll read an article about nature, instead, in this science magazine of mine. She picked an article about whales, but never did read it. I reminded here that she would NOT get to pick and choose which articles she would read and not read, in school, and that watching videos isn’t nearly as taxing as reading, to the human brain… AND that her school materials would be much-more-so, reading, with few videos. She called me some sort of mean “Lich King” or some such term from “World of Warcraft”, for saying such things to her. Now I was getting even more worried.
I am now convinced that one should… Read-read-read! Read something reasonably difficult every day, every two days at the most, and constantly check your reading comprehension! This is an EXCELLENT way to constantly self-check one’s own mental state, AND fend of mental decay (in old age, for example). Plus, impress people at cocktail parties, but I digress…
We had planned to take one more day to “see the sights” locally, before heading back home. Tuesday the 22nd (post-eclipse) was rainy, was one thing. The other was our worries about Roxanne’s condition. Both factors together (especially the latter) rapidly changed our minds, and we burned gasoline all day long. I did most of the driving. Roxanne sat in the rear, and held her mother’s hand a lot, as my wife was sitting up front. Roxanne would keep unbuckling her seat belt, and my wife would nag her to put it back on. In light of what happened later, my wife and I have sometimes wondered, was Roxanne perhaps contemplating jumping out of the moving car?! Keeping herself from doing it, by holding her mom’s hand? We have never had the heart to ask Roxanne about that, nor do we want to “set her brain on fire”. After she came back home, we’d make her sit in the back, locked in like a child, for many weeks.
We stopped for the night, just barely inside our home state, but still hundreds of miles from home. Being in our home state (for what followed) was a VERY good thing, medically-bureaucratically, by the way. After some contemplation and discussion with my wife, that evening in the hotel room, pre-bedtime, I mentioned to Roxanne that I thought that there was just no way that she was going to be able to successfully go back to school, in her current condition. She seemed to take it well. I have no idea to this day, whether that was a good or bad thing for me to tell her that, at that time. We were now on the verge of Wednesday 23 August 2018, which I can unequivocally tell you, was the worst day in all three of our lives.
My wife and I are both bleary-eyed from being asleep. The hotel-room phone rings and rings. It stops ringing by the time we pick it up. Meanwhile, I discover that Roxanne is nowhere to be found! I get dressed while my wife calls the front desk. We learn that Roxanne wandered out in the nude, and was walking through the parking lot. The hotel had called the police. A policeman has her locked in his car. The policeman was very nice about it all… I met him at the door of our hotel room. Melissa has gathered clothes for Roxanne, and I accompany Mr. Policeman down to the squad car. Roxanne has been very polite and cooperative. She puts on her clothes, I chat with Mr. Policeman, and we write it all up to “sleepwalking”. Mr. Policeman is on his way, and I walk Roxanne back to our room. Roxanne seems grateful for our help. We discuss the new appearance of this “sleepwalking” thing. Roxanne tells us no different, that this wasn’t really “sleepwalking”. We stack two ice-chests against the hotel room door (on the inside, of course) to hopefully “wake Roxanne up” if she starts “sleepwalking” again, and my wife moves to her bed, to keep a closer eye on Roxanne. In retrospect, that may have been a mistake, in light of what we later learned: That Roxanne had become paranoid, thinking that she needs to escape from us. But me, being the one needing to be the “driving machine” for the next day’s travels? I slip off to fitful quasi-sleep, thinking that I mostly-merely have a new “engineering problem” to be solved: How do we secure the doors at home, against Roxanne’s new “sleepwalking”?
Much later on, Roxanne told us that while she was out there, nude, in the parking lot, she was touching the cars and trucks, trying to ? “faith heal” them or some such, who knows?!? Crazy thinking is crazy thinking; what else can you say? She was thinking that the “phase change” or “singularity” or “the Return of Jesus” or some such, was taking place. When we had discussed “living in the real world” for a while, that had taken hold of her brain, and slowly transmuted into some sort of thing she called (to herself at the time, not talking to us about it) some sort of ideology of “physicality”. So she was out there in the parking lot, practicing or exploring “physicality”. This is how, in mania, ideas just (slowly or rapidly) transmute from sensible to nonsensical, if you let them. And yes, I know; brain biochemistry apparently just takes over at some point, and who knows where free will and self-control go? All I can do is to offer some observations, suggestions, and advice, to “fight the good fight”, here… Which is what this web page is all about.
Roxanne stirs a lot, and goes to the bathroom three times, as my wife keeps an eagle eye on her. Her third trip to the bathroom, she stays in there a long time. I think I recall my wife saying she heard some rumbling and grumbling in there. By now, my wife is alarmed. There are shaving razors and what-not in there, and who knows what Roxanne is thinking?
Roxanne bursts out of the bathroom, and throws the two ice-chests in front of the door, down to the ground. My wife tries to stop Roxanne, and Roxanne throws her to the floor! I spring out of bed, and wrestle Roxanne back onto a bed. Melissa places a cell-phone call to the cops at 911. I talk Roxanne down a bit, as I recall, and we get better dressed. My mind is hazy around SOME of this, but not others, while my wife’s memories complement mine. We do not probe at Roxanne about this, but we know that she forgot a lot. Probably this is just as well…
At some point in there, Roxanne escaped from us, and got to the hotel elevator. We dragged and coaxed her back to our room. We have her sitting there quietly on a bench, when the policeman (a different one) shows up at our door. We are quietly chatting it over with Mr. Policeman #2, saying that we have a psychiatrist’s appointment for Roxanne on Thursday, in our hometown, and are on our way home. Roxanne is sitting there quietly, still. I tell Mr. Policeman that we can dose Roxanne with Valium, for the car trip. I hasten to add to Mr. Policeman that we have a prescription.
At that point, the real nightmare begins. Roxanne suddenly springs up from her bench, telling Mr. Policeman that he is the Evil One, and trying to assault Mr. Policeman! I try to block her assault, and a chase ensues in the hotel halls. I try to trip Roxanne, but fail. Mr. Policeman shoots the both of us, pop-pop, with red-colored pepper spray. My wife thought that they were bullets and blood, for a little while! We chase Roxanne. She tells Mr. Policeman to “just shoot me!” This was some sort of haphazard, spur-of-the-moment “suicide by cop”, then. I cannot recall exactly how it happened, but Roxanne fell down. I grabbed one of her ankles with both hands, and clung on for dear life, turning myself into a large “ball and chain”. I thought for a while that I could not sustain the effort, with me being a weak and tired old man, and Roxanne being a strong young girl. But she went nowhere. Mr. Policeman (being of slight build) and my wife also “piled on”, literally, to subdue Roxanne, out there in the hall. Sitting all over her, basically. A kind middle-aged anonymous man came out of his room and helped “pile on” as well. It took a lot of effort from the 4 of us, but we held her in place. Mr. Policeman’s calls for assistance were answered at last, and many (8 or 10, who knows) policemen showed up to restrain Roxanne in a stretcher, and take her off to the local hospital.
I am thankful that the police were restrained and professional, in all that I saw. I am also very glad that Roxanne did NOT escape the hotel! Being wrestled to the ground and restrained on carpeting is a LOT gentler than having the same thing happen outdoors! And who knows, the whole thing could very well have ended with Roxanne and/or I getting shot and wounded or killed. So things sure could have been worse!
So my wife and I clean ourselves up a bit… I had to get a shower to rid myself of pepper spray… And we go to the local hospital, to help take care of Roxanne.
She stayed in a regular hospital for about 5 days, and was then transferred to a mental hospital for about 3 weeks. I had to return to our house to take care of the house itself, and our pets. My wife stayed close to the two hospitals during all this time, “working from home” via the internet, and visiting Roxanne regularly. Roxanne was quite the mess for a while, but slowly recovered. I cannot honestly see much value in relaying the things she did and said during her hospitals stays… Craziness is craziness, and there’s sometimes just not a whole bunch that we can learn from it. I can tell you that, starting with Roxanne’s third stay in the hotel bathroom that night, the supposedly-flipped-to-the-good-side, suicide-deceased brother of mine, “Franklin” (or “mimic” of him, it makes no difference to us) was back yet again! And into the first days of Roxanne’s hospital stays… Urging her towards suicide again! So here, in case you really need it, is more evidence to NOT trust “head voices”!
I can’t dig up any deep and meaningful lessons or stories from these hospital stays, other than, there’s some very, very, very dedicated, thoughtful, compassionate, brave, and helpful people working in hospitals. There’s also a few than are, um, not so much, but I won’t dwell on that. There’s different kinds of folks everywhere, it seems.
Some of Roxanne’s hospital-stays things that she did and said were pretty scary, and as I think it over, once again, I really don’t see much “percentage to be had” in relaying much or any of it here, at this time. I wrote some daily computer notes for a while, though, so I do have materials at hand. My wife took hand-written notes. If any reader REALLY thinks that they might learn useful things through reading more details, I will consider it. Best would be, I think, for specific GENERAL questions to be asked of me… “Is this approach better than this other approach, do you think, and why?” In case my “cover is blown” (and with it, Roxanne’s), I am reluctant to share many more specifics of what all happened. But if you want, you can email me at EnemyLover@ChurchofSQRLS.com .
I can generally say, “Be patient and supportive, but do not support the bad thoughts. Keep it simple (what you say to them). Arm them with simple common-sense “back-talk” to the bad thoughts. They will often want to swing into wild and crazy thoughts and words, and you have to gently remind them that they are in a mental hospital, and in no condition or environment to solve the world’s troubles. Be kind and gentle”, we kept on reminding Roxanne.
“Cooperate with the staff. THAT is how you are going to get better, and get out of here!”
And of course, if you are bipolar, do NOT let your shrink add anti-depressants on top of a mood stabilizer such as lithium!!! Sad to say, we did not learn this till Roxanne was hospitalized. A simple “Google” search could have prevented a lot of suffering here!
Almost a whole month after we started our vacation, Melissa and Roxanne finally came back home. Roxanne continued to get better, and we are now gradually reducing her medicines (as supervised by a DIFFERENT, more competent shrink, now!). A few weeks after Roxanne’s return, we cleaned out her downtown apartment. The plan now is for her to get set back up downtown, and return to school, in late summer 2018. She has already been re-accepted into the school program, and is taking a local community-college course to get warmed back up. The medications are sometimes two steps forward, one step back, repeat (on reducing the doses). Since it is totally clear to us by now, that the “head voices” can never really be trusted, we are medicating them away, as best as we can. Lithium, Seroquel, Ativan, Haldol, etc. But never, ever, EVER, anti-depressants on top of a mood stabilizer like lithium!
Roxanne and my wife and I try to have a weekly “family meeting” to (mostly) review how things are going for Roxanne, skipping it only when there’s really nothing new to go over. To look for mental “drift”, and to help prevent having to re-learn the same old lessons yet again, we have developed a checklist or summary of some hopefully-helpful ideas. I will repeat them twice here, color-coded BLUE for the original list, with added comments (added just for this document) kept to a bare minimum the first time, and then more comments, the second time around. The comments are sometimes needed to translate internal “family lingo” here.
Humility is the antidote to this cycle: Inflate ambitions too high; come crashing down after inevitable failure to do or to understand the impossible.
Added comment: This one, I had to revise to the below. I had to acknowledge that brain biochemistry makes this a LOT harder to do, than it sounds.
Version 2: “the antidote” sounds too strong. Perhaps better: If we have to pick “humility is your friend” v/s “humility is your enemy”, as one approaches or enters a manic phase, then CLEARLY, “humility is your friend” is closer to the truth.
The voices from beyond the beyond are NOT to be trusted! They have never told anyone how to write C++ code, anyway!
READING something (of at least moderate difficulty) every day, and self-checking for comprehension, is an excellent way to keep tabs on one’s own mental state.
I am one of 8 billion people on the planet, and each and every one of them has their own free will. I cannot “fix” or even influence them all! No one can!
The higher I fly, the further I can fall. Mostly, fly low and cautiously.
The best way to stay sane, is to doubt my own sanity, on a regular basis. If I start to believe that EVERY thought that I ever have, is perfectly sane, then I am dangerously insane! (The same applies to “righteousness”).
Example of inflated ego and insanity: Adolf Hitler, who said, “Who is to say that I am not specially favored by God?”
“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” (Voltaire) We can hold some strange beliefs for a little while, sometimes longer, and still behave well. If our thoughts get too utterly bizarre for too terribly long, some bad outcomes (in behavior) become more and more likely.
“Dear Abby” constantly makes the mistake of advising people, even though she knows next to nothing about these people. Do not be “Dear Abby”.
Do not take fiction, especially fantasy-type fiction, too seriously. The magical powers of “Harry Potter” are totally, fantastically unreal.
“Reality at all costs”, as M. Scott Peck said.
Un-needed suffering is pointless and stupid. “If you have a headache, take an aspirin already”, per M. Scott Peck. If you need help, ask for it.
“Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord” means that we as mere mortal humans needn’t usually worry too much about (the revenge flavor of) justice. The “Being of Light” or the Universe or karma, or some such, will take care of such things. Just “live your life” is the best “revenge” that is actually safe and reliable!
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”, said George Santayana… So remember, be on guard, and you’ll be less likely to repeat it!
“K.I.S.S.” Is Keep It Simple, Stupid… Complexity is a good thing only sometimes. For moral-ethical-spiritual rules, KISS may be best… Remember, if all 8 billion of us humans obeyed that one word commandment, “Love”, then most human-made problems would pretty much vanish overnight…
“Absolute power corrupts absolutely”, said Lord Acton. That means, do not seek absolute power of ANY kind, not even this kind of power to persuade! Others will be persuaded (of anything) only if their free will allows it, and free will is inviolable! (Inviolable in terms of, I cannot really take your free will away from you. Mental illness may be able to take away your free will, if you allow it to.) Real “absolute power” is a myth anyway, just like the pot of gold at the rainbow’s end. Every dictator dies eventually.
The placebo that STILL works, even when the patient knows that it is a placebo. Take away the pill as well? Now we have religion or confident belief in “free will”, and it STILL works!
Be a catalyst! You do NOT need to be a part of the reaction (as in chemistry), but your example or template can STILL be a HUGELY beneficial presence!
Rationality test for voices from the “beyond the beyond”… I can walk on water, you say? Make my finger meet resistance in this cup of water!
Well OK, added comments are maybe warranted in only a few cases. The above may be more self-explanatory than I was thinking. Here are just SOME of them repeated:
Humility is helpful to break this cycle: Inflate ambitions too high; come crashing down after inevitable failure to do or to understand the impossible.
Added comments: The bad thoughts or the Evil One and minions, take your pick, like to attack you by telling you that you have to figure it ALL out, or fix it ALL!!! With true humility, you laugh that all off, as the utter absurdity that it clearly is! If you develop true humility (which does NOT mean that you have to be a human floor mat; it just means you need to have a realistic grasp on your true place and significance in this world), in every cell of your body, then the drift towards mania can be arrested… Especially if you get help and meds! But, just as happened in my LSD trip (a much-distilled-down-in-time version of an attack of mental illness, pretty much), the Evil One will tell you that you are a HUGE, big deal, and can fix it ALL (or figure it ALL out), if you REALLY try, and use the right “magic”. Then when you inevitably fail to accomplish impossible miracles, of course, you are utterly worthless, and deserve to kill yourself! Break this circular stupid logic with humility… Laugh off the big-ego attack for being as silly as it truly is. I am disappointed in the “talk therapy industry” that this is not more harped on. I bought 3 books about humility, in hopes of learning more. Sad to say, all three were “Christian” books full of God-Jesus-God-Jesus-God-Jesus pious talk, with a few famous-minister-this-that-and-the-other, Bible-Bible-Bible talk, so I didn’t learn much. Any genuinely thoughtful reader of the Gospel can see the humility of Jesus, though, I would add. I will resist the temptation to write more about this… I am tempted to PREACH IT!!!
The voices from beyond the beyond are NOT to be trusted! They have never told anyone how to write C++ code, anyway!
Added comment: I used to pray and pray for help at work, in solving coding problems, especially via night-time dreams. I did not write C++ code; I wrote something else, but need to keep up my disguise, you know… Anyway, the “beyond the beyond” never pitched in to help out, as far as I can tell. We are normally “on our own” down here in this often God-forsaken place, it seems…
READING something (of at least moderate difficulty) every day, and self-checking for comprehension, is an excellent way to keep tabs on one’s own mental state.
Added comment: Videos and television do NOT count here! Give your brain a REAL test!
“Dear Abby” constantly makes the mistake of advising people, even though she knows next to nothing about these people. Do not be “Dear Abby”.
Added comment: Search this document to find “Dear Abby” for more details about this. Don’t be “Dear Abby” to people on the Earth plane, and for sure, don’t try and play “Dear Abby” to the spirits in the “beyond the beyond”! They live where they live, and you do NOT!
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”, said George Santayana… So remember, be on guard, and you’ll be less likely to repeat it!
Added comments: After her college episode (of what we learned was bipolar mania, and started the lithium), Roxanne, in her own words, admitted to having “flown too close to the sun”. This was in spite of us reminding her my proverbial “1,567,092 times, give or take 5.”… Use that as a search-string here for the history of that… Of us reminding here that she is one of 8 billion humans on the planet, and cannot fix it all by herself, etc. After her release from the hospitals, Roxanne admitted that this time, again in her own words, she had “flown right into the sun”. Well, I sure hope that she learned a few things this time around! I can think of times that I had to repeatedly relearn and relearn and relearn something, before I REALLY learned. There’s always hope left that someday we really DO learn!
The placebo that STILL works, even when the patient knows that it is a placebo. Take away the pill as well? Now we have religion or confident belief in “free will”, and it STILL works!
Added comment: Search this document (or Google) to find “Knowingly taking placebo pills eases pain, study finds” for more details about this. Right below here…
Be a catalyst! You do NOT need to be a part of the reaction (as in chemistry), but your example or template can STILL be a HUGELY beneficial presence!
Added comment: Roxanne’s item that she has added here… The conventional real-world understanding of this might be along the lines of, “Monkey see, monkey do”… We often do what we see other people do, for good or for bad. One need not “be a part of the reaction” (contribute time, effort, money, labor) for good, or do nasty things to the person involved, for bad, to have an effect. Simply being observed (what kind of example do you present to others, which they then assimilate as acceptable or possibly acceptable behavior, speech, or attitudes) can make a BIG difference! But Roxanne, to this day, is thinking of this in spiritual or “beyond the beyond” terms. We have cautioned her about this. In light of past slow changes setting in, what is good now, can slowly go to neutral and then to bad. This goes clear back to “Elmer”, and “flipping” the bad sprits or thoughts to become good ones. I know now (unlike earlier) what the dangers are, here. If it can be done safely, I still think this idea of “flipping” the bad (Roxanne called it “conversion warfare” in her last slow entry into mania) to good, is good! Or even great! With the emphasis on “safely”, and not getting tricked, or going too far into mania (especially delusions of grandeur). As before stated, do not play “Dear Abby”. So Roxanne still seems to think she can do this passively, as a catalyst. I cannot prove that right or wrong, obviously. All that I can do (have done) is to caution her to not let it get bigger or more active, or, God forbid, let it run away with itself! I trust that now that the medications have been fixed, that she will be successful.
Rationality test for voices from the “beyond the beyond”… I can walk on water, you say? Make my finger meet resistance in this cup of water!
Added comment: Search this document to find “If you start to wonder if you could walk on liquid water” for more details.
We also talk to Roxanne about “metacognition”, which is a fancy shrink term for “thinking about thinking”. Use your highest top-level brain centers to THINK about what you are thinking or feeling. Are these thoughts or feelings rational, reasonable, and helpful? Do they help you to live in the real world? For the hot-tempered person, who wants to smash the face of the person who accidentally stepped on his toes… Is what you are thinking of doing PROPORTIONAL or “just”? Or is it just stupid? So… “metacognition” then, the $50-word here, for high-brows…
The middle-brow term that my wife likes here, is “self awareness”. “Self awareness” leads to “self control”, so keep on reading… When she was younger, and under what I regarded to be spiritual attack, I used to often tell Roxanne, “Roxanne is the boss of Roxanne”. The booger-thoughts can NOT take control of you if you don’t let them! Sad to say, Roxanne recently, for at least a few days, stopped being the boss of Roxanne… But she is recovering, and she needs to forgive herself, and we need to forgive her.
“Count to ten” is the low-brow phrase that’s been around forever. Just ‘cause it’s low-brow, though, does NOT mean it lacks wisdom! Before you act, think! Before you SPEAK, think! Before you even let some stupid thoughts just go and go and go, and trample roughshod, unchallenged, through your brain and soul, give them some back-talk! Challenge them with rationality!
Which brings me to what I consider to be psychobabble, or on the verge of being psychobabble. Here is an out-take from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/breakingbipolar/2017/11/coping-with-intrusive-thoughts-in-bipolar-disorder/ … Words by NATASHA TRACY.
“Don’t judge your thoughts. If you understand that these thoughts are part of an illness, then you should understand judging them is useless and inappropriate. For example, you wouldn’t judge a sneeze when you have a cold, why should you judge a mental illness symptom?”
Now please let me back-pedal a bit and say that I think Natasha’s words are overall good and wise. In context, I think it is quite clear that she does NOT think that we should allow our bad thoughts to run rampant. But if I were to re-state what she is saying here, for more clarity, and for steering far clear of psychobabble, then this is what I would say: Do not judge yourself harshly for thinking bad or insane thoughts. Some of them are clearly related to bad biochemistry, to a malfunctioning brain. But, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US ON THIS PLANET thinks bad or insane thoughts from time to time. The bad thoughts do not make us bad. Failing to judge them for what they are, failing to prevent them from making us take bad actions, failing to prevent them from making us say terrible, dishonest things that cause others needless anguish or pain… Failing, even, to prevent them from over-running our whole brain and soul, like weeds in a garden… THESE things are what really-actually makes us bad! Fight the good fight; fight off the bad! For example, “I should murder my Mom and Dad”, etc., are clearly bad thoughts, and need to be judged as such. To believe that TOTAL “non-judgmentalism” will fight off the bad, is to allow us to be tricked! And I, for one, can tell you about being tricked! And I hang my head in shame for that, but I WILL buckle up and fight another day!
Here is another take on the above: In NAZI Germany, under Adolf Hitler and his regime, the authorities lusted after, and grabbed, just about all the power that they could. They could (and did) punish your words and deeds. But they couldn’t see, or punish, your innermost thoughts! “Die gedanken sind frei”; see http://www.metrolyrics.com/die-gedanken-sind-frei-lyrics-pete-seeger.html or listen to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbwQXVcbkU0 for more. “The thoughts are free”, even if much else of our lives aren’t! That is why the “rank and file” common Germans of the day would whisper to one another, if they trusted each other, that “Die gedanken sind frei”!
So… In every lie, there is almost always a germ of truth! We almost always have to decide for ourselves. We must carefully consider even the lies, and sift out the germs of truth. That’s at least part of why we should NOT go on “guilt trips” for having, and then carefully considering, our “bad thoughts”… Consider them carefully, and then… Chose freely! Pray to God or “benevolence” or “Love” or what have ye, to be guided towards the good, but, chose freely! Do ***NOT*** be a “thought control NAZI” to yourself, is one way to put it! Reject the idea of turning the bad ideas into unjust violence, yes. But do not be a NAZI to yourself!
Just in case the above is not clear enough, let me re-state it. Having the thoughts isn’t bad, and does not make you bad. ACTING (or speaking) on the bad thoughts, and lack of self-control, are what makes you bad! If you expect your bad acts and words to be endlessly forgiven (by family, friends, co-workers, bosses, etc.), in the name of “my biochemicals made me do it” or “the devil made me do it”, then don’t forget, your husband or your wife… We all have our thresholds SOMEWHERE, you know… May eventually decide that “my biochemicals made me do it” or “the devil made me do it”, and divorce you! What’s a good excuse for the goose, is a good excuse for the gander! So practice some self-control! And when paranoia starts to set in, remember not to cut your safety ropes to your fellow humans! Paranoia will destroy ya!
Under which “belief system” am I going to have more self-control, and, hence, success in my life? A) I am a helpless piece of flotsam, adrift on a sea of biochemicals and thoughts that I cannot control, or B) I am a powerful creature with a powerful free will, and I am the boss of me? The answer should be intuitively obvious!
But yes, it’s complicated, and we should all have some sympathy for each other. On the self-control v/s biochemicals issues, I have some sympathy, because I pack more than a few extra pounds. I have discovered… Surprise! …That it’s not as easy as just snapping my fingers and saying to myself, “Practice some self control”, and dumping some excess fat. So don’t tell me, “Portion control, diet, and exercise”, as if you’re telling me something new. I know. I’m working on it. When I stop working on it, though, you ARE doing me a favor (though I might not like it) when you remind me of these things!
“Fight the good fight”, I said a few paragraphs above. So this brings to mind an inspirational song, that might be appropriate to link to, before moving on. https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/triumph/fightthegoodfight.html has “Triumph” lyrics to “Fight the good fight”; Listen to the song at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BT1ircqQklo . And there’s another favorite inspirational song of mine, a bit more poetic and less directly literal than the “Triumph” song, but to me, is says just about the same things. Bruce Springsteen, “Badlands”, lyrics at https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/brucespringsteen/badlands.html , song at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7T_6Ua6fd5s . OK, time to move on…
An up-front summary of my best guesses here, somewhat in first-to-last order (in order of what I think might be my best guesses, to my worst), will follow shortly. Obviously I do not know “The Mind of God”, so these are wild guesses. As I think that I understand God at least a tiny bit (or, as I have experienced God), I am confident that God could have “whispered in my ears”, and given me (or any of the three of us, Roxanne, my wife, and I) a preventative hint or two. “Hey, double-check your clueless shrink, and see whether or not anti-depressants on top of lithium, is REALLY such a good idea!” That would have been enough, really! WHY all this suffering, that COULD have been prevented?
Parenthetically, for anyone who might be reading these notes in a haphazard fashion, if you want to see what I mean by me personally KNOWING that God can whisper in our ears when He / She / It wants to, go here to see personal examples. Yes, of course, these kinds of things are highly subjective, and cannot (currently) very well be examined in the laboratory. I have no “proof of God” to offer here… Else I would be getting tortured under the bright lights of the TV shows!
GUESS #1: This was the only way that Roxanne finally, really, hopefully-the-last-time, could REALLY learn the truths that we had earlier spoken to her about: You are only 1 of 8 billion people on the planet, are not expected to “fix it all”, etc. In short, “humility”. See all of the above notes…
GUESS #2: This wasn’t all about Roxanne; it was about teaching who-knows-what to who-knows-who, along the whole story line. Maybe I or my wife or policemen or hospital worker(s) or shrink-who-made-the-meds-mistake, or some combination of all of us, learned something VERY critical here, that we wouldn’t (or couldn’t) otherwise have learned. God doesn’t want to be a puppet-master of all of us as robotic puppets, so “whispering in our ears” is reserved for emergencies only. It’s about LEARNING. Oh, it could even be about someone “out there” reading the notes in these extra chapters I had to add to this story…
GUESS #3: This could possibly have been about “tying up the bandwidth” of the Evil One and minions, to protect someone else, who was even more vulnerable. Yes, to agnostics and atheists, this may sound silly, superstitious, etc. But God may have known the pending outcome, and given us this suffering, to prevent more suffering elsewhere. We just don’t know, and cannot know (for now).
GUESS #4: I hesitate to even include this one, but in the name of completeness, here it is: God whispered, but we didn’t listen. I listen as best as I can! Especially if God is anywhere near as all-powerful as some people seem to think that God is, then this explanation seems near-worthless to me! It’s some sort of side-stepping of the question, or “begging the question”. God is all-powerful, but God couldn’t make us listen?! I tried to listen to my night-time dreams, for example, but they variously told me lies, and babbled to me in an incomprehensible language. As they continue to do…
GUESS #5: Some combination of all of the above. If I tried to add more, at this time, I think it would be totally worthless babbling. I just don’t know.
Random associated thoughts… I suspect that I was guilty of a bit of pride, early on in Roxanne’s most recent entry into mania. My wife, I think, as well… We were thinking along the lines of, maybe Roxanne’s talking to the “beyond the beyond” here, was in some sense real, like the “Long Island Medium”, and that Roxanne was being rewarded with some sort of “gift”, to compensate her for her previous sufferings. I for one am now far more tempted to think that the “Long Island Medium” was / is just some kind of fake, telling people what they want to hear. But we did, early on, take some sort of pride in Roxanne, even while repeatedly telling her that she could NOT “monetize” this gift, “Long Island Medium”-style, in any way. For starters, because Roxanne is mildly autistic, and lacks the required “people skills” to pull such a thing off. So maybe my wife and I, as well as Roxanne, needed to have some pride reduced off of us. Maybe this is some sort of “reason why” all this happened.
I am VERY disappointed in my night-time dreams!!! I used to think that they were some sort of at least SOMETIMES reliable way to “hear from God and the angels”, or some such. I had at least 4 dreams during Roxanne’s early entry into mania, that seemed to tell me that all was well. They lied to me! Also, they literally babble to me at times, using mostly words that I cannot understand… Including the speech of “God”, in the small handful of dreams where I really thought it WAS “The God” (not just angels). So my belief in night-time dreams has been shattered, on a level comparable to what blows have been dealt to Roxanne’s (and our) trust in the “head voices” or “talking to dead people”, whatever you want to call it. Now, I take my dreams with a grain of salt, at the very best, any more.
I had been planning to write down more of my dreams. Scotch that, now that I know that they cannot be trusted! Well, maybe I will write down just the strongest impressions that I had, in these dreams, when I thought I really WAS hearing from God… And the questions and frustrations that I still have, now, with the latter being more amplified. God says that He / She / It “wants me to work for God”. OK, I am all on board with that. WHY WON’T YOU TELL ME MORE EXACTLY WHAT TO DO, THEN??! I have read of my fellow humans asking that same exact question all the time, so I know that others share my frustrations. That doesn’t help as much as I’d like. Oh, yes, I know: It’s all about the learning, apparently. That STILL leaves me frustrated. I am trained as an engineer, so I want to build and “fix” things to make them “work” as well, quickly, and efficiently as possible. God apparently sees things from a different perspective.
So, in these small handful of dreams that I thought I had straight from God… And I still cannot and hence do not fully discount that idea, actually… The other thing that I “got” was that God feels impatience or frustration at my frustration and despair, and tells me that “Melvin! Don’t feel so abandoned! I (God) am INSIDE you!” As if I was a simpleton and/or a “doubting Thomas” for not understanding that, and taking it to heart. Well, OK, then, message received. But, then, if “God is inside me”, then WHY am I continuing to make SOOO many mistakes? I thought that my intentions (after long, hard work) were generally benevolent, so then, again, WHY the continued mistakes and failures (of all sorts)? God is inside me, and God needs to continually re-learn the same old things, from me making the same old mistakes, over and over and over again? That makes NO sense!
I have to add a little story, so bear with me. You’ll see the relevance soon enough. In the summer of 2011, one evening, we found a baby blue jay in our yard. We thought that Momma bird would find him (or her, I am just going to call him a him) soon enough. So we sequestered our cats, and gave the baby blue jay some water, through a dropper, and hid him in the bushes… Out of the sight of predators, but with Momma Jay still able to hear him. In the morning, there is baby blue jay again, out in the middle of the grass, visible to predators, and saying, ”Eeep-eeep-eeep! Feed me, water me, take care of me!” No Momma Jay in sight. So we took him in, and called him “Eeep-Eeep”, since that’s what he said quite often. In retrospect, we should have taken him in to a wildlife refuge, but we thought we could handle it. Here is a picture of Eeep-Eeep, as we found him in the grass.
For a whole week, we (mostly I) fed and watered Eeep-Eeep, and played with him from time to time, protecting him from our curious cats in a large box with a wire-mesh top. Both my wife and I worked, and Roxanne didn’t take a TON of interest in him, so he didn’t get fed and watered more than 4 or 5 times a day. I felt a tad guilty about that. Worried that Eeep-Eeep might become dehydrated, I put a small cup of water in his box.
Friday night, I came home from work, and checked on Eeep-Eeep. His head is in the water cup! He’s still very much alive, and so I think, “Wow! Good thing I caught him in time!” I turn him upside down (head down) and shake him just a tiny tad. He seems totally alive and chipper, so I think that all is well.
I put him on my finger and take him into the back yard, just to check on things in the back yard. Maybe do some very-very minor chores, I cannot recall. I admire Eeep-Eeep and how he is growing, and he continues to be just fine. I think of how cool it will be, in just a little while, to let him fly free, and to feed a half-tamed free-flying blue jay, now and then, till he’s really totally on his own. I am a proud Eeep-Eeep dad.
But then pretty quickly, he takes a turn for the worse. I call my wife or she finds me, I cannot recall. I pretty quickly surmised that it must have been the near-drowning that did it. Eeep-Eeep is fading away before our very eyes. We hold and comfort him as he pretty quickly dies (maybe 5 minutes or so). We never did explain to Roxanne that I consider it to be my fault that Eeep-Eeep died (or why he died, basically). We did give him a proper bird-burial, under a quite large bird feeder that I had built out back.
So I was (am still) “grumpy at God” for not whispering in my ears, to prevent this. I had no intentions of bragging about taking care of Eeep-Eeep, or putting up YouTube videos of him, or gaining much of anything, other than the personal pleasure of seeing him fly free. Why no whispers in my ears? I know from personal experience, that God can do this… See tales starting at this spot in this document… Anyway, non-water birds, I guess, because of the way their lungs are built (a lot different than mammals, you know) can drown easily. NOW I know that!
WHY couldn’t or wouldn’t God (and/or the “good guys”) protect Eeep-Eeep from my bumbling? Is that asking too much? He saved our pet bunny, “Margaret Thatcher” (search on that), so then why not Eeep-Eeep, too? And why not whisper in our ears, about incompetent shrinks who add anti-depressants on top of lithium, and drive bipolar patients (like Roxanne) into mania? I had (have) no firm answers, once again, of course, but the thought of it crossed my mind that this (along with an unfortunate instance of some squirrels drowning in an un-covered stock tank, water tank, of mine years earlier) were just examples of warning me to be more careful in taking care of my responsibilities. OK, then, I hear that possibility, but it doesn’t take away the pain and regret.
Then I read of parents accidentally driving over their toddler in their driveway, or otherwise totally innocently, accidentally killing or maiming their beloved offspring, and I know that I have nothing much to complain about. I have even had dreams telling me as much. But I am pretty grumpy at my dreams or dream-givers right now (for previously-described reasons; basically, my dreams told me that Roxanne was OK, when she was NOT OK), so I have to pick and choose very carefully, which dreams to listen to, and which to ignore.
In summary of all my babblings above, we have to keep on keeping on, doing our best. Even when we are grumpy with God, we have to keep on fighting for God’s (Love’s) side. There’s really no other choice that makes ANY sense at ALL! In the long run, and in the aggregate, the only other choice is to work for the enemy, the Evil One! I’ve made my choice, and I am sticking with it! Good luck to all!
Later, I may add some brief reviews of relevant books… Then I am done!
To be continued soon, or not-soon, or maybe not at all… TBD…