navigating a world which feels like gravity is working in reverse

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  • Category Archives Matters of the Heart
  • Brain Power

    I’m starting to see why some people can be Christian while others can’t. I think a lot of it comes down to brain power. Brain power is something separate from intelligence, brain power is more about how you can organize your mind to get what you want out of it, intelligence is just how fast and expansive it works.

    I search old emails a lot and I remember my aunt who is a Christian therapist telling me in 2005 to play cognitive tricks where basically in the circumstances that weren’t totally bad I marked the things that weren’t total crap as God working. Something similar is going on in that popular praise and worship song “Waymaker” where they tell you to put your brain in sleep mode and pretend God is working even when you can’t see it or feel it. My problem with playing mental gymnastics is I am aware I’m playing them as I’m playing them so like a magic trick that I’m aware of the slight of hand going on so I don’t get the desired effect.

    People with a lot of brain power can tell their brains to do whatever they want and their brains obloge. It’s almost like they have really good software controlling their microprocessor. For example an iPhone will shut down their processor’s high powered cores to save battery life. For a person this might mean checking their brain at the door when they walk into a church. The ability to believe in the supernatural at one moment and then be perfectly sane at another is more of an accomplishment than you think. I could only believe in magic when I’m psychotic or close to psychotic.

    I think brain power is important in all kinds of other areas but religion is just the one I think about the most. When you don’t have much in this life you think about religion more because it’s shoved down your throat and you don’t have anything else going on.



  • some angry poetry

    God doesn’t “elect” most of us on the spectrum
    because he hates us just as much as everybody else does

    who’s more powerful than God?
    the people who own him!

    when people say looks can kill
    what they really mean is that bad looks can
    because looking bad is often a sure ticket to loneliness
    and loneliness is as bad for you as smoking

    being accepted by Christians
    involves reverse gaslighting
    getting them to think you are extra sane

    ever-ee time i contemplate suicide
    a CHURH IS THINKING OF MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

    my brain is a microcosm
    of a world without God

    the heart is like a pinata
    it makes itself beautiful
    with the unconscious aim
    of being broken open

    to most people you are a baseball card
    they are looking for your stats on the back
    or filling them in with their mind
    given what they see on the front

    i believe suffering is good
    it’s good for making you go on the government dole
    it’s good for making everyone but helping professionals
    stop talking to you
    it’s good for others who now have more access to life gems
    you were competing for (good jobs, mates)
    it’s good for stealing meaning from your life
    because the good things in your life like dignified work and relationships
    were the things that gave meaning, and are the very things suffering takes away
    it’s good for making all your conversations consist of emotional baggage
    so nobody wants to talk to you
    it’s good for alienating you because you no longer have common experience
    so you have nothing positive to say
    it’s good for making you invisible (at best)
    because you often have something visibly wrong with you
    that makes others feel uncomfortable

    no justice
    no peace
    no goodness
    no hope



  • Not In Touch With My Emotions

    Proponents of modern psychology are remiss as to why I’m not in touch with my emotions. There are several reasons:

    I’m bipolar 1 and the illness itself as well as the medication stunts emotion. Before I was bipolar I didn’t have as much of a flat affect, I felt things more and was more expressive. People connected with me better because of it.

    I had some scares around losing my vision when I was in college. For a while I was in fear of losing my vision. This eventually caused me to start repressing my fear which impaired emotional function.

    Starting at around age 31 I got tinnitus. My tinnitus is not near as bad as some people but (as you can imagine) someone likely on the autistic spectrum who was born blind I am super sensitive to sound. To deal with this new stream of unwanted input I became more emotionally numb.

    The parade of people (of both genders) cutting me off and ghosting me hasn’t helped either. Most people deal with this but when you have a disability with relationships you have to take what you get because most people won’t touch you with a ten foot pole. A lot of these people are pretty damaged too so it makes for a lot of bad relationship things.



  • Show Values

    Show values permeate our existence to such a degree that it’s easy to start believing they are actually true. Obama comes to mind, persisting to believe in the better angels of our nature even after being given evidence otherwise over and over again. The other side of show values is if you straight up say you don’t believe in one (like the idea that man is basically good) you get shot down really good.

    As an individual with a disability I live at the intersection of show and actual values. Show values say you get the job your merit affords, actual values say you get the job your physical appearance affords. If I had known the only job I could get was a janitor job then why was so much time, treasure, and hope invested in educating me.

    My latest issue involves something I’ve brought up multiple times on this blog. Show values say that a person with a disability will be tolerated by all but the most ignorant of us. Actual values say that for a person with a physical disability every one of their interactions with the abled world is an incursion that must be apologized for. Granted believing this about people is unflattering which is why the show value of tolerance is pointed to. My problem is because I have impaired social skills I need guidance on how to diffuse the “bomb” of my visible physical disability’s presence in a manner that will appease the room.



  • Being Judged

    I honestly can’t think of anything that fans the flame of narcissism more than being judged. When someone judges you they are signaling that there is something about you they didn’t like. Generally they don’t tell you what it was or they say some bullshit thing that isn’t true. The point is you obsess over what part of you it was they didn’t like and if there is any way you could change it so you didn’t get judged in that manner in the future. This whole process is constant thinking about yourself, you are being rejected for something about you so you can’t stop thinking about you!

    Also when you’re judged it means there is generally one less person in your life and the resulting alone time is often spent in your head having narcissistic thoughts.

    Older generations like to judge our generation and declare us consummate narcissists and they can go ahead, this judgement is just fanning the flames of our narcissism. If you want us to stop being so self obsessed and dwell on anything but ourselves then you have to accept us and point us to something outside ourselves that we could think about.



  • Judging as You Are Judged

    Really interesting TED talk about judging your thoughts the way people judge you to quell the like/dislike monster. The book he references Evolving Beyond Thought has you memorizing Sanskrit philosophy to help quell the storm of thoughts in your skull.

    The two questions you need to ask of every thought are “is the thought useful” and “how does the thought behave”. These are basically the two questions people ask of you when they judge you. So it’s turning the whole judgement on its head and holding your thoughts up to the standard others are holding you up to when they judge you.

    I don’t know if this would work for me but I like it.



  • The Isolation of Suffering

    I think one of the best arguments against the existence of a personal god is the fact that suffering is so isolating.

    God’s people dropping out of your life like flies. Me and many others on the bottom experience is that the people who claim to be closest to God are the ones that get the furthest away when things turn permanently worse. They do this all while parroting the romantic notion of suffering that things are going to go according to “God’s plan”. Well they’re not and you are part of the problem. Religious people will trot out their “free will” theodicy trump card when confronted with the problem of evil. But then they put it away when their free will is frustrating God’s supposed “perfect plan”.

    The fact that for a lot of us suffering turns us into much less of an everyman than more of one. One of the things those of privilege selling suffering say is that it will somehow connect you to a greater experience of humanity. While that happens for some lucky people for most of us suffering cuts us off from enriching people and activities we need to actually become what they claim suffering will make us become. I have noticed in my life that I’m not even empathetic to people who have gone through the same things as me (mental illness). This surprised me. I’m just stretched so thin myself I have nothing to give. Plus there is this thing with mental illness called negative symptoms which actually eat your personality away which flies in the face of anything positive coming out of suffering.

    The idea of drawing “meaning” out of suffering helps less people than you would think. Highly principled people may concoct backstories and astroturf the bad things in their life to things make sense in hindsight but that requires an expensive brain that can play good mental gymnastics. I want dignity and relationships, I don’t give a rip about meaning. Suffering actually robs my life of meaning because I found meaning in dignified work and relationships and what I suffer robs me of both.

    Experiences of God going AWOL. The part of your brain synthesizing “experiences of God” is likely to go down if you suffer enough. Part of this is suffering and skills to cope with it make you emotionally numb and religion (or whatever they are calling Christianity these days) largely transpires on the seat of the emotion. Nobody wants to admit this but the way it’s sold (especially in contemporary worship) is all about emotions. Anything that makes you emotionally stunted is going to torpedo your interaction with “God”. This is partially why so many people on the spectrum are non religious because we don’t have the emotional toolbox to interact with a god.

    The fact that a lot of us turn to the internet for refuge. When the world shuns you the internet raises you. Many forms of suffering like disability narrow people who will interact with you beyond reduced functionality mode to a subset of people which you find online. For example with me if someone doesn’t have a disability and/or mental illness the chance of a relationship happening is just about zero. Unfortunately for religion the internet is not a community friendly to religion partly because a lot of the people seeking refuge on it were already rejected by the church so they carry that with them. Also online interaction is not incarnational the same way real life interaction is so it’s less conducive to spreading religion.



  • Money in Your Brain

    I want more money. Money in the real world lets you go on all kinds of fun trips (at least pre-COVID) and gives you all kinds of health and security.

    Money in your brain does something similar, you can spend it to produce beliefs in happy delusions. That’s why religious people refer to faith as a gift. It’s actually not a gift, it’s paid for by money in your brain.

    Just as it is hard to make money in this economy that is going to Hades, it’s hard to get money in your brain. You have to have had a lot of positive experiences or have a brain that is really good at playing cognitive tricks.

    The younger generation is less trusting and religious and more mentally ill so I surmise that they don’t have much money in their brain.

    Some poems:

    learning how to think critically
    can actually deplete your brain of money
    because happy delusions melt away
    (assuming you didn’t have an abusive childhood
    you start out with a lot of money in your brain like monopoly)

    the way to be saved by “grace”
    is to have looks in your heart
    and money in your brain

    if you have money in your brain
    you can buy astroturf, to astroturf the bad things
    so things make sense in hindsight
    you can buy the ability to play cognitive tricks
    so you can make lemonade out of cyenide