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  • Category Archives Mental Illness
  • 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



  • Things That Point Toward Materialism Being True

    I’ve been over exposed to religion my entire life and I try to believe in all that stuff but it’s like an algebra problem you suspect you got wrong but you don’t know why you got it wrong or have the intelligence to derive the correct answer. Materialism is the idea that the world we can taste touch and see is all there is. Some reasons:

    The colossal failure of prophecy. I don’t care if it comes from a parishioner rolling in the aisles full of the Spirit or a wizard sacrificing a goat in the middle of a flaming pentagram, accurate prophecy from the Dream Team or the Mean Team would go a long way in convincing me that there was something beyond this existence. If someone the beginning of 2019 would have heard a word from the beyond that we need to make two billion N95 masks and they could make a killing doing so, that would have been great. What passes for prophecy is usually as vague as a horoscope. Like “you’re going to meet someone interesting today”.

    The lack of scientific evidence for the supernatural. If there were angels, demons, or ghosts it seems like it would end up on social media as most of us can whip out a camera from our pocket at a moment’s notice. We have elaborate scientific instruments to measure basically almost anything from gravity waves to subatomic particles. Incidents where the supernatural has been seen like with Prophet Yahweh seem to point to certain actors able to leverage glitches in the simulation rather than a world whose rules are governed by what our major religions tell us.

    The fact that suffering is so incredibly isolating. The problem of evil is correctly on every atheist’s checklist but I think just is big of a problem is people’s orientation towards those who suffer. As a hedge against the idea of chaos and senseless evil Christians try to concoct a redemptive narrative around suffering and pain. Unfortunately this ends up backfiring on them because in order to keep this narrative intact they have to cut anyone out of their lives whose narrative doesn’t end up redemptive, proving that this narrative was a lie all along (just like in quantum mechanics you can’t measure without modifying). When tragic things have happened in my life the people who believed in “God’s plan” were the first to exit. During this time of plague it’s becoming increasingly clear that the people romanticizing suffering and the ones doing the actual suffering are worlds apart. Poverty in the best of times causes incredible isolation (especially as people get past 45) and now Coronavirus is killing these older poor people which is heartbreaking.

    The fact the people on the spectrum are generally not religious. I have stated that the brain has to do a lot of heavy lifting to get religion working through/for you. The same social skills one needs to interact successfully with people are needed to interact successfully with a deity. And just like we do communicating wrong (according to society) we are even gaslit for our expressions of religiosity. When I was Christian I had this crazy theory about the color orange being really redemptive and that got pretty laughed out of the room. God is sold as being near those on the margins (as most autistics are) but our experience bears the opposite, not being able to build an image of God in our head that helps us function or being able to be accepted in a community of believers. Granted not every autistic’s experience is this but I’d say a majority are and mine definitely has been.

    The observation that the content of Near Death Experiences are more a measure of the person’s mental health than anything else. People pushing the supernatural generally point to Near Death Experiences as proof that there is a heaven. What evidence they don’t admit is there are also hell NDE’s and these are pretty arbitrary, not contingent on people’s virtue or religiosity. The fact that that when they did a study on people’s reaction to shrooms they screened out those with bipolar and schizophrenia is telling. People who believe in the supernatural want us to believe these experiences are more than our brain’s regions communicating with each other differently.



  • holding territory

    the lower you go
    the more your life resembles war
    your responsibility is to hold territory
    and the rest of the world’s responsibility is to hurt you for doing so

    I was meditating on this poem and thinking about how the more disabilities you have the worse you get treated.  This isn’t just because you look different and don’t function as much but also because you are a net drain on the government’s resources rather than a net gain for it.  Every gesture you perform is taking up space that is not allotted to you.  Conservatives hate you and they rule right now.  They’re constantly trying to take away your healthcare because they relish seeing you destitute and on the street because it makes them feel better about them selves.

    Of course I made a mis (mister) stake today and went to church.  There was a blob of people all congregating around a table that just ignored all of us and I didn’t go bother force myself upon them.  I fucking hate religion but I need it to be true because I have nothing else.  So I force it upon myself which (witch) does not do anything good for my mental health.

     



  • The Supernatural

    it’s difficult to believe in the supernatural
    unless they’re going after you

    I believe our brain blocks out the supernatural the same way a neurotypical’s brain blocks out extraneous stimuli.  Of course this is offensive to philosophical materialists as well as Christians principally because I have a very negative view of the supernatural, it is like living on the street where predators notice you and will swarm.  This helps make sense of why mental illness was seen as direct action by the devil or his charges in premodern times.  Because when you are mentally ill the ability to filter out the supernatural breaks down so the worst of it are everywhere.  It also explains why demon possessed people had more insight on the supernatural like seeing Jesus as the son of God.  Of course I don’t think mental illness is demon possession, just that it makes you more vulnerable to negative spiritual forces.

    From a philosophical materialist’s perspective there is concrete evidence that mental illness makes one feel like they are experiencing supernatural forces.  That’s why I wrote the poem:

    shaving is just cutting yourself in a socially acceptable way
    just as religion is being crazy in a socially acceptable way



  • ideation

    Great article on suicidal ideation.

    At 27, I’ve settled into a comfortable coexistence with my suicidality. We’ve made peace, or at least a temporary accord negotiated by therapy and medication. It’s still hard sometimes, but not as hard as you might think. What makes it harder is being unable to talk about it freely: the weightiness of the confession, the impossibility of explaining that it both is and isn’t as serious as it sounds. I don’t always want to be alive. Yes, I mean it. No, you shouldn’t be afraid for me. No, I’m not in danger of killing myself right now. Yes, I really mean it.



  • Fight or Flight

    Great post on fight or flight from The Realistic Autistic:

    This reminded me of a theory I read years ago regarding deer, humans, and human society. Deer have two modes: calm and upset. They mainly live in calm, unless predators or some kind of threat occurs. At which point they switch to upset, and fight or flight their way through the situation until they’re out of it. After which they switch back to calm.

    Humans used to work similarly. When threats occurred, we fight/flighted to deal with them and then returned to being calm. The theory goes that as human society developed, we also developed things that register as a threat but can’t be dealt with appropriately using fight/flight. Money problems and angry bosses at work, for example. These situations put us into fight or flight mode, but because they can’t be dealt with so simply, we can get stuck in fight/flight instead of returning to calm.

    The theory posits that this is part of where depression and anxiety come from, and possibly other forms of mental illness as well. Heart disease, poor sleep, and other physical symptoms follow as well. Living “on edge” all the time has costs to your mental and emotional health, after all.



  • 48

    Creator of TempleOS, Terry Davis, Has Passed Away

    Terrence Andrew Davis, sole creator and developer of TempleOS (née LoseThos), has passed away at age 48. Davis suffered from mental illness — schizophrenia — which had a severe impact on his life. He claimed he created his operating system after having spoken with and receiving instructions from god, and he was a controversial figure, also here on OSNews, for his incomprehensible rants and abrasive style towards OSNews readers and staff. We eventually had to ban him, but our then-editor Kroc Kamen worked with him in 2010 to publish an article about his operating system despite his ban…. I hope he found peace — wherever he may be.

    At 48, likely jumped in front of a train.



  • compound words

    I have been in contact with someone further along in being destroyed by their mental illness.  Sadly we are no longer friends.  But a couple of things I noticed from her.

    She would write out each word in compound words.  So the site Remedyfind became Remedy Find.  I find in the last couple years I have done that too.

    She would listen to more upbeat music like 80’s new wave.  I have noticed in the last three years doing that too, listening to that kind of music and hopeful music like Luke Brindley and The Innocence Mission.  I used to listen mostly to sad bastard indie.

    One thing I have noticed about myself is I no longer get that clean feeling people promise after taking a shower.  This is evidenced by me often wearing dirty shirts after I shower.



  • God, one or three

    If you want to know me you should read this article on a programmer that believes God is instructing him on how to build and operating system.

    The article rings true because I fit the profile pretty well.  Someone who is a programmer, is mentally ill, and has had a psychotic break where I have transcribed what I believed was direct communication from God to a web page.

    The experience of receiving a direct communication from God is entropic.  You have a few options:

    1. You can choose to believe it and keep believing successive communications from God (while staying psychotic) like this man in the article
    2. You can attempt to write off the communications and try to re establish communication with God while sane.  The problem with this is once the revelations you had from God while psychotic are found to be frauds you have to actually have a kind of apostasy where your that world of revelations is blown to bits.  There is also the problem that compared to the way people say God’s revelations come (a “still small voice”) your direct revelations from God while psychotic seem so much more real.  There is also the problem that mental illness messes with your intuition, your mind is so loud the “still small voice” no longer is even audible.
    3. You can believe all communications with God are just going on in people’s heads.  The more I see inside myself and the world the more I realize the whole concept of a god that communicates with people is a lie.  There may be a god but he doesn’t communicate directly with people the way religious people claim he does.  Communication with God is heavily mediated by the brain so naturally if one is mentally ill the communications with God are going to be destructive.  It’s a no no in religious circles to say things like, “your mind is what the brain does” but my and many other’s lived experience bares this out.

    Which brings me full circle, after a psychotic break you can only choose option 1 or option 3.  Technically you can try to choose option two like I did but as your brain gets worse at doing the leg work of simulating interaction with a personal god you will drift off into option one or three.