Meditation – Just a Little More

I just wanted to take a minute, especially after that last entry that was so full of the ‘mystic’ side of the potential benefits of meditation, to mention a little bit about what I have found to be the #1 reason that I meditate.  It has nothing to do with any sort of mysticism, or psychadelia, so those of you that are ‘heavily wu-resistant’, you don’t need to stop reading just yet…

I found myself in a discussion about meditation with a life-long friend last night.  I don’t remember what prompted it, but at one point I felt it vital to point out that “…when I meditate regularly, I don’t blindly react, I consciously make a choice, and calmly act.”  Now that is not to say that I’ve not had a day where I’ve meditated, and then been triggered into a knee-jerk angry reaction and resultant fulmination.  I’ve had days like that, and some of them have been pretty bad, considering the PTSD-exacerbated nature of some of the triggers.  I do find it important to point out that the really bad examples were, in fact, exacerbated by other ways in which I’d let my defenses down, however.

Meditation has cumulative benefits, though.  I feel my ability to deal calmly and rationally with emotionally triggering events basically increasing, as the weeks go by.  There are local maxima and minima in the trends, of course, but the general trend remains correlated with the amount of time that I meditate each day/week.  I hope you all know how it feels to go through a situation which would have once put you into fight-or-flight mode with only a slightly elevated heart rate, no words stated in anger or other defensive measures, and the ability to [relatively] easily shift concentration away from the event afterwards.  It gives me hope for the future.

Advertisements

My ‘First’ Loss of Self

Don’t worry, you’ll understand why ‘first’ is in quotes in a little while here…

My First Meditation Induced Ego-Death (excerpt from paper journal)

…I did do my morning meditation with no caffeine or anything in me yet.  I also had decided to sit for a duration several minutes above 20– several minutes longer than I’ve done before.  I actually, at 12-15 minutes in, had, for the very first time, a complete experience of ego-death, or loss of self.  It was amazing in its intensity, as well as in the fact that I realized immediately that it was the same state that I used to sink into, and enjoyed staying within, as a very young child, due to the complete isolation and boredom I was often left in, as it was a complete escape from aforementioned boredom, as well as any other negative association.

That being said, it is probably a good idea to note that due to the abused nature of my childhood, I should be aware that it may be tied to negative things in my psyche, somewhere, or it may even be a form of dissociation, masquerading as the loss of self that I felt that I pulled from meditation for the first time.  Though ‘pulled’ isn’t exactly an appropriate word for such, is it?  😉  *thinks fondly of the vignettes in Entering the Stream*  I find that possibility highly unlikely, however, based primarily on the fact that it was far too powerful, and too damn psychedelic, to have anything to do with simple dissociation; though, with the loss of ego, it is clearly related to dissociation, and substances that produce such a state.

As I stated, the experience itself was profound to an extent that I’d never suspected could actually be invoked by something so ‘mundane’ as meditation.  The first thing that I experienced was a ‘whooshing’ sense of almost movement, like I was being released, or pulled, from the shackles of my physical self.  I should’ve tried some astral projection, perhaps, but I will hopefully have another chance soon.  Certainly just being there is enough reason to be there.

My senses, especially hearing, which becomes my primary when my eyes are shut, faded, as if my being pulled away was detaching me from my senses, too.  I could hear the clocks, and other sounds, if I really tried to, but they were faint, far away, and unimportant to the extreme.

My consciousness, constantly trying to articulate things at least a few times a minute in my prior meditations, previously, ended up shutting up completelyConsciousness stopped chasing its tail in my head, as the analogy that I heard on reddit so articulately put it.

As I became familiar with this bodyless state, it felt as if I were moving ‘back’ from where I had sat, previously.  Except the perspective was of everything; almost like with the Ah-Pon experience (I’ll have to fill you guys in on all of that at some point here).  So maybe it was not that I was moving back, but more that my sphere of perception was expanding.  The shifting size confusion was something, also, that was straight out of my parallel childhood experiences in this state, though I had my eyes open as a child, and literally saw the perspective changes in my surroundings, as well.

I felt as though my pseudo-body (am I talking about my light body or merkaba at this point?  I hate to throw those words in and scare those without tinfoil hats away, but perhaps…), that rapidly diminishing and ever tinier spot of awareness, was sitting in the lotus roughly ‘in front of’ (though there were no cardinal directions, to be sure) a giant, almost utterly unbounded, cube.  Or at least that’s what it was for as far as I could follow its edges in my ‘vision’.  I want to label it, to call it the universe, the All, or the Tao/Dao, but I don’t have a clue of how to interpret it accurately.  I kept growing ‘smaller’, utterly dwarfed by this ‘thing’ in front of me, even as it kept getting larger.  It was a strange feeling, my point of perception growing more and more miniscule, even as the cube of [no idea] grew ever more immense– or more accurately, as I grew outward in perception, thus becoming more and more aware of its unending planar surfaces.

Was this cube the 3-dimensional ‘reality’ that I was bound to, I wonder?  What would have happened if I would have turned away from that, into the rest of the void?

I cannot wait to experience it again.  Once this had started, the passing of time had become utterly irrelevant, as the state was beyond pleasant– it was quite awe-inspiring and wonderful.  The only ‘thought’ that I remember bubbling to the surface, the whole time, was that this state was so detached, and so blissful, that there may be a possibility that I could get stuck, either by choice, to stay for the bliss, or because I really had become detached from returning to ‘normal’ consciousness.  Indeed, it was an effort to tug away from that state, when I finally decided that it was time, and to turn back towards the physical.  It was not, however, really difficult, or a challenge.  Just an effort.

[snip]…I could easily see that bliss, and awe, replacing the weak, and dangerous/unhealthy, chemical states that punctuate my roller coaster ride through consciousness on normal days.  Remember what was written in Entering the Stream‘s one vignette…  The more time that is spent in the stream, the closer one gets to perpetual enlightenment, and shedding of pain/desire/attachment.  Each time one is dipped into it, the clearness of one’s ‘normal’ state increases, until one exists in the stream itself.

I have seen a tiny glimpse of nirvana, and enlightenment, and I must continue pursuit of it– and not of the awful & unfulfilling chemical soaring & crashing any more.  Maybe I will have an actual chance of transcendence of at least some of my pain & tribulation that has been my faithful companion so long in this life.


Nine eleven; seventeen years later…

I think it’s only fitting that I take a few minutes today to retell a story that gets me ostracized by nine out of ten groups that I make the mistake of recounting it to.  Well, nine out of ten in the upper midwest; maybe only four out of five when I’m on the coasts.

Yesterday: EMDR Therapy

So yesterday, I was at my second EMDR therapy appointment.  I had originally been told that we would be going over incidents regarding situations of impending or immediate homelessness that impacted me traumatically.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to break down any of those memories and start putting them more into a logical category, instead of the PTSD-triggering, emotional response linked, ‘issues‘ category that has caused me so much trouble, with all of its content.

After we covered the homelessness, and some of my bogus relationship history, we somehow stumbled onto the topic of suspicion and paranoia; specifically, the onset of my largest multiplier for that factor, which was my experience at MiSU while dating the [separated] wife of an airman from the Minot AFB.  I’m not sure if it still is, but on this fateful day in our past (9/11/01), it was the NORAD command and control center, handling all of our air defense capability.

Go figure, it wasn’t long after, though she disclaimed with the assertion that she ‘had no reason to disbelieve anything that I claimed’, that she started mentioning that she thought I needed to be on antipsychotics, and started delving into whether or not my personality had always included certain aspects of paranoia…

Seventeen Years Prior: Shit Hits the Fan

Though the events earlier in the day are somewhat amusing to recount, with the previous night’s massive college binge drinking setting the scene for interesting humiliation and depravity, this anecdote really starts at the point where I finally drug my shaky, hungover corpse out of the dorm room to trudge down to the student union for a meal.

Something wasn’t right, while I was on the way there.  I couldn’t put my finger on it, but then again I was busy trying to shove back the massive alcohol withdrawal anxiety to a secluded corner of my mind, where every set of eyes that came near me wouldn’t send me hiding under the nearest rock.  The physical discomfort didn’t help much, either.

When I finally got to the student union, on my trusty mountain bike, I noticed a distinct lack of people in the halls, for that time of day.  That changed when I passed the game room, though, where the big screen television was kept.  The place was utterly packed, with everybody gawking at the tube.  I went in to see what all of the fuss was about, and was treated to my first view of the first plane impacting the WTC.  It didn’t take long for the current situation to become apparent, with the constant recapping on CNN.  Clearly we had suffered a violent catastrophe of some sort.  As the situation evolved, with the second plane hitting the other tower, it became apparent that it was a deliberate attack (if there had been any doubt).

I hurried back out of the student union, to my bike, in order to get back to my dorm room to give my roommate the information as to what was going on.  All thoughts of breakfast/lunch, and going to class, had been dropped on the game room floor at the student union.  I actually was in such a frantic dash to get back to the dorm room that I ended up totally forgetting about the speed bumps throughout the parking lot; I was just passing a group of female students, when I hit the first one at a fast clip, utterly unprepared.  I flew over the handlebars.  It was somewhat humiliating, but the events of that day had an impact that overshadowed that pretty quickly.  I guess it just goes to show how very significantly this event affected everyone that was aware at those times.

My roommate and I shared our shock & disbelief of what was going on with each other, and ended up discussing the matter with some people around the dorm.  That took a few hours.  After awhile, my girlfriend at the time, Ambra, ended up coming over from the Job Corps facility there to hang out and discuss the day’s craziness with us, as well.  My roommate was very good friends with her, so it was a tight crowd.  The conversation went much as it does in these massively significant incidents where you don’t have any control over what’s going on.  We talked about all of the facts that’d been rehashed in every way possible, already, yet another time.  After awhile, my roommate had left, and Ambra and I were laying on the bed together, just enjoying each others’ company.

Eventually, her cell rang, and she answered it, though it was a number she didn’t recognize.  It turned out to be her husband, who was on break from his post at one of the radar stations at the NORAD control center.  She was laying right next to me, and we were intertwined, so she was taking this call with the phone literally right next to my ear.  The first words out of his mouth were “Now do you see why I haven’t been able to get back to you about that stuff you need from the house?”

Instantly, the world folded out into a new, more complex and sinister configuration, and changed forever for me.  “No advance warning,” had been the words out of Dubya’s mouth.  Over, and over, again.  She had the same realization immediately, and sat up straight to take the call.  He proceeded to explain that they had been on communications lockdown for several days, and that nobody had known what was going on, just that there was some type of threat.  Eventually, after being incommunicado from friends & family for so long, one of the airmen (being in a more plush, and less secure environment than I’d been in, in the Army) was able to sneak in a cell phone; he passed it around to the other radar operators in the control room, so that they could all let friends & family know that they were safe, and maybe give a little bit of a clue what was going on.

He told her that he had gotten her messages, and understood why she was pissed about not being able to pick up some more of her stuff from their house, but that he didn’t really have any choice due to being in the military when national security was involved.  He said that they’d known about this threat for weeks (the world went sideways for me again a little bit more at this point), and that he didn’t know when they would be off of lockdown, but that he’d be in more contact as he was able, and that she wasn’t going to be able to get any stuff until then, and didn’t need to be blowing up his answering machine.

So yeah, that was my first big glimpse of the rabbit hole.  I ended up diving in head first, when I realized that I needed structure to save my life, and had nothing to lose, and joined the Army, knowing what I did.  I guess most people don’t really understand the logic that led me to that decision, at this point, but that’s a topic for another day.  For now I’m just going to get this out.  Hell, maybe I’ve already written about why I went into the Army, knowing what I already did; I certainly don’t have a full recollection of all of the posts that I’ve written, since I started this blog in Portland.

I think that’ll probably be next up on the list, if there isn’t already an essay filling that spot.


A Traumatic Experience in Single Parent Vagrancy (#1 of 2)

Part 1

NOTE:  The following is an excerpt from an assignment that I’ve been given by my EMDR therapist, in order to help her get a better view of one of my primary (recurrent) triggers with the C-PTSD; it’s not a bad first assignment, as it also covers what is probably the most commonly invalidated point of dispute that I have with my adoptive mom, thus leading regularly to C-PTSD episodes of high magnitude.  Also, it should be noted that this is all first draft, completely unedited & unproofread material.  I’m just throwing it in as the verbatim journal entries where I started recording the incidents.

So, due to a cancellation, it appears that my first EMDR session is scheduled for tomorrow morning.  That means I need to crack the whip on this essay on the most traumatizing encounter with homelessness that I’ve had, while being solely responsible for my son.

I’ve have a hard time picking between the mid-winter ejection to the lizard’s household in 2012-2013, and the one around the time of my dad’s death, which ended up with that terrifying night in the back woods of Arkansas, and the final mad-dash back to the hell where it all began anew, over the mountains in a blizzard with severe mechanical issues happening in tandem.  How many times has my life, or our lives, now that D is established with me, as well, been playing dice with death for completely avoidable reasons…  (**NOTE**: It occurs to me here that they are all reasons based upon America’s promotion of greed as the number one human virtue to be extolled, and compassion and humanity being looked down upon as weakness, shed helplessly by failures to the unworthy.)

Though the incident was more distant than the winter ejection to the lizard’s place, I believe that our exile prior to my dad’s funeral was far more full of actual increased risk of life & limb.  I also believe it to be more emotionally traumatizing, being as I had only had custody of D for just over a year, so I was still learning the ropes of single parenting, and I was suffering massive emotional aftershocks from immigration separating his mother and I from being married, as well as my dad dying an uncomfortable and protracted death.  Honestly I can’t think of one sector of my life that wasn’t racked by basically the highest level stressors that a person can endure, at that time.

The actual ejection from the premises was much more of a traumatic & emotional/angry mess, at the winter ejection, too, but the original one shattered my heart the most.  Maybe it had to do with the way my parents could so callously scatter me, with an innocent child of <3yrs of age, to the four winds with no place to go and no real safety net in play other than their rapidly diminishing charity.  I don’t even remember the actual event where my mother delegated from my father (too weak to breathe & talk easily at this point), that he ‘couldn’t even take care of himself, so how was he supposed to take care of me’?  Have I mentioned that the only reason that I had no income/stability at this point in the first place is because of the damn IRS computers going down, causing my 1st semester of year 3 of my bachelor’s degree to go to shit, causing the defaulting of my $7.5k of student loans.  Otherwise, the employment situation would have been a million times easier to deal with during the intervening break.

It was obvious that I was being told to get out of Bismarck, and that I had no place to go in the slightest.  The homeless shelters wouldn’t take us because I’d already had to stay at Ruth Meier’s twice by the time I was 19 (their lifetime limit of provided shelter).  My parents had just kept luring me back with offers to help, and then kept throwing me out on my face, in the dirt, when I had absolutely no legs to stand on.  If I were to survive, I would be requiring periodic cash infusions for gas, shelter, food, and absolutely anything else that was to pop up along the way.  How could I get a job while having no support in the vein of helping with my acclimating 3-year-old son, freshly transplanted from Germany?

Needless to say, it worked out exactly as I told them that it would.  If they could have spent the $7.5k for the school, I would have been able to handle the rest, and never had to fight the employment market so very much.  They would have saved countless tens of thousands on assistance dolled out into ineffectual directions at unwise times.  Somehow, no matter how many times repeats of a similar choice in front of them would (or do) ensue, they could never see a long-term trend, or risk factor, no matter how hard they looked.  It was always better to be conservative with the help, and take the rest on faith in their cult deity who had led them down such a path was suddenly going to make things better, instead of doing what it’d done every single other time.

insanity_einstein_quote_960

I still have selfies taken, during the long hours on the endless expanse of highway, down the upper midwest from ND to IA.  I think things were just too razor’s edge dangerous, beyond IA, for me to engage in such foolishness.  I guess I took them because they represented how fucking utterly alone, and helpless, this new father-in-training trying to take cart of a totally helpless, dependent, and innocent life, felt when faced with all of this.  Trekking through economical hellscapes, and wastelands, chock full of physical danger.  There were etched lines of the shared tracks of many tears over the hours behind the wheel in that SUV, standing out in stark relief against the grime, after having no facilities in which to take care of bathing in.

We did have a brief respite from the stress of all of this while we hung out with those chill friends in IA, though.  It was not to be a permanent situation, however.  The first night after we hit the road from Cedar Rapids, I knew that literal death from one of many possible sources was a very real possibility.


The Mass Index of Human Excitability’s Implications for Psychology and Physiology

Electromagnetism in the Mind, Body, and Solar System

It is well known that the brain relies heavily on electricity, and the cells themselves on magnetism, while functional and living.  Cells divide by aligning in a bipolar fashion, with the nucleus and genetic materials lining up along the lines of force, and eventually splitting at the midpoints to form two new nuclei, after replication.  The brainwaves that we rely on for different phases of sleep, different modes of concentration, and even the ones that we avoid due to inducing seizure, or unpleasant states, are all reliant upon resonant electrical frequencies.

The thing about resonant electrical patterns, and electromagnetic fields, is that they both respond to the electromagnetic environment around them.  Especially if they are ensconced within larger versions of the same.  Of course, the larger scale fields that we are all stuck in together, on this planet, are those of the Earth, and the Sun.  Interestingly enough, the frequencies that the human brain seems to utilize for orderly, required, states of brain activity are all coupled with the frequency of the resonant cavity of the electrical field surrounding the Earth, between the surface of the Earth itself, with the upper shell of the cavity being the ionosphere.  This frequency is called the Schumann resonance, and, not surprisingly, it is embedded within, and thus directly reactive to, changes in the electromagnetic field of our local star.  Especially when it decides to hiccup and throw a flare our way, or a coronal hole throws a high speed ‘solar wind’ stream of electrons in our direction, all of which increase in accordance with the number of sunspots and phase in the 11-year solar cycle.

Why then, is it a surprise, that research linking cycles of human innovation, mass psychology, and significant events in our history, should exist and stand proven?

Index of Mass Human Excitability

An all-too brief introduction

NOTE: originally discovered by A.L. Tchijevsky (see below)

The recent Solar Maximum gives us a wonderful opportunity to observe the Sun in action. Borderland Sciences has been investigating the relationship of the Sun and human behavior for many years, and we are quite confident that we can predict behaviors based on sunspot fluctuations over very short and long durations within the Solar Cycle of 11 years. Historically, research has been conducted to link the 11 year cycle of the sun to changes in human behavior and society. The most famous research had been done by professor A.L. Tchijevsky, a Russian scientist, who presented a paper to the American Meteorological Society at Philadelphia in the late 19th century. He prepared a study of the history of mass human movement compared to the solar cycle, beginning with the division of the Solar cycle into four parts: 1) Minimum sunspot activity; 2) increasing sunspot activity; 3) maximum sunspot activity; 4) Decreasing sunspot activity. He then divided up the agitation of mass human movements into five phases:

  1. provoking influence of leaders upon masses
  2. the “exciting” effect of emphasized ideas upon the masses
  3. the velocity of incitability due to the presence of a single psychic center
  4. the extensive areas covered by mass movements
  5. integration and individualization of the masses

By these comparisons he constructed an “Index of Mass Human Excitability” covering each year from 500 B.C. to 1922 A.D. He investigated the histories of 72 countries in that period, noting signs of human unrest such as wars, revolutions, riots, expeditions and migrations, plus the number of humans involved. Tchijevsky found that fully 80% of the most significant events occurred during the years of maximum sunspot activity. He maintained that the “exciting” period may be explained by an acute change in the nervous and psychic character of humanity, which takes place at sunspot maxima.

Tchijevsky discovered that the solar minimum is the lag period when repression is tolerated by the masses, as if they lacked the vital energy to make the needed changes. He found that during the sunspot maximum, the movement of humans is also at its peak. Tchijevsky’s study is the foundation of sunspot theory on human behavior, and as Harlan True Stetson, in his book Sunspots and Their Effects (available from BSRF), stated, “Until, however, someone can arrive at a more convincing excitability quotient for mass movements than professor Tchijevsky appears yet to have done, scientists will be reluctant to subscribe to all the conclusions which he sets forth.” Stetson did acknowledge that the mechanism by which ultraviolet radiation is absorbed was still a puzzle biologists had to solve.

External Resources

…there is more to come on this topic…


Haven’t been practicing the lesson that I had inked into my flesh specifically to stare back at me every day in the mirror.

In reversed latin, across my upper chest, just beneath my clavicles, there is a phrase that only becomes apparent to someone looking at it in the mirror.  I figured it was a great way to keep focus on a particular troublesome character defect; one of those ones that keeps causing instability, drama, and/or pain.  I’d given somebody, in the early stages of a relationship, too many chances, around the time I got this tattoo, and I’d been taken advantage of and hurt badly because of it.  The more that I looked back on things, the more I realized that it was precisely that injection of instability that had, on a significant percentage of the times, caused me emotionally devastating end results.

I wasn’t going to trust somebody else to do the translation for me, so I pieced together from my own paper dictionaries what I believed were the right words, verb conjugations, and the like, to build the following rough translation: “One chance for strangers; two for friends; three for blood.  No negotiation.”  It might sound a little strict, but one has to understand that it is all based within the context of the lesson.  It’s about letting important personal boundaries slip, especially to habitual offenders about crossing lines.  It’s about allowing one’s self to remember only the good about a situation, when the negatives were too dark and menacing to sanely ignore.  I really don’t care if the translation is perfect, either.  The words are for me, not for anyone else.  They convey the mantra to me more clearly than anything else, thus they are correct for me.

Continue reading


Housing issue has been resolved positively

This is definitely the first incident with a magnitude of potential equivalent to an executioner’s axe hanging overhead, that I’ve had with this agency, that has ended well.  I don’t know if it’s a difference because of the employees involved, because of the fact that I’m in their program as a veteran’s fund recipient this time, or something else, but all is well that ended well.  Hell, maybe I’m learning to deal with frantic emergency in a more effective and positive manner.  I know some things have been changing over the years, moreso lately than in the years prior.

I thought I was going to have another heavily stressful day, as I got up and prepared to call housing regarding the “urgent matter that had to be resolved by the 10th,” as my VA worker put it.  Of course, in a person with my conditions, that wording of the message was going to do nothing more than make me expect the absolute worst, and leave me in a panic attack for the remainder of the time until I’m able to confront the problem head on…

I’d left a message with their night answering service, and then another one directly on her voicemail, before she got into the office this morning.  It didn’t take her long to get back to me.  She assured me, on a phone call that I have proof of (this time around), that the decision to terminate my housing assistance had been reversed.  So it has been a day to rest, and to catch up.

I kind of want to write about the potential repercussions of a ‘safety net’ for society that treats the people that they allegedly save from falling in such a manner.  A lot of these people have fallen before, and many are more brittle, especially the more times that they’ve been down these paths.  It doesn’t take them much to be thrown into the helplessness that they have felt before, and see them disappear through the cracks because of the difficulties that that causes.  Yet for now I’m making a different choice.  Something, at some point, needs to try to fix the systems, if we’re ever to try to reduce human suffering.  For this instant, though, I think it is my time to try to feel content with my situation as it is, instead of harboring resentments.  Truly, if there is to be meaningful work done on something, it can’t come from a spiteful base, anyway.

It’s time to get back to work on that information that I was compiling for other people.  Not full-time, though.  Because split with that, it’s time to make sure that I never end up in such a vulnerable position as this again.  I am getting into EMDR early, due to a cancellation; my first real session will be this Monday.  That’s part of it.  The other part of it is checking more thoroughly into the retraining grants that may be available for me, due to the labor market making my degree insufficient to acquire gainful employment in my field of expertise.  They’ve been tossing around the ideas of welding, electrician, and millwright, as far as the different trades that I could take an apprenticeship in.  Any one of those positions would have my minor student loans outstanding paid for in a jiffy, as well.

I see forward motion in the near future.  That’s a damn good thing.