“We always need to hear both sides of the story.” Phil Collins
Impossible Positions into which I was hurtled through no fault of my own
In the past I have ended up, through the actions of other people and through no fault of my own, in what I–at the time–considered to be impossible positions, the kind of positions I found myself unable to deal with and which because of it–due to my habit of resorting to my preferred ego-defence mechanism, repression–no doubt only resulted in an exacerbation of my chronic health condition. Since I had clearly been the victim as such, I consider myself to be fully vindicated to expose them . . . right here, right now.
When I moved to Leeuwarden in 2005, I still went out occasionally and–on some of such occasions–also took recreational drugs (other than cannabis). I used to be a raver back then and the period of which I speak would be its latter stage. I remember one such experience when I went to a small local rave and met up with a few people I knew. I also remember that after the rave, we all ended up in a house somewhere here in Leeuwarden (it’s probably well-nigh impossible for an English native speaker to properly pronounce the name right, so why don’t you try calling it Leovardia? — which is its Latin name). The ritual of listening to music and doing drugs until well into the next day was not too unusual a thing for me to do at that particular stage in my life (albeit long since concluded, as I am living a purely solitary life since about six years, wholly devoted as I am to recovery of health, as well as doing alchemy).
At a certain point in the course of the morning, I found myself sitting alone with the girlfriend of one of those guys I knew — henceforth called Woman I. At the moment of the incident, the boyfriend happened to be sitting in the back of the house talking with what probably was the tenant or owner of the house. Although I don’t remember the details very well (the retrieval capacity of my memory still leaves something to be desired), I nevertheless do remember that Woman I was sitting with her back to where her boyfriend was sitting. Instead of facing him, she was facing me. And I also recall that Woman I, whom I knew a lot less than her boyfriend (whom I also barely knew, by the way), without any provocation from my end, while having a look of conspiratorial anticipation on her face, started winking at me, repeatedly.
I immediately knew what it meant. But rather than confirming and responding, I chose to disregard her surreptitiously seductive efforts altogether. While refraining from openly expressing how I felt about the matter, I really did not appreciate the dubiously-flattering and sneaky sort of gesture at all (regardless of how favourably intended it would be from her nonetheless selfish end). One reason being that I, in general, don’t like to interfere with other people’s (romantic) relationships. As I have stated before, I don’t like to steal girlfriends to begin with. Moreover, in particular, I am just not attracted to the type of girl who flirts with other guys behind the back of her current boyfriend. After all, how could you ever even trust her if and when she were to end up becoming your girlfriend? But even if I would be the type of guy who would have no qualms about that sort of thing, I felt no romantic attraction to her anyway.
In spite of my uneasiness about this suddenly emerging issue, instead of openly confronting Woman I with her secretly beguiling behaviour (which would have been bound to make quite the peace-disturbing scene), I just chose to ignore her automatically unwelcome kind of attention toward my person, hoping that she would knock it off eventually — which she did too, by the way. However, due to as of then having to deal with an embarrassing sort of secret between me and Woman I, it had become impossible for me to as-of-that-moment have any semblance of normal friendship with the secretly-already-cheated boyfriend. This covertly aggravating event into which I was casually flung would constitute impossible position number one.
When I moved to Leovardia in 2005, I would also occasionally visit a guy I have known since we both were kids growing up in the by-now frequently aforementioned pleasant little peasant village (1980s). He also happened to be living in Leeuwarden, together with what would go on to become–a few years down the road–his wife (as of now referred to as Woman II). As with the previous incident, I also don’t remember the exact details but I do remember that on a certain fateful evening, I was about to head over to their place for a previously agreed-upon visit; and either Woman II was calling me on the phone or I called her, I don’t remember which. When we spoke, I began to have the distinct impression that something was seriously wrong with her, that she had suffered some type of accident on her bicycle or that some other alarming thing had happened to her and that furthermore the predicament in which she found herself also involved her boyfriend — this old childhood friend of mine. Even though my general capacity to experience genuine feelings was compromised due to my chronic condition, I can’t deny that this call did leave me with a funny feeling after we hung up. Anyway, when I arrived at their house and confronted her with the strange phone-call we had maybe only half-an-hour prior, she shocked me by denying the whole thing had ever even happened. She went to gaslight me by boldly denying the (substance of the) call, as if nothing out of the ordinary had ever occurred. Her boyfriend was also at the house when I rang their doorbell and I was under the impression that she was holding back the truth because of his presence.
After that incident, also my relationship with those two folks went downhill and before long stopped seeing them completely. After this misadventure had taken place, I just couldn’t deal with being lied to that squarely in my face, not least because it seemed that there was so much more at stake as she went to blatantly betray the trust of not just me but also her own boyfriend while precisely being in the presence of her boyfriend. She, after all, also lied to her future husband when she dryly went to declare to not having had–what I found to be–this strange phone-call with me (as well as, of course, the mysterious reason for the call). In effect, she came across to me as someone who was too afraid to be honest with also in particular her own partner. And so her fear for him, at that particular yet not insignificant moment at least, would then prove stronger than her love for him. Although it is of course none of my business to judge the quality of the relationship between them (or between any two other people, for that matter), and I have no sure way of knowing to what extent I correctly interpreted the event, to me at the time it seemed clear as day–however–that their relationship lacked sincerity and trust from her end at least; that, as a consequence, it lacked an industrial-strength kind of mutual trust between them. Even though a remote alarm bell was going off inside of me, out of what I suppose was nevertheless repressed shock, I decided not to pressure her. Once again, I failed to express my grievance at the time.
Due to my resulting raised suspicion, it required no effort on my part–even more so since I was feeling, by default, rather miserable during that stage in my life anyway–to altogether neglect congratulating the two at their wedding party, happening only a little bit further down the line. As with the incident with my sister in 2008, should someone suspect as much, my failure to congratulate them had nothing to do with any potentially attributable feelings of envy (which I just didn’t have). The reality-refuting gaslighting event initiated by Woman II, and into which I unceremoniously found myself getting sucked without any solicitation whatsoever from my end, constitutes impossible position number two.
There is, by the way, an interesting parallel between Woman II and my own mother. It so happened that Woman II was also abused as a child, but not sexually. If my memory serves me well, passed on to me way back by her future husband (this childhood friend of mine), her own brute of a father–in order to punish her for some necessarily insufficient and unjustified reason–had gone ahead and broken at least one of her legs when she was a little girl. One of the things I remember about her is that she, just like my mother, liked to gossip, including–most remarkably–about people who were supposed to be close to her, very close, also just like my mother. Presumably due to having parents who did not fare too well in the compassion department (at times of crises), the common denominator between my mother and Woman II seems to be a painful incapability of handling personal shame. She and my mother both seem to never have adequately learned how to handle experiencing what, with ample admitted justification, may be regarded as the most unpleasant–indeed, potentially traumatic–of all possible emotions (psychic states).
While never having properly learned how to handle being on the receiving end of shame, they both could find in gossip an on the surface suitable way to dissipate the toxic symptoms which are due to being victims of caustic and unsoothed shame themselves. That is, both my mother and Woman II appear to have found in gossip their choice escape valve for the perpetual irritation issuing forth from within their own shame-inflamed psyches. In other words, by way of secretly heaping shame on other people, including especially yet paradoxically people close to them, Woman II and my mother sought to mitigate the stresses generated from within their own festering psyches. Heaping shame on others through gossip may be viewed as an egosyntonic (ego-pleasing) means for the gossiper to seduce the people exposed to their gossip into believing that the gossiper themselves could not possibly deserve to be targets of shame. Gossip thus interpreted boils down to being an exercise of misdirection of attention away from the gossiper themselves — specifically: attention of a shaming kind. Unfortunately, however, as I already argued extensively before, being the practice it is of seeking to gain some kind of rise at the expense of others automatically serves to underscore the unmistakable predatory or idolatrous nature of gossip (in which the objects of gossip, the people being gossiped about, effectively serve as choice scapegoats to be symbolically sacrificed [in name] on the abstract altars devoted to practices of Shame-avoiding Self-idolatry centred around the gossipers).
After having lost contact with this couple and after haven’t seen them at all for quite a few years, I happened to run into them at a local supermarket some three years ago in 2014 (and have since never seen them ever again in that particular supermarket). I first encountered Woman II. However–on hindsight–I came to have the impression that she sought to dodge me because she averted her eyes away from me and looked down. When I stopped and exchanged a few words with her husband whom I ran into shortly thereafter, a minute later, she did come around and showed herself. Remarkably, one of the first things she managed to tell me (if not the first), was that she couldn’t detect any darkness in me any more, something which was seemingly a nice gesture, since by then it was five years ago that I had been set free from my demons (more on this down below).
And while it’s certainly true that my view of life had since significantly improved along the direction of light and while it was also true that I was not shining particularly brightly back when we parted our ways some seven years prior, I do find it amazing that she nevertheless had the nerve to talk about my darkness while consistently failing to bring up her own. After all, the practice of judging people behind their backs–the defining characteristic of gossip–is such a cowardly backstabbing kind of practice (especially when people close to the gossiper are victimised) that it cannot possibly be called something anywhere near light (morally noble); not to mention her capacity to squarely lie not just to me but to her own boyfriend-going-on-to-become-husband. On hindsight, it seems as if she once again was trying to cover up her own behind by way of misdirecting attention away from her own not quite angelic self.
And so here she was judging me not even indirectly through gossip but directly right out in the open, right down here in the supermarket — even though, truth be told, to her credit, her verdict of me this time was a relatively positive one. Unfortunately, I was not yet as conscious and assertively responsive at the time and together with the unrelenting miserable and pain-ridden state from which I still suffered back then, I failed to point out to her what I now find to be the obvious: that she would, most of all, be acting respectful toward her own person (and, indirectly, to everyone she affects through social interaction) if she were to study her own psychic darkness (before all else). Indeed, if she were to read what I am writing about her now, I think she’d be well off having a good look in the mirror before ever again judging other people, especially if those people would not be around at the time during which she were to express her de facto verdicts of them and that her victims would therefore automatically be in impossible positions to defend themselves from her charges, her–mind you—secret charges.
Excuse my preachiness, but at all times should it be remembered that everyone has an ego, and–owing to the intrinsic ignorance and fallibility embodied by the ego–everyone therefore casts a psychic shadow, including even those who like to attribute such shady personal aspects exclusively to other people (serving as their choice scapegoats) and who, as such—conveniently, in an egosyntonic sort of sense–might save themselves from what admittedly is the decidedly egodystonic burden of having to acknowledge the presence of their own less–than–perfect side of self.
Speaking of spiritual darkness.
During late summer of 2009, I travelled to the US on invitation by what then was a new American friend, a very spiritual woman of about my age named Moziah — whom I already have mentioned before. She is the person who, entirely free of charge mind you, over the course of the three weeks that I spent with her and her family, went to oversee on an earthly plane the spiritual procedures serving to deliver me from the six demons that had firmly ensconced themselves inside of my being, holding my psyche hostage, were waging war on me and as such were draining my vital (Chi) forces (and probably did so to progressively successful extent ever since I suffered from my double unrecognised childhood trauma). When I came back to Holland, even though I had just had the most meaningful experience of my life, my mother and sister–right after I exposed myself in a vulnerable written account of the events surrounding my deliverance–only gave me an unsettlingly cold and aloof reception, something which was hard to bear since I–on hindsight–was feeling rather (emotionally) fragile due to all the spiritual upheaval I had experienced and was still going through (by way of what then were still ongoing nightly demonic attacks [albeit of lesser intensity], something called demonic oppression, as opposed to demonic possession).
After my brief deliverance mission to the US, I happened to bump into yet another couple here in Leovardia — a guy and girl whom I also have known since I was a teenager (we all grew up in the same cute provincial little town). After a brief and seemingly friendly chat (also taking place at the sort of site where pretty much all of my life’s notable social interaction is happening nowadays: any of the supermarkets in my locality), they invited me over for dinner — to be had a few days later. I readily accepted out of good unsuspecting faith. When I arrived at their place at the agreed-upon time, they first off hadn’t prepared dinner yet. Even though such act of neglect could on hindsight already be counted as a little red flag going up, it mattered not nearly as much as what followed next. While they knew full-well that only days before I had returned from a most profound spiritotherapeutic journey to the US, the woman host–henceforth called Woman III–nonetheless managed to give me a hard time when she staunchly refused to even be open to the existence of demons.
Imagine that for a moment. Here I am–having just gone through the most significant spiritual event of my life up until that point in time–being asked to sit down and share a meal with the kind of people who not just showed to have no interest in what I had just gone through but who, indeed, refused to even acknowledge the nature of the type of predicament which I had been in for all those years I had suffered perpetual torment of what turned out to be a spiritual nature. Is that how you treat a guest? What kind of host invites someone over, only to treat them in a completely unsympathetic and insensitive way?
By the way, if anyone reading this essay ever has the luminous idea to invite someone over and it just so happens that this very same person has just been delivered from their demons, then please for the love of God, do not go around acting like an uncaring DICK or an incompassionate CUNT, but put your best foot forward and act a GOOD host by having at least the COMMON DECENCY and PROPER COURTESY to be open to the sort of spiritual predicament they must have been in and moreover, have SUFFERED from; since, at all times, should it be remembered that a possessed person, unless–I suppose–they purposefully chose to become possessed, is first and foremost a VICTIM because of it.
Again, as I alluded to a few paragraphs prior, there’s a parallel with my mother. My mother and sister also gave me a similar kind of treatment following shortly after my return from the US. When I met them at my sister’s place, they both also showed aversion toward the whole topic of demons and the experiences I had had in the US (which is all-the-more ironic since my mother also goes around calling herself Christian). Both my mother and Woman III deliberately refused to show any interest in what I had experienced and they both effectively treated me as some kind of (humanoid) object, who may be invited over but once there, is expected to do little more than sit down, shut up and listen to the “fascinating” things the women have to say — as if my own individuality, my own experiences and my own voice effectively did not matter to them, as if I had no will of my own, as if I simply mattered not a great deal more than a passively participating mere spectator, one more audience member, their audience.
As for Woman III in particular, I sensed foul play right away. I immediately began to suspect that Woman III was not being honest and forthcoming with me; that she refused to lay all the cards on the table; that she–in fact–was manipulating me; that she was holding back in front of her husband (another interesting parallel, this time with Woman II). I also began to suspect that she was demonically possessed herself, as it would only be perfectly fair to expect that demons could very well have a general disliking of the fruitful works–which I personally embodied at the time–of their chief arch-enemy: Jesus Christ — the supreme master caster of demons from human hosts. And I had no reservations to tell her such speculative and insinuating sort of insight right in her face because I was rather open about such matters at the time and I felt as if I was being victimised by her.
One specific reason as to why I suspected her to be possessed is that, as it happens, demons only stand to profit when people deny their general existence. After all, as long as the owners of the bodies they would be possessing stubbornly refuse to even acknowledge the existence of those sinister types of spirits, demons could then–in principle–just go ahead and do whatever the hell they want to do (within reasonable limits); while at the same time never even having to worry about being detected by what would thus be their ignorant (sleepy) hosts. After all, should they be detected following prior general acknowledgment of their existence, such typically ill-willed types of nevertheless invisible and intangible beings would then face the for them highly unattractive prospect of subsequent ejection from the bodies they inhabit, a spiritual eviction process known in the Protestant world as deliverance, versus exorcism among Catholics.
Hence, demons may be expected to naturally have a profound principled interest to–putting it bluntly–keep in the dark as many of us as possible, their very existence (as spiritual, if you will, squatters) in our world depends on it. Remember above all else the adage: The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was to convince the world that he didn’t exist, that he wasn’t real.
Even though I have always kept this to myself, you also have to understand that for years I have had the distinct impression that Woman III had a habit of chasing my proverbial tail. Pretty much for as long as I can remember, she liked to give me the idea of having an interest in me of a romantic (or sexual) nature. Time and again, to my nonetheless unexpressed slight annoyance at any given time of occurrence, she would query me about the status of my love-life. However, I never was interested in her, at least not in a relationship-kind of way. Granted, I do have to admit that on one particular single occasion–while inebriated, lonely, possessed, horny and a whole lot more reckless and immature than I hopefully am at the present time–I almost did let myself be seduced by her when we all were going out, participants of the nightlife of Leovardia, visiting among other destinations some local yet arguably somewhat fateful bar.(6)
I cannot afford to guess as to why she treated me in the cool and incompassionate way she did, but it ultimately did cause me to also lose any trust I previously may have had in her. This anecdote recounted here, constitutes impossible position number three, and it took me quite a few years before I was able to process all that it meant to me. You have to understand that my unhealthy tendency at the time to faithfully repress conscious awareness of undesirable impressions of life, caused me to fail processing the moral ramifications of the predicaments into which I landed, whether I ended up in such difficult situations through fault of my own or not. Especially when I began to suffer from persistent pain and the dispiriting literally immiserating attitude which it inspired into me, coinciding with my conscience still rather well knocked out of commission, I was automatically deterred from setting out and trying to home in on the precise underlying nature of what to me were impossible challenges to cope with.
Notwithstanding the trouble I had accepting it at the time, my (atheistic) Physics professor was right when he once expressed the observation to me that I suffered from some kind of internal blockage. Indeed, as it later turned out, it concerned a psychic blockage which sometimes weighed down on me like a heavy yoke, and which–I now strongly believe–was catalysed into being by the collection of demons which at the time were still housed inside of me; one of which had the revealing and self-explanatory name of Heaviness. For the duration of the time that I was possessed, I was being attacked and drained from within, instead of without.
In October of 2013, I received a Facebook message from a guy–henceforth called Dr. Snuggles–whom I have known throughout much of my conscious life, and whom for some thirty years straight I have considered a friend. While completely bypassing my own autonomy, the guy had the audacity to announce to me that he–together with his girlfriend, who happened to be Woman III–was going to pick me up what then was a few months hence, in order to take me to a Depeche Mode concert. The message shocked me, not in the least bit because I was feeling miserable and in a state of relentless but oscillating pain back then (as usual) and I was therefore in no mood to do (much of) anything, including especially investing time and energy into being social; to put up that fucking smile, as if all would be fucking well — all the fucking time. But his message particularly hit me because about a year earlier, I had let him know explicitly to wanting to be left alone as much as possible. Instead of honouring my wish, he blatantly went to disregard it by putting me on the spot and for-all-practical-purposes treating me as an object, a by implication infantile sort of object even, whose wishes and personal will somehow did not deserve to be taken seriously, rather like those other people I mentioned earlier had gone about treating me (including my very own mother and sister).
In addition, years earlier when we both had too much to drink and stumbled out of a local bar late at night (in that same vintage little village we all grew up in), a cheeky Dr. Snuggles had tried to kiss me. Apparently, me puking in response was not strong-enough of a deterring signal to the good Dr. when years later he showed to still have a similar kind of attitude, not a boundary-violating attitude per se but a related autonomy-denying sort of attitude, still bloody obnoxious (when ill-timed).
It recently dawned on me that this wasn’t the first occasion at which he tried to kiss me — a few years earlier he had tried to do the same. I did not like it then and I did not like it now. I can also remember an incident which occurred a few years before this latter-mentioned preceding kissing incident. Dr Snuggles, myself and another friend (who happened to be the partner of Woman II) were all visiting yet another friend. I don’t remember the exact circumstances, but it all ended with this other friend (not the host) and Dr Snuggles tearing up my trousers. When I left late at night in necessarily only my underwear, I was hoping the entire time to be saved the embarrassment of encountering any other living soul in the street. I think nobody saw me when I arrived home and praised myself lucky for it. I guess we all were giddy at the time and I let it slide because, well, you have to make an effort to tolerate the tomfoolery of your friends. But all these small boundary-violating incidents did add up, and it did not leave me inspired with a whole lot of trust for those responsible when at least one of them did not know when to stop. Of course, it would be absurd to speak of molestation, and there is just no way I would ever allow myself to be subjected to such extreme form of boundary-violating behaviour, but it does make me question as to the motives of perpetrator(s) — especially so when some of these incidents took place around the time when I became privy of my own mother’s abuse.
Back to the second kissing incident, at first–fully consistent with my general tendency to repress personal unpleasantness–I let it slide because, well, as I said, you have to make an effort to be tolerant of the shenanigans of your friends; and I could very well have forgotten about it, had it not been for another friend–who happened to witness the whole embarrassing thing play out–bringing up the matter at another occasion shortly afterwards. There’s a saying in Dutch which seems perfectly applicable to Dr Snuggles in the way he went to relate to me: een plaat voor de kop hebben, which transliterates into something like having a vision-obstructing board in front of one’s face and as such be unable to, first off, observe what you are doing, or allow yourself to be doing, and to also–by necessity–be unable to gauge the reactions you draw through your committed folly.
Years ago, when I was possessed (before my 38th), I sometimes did things and said things that I now retrospectively regret and do not identify with. I sometimes said things in the past of which I now wonder why on earth I ever said them. One of the things I have said, or more accurately stated, which I allowed myself to say, or yet more accurately, which I allowed to be said through me, happened when I was with Dr Snuggles and I was about 22 years old I guess. I honestly do not remember the context but I made a flattering remark about Dr Snuggles his arse. It’s all very embarrassing, as already evident by having repressed the event into my unconsciousness, and it took me a long time to accept what I allowed myself to have said since it is not something I would normally say or identify with, and certainly not now that I no longer have demons that might tempt me to say such silly yet embarrassing sort of things.
It could very well be that Dr Snuggles went to cavalierly interpret my remark as circumstantial evidence of what would then be my latent homosexual nature. This would also explain his seemingly spontaneous initiative during one summer night after having gone out, to have us both grab a mattress and together sleep on the beach. I was entirely unsuspecting at the time and he did not try anything then, but it might explain his subsequent attempts to kiss me and this other boundary-violating incident, actions that surprised me at the time of execution and never have felt at ease with. In the past, I may have made several remarks to other people which may have led them to believe I had any same-sex sort of interest. But it’s just not true. I have never had tendencies of a homosexual or perhaps bisexual nature. I suspect that my demons were playing tricks on everyone involved, myself and those who were exposed to what was spoken through me at those occasions.
For the record, as I’ve also said before, I’m not a homophobe. In fact, I don’t mind if friends dabble in homosexuality. Oh heck, I don’t even mind if some have the need to go around acting flaming gay. People should do as they please — that’s called freedom and I believe in it as much as anyone else, if not more. It’s just that they should not expect me to join in. In my previous lives, especially the life I’ve lived right before my present one, I admittedly seem to have had my fair share of homosexual experiences. But in this life, when it comes to sex and romantic endeavours, I’m into women. Call me old-fashioned. Call me crazy. See if I care.
As a general piece of advise, people who are currently possessed but who don’t know that of themselves right now, would best take heed of anything that comes out of their future mouth but with which they (immediately or afterwards) fail to identify with. It’s my experience that demons try to exploit moments of personal weakness, moments when your guard is down, and this generally either comes down to your own detriment or the detriment of others (Golden Rule perturbing). Doing or saying things that, on scrutiny, you really can’t identify with, may very well count as circumstantial evidence of possession. An extreme example of such behaviour would be someone suffering from what is known as Tourette’s Syndrome, blurting out typical curse words at typically inopportune times, whose symptoms I strongly suspect are generated from certain more talkative sort of demonic spirits housed within.
A few years ago, the partner of another old friend sent me a PM on Facebook and asked quite plainly if I would happen to have felt as if she had formed an obstacle between myself and this friend, implying to say that if true, I would have chosen to discontinue seeing this particular friend because of what then had come to be her sudden and for me obstructive sort of presence in his life. It was simply not true, however, I chose to live a life of solitude not because of anyone else but me. I told her that if she would be feeling guilty because of it, she needn’t be. At the time, I thought that I had done her favour by speaking so plainly and truthfully, but then not long after, to my surprise, she actually went to unfriend me. It struck me as a pretty demented stunt, all the more because I would have expected my friend to have stuck up for me — which he didn’t do apparently.
I now believe that she either failed or refused to understand me, and that by logical extension this friend–whom I had tacitly entrusted to represent me as a friend–likewise misunderstood me; and because of it both failed to treat me with respect, which is a more alarming matter. As such, there seems to have been quite a bit of confusion as to my person — but hopefully the contents of this essay will succeed to clear up any misunderstandings that might be circulating out there as to my person.
Anyway, back to late 2013. After two weeks had gone by, when the shock had settled down somewhat, I sent Dr. Snuggles a message in which I let him know I was not interested in said entertainment future undertaking and that, furthermore, I did not appreciate being told what to do. If he were to have gone on to show up willy-nilly as planned and I would have felt then the way I felt at the time when I received his “invitation”, I might just have been unable to prevent myself from reacting in ways we would all come to regret later on. Whenever I was in the state of pain and misery I happened to frequently (if not to say typically) be in, I wanted to be left alone as much as possible. It’s that simple, really. I was routinely at the end of my wits and people had better stay clear from me during those times.
He then went to correct himself and turned it into an invitation as would be proper, but the damage was already done. I was still pretty pissed off. I was so upset in fact that for the coming year-and-a-half whenever his name popped into my mind, I would involuntarily associate the epithet — “fucking idiot” — with his person. I know it was wrong for me to have done so, in a technical moral sort of sense, since it obviously did not square with the Golden Rule, but I was just too mad to control myself, especially after having been treated as an object by the others mentioned and by him as well. Sick and tired I was already of being humiliated by effectively being treated less than human, or at least like a little boy needing to be taken by the hand.
Dr. Snuggles also evidently liked to double as an unsolicited Internet doctor of sorts by having (had) the habit to periodically send me links to websites about Candidiasis (every month or so). Obviously, he was first-and-foremost engaged in helping himself by sending what to me were ultimately irrelevant and increasingly unappreciated type of links (since I turned out to not have candidiasis, for starters). Whatever happened anyway to the basic courtesy of first asking whether at-any-rate unqualified medical help would even be welcomed by any prospecting patient? Never ever has he even asked me if I would even be wanting to receive medical help, from–mind you–an untrained non-professional. If someone wants to play doctor, fine, but let (at the very least) people come to you based on their own volition instead of casually presuming that they would automatically be jumping for joy to receive your dilettantish and perfectly-unsolicited ministrations of an arbitrarily-remote medical flavour. In addition, it is rather condescending on his part to a priori treat me as the pitiful kind of person who would simply be too incompetent to by himself gain the medical help he supposedly needs for himself.
The last link he sent me was particularly offensive and humiliating as it was suggestive in what to me was a demeaning way. It concerned a link to some website or book, I can’t remember the details, on the topic of hygiene of bowels — as if my condition would be due to lack of cleanliness. It carried with it the vague suggestion that I was engaging in unhygienic activity involving my bowels, which to me (although I theoretically might be wrong) could only mean that he was referring to not just me engaging in anal sex but being on the receiving end of anal sex. It’s all so embarrassing because he was insinuating in not so subtle ways that I let myself first off be cast into a sexual sort of role which normally is reserved for the female (thus depriving me of recognition for my natural masculinity); and that furthermore I were to be careless and reckless (unhygienic) about such sexual type of contact (thus depriving me of recognition for my mature autonomy). Specifically, he seemed to (punitively) suggest that I stooped so low as to submit myself to other men, by letting myself get fucked in the arse by them.
Newsflash! The only person who touches my anus is me, myself and I and that is only to wipe it with toilet-paper, entirely clean & hygienic teepee, after having taken a dump. End of story.
Can you imagine that I once considered this guy to be my best friend? I now retrospectively think that this joker never quite understood me, or that he at least in crucial ways misunderstood me. This also reminds me of a visit, or set of visits, which I made to the local hospital also with the aim of tending to my persistent (if not perennial) condition. The doctor interviewing me at one point had the likewise embarrassing temerity to ask me squarely if I was a practising homosexual. It was probably standard protocol for physicians to ask their patients when they come around complaining about their arses or bowels, but it caught me off-guard just the same and I let him know with some cynicism that I wasn’t. On the plus side, at least this guy had the sensibility to ask me, instead of dryly presuming as much.
When I confronted Dr. Snuggles late 2015 with putting me on the spot the way he did in 2013, he insinuated that he deserved no blame at all since he hadn’t actually come around to pick me up and force me to join him together with his girlfriend to attend said concert. While it’s true that he hadn’t actually showed up at my place, he did order me to do his bidding; he did tell me what to do at some particular future date — and that simply is wrong. Rather than beforehand asking me if it would have suited me to join him (sort of like what “normal” people would do), rather than treating me as a human being instead of a de facto object, he did seek to override my autonomy as if I was some kind of incompetent child who needed to be taken by the hand and shown around by a grown-up. And so that made me angry and yes he is to blame for passing an immoral order to me, whether he realises it or not.
When I wrote him during a later exchange that I still wanted to be left alone (something which I already had written to him a year before), he then had the gall to promptly unfriend me on Facebook and thereby left me with the distinct impression that indeed he was most of all interested in helping himself as to his attempts to supposedly help me; and so when it turned out that his efforts to help himself helping me were fruitless, the disappointment or aggravation he seems to have felt must have proven too great for him to bear and so, perhaps in a fit of retaliatory frustration (to whatever extent fuelled by shame and guilt from his own end), severed our friendship altogether.
I can’t stress enough to not appreciate being treated as an object, being told what to do — not by anyone, but especially not by someone who himself regardless, has an extensive dubious history of knowing what the fuck he is doing. Indeed, if it were up to Dr. Snuggles, by the way, I would have been exploring the arcane territory of Morphogenetic Fields by now. Some two years ago by now (2015), he also told me–mind you, told me, instead of advising me–to basically ditch my research into idolatry and swap it for Rupert Sheldrake’s line of business. Without seeking to make any kind of value-judgement on Sheldrake’s research (no offence at all to Sheldrake), luckily for me, I did not, do not and will not ever acknowledge the dictatorship of Herr Dr. Snuggles when it, in general, concerns command over my own person and, in particular, when it comes to the academic level of research I happen to be interested in. Somehow, Dr. Snuggles evidently acted on the presumption that while not even having any academic research experience himself (not even holding a degree in anything), he would nevertheless–in spite of his painfully lacking qualifications and credentials–be perfectly capable to serve in the capacity of my research counsel, mind you, dictatorial research counsel.
It is important to stress that he ordered me to change my research field because what if I happened to choose–as I did–not wanting to do as he told me? Would that then effectively transform me into a disobedient bad little boy in his eyes? — someone who would be “intolerably” obstinate by not being susceptible to (his) implied “mature god-fathering-sort-of reason”? See, that’s the problem with ordering a person instead of asking them (nicely). The lack of humility in Dr.Snuggles shows the actuality of him having invested his ego into the matter. By telling me what I should do, it automatically became a matter of personal pride to Dr. Snuggles.
A year earlier, someday in the latter period of 2012, without prior notification, my sister also had shown up at my place; yet did so likewise at a for me most inopportune moment since I–you guessed it–was also feeling miserable and in pain around-the-clock, as I usually did during that period of my life (whether there were any actual people in my immediate environment, or not). Rather than (as I would have insisted upon) contacting me beforehand to ask if it would suit me that she were to drop by, she basically neglected what I only would have found basic yet vital common courtesy. She instead showed up willy-nilly at my doorstep entirely unexpectedly and unannounced. I had been suffering from my chronic ailment for almost two decades by then, but it apparently and peculiarly never quite seemed to have fully dawned on her sleepwalking self that–ever since my early twenties–I had slid down in a progressive state of relentless and unabated suffering (the sort of suffering which, after all, caused me to ultimately be unable to function as an academic researcher).
With friends and family like that, is it then any small wonder as to why I ended up such a solitary person?
Some of my own screw-ups, or at least culpable involvement in screw-ups of others
Even though I have been the victim of other’s people selfish ignorance, I myself am not perfectly innocent either. I have made mistakes as well, so allow me to clear up a few matters.
On my birthday in 2014, I was wished a happy birthday on my Facebook wall by Woman III. I politely acknowledged the gesture even though in the back of my mind I was a bit wary. When I reciprocated on her own birthday two months later, rather than acknowledging my birthday wish, within a few days she came to my wall and liked some entirely unrelated post. Due to her failing to acknowledge my birthday-wish-carrying comment on her wall–while nevertheless leaving me with a strong feeling of her being aware of it–I again felt manipulated. And yet I did not act for a few months and instead effectively let the matter brew (or fester) in my mind. When I eventually did go to her wall to check out if she perhaps had a habit, as some people do, to not respond to placed birthday wishes at all, I noticed that she had liked the wishes of nearly all other people, except you know who.
I immediately felt sorry for myself, and in a fit of vindictive self-pity decided to delete both my birthday wish on her wall as well as hers on my wall. I now realise that it was a childish thing for me to do. But I apparently was very sensitive at the time, and which I now gather might have been due to my newly recommissioned conscience, coming equipped with extra-sensitive feelers sticking out into the social yet abstract world around me. I felt as if I was the victim of her manipulativeness — something which I also must have felt when she and her husband of the time invited me over, almost five years before, and had the nerve to disrespect me–their invited guest–by refusing to even be open to the nature of the spiritual experience I then had just had (see above).
Fast forward a few months later. A few days before the birthday of her boyfriend–Dr. Snuggles–came up, she invited me to like her art-page on Facebook. I again was instantly suspicious of her motive, but, nonetheless, checked out her page, considered it looking decent enough and decided to click like, even though I was less charmed by the person behind the page. In addition, I was still pretty mad at my supposed soon-to-be-former friend–Dr Snuggles–for putting me on the spot and for implying to be yet again on the verge of violating my boundaries and treating me like an object; and so I consciously chose to not wish him happy birthday.
Furthermore, I was intensively reading books at that time and one of the books I was planning to read was mentioned in “Linda Lovelace” her autobiographical book called Ordeal. I had finished Ordeal about a year earlier, and had the other book of which I speak already in my possession for about half a year or so, well before this whole new dramatic episode with Woman III started. However, at the time when Woman III asked me to like her art-page, in a fit of vindictiveness, I decided to start reading that particular book a little bit ahead of time, a bit sooner than I had planned. I knew, or expected, that if I would add the book on my list featured on my Facebook wall, I would likely manage to elicit a reaction from her. This became only even more apparent when I actually did start reading and noticed that its author and Woman III shared the same surname (this extra-spicy little piece of information was initially not known to me). The resemblance between the two women struck me therefore as being even more striking, which caused me to chuckle inside a little (excuse the little wink to Marquis de Sade, there). Again, I concede that my motive was tainted by a little bit maliciousness on my part, but I felt at the time–even though it should not be misunderstood for a justification, as two wrongs don’t make a right–that I was only giving her a taste of her own medicine. Besides, I was going to read that book shortly anyway and so if she strongly reacted to it then, she would likely have done so regardless if I were to have started reading it at a time of my fully-independent choosing (something which I otherwise do with all of my other books).
In spite of the petty thing that it was, regardless of my dedicated mental campaign to downplay its significance, I have spent many anxious hours reviewing its moral nature ever since — courtesy of that same recommissioned conscience of mine.
Then in 2015, when my birthday again came up, I happened to receive a PM from Woman III in which she expressed her desire to–no less than–come on over and pay me a visit at what by then was my new residence. I was perfectly surprised at receiving her request. Needless to say, I declined. I was (then as I am now) in no mood. At this stage in my life, since a few years, not least because of finding it too demanding and too burdensome to be dealing with other people, I want to interact with a bare minimum of other living souls (I do live like a solitary monk, after all). Even if I would have felt perfectly fine at the time (which I still didn’t), I would not have wanted her over. For one, I did not like her that way but even if I did, I would still have refused her since I find the place where I’m currently living simply too noisy to receive guests — and I did tell her as much in a return PM. You see, I live in an apartment complex, with people living below, above and beside me and where the walls and floors are obscenely thin. My place is so noisy–in fact–that, instead of in my bedroom, before the building was subjected to a major refurbishing overhaul late 2018, I used to sleep in my kitchen since that is the most quiet place of my apartment and I needed (then as I still do now) complete silence in order to be able to sleep decently.
More specifically, I live on the second floor. There are two apartments directly above me, one below; there’s one adjacent to me and two diagonally next to me. The lady who lives on the top floor above me has this wake-up radio that used to start blaring at 6am sharpish (this was back in 2017). I found out that it did not just disturb me, but also the person living below me and the person or people living next to me as well. My immediate upstairs neighbours since 2017 are a family of immigrants from Eritrea, a young couple and two young children (the youngest of whom, a newborn, has since passed away though). It took two years, a lot of aggravation, a lot of running up the stairs to knock on their door to complain, and finally an explicit intervention (with the aid of an interpreter, no less) from the neighbourhood building manager to get them to become sufficiently less noisy, to sufficiently adapt to the prevailing behaviour-curtailing general conditions of living (no more running around and about by any present kids, most importantly). It’s quite funny (in suspicious way though), since the immigrant father, who the first year came living here by himself, knew that the building was noisy as he admitted as much when he talked to me, on one of the first occasions we met, through a friend of his acting as interpreter. Anyway, also greatly facilitating my peace of mind, since about a year-and-a-half, during the day, I’m wearing wireless headphones with noise-cancellation and, as such, am quite capable of saving myself the aggravation of having to be exposed to unmitigated neighbourly chatter and other possible (verbal) loudness (coming from above and below). That’s, in a nutshell, how noisy this apartment complex is.
We would therefore have to have met down-town.
When I asked her as to why she wanted to visit me, in spite of blatantly failing to have taken the trouble to acknowledge my birthday wish on her wall that year before, she managed to tell me that this is what she would simply like to do with people she felt good about or with whom she claimed to be on a good footing. She implied therefore her intended visit to be no more than a common courtesy on her part — a perfectly innocent sort of expression of some kind of social call type of hobby. Of course, that may be the simple and unadulterated truth. In all fairness though, colour me suspicious all day and night if you must, but I already found that hard to believe from the get-go and, sure enough, when the next day I happened to read her new status update in my home-feed on Facebook, I suddenly became a whole lot more wary of her motive to visit me.
She basically declared–right then and there, on Facebook–a termination of the relationship with her boyfriend, Herr Dr. Snuggles. Of course, I know nothing for sure but, at the time, I again felt as though she had dumped the guy to do me some kind of favour (if this is true, it’s now her turn to wink at Marquis de Sade). It felt to me at the time as if she had terminated her relationship upon finding out that I supposedly would be romantically interested in her due to my admittedly selfish and ill-fated decision to, months earlier, erase my birthday wish from her wall, hers from my wall and so might entirely inadvertently have given off the nevertheless plainly mistaken impression to her that I were to be jealous of–what then was still her boyfriend—Dr. Snuggles. The painful truth of the matter, however, as already stated, is that I was vindictive and pitied myself over a mere petty reason. Christ Almighty, I have never even been jealous of Dr. Snuggles. Indeed, I’ve never been jealous of any other of her previous (play)mates too, for that matter. And even had I been as much, how on earth would jealousy ever be a sound and fertile ground to kindle into being any kind of (romantic) relationship?
Her behaviour might–however–be understandable if she already had the hots for me, so to speak, and so would be left fishing for affirmations to that effect, ones that would be coming from what then would be my reciprocally-interested person. But this was never the case from my end. The idea that she was more interested in me than I in her, would also explain the impression I began to have that she was stalking me on Facebook for, I dunno, the next half a year or so hence, because her name constantly kept popping up in my poke-recommendations list. She even once explicitly reacted to one of my comments on some public post of a Facebook page I was following; commenting after mine that she agreed with me and I was left with the impression that she did so in at attempt to draw me nearer by signalling kinship with me due to having the same opinion on the subject at hand, which–if I recall correctly–was about the ill societal effects of porn.
Fast-forward to somewhere near the end of 2016 when Woman III posted a picture on Facebook of what presumably was her own person, one in which an apparent torso was flaunted, the kind which was remarkably bloated and quite possibly therefore featured a pregnant belly. And sure as can be, a few months down the line she changed her avatar on Facebook to a picture of herself in which she posed together with a nameless baby, presumably her own though. Also somewhere in 2016, she sent me an invitation to like a page about a business run by the parents of Dr. Snuggles. I again felt as if she was trying to tell me something in a manipulative way. Nonetheless, I decided to put my best foot forward, and do everyone a favour by liking also that particular page (the validity of that favour will hopefully become increasingly apparent in the future). On the accompanying profile picture of that page she can be seen smiling happily together with a likewise happily-smiling Dr. Snuggles and likewise jolly-looking parents. Hence, upon becoming privy of all this information, I gather it’s fairly safe to say that she was back with Dr Snuggles; indeed, that they seemed happily so to the point at which they even managed to produce a child together. I can only hope, however, that they are able to respect each-other as well as their own selves by refraining from being manipulative also toward each-other; that their relationship would be based on mutual openness and frankness; and that they are therefore able to prevent from treating each-other as de facto objects.
Should there be any lingering doubts in her mind as to my feelings for her, she should know once-and-for-all that the nature of the interest I once briefly showed in her person back in 2003 (down in that local bar mentioned earlier), was not based on love at all but was the result of nothing more than a fit of crude carnal lust; that’s it and that’s all. She was not and never has been on my mind in the sense of being on my list of preferred romantic potential mates. If she was thinking otherwise, she could very well have been projecting on me the feelings which she herself would then have had for me, since I never had anywhere near romantically-oriented sort of butterfly kind of feelings for her in return.
About right after I obtained my PhD degree in physics (September 2000), I let myself getting suckered into–if you can believe it–one of those idiotic pyramid games — Ponzi schemes, I believe they are called by English-speaking people. Of course they dressed up their little hustle real nice (even explicitly advertising that this was not one of those “silly pyramid schemes” at all) and so to naive suckers like me at the time, it did not seem at all something that obviously regardless was quite clearly too good to be true. Indeed, me falling prey to such a stupid kind of swindle goes to show just how vulnerable I was at that stage in my life. My general feelings of misery in combination with the perpetual state of distracted sleepwalking that went with it, were so debilitating that I was unable to prevent myself from ending up a victim of a simple yet superficially-attractive scheme of financial exploitation. When I let myself so easily be seduced by the unrealistically rosy prospect of making easy money in a short period of time, it should come as little surprising to anyone with two functioning brain cells that I wasn’t really thinking clearly at all about the moral ramifications of any of the major decisions I made back then. This excursion into reckless folly set me back about 3000 guilders (~1200 euros) I think it was. But most of all, it left me with a lot of embarrassment, the type of awareness–as was typical–which I of course found to be in dire need of necessarily-toxic (pathological) repression.
I even tried to drag a relatively good friend (also someone from that same little village I grew up in) into all of this crazy silliness, something which I did regret. Our friendship went downhill from that moment onward and yet, in spite of what now seems bright as day, I somehow managed to keep myself quite oblivious to this unfortunate development of relational deterioration. For most of the time around that period of my life, as already repeatedly referred to before, I was rather living in a daze too much to really even be capable of consciously registering much of what I was doing and what was going on in my life, especially the sort of things that went wrong — and the awareness of which I sought to reflexively and dutifully repress due to—what I (unconsciously) must have found was—its untenably egodystonic nature.
There’s an interesting additional anecdote involving the person who lured me into this bullshit money-depriving sort of artifice. Eleven years after he–let’s call him Pi–successfully did draw me into this common confidence trick, he had the nerve on Facebook–during a time when I was still not doing too great (understatement)–to tell me to act more lovingly (whatever the fuck that may have meant) and yet immediately afterwards also demonstrated to have the stunning temerity to defriend me — and as such at once went to prove his own backward hypocritical attitude towards me. After all, defriending a person could hardly itself qualify as an act of love — indeed, much sooner striking me as an act of fear, an act of hostility rather than amicability.
That’s the beauty of social media like Facebook, isn’t it? It’s all so concrete and unambiguously plain. Whereas in the past, things like enmity and amity could be arbitrarily murky and doubtful, ever since the advent of social media one may be left with a lot less uncertainty as to what’s what and who’s who when it comes to the spheres of social interaction and relation. People who send you friend request, give you definitive evidence of wanting to have a friendly relationship with you; whereas people who once did befriend you but who now defriend you, much sooner deserve to be regarded as your newfound enemies. Let me elaborate. When someone defriends you (on a publicly-accessible social network), they would now naturally be motivated to try and defend their concrete act of hostility toward your person. If they hadn’t done so already, they may be expected to henceforth set out and look for reasons in support of their verifiably dismissive act in regards to your person.
After all, they had deemed and judged you unfit for friendship, did so in a rather public way and because of it may be expected to be motivated to start shopping for “credible” and “sound” reasons as to why they chose to reject you. The worse you end up looking, the better for them it would be, as it only stands to progressively validate their friendship-severing act. As such, since they would naturally want you to be in the worst possible way (imaginable) [someone who–in the most dramatic cases–were to deserve the label of a downright despicable and demonic sort of sorry excuse for a human being], it would thus appear to be so much more appropriate and justifiable to have concretely severed that perhaps once amicable sort of contact. To the extent that they cherish such an attitude, someone who has defriended you, has gone on to redefine themselves from erstwhile friend to now sooner newfound enemy.
Back to the story at hand. Let’s first go back to July 2008, when I had left for a three-day excursion to Nice. While there, some Dutch person had called me on my cell-phone, and yet didn’t tell me his name and I couldn’t make out whom I was talking to and whom refused to give me his name. It could very well be that this guy was Pi though, if for no other reason than that it involved a lot of typical banter, which normally I could have handled just fine but at the time I didn’t. Before long, not appreciating the conversation, and given the tense sort of circumstances surrounding my visit, I decided to hang-up without saying goodbye. Not too long ago, Pi confessed that he had defriended me back in 2011 because he supposedly didn’t like the by implication foreign people I was interacting with at the time. But that’s already a bit odd since he obviously couldn’t say to even know them. Just like my mother had chosen to reject Moziah based on self-serving prejudice, Pi must have acted on a similar bigoted mindset.
On hindsight, I now am inclined to think that he might also have based his inopportune patronising observation of my person while reflecting on the nature of the material I was delving into at the time. For quite a few years now, I have immersed myself into a study of the darker side of humanity. Perhaps he mistook my fascination for Serial Killers, Psychopaths, Narcissists and the like as signs that I was looking to become like them. But, if true, such is patently absurd. My study of human darkness is not done in the slightest bit out of a personal desire for emulation. My fascination for the dark aspects of the human psyche is borne out of a profound interest to understand it; and by understanding it, seeking to ultimately better those who are afflicted by it and to thereby work toward making the world increasingly lighter and brighter (although I did not, at the time, see such motive as clear-cut as I do now). Turning darkness into light–indeed, if possible, ever brighter light–is, after all, the work befitting of an alchemist, which is precisely what I am, albeit not one who has received formal training to that effect but is purely intuitively taught and inspired instead.
Early in 2011, I had come to the realisation that if I was going to be able to understand the world (something which I had casually set myself the task of doing some years earlier), I would ultimately have to devote myself to a study of the human psyche; since the world around us, is (as it has always been) built by human beings; our world is very much a product, an epiphenomenon if you will, of the general human psyche. And so all that is going wrong in the world today, should be traceable back to particular failures of that same human psyche. Building a better world, a truly better world, must therefore naturally follow from efforts to heal the ailing human psyche.
In other words, understanding the world requires understanding the human psyche.(7)
To be perfectly frank, if I should now hazard a guess as to why Pi had the nerve to order me what to do (there’s that word again) and to then even having the bigger nerve to drop me like a hot Facebook potato afterwards, I would suggest that maybe, just maybe, the guy deep down inside felt a tad bit guilty for, years earlier, having drawn me into what turned out to be such a painful financial fiasco (for me and for all the other poor souls he managed to bedazzle into recruitment; for what it’s worth, I never did manage to recruit anyone, which was to my karmic relative benefit). Fortunately, I gather that Pi is now into Reiki and so I like to hope that he has since become more truly spiritual, more loving, and less hypocritical because–at least, that’s how it seemed to me–his level of spiritual development was still leaving something to be desired when he pulled his shady defriending-stunt on me back in 2011.
Another one of my flaws was that–due to being too weak to admit what basically, at the time, would be the occasional unbearably egodystonic truth–I have lied sometimes in the past. I vaguely remember an incident which happened over sixteen years ago by now (perhaps somewhere around May of 2001). Together with some friends, I was attending a rave in Amsterdam and I almost got myself arrested by the police because at one point, in a fit of entirely unsuspecting abandon, in the middle of the dance-floor, I happened to be rather carelessly and openly fooling around with a brought-along little baggy containing various XTC pills (maybe some 20 pills) along with other non-illicit pills (“herbals”). All of a sudden, I noticed security personnel running up to me and surrounding me. One of them asked me to follow them and I readily complied with no resistance (and no handcuffs were involved for that matter). I was led aside to a police stand that, to my prior complete unawareness, happened to be right there at the rave.
When I was questioned by the police on-site, I managed to present the officer handling my case with a seemingly plausible yet entirely fictitious cover story. Even though I was slightly intoxicated on cannabis as well as what are called smart drugs or “herbals” (not on XTC), I instantly did manage to pull out of thin air some bullshit story in order to dodge as much culpability as would be humanly possible. The pills, which I nonchalantly was all-but flaunting around, supposedly were for my own consumption — which was a load of horseshit. In reality, I had brought them along for the sole purpose of selling them to whomever would to be interested in buying them since I did not intend to use any myself. I had, in general, given up taking XTC by then. The novelty had worn off and instead I only used LSD and coke around that time. I further embarrassed myself when I proceeded to almost plead with the officer to not press charges, as I was on the verge of emigrating to the US and work as a postdoc researcher at UC Berkeley (in the area of vision, in the field of neuroscience). I spared no effort in conjuring up a credible fairy tale story because I just didn’t want to jeopardise ruining my plans for abroad if I were to get my crazy sleepwalking arse arrested; and–adding insult to injury–quite possibly end up having my resume stained with any instantly immiserating (implied) references to having somewhat of a criminal record.
Even though I did not go around lying all the time and at-any-rate took no explicit particular pride in it whenever I did do so, during that period of time in my life (greatly facilitated, I suppose, by my general lack of emotional connectedness with other people), lying did come rather easy to me — anyone care for a dose of Machiavelli? Fortunately, the police was so gracious as to take mercy on me and neglected to charge me with anything and although–needless to say–they did confiscate my stash, they nevertheless also did allow me to return to the rave good-and-well without any further hiccups and delays. Even though I am quite convinced–from a moral standpoint–that selling recreational drugs should not be legally penalised to begin with and that furthermore the government, in general, simply does not deserve to have the right to determine what the people they are supposed to protect and serve do with or put into their own bodies (all on the reasonable condition that those people, while exercising their natural right to profess their personal autonomy, do not end up–owing to their state of intoxication–becoming any credible danger to their surroundings), I am–regardless of my principled resistance to drug-prohibiting legislation–nevertheless grateful toward the Amsterdam police for having gone easy on me and for letting me go without throwing any proverbial monkey wrenches into my future plans, for letting me off the metaphoric hook so relatively easily.
When further down the road, I–in fact–had moved to California as planned and had been living in Berkeley for the larger part of a year already, I succeeded to once again run into the Law. I had just been on a date with a girl I had met on the Internet a few days before (through some dating site I believe it was, one I then had just signed up with). She was living near Sacramento and–initially entirely unbeknownst to me–in a trailer park as it happened. On meeting her and after exchanging pleasantries, we decided to go out for dinner and watch a movie together, which turned out to be–what would much later in my life go on to become the rather significant movie called–Punch Drunk Love. It’s the latter part of 2002 now. When we sat down in the cinema of her choosing (by necessity, since I obviously didn’t know any), other than the memory of a passionately shouting Philip Seymour Hoffman near the end ordering the protagonist to SHUT THE FUCK UP (and repeatedly so), I unfortunately failed to pick up much of the gist of the movie, a sad but rather typical and recurring state of personal affairs which was mainly due to being constantly distracted by my perennial miserable condition (I would years later, only last year in fact (2016), make up for that lack of practical cinematographically-oriented cognitive proficiency–however–when I would subject the movie to (my first attempt at) a thorough alchemical analysis).
After the movie, we headed to her trailer and it was there that I had the dubious and entirely unforeseen pleasure of meeting her very own mother together with, what turned out to be, my date’s little son of a few years old. After only–as you may guess–a relatively brief and uneventful stay, with nothing of a romantic nature having even been able to come to pass between us, around midnight I decided to take my leave and head back to what was then my home-town, good old Berkeley (and no, in case you’re wondering, I was not political at all back then). While some may be inclined to regard her mother what is colloquially referred to as a cock-blocker, in all fairness I do have to admit that sex was not on my mind, but not for any noble sort reason, rather I was simply not in the mood due to–you guessed it–my particular condition (the story of my life — my, for all practical purposes, very own and remarkably durable ball and chain, in actual sad fact).
After goodbyes, while travelling on the road in what I believe was my juiced-up car, I was witness to a peculiar and rather novel phenomenon. Even though I was comfortably propelling myself forward at the official speed-limit of 65 mph, I couldn’t help but noticing other cars speeding and passing me by all the freaking time. All this abundance of vehicular velocity must have had a contagious influence on me because, at some point, I decided to try and keep up as best I could with all those cars constantly zipping me by. Before long, I too was driving well beyond the legally-allowed speed limit. You see, since about half-a-year at the time, I was the owner of a decent second-hand 1995 Ford Taurus sporting a 4.2 litre engine and for a while already had been dying to find out just how fast this old rig of mine could go. I was on the brink of leaving for Europe again anyway and so I figured: it was now or never.
Unfortunately, it just so happened that, as I was happily speeding along with the cars which nevertheless by-and-large still did schuss me by mainly over at the (far-left) fast lane, I noticed that one particular car–instead of going pass-me-by like the others invariably did–began to deliberately chase crazy old moi, maybe even tailgating me, and did so persistently (like a bad habit). Since I was by far not the fastest and therefore not at all the most self-incriminating vehicle on the block, and even though I must have found it rather remarkable that this here special vehicle would be tailing silly old me, I tried to pay no mind to it just the same. After a while, however, a few minutes down the road, its flash-lights suddenly went on and the car lit up like a Christmas tree (From Hell). I immediately realised that I–in so many words—was fucked because it was readily obvious to me that only police cars could do such a thing. When the colourfully brightened car indeed began to communicate the typical yet compelling-to-the-point-of-overriding desire for me to pull over to the side, I only responded with perfect compliance. After–I don’t know–ten, fifteen minutes of standing still, after presumably having electronically established the ownership details of my car using its present standard-equipped Internet-connected onboard computer, the driver doubling as police officer disembarked his vehicle, walked over to my set of wheels, came to a standstill next to my window and signalled a typically predictable willingness to vocally communicate.
When I rolled my window down, while being perfectly calm and ready to answer for myself, the officer politely asked me if I knew how fast I had been going. I lied cold-as-ice when I told him I was under the seemingly reasonably-innocent impression that I was pushing (a fairly mellow) 85 mph (or thereabouts) — when I secretly knew full well I was trotting along at a much less innocuous 105 mph. I further explained to him that I was on the cusp of leaving for Holland (which was true) and implied that there might be a wee bit of a problem with me paying at a future time any presently-incurred fines. Also this officer must have shown mercy on my speeding arse when he gave me a ticket worth only $200 (which I think was consistent with the fictitious relatively lame speed I declared) — the amount of which I was told to pay after my return to Holland. Luckily for me, this police officer must have shown even further clemency because the ticket never did arrive at the address I must have submitted to him (no fake address, probably my mom’s).
I now feel silly for having lied to the officer, not in the least bit because he seemed like a nice guy (not at all like some of the out-of-control Rambo-wannabe officers you now may occasionally see on special Facebook pages devoted to featuring the regrettable phenomenon of Police Brutality). But even if his attitude toward me had been less congenial, I still was wrong for trying to deceive him. I should just have been perfectly honest with him and explained the above scenario to him, which–while also not being quite noble–was the simple and unadulterated truth. And so I likewise am grateful to this fine officer of the California Highway Patrol–and or whoever was responsible–for being so kind to neglect sending my ticket to Holland (200 bucks still is 200 bucks).
Speaking of Holland.
I know I also lied another critical time here in Holland. I remember one time when we, myself and few local friends, had attended some outdoors DJ event not too far from where I live. This is the year of 2005 now. Let’s call one of those friends, Girl A — who happened to be the owner of the car transporting us to and fro. On our way back from the gig, Girl A asked me to call another girl (Girl B) with the aim of buying drugs (speed) from her. Somehow seeing no harm in me doing so, I agreed without blinking or thinking and called up Girl B. When she answered, I did what was asked of me and plainly lied to her when I casually told her that the drugs I sought to buy were for my own consumption, when they actually were for Girl A.
You see, according to Girl A, she and Girl B at the time didn’t get along and so to Girl A it was out-of-the-question to call Girl B herself. However, Girl A did want to get high and so she asked me–gullible, stupid me–to give Girl B a call and try to obtain from her the drugs using the aforementioned little artifice. And so I did, I lied on Girl A’s behalf. Unfortunately for everyone involved (or perhaps fortunately in a karmic sense), the deception didn’t even pay off since I never did manage to procure the dope from Girl B. Afterwards, I must have felt bad for lying to Girl B and for succumbing to try and deceive so easily the sort of person I knew rather well even (more evidence that I was still somewhat of an ignorant sleepwalker in crucial ways back then).
Even though I didn’t experience it completely consciously back then, the guilt which I incurred due to my attempt to hoodwink Girl B made me distance myself from her, regrettably enough. I should never have allowed myself to be used, especially not for the purpose of deceit, and even more so when this deceived person was someone with whom I happened to otherwise still be on rather friendly terms. I likewise no longer have contact with Girl A for that matter and I suppose this little stunt that I allowed myself to be involved in made it easier for me to part ways also with her.
Speaking of drugs.
And last but not least, as I already insinuated before, some twenty years ago by now, I have sold illegal recreational drugs for a total period of about four years. After having tried it a couple of times, in May of 1997, all on my own, without anyone else coercing me or otherwise inspiring me, I received the luminous idea to not just use but sell XTC. I reckoned it would be convenient initially for myself and a few friends — getting high-quality gear for a relatively low price. I first only sold to friends. But then of course, after a short while, along came second-generation friends, so-called “friends of friends”. Although on a few occasions having sold pills at raves and festivals, I mostly sold them from my room in Groningen to people visiting me (mostly raver friends like me, some students also like me). After some two years in the sideline XTC business, I added speed and LSD into the mix; but I think I only sold amphetamines for about a year or so. Unlike speed, I have taken quite a bit of acid for personal consumption; the same went for XTC, even though–after a few years of relatively frequent usage, after the novelty had worn off–I began to use it less-and-less, and altogether quit taking it eventually. I took my last half-pill in early 2005, but hadn’t taken ecstasy for several years by then already. My XTC “heyday” must have been from late 1997 to 1999.
Although I have since matured so much that I now transcend the mere idea of selling (pharmaceutical) drugs, let me emphatically state that I have always acted, and liberally so, on what to me was a firm unalterable conviction (albeit perhaps not entirely consciously and arguably even less conscientiously entertained): the idea that selling drugs is not immoral per se — especially if it concerns high-quality stuff containing little to no pollutants, the kind of gear that either was produced by professional chemists or beforehand had been tested by other lab professionals (e.g., at the Jellinek Kliniek in Amsterdam, the preferred testing site for the stuff I bought with the aim of distribution); and so the prospecting buyer would therefore know exactly what they were buying. If in addition there’s no coercion involved and both the buyer and seller leave the drug-buying transaction in a state of mutual satisfaction, which was always the case with me, it is even less of a moral infraction (and would seem to remain an issue between both parties involved versus God, while no third human party is left with any inherent right to interfere — as per the Golden Rule).
All those people who so daringly go on to claim that selling illegal drugs is immoral because doing drugs is harmful to the body (or mind), in order to be consistent, should with equally-passionate determination likewise reject the public sale of alcohol and tobacco since both of these socially-accepted sort of drugs (because that‘s what they still are, regardless) are much more damaging to the health of the user than any of the illegal recreational drugs out there (apart from this horrible drug, a synthetic opioid popular in Russia, known by the street-name of krokodil).
Karmically speaking, however, in all truthful fairness, selling mind-altering substances (whether legal or illegal) is admittedly a double-edged sword. By selling dope or alcohol or any other substance which may have an intoxicating effect on the user, you as vendor have an obvious facilitating role in all the fun, enjoyment (or numbing of pain, for that matter) that the user will experience due to the altered psychoactive state which you help bring about. This you might call: positive Karma. However, on the other hand, you also facilitate any sort of hangovers that afterwards may arise; or any long-term ill effects on the health of the user, although such is hard to track and quantify since typically-speaking there are a great deal of other causal factors involved which have adverse effects on (general) health — poor food, lack of exercise, poor local air quality, stress-levels, low socio-economic status, adversarial events in personal history, etcetera. In addition, you as vendor also have a facilitating role in generating any sort of accidents that the user may experience due to the intoxicated state you enable them to be in. All this would constitute negative Karma. In order to maximize positive Karma and minimize negative Karma, it is therefore important that the vendor of whatever sort of (narcotic) substance, resolves to act as responsible and careful (conscientiously) as is humanly possible within their trade.
Another thing which cannot help but make selling illicit drugs immoral is that a dealer has to adopt a necessarily misleading outward appearance concerning their personal legal status, i.e., the dealer–in order to successfully practice his or her trade–is obligated to radiate to the outside world being the type of person who–ideally–would not at all even be (the slightest bit) involved in selling illegal substances. To this end, a drug-dealer should–at any given moment–be ready and willing to lie about their actually very real role in the drug-trade. Hence, they at all times need to be ready and willing to deceive people around them all for the purpose of not giving themselves away, something they in particular need to do–as happened to me a few times–if the reach of the law has to be evaded. The dispenser of illegal substances must, after all, be prepared to lie to any confronting (and potentially menacing) police officers. Furthermore, dealers have to be ready and willing to outwit and mislead all those friends and family members who themselves would not be involved in the use or trade of illegal drugs — all for the sake of preventing them from being drawn into complicity of illegal action (and be turned into de facto accomplices).
In short, distributors of illegal substances see themselves forced to adopt sufficiently clever disguises in order to mask their illicit activities, lest ending up getting caught and–heaven forbid–ending up deprived of freedom by landing in jail. And lying is of course–in principle–immoral as its express purpose is to draw the person, or persons, being lied to away from the (objective and whole) truth, away from perfect sanity. After all, when there is an estrangement from truth and reality, the person suffering as much is progressively less able to maintain sanity of heart and mind (as the case with my mother expounded earlier exemplifies) as perfect sanity of heart and mind does require perfect grounding in truth, living in perfect truth.
Then again, to be perfectly fair, a drug-dealer would not see themselves forced to lie about their illicit type of business if drugs had never been made illegal to begin with. In combination with the natural and inalienable right to profess autonomous control over one’s own body, an immediate implication is that if a government outlaws the trade and use of the kind of substances which never deserved to be made illegal to begin with, then that same government is and should be held responsible for systematically facilitating all those sorts of immoral actions which together serve to ensure that such type of trade–regardless of its illegal status–may exist and even flourish, albeit necessarily in an underground or “black market” kind of capacity.
Specifically, by prohibiting (certain kinds of) drugs, a government doing so facilitates and promotes the practice of lying as practised by the whole class of people who obstinately do want to either use or sell those (prohibited certain kinds of) drugs. Drug-users and drug-dealers see themselves therefore having no choice but to try and deceive all those people whom they feel should be kept in the proverbial dark, especially representatives of the law. And so every time a drug-dealer (or drug-user) sees themselves forced to lie in order to manage dodging the reach of what actually is an inhumane and immoral type of law, it is also that same government which deserves to share in the accompanying moral cost (karmic cost) which the drug-dealer (or user) incurs because of it. The well-nigh unavoidable reality that such a government thereby promotes the moral corruption of people who trade (or use) illicit substances, is the indirect consequence of said excessively-authoritarian (nanny-state kind of) government in the capacity of enforcing the sort of liberty-usurping laws which should never even have been enacted in the first place.
I will return to the plethora of moral aspects surrounding drug-dealing when, some time in the future, I will submit my already partially-completed analysis of the important movie called: Alpha Dog (2006).
As for the personal question as to whether I have any regrets concerning the drugs I have dealt myself. Sure, I have some. As I wrote before, I would never even have touched drugs if I hadn’t been in the state of suffering that I was in and had been in for already a few years continuously when I began to seek refuge in them. I now believe that I was taking drugs, and then not much later also starting selling them, because I was feeling terribly frustrated and angry at myself, mad at my body for failing me so badly and that I was almost instinctively looking for ways to sedate myself, trying to insulate myself from the pain that in the end would just not go away. In other words, I was reckless, careless and most of all, I was in pain, chronic pain; and drugs–through promising escapism and by facilitating dissociation–offered some help to deal with the frustrations of having bear relentless personal torment. With the level of awareness I now have of myself and the world around me, however, I would not go and sell (pharmaceutical) drugs again. And if I were to, which I won’t, I would only sell to people who at least are old enough to know what they are doing — since I, at the time, had quite a few clients / friends who were years younger than I was.
But, regardless, I think people need to be careful before passing judgement on me. There are–after all–other substances around, though legal, that (statistically) do a lot more damage (to the health of the user) than the drugs I sold. What if, for example, my mother’s molester, who went on to buy his tobacco from the very drug-store at which my mother worked, were to have contracted lung-cancer and died from it? Surely it would be banal to hold my mother responsible for his demise, and yet she would have had at least some facilitating role to play in supplying the man–her customer–with a known carcinogen, a significant catalyst for bringing about what is a notoriously-deadly type of disease. To what extent were my mother to deserve being held responsible for the man’s suffering, something which would then have had a fatal conclusion? By the same token, how much would the owners of the drug-store, any other possible retail vendors supplying the man with tobacco and also the producers as well as the whole-sale distributors of the man’s used brand of tobacco, deserve to be held responsible?
Likewise, when I returned from the UK in the fall of 2003, I briefly lived with my mother and it just so happened that one fateful winter night, an intoxicated local alcoholic ended up accidentally drowning himself in the canal right about next to my mother’s house. Late at night, early in the morning, he must have staggered out of a local pub, and haphazardly had come to venture into a freezing cold canal as he was trying to relieve himself by taking a piss. Surely it would be irrational and unfair to hold the pub-owner and his bar-tenders responsible for the death of this poor fellow, and yet by selling him his alcoholic beverages, they did at least have some facilitating role in providing one of their clients what would turn out to be a fatally-intoxicated state of being. By the same token, all those people involved in supplying the pub with alcoholic beverages, collectively also have had at least some facilitating role in bringing about this man’s demise.
And the same would apply to me too: If there would have been any clients of mine who–through reckless misadventure–ended up hurting themselves or others, to what extent would I deserve to be held responsible for such regrettable turn of affairs? I too would have had at least some facilitating and therefore causative role in such potential tragedies. And likewise, the same argument extends to all the people involved in supplying me with the drugs which I went to sell, as well as those who made the stuff.
Surely these are interesting but also difficult moral questions to ponder, at least difficult in the sense of quantifying such problems in terms of raw numbers.
Shame-avoiding Self-idolatry — My professed form of Self-idolatry
The kind of Self-idolatry which I–of course entirely unconsciously–practised until only a few years ago, revolves entirely around the deemed all-important need to avoid shame at-all-cost and may therefore aptly be called, Shame-avoiding Self-idolatry (ShaSe-idolatry). The devout practitioner of ShaSe-idolatry will do whatever they can in order to avoid having to bear what they, by their behaviour alone, imply to believe is the most unbearable of all intangible and invisible yokes known to man (and woman), and as such may be said to idolise (=attribute an inordinate wildly-inflated amount of importance to) the broad goal of avoiding incurring any measure of shame that might be levelled at their person. The prototypical ShaSe-idolater somehow has never learned to be able to altogether deal with personal shame and as such, by lacking proper coping skills, chooses to not just casually tiptoe around the general eventuality of being on the receiving end of shame; but they even prefers to consistently avoid the invisible awful stuff as if it were the Bubonic plague. . . because, quite simply, to the committed purist ShaSe-idolater: shame equals to not just poison but lethal poison.
Even though ShaSe-idolatry is related to Narcissism, it’s not quite the same kind of affliction; not by far. It’s not even like comparing apples and oranges; more like comparing things as morphologically discrepant as gorillas versus pygmies. Whereas the Narcissist indeed has in common with the ShaSe-idolater to frantically be wanting to avoid shame whenever it comes their way (or threatens to come their way), the Narcissist–unlike the ShaSe-idolater–simultaneously at least as fanatically seeks sustenance in comforting praise — or, as some in the dedicated research community prefer to call it: Narcissistic Supply. The garden-variety Narcissist is arbitrarily-severely addicted to praise and actively seeks it out much like an addict chasing after their next fix; they like nothing better than to, if given half-a-chance, wallow in endlessly deep and outrageously wide pools of naturally and eternally soothing egosyntonic (=ego-pleasing) praise — lusciously flattering and luxuriously overwhelming streams of unbridled near-divine sort of praise. Narcissism may therefore be called Praise-seeking-and–Shame-avoiding Self-idolatry — or PrasenShaSe-idolatry, if you will.
Since both forms of Self-idolatry require the practitioner to be devoted to the dubious art of consistently avoiding shame, Shame-avoiding Self-idolatry may be conceived of as a (distant) relative of Narcissism. Unlike the Narcissist, however, the purist ShaSe-idolater is free from the neurotic additional need to ferret out externally-supplied doses of adoration, adulation and ample amounts of alternative forms of agreeable attention. To the ShaSe-idolater it is sufficient (thank you very much!) to “merely” be able to avoid shame (albeit with a 100% success-rate, all the bloody time, if not too much trouble).
The Narcissist would quintessentially–in the purest and most intense degrees of manifestation of their idolatry–like nothing better than that the whole wide world would see him or her as an eternally-praiseworthy virtual god on earth. Although the archetypal ShaSe-idolater is too modest to be like the Narcissist in that particular respect, they do feature a touch of false divinity just the same. Not seeking the same quasi-divine level of recognition that the Narcissist typically yearns for, since the ShaSe-idolater does his or her utmost best to refuse or neglect owning up to personal shame and guilt, they automatically, if implicitly, do present themselves to the outside world as being the kind of person who never ever were to make any errors or mistakes (worthy of blame). By never owning up to personal guilt or shame, they effectively therefore do radiate to the people around them as if they were perfectly flawless and faultless (as I pretty much used to do myself); and so the ShaSe-idolater does go around appearing as if they–for-all-practical-purposes–are also gods nonetheless. Hence, ShaSe-idolatry does deserve to be regarded as a genuine–if subtle and less imposing–form of Self-idolatry.
If you want to get a fairly compelling and accurate impression as to what Shame-avoiding Self-idolatry is all about (and at the same time be able to convince yourself that the ShaSe-idolater is not a Narcissist by a long shot), then go watch this very educational movie called Punch Drunk Love (2002), starring Adam Sandler. The main character of the movie–Barry Egan (played by Sandler)–clearly is not a Narcissist; he does not go around bragging about himself and he does not go around feverishly seeking recognition and validation for his own person. Rather than being what graphically and deridingly is called an attention-whore, the guy is much too modest to deserve such epithets and instead “simply” works hand-over-fist to avoid being shamed. At some point in his presumably early life, inspired by at least one episode of traumatic shaming, Barry must have decided to henceforth set for himself the all-enveloping and all-important mission in life to prevent ending up a target of shame, especially shame coming from his blind, wildly-overbearing and reflexively-judgemental seven sisters.
In certain ways, I am—or, hopefully more accurate by now, have been–like Barry Egan and yet there are a few differences. Barry sought to dissipate the stresses which entered his life as a result of his neurotic (slavishly anxious) need to avoid shame, by acting out in verbally-aggressive ways as well as by way of destroying immediately-available material objects and by so doing sought to display a certain sense of personal power of the intimidation and weakness-redeeming kind. On the other hand, I preferred to basically bottle up all the negative shame-related emotions which generated from within by my own psyche. Whenever I felt the ghoulish touch of shame creep up on me, I would fairly-consistently prefer to pretend as if it simply were not there — as frequently admitted by now, I sought solace in repressing awareness of such automatically egodystonic sort of personal events.
For the most part, although I did lose my temper sometimes, I usually did not seek to ease the burden of my shame-smitten soul by shaming others (e.g., by way of gossip or direct put-downs); and whenever I did do so, to the extent I was left feeling bad about it, would then–in turn–lead me to also repress any awareness which I might have had to that effect, thus typically leaving me still none-the-wiser as to what was going on and in particular what was going wrong in my life.
I was, however, like Barry, sometimes perfectly capable of destroying material objects in fits of frustration but the circumstantial contexts were rather different. When I was in a state of particularly unbearable and persistent pain, I have destroyed the occasional material object that happened to be available by being in my immediate vicinity. A few years ago, even though it didn’t involve me being on the immediate receiving end of an episode of shame, at one time I did cripple with one firm kick the dinner table which happened to be standing right outside of my room at my previous address. Throughout the entire day I had been suffering from what was a terribly-frustrating belly-ache. Likewise, when I was on the verge of moving to my current address, while sorting through some old computer stuff, frustration again got the better of me when I ended up dealing with a bunch of cables that had gotten entangled and I couldn’t find the patience to disentangle them. In a fit of anger, I grabbed a knife and cut through them and I guess I must have thrown them away after that, sick and tired that I was of it all.
I threw quite a bit of things away during the time I moved. Years ago, after I had just moved into my previous address in 2005, either my mother or sister, I forgot whom, thought it would be a nice idea to bring me a hard-drive containing video material dating from my childhood and which my dad originally must have recorded with his camera during the early eighties and that my sister had digitized since. All throughout the years I had never even been in the right kind of mood to see the footage documenting my childhood. After having lain around for about nine years doing nothing more than catching dust behind my wardrobe, I decided to throw it away with some other stuff I wanted to rid of. Nobody had ever asked me as to whether I first off would be interested in even seeing the material, and then nobody ever claimed the drive back. As a result, I took it upon myself to throw it away. I must have failed to invest a great deal of contemplation into the matter and at any rate my health condition certainly did not afford me with much opportunity to do just that.
By seeking to wholesale deny shame as being part of my life, I effectively refused to live life to the fullest possible degree. By denying myself the full learning capacity which could be mine to have if only I would not have been unwilling to recognise personal shame and guilt as being salient emotive cues indicating the existence of personal mistakes and characterological flaws, I denied myself the full capacity to learn from life as it presented itself to me in uncensored and unadulterated fashion. By practising an artificially-enhanced form of shame-avoidance, I was left at a profound handicap to learn to grow into a responsible person, culminating in what otherwise could have been genuine moral adulthood.
Another obvious sort of risk belonging to the practise of Shame-avoiding Self-idolatry, is spawning around your abstract being an arbitrarily heavy protective cloak of psychic armour, i.e. a danger—an occupational hazard–from seeking to frantically and reflexively flee from personal shame is to eventually grow into something of an emotional zombie, someone–through growing artificially-enhanced moral-consciousness-numbing, if you will, calluses of the psyche–whose capacity to have any semblance of a significant emotional life is stifled.
As a result of accumulating a progressive amount of toxic (shame-avoidance~induced) debris of the soul, as it were, especially due to my doubly unrecognised trauma, I now am quite sure that I developed a chronic health condition because of it, although it took me quite a few years to even be willing to recognise that the cause of my debilitating syndrome was largely psychosomatic in origin. I always managed to delude myself into believing that somehow my tenacious ailment had to do with some kind of heretofore unknown food intolerance (lactose, gluten, . . . ) or that it would be due to some other mysterious material (physical) disease-causing factor, some kind of undiagnosed or undiagnosable bowel disorder or pesky digestive disturbance. And as I invested all of my resources into trying to find a material cause for my cryptic, crippling and complicated condition, I completely neglected to investigate my nevertheless painfully failing and ailing psyche.
I am, however, not the first member of the family I grew up in to practice ShaSe-idolatry. As a consequence of her parents’ fateful decision to forcefully keep her supposedly unbearable dirty little secret just that – a secret, my mother was effectively forced to likewise commit herself to a (lifelong) practice of Shame-avoiding Self-idolatry. In fact, by basically refusing to act as responsible parents, my grandparents helped (if not forced) my mother to be locked down in a state of servile bondage to her own Shame-avoiding Self-idol. As of the time of the abuse (or maybe even earlier), my mother’s parents decreed–implicitly or explicitly–to my mother that being able to dodge (imaginary) shame (coming from the community at large) was a more important goal to strive after than maintaining personal integrity and mental sanity (rooted firmly in perfect truth and perfect sincerity).
In all likelihood, my grandparents themselves likewise were already (avid) practitioners of Shame-avoiding Self-idolatry well before my mother was even born (as probably were so many of their contemporaries who sought refuge into stoicism and solemnity). The toxic legacy which my grandparents saddled my mother with lies in their refusal and or incompetence to effectively perform their parental duty in response to my mother’s abuse. In their ineptitude as responsible parents, in their failure as able parental crisis managers, they taught my mother–explicitly or implicitly–to be prepared to sacrifice the truth, in combination with her truthful emotions, all on the proverbial altar of Shame-avoiding Self-idolatry — just for the sake of being able to avoid the shame that otherwise allegedly would be coming her (and, especially, her parents their) way and which–it was implied–were to threaten strangling the very life out of her (and, by extension, her parents) if she would only let it. That is, my grandparents forcefully (if likely unconsciously) infected my mother with the shame-avoiding bug; and she, in turn, dutifully–because she probably didn’t know any better–passed it on to unsuspecting little old moi (and, quite possibly, my sister as well).
Better yet, let me rephrase this last statement with a bit more accuracy. Due to my mother’s paralysing and reason-defying fixation on shame-avoidance, courtesy–at least in part–of her parents, she was pushed into a more unlikely position to be able to teach me (and my sister) how to handle shame. And so, if I happened to have come from a previous life in which I also had not yet learned how to deal with personal shame, she would then have been in a more unlikely position to be able to, in my current life, provide young silly me with the psychic tools needed to learn handling shame coming my particular way. And so I would then be naturally confronted, in this present life, with the task of learning how to overcome personal shame without any human assistance, parental or otherwise.
As such, it was all up to me–if under the subtly discernible tutelage of God–to instead teach my own self what I still needed to know about shame, in particular shame sustained personally.
(1) Ever since I moved to my current address in the summer of 2014, the health of my teeth has shown a remarkably rapid decay. My first tooth spontaneously broke off late 2014 while eating banana-chips. Some other teeth have broken off since and the roots of yet even other teeth started to inflame and ultimately needed to be taken care off once the pain became too great. In less than a year, starting from late 2018 to mid-2019, I lost five teeth and my dentist no less than three times had to refer me to an oral surgeon in the local hospital to have troublesome teeth or their remains be removed. I am scheduled to have another four teeth removed in the hospital late April of 2020. All-in-all, I will then have lost a total of fifteen teeth and I suppose the next stage will be prosthetics, as merely being able to chew food is increasingly getting to be a challenge. Although in the long-term, as funny and unnatural as it may sound, I expect a full natural restoration of my teeth.
It’s likewise funny that my teeth are pretty much the only part of my body which show deterioration consistent with my ageing. I will be fifty next year and yet my body nor face show it. Except for my teeth, I look a lot younger than someone pushing fifty. All throughout my adult life I’ve looked younger than I am, even when I used drugs. When I was twenty-eight, someone casually yet sincerely asked me whether I already had turned eighteen; and when I was forty someone else estimated me around twenty-eight. If I were to now meet myself in the street, I would still estimate myself to be closer to thirty than fifty. . . Strange is the life I’m living;
(2) The classic imperative motto: Know Yourself, also–by necessity–includes the imperative: Know Your Body, and therefore–in necessary turn–also includes the imperative: Know Your Sexual Function. Getting to know your sexual function then obviously requires from you to spend time into its exploration as well as, in the case of this procreative special organ, discovering ways of controlling it.
Although in the beginning of my training I did use porn, I’m not a fan of it. First off, I do not like, have never liked and will never endorse any kind of porn that features abuse, in whatever form. Indeed, getting off on viewing (sexual) abuse is immoral and downright dangerous as it attracts the sort of spiritual beings you don’t want anywhere near you. In addition, consuming porn quickly becomes idolatry, especially when gaining pleasure is the sole objective; in a best case scenario, you just end up wasting away time and your procreative potential in exchange for a little bit of cheap carnal pleasure. Basically, an idolatrous consumption of porn is tantamount to your sacrificing of time and procreative potential to the images making up porn. Specifically, by masturbating to a pornographic video, you sacrifice your time and semen (in case you’re a male) on the abstract altars which may be thought to be associated with your pornographic viewing session. More specifically, when you jack off to a video of people engaging in sexual behaviour on-screen, you may be said to sacrifice your time and semen to the idols constituted by the individual porn-actors (Person-idolatry) as well as the idols formed by the actors doing their thing in front of the camera and providing the source material for the video at hand (Porn-idolatry).
Even though not being a great proponent of porn, I’m not categorically against it either; and if I would have to recommend a type of porn, then I would suggest masturbation videos, if for no other reason than that those are most likely free from coercion and abuse — especially so if the featured genitalia respond to masturbatory action with verifiably-present lubrication (precum or cream). You will then have fairly compelling circumstantial evidence that the actors at hand are enjoying themselves and that there’s no coercion (let alone abuse) involved. Personally, I preferred to see girls masturbating (featuring self-lubricating vaginas, and no anal stuff). However, I also noticed on the porn I did use to watch that a lot of the girls on camera were eating or even lapping up their own juices; and this is something I do not recommend. In fact, I’m quite against it, as it is spiritually dangerous and seems what demons want you to do, they want you to eat your own cum — as I have done myself when I was possessed, and as they tried in vain to make me do yet again after I was set free from my demons (by way of imposing into my dreaming mind at night certain encouraging images to that effect).
However, while the use of porn may be of help in the beginning, as it has with me, it needs to be kept in mind that, instead of fixating your attention on the genitalia displayed by porn actors (however alluring they may be), your focal point of training should always be your own genitalia and specifically your control of it. And so I recommend working toward reducing, and possibly ultimately abandoning altogether, time spent on watching audio-visual external stimuli of an erotic kind.
That’s why I prefer to no longer use porn, or any other external visual stimulus for that matter. Not being distracted by porn (or any other image sources, real or imagined), I apply a little bit of coconut oil to my glans for extra lubrication (which in the beginning was essential due to also having to treat my phimosis) and simply concentrate on the task at hand using plain (but slowed down) masturbatory action. If I feel an orgasm approaching, I slow down (more), or quit altogether and when I’m too late, I try my best to hold in my ejaculate. I recently reached the point of having had several what are called injaculations and am getting better and better at preventing losing sperm on point of orgasm.
Another benefit from learning to control your sexual organ like this is that it builds will-power and such is useful not just in the arena of prolonging sexual experiences (something which your sexual partner might just thank you for it), it is a universal virtue and constitutes personal assets definitely worth bragging over: temperance and self-control.
A final word of caution: if you are going to use external stimuli for erotic pleasure, then stick to porn and do not go around whacking off (or flipping beans) to images of scantily-clad girls (or guys) appearing on social media accounts, for example. Porn actors either know or presume that their audience consists of a bunch of masturbators and offer up their product for public consumption precisely with such aim in mind. In fairly stark contrast, while some more naughty Instagram models might (secretly) hope that (some of) their viewers go ahead and beat off to their (more naughty) images, in general such assumption is not warranted; and so spanking monkeys to Instagram models is, in general, immoral (however enticing their presentation of themselves would be) — unless, of course, you have received their explicit masturbation permission beforehand.
Owing to to the simple mechanism of classical (Pavlovian) conditioning, masturbation–especially if ejaculation/orgasm is the default end-goal–serves to pornify the regardless very human objects of erotic stimulation. That is, every time you grant yourself the automatically pronounced biological reward of orgasm while masturbating to images of a model, you do increase your perception of that model along the direction of most of all being an instrument of sexual gratification. If such model happens to not be a porn model but–let’s say–a fashion or fitness model instead, you as masturbator have now entered a morally iffy territory, since models (of whatever flavour) are still first-and-foremost living-breathing human beings . . . instead of, viewed in its most degrading fully pornified light, self-animating common fuck dolls;
(3) There’s an interesting parallel between my responses to my childhood traumas and that of the main character in the movie called All Good Things (2010) — one of my favourites. Played by Ryan Gosling, David Marks is said to have witnessed his mother commit suicide when he was little. Apparently likewise unable to deal with the magnitude of the traumatic experience unceremoniously thrusting itself upon his life, while seemingly receiving no effective help from either his uncaring and emotionally detached father as well as a third party psychiatrist, the poor young lad resolved to hide under the table for a week and when he came out from under it, began acting as if nothing had ever happened. Although it was a fictitious event (if based on a true story), young David strongly reminded me of my own responses to my traumas. David, like me, seems to also have worked hard to repress into his own unconscious any awareness of a type of event–clearly overwhelming in its scope and nature–which his mind also failed being able to come to terms with at the time. I’m tempted to say that this traumatic event, especially in combination with his pathological response to it, catalysed into being the seeds of a psychopathic condition within his ailing and fragile juvenile psyche. Mind you, I too could have developed a psychopathic constitution since I, like David, also was left with no functional conscience;
(4) Well, that was current at the time of writing, late 2017. At the time of present writing, late 2019, I have since relaxed my diet. Right now I’m trying to eat fairly normally albeit healthily, although I do try to put a casual (not obsessive) emphasis on fat-rich foods instead of carb-rich. I suppose I got tired of eating an adapted diet. I’m not much of a cook anyway. So all this neurotic ado about food started to become a drag. I’ll just have to ride my symptoms out. Anyway, to date, my base-level of anxiety has subsided significantly and I have every hope that in the near future all of my symptoms eventually will disappear;
(5) As an adult, I have never been jealous of my sister, including in an artistic sense. She graduated from art academy in 1995 and I accepted her invitation to come to her final exposition. But when I checked out her graduation projected, I found that I didn’t like it. I had brought along a buddy from the university to her exhibition and he didn’t like it either, but that was not the reason why I didn’t like it myself. Perhaps I have been brutal as to venting my critique so readily and intently, but to me her work lacked inspiration and did not even strike me as art. Call me old-fashioned but I happen to like it when art requires skill and craftsmanship, and I just didn’t see it in what she had made. To be perfectly honest, on hindsight, I feel as if she effectively was conned by what seems to have been too lenient sort of teachers — her education, to some extent, therefore seeming like a tuition rip-off.
Indeed, most of modern art strikes me as not worth the money some people are apparently willing to spend on it. Call me crazy, call me conceited, judgmental whatever, but I have little care for most so-called modern art. I like to discover (mathematical) curvature, organics, vibrancy, (lively) colours and complexity in art; not unalive sterility, rigidity and all-around uninspired and colourless blandness. Philosophically speaking, a teacher worth bragging over to me is not someone who, in effect, is too afraid of ending up being disliked by their students if and when being stern and adamant in their teaching attitude; but rather a good teacher in my book is someone who helps their students gain higher levels of proficiency by way of being critical of the work their students produce. Of course, a teacher can be toxic in the sense of liking punishment a little bit better than actually helping students, but I think the virtue of criticism is something that modern art teachers do not seem to recognise — surely constructive criticism is meritorious, in principle. Then again, realising an admitted possible bias in my opinion, in particular regarding my sister, from what she produced and put on final display, I nevertheless fail to see proper levels of worthiness in her teachers;
(6) All of this happened while she was married at the same time, mind you, and also while her husband was in the same establishment as we all were; then again, she and her husband of the time seem to have had an open sort of relationship, coming with a shared fooling-around sort of license. To each their own though, I’m not judging them for it; but it’s just not my cup of tea. You have to understand the wider context at the time of incident: I was pretty much busy hitting on the girl tending the bar, trying to get her email address and was not thinking about Woman III at all when she must have noticed my efforts at courting said barmaid and for some reason must have inspired her (as if propelled by envy) to intervene and literally seize me by the hand to go for some place quiet upstairs. Well, we all know what that means. Silly me, in a moment of weakness, I almost let myself getting mixed up in the sort of situation I normally—and nowadays, most certainly–would not want to end up;
(7) On a sunny day in the spring of 2012, I was sitting on a bench in a local small public park reading from an interesting book written by Philip Zimbardo called: The Lucifer Effect, How Good People Turn Evil — when out of nowhere this well-dressed and polite older man walked past my bench and, with apparent curiosity peaked due to the clearly legible name of Lucifer on my book cover, made a casual remark about what the substance I was reading would be and before long decided to sit down next to me.
It turned out that he was a Jehova’s Witness and we started talking about various religious matters. I told him that only a few years prior, upon returning from my American deliverance mission in 2009, I had made an initial attempt at reading the Bible, but failed to pull through the whole thing when I got turned off by all the violence either endorsed or committed by Moses and his contemporaries as recorded in the Old Testament. This soft-spoken genteel man, whom I had never met, informed me then and there of the existence of a couple of biblical verses which had escaped my notice until that point in time. Also known as the Greatest Commandment, it concerns an element of scripture which I now like to call the little alchemical gold-nugget of the Bible: 1) Love God with all your heart, soul (strength) and mind; 2) Love your neighbour as yourself (see: Matthew 22:35–40, Mark 12:28–34, and Luke 10:27a);
When I left for home again some time after our spontaneous meeting, I remember thinking to myself, how the hell could I be able to fulfil, in a general sense, the second prong of this Greatest Commandment? How on earth would I be able to love my neighbour as myself, when I can’t even bring myself to love my own immediate neighbours? At the time, there were a few Spanish students living right next door and they had a habit of staying up late at night and, as such, make the sort of noise which routinely prevented me from falling asleep. While already lying in bed, having to go out late at night to knock on their door to complain, obviously made me resent them for it.
Being therefore able to just love those neighbours struck me as already enough of a challenge as is, let alone potentially loving every other human being on the planet (since they all, courtesy of the general mobility of the human being, might end up being my neighbour — however fleetingly).
There is this scene in one of my favourite movies called Into the Wild, where “Alex” (the main character, played by Emile Hirsch) meets an older guy, a real-life character named Leonard Knight, down in a place called Salvation Mountain. This likewise gentle man tells Alex that a “lot of people in the valley just love me a lot. Everybody now, I think, in the whole world is just loving me. And I want to have the wisdom to love them back.“ Alex then asks if Leonard really believes in love, to which he replies, “Yeah. Totally. This is a love story that is staggering to everybody in the whole world. That God really loves us a lot.“
I now believe that in this small exchange lies the key of being able to love your neighbour as yourself. To have the wisdom to love other people, requires to be able to understand those people since there can be no wisdom if there is no understanding; and to be able to understand other people, in turn, requires to be able to know them, to have as much as possible accurate knowledge as to their personhood, who they are as persons. And so the more knowledge you would gather of someone, the better might be your understanding of that someone, i.e. the better your grasp would be of their motives and actions (where they’re coming from), and so the better could be your ability to love them — as you would be less inclined to condemn and hate them (for flaws and actions you would now understand). And so, based on this given, the natural task would then be to gain an as broad and deep understanding of humanity as you could possibly manage, and as such be able to access the (knowledge, understanding and) wisdom needed to love, ideally, any random person out there.
And this is the arena of Christ-consciousness (as opposed to ego-consciousness) the immaculate ability to put yourself perfectly into someone else’s shoes, a perfect capacity to understand that random someone and hence be able to love them, ideally: as perfectly as you would have them love you. The task of attaining Christ-consciousness would then be tantamount to a quest of understanding the human being in the great multitude of ways with which they appear to each of us. The better your ability to understand the greatest variety of people, the better able you will then be to attain Christ-consciousness.
If it is true that we are made in God’s image, meaning that each of us individually is God in the making, then increasing understanding of the human being necessarily equates with gaining a better understanding of God; and by becoming better at understanding God, we would be better able to love God. In other words, the simple straightforward key toward fulfilling the Greatest Commandment lies in striving for Christ-consciousness by way of improving understanding of the human being in the great variety of ways with which they present themselves to us;