On The Couch………….

Having worked in the mental health field for many years I have had numerous conversations with various psychiatrists and psychologists around being empathic. Also about the role of numinous spiritual experiences in individuals.
The article that follows albeit a theoretical scenario is a fair precis of the my interactions with professionals both at work and in my own therapy, although a little ‘tongue in cheek’ at times.
I will refer to myself as Mr P and the health care professional as Mr T.

Mr T: “Hello Mr P, how can I help you today”?
Mr P: “Well it’s kind of complicated. It’s probably best if I give you a brief overview of my experiences to date.
Firstly I find myself to have strong empathic tendencies. I belong to a few empath groups in order to share our experiences as they seem to be somewhat unique amongst the general population.
Mr T: “Could you elaborate please”?
Mr P: “Of course. You see I have a high degree of energetic sensitivity. This means that I can pick up on subtle energy frequencies from people, places, objects etc. I may for instance feel another person’s emotional state, pick up on spiritual entities or sense inter dimensional activity. Previously before I knew that I was empathic I had great difficulty managing my emotional and mental health as I would unknowingly get ‘infected’ by someone’s emotional state and presume it was my own”.
Mr T: “Mmm, I see. Is there any other, how shall we say, special powers you may have”?
Mr P: “Just to clarify, I don’t particularly feel that I have special powers. I consider myself as just a little’different’.
I have had and still have strong spiritually numinous experiences.
These have taken the form of Kundalini / Advaitic or non duality episodes”.
Mr T: “Are they not aligned to the Hindu faith? But you are an English Caucasian”?
Mr P: ” Indeed they are. However they seem to be part of my spiritual growth. I am very much have the mindset of Carl Jung when it comes to individuation and personal spirituality”.
Mr T: “Are you aware that in psychiatry a belief that a person has which is not aligned to their culture or sub culture could be seen as delusional”?
Mr P: “Personally I believe that understanding to be over inclusive”.
Mr T: ” Mmm. So then, in what way do you find these personal traits problematic, if at all”?
Mr P: “Most of the larger problems came before I understood I was empathic as I stated previously.
I suppose the main problem, if you can call it that, is the feelings of isolation at times. It’s difficult on occasions to live in a society on a day to day basis that you don’t fit into.
For instance, I am frequently overawed by the beauty of Nature just by being in my garden. The verdant green of the lawn, shimmers of sunlight flickering through the trees casting animated shadows across borders. The small patch of daisies all leaning towards the sunlight seemingly in reference. It’s the frequent inability to share these sensual experiences leads the more human side of me to feel sad.
I suppose in essence there are two aspects to my personality. The more aware ,realistic spiritual side of myself and my more egoic part which wants to indulge the more human side of me”.
Mr T: ” Do you think that there may be two personalities within you?”
Mr P: “No, not at all. Just different aspects of my assumed whole”.
Mr T: ” Well Mr P, I feel that although you don’t seem to meet the exact criteria for most treatments,I can offer you a little something to help reduce these experiences then you may feel more ‘normal’. Some medication perhaps?”
Mr P: “Actually, no thank you. Our chat has actually helped somewhat in that I now appreciate even more than ever that I am extremely lucky to have such a sensitivity. I would rather live with it’s drawbacks than for anything to change.
Oh, by the way. Just a thought but do you think that you could prescribe medication for the many others who do not seem to appreciate the divinity of living a life on this Earth. I think that may help me more in the long term?”

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On Being a Dystopian Protagonist

Dystopia –
an imaginary society in which social or technological trends have culminated in a greatly diminished quality of life or degradation of values.
( Webster Collins Dictionary )

I have a few issues with the many definitions of dystopia. Ironically because if I was a dystopian protagonist, I would have. My main issue being the assumption that this society may be solely imaginary or imagined.
I am not a stranger to feeling isolated and alone in Western Society, after all, being both an empathic and a spiritually minded individual lends to not sharing similar proclivities to those around me. Add to that, that I have a rather indefinable organic, non dualistic, animistic understanding of existence pushes me further to the periphery of society.

Subsequently one could assume that, from my viewpoint, I wouldn’t feel particularly comfortable with the world around me as it stands.
Saying that however I know of many, many people who share the same disillusionment with the way the Western world has ‘developed’ over the past fifty or so years.

Going back to the definitions of dystopia, I find they relate more to today’s societal structure than at any time in the distant past.
The dystopia ( I believe ) has occurred in a multifactorial / multifaceted manner. Though I know many believe in conspiracy theories relating to the mind control of the populace and the supposed power held by hidden organisations. They may, to some extent, indeed be true, but I can only really go by what I percieve.
Certainly it seems that we are nearer to a dystopian society than a utopian one.

It seems to me that social and technological trends have indeed led to a diminished quality of life and degradation of values.
Whereas countries and states had their own cultural identity, their own unique ancestral imprint that helped define them and make them who they were. It seems that due to mass commercialisation via the internet / cable and satellite TV/ radio / etc etc much of the world has become a monoculture of materialism.
There are cases where the introduction of television and other technologies have adversely effected the mental health of those cultures who were previously naive to such things.
Add to that the current social media epidemic that encourages the promotion of self ( via ‘selfies’ with or without filters ), littered with advertisements about how to boost your looks / wealth / social standing by engaging with different groups and products. There is even some credibility in ‘false news’, where the suggestion of its existence implies some degree of validity!!

Also the amount of young ( and not so young ) individuals who spend vast amounts of their life being ‘entertained’ by gaming or preoccupied with other similar technological devices. People using technology to gain revenge on others or videoing acts of violence and depravity.

Don’t get me wrong however, there is some good come out of the advances in computer science and its ill but it seems largely uncontrolled and has undoubtedly changed massively the way people live their lives over recent years.

Even when I was young I took social trends to be the ‘norm’ and sacrificed some of my authenticity in order to be more accepted by my peers and this was without all the commercial brainwashing and societal conditioning of today.
However, this I have not done for a long time.

So, what’s all this to do with anything?
Firstly, as an empathic individual I feel others unhappiness and frustration and believe me it seems to have increased immensely over recent years.
I urge people to find ‘themselves’ amongst the array of stereotypes being forced on them, either openly or insidiously. Everyone has their own truth inside of them, we just need to discover it. You do not need anyone to agree with you or you to falsely agree with others to maintain one’s mental and emotional homeostasis.

In fact, in some ways you could say that we have a moral obligation to not do so.

“Resistance to the organized mass can be effected only by the
man who is as well organized in his individuality as the mass itself”.
Source: The Undiscovered Self, chapter 4 (1957)
“It is the individual’s task to differentiate himself from all the others
and stand on his own feet. All collective identities . . . interfere
with the fulfillment of this task. Such collective identities are
crutches for the lame, shields for the timid, beds for the lazy,
nurseries for the irresponsible”.

Carl Gustav Jung.

So Who is Crazy?

“Loneliness does not come from having no people about one, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to oneself, or from holding certain views which others find inadmissible.” 

― C.G. Jung

I thought I would share this here from my other, rather more candid blog. I hope that nobody minds as it is a little different to my ususl style.

I have not written  for a while as life has been rather turbulent. My perspective and understanding of life etc has always been different to most people that I know. Being empathic,  having a strong sense of spirituality as well as the odd mystical experience seems to separate me from my peers. Anyone that I have ever spoken  to about such things either change the topic rapidly or listen but with a slightly wary look which inevitably means ” Paul’s a nice bloke but he is truly out of his box”. Sometimes others can look rather fearful as if at any moment my head would turn 360 degrees and would start to vomit bright green fluid from my mouth. 

I have often wondered about my sanity. Thankfully I discovered a gentleman by the name of Carl Gustav Jung, a renowned psychiatrist. I was surprised to discover that this man had much the same take on life as myself and therefore was the first person that I felt I resonated with ( unfortunately he died many years ago but his testament lives on). 

I have also been diagnosed as having a mood disorder which I have had since I was twenty years old on and off. I agree that I probably have but where it stems from I’m not so sure. After all living one’s life with a completely different ethos and understanding to the vast majority of society takes its toll over the years. 

Moving to this present moment, I am in a little conundrum. I am off work while my medication is being changed as I had a little relapse. 

So, I’m sitting outside the other night looking at the pitch black sky and the stars, feeling quite chilled. When what I can only describe as some sort of spiritual download occurred. My head jerked gently back upon each apparent transfer of energy. My wife also informs me that my right hand was spasming too. I thought it only lasted a minute or so but she states that I was like that for at least 15 minutes. Once it had stopped I seemed to return to normal. However my concentration is now shot away, my body feels different and my sensory  organs have taken on an attunement of sorts. 

So I am left with the question as to whom shall I talk to this about? 

My doctor – she may simply think that I have finally gone over the edge and alter my prescription. Plus I am not sure that I could endure the feeling of disbelief I pick up from those who don’t understand. 

My peers- again very similar to the above. 

A Spiritual Advisor- despite being quite spiritual myself I find a lot of these people to be charlatans or have deluded themselves into believing they have a gift. 

So my friends I am stuck yet again. Thank you for reading thus far, being able to express myself via a blog I think helps. ♥️

” As a child I felt myself to be alone, and I am still, because I know things and must hint at things which others apparently know nothing of, and for the most part do not want to know”.

– Carl Jung. 

A Letter to the Wounded 

For most of us there will times in our lives that are difficult or hurtful in some way. 

We may, for instance, have lost a loved one, be diagnosed with a serious illness, be painfully lonely and lost. 

Our reactions to these events will to some extent be dependent on our individual strengths and resources. 

Many people will become somewhat depressed / anxious due to the radical change in their circumstances. It is not unusual to have this adjustment reaction. 

However, for many it can be severe and prolonged causing intense emotional pain and giving rise to physical and psychological symptoms. 

We can become trapped in our own mental prison, in a constant cycle of negative and self depreciative thoughts which self perpetuate. 

This mindset can colour all that we perceive around us. 

We can feel helpless, weak and vulnerable to any intrusion from the outside world which is why many hide themselves away, both physically and emotionally. 

The future may seem bleak and intimidating , the present moment may be filled with fear and dread.

At our lowest ebb, it seems life becomes a living, dark nightmare from which escape is impossible. 

We lose perspective and forget what life can hold for us 
Did you forget the radiant sunrise at the dawn of the day? 

Did you forget the gleeful looks of your loved ones when you entered the room?

Did you forget the powerful roar of ocean waves as they are thrown ashore? 

Did you forget Nature’s seasonal masterpieces?

The crystal like frost of Winter, 

The gentle awakening and resurrection of the flora and fauna in Springtime. 

The warm Summer sun giving rise to the fruition of Gaia herself as she manifests at her zenith.

The subtle encroachment of Autumn as the leaves colours become almost iridescent and the cool, damp chill of the morning air.
No matter how wounded we are we can still experience the wonders of our world. 

We can still get excited about an impending celebration. 

We can still stare in awe at the Moon in the pitch black night sky. 

We can still cherish the love of other humans and animals.

We can still discover new and life changing experiences providing we are open to them.

By their very nature wounds heal. 

It may take time depending on the severity but it will. 

The deeper wounds may leave scars.

Scarred skin is more resilient and tougher than skin that has not been wounded.
So if you are sitting there in your darkest night of your soul, unable to see the way forward. 

Rest assured that if you have patience and give yourself the opportunity, this time will pass.

You will learn from this experience as your life begins to improve. 

For if ever it happens again, you will know that you can again triumph and win your life back.

A Conflict of Interest? 

“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

― Jiddu Krishnamurti

Society largely considers what is normal by the agreed consensus of the majority. However there are many individuals ( myself included) who by virtue of their natural predilections and personal interpretation of the world around us will never be ‘ normal’. This is by no means saying these people aren’t valuable, quite the contrary in fact. They may have a certain quality in their perspective which can infuse us with inspiration and reflect a deep, contrasting insight into the nature of reality. 

These souls may be labeled occasionally as autistic, mentally ill, over sensitive, eccentric or simply ‘different’.  Indeed being empathic ( energetically sensitive) I feel that many of us find growing up and maturing in the outside world something of a unique challenge. 

At an early age we may discover that we are different from our peers and often our parents. 

The constant emphasis when at school and by others on the physical, percievable, allegedly concrete world felt as if most people only lived in a 2D reality. Their world seemed to have little depth, a linear monologue of an existence. 

Through many conversations that I have had with others with similar experiences it seems we have much in common when it comes to living our lives and the challenges we face. For example, having been born into a society which operates on a model that is the antithesis of what we feel to be right.  This can lead to :

  – subsequent feelings of loneliness and alienation which may lead to social withdrawal, addictive behaviors ( in order to numb our sensitivity), mental disorder or feeling that we have to wear a socially acceptable mask in order to fit in. 

If we do this however we compromise our ability to individuate and fully bloom into complete self actualization.  This may leave us feeling unfulfilled and frustrated. 

  – having to constantly assert our needs to others as most people presume that our needs must be similar to theirs ( in terms of space, down time, opportunity to be creative etc) 

  – finding oneself in constant conflict with others and institutions that prioritize materialism and egotism

  – having the desire for honest, open, loving human contact but mostly having to compromise due to the apparent lack of individuals who are unable to form relationships that do not involve some degree of attachment and / or dependence. 

 To summarise, in my opinion I feel it is important to remember:

  • Every individual has a unique history and a unique physiological / psychological make up
  • Therefore everyone has their own potential to fulfil ( whether or not it is in line with society’s expectations)
  • As a society we should encourage everyone to fulfil that potential.
  • Not to be quick to judge others and readily put people into boxed categories, for this can easily become harmful. 

Namaste 💜

Empath Problems 

Living the life of ( what is largely described as) an empath is a very challenging experience to say the very least. After all trying to exist and live a ‘normal’ human existence is frequently fraught with anxiety, stress, drama and perceived obstacles. 
So it is not surprising that those of us who share a predisposition to being energetically sensitive have more than the average person to contend with. 

Whether or not we agree with the term ’empath’ many of us indeed share similar proclivities. There are going to be variables depending on individuals however many ( including myself) experience the following :

  – a tendency to pick up on the emotional states of others ( and sometimes confuse them as our own) 

  – a tendency to pick up on Earth / Nature energies 

  – an extreme sensitivity to whatsoever is in the energetic field of our vicinity, including spirits, ghosts and paranormal entities 

  – we may take on physiological and psychological aspects of those to whom we are close to 

  – numinous spiritual occurrences, for example Advaitic, Kundalini et al episodes 

  – moving in and out of anothers dreams. 

This list certainly is not exhaustive nor exclusive but it gives us an idea of what ‘ normal’ can be like for the empathic on a day to day basis. 

Before we discover and understand our ‘ energetic sensitivity’ we are largely at the mercy of whatever situation we find ourselves in. This can leave ourselves prone to intense uncontrolled emotions, questioning our sanity as well as feelings of isolation and loneliness ( due to not being able to confide our feelings to those around us). This is when being empathic can feel like a curse. 

However it is possible to embrace these abilities and to enjoy the rich depths of insight and sensuality open to us. 

The first step is to understand what being empathic is. 

The next is to find what works for us to enable the individual to maintain balance and reign in some of these disparate energies. Some find grounding, shielding and meditation helps. 

We do though need to bear in mind that we need to be loving and compassionate to ourselves. The fact that on our journey so far we have encountered many, many challenges, possibly more than most others. And this is often without the advantage of peer support due to the uniqueness of our predilection for sensitivity. 
Namaste ( “I bow to the divine in you” – Hinduism) 

  –

Tough Love……….? 

Equanimity can be hard for most people in life but especially more so for individuals with strongly empathic traits. The reason being is that we are so sensitive to the energies of other living and none living entities that even the smallest energetic ripple from another source can on some days be enough to unbalance us. 

Our own emotions can be so amplified at times that our effect on others ( for me anyway) can be intense. I have known occasions when I have been in an highly emotive state that I have felt like an affective nuclear reactor influencing other people’s moods and cognitions around me. 

But more often than not it is the emotions of others that can so effect our day to day lives. 

Fortunately for myself through practicing meditation and mindfulness I am usually aware of the how my mind can try and fool me and send me on fools errands in seeking happiness or avoiding discomfort. 

According to Buddhist psychology emotional attachment to the sense world results from mental and physical feelings. 

When we experience pleasure, we seek more. If we do not attain more then craving can develop. 

When we experience discomfort in situations we then we seek to avoid them causing aversion. 

When we experience neutral phenomena we tend to ignore them. 

Thus what we encounter in our day to day lives can cause disturb our emotional balance. 

I wish I had been aware of this in my youth instead of being carried away by the depths of my passions to feel the great highs and lows of existence. Even the low points had addictive properties by virtue of their ability to utterly consume me into another state of profoundly sensual reality. 

As empathic individuals living in Western society however provides us with another challenge. That being trying to exist and survive in a community that promotes greed and the consumption of material things. The media, peers, friends and acquaintances are seemingly infected by ego driven lives e.g. having the latest mobile phone, wide-screen television, fashionable clothes et al. 

It is my belief that this lifestyle is much to blame for many people’s, let alone empaths, unhappiness and feelings of isolation. 

If there is one element of truth we can learn from this, as hard as it may be, it is that it is not what happens to us that can cause the most pain. It is our response. If we have developed a deeper understanding of ourselves then this can be somewhat mitigated against.