Anxiety is a diabolical creature. It tends to cloak itself and hide. It can lurk beneath virtually anything, from learning, reading, writing, creating, studying, relaxing, and pretend to be something else, so that the only evidence that can be seen is in the bodily manifestations of vertigo, nausea, fidgeting. The importance of happiness is forgotten, and in its place the many defense mechanisms take its place, intellectualization can be one of the worst ones, justifying the anxiety in a way where it no longer resembles anxiety at all, and making it all the more difficult to deal with. It takes time to learn how to spot its existence, and even then it oftentimes goes unnoticed. Then, even when it is noticed, it takes time to calm the anxious soul down. There is an Arabic proverb that the soul moves like a camel, so that it takes time to catch up with the mind, and such is the case with anxiety.
“Exline’s study contains many interesting revelations and insights, but none more important than these two, at least not when it comes to a world often bitterly divided between atheists and religionists. This study shows that almost all of us are more complex than those reductive categories. It shows us that what we really need are atheists who are comfortable with anger at God as a kind belief, however momentary it may be, and religionists who admit that anger at God is not only possible, but is itself a necessary component in any healthy relationship with the God in whom they may believe.”
“A man that studieth revenge, keeps his own wounds green, which otherwise would heal.” —Francis Bacon
“The best revenge is massive success.”
— Frank Sinatra
I just listened to the last episode of the first season of Harry Potter and the Sacred Text. The guest speaker was Dr. Reverend Stephanie Paulsell and she made a beautiful distinction between sacredness and perfection. The main qualification for something to be sacred is its generative ability; a sacred text is never finished. Whereas for something to be perfect, there’s a note of finality and there is nothing to add. Looking for ideals of perfection and purity in a text can be dangerous and lead to dogmaticism. I like the metaphor she gives, that reading a sacred text is like climbing on a ladder towards the heavens, and this is only capable through it’s generative capacity. Much love and peace on this beautiful Sunday ❤
Sufism is a science whose boundaries contain modern psychology but go beyond it.
Psychiatrists need to recognize that their patients’ psychological distress stems from three levels: a) from conflicts of wishes, fears, and fantasies; b) from an absence of perceived meaning; and c) from a frustration of the need to progress in an evolutionary sense, as individuals and as a race. The first level is the domain in which psychiatry functions. The second and third levels require a science appropriate to the task. The special knowledge of the Sufis may enable us to put together materials already at hand: our present knowledge of psychodynamics, our system of universal education, our technology, our resources, and our free society, to create the conditions that will permit the development of man’s full capacities, as yet unrealized.
The written manuscript can be seen on: http://www.deikman.com/sufism.html
A well written piece 🙂
“Intimate relationships are a mirror, reflecting the best and the worst of all of us. They can inflame our struggles or soothe them. When they’re right, they can feel like magic. Even when they’re completely right, anxiety can steal the magic and loosen the connection between two people who belong together. All relationships require trust, tenderness, patience and vulnerability. People with anxiety often have these by the truckload and will give them generously to the relationship. The problem is that anxiety can sometimes just as quickly erode them.
If you’re someone who struggles with anxiety, there are plenty of things about you that would make loving you easy. All relationships struggle sometimes and when anxiety is at play, the struggles can be quite specific – very normal, and specific.”
The link between emotions and language has been one that I have grappled with. The minute you start articulating emotions in words, they start changing. Isn’t it more authentic to just let the emotions be? Isn’t that “truer” than trying to analyze them and creating something new in the process? For when we feel, we don’t feel in thoughts/words. Why corrupt the process?
The cognitive revolution in this sense was so important. For although cognition and conscience are not one in the same by any means, they affect and effect one another. So even if you let those emotions be, they will be unconsciously tainting your thoughts and words. You may be speaking about something completely unrelated, yet the underlying pessimism will be coming from a place you are completely unaware of. I’m not one to try to pretend to understand what’s actually going on here, and if I start thinking too hard about it I start getting a little dizzy, it ends up building paradoxes upon paradoxes. All I know is that it helps, and perhaps this is the beauty of science, in it’s empiricism. It has been shown to help people, and why CBT (cognitive behavorial therapy) has become the main form of therapy. It works.
So what of the question of truth then? I just finished On Love by Alain de Botton, and in one of the chapters he discusses how until Nietzsche philosophers had been obsessed with the idea of finding the truth, but not on the word itself, that is, what is the value of truth? You say a car is red as opposed to saying it is truly red, what does the “true” here give? It becomes transparent and doesn’t give an extra meaning, it imparts no extra knowledge, so that it could easily be done away with. Unlike Nietzsche and perhaps the author I still believe in the idea of Truth, the search for it included, but when “truth” becomes a way for us to play mind riddles rather than seeking solutions to very real problems, perhaps it is best to lay it to rest.
After graduating from med school I’m really hoping to specialize in Psychiatry. I’m always looking out for interesting articles related to mental health, and this is one of the best ones I’ve come across on anxiety:
Method 1: Manage your body
Method 2: Breathe
Method 3: Mindful Awareness
Method 4: Don’t listen when worry calls your name
Method 5: Knowing, not showing anger
Method 6: Have a little fun
Method 7: Turning it off
Method 8: Persistent interruption of rumination
Method 9: Worry well, but only once
Method 10: Learn to plan instead of worry
I just found this podcast in the morning and listened to the first episode, and absolutely love it. The episode I listened to explored the first chapter of the first book through the theme of commitment. Going off of that, I want to re-commit myself to deep diaphragmatic breathing for five minutes once a day.
You know not what you speak from,
Still you speak.
You know not what you think,
Still you think.
You know not anything,
And yet you “know” that.
You know even this in itself,
To be asdgasdlfj.
Beyond the realm of thought,
“Know” even that to be paradox.
It is in this that I shiver with madness,