Friday, December 30, 2016

THE ULTIMATE SICKNESS: Causes, Symptoms, Aspects, Effects, Treatment, Part Twenty-Five

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To review: the seat of the Ultimate Sickness is the mind; thus, it is that mind which must be the focus of the treatment. If persons' minds are split or torn as a result of being filled with dualistic, separatist beliefs, then the Ultimate Medicine which is an antidote for that mindset can address the problem; if minds are sick because of psychological splitting, then a different treatment is called for. 


Even a partially-versed non-dual seeker could not look at the examples and traits of unstable persons that were provided earlier and fail to see how those beliefs and traits are steeped in duality; however, such instability might also be rooted in psychological problems that are so serious that Advaita's Ultimate Medicine cannot even begin to address the issues that are driving some persons. 

Moreover, instability / insanity is usually multi-dimensional in its causes - rooted in numerous sources - so a holistic method of treatment (rather than any one single approach) is most often indicated. That inspires this disclaimer: there are some highly arrogant and highly dangerous persons (relatively speaking) who believe that whatever they are attached to can address anything and everything that can arise during the relative existence. 

Some will claim that their religion has all the answers; some will claim that their "program" has all the answers; some will claim that their philosophy or ideology has all the answers; some will claim that their analyst or psychologist or psychiatrist or doctor or pharmacist / chemist or some other drug dealer has all the answers; however, it is rare that any one single approach can address all of the facets at play when instability / insanity reaches a full-blown stage. 

People familiar with the approach here over the years know that persons who write to report that they are contemplating suicide are referred to the emergency room of the nearest hospital and know that it has been pointed out that the three body types all require totally different food plans if - as Maharaj noted - the body is to function optimally, allowing the functioning to happen in an optimal manner as well. 

So a variety of sources of instability / insanity will be discussed. Never, though, is the Ultimate Medicine offered when it is clear that far more is required to address certain grave mental and emotional issues and disorders. In some cases, yes, the Ultimate Medicine may go a long way in addressing the problem. In some cases, professional treatment by psychologists or psychiatrists will be indicated. In some other cases, physical and dietary needs should be addressed. In still other cases, major personality disorders are driving the instability. Some cases are rooted in the perversities of acculturation and domestication that are especially typical in some specific societies and countries. 

And as mentioned earlier, many cases nowadays are rooted in "psychological splitting." If instability and insanity are rooted in duality-based splitting, then these teachings can assist in addressing the issues; if actual psychological splitting is the cause of such instability, then the teachings will have little chance of treating that mental and emotional sickness. 

Psychological splitting occurs especially among those persons referenced earlier who - for a variety of reasons - have no ability to process and integrate whatever they are feeling. They can emote on occasion, but they seldom feel. Eventually, they can dissociate and will feel nothing and will care nothing about the way their words and actions affect the feelings of others. 

Because of childhood experiences in their cold and uncaring families and cultures where such displays of affection as hugging and saying "I love you" are taboo, the children who are raised by adults who are rigid and distant and excessively formal and remote and detached and aloof become adults who are cold and uncaring and rigid and distant and excessively formal and remote and detached and aloof. 

When they encounter someone who grew up in a family or culture that was just the opposite, such cold and detached adults will erect barriers, feeling threatened by those who come too close. A friend in Amsterdam who was known worldwide as one of the most giving and caring and loving people stiffened and balked on one occasion when I put an arm around her shoulder, and that was after years of being "friends." For her, loving and caring could be handled at a distance, but never up close, and she eventually explained that "people in our culture do not hug like that. We all keep our distance. We are more formal than people in your country." \

Persons from one culture to the next have spheres about them that are of varying radiuses, and to move inside one's sphere is unacceptable among those raised in such cold and often "northern" cultures. In addition to childhood experiences, certain traumatic events throughout one's adult years can inspire the wearing of a shield by those who may have once had an ability to integrate difficult feelings but who later mobilized certain defenses to avoid what those individuals now perceive as intolerable or unbearable situations. 

The dualistic instability / insanity is that they long for closeness while hating closeness. They are doomed to misery, trapped as they are in such insane duality. Consider the level of insanity when one has been robbed of those things that mark the nisarga (natural) mode of functioning that animals display when in their natural habitat. The deer here touch, nestle against each other, display affection and closeness, and yes, even care. 

Among persons who are trapped in psychological splitting, hugging becomes anathema, saying "I love you" is never even considered, an inability to trust on even the slightest level is absent, and paranoia sets in when persons feel sure that everyone wants only to use or abuse them. If persons suffer from what is called here a "broken picker" or from a sense of entitlement or from a desire to use others, then they will attract - time and time again - the types who DO want to use them and / or abuse them; in their backwards world of splitting, they are often attracted to abusive, possessive, jealous, controlling (a.k.a., "strong" and "protective") types; thus, after they have been driven blindly to enter into one such senseless entanglement after another, the conclusion that they must keep their distance and must wear armor to protect themselves can become entrenched. 


As another defense, persons suffering from this disorder initially view all people as being either totally good or totally bad. Persons suffering from splitting, when in the mode of seeing only "the good," use the ego-defense mechanism called "idealization." 

[See the pointer offered earlier regarding those who idealize another and, egotistically, idealize self: such persons will "look at a potential partner and write a 'pro / con' list of that potential partner's traits but will have no "con's" on the list." Those same types are likely to idealize themselves and arrogantly "do the same with their own 'pro / con' list of traits": all "pro's" . . . no "con's," which is a complete impossibility when dealing with persons in relationships which are always relative.] 

Why do the majority of marriages and relationships and love affairs end in disaster? Is it because, as some say, that "love is blind?" No. It is because love, when viewed through the lenses of idealizing and romanticizing, is color blind: red flags cannot be seen. The ego-defense mechanism of idealization is triggered when one desires to accumulate a new set of ego-states: lover, companion, spouse, the homeowner to be, the one being cared for financially, ad infinitum

At that point, one will assign exceedingly positive qualities to self and to another. Because all of that is dualistic and thus relative, that positive view will not last. Eventually, the use of idealization will be replaced with the use of "devaluation"; then, the earlier romanticizer / idealizer will assign exceedingly negative qualities to another. 

Here, the terms used in the Advaita teachings are "upgrading" and "downgrading": "The Spouse" soon becomes "The Super Spouse," and where originally only "The Husband" was required to satisfy the role of "The Wife," once the upgrading takes place, then "The Super Wife" must have "A Super Husband" to "survive" in her mind. The same is true for the one assuming the role of "The Husband" and then later egotistically upgrading that false self to the status of "The Super Husband." 

Early on, idealization will play along with those super labels, but soon, "devaluation" will always manifest as long as persons are being tossed about in the storms of relativity; then, broken relationships or breakups or divorces will follow, along with chaos (and often along with even more instability and insanity). 

Of the two types of splitting discussed earlier, the more complicated is the deep-seated, psychological version. Narcissism and arrogance were mentioned in connection with the mental illness of splitting and the use of "idealization." It was Sigmund Freud who first mentioned "idealization" when discussing narcissism. 

[Consider: How narcissistic is it to judge others - often in an instant - and conclude that they are all good or all bad?] 

He taught that narcissism first manifests in infants who come to believe that they are the be-all and end-all, often as a result of over-indulgent parents who egotistically see the perfect child as being an extension - and even literal manifestation - of their own perfection. Yet the child still wants the parents' love, so children internalize the traits and values modeled by the parents. 

As noted earlier, certain cultures are more culpable than others of modeling their cold and uncaring and rigid and distant and excessively formal and remote and detached and aloof manner, and children in such societies and countries are especially love-starved. The would-be-pleasing-child, who wants to receive love from such parents who are generally incapable of showing or expressing love, will unconsciously or consciously formulate an "ego ideal" (that is far from "ideal") and will internalize the values of the parents and will display a cold and uncaring and rigid and distant and excessively formal and remote and detached and aloof manner. 

At some point, even a child senses that "the Authentic Self" is being choked into submission; yet in the search for love and acceptance, the child (already identified with many false ego-states) will move ahead anyway with the agenda of the ego ideal, and in that torn state of duality, children can and often do develop pathologies. The pathologies can manifest and result in the examples of instability listed earlier, and eventually insanity of varying degrees can manifest alongside the meanness and coldness that is often exhibited by those trapped in psychological splitting. 

[Note that most who are driven by splitting are functioning adults and will not appear to be "crazy"; quite to the contrary, they will appear "normal" and even "charming" part of the time.] 

So the child was split first, after which the child will likely use splitting for the remainder of the manifestation. When awareness of the Authentic Self is driven out of awareness, then Freud called that situation "secondary narcissism." In the case of secondary narcissism, the ego - the false self - is idealized. It is a short step from that action to idealizing "another" who has something that the child wants (and in later years, to idealizing another who has something that "the Adult-Child" wants.) 

In many cases, the splitting can become so severe that persons exhibit the behaviors mentioned earlier: harshness with their words, coldness with their unavailability, meanness in their interactions, cruelty with their judging, and / or near-sociopathic levels of mercilessness while ignoring the impact of their words and deeds on the feelings of those around them. 

While this dualistic, psychological splitting garners little attention and is thus often minimized when it is discussed, some therapists suggest that it can actually develop into a borderline pathology. How else could one describe persons who are comfortable with being "harsh, cold, mean, cruel, and judgmental" and who are "able to ignore the impact of their words and deeds on the feelings of those around them"? 

In the process of taking to the next step the idealizing of "another" who has something that the child wants (and later idealizing "another" who has something that "the Adult-Child" wants), it becomes easy for the Adult-Child to link desires, narcissism, and idealization to the libidinal drive in order to use the tools in one's "sexual kit" to control, attain, and gain. Freud said that in those cases, the idealization of other people is a "flowing-over" of narcissistic libido onto the object; from the viewpoint of self-object relations, the object representations (like that of the caregivers) are made more beautiful than they really were. How does that look in practice? 

A woman in a neighboring state explained that a man approached her (after he had discovered that she had earned millions of dollars by operating a successful chain of businesses in several states). He was and is a charming Type Three who is quite adept at presenting a most desirable image. So sure that he was ideal, she moved him into her house promptly after allowing a "flowing-over" of narcissistic libido onto the object. 

She reported early on that "He is charming and a great lover and brings so much to our relationship and to what has been missing in my empty life." It was so easy to move him in, but now that the facade has fallen, she is overwrought with trying to find a way to move him out. As in all cases of splitting, "All good" became "all bad." 

Both the male and the female in this couple were made to appear "more beautiful" than they really were in their initial appearances that were maintained during the dating process, and now that pain of "the libidinal energy hook" that was used to catch what was sought is generating intolerable pain and misery. Rare? Hardly. 

The use of idealization, followed by the use of devaluation, is so commonplace that most can relate directly to the chaos that the illness of splitting can generate. Since relationships are relative (note relationship) and dualistic, then at some point, persons need to make the admittedly dualistic "pro / con list" referenced earlier if they are to find all of the relevant facts about a potential mate prior to rather than after the fact. 

As noted earlier, that list in the early going almost always ends up with only "pro's" as idealization typically drives both parties during the early, heady days of dating. (If a "negative" is seen, the belief is, "I can address that and change this person, but all of the pro's are so overwhelming, I will move on and pursue this relationship and lock it in.") 

Eventually, the initial facades and images will be exposed to the light. The actually-obvious negative traits that could have been seen early on (or that were seen and denied because of a selfish agenda) begin to surface, and the former "all-pro list" becomes an "all-con list" in the pervasive realm of "splitters." 

As for the Advaitin seeker, as well as for those feeling the misery generated by having dealt with "splitters" or for those still dealing with a splitter, a far deeper understanding of the potential roots of duality should be obvious as well as another root of the misery and suffering that often comes when one "love" calamity after another manifests in the absence of understanding and enjoying "Real Love." 

Where does the "flowing-over" of narcissistic libido that triggers the sexual act come into play in regards to "love" vs. "Love"? The perverse mind and the warped psyche can inspire hundreds if not thousands of insane beliefs about sex, including not only the "flowing-over" of narcissistic libido onto the object but also including engaging in the act for nothing more than prurient pleasure, for financial gain, for attaining a higher lifestyle, for establishing and maintaining new ego-states, etc. Since the narcissistic libido and "love" vs. Real Love have been raised in this discussion, let a related pointer be shared. 

Upon returning from South Africa, two emails from Far Easterners were in the mailbox. One explained that I should teach tantric sex; another said that I should encourage "abstinence, in order to move seekers to the highest level of purity." To the first, the reply was that he needed to start his own teaching career, and to the second the reply was, "I don't know who you've been dating, but if her purity is such an issue you might want to change partners." đŸ˜„

Here, where nisarga / natural functioning is the end game, people still advise that natural acts should be abandoned. To the contrary, natural acts are encouraged, yet the encouragement is offered alongside the invitation to stop the phoniness that marks and mars all of the "love games" that people play and to bring True Love into play instead. 

As for the letters from those talking tantric sex and abstinence, they inspired this sharing in May of this year: But do not be misled by the comment yesterday that "REAL LOVE brings nothing that is relative and takes nothing that is relative (though its awareness of Oneness is expressed in the relative act of sex when Reality is overlaid on the relative)." 

When the relative act of sex happens alongside the manifestation of Real Love, the phenomenal act coincides with a noumenal awareness and results in levels of bliss that no one can ever experience unless both of those elements manifest, coincide, intersect, and merge simultaneously. 

"Full Realization" will never rob you of bliss; to the contrary, only Full Realization will guarantee bliss. What it might rob you of is the selfish use of sex as a tool to gain what your personas desire, usually out of fear. 

Moreover, only Full Realization will allow the true bliss and the relative bliss to manifest, coincide, intersect, and merge, taking you to a level that you have never imagined if it has not yet happened with you. 

To be continued. 

 Please enter into the silence of contemplation. 

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