Tuesday, January 24, 2017

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TODAY'S CONSIDERATIONS 

The Bi-Polar Personality Disorder was originally referred to as "The Manic-Depressive Personality Disorder" or "manic-depression." For those familiar with the nine basic personality types examined via the Enneagram, it is understood that any of the 9 types can develop the Bi-Polar Personality Disorder. 

However, based in experience and in the findings of research conducted by the Enneagram Institute as well, it has been seen that Personality Type Sevens often have a somewhat greater propensity to exhibit that disorder (along with the Addictive Personality Disorder as well). 

The Bipolar Disorder is a mental disorder which causes unusual shifts in mood, energy levels, activity levels, and the ability - or lack thereof - to carry out day-to-day tasks. In other words, it triggers instability. 

Persons with the disorder can experience swings in mood and temperament, some swings one way or the other lasting for brief periods. In other cases, the phases can last much longer. I worked with a woman years ago who had the Bi-Polar Personality Disorder and her swings usually lasted for six months at a time. For six months, she would be eagle-high; as if a "switch" in her head had been flipped, she would show up at work one morning and the eagle-high mood would be gone, replaced by a whale-caca-low mood which could manifest for six months. 

As for the Addictive Personality Disorder, her addiction was to chaos which she used to relieve herself of a sense of boredom. During the mania phase, she would make extreme decisions about buying or selling her home or about starting a new relationship and making a commitment within a matter of only a few weeks. 

Once during a manic phase, she met an unemployed man, "fell in love," sold her home, cleaned out her retirement account (contrary to the suggestion I offered), and moved from the South to the Midwest with him. They married, she made a down payment on a home, he soon moved his unemployed 25-year-old son in, and while she was at work each day, they were playing and spending her money. The funds were all gone within six months, the marriage ended, and she moved back to the South to her former job, started over from scratch, and - with her retirement account empty - was guaranteed to have to work to the end with no possibility of retirement at all.

During the depressive phase, she was actually "safer" because her sense of feeling depressed did not lead her to suicidal thoughts - as it can in some cases - but it did lead to a deep malaise which rendered her inactive and which prevented her from engaging in the her manic-phase-type conduct which almost always led to financial and personal catastrophes time and again (relatively speaking, of course). 

Meanwhile, she remained trapped in duality, most concerned with image and clothes and cars. With her, a man was the plan, so she continued her search for someone who could provide her with a high lifestyle. Her Bi-Polar Disorder, according to some who have spoken with me, continues to generate mood swings and she stills continues -insanely - to behave in her long-standing self-destructive and self-defeating fashion.

It should be obvious that to suffer from the Bi-Polar Personality Disorder, or to swing continuously between manic phases and depressed phases, will guarantee an existence marked by instability and insanity. 

More on that will be offered by using excerpts from the book INSTABILITY / INSANITY: What the Advaita Teachings Can (and Cannot) Address and the book entitled From the I to the Absolute (A Seven-Step Journey to Reality:

INSTABILITY / INSANITY INDUCED BY MANIA AND DEPRESSION 

Consider the instability and insanity of being depressed for periods of varying lengths; and then being overly-enthused for varying periods of time; and then moving back into depression; and thereafter continuing such swings throughout the relative existence. Depression and mania are common mental disorders which present with certain identifiable symptoms. 

(Note: Not everyone who is depressed or manic experiences every symptom listed below. Some people experience a few symptoms, some many. The severity of symptoms also varies with individuals and also varies over time.) 

Depression Symptoms: 

Persistent sadness; anxiety; moodiness; feelings of emptiness; feelings of hopelessness; pessimism; feelings of guilt; feelings of worthlessness; feelings of helplessness; loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex; decreased energy; fatigue; being "slowed down"; difficulty concentrating, remembering, and making decisions; insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping; appetite and / or weight loss or overeating and weight gain; actions that harm the body; thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts; restlessness, irritability; and persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain. 

Mania Symptoms: 

Abnormal or excessive elation; unusual irritability; decreased need for sleep; grandiose notions; idealized dreams and schemes; increased talking; racing thoughts; increased sexual desire; markedly increased levels of energy; poor judgment; and inappropriate social behavior.

Note how the relevancy of those two disorders was raised during a part of a satsang session shared below which is extracted from the book FROM THE I TO THE ABSOLUTE as Floyd answers a Questioner's ("Q's") queries: 

F.: But my question is, ‘What do you think is the source of your misery’?” 

Q.: “My wife leaving me. She said, ‘I don’t even know who I am,’ and she took the children and left. I’m miserable over losing everything . . . wife, family, property. I lost it all.” 

F.: “First, if she said that she doesn’t know who she is, we can believe that is the case. Obviously, you don't know who you are, either." 

Q.: [Frowns] 

F.: "Secondly, if it is truly understood that one does not have a body and therefore cannot ‘lose’ the body, how can one lose the bodies on your list? The world of misery you speak of is imagined. You do not live in the world. More importantly, your freedom will come in knowing that nothing on the list is the source of misery.” 

Q.: “I don’t think you appreciate the hurt involved.” 

F.: “If you truly understood the illusion of the body, you could not have an illusory mind that would speak of a ‘lost wife’ and this lost person called ‘husband.’ To be free is to be in a state of total independence. Each illusion of personality requires two co-dependent bodies as well as two co-dependent minds. It is that illusion of dualities which prevents a person from being free and which blocks a person from continuing on the path to Realization." 

Q.: “Two bodies and two minds?” 

F.: “Two bodies and two minds are required for any role to be taken as an identity. You cannot play the role of ‘husband’ alone. She cannot play the role of ‘wife’ alone. You each must have a body in order to play out those roles, you each must have another body willing to play the counter role, and you each must have a mind that has been programmed to believe that the roles you play actually identify who you are. Two bodies, two minds. Duality squared. 

If you are ‘husband’ and she leaves, you are not ‘husband’ any longer in your variable mind. According to that belief system, What You Truly Are can vary, depending on who is in your physical presence! But the reality is that What You Truly Are can never vary. All personalities (or ‘personas’ or ‘false identities’ or ‘roles’ or ‘states-of-being this’ or ‘states of being that’) are dualities. 

The real is permanent whereas dualities, being illusions, always appear to come and go. In that instability, one lives in the depression around perceived loss or in the manic state of joy around perceived gain. Neither state lasts, so one is constantly in a state of flux and desire, clinging to current dependencies while trying to accumulate new dependencies. 

‘The employee’ cannot exist without ‘the employer’; the ‘lover’ cannot exist without a separate ‘lover’; the ‘father’ cannot exist without ‘a child.’ If ‘wife’ leaves, ‘husband’ thinks he’s dying. How tenuous your existence becomes—how absent of freedom life must be—believing in the illusion that your existence is totally dependent on 'another' or all those ‘others.’ 

How vulnerable and fear-based that life must be … feeling so dependent and needy and incomplete. Do you see that if each assumed personality requires the physical presence of another person, then two co-dependent bodies are required to sustain the illusion of each false personality? Trying to live in that duality, with no freedom at all, is it any wonder that you speak of misery?” 

Can the non-dual understanding address these two disorders? Both disorders usually require treatment by trained professionals.

If depression is rooted only in the misperception of "loss" and if that can be processed via the teachings, then the teachings have been effective on some occasions. 

That said, mental health professionals should usually be the first who are sought out for assistance with depression and / or mania. 

To be continued. 

Please enter into the silence of contemplation. 

[NOTE: The four most recent posts are below. You may access all of the posts in this series and in the previous series and several thousand other posts as well by clicking on the links in the "Recent Posts and Archives" section.] 

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