Forming a Core

I had no ego, no center to myself, until I read first-person narratives like John Carter of Mars at age 12. That being the case, I’d had no means of thinking, of being a “cogito.” I couldn’t think verbal thoughts until getting a-hold of A Princess of Mars. Rice was a big discovery for me in June 1979. I saw the little book on the stand at Oregon Foods. The Michael Whelan cover caught my eye, so I had to have it. Mom was concerned that it might be “sexy,” but bought it anyway. I believe it was the first Rice book I ever finished reading, followed by Tarzan of the Apes, which was in third-person. That summer, I read the first three Mars books, conquering the red planet by the time I started seventh grade. But even so, it’d be hard to isolate even one concrete thought I ever had. What did 12yo Robbie think of his little world? I remember having a thought – no, a song – in my head in the summer of 1981 as I rode my blue Schwinn down our driveway into our street on that hot, sunny afternoon. It was “Free Will.” I listened to Rush’s Permanent Waves every morning that summer. The vinyl LP was badly warped when I got it, but it played okay. It became the soundtrack of my life for a period. That fall and the winter of 1982, when I turned 15yo, I added Moving Pictures and Hemispheres to my musical lexicon. It was the words as much as the music, definitely, tho still a bit over my head. My reading material, for pleasure, was mostly Tarzan that school year. Every morning before school, I’d read that stuff for a half-hour to charge my battery. Thus, a little ego to my psyche began to form, and at a late stage…

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You can write my friend! Sci fi and the pulps brought me many things as a prodomal schizophrenic. I had an uncle who I appropriated a lot of classic stuff. Conan. Ray Bradbury. It really as amazing to read such things and It formed a life long appreciation of the genre.

As I say. Your musings are good. You thought of putting something larger together? I know it’s hard with sz but I like your moxy!

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Thanks a lot! Yeah, I lived and breathed Conan, too. Bradbury less familiar to me, tho there was one story in The Illustrated Man – I forget the title – about a room with a projector or something, and at the end, it’s an African plains with lions – and the scene becomes reality. Bradbury is impressive because he self-educated out of a library. I managed thru school and college, too, but seems I had to do a lot of extracurricular stuff to glue myself together.

Absolutely re: concentrating long enough to do more at a time than a sketch. I can never compose long pieces of music, either. New phrases come to me easily, but a complete song with verses, chorus, and a bridge, is extremely difficult.

I’m on a new med now (Vraylar), and trying to adjust. Just saved myself from alcoholic suicide beginning 9/12/17 – close to 6 mos sober. Hit my “bottom,” as they say. Takes courage, but life beats the alternative, sz or no sz.

How 'bout you?

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Diagnosed late at 29 after a lifetime of getting by. Did some Uni in communication but have been symptomatic since 14. I’m a social butterfly It pays off because it helps with the schiz.

I can write a bit. I studied it for a bit in Uni but my speciality is poetry. I appreciate good writing and thus the kudos for your post! I take 10mgs of zyprexa and 300 mgs of effexor. Sz isn’t a drama as far as symptoms for me …I’ve learned to deal with that but depression can kick my ass!

Well met! Keep on keeping on!

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Right you are. I take it you’re into Luke Skywalker, too? Nothing like watching Empire back to back on the weekend. I used to do that when I worked a clerical job in a rehab agency. The job sucked, and my boss was a judgmental alcoholic who lied his butt off. Oh, how I wanted to be free. Now I hang on by my bennies, but so far, it’s been enough.

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Love most sci fi other than derivitive STar Wars. Great for it’s time but so many great movies from that time. It was more my younger cousins era…I’d already moved into the pulps and the sci fi of the time. You’ve got to remember I’m 47! I cut my teeth with Howard and Bradbury…I might be a generation ahead of you!

It’s all good! I still love the stuff and find myself reading sci fi and fantasy to this day!

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We have some of the same tastes in books. I read Tarzan of the Apes in high school in the 70’s and I liked it so much I started buying the rest of the series. I think there was about 30 of them and I had about 17 or 18 of them. And The Illustrated Man was a great book too. We got great taste in books!! Did you read any Jules Verne books? I recommend Sherlock Holmes.

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I have all 24 Tarzan books still. Read all but the last two. I once began to read Verne’s Journey…Earth, but that was many years later. I like Poe, tho he wrote a lot of his stuff drunk. Lovecraft, anyone? I love “The Music of Erich Zann” and “The Festival.” “Pickman’s Model,” too. Hmm. One of the funniest books I ever read was A Spell for Chameleon by Piers Anthony, pub. 1977 or '78. Also liked Lord Foul’s Bane.

I am 51yo.

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You have a clear memory, I don’t know how i am formed, just a constant change of ideas, this is what I’m sure about,

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That sounds like David Hume’s (18th C. Scottish philosopher’s) “bundle of impressions” idea of the self. In my case, there was naive realism from I-don’t-know-when. I presupposed that my body and the world external to my mind were real. Say, touch a hot stove and get burned. Inference: the heat is in the stove, the pain in my hand is real. Dunno. George Berkeley (another British philosopher) quibbled over whether the heat was in the object or in the subject. I need to reread Hylas and Philonous. Take it easy. B.

I think it’s an appropriate perspective on human being. Many spiritualities revolve around the concept of being a spiritual being having a human existence in a human being. It’s more or less the same concept and shows a correlation of common wisdom that many religions stood atop of.

The tragedy is that when someone lives by this motive and cypher and then collides with schizophrenia it truly does destroy ones sense of reality.

I’m frankly glad to see you talk about this, because I can tell you would already understand my inner disposition in having this illness. I’m glad because no one and no context has arose for me to have previously connected with someone else on that level.

“I think, therefore I am.”

My internal experience was always more important than my physical one. As self-centered as that is… I try to respect everyone else’s internal experience as well. People seem extra rude and it seems extra unnecessary.

However, my life experience has indicated some folk just have that bias to enjoy the inner self versus being a physical character in the world. The two sides are a stark contrast and often oppose each other.

… Not to totally let them get away with their considerably foul behavior. From what I’ve seen they can’t keep that perspective in their head for more than a few moments at a time. While some of us just are that perspective almost in totality. Our brains become wrecked from it. We have the compatibility issues, they don’t… They have numbers, we don’t… We are disadvantaged… However our inner self gets to know the depth and beauty of existence in a more consistent and fulfilling way.

I just let it fuel the need to keep kindness alive. 1 person can scorch the Earth and leave a trail of a half dozen people who wouldn’t have been that happy or grounded in their nice-oriented character had they not been met with similar kindness.

It’s always important to me, from room to room… to make sure, if at all possible, kindness and respect are the winner. Not noisy debauchedness… Cause I can’t stand thinking the human animal will always hold the reigns.

There are those kinds of dumb shallow folk out there who can’t stand losing for a second… and among them are the bad ones who lack concern for any positive outcome that isn’t their own.

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This is very well said. You’re talking about vanity and narcissism as opposed to earnestness and openness. I believe that being earnest and genuine is the open door to spirituality. I agree with you about kindness and compassion. It isn’t that hard a thing to practice. I used to get a lot of abuse when I was growing up. I could never understand why kids were so cruel to me. But when I got to college and was around intelligent people with tolerant attitudes, life got a lot easier. It was mostly a function of our intelligence. I was an English major. I never wanted to leave the university. And then the illness happened…

Azley, I am glad that you and Aliali grasped what I was trying to convey, to get across. It’s about consciousness, basically. Agreed that schizophrenia really disrupts the order of things. I used to believe I was destined for fame or something big – I wanted to be a rock star. Now, I want to make human spiritual connections any way I can. I want to love everybody. I want to be love itself, and for the world to converge in a harmony of love. Can anyone imagine the whole world singing the same song in universal harmony? Like in a John Lennon song. This is the sort of human experience I seek. If we could drop all our differences and just love each other as loving and understanding beings – benevolent and benign, beautiful souls – then I’d be blissful, you’d be blissful, and some kind of order would be achieved. I think this is not only possible, but it is the aim of all our lives. Never mind that it’s incorporeal; that is, not of the body and flesh. It is of our shared interior experience, and, Azley, you are right that some may scorn it as “selfish.” This is a crude kind of insult to those like you and me who think and feel. I’d better stop here. Take care and I will continue writing after maybe a break for a crust of bread or a run for ice cream! Thank you.

Yeah @Azley debauchery is wrong, to project one’s misery on another is always wrong. If the soul were reflected into a mirror, how would they make atonement? Does such a sorry exist and could it ever be big enough?

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I utilized this “forming a core” approach when I developed my own therapy and outlook for myself as a sz.

the first thing is to not disregard the potential of recovery… the act of submitting will eliminate the potential as you will accept and believe that it doesn’t go away.

the second is that there is no predictable time frame nor guarantee beyond that. It still might never go away.

the third is to look at the illness as a set of symptoms not one illness in general. Positives and negatives are a good divide… Tend to the physical self to curb the negatives… tend to the mental self to curb the positives.

the fourth, which ties back into the topic, is that schizophrenia can be a metamorphosis. Like a painful cocoon wherein there are painful changes occurring all the time. Inside that endless mess of noise there will always be the core… the worm that went into it… and the potential butterfly that emerges.

The core is first centered around the self. What philosophers call the “perceiver” in schizophrenia the perceiver is quite obviously what is you. The thing stuck watching… stuck watching even what’s under your influence going awry…

The core will never die. I unfortunately don’t think anyone has ever truly “lost it”… they are still in their heads… just disconnected from reality… without a chance of recovery. Deemed lost… but not gone.

Expanding the core is all about the principle of practicality. What is practical to hold onto. What is practical is what works… it’s a learning process akin to childhood. Just more blatant and spelled out.

When you start not just recovering faculties… but actual interactive functionality… then it’s about filling you life with immersive pleasure. Ongoing situations of fulfillment founded on nothing more than finally feeling like a human being.

To think… the ultimate drug that any schizophrenic could take… is the one that just allows them to have a normal experience.

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I feel better now; bigger, fuller, more present. As if my “signal” had been processed through an “aural exciter,” to use a music illustration. I feel enhanced as a result of my med’s action. Sense of hearing is esp big and strong. I turned on my PC speakers and played some music in the free and open air. First song: “Thela Hun Ginjeet” by a band called King Crimson. The title means, “Heat in the Jungle.” It sounded pretty good, but without a subwoofer, the low frequencies were partly lost. I moved along to a recording by Steve Khan, “What I’m Said.” Fusion music. Think I liked that best.

Maybe what I’m experiencing is something like “normalcy.” For over half of my life I used alcohol to try to create wholeness and fullness, or a completion of the tip of the iceberg with the huge hunk below the surface. It’s not so scary, in the end. There is above the neck and below the neck, but eventually there is no neck at all. Tennessee Williams, via a character’s voice box, calls it being a “no-neck monster.” It’s really not monstrous being at one with my unconscious – yes, the Freudian Id. Or maybe it’s the Jungian unconscious. Is there a Superconscious? In Jung’s view, there is a circle within two other circles. The center circle is the ego. The next one out is the personal Ucs. Then the outermost is the collective Ucs. Every individual needs the ego in order to steer herself toward her needs in life. The ego is the focal point that integrates what it needs from the outer concentric circles…

Whatever. What I’ve described above is from a diagram by Joseph Campbell in The Portable Jung, I book I read in the 1990s.

Have a good day.

When I think of “debauched,” I think of thoughtless sensuality, like my parents when I was growing up. They sat around watching TV and smoking cigarettes all day, and drank gin martinis and got into senseless “arguments” (really quarrels) during their “happy hour.” While they were busy with these pursuits, I, as a toddler – no, all my life – went neglected and even abused when my needs interfered with their thoughtless pleasures.

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