This is another element of human behavior that completely baffles me, I simply can’t understand the reasons behind holding a fundamentalist or extremest believe. Some people have very ‘smartly’ replied that I just don’t have anything that I believe in, which is obviously not true…most people who know me know that animal welfare is something that I believe in and something that’s also very important to me, and I believe it’s very important to remove the stigma from mental illness. However I accept reality as well, the reality is that people will always eat meat and there will always be people who have the belief that all people with a mental illness are dangerous killers (which obviously isn’t true), whereas many fundamentalists and extremest seem to have an inability to accept the reality behind their belief.
Fundamentalists and extremest tend to take what is originally a good idea and apply stupid means of bringing their method to peoples attention, which of course actually does more damage to their cause then good. I’m referring to any fundamentalist or extremest group/behavior “Bible Bashes” for example take the good idea of a belief in God (which can and does do good for a lot of people) and apply the stupid means of harassing everyone by shouting out the front of a church or big train station that we’re all going to hell for not believing as they do. This of course has the effect of not only annoying people but can actually scare people away from a belief in God after all who in their right mind wants to believe in a God who damns someone to hell forever for only stealing bread for their family to eat?
I’m frequently arguing with vegans about their damaging approach to animal rights and welfare, they seem to think that by demanding people become vegan or trashing research labs that they can change the conditions when we all know that this simply isn’t true. I don’t have a problem with people being vegan and blogging about the benefits of veganism but I do have a problem with the way they think it’s ‘sinful’ to date a meat eater or to say that people will always eat meat, I personally feel the downside to this I’ve known many people who are reluctant to talk to me once finding out I’m vegetarian because they think I’m going to push my eating habits onto them. Instantly we see the problem with that sort of behavior, people don’t like it and they don’t respond to it. Exercise and healthy living can be taken to an extreme and I’ve see this happen before too, in fact how often do you hear blah blah is bad for you? Do you actually care about whatever new thing it is that will kill you or increase your risk of cancer, heart disease or whatever other illness? I know I don’t, I use to pay some vague attention but now everything is bad for you! I remember reading an article about chemicals in furniture that’s slowly killing you and I have to say that it was the most ridiculous and stupid serious article I’ve ever read…you’d better get rid of your couch and bed because they’re making you sick. Its the same with exercise, running in particular is pushed onto a lot of people but very few of the people pushing running realise that it’s actually really bad for all of your joints. You see when you step a certion amount of jolt is pushed back up your body and though all your joints when walking it’s not too hard on your body unless there’s a specific reason for their to be extra pressure in your step an example is running because you’re stepping down harder when you’re running you’re causing more jolt and thus more shock to go up the joints of your body, also if you’re over weight you cause more pressure. Exercise is also addictive, or the chemicals released because of exercise is addictive and many people who exercise to extremes every day in this situation your body doesn’t necessarily have enough time to recover from not only the flood of adrenaline, cortisol (which is particularly harmful to the body if it’s constantly present in large doses, it’s what makes you sick from stressing too much) and nor-adrenaline but also from the stress on your joints and muscles.
Any extreme or fundamental belief is harmful to whatever it is that you actually believe in no matter how “good for you” it might seem and this is something that I tend to see very clearly so I’m often confused as to why so many people have these damaging beliefs, why is it that people can’t take a step back and say “People think with their own brain so they won’t always believe what I do?” or “Blowing up an animal testing lab is only going to make them retest the stuff they just tested.” I’ve never understood this attitude that people have about forcing others to do something the way that they do things, in fact I remember I use to get very annoyed when my brother copied the way that I did things and I still feel similar. I like to think for myself and the fact that so many people seem to be hell bent on not only thinking the way someone tells them but telling others how to think really confuses me, as Socrates said “The unexamined life is not worth living…” to me this has always meant that it’s important to question things and come up with your own answer which I feel fundamentalists and extremest beliefs are missing.
This post is only going to be short, I’m a bit sick at the moment but I’m watching Dead Like Me and the idea suddenly came to me.
So I’m referring to the actual skellington in the black robe and hood. Most people are under the impression that the Grim Reaper actually kills people and thus they are under the impression that he/her/it is evil but this isn’t the case. The Grim Reaper is more like a guide, he/her/it is there to meet you to help you get use to the idea of being dead to help you understand what it means to be dead. To live your life under the impression that death is an evil force constantly out to get you is only going to make it harder to accept when the time does come.
Believe it or not but I’ve actually faced my own death a couple of times and even the first time I wasn’t actually scared as such, I was worried about what sort of pain I would die in…I was also agitated that I’ve made friends between the time I tried to kill myself (short story, I was in an abusive house hold with no other out) and the time that I was dieing of dehydration. What didn’t happen was any sort of anger/frustration at the Grim Reaper or death, I just accepted what was going on. It was the same both times, ironically what bothered me most was the fact that I was in Emergency so long lol I actually got board.
If you start to see death as being nothing more then ‘something that happens’ you wont have as much of a problem when and if your in the situation. Of course everyone takes these things differently and I can’t say it will help for sure but I know it helps me.
I’ve recently just taken a big step and sent a complaint to the Mental Health Unit (a.k.a a modern asylum) that put me though hell back in early 09, now I don’t actually think anything can or will be done but it’s an important step for me because I’ve been afraid to do so for so long. See when I first filed a complaint/gave feedback the guy read it in front of me laughed and then ‘misplaced’ it so I was worried that the same would happen if I tried again. Where did this inspiration come from? Emilie Autumn’s new and only music video Fight Like A Girl (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=dvOXuZwOEvM).
The video actually reminded me of my stay in this particular Unit which really was similar to a Victorian era Asylum, and while what happened during that say isn’t really what this post is about I’ll give you a quick run down of what happened to give the rest of the post context. I can’t actually remember how long I was there because my perception of time was (and still can be) very distorted but basically it was the second hospital I’d been to and it was the first public one I’d stayed at so my expectations where far, far too high. The staff tried to force me to eat meat (I’d been a long time vegetarian by this stage, still am), they prevented us from talking to each other, we had nothing to do bar play on a Nintendo Wii, they took away harmless but important things such as pens and paper as well as books, they refused to treat my head aches as per my GP’s instructions (I gave them my GP’s name, the clinic name where I see her and the phone number, they never rang her), there where several times where they threatened to hit me and others as well as threatening to lock us in solitary, they refused a diabetic boy food (he later collapsed), they bullied/mocked/breaded ect me and others, we where not allowed outside or to exercise (no running on the ward) and worst of all they offered no kind of treatment (talking about triggering topics where band, the logic behind this still escapes me to this day). In response to this I demanded that they give us basic rights, I demanded to be transferred to a privet hospital, I demanded they called my GP and let me take the proper medication for my head aches, I demanded they offer some sort of treatment (nothing happened) and what I’m most proud of I stirred the other patients up and encouraged a rebellion (we refused to go to be and then refused to get up again, security was called). I got told off many times for calling the doctors intelligence into question and for breaking the rules and getting others to tell me their stories (they finally felt so understood) and basically caused as much trouble as I could and tried to take over…I honestly think they let me leave cause I wasn’t worth the trouble. This leads to the rest of the post, why is it such a terrifying idea that the inmates run the asylum?
We’ve all heard of this situation and it’s been the plot of many movies (most of them horror) but I’ll never forget the really weird French movie I watched that was set in an asylum (SPOILER ALERT) which turns out that for most of the movie is actually run by the inmates and it’s the ‘doctors’ trapped in the cells down stairs, once the doctors get out again and our not so crazy main character finds out how the doctor has been ‘treating’ people it’s shocking to see the decline of the place. When the head fake doctor was running the place most of the people where acting ‘crazy’ in a relatively safe way, one guy is hitting his head against a post that holds in the building and tied to this post is a pillow…the said guy is subdued, silent and gently rocking forward to hit is head on the pillow. The face doctor explains that in order for a crazy person to recover they need to act out their crazy within a safe environment, whereas the real doctor believes that mental illness came from an imbalance between pain in the mind and pain in the body…increase the pain on the body and the crazy will stop. Now I don’t know about you, but to me it seems that the fake and crazy (he had delusions of Gander and a phobia of being buried alive) doctor actually had a much much better idea of how to treat these people then the real doctor. Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying that the Criminally Insane or those who are violent should be allowed to roam free and run the joint but what I am saying is that most people with mental illnesses actually have a much better idea of how to deal with others who are mentally ill then those who haven’t experienced it.
When the inmates of the asylum are running it those inmates feel much safer, much more understood and much more at peace then they ever will with a tight laced environment run by doctors who more often then not can’t actually treat people on an individual level. Granted in the past the doctors have been much worse and when the inmates get out the first thing they do is take revenge/justice on said doctors, it’s a hypocritical assumption that is then made that the inmates have done this because they’re crazy when really all they’ve done is exactly what was done to them and/or others that they’ve known. Answer this, if the doctor was preforming barbaric experiments and ‘treatments’ and the inmates (a.k.a tortured people) escape then kill said doctor in the same way he’d experimented on them, who is really crazy? Keeping in mind that often these people would be trapped their for years knowing nothing but this cruelty and with mental illness comes a distortion of time that make’s it hard to remember what happened three months ago let alone what’s happened years ago. There’s a reason why so many people find themselves comfortable in an asylum it’s the first place they’ve been in where there are other people like them, they’re understood and they can see that it’s not so abnormal as they where lead to believe. For this reason I think that the best psychologists and psychiatrists are those who’ve had/have mental illness themselves or know someone closely who has mental illness…I often find in those horror movies that I sympathise and empathise with the inmates who are now running the asylum. The mentally ill are people too and often feel things deeper and stronger then your average non-mentally ill person and they should be treated as such, who knows that better then anyone else? Someone else with mental illness! I often find I’m far more at home with people who are mentally ill then those who’ve got no experience with it. So hell yeah! Let the inmates run the asylum and see the benefits!
So this topic actually came up in song lyrics, a song by Emilie Autumn. Her song Fight Like a Girl talks about fighting back against the forces that are oppressing you, fight like a girl protecting her child do anything that is necessary to survive. The line that got me thinking was
“There is no such thing as justice”.
I’ve been thinking about the various ways that we try to go about getting justice in both the society and in our own personal lives. I’m starting to wonder what the difference between revenge and justice actually is, after all justice is defined (dictionary.com) as “the administering of a deserved punishment or reward”. So we’ve got the reward part down pat, we’re pretty good at rewarding ourselves but it’s the punishment end of things which poses the problem especially when we’re talking about really awful life destroying events. When someone suggests that we take an eye for an eye it’s almost instantly called ‘revenge’ rather then justice and honestly that seems stupid, maybe I’m just bias because I’ve been victim to crimes as well as life shattering events for which I will never get justice or revenge.
So I ask what is justice if it isn’t revenge? It most certainly isn’t a stressful trial in which the accused is rarely found guilty and it’s not the person who caused damage sitting in jail getting better treatment then the rest of us out here struggling. How does someone get justice for 16 years of child abuse? You’ve got to give justice for a missing childhood, all the emotional issues and the actual pain. How does a family get justice for their murdered sister/brother/child ect? It’s not actually possible, so no I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to get your own justice whatever that might be. At the end of the day I don’t believe that justice exists and I don’t believe that it’s possible to achieve, all those people (including myself) who have been hurt by other people can only fantasize about getting their justice because outside of dreams it just isn’t possible.
I’m going to keep this short as I should really be trying to sleep again.
This is a topic I’ve thought about often and it came to me because I feel the need to question the purpose of such a destructive force as religion, this is something that is held onto so tightly that it causes war and all sorts of conflicts and hate. It occurred to me one day while thinking about fear and death that the purpose of religion is very simple and it seems to have two main purposes(though it will have different purposes to different people, I’m referring to the whole of the human race).
Religions have been around for ages, we all know that but why do we actually need any religion in order to go about our daily lives? Religion is there to help put fears at ease, it’s nothing more then something constricted by the human brain in order to cope with the things that we fear. In the past this is seen though Gods/Goddesses who watch over the dead(a main fear of the living), Gods/Goddesses who could help end a drought and the fear/uncertainty that comes along with it and even today we cling to the idea that a God/Goddess has a plan and that our suffering is for some good reason. When I was very ill I can’t remember how often people would say “I’ll prey for you” or “I’m sure it’s all for a reason” ect. and I actually found this to be more of an annoyance then a comfort but that’s just me.
The second main purpose I can see religion having is self betterment. How often do you hear of people who have found God while in jail? Or who have picked up a spiritual practice to better themselves? Somehow for some reason religion and belief give people the strength to do things that they think they would otherwise be unable to do.
I have personal experience is this particular area, I was in the middle of a psychological break down and having trouble coping with it all and I turned to spirituality and later to the Goddesses Hecate and Venus/Aphrodite. To this day I still don’t know why I needed this spirituality in order to get the strength to climb(and I am continuing to climb) the hill of mental illness, but what I do know is that this did help give me an extra boost. I’m personally of the belief that religion is man made and that there isn’t exactly Gods/Goddesses watching over us, but having it there and have such strong role models really did help.
I tend to think that organised religion is about power and not much else but I do think that any religion has the ability to help others in a very good way whether I agree with it or not. I’m not attacking any religion here and I would expect that no one attacks my beliefs whether you agree with them or not.
Peace can be defined as the absence of conflict, human beings are constantly in conflict and thus world peace isn’t possible. Yep I truly believe that world peace isn’t possible, don’t get me wrong here I hate war and the rather pointless loss of life that comes with it and I’m against war unless there is an exceptionally good reason(for example WWII was a rather good reason for war, stopping some nutter from walking across the world and killing anyone he didn’t like) to go to war.
Countries will always have some sort of conflict, be that over politics or land and people will always believe that the best way(and finial way) to resolve differences is to fight and enslave others. Once again I find myself feeling like I’m the only one who can see the blindingly obvious reality of the situation, it’s human nature to want to compete and it’s human nature to become agitated which often results in some kind of violent out burst.
I’ve had this argument before and been totally at a loss when even after an hour the other person is still 100% sure that at some point the world will be at peace, ignoring the fact that nature it’s self isn’t peaceful(turn on the Discovery Channel, watch a doco on animal behavior and you’ll see what I mean) there is no possible way that a whole human being would spend their whole life and not get into some kind of fight. You could say that science will at some stage be able to remove agitation, anger and violent impulses from the human species but any ‘person’ then born wouldn’t be a whole human being as they’ve been scientifically altered to remove parts of their neurological and genetic makeup.
There is only two ways that I can see ‘peace’ coming to the human race, the first would be to get rid of them all(I will go first) since you can’t fight if you’re not there or the second would be if aliens where to come to Earth and attempt to take over. However even if there was a totally external threat to the existence of the human race there is no guarantee that all humans would band together in order to fight the invaders. Think about the plot of something like The X-Files, plenty of characters threw the rest of humanity under the bus in order to save themselves and the actively fought against the people who wanted to save the whole of the human race. This isn’t at all unlikely in this type of situation, I’ve known plenty of people who would do the same to the people that they know because self preservation is built into every single living being. Even myself with my lack of will to live has successfully proven that in a situation where I had very little control over(my body went into serotonin shock, I’d lost motor control, was confused, very dizzy, slightly blurred vision and was in the middle of a busy train station on my way to school) what happened my natural instinct was to survive, obviously I did.