It’s April 1, 2020… and we’re told that it’ll be at least another month before the order to “Shelter In Place” is lifted. Like a dystopian novel, pundits across the spectrum are crying, “London Bridge is Falling Down”… due to fears about what life will be post-Coronavirus. At age 66, the virus not only conjures up reflections on my mortality, but of cliches like:
“The problem is not about going to jail–it’s
who you’re in jail with!”
After two LONG weeks in place, I’m finding the situation to be both a blessing and a curse. The blessings rest in having time to meditate and read… and also being almost forced to work on projects that I’ve been putting off. The curses come with living in a world that’s over-stressed, neurotic and home to a plethora of psychological personality disorders.
Dr. M. Scott Peck wrote in, “The Road Less Traveled,” that about a third of of the people who are mentally ill are actually spiritually ill … and here at the outpost of the end of the Republic where so many have lost faith in the old religions, much of today’s mental problems arise from grasping onto darker choices that rip up one’s consciousness even more than the out-dated repressions inherent with Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. Man and Womb-Man are supposed Evolve–not DE-volve.
There are three main ways to lose one’s mind:
1. Repression. If I repress anything about myself, I end up destabilizing my psyche. Humanity–like nature, is not supposed to be monolithic. We’re not born to be all the same. If we were, there would be no forward progress.
2. The Lie. The lie I need a therapist to help me get at, and the lie I need that help to accept about myself. (And we live in a nation FULL of lies.)
3. Trauma/ Untreated PTSD
Of course we can add many others to the list… like being born a psychopath, or becoming a sociopath by the way we think and the ideas and myths we embrace. Everything we look at, read, and listen to is designed to shape our opinions and behavior towards doing what Corporate Capitalism wants us to do. And as they are softly herding us into “Neo-Feudalism,” expect life to be even more alienated, paranoid, and abusive to one another. (But hey, they’ll have sex robots and Virtual Reality… and just like here in the pandemic, the liquor stores and marijuana dispensaries will remain open.
Currently after a long two weeks, people on the streets seem actually friendlier. We wave as we walk into the streets with our masks and gloves to avoid being contaminated by one another. (Predictions are that after the order is lifted, there’s going to be a host of anonymous and semi-anonymous sexing going on… but that’s another subject….)
Unfortunately, there has been a spike in reported shootings and domestic abuse. The U.S. is a narcissistic nation with a Borderline culture. All this DRAMA … and empty, predatory, resentful “love.” How can it not be? The Narcissist only wants your attention.. and if you don’t constantly mirror back a “good” love that they’re not able to feel for themselves, then they feel justified in punishing you for it.
People don’t realize the power that the building blocks of the mind have on us. Carl Jung referred to them as archetypes. One of the most problematic is The Magician. It is the archetype of priest, priestesses, university professors, doctors, lawyers, etc…
Psychotherapist Robert Moore warned us about this one… because along with the corruptions of Capitalism, unless one is firmly rooted in integrity, abuse to the client, patient, student, and vulnerable church goer is sure to happen. When this archetype slides, people feel they don’t have to tell you the truth, because, “I know more” … and from that point is a slippery slide into one hell or another. “The Magician” becomes miserable in his or her putrid self-aggrandizement and malignant narcissism and the victim is injured in any number of ways–money, mental trauma, and sexual abuse are common. One becomes a hungry ghost with a hole in the bottom of the stomach which never gets full.
So if you find yourself stuck in a situation where you’re sheltering in place with narcissist or just as bad, a person with the very common, “Borderline Personality Disorder” … then … you’ve been presented with the gift of “Detachment.” (Buddhism teaches that life is suffering and much of that suffering comes from “attaching” to some pattern of thinking or behavior.)
Both the Borderline and the Narcissist need… CRAVE your attention. Borderline Personality Disorder is a disorder of not having experienced GOOD attachment during seminal points in Early Childhood Development. They are maddening to be around because they THINK it’s their “job” to test you to see if you’re safe and won’t desert you. Other common super irritating behaviors of Borderlines include, “Come here–Go Away” (remember that song, “Push it–Pull it”?) They basically need Drama to self-sooth from the inner terror, guilt and shame within their own minds… and are only too happy to dump those guilt’s and shames onto you.
The grandiose, malignant thinking of Borderlines center in thinking that everyone is “supposed” to behave and think like they do. Hence the currently popular “Canceling” that’s all the rage on the internet and off. And sad to say, the values of Thug Kultue is Borderline Culture. (i.e. if I spend more time being against my neighbor than trying to get along with him, then I have the problem… a Borderline problem. (People can be both!)
Borderlines also have an problem of Identity. They often change their hair or dress… even their names. Even if one is a 7th Grade church girl and she tells you, “I”m a criminal” … you know she has an identity problem. She’s knocked over no bank, but she sees the world through the filters of corrupted lenses that take pleasure in victimizing others. Ah… and there we can see the beginnings of today’s sociopathic society.
Around 40 to 45, nature calls the psyche to Individuate … to become an authentic being so that the remaining archetypes of the psyche can mature to full development. We don’t live in the Middle-ages…. even though that’s exactly where the Corporate barons want us to be. We need culture as a map for the first 20 to 40 years, but unless you’re a Farmer with a psyche born and developed to spend the rest of your life on the farm, at mid-life, if you’re not doing your First Dreams, the rubber is going to start running off your wheels. Enter–Midlife Crisis.
Are you Sequestering in place with any of the above?
No need to run out to the gun store–START MEDITATING! The Zombies want to get inside your head and use it as a foot stool! These are uncertain times and when man/woman loses faith in the Divine, they gain faith in the Demonic. (BDSM is the fetish of choice for Narcissistic Borderlines.) Attachment to a “religion” that teaches you to put hexes on people or to envy their land or happiness… WILL drive the practitioner … crazy.
It’s 2020 and we simply cannot run back to the Old Time Religions.. and expect to have problems. Yes, they offer structure in un-structured times, but for oppressed / repressed people, they are often toxic.
Poet and playwright Audre Lorde say a LOT about the madness of Traditional, “God fearing” women who’d stand right with her in the fight for Civil Rights, but the second Homosexuality or Bisexuality came up, they’d RUN and join the other side… not realizing that if you’re an oppressed person and you support the oppression of ANY other group, then you’re supporting your own oppression.
The utter hubris … the … self-centered, weak, over-grandiose, idea that a person KNOWS what’s best for another–based on the mental slavery preached by post-Civil War Theology or any other 2,000 year old theology is toxic insanity that destroys social bonding and growth. Most religions or “spiritual paths” were created by some power hungry Rabbis or Clerics designed to make you toe the line and fill their pockets with gold.
Should we throw the baby out with the bathwater? No. Instead to the math and read with discernment. There are four stages of human development and you will only be able to comprehend the scope of whatever level you’re on… and that means, don’t practice in isolation. You need a wise and humane congregation or sangha to work with. It’s no one job to pass judgement on others–but instead, to learn to love others… as they ARE… because whatever I hate in someone else… is a projection of what I hate in myself. Don’t paint yourself into a psychological corner.
It’s said that people born after the year 2000 are the most Conservative since WWII. Obviously that’s a blanket statement, but when you look at Techies and the current voting patterns, you are stunned with, “How’d that happen?” Think about it… then find your way to practice not allowing the mental parasites to feed off you… even when they say, “It’s for your on good” … then start in with one toxic, super hypocritical idea or another.
If you’ve gone through any of the toxic, utterly silly behavior patterns cited above, as soon as the order to move about the country freely comes… DO IT. Even though treatment for Borderline (BPD) is simple, fun, and has the best outcomes for healing and growth of any of the Personality Disorders, most won’t go get it. They grow to enjoy being Drama Queens… and all you can do is leave and pray that their self-destruction doesn’t come too soon.