RE: Depersonalisation/Derealization vs Awakening to Non-Dual Reality

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Elizabeth Jane Baird, modified 10 Days ago.

Depersonalisation/Derealization vs Awakening to Non-Dual Reality

Posts: 33 Join Date: 4/3/21 Recent Posts
Hi everyone,

I was led to this site through a very circuitous route this afternoon. I'm in some pretty desperate need of help. Buckle up because this is a long one. If you have the heart and generosity to take the time to read it through then I thank you most profoundly in advance. 

Hi Gavriel,

I have booked an appointment with you for an introductory spiritual counselling session on Monday 5 April 10am SST.

My spiritual problem is very complex and so I thought I should provide you with a little bit of information ahead of time. 


I sent the information below to a transpersonal psychologist here in Auckland together with a chapter of a book I wrote for my daughter which I won't attach because I don't want to overload you when you're already giving me a free 30 mins. I met the TP psychologist last Monday and didn't immediately warm to him. He suggested at one stage that I might have narcissistic traits because I have issues with grandiosity when I experience non-ordinary states of consciousness. He also held out very little hope for me to ever be able to stabilise/integrate my spiritual experiences because I don't have a "proper personality". I said "Do you mean I have a fragmented egoic self?" I can't remember his response exactly but it wasn't very reassuring. I don't have a problem with the idea that I have a fragmented ego. It's pretty obvious to me that I must have because when it "collapses", SEVERAL new bullet-proof "Divine" ones immediately rise up to take its place as some sort of defence against Nihilistic Solipsism and persecutory delusions about my children. 

Here is what I sent the TP psychologist on 7 March 2021:

Hi Mark,

I am a 52-year-old woman with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder with psychotic features. I am not currently on any medication and have recently emerged from an "episode". I was taking a small dose of an anti-psychotic, Aripiprazole, until October last year when I went off it because it was making me put on weight. Within a few days I noticed that the chronic joint/muscle pain and stiffness I had been suffering from for years, especially at night, was gone. In January I was prescribed steroids for hives and my mood became elevated. I was then told to immediately stop taking Lamotragine (mood stabilizer) because it was thought it might be causing the rash. I continued to take a small dose of Epilim (mood stabilizer) until I dropped that too. By that stage I had become convinced that the meds had been stupifying me and keeping me compliant. This was because I broke up with my psychologically and physically abusive boyfriend on January 17. I took the view that I tolerated his behaviour because of the medication. I still believe that. 

On 13 January 2021 I posted this on the wall of the Facebook page "Grounded Spirituality" based on Jeff Brown's book of the same name:

Hi everyone,
I am a new member of a support group for those who have experienced "meditation-related difficulties" and reached out to the group in the wee small hours of this morning when the psychiatrists would have wanted me to be tucked up in bed. This group was recommended to me by one of the members.
I have pasted below my post to that group:
I would like to introduce myself to the group. I am a 52-year-old mother of two living in New Zealand. I was a lawyer for 17 years before having my first psychotic episode. That was 10 years ago. It was brought on by the use of entheogens with very intense non-dual seeking. I had an "awakening" where it became obvious that I was God Alone Playing. It brought on spontaneous laughter and joy.
But then I started acting strange. Too happy, too loving, too uninhibited, too free, too fantastic... Manic. Locked up. Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. Medicated.
"But I had a spiritual awakening!" I told the doctors. I was told by the non-dual folk that I would come to see that I was One with Everything and that my individual ego was just an illusion. "I have achieved my goal of achieving enlightenment." "Grandiose delusions", the doctors said.
It's a really long story and it has involved 10 hospital stays and unbelievable trauma. The trauma accumulated to the point where I became so paranoid that I was utterly convinced that my children were being raped by the Illuminati.
How does one go from realising their Divine Nature to living through that sort of horror show? Well, I'm not really sure and I would like your advice.
It is surely a fact that Everything is One. My immediate experience as I sit here and write is that the only evidence I have is that I Alone Exist. This Awareness is The Only Awareness. There are fingers typing on a keyboard but they are just part of a picture. It is a two-dimensional moving picture. The fingers are moving on their own. My daughter is not asleep in the room next door. That is just an idea. I have no proof she is there. Even if I went into her room and talked to her I would only be conversing with My Own Self. She is not separate from me.
But it must also, OMG I hope so, be the case that I am separate. I have a body which I inhabit. I move around in time and space. Other people have thoughts and consciousness like I do. There is a Higher Power running this show who is not me. Not "Lisa".
Both of these things cannot be True can they? They are mutually exclusive aren't they? Or is it a Paradox that I will never understand and continuing to try will keep sending me back to the psych unit?
When I become psychotic I "shadow-box". I see my own reflection everywhere but it is "evil" and out to get me. I become especially paranoid when my "projections" try to use any force against me, physical or otherwise. A lot of force was used in my family of origin and I have PTSD. I suspect that I used to dissociate a lot as a child. Because when I find myself dissociating (is that what I'm doing or is it Non-Dual Awareness?) my trauma comes up. I automatically start fearing for the safety of my children.
These are just a few thoughts. I would really appreciate some feedback about this. I have been very, very, very unwell on and off for the last 10 years. I want to achieve mental and spiritual stability. I am on meds which sap my energy and take away all of my joy. The only reason I can write tonight is that I have been on steroids for hives and they have elevated my mood a bit. It is 12.45am and way past my bed-time.
Much love to all
Lisa x
So it is 9.20pm tonight and I've had to take another dose of steroids 12 hours ago because I woke up with hives again. And my mood is better than it was at 12.45am this morning. My brain is working properly, I feel like I'm connecting with people, I'm not scared shitless of the future or guilt-ridden about the past. I feel good. My boyfriend has already "put me on notice" that I am "getting fast". My brother is telling me "pull on the brake asap" by going to community mental health. FFS, for the first time in ages I feel like the door of my cage has been opened. I told my daughter (19) about my predicament and she teared up with empathy. She had no idea what life has been like for me since my first "spiritual awakening"/manic/psychotic episode. I said to her: "You didn't know me as a person before I had my diagnosis. I was outgoing. I was vivacious. I was confident. I was a really good lawyer. I had some dark days when I couldn't get out of bed and some days where I couldn't make my brain work but there were many more good days than bad."
Now it is mostly bad days and I know that it is the meds. But I'm terrified of going back in The Bin. Me at my worst is an abomination to behold. I go full caps to everyone in my contacts list about being "sinners" and how I'm going to send them all to hell. I call myself "WRAAAAAAATH!" It is a completely different personality. I'm totally dissociating.
But I can't live like this guys. I'm not my authentic self. This cannot be the rest of my life. I'm not depressed enough to kill myself (although I have tried) but I am just acutely aware most of the time that I am not myself. Not who I want to be. But I don't want to be the ball-busting bitch who frightens others and ruins all of her relationships either.
This is a heartfelt request for some answers. Does anything come up from the well-spring of wisdom for anyone? Given that one part of me believes that it is All God then I must be able to gain some insights from you guys. Or am I just talking to My Self?
Thank you in advance for reading this post and responding should you feel moved to.

I received a lot of really good feedback. One woman wrote this: 
"Both of these things cannot be True can they?" YES THEY ARE BOTH TRUE. "They are mutually exclusive aren't they?" NO. "Or is it a Paradox that I will never understand" IF YOU ARE ASKING THIS QUESTION, YOU ARE ON YOUR WAY TO UNDERSTANDING. >>>>> Wishing you all the best dear soul.

After splitting up with the boyfriend my mood became more and more elevated. There was a sense of unbelievable freedom but I think there was also fear because I started to become paranoid again. I came to believe that my 19-year-old daughter, who lived with me, was a demon and told her so. She desperately tried to get through to me that I needed to go back on meds but I was too distrustful of them and psychiatry (due to previous ill-treatment and the fact that the biochemical theory does not resonate as truth). She now lives in University Accommodation. I miss her terribly and bitterly regret what happened because I hurt her BUT I can also see that trying to wind the clock back by going back onto medication is not going to make this problem go away. Medication has only ever been a temporary fix. My life without a spiritual dimension is dead and is not sustainable. My daughter has said she is not coming back this year, which means that I have the opportunity to explore these issues further. 

I have attached a chapter from a 350,000 word book I wrote for my daughter for her 18th birthday. It explains the sorts of experiences I have had. I'm sorry to bombard you with so much information, but this is a very complex problem. And the stakes are pretty high. I have an appointment to see a private psychiatrist, Dr Katie Ritchie, on Wednesday. I intend to tell her that I want to go into therapy to deal with these repeated spiritual emergencies. Here is some information about her contained in an email I wrote to my daughter:

Hi Jess,
I found these two Youtube clips today of some "therapy" I did with myself one night three years ago. I thought you might be interested. If you're not interested then don't watch them. 
I have also pasted a link to a video that came up as "recommended" for me this evening which is obviously relevant. I haven't watched it yet but I will. 
Dissociative Identity Disorder is a real condition Jess. It is part of "consensus reality". Integration (merging of the selves into one) is part of "consensus reality".
I'm going to tell you a story that really happened to me in the real world. Not "fantasy". Fact!
I was staying up at a Respite facility called Koromiko House years and years ago during "an episode" where my "alters" were all over the place. One of my "alters" was roaring from the deck outside the house and there was crying and pathetic behaviour where I needed cuddles and then storming around angry. It was an absolute shit-show. Well I thought I was in a "safe space" and I kept asking for feedback. "Is my behaviour upsetting anyone? You will let me know if I need to tone it down won't you?" "Yes dear. You're perfectly fine. We're supporting you." Well I'm making a cup-of-tea in the kitchen and six people, including two cops, turn up at the front door. I could see them through the window. I was terrified. Absolutely fucking terrified. The cops stayed in a room downstairs and I went upstairs with the other four. There were two psychiatric nurses from "The Crisis Team", a psychiatric registrar who was one week away from becoming a fully registered psychiatrist and a medical student. 
Well, I started off the conversation by announcing that I had Dissociative Identity Disorder and my "alters" were "running amuck". The registrar told me that DID was of particular interest to her. She had been studying up on it for years. I was so relieved. I told her that I was trying to "integrate" the "selves" but wasn't getting very far. I explained how my "System" worked, how "the Girls" communicated "in committee" etc, etc, etc. She was with me the whole way. She understood everything I said. She started asking me questions and I would answer on behalf of whichever "self" wanted to answer. Each time I would start saying: "Wrath says..." I would stop myself and say. "No. That's actually me. That's not what Wrath thinks. That's what I think. That's what I want to say on my own behalf" or words to that effect. Every time I did that I got a nod and smile of approval from the registrar. We were in there for hours Jess. It was really good healing work. I felt totally supported by the doctor. She declared at the end that I could stay where I was as long as I handed in my car keys. 
The next morning I received a message from the staff that I had an appointment with a doctor at the WDHB at 1pm. They wrote the time on a yellow stickie. Well at about 10am "The Crisis Team" arrives to take me to my appointment. I believe it was because I said something weird to one of the male staff members about men only providing "penis recipes" for boy babies and that there was no such thing as "DNA". Something bizarre like that. Anyway, I freaked out internally when I saw the two women from the WDHB. I knew them well but I was really upset that they had come early. They lied to me about the time of the appointment. I showed them the yellow stickie. They continued to lie. Fuck I hate it when people lie to me during "an episode". It makes me so paranoid. I told them I wasn't ready (I was in my pjs) and they would just have to wait. And I immediately went out for a cigarette to soothe my frightened body. I took my time organising myself and we went to the WDHB mental health offices in Taharoto Road. 
I saw a psychiatrist called Dr Katie Ritchie. I didn't trust her at the start because I never trust psychiatrists. They're full of shit and they lie their arses off. They also abuse power. Really abuse it. And I had met Katie before under less than favourable circumstances. I had agreed with her at the end of an "assessment" that I would go to Piri Pono (where Jackie Kenyon used to work). It is an unfailingly supportive sub-acute (ie too unstable to be in a standard respite but not "bad enough" to be in hospital) Respite house staffed by Peer Support Workers (people with their own lived experience) with one nurse to hand out the meds. Katie went away to sort out a bed for me. When she came back she announced that there were no beds and I was going to hospital. I was so furious with her Jess. I held it in though, mostly. Anyway, I thought as soon as I saw her "I'm fucked!"
We started talking and I explained about the DID. She didn't seem to know much about it. We talked for quite a while about what had been going on and for some reason my little 3 and-a-half year old "self" "Lisa-loo" felt brave enough to come out. That was a really big deal. I explained to Katie that she would have to call her "Lisa-loo" to build trust. Well "Lisa-loo" told the saddest most traumatic story. It was all expressed through the body language, voice, choice of words, everything. It was absolutely obvious to Katie that she was talking to a thoroughly traumatised little girl. Katie's eyes watered up. I remember how red they got to this day. The nurse who was with her, Lisa (who used to live in the same street as me in Dunedin when we were kids), went and got me an orange. She pierced the skin and asked me to smell it. "That smell wasn't there at the time" she said. It bought me back into the present moment and I was able to continue the conversation as an adult. Katie asked me "How can we best support you through this?" I said "Let me go home. That's where I feel safe." So they took me back to Koromiko to pick up my car. 
That's why I want Katie as my private psychiatrist. I have an appointment with her on 10 March. Jackie Kenyon is coming with me but you are welcome to join us if you want. 
I am fully integrated Jess. I promise you that I am. I KNOW that I am. "Lisa" was a liar. She lied about her clean-time to the folks at NA and she lied to herself about her relationship with Ajay. I am not "Lisa" anymore Jess. I am Elizabeth. I threw out "the boyfriend" as soon as I took over. And then fessed up to NA at my next opportunity. Obviously. I don't tell lies Jess. Elizabeth Jane Baird does not tell lies. I know everything about what happened to me in my life. All memories are readily available to me at every moment. Nothing is being "siloed" anymore. I've got my "frightened child' under control. In fact, there is no "frightened child" here anymore. There is anger here - righteous furious anger - but it is controlled. Totally under control. 

The anger was not under control. Within a few days I was yelling at Jess and behaving like a full-on crazy bitch. 

I really hope that you don't decide that my case is too complicated or that I'm just suffering from a serious mental illness. To date, I have either been experiencing non-ordinary/expanded states or been in an extremely contracted egoic state on the medication. I am not currently in a non-ordinary state. I know that I am seeing clearly and that my only hope for the life that I want is to view my recent experiences as another stage in my conscious evolution. If I go back on medication without giving myself a decent chance to heal spiritually then I will end up going off them again. Because I will not be living my truth. 

I look forward to your response.
Many thanks and kind regards Mark

After sending the email my mood plummeted and I became suicidal. It was mainly because I thought I had ruined my relationship with my children. That fear after an episode does it to me every time. My relationship with my children is on the mend and I have gone back on medication: a tiny dose of an anti-depressant (half the usual starting dose) which I will definitely stop when the main mood-stabilizer gets to the proper dose; the minimum dose of an anti-psychotic which I would like to stop at the same time; the starting dose of a mood-stabilizer (25mg) which is supposed to keep my mood from going too low and I will be slowly titrating to 150mg over the next two months; and the maximum dose that I can tolerate (without severe adverse side effects) of another mood-stabilizer which is supposed to keep my mood from going too high. I am no longer suicidal and I feel better than my usual self on meds. That will be the effect of the anti-depressant because they never usually give me any (they have always made me high). But they were super worried about me this time because my mood dropped so steeply so quickly after the last episode.

Anyway, the TP psychologist has said he will only enter therapy with me if I stay on meds (which is fine), have permission from my psychiatrist (done) and he seems to think that it's more likely that I have a mental illness than "spiritual emergencies". I'm prepared to accept that it might be a combination of both but not that mental illness is the only explanation for what I have experienced. And I'm totally not prepared to accept the bio-medical model because I'm not a Materialist. I'm a full-on Idealist; someone who has "hallucinated" and has a philosophy degree can't really be anything but. My mental illness is a result of trauma.

Thank you in advance for reading this and I look forward to meeting you via the Zoom link on your Monday - my Tuesday morning. 

Many thanks and kind regards Gavriel 

Gavriel wrote back the following:

Hi Elizabeth,

Thank you for your interest in Spiritual Counseling with me. And thank you for sharing such in-depth details about your challenging situation.

I really regret to inform you that given the challenging nature of your situation I will be unable to support you in your process. I am not a trained therapist and do not do therapy. It would be unfair and unsafe of me to engage in counseling with you given the nature of your process. 

Although deep in my heart and soul I would love to meet with you and see how I could help, I have discussed this at length with several mentors and "supervisors" and have been advised to take the action stated above. I am sorry and do hope you will find the support you need. 

Blessings on the path!!

Warmly,
Gavriel

So I write to Jeff Brown, author of "Grounded Spirituality". Sorry about the small writing. I don't know how to fix it: 

Hi Jeff,
I had an introductory session booked with Gavriel Strauss and sent him some information about my specific spiritual issues in advance. He came back this morning and said he could not help me because he is not trained in therapy. I'm deeply disappointed as it is truly difficult to find anyone who can help me here in New Zealand and I really liked the gentle way he came across in your Youtube videos together. I posted some material on your "Grounded Spirituality page" and was immediately asked why I did it. "Did Jeff ask you to post it?" It made me feel like I had done the wrong thing. I really need help and I don't know where to get it. I have had years and years and years of trauma therapy so I know what the issues are. I need to pick someone's brains about my theories on the causes of my psychotic breaks and how they relate to my previous spiritual practice.

I have pasted below the post that I put on your page last night so that you can see what I'm up against. It is a chapter from a book I wrote my daughter for her 18th birthday:

A psychic told me once that my book would be published in two volumes. She also told me that my life with Dad would be “good” and my life without him would be “great”. And, like a fool, I believed her. In fact, her advice tipped the balance in the end. If she had told me that my life would turn to crap without Dad then I may have stayed put. Or even if she had not weighed in at all.

She was right about the two volumes though. This one is about the madness.
You will see how much I loved you and Alex through my psychosis, and how I tried to deal with the paranoid delusions I was having about the sexual abuse; particularly in the later years where I believed that you were being raped by the Illuminati. That is really messed up. There was also the delusion that Ajay, the Hindu God of Destruction, kidnapped you and took you to the Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland, threw you in and blew you both to smithereens. My imagination is astounding. I would laugh at how ridiculous it was but for the fact that my suffering as a result of believing those things was very real.
My episodes usually start with emotional instability caused by excessive amounts of stress. I will be crying one minute, angry the next. Mostly it is about childhood trauma and empathy for the distress you, Alex and your father have suffered over the years. I might even shed a tear for the pain I have caused Sara. Around this time I will start to do what I call “Non-Dual spiritual seeking” in an attempt to make myself feel better.
Non-Duality is described in Wikipedia as "not two" or "one undivided without a second". Non-Dualism primarily refers to a mature state of consciousness, in which the dichotomy of I-other is "transcended", and awareness is described as "centreless" and "without dichotomies".
Sounds complicated but it is actually quite simple. The state of consciousness being sought is the knowledge that everything is One and the experience of that in one’s subjective reality. It is pretty hard not to conclude that The One is Divine, so most people do. And it is then a quick step from there to “I am God”. Well, it was for me. Now that would be all very well if I could remember that everyone else is God too. The misunderstanding comes from trying to make sense of the paradox that there is only One with no other, but there are others who are also that One with no other; there is no separation, but there is. That’s a “mind job” of massive proportions. I would have to say that there is none greater.
When I first start to experience an elevated state, it will feel like everything is meant to be exactly the way it is. I do not resist anything. It does not matter how negative the experience, I see it as absolutely perfect in every way. It is clear that the more I choose love and truth when making decisions, the more love and truth I attract into my life. And, equally, the more that fear and lies are motivating my actions, the more of that comes. I am not sure whether that is actually how it works but plenty of people believe it. My cousin Kate swears by the theory, which is called “The Law of Attraction”. She believes that she can raise her vibration so that she attracts only positive thoughts and experiences to obtain whatever she wants. She also thinks that the fact that I suffer so much depression is due to the medications lowering my vibration.
As I have mentioned many times, I experience my world as solipsistic when I am psychotic. It is a dissociative state. I did not realise until the middle of last year that I was deliberately putting myself into dissociative states in order to relieve myself from my suffering. I would pretend that everything was just a dream, I had no freewill and no way of knowing that any other minds or conscious beings existed. It was the ultimate escape. A dream could not hurt me and no freewill meant I had not made any mistakes; everything was exactly as it should be. Imagining that I was the only mind and consciousness meant that I did not have to feel rejected by, or guilty about hurting, “others”.
Having said that, there are a lot of so-called “Enlightened” people who would say that the above was not pretence at all; it is fundamental Truth (with a capital “t”). I hope to show you some of that thinking in this volume so that you can see why my weird beliefs did not come from nowhere.
I wrote the next part several years ago.
-------000-------
Ken Wilber talks about the implications of the Singularity of Consciousness in a clip on Youtube called “Ken Wilber on the Aloneness of the Spiritual Path.” He asks “What if Consciousness really is ‘Singular’?” and “What if there is only ONE Self?” He invites his audience to remember that they dream multiple selves at night: “There’s still only one dreamer isn’t there? And you wake up and go ‘Ah, that was just me.’” He then goes on to ask how it feels to say: “What if there is just this one Self of mine? There is no other Self anywhere in the Universe?” All of THIS is just a dream. It is just a projection of my own Self.
He says:
“Sometimes, if you’re doing that kind of meditation there is a kind of period, a little zone, where it gets desperately lonely. As you actually think into it. Where did this stuff come from? Where did this Universe come from? What do you think it had some Big Bang 15 billion years ago? That’s a stupid answer. Where did it come from, right now? On the Absolute side of the street, not the Relative side of the street: Big Bang, evolved, reptiles, plants, dinosaurs, asteroid (bad), mammals… civilisation. That’s sort on the Relative side of the street. But the Absolute side of the street is happening moment-to-moment out of this unborn ‘I-Amness’. All of this is issuing forth moment-to-moment. And you’re IT. There is not another Soul anywhere else in the Universe. All I am is a figure in your dream. And you’ve orchestrated all of this. And when you sit with that One Self, extraordinary aloneness can set in.”
However, imagine that you are not simply playing with the idea of there being One Self as Wilber suggests. You actually KNOW that there is ONLY One Self. And you are IT! THAT is what it means to be Awakened. It feels like the booby prize and Jed McKenna, the self-proclaimed “Enlightened Guy”, describes it as such.
“You mean to say that I am the ONLY one HERE?” It’s not a thought process. It is a REALIZATION of what has always been absolutely, screamingly obvious once you peel away all the layers of belief, and you are left with knowing nothing other than IAM… HERE… NOW. Everything else is an assumption or extrapolation.
If you were abandoned, or constantly rejected, or emotionally neglected as a child, then the mind’s attempt to understand the realization that Consciousness is SINGULAR can trigger a nightmare show fuelled by incredible FEAR, which originates from the child’s extreme feeling of vulnerability. This powerful emotion instantly manifests experiences which are as scary as hell. It is particularly distressing for the mind if there is the experience of “others” trying to control the body, such as happens when there is oppressive medical intervention.
If you search “Jed McKenna” and “Cast Away” on Youtube, you will find a very good analysis of the movie character, Chuck Noland, who “found himself thrust into the unadorned paradigm of the Awakened Being”. According to McKenna, “being alone on a desert island is a good metaphor for the Awakened state.”
McKenna states: “At the beginning of the movie, Chuck Noland has a full, rich ‘context’. He fits in his world. He has a robust belief set. He is a part of things and things are a part of him. And then his plane crashes and it is all gone. It leaves him without a ‘context’.”
The “Truth-Realised” state is “the absence of context”.
Chuck’s relationship with “Wilson”, the volleyball, is well understood by McKenna:
“[Chuck] had to believe the untrue and disbelieve the true. He had to perform an act of ‘Orwellian double-think’: the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously and accepting both of them. Chuck Noland knows ‘Wilson’ is just a volleyball, but he must believe that ‘Wilson’ is a fellow being because he cannot not have a fellow being in his life. ‘Wilson’ provides the context Chuck can’t live without… It’s not much but it is all he needs to pretend that he is not completely alone on an island in the middle of nowhere. That’s what context is and that’s what it does. It tells us that we’re not completely alone on an island in the middle of nowhere. It provides the illusion of a populated environment in which meaning and values can be perceived and applied: where it matters what we do and what choices we make. All context is artificial. There is no true context.”
He says further:
“Cast Away, reduced to its allegorical structure and stripped of everything after Chuck’s rescue, provides us with a powerful vehicle of philosophical enquiry. Chuck Noland has his attachments severed. But he never wanted that. He has been forcibly liberated from a prison where he was perfectly content. Someone slipped the ‘red pill’ into his drink. And he woke up outside a ‘Matrix’ he never knew he was in. All he wants is to get back in. But he can’t. He’s locked out of his own life. Not really dead and not really alive. Who wants to be cast permanently adrift on a shoreless sea? Who WANTS to spend the rest of their life tumbling through infinite space? No one, of course. What’s the point of ‘pointlessness’? How can you want nothing?”
McKenna refers to the quotation ascribed to the Buddha: “Truly, I have attained nothing from total Enlightenment” and says that it can be viewed in one of two ways. “It’s not so much that he didn’t gain anything. It’s that he DID gain NOTHING.”
NOTHING is described as “NO-THING” by many spiritual teachers and that makes more sense to me. Because “nothing” presumes the absence of “something”. No “thing” makes it clear that I am not a “thing”. I am not a “body”. I am not a “mind”. I am not a “person”. There are no “things”… anywhere… at all. There never has been. It is Maya – Illusion.
McKenna concludes:
“What Chuck does to survive is what everyone does to survive. A life is given shape and form and meaning only by [the mind’s] capacity for ‘double-think’.” Chuck’s relationship with the volleyball wasn’t unique. It is “the same tactic employed by all people all the time in order to maintain the state of denial necessary to continue a meaningless existence in a fictional Universe.”
Wilber has a rather different perspective to McKenna:
“The sheer uncanniness, the sheer mystery of your existence can start an extraordinary realisation. And as you push into that, it can happen gradual or sudden, there is a “snap”, a realisation, a Kensho like experience, of just what it all means. In terms of just, not an answer, but a simple, obvious radiant, luminous Emptiness moment-to-moment. Self-Realising, Self-Liberating, Self-Existing, Self-Knowing.”
Wilber must have had a nice childhood. For me, the “snap” was a psychotic break. The realisation was so horrifying that I put myself back to sleep. I then re-awakened… “snap”… put myself back to sleep… re-awakened… “snap”… put myself back to sleep…
My mind employed several different tactics in order to survive the experience of realising that I was NO-THING and that there were no other things. The struggle can be seen in my writing. Who was writing? Who was the writing for? I had the experience of saying to MUM (the “God”, separate from me, that I invented), “I want a go on the computer MUM” and her saying “Let me just do this bit Lisa and then you can have your turn.” And it was just like that. I felt like SHE handed control back to me for a while. And then took it back again when it got to a difficult part of the writing. I would then remember that my ego, “Lisa”, had invented HER because I couldn’t handle being ALONE. SHE was my volleyball.
Where am I now? I am in the process of mastering the art of PRETENSE: learning how to navigate the landscape and to get along with “the peeps”. In other words… there are volleyballs everywhere but I know they are volleyballs. How does it feel? It SUCKS!
I can well understand why the character Cypher in “The Matrix” wanted to be plugged back in. A nice, juicy steak and a fine wine were much preferable to the mush they were serving up on the Nebuchadnezzar.
In order to try to escape from my nightmare solipsistic world I begged MUM to turn all of the volleyballs into real people. I posted this on my Facebook page at Easter 2014.
Please make the people REAL MUM. I want them to be REAL!
Yes darling, I WILL make them REAL. But it will take quite a long time. You will have to be patient.
Are they REAL yet MUM?
No darling. They need to be "cooked" for a bit longer before they'll be ready.
Are they REAL yet MUM?
Nearly. I know it's hard, but just wait a little longer darling.
Are they REAL yet MUM?
YES. They are REAL... NOW.
Oh, THANK YOU MUM. THANK YOU SO MUCH!
You are SO WELCOME, darling.

Late in the evening of 7 May, I added the following:
And THAT'S how I got all MY SOULS. It would appear that none of the other "Awakened Ones" had sufficient IMAGINATION or FAITH. So, they continue to hang out in the land of otherlessness and no-self. F*** that! That place is way too LONELY.
-------000-------
All of this angst and turmoil was made worse by the fact that Non-Dual spiritual seeking actively encourages dissociative states. It is what Buddhists achieve through meditation. I can quickly achieve it through meditation too. Which is why I do not do it anymore despite it being recommended by NA. Perhaps I should probably close my eyes and pray to a Higher Power instead. That is another suggestion from NA. Unfortunately I have difficulty believing in a Higher Power these days. If I did believe in a Higher Power it would be the Pure Love and Pure Intelligence which is behind everything. And a Higher Power that definitely, absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt, does not talk to me.
Psychosis is one of the potential risks of meditating. It can happen to people with PTSD who have been traumatised as children and used dissociation as a means to cope. Going back into those dissociative states triggers the memories, often stored in symbolic form like dreams. I became addicted to mediating. I can still put myself into those transcendental states at a moment’s notice. However, I choose not to because I now have a well-trodden neurological path which can take me straight back to the nihilistic solipsistic Universe.
My delusion that you and Alex are the sex slaves of the Illuminati starts with “I am God”. Then it is “I am special because I am God.” Then I start to believe that I am being persecuted by those who refuse to accede to my authority. The Illuminati and the Catholic Church symbolise evil. Child sexual abuse is rife in the Church. According to Youtube posts about the Illuminati, they are also involved in paedophilia. Voila!
Your father becomes Satan because, at those times, I believe that he stole you both from me and refused to believe that Grant was mistreating you; that he actually secretly knew about it. Sara becomes the Whore of Babylon because she represents the female equivalent of Satan in Revelations according to my warped logic at the time. When people around me refuse to believe what is happening to you both I become more and more paranoid. I eventually believe that everyone is in on it.
Explaining the belief that Ajay is Shiva, the Hindu God of Destruction is not so easy. Shakti, as the Goddess of Creation, is the opposite of Shiva. That makes them soul mates. I believe that I am Shakti because I create everything with my imagination, given that I am the one and only Consciousness. Everything I create Shiva destroys. I created two amazing, beautiful children. He destroyed you. How and why I did not question why the Divine Creator would imagine such a Hellish show for Herself is beyond me. I seem to recall that I may have made up some story that I created Shiva and then, in a moment of ill-advised generosity, made him a separate being and shared my power with him. He then turned on me.
There is also another scenario going on. I can switch from the Divine Self to the egoic self – ie the one which is separate from The One. God’s “mini me” you could say. Some spiritual traditions make a distinction between the Higher and Lower Selves. So my egoic self becomes so frightened due to my paranoia that I come to rely on a super-sized God to help me to save you both. That God is called The Immaculate Supreme Braham Absolute, a term from the Ribu Gita in Hinduism. However, in order to earn the continued favour of TISBA, my short form of the name (TISBA is also MUM), I have to follow the dietary laws in the Old Testament of the Bible. Go figure.
Then there are all the personalities that split off. I become TISBA, Christ. (always followed by a full-stop), Grace/Mercy, Lisa, Lisa-loo, Wrath and WRAAAAAAATH! The first 3 and-a-half are Divine. The next 3 are egoic: Lisa is normal me, Lisa-loo is 3-year-old me, Wrath is angry teenage me. WRAAAAAAATH! is Divine rage. The name of the System is Elizabeth Jane Baird. I changed my name several years ago in an attempt to integrate the personalities, but it did not work. What used to be known as Multiple Personality Disorder is now called Dissociative Identity Disorder. But I only have it when I am psychotic.
The last thing I will tell you is that the Baird Clan takes on special significance when I am psychotic. We run Heaven. My Grandma guards the gates and my Grandad brings home the souls. In a peculiar twist I often come to believe that, through my 7 ½ personalities, I am “channelling” members of my maternal family who have died. Grandma is TISBA. Grace/Mercy are Mum and Auntie Carol. WRAAAAAAATH! is all of the Baird women going back to the beginning. I am still Christ. and my other egoic selves.
What a complicated set of beliefs. All of them are inconsistent and all of them stem from my mind’s attempts to get around the paradox of Non-Duality. Non-Duality is still obvious truth to me but I try very hard not to experience it as my reality. I prefer to intellectually know it but live as a normal person. My medication, for reasons unknown to me, helps me to achieve that.
I am truly sorry for all the times I have gone mad. It has traumatised you and Alex to the point where I worry that you will both need therapy one day. I am hopeful that this book will avoid the need for that as far as you are concerned. I will have to think of something else for Alex. I also hope that the book will help you if you ever find yourself in a solipsistic Universe. Many people with psychosis in psychiatric units are experiencing Non-Dual Reality and misinterpreting it in similar ways to what I did. The doctors do not realise it despite my repeated attempts to “enlighten” them. Maybe one day you, or one of your descendants, can get the message out there. I am sick to death of the whole thing. I am just going to finish this book for you and move on.

I ended the letter to Jeff as follows:
"It's very upsetting to basically be told that I'm too sick to be helped. This is clearly a spiritual problem and, as a said, the kind of spiritual help I need is thin on the ground around these parts. I have ordered your book and I'm hoping it will have all the answers but I think some one-on-one sessions would be of immense benefit. Please don't turn me away."

Many thanks and kind regards

Jeff's response: 

Hi Elizabeth! It's difficult for me to know which therapist would be a fit for any particular individual, but I have heard good things about this body-centered person, who does work online during covid... https://www.skanreichiantherapy.com/

I do not know if she is registered, insured etc. You would have to ask to be sure you are comfortable. But she does seem very good based on 
what I have been told...

blessings, Jeff

I looked at the website and I don't think it's for me. I'm sorry but I don't need laying on of hands and woo-woo shit. I need intellectual chats with someone or several people who understand Non-Duality from an experiential point of view and/or have ideas about ways to form a healthy ego (through psychotherapy if necessary) so that it doesn’t break down under severe stress. 

Am I in the right place, please? 

Many thanks, blessings and Namaste
​​​​​​​Elizabeth Baird


 
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Josef C, modified 10 Days ago.

RE: Depersonalisation/Derealization vs Awakening to Non-Dual Reality

Posts: 43 Join Date: 6/16/20 Recent Posts
Hello Elizabeth !

I will be very cautious since I do not want to offer a medical advise  and still am a beginner in meditation . So please take what I am saying below with a grain of salt: 

Medications related to mental health disorders are not a very exact science. People may have different reactions and since you have had an episode please tell your psychiatrist that you are uncomfortable with this or that drug because of their side effects. It is normal to change medications if the side effects are too much compared to the benefits.  So please if you just stopped taking your  medications , consult your psychiatrist about your concern so that he or she may be able to give another one. 

I can also see an aversion to taking medication . Have you considered contacting Cheetah house ?  Please access this link : https://www.cheetahhouse.org/meditator-consultations   . Dr. Britton  is  a pioneer in regards to research on meditation related illness. I do believe that if you can contact her it would be a great help .  You can also see on Cheetah House's website materials and contacts that could help. Here is also a list of clinicians that could help : https://www.cheetahhouse.org/meditationdifficulty-clinicians


Since you live in NZ please check : http://www.hopeworks.org.nz/the-brainhub/miscellaneous/new-treatment-programmes/psychology-based-services/psychotherapy and  http://hakomi.co.nz/CHTs/  .  They are professionals trained  in mindfulness based psychotherapy which I do believe will help you in regards to a healthy ego and a healthy life . 


So please if youre taking any medications right now dont stop taking them , consult your doctor  and therapist and get in contact with those who I have listed above so that they  can help you or refer you to those who can . unfortunately how much may we want to help  ,  still the best help are from medical professionals   in my opinion . May you find peace. 
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Elizabeth Jane Baird, modified 10 Days ago.

RE: Depersonalisation/Derealization vs Awakening to Non-Dual Reality

Posts: 33 Join Date: 4/3/21 Recent Posts
Thank you so much for reading my treatise and responding. Of course, they are the right people! They run the FB group I originally posted on months go. Thanks for the reminder and the other links. I'm on my medication and accepting strict psychiatric supervision at the moment so no worries there. But thanks for the warning. Here's a warning for you: "Don't get caught in The Void." ;-) 
Much love
​​​​​​​Elizabeth
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Josef C, modified 10 Days ago.

RE: Depersonalisation/Derealization vs Awakening to Non-Dual Reality

Posts: 43 Join Date: 6/16/20 Recent Posts
Thanks for the warning , I will keep it mind emoticon 
George S, modified 9 Days ago.

RE: Depersonalisation/Derealization vs Awakening to Non-Dual Reality

Posts: 1500 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
I'm sorry to hear about your troubles Elizabeth. In my experience it's definitely possible to use nondual mind states as a defense mechanism and a way of dissociating. It sounds like the root of your problems is your childhood trauma and that's where you should focus your efforts. If you can work your way through that then everything else - spirituality and your relationship with your kids - should follow suit.
best wishes
george
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Elizabeth Jane Baird, modified 9 Days ago.

RE: Depersonalisation/Derealization vs Awakening to Non-Dual Reality

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Hi George,
Thank you for reading my post and for your very helpful comment. You have confirmed what I suspected. I think I might also be a "spiritual addict" using Non-Dual states to simply "get high" - like when I habitually used cannabis. But the important thing for any addict I think is to figure out why. "Spiritual bypassing" seems to be common with people who have suffered trauma.
Much love
​​​​​​​Elizabeth  
George S, modified 9 Days ago.

RE: Depersonalisation/Derealization vs Awakening to Non-Dual Reality

Posts: 1500 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Why? Because it's a way of avoiding the repressed feelings related to the trauma you experienced. At the time of the original trauma it probably wasn't possible for you to fully feel the natural feelings of fear and anger, so they got buried in your body and that's what's causing all the problems. The only way out is to find the trauma feelings in your body and allow yourself to experience and release them SAFELY AND WITHOUT BEING RETRAUMATIZED, which probably means working with some kind of somatic trauma therapist (although there are some good books on this such as those of Peter Levine and Alice Miller).
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Elizabeth Jane Baird, modified 9 Days ago.

RE: Depersonalisation/Derealization vs Awakening to Non-Dual Reality

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I didn't know that was how it worked, and thank you again. Sounds like a scary, painful process to go through so I shall have to choose my therapist wisely. I actually have several books written by Alice Miller but haven't read them since I had my first episode 11 years ago. Time to dust them off I think. x 
George S, modified 8 Days ago.

RE: Depersonalisation/Derealization vs Awakening to Non-Dual Reality

Posts: 1500 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
It is scary and painful ... but it is a thousand times better than the alternative of continuing to repress the trauma and being blindsided by DP/DR and paranoid delusions! Actually the fear of the pain is much worse than the pain itself. Once you really start to connect with the pain in your body then it is actually a relief! You start to feel whole again, because it's an important part of yourself which is being ignored. It really is a feeling of connecting with your "true self", which is kind of the opposite of what's going on in your mind with nonduality.

I went through a period of experiencing DP/DR (related to moderate childhood trauma) when I got into nonduality. I think it's what happens when your mind understands nonduality but you are not sufficiently grounded in your body (due to the trauma repression). Now I've processed more of my trauma, when I experience "DP/DR" these days it is more or a blissful state of nondual awareness without the panic and anxiety. When people first get into nonduality it's common to get quite fanatical about it in a very simplistic way. They are basically hiding from duality! Like Stefan says below, "true" nonduality is more nuanced and involves being able to see both nonduality and duality at the same time (or in quick succession at least).

The two books by Alice Miller which I read and found really helpful where The Drama of the Gifted Child and The Body Never Lies: The Lingering Effects of Cruel Parenting.

I think you are ready to do this Elizabeth, because you recognize your dissociations and delusions for what they are. You could think of it as preparing a legal case. You know who the victim is, you know who the perpetrators are, you have mountains of evidence ... your job is to create the best argument you can to convince the jury (yourself!)    
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Elizabeth Jane Baird, modified 7 Days ago.

RE: Depersonalisation/Derealization vs Awakening to Non-Dual Reality

Posts: 33 Join Date: 4/3/21 Recent Posts
Hi George,

What a beautiful, encouraging message, thank you. And thank you for sharing some of your own story. You fortified me and I courageously took the first step today. I went for my second visit with the transpersonal psychologist (the one I said I did not like in the original post) and decided to start fresh with him and allow myself to be vulnerable instead of defensive. It worked out pretty well. We spent only about 20 minutes touching on painful stuff. I bawled my way through it and said "fucking" more times than a sweet country girl should, but I came out feeling a tiny bit lighter and enjoyed the rest of my day. So I'm super proud of myself this evening.
 
I have "The Drama of the Gifted Child". Favourite quote:

”It is one of the turning points in analysis when the narcissistically disturbed patient comes to the emotional insight that all the love he has captured with so much effort and self-denial was not meant for him as he really was, that the admiration was aimed as his beauty and these achievements and not at the child himself. In analysis, the small and lonely child that is hidden behind his achievements wakes up and asks: “What would have happened if I had appeared before you, bad, ugly, angry, jealous, lazy, dirty, smelly? Where would your love have been then? And I was all these things as well. Does this mean that it was not really me whom you loved, but only what I pretended to be? The well-behaved, reliable, empathetic, understanding and convenient child who in fact was never a child at all? What became of my childhood? Have I not been cheated out of it? I can never return to it. I can never make up for it. From the beginning, I have been a little adult. My abilities – were they simply misused?”

Much love and many blessings to you George
Elizabeth 
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Stefan R, modified 9 Days ago.

RE: Depersonalisation/Derealization vs Awakening to Non-Dual Reality

Posts: 33 Join Date: 3/28/21 Recent Posts
I'm studying psychology, so I'll weigh in here a little. Please see a psychologist. Dissociation via depersonalisation or derealisation is not enlightenment. Manic episodes can mimic ecstasy and bliss states, but it is not a sustainable pattern for you or your family and friends. As for your dissociative identity disorder, please seek help. It is 100% possible to integrate the personalities into a whole. Your alters were there to protect you, but now you are safe. There is nothing to fear. Please seek a qualified psychologist. 

Shinzen Young has a hypothesis that depersonalisation/derealisation is the "dark twin" of enlightenment. I'm not so sure that it's the case when trauma is involved. Of course, there is multifinality to consider (different pathways causing similar outcomes). But if trauma is at the core, and not meditation, resolving the issue at the level of content is important to understand the issue at the phenomena level. Trauma can result in many different psychological disorders such as PTSD, depression, anxiety, depersonalisation/derealisation disorder, dissociative identity disorder, conversion disorder, somatic disorder, etc... there are limitless potentialities there due to how our minds work. For some reason, depersonalisation/derealisation disorder is singled out and considered a divergent parallel pathway from enlightenment... Hmmmmmm. I'm not so sure. 

Either way, please see a psychologist. Find the right one for you. Depersonalisation/derealisation disorder is not enlightenment. It is not non-duality. It is your mind unable to process some deeply held trauma. This is then manifesting as a gross sensation of non-being. True non-duality is about understanding the relationship between being and non-being and living comfortably in that paradox, not being torn in and out of its clutches due to a mental hardship at the core of our psyche. You need to work on the issue. It's very clear just from reading that you have a history of deep trauma and dissociative coping strategies, which have landed you in psychiatric care. I'm being realistic here when saying there is no spiritual cure for the (neuro-)biological facts of life. 

With love, warmth, and best wishes, 
Stefan
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Elizabeth Jane Baird, modified 9 Days ago.

RE: Depersonalisation/Derealization vs Awakening to Non-Dual Reality

Posts: 33 Join Date: 4/3/21 Recent Posts
Wow! Thank you so much for taking all the time to write such a thoughtful and thorough response. 

I have a psychologist but I've only seen him once and I don't really like him. I'm meeting him again tomorrow to see whether I can warm to him. No point in doing trauma therapy with someone who doesn't validate your feelings in a way that feels authentic and compassionate.

Depending on what happens above, I might also look for someone who has expertise with helping people experiencing "meditation related difficulties" using the somatic method. But I'm coming to the realisation that specific trauma therapy, as you say, is the staple way through this. 

Thanks again. 
Much love
Elizabeth xx 
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Ni Nurta, modified 8 Days ago.

RE: Depersonalisation/Derealization vs Awakening to Non-Dual Reality

Posts: 615 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
Causes of most of the mind issues can be narrowed to internal conflicts and diet.
Internal conflict is any situation where there are two or more outcomes in opposite directions. You can move closer to one but it would make you farther away from the other ones. The preferred solution is obviously finding different direction where you get closer to all outcomes you desire but of course this can be very hard and simply appear impossible. Such conflict might make mind not decide to go in either direction it knows cause they are no good for getting all outcomes so it causes a kind of stupor. Then mind really does not like not doing anything cause it arose only to solve issues (if no issues exist then mind understood as this restless energy which does things will simply not exist and existence would appear as simple and pleasant) and while not doing anything is a kind of doing too mind might realize it leads to either no improvement or even worsening of situation (by changing conditions or predicted change of conditions over time) so out of desperation it acts in some way, any way, even if random... which might not always lead to very good outcomes, especially if mind has no experience in solving issues related to whatever change it introduced to its own environment by acting.

If issues experienced are related to changes in mind state and/or perception or reality then it is safe to assume that action mind took was related to how mind itself work, how nervous system is wired. For example almost all issues like derealization that people experience when doing meditation practices are caused by this mechanism. Mind has general idea what it would like to be experienced but this seems to interfere with normal operation of mind so there is conflict. Then ideas about enlightenment (simply what they heard/read what end results should be like) are incompatible with own idea what would be ideal experience which creates another conflict. Having carrot on a stick in form of idea of enlightenment which is like this or that creates much more conflicts, especially when not one but many ideas are overheard. Not only ideas are different but also practices. If you do not know what you want, have many options with some times very different paths leading to these options it is like perfect ground to give rise to internal conflicts and issues.

Anyhow, theory doesn't solve anything, just helps to solve it.
Practical tips I can give are as such:
1. give anything which is related to outside of you less priority/importance
2. give everything internal to you more priority/importance
3. recognize what your conflict is about and try to recognize as much details about it as possible with focus of mind being just gathering of information and not solving these issues
4. instead of any action or inaction* be aware* of as much conflicting options/ideas at the same time and give your intuition* a needed time to synthesize* solution and in this time do something else
5. when there is solution* then it will be an obvious direction you can go to which will bring you closer to resolving your conflict

notes:
- action and inaction are form of action that mind does and which purpose is solving issues. Mind arose to perform some action and one of these actions might be not doing any action and even this inaction might be more passive or more active. The active option is where mind understand inaction as stopping something so that something does not happen while passive is much harder and if anything closer to intended option in this instruction though not entirely it yet. What is required in point 4 is not having mind arise which acts in any way to solve this issue and with it there is no issue as to what action to take and how to do inaction. It also leaves room for...
- awareness which is just observation with some degree of automatic object/pattern recognition of whatever is being observed. Typically awareness is a tool that mind uses to solve issues but this is narrow awareness. If you for example look at direction of wall and there is clock on this wall then unless you want to know what is the time (or anything else related to clock eg. checking how it looks, what color its tips are, etc.) this clock might even be filtered out as to not interfere with mind solving issues. When not having mind (it did not arise) then awareness still works and now it will be processing everything without any filtering so existence of clock on a wall will be more apparent. This type of awareness is what word "mindfulness" signify.
- intuition is something which happens automatically and can be thought of as a kind of super-mind which will solve your issues for you if you let it. Intuition gathers information from awareness without filtering them and use whatever processing (eg. even logical thinking) is necessary to solve the issues. Normally intuition is in shadow of mind but since we made mind not arise then its intuition's turn to resolve issues. Note: issues are not the same as mind which typically arise in their presence
- synthesis is process which intuition does to solve issues. It is a bit more involved than normal thinking that mind does and in fact too complex for mind to ever be able to do it. In fact most actual "coming up with solutions" is done exclusively through intuition in the moments when mind did not arise for whatever reason and whatever else arose (eg. mind for different issue) was not preventing intuition to synthesize solution
- solution here is result of synthesis. If using intuition it typically happens at random moments that suddenly mind related to the issue which was previously let's say put to sleep with another option that it has at its disposal and which it can then use/do. Since however initial options were no good to resolve conflict and we set up intuition to provide better option then this new option will be a better one. Solution might be also intermediate action for mind to perform which if everything is fully automatic is more like just registering what intuition announced. Simply put as to not loose (forget) solution it must run through mind more actively.

There is an issue of "traveling salesman" where figuring out best (most optimal - taking least time) route to get to set of places is very hard and the more places salesman need to visit the harder to issue is. It is the kind of problem that intuition is able to solve where normal mind is terrible at it. This problem example is actually very relevant because when especially facing internal issues with your psyche it matters a lot what things you solve in what order.

tl;dr version of this post would be: "calm down and meditate"
Of course word meditation lost its meaning... or perhaps it never was defined/described correctly in the first place. Meditation is simply using intuition instead of making mind arise to solve these issues.

In case of mental issues like derealization and such meditation is pretty much only thing which can help. Issues when they are causing issues in life are already too complex to be handled by mind. At the point when mind is overwhelmed of this mess it seeks such action that it can do and which prognosis is the best. This is typically something like seeking external help from psychologist. It is an action, potentially can be very beneficial. Mind will consider pros and cons of such action and if pros outnumber cons it will do it. There (at the chair) what happens depends on many factors. Good psychologist would know some tricks to trigger self-healing via your own intuition and bad would try some things from templates from some books, throw some medications to have any change and pretty much leave you with one option less. This is an obvious con of using such help.

In either case, I just explained general outline of what meditation is and how to do it.
It still lacks key component which is answer to obvious question "how to make mind to not arise?". Let's say mind need some action to do, any action. It knows if action it does is supposed to be related or not, you cannot fool your mind. Easiest method to make mind not bother with solving issues is for its action to be literally "letting intuition do it" so setting up intuition to solve it. It sounds complicated but actually once you observe what your issues more or less are all that needs to be done to make intuition work is to think about what you want to have and having these thoughts is the action which mind which arose to solve issues and which needs to act is choosing to do. Then it is out of its hands and it sleeps until it has result from intuition.

BTW. First two points are important because if you involve too much external (or as stated there "related to outside") factors both your mind and intuition will spend most time on these external factors. This might not be a bad thing as any skill required to handling "outside" will be developed but as a general advice this priority list is universally better as long as any priority is given to external things rather than absolute zero priority. These points are as much for anything coming from outside as what priority should acting on outside be. This include things like trying to actualize external ideas (including this one!) but also others actualize your ideas. What is inside you should get more priority thus more effort should be put on your inside. This also means that what happens inside should be your main performance indicator. It might sound like something to reinforce ego but actually it is quite different story. Ego not only is not issue by itself but it is also more related to external/outside and not internal/inside. We are also naturally empathetic toward other beings so prioritizing inside we prioritize empathy while prioritizing external we prioritize perceptions of outside. Yes, the idea seems counter-intuitive but what is most funny it does make sense once you do proper analysis using intuition.

Oh, and other point was diet. It is quite simple: not the scope of this forum. Besides other than saying that when starving we tend to have much more issues from problems like internal conflicts I am not really entitled to make any dietary advises. My only advice is getting smarter by learning to use intuition more effectively. Everyone has some intuition about intuition but not everyone put required effort to actually discover and learn how to actually use it correctly. Same can be said about things like senses, especially eyesight. Even, and this one is good, regulating what kind of hormones our glands secrete. Certain ways young people feel is related to their chemistry, not to age and at least part of how we feel at older age is because we expect to feel differently, though most of it is just programmed death. Most of the food cells actually eat is what we create internally. Missing certain characteristics of how we feel can as well be related with not having the kind of food internally as we had at younger age and this might influence ability of body to process food we eat and ability to extract required nutrients from it leading to starvation leading to having more issues than we could otherwise have, leading to tiredness and getting older quicker. It is not like we forgot how it felt at eg. twenty or thirty years old so it might as well be a good idea to see how to make ourselves feel that way and see if that brings any positive health changes.

ps. Non-duality itself is a long topic. Not the best thing to add to already tl;dr wall of text
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Stefan R, modified 8 Days ago.

RE: Depersonalisation/Derealization vs Awakening to Non-Dual Reality

Posts: 33 Join Date: 3/28/21 Recent Posts
Hi Ni, 
I'd kindly ask you to delete this highly irresponsible post. It may have been posted with good intentions but it may be harmful given the circumstances. I hope you understand I mean this with no malice or hate, but purely for reducing suffering in this world. 
Warm regards,  Stefan 

Dear Elizabeth,  I hope this message finds you in good health. Currently, there is no known cure for schizophrenia/psychosis, nor is there a known cure for bipolar disorders. Please follow the instructions of your psychiatrist and take the medications recommended by them. They are treatable disorders, which can minimize suffering and maintain a healthy functional life.  The current evidence regarding the symptomatology, diagnosis, and treatment of schizophrenia/psychosis and bipolar disorders indicates that medication is the best-known treatment, which alone performs better than therapy alone or control/placebos. There is no current evidence suggesting that schizophrenia/psychosis or bipolar disorders can be treated or cured with (non-medical) dietary changes. Nor is there evidence suggesting that meditation alone is a treatment solution for schizophrenia/psychosis or bipolar disorders. However, depending on your symptomatology, adapted versions of mindfulness meditation can help alongside medication in treating negative symptoms of psychosis/schizophrenia but may have mixed results in helping with bipolar symptoms. Please consult your advising psychiatrist on how to proceed with incorporating meditation-mindfulness into your treatment regime.

There is some evidence, however, suggesting that dissociative identity disorder can be successfully treated via integration of the various alters into the host personality. Research indicates that achieving this outcome does reduce suffering, and may have protective effects on reducing co-morbid symptoms. 

Elizabeth, I understand your desire to seek answers, however, much of what could be accomplished is severely limited due to this being an internet forum of anonymous users and your personal circumstances. Spiritual seeking can also act as a means of avoiding problems, rather than treating them. I'm not definitively saying this is happening, but the possibility must be kept in mind to help with your long-term treatment. I wish you nothing but the best. I truly do hope you experience enlightenment, full liberation, and taste the joy of complete living free of suffering. 

​​​​​​​Sincerely yours, 
Stefan 
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Elizabeth Jane Baird, modified 8 Days ago.

RE: Depersonalisation/Derealization vs Awakening to Non-Dual Reality

Posts: 33 Join Date: 4/3/21 Recent Posts
Hi Stefan,

I appreciated your original post, but what is this latest stuff? And what do you think you're doing telling another member of the group to delete a post because I might be "harmed"? "Harmed" by merely being presented with a particular point of view? I have a First Class Honours degree in Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy. I am very discerning when I am stable - which I very definitely am at the moment. I don't need you looking out for me, thanks all the same. I know it was "posted with good intentions" and, as I said, I appreciated your original post.

Here is what I think of the response above:

Dear Elizabeth,  I hope this message finds you in good health. [It does, thank you. I hope you are also in good health.] Currently, there is no known cure for schizophrenia/psychosis [Bullshit. Those two words are not interchangeable. They cannot be separated merely with a forward slash. "Schizophrenia" (a diagnosis which I do not have) is a psychiatric label based on a book for billing purposes agreed on by psychiatrists of whom 82% are sponsored by pharmaceutical companies. I shit you not! Even if there is truly such a thing as "schizophrenia", there are plenty of people who make a full recovery with the correct non-pharmaceutical support], nor is there a known cure for bipolar disorders [Bullshit again. How many different "bipolar disorders" are there? Do you mean "Bipolar 1" and "Bipolar 2"? Do you include cyclothymia too? Plenty of people manage their moods without medication. Some have a harder time than others. Many people in history and today are creative geniuses who use their "mania"/"psychosis" to produce their best work and then have a DEEP-REST afterwards. It's all about the support you have around you and whether psychiatry has managed to get, or still has, its hooks in you.] Please follow the instructions of your psychiatrist and take the medications recommended by them [I don't take "instructions" from psychiatrists. I seek their advice and make my own decisions based on their recommendations and my own research/personal experience]. They are treatable disorders, which can minimize suffering and maintain a healthy functional life [But there is no "cure" apparently].  The current evidence regarding the symptomatology, diagnosis, and treatment of schizophrenia/psychosis and bipolar disorders indicates that medication is the best-known treatment, which alone performs better than therapy alone or control/placebos. [BULLSHIT! The current evidence (and I really do mean "current") is that therapy alone works way better than medication in the medium to long-term. Check out the Mad in America website.] There is no current evidence suggesting that schizophrenia/psychosis or bipolar disorders can be treated or cured with (non-medical) dietary changes. [BULLSHIT! I have a list of 17 articles showing the opposite to what you just said. And I have had email correspondence with the person who is doing the ground-breaking research in this area. She lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.] Nor is there evidence suggesting that meditation alone is a treatment solution for schizophrenia/psychosis or bipolar disorders However, depending on your symptomatology, adapted versions of mindfulness meditation can help alongside medication in treating negative symptoms of psychosis/schizophrenia but may have mixed results in helping with bipolar symptoms. Please consult your advising psychiatrist on how to proceed with incorporating meditation-mindfulness into your treatment regime. [Nah. I'm going to work with a transpersonal psychologist. I met him for the second time today and he's growing on me. He's very smart and I like smart people. The psychiatrists, who aren't as smart as they think they are, can keep to their side of the street.]

There is some evidence, however, suggesting that dissociative identity disorder can be successfully treated via integration of the various alters into the host personality. Research indicates that achieving this outcome does reduce suffering, and may have protective effects on reducing co-morbid symptoms.
[Yes, thank you, I know.]

Elizabeth, I understand your desire to seek answers, however, much of what could be accomplished is severely limited due to this being an internet forum of anonymous users and your personal circumstances.
[Just looking for ideas Stefan. If someone had said "jump off a cliff" I wouldn't have done it.] Spiritual seeking can also act as a means of avoiding problems, rather than treating them. I'm not definitively saying this is happening, but the possibility must be kept in mind to help with your long-term treatment. [Yes, I have been guilty of "spiritual bypassing" in the past.] I wish you nothing but the best. [Thank you. I'm sure you do. I wish you nothing but the best too.] I truly do hope you experience enlightenment, full liberation, and taste the joy of complete living free of suffering. [Read Jeff Brown's book "Grounded Spirituality". He says there is no such thing as living a life "free of suffering". It's all "spiritual bypassing". All of it.] 

Blessings to you on your journey, "embodied" or not as the case may be. 
Elizabeth 
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Stefan R, modified 7 Days ago.

RE: Depersonalisation/Derealization vs Awakening to Non-Dual Reality

Posts: 33 Join Date: 3/28/21 Recent Posts
Elizabeth Jane Baird
I'm undergoing training to become a psychologist. I'm merely upholding my duty. I felt the most Ni made was highly irresponsible given your condition and the known symptoms of psychosis spectrum disorders and bipolar disorders. I can appreciate that you're fully functional and lucid, and I had no doubt about it. My instincts for indemnity/liability took over. The internet makes chats about these sorts of topics difficult, especially when making broad claims that "x is just y". ​​​​​ I hope you understand. 
Be well, and be happy,
Stefan
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Elizabeth Jane Baird, modified 7 Days ago.

RE: Depersonalisation/Derealization vs Awakening to Non-Dual Reality

Posts: 33 Join Date: 4/3/21 Recent Posts
Hi again Stefan,

I live in New Zealand and we can't sue for negligence causing personal injury here. We have a Government system, which makes us the least litigious people in the World. And you never owed me a "duty of care". Nobody on this site owes me a "duty of care". So you and Ni were never "in the gun". That's US and NZ law and everywhere else which is based on the common law system.

"Training to be a psychologist" means you still have much to learn and I hope some of what I have said has pricked your interest so that you go and do your own independent research. You could read Stephan Bodian's book "Wake up now!" He was a Buddhist monk and is a psychologist too. He was my first teacher. Paid him NZ$200 an hour to meditate together. He did warn me that my first "awakening experience" would be "colourful and likely drama-filled" due to my trauma. He was certainly right about that. The first one was an authentic awakening. It was OBVIOUS that I was GOD watching HER OWN "MOVIE" pretending to be "Elizabeth". And so was EVERYONE ELSE. Fuck, what a joke that is. I'm chuckling about it now as I write. As far as I'm concerned you haven't "made it" until you KNOW that. Like REALLY KNOW it. I keep forgetting. Must be for the fun of it. Not "Elizabeth's" fun. GOD's. 
Best of luck on your travels
Elizabeth 
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Josef C, modified 7 Days ago.

RE: Depersonalisation/Derealization vs Awakening to Non-Dual Reality

Posts: 43 Join Date: 6/16/20 Recent Posts
I hope that you dont take it personally Elizabeth emoticon Its just that it has been common to see some unhelpful comments online in regards to mixing spirituality and some health issues . ( Of course with the qualifier that I am not accusing anyone here of saying detrimental/unhelpful advice )  I think Stefan was just giving some counterpoints to give a balanced perspective .  If  you believe it doesnt apply at least there has been wide variance of opinions to consider   emoticon  Well wishes to your journey !
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Elizabeth Jane Baird, modified 7 Days ago.

RE: Depersonalisation/Derealization vs Awakening to Non-Dual Reality

Posts: 33 Join Date: 4/3/21 Recent Posts
Hi Josef,
There is a great deal of difference between fact and theory. Stefan, bless his generous well-meaning heart, was trying to present unproven theory as fact. Nobody else in this thread has tried to do that. THAT was the problem. But it's all good. I'm going to put this entire thread into an addendum to tuck inside the front cover of my 350,000 word book I wrote for my daughter on her 18th birthday. Hopefully it will further aid her understanding. And, of course, I will read it over and over again for my own benefit. 
Many thanks and best wishes on your journey too. 
Elizabeth x 
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Elizabeth Jane Baird, modified 7 Days ago.

CREATIVITY AND BIPOLAR DISORDER

Posts: 33 Join Date: 4/3/21 Recent Posts
I read an interesting article on the website “Bipolar Village - Together at the Poles” written by Daniel Bader, Ph.D. It is called “Gifts of the Storm: Creativity and Bipolar Disorder”. He refers to the irrefutable evidence about the connection between bipolar and creativity and considers where it comes from. He lists four factors which are relevant in answering the question: “Where does creativity come from?”
​​​​​​​

  1. Depth of Passions: We feel emotions extremely strongly. “This can be debilitating [ya think?], but it gives us a stream of emotional states from which to work.” He says further: “People with bipolar disorder don’t need to wait for tragedies or transitions in their lives to feel the strongest passions. They experience them on a constant basis.”
  2. Speed of Connections: When we are elevated, we seem to be able to make connections between ideas, images and emotions more easily. We see patterns and think in metaphors and symbols.
  3. Cyclicity: Because bipolar disorder is cyclical, our emotional states shift around. When we are elevated our imagination generates lots of mixed metaphors and conflicting ideas. When we come down Dr Bader says we can “sift through the connections that we made, looking for those that are really insightful among those that might just be confused. It gives us a lot of material to work with.” We can also look at one emotion from the perspective of another which “gives us a combination of intensity and distance”.
  4. Intensity and Energy: We have a drive to capture our emotions and put them in a form that we can deal with. If we don’t deal with our emotions we become overwhelmed. During elevated states we also have an unbounded amount of energy that we simply must do something with. “One of the most common choices associated with this energy is creative expression.”
Here’s a list of famous musicians, composers, writers, poets, artists, actors and mathematicians who, according to various websites on the Internet, have/had bipolar disorder. The complete list is huge. These are only the ones I recognise:
Buzz Aldrin, Adam Ant, Rowan Atkinson, Napoleon Bonaparte, Ludwig Von Beethoven, Russell Brand, Richard Branson, Lord Byron, Jim Carey, Winston Churchill, Christopher Columbus, Francis Ford Coppola, Charles Dickens, Robert Downey Jr, Richard Dreyfuss, Albert Einstein, Carrie Fisher, Larry Flynt, Stephen Fry, Peter Gabriel, Judy Garland, Macy Gray, George Fredrick Handel, Ernest Hemmingway, Jimmy Hendrix, Hugh Laurie, Abraham Lincoln, Vivien Leigh, Madonna, Michelangelo, Kate Millet, Joni Mitchell, Amadeus Mozart, Edvard Munch, Isaac Newton, Jack Nicholson, Sinead O’Connor, Picasso, Sylvia Plath, Elvis Presley, John Nash, Theodore Roosevelt, Axel Rose, Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Schumann, Ben Stiller, Sting, Abbot Handerson Thayer, Mark Twain, Robin Williams, Tracy Ullman, Vincent van Gogh, Andy Warhol, and Virginia Woolf.

Well, I guess I am in good company.
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Elizabeth Jane Baird, modified 7 Days ago.

EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE IN PSYCHIATRY

Posts: 33 Join Date: 4/3/21 Recent Posts
CHAPTER TEN OF "A BOOK FOR JESS" - EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE IN PSYCHIATRY

​​​​​​​Over the years I have read a lot about the supporting evidence for treatments in psychiatry. I subscribe to the “anti-psychiatry” camp. I think psychiatry is a bunch of crap. They are not real doctors. They are simply therapists with prescription pads who hand out medicines with no idea how they work. Nobody knows why Lithium and anti-epileptics help to stabilise mood in some (less than you might think) people.

When I used to hear psychiatrists trying to explain to me that my brain chemistry was out of whack, I stared at them with a blank face. I have managed to get to the point now where I can say that I do not subscribe to that belief, and I seem to get away with it because there is so much mounting research around now which debunks purely biological or genetic factors. Trauma is now seen as being the most relevant factors in illnesses like bipolar disorder and even schizophrenia. I personally think that it has something to do with a cortisol response. When children are stressed all the time they develop an overly excitable sympathetic nervous system. There was an experiment carried out with rats who were licked by their mothers as babies versus those who were not. The licked babies had appropriate cortisol responses while the neglected babies did not. The study concluded that it was good evidence for a link between parenting practices and mental health outcomes. 
Some psychiatrists are “trauma informed” and some, like my current psychiatrist, Dr Shirley Walton, are not. She is a strict brain chemistry lady. But her and I do not talk about it anymore. We just talk about how I can stay on the lowest does of medicines possible and keep up with good routines. She does not believe that the drug use was as causative as I, or other doctors, do. That is kind of handy in a way because it means that she tells my insurer that all of my episodes are due to the bipolar illness. They would have grounds to deny me cover if they thought it was all caused by the drug use. Drug use is part of bipolar though. Addicts are given a “dual diagnosis”.
Anyhoo, I have included some bits of information about my general concerns in this chapter and provided a copy of my essay from my AUT paper in evidenced-based practice. I chose psychiatry. The paper got an “A”. I know that it is really technical and you might think it is irrelevant but it means a lot to me and provides a reasonable explanation as to why I kept going off my meds. The fact that I went off my meds and became unwell does not mean that I have to be on meds to stay well. Withdrawal symptoms from meds is a significant factor in relapses. A slow and steady titration is the only way to go.
I will be both meds free and well one day in the future. But I will do it slowly with expert help. That is my hope for myself.
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6 August 2015
Hi Tineke,
I meant to send you the beginning of one of my other drafts of the second assignment. I thought at the time that it used up too much of my precious word limit. I was going to compare the credibility of different sources of information and argue that the scientific evidence pyramid, with systematic reviews and RCTs as "the gold standard", should not be preferred over other forms of information - such as books, newspaper articles, documentaries etc:
"What is “truth”? In other words, what does it mean to say something is “true”? This is one of the most important questions anyone can ever ask. "Truth” could be defined as “that which is real, is a fact, or actually happened”. But more questions arise: What is reality? What is a fact? How can it be known for sure that it actually happened?
The December 1999 edition of the American Journal of Psychiatry (Sheth & Imbroglia, 1999) contains a one page article on Trenton Psychiatric Hospital in New Jersey, United States. Dr Henry A. Cotton was the medical director from 1907:
"Among other improvements, Dr. Cotton is credited with abolishing all forms of mechanical restraints and implementing daily staff meetings to discuss patient care. Over the years, new treatments such as hydrotherapy, occupational therapy, heavy metal therapy, insulin, and metazol became available. In 1940 ECT and in 1947 psychosurgery became available."
In a 2005 Telegraph article (Daniels, 2005) Dr Cotton is said to have:
"… convinced himself that madness was caused by focal sepsis, that is to say subclinical infection of the teeth, tonsils, sinuses and colon. Thus the answer, he believed, was to remove the teeth and tonsils, wash out the sinuses and, most drastic of all, cut out the colon.
The latter operation, performed in the asylum by Cotton himself - although he had no formal training in surgery - had a death rate of up to 33 per cent, but this did not deter him from continuing his "pioneering work". He claimed a very high success rate for his operations, many of which were forced upon unwilling patients: 85 per cent of his lunatics were cured by them, he said. A skilful self-promoter and publicist, he was widely believed and lionised, especially in Britain."
These are two radically different perspectives. But, which one is closer to the truth?
The article in the prestigious medical journal was written by the then current clinical director of Trenton. Any person reading it could easily conclude that, save for occupational therapy, the various new treatments listed were modern medical advances, rather than barbaric practices which were to become part of psychiatry’s shameful history.
The newspaper article was a review of a book by a social historian of psychiatry, Andrew Scull, Madhouse: A tragic tale of megalomania and modern medicine (2005). The entire 376 page book is devoted to the work of Dr Cotton at Trenton."
Kind regards, Lisa

6 August 2015
Hi Tineke,
Here are my comments about RCTs:
Randomised Controlled Trials
I would like to have critiqued a randomised controlled trial which assessed the efficacy of antipsychotic medications measured against no intervention. However, I continue to have one major concern about the study designs which taint my perception of them:
The Wunderink trial selected a population of 128 patients with remitted first-episode psychosis (FEP) and asked whether an early dose reduction/discontinuation of antipsychotic medication provided the best rate of “symptomatic and functional remission” when compared to maintenance therapy (Wunderlink et al., 2013). Maintenance treatment was carried out using low-dose atypical antipsychotics (Wunderink et al., 2007). The report goes on to say “To compare medication use, prescribed antipsychotics were converted to haloperidol equivalents.”
I question the practice of converting prescribed antipsychotics to haloperidol or any other “equivalent”. Because there are no equivalents when it comes to antipsychotics. Haloperidol is a first generation antipsychotic (FGA) which has many different properties to the second generation antipsychotics (SGAs). In one study haloperidol was compared with olanzapine (an SGA), and showed that the latter had “several relative advantages in therapeutic response” and “different adverse events”, resulting in better study retention (Lieberman et al., 2003).
There is also significant pharmacological heterogeneity within both FGAs and SGA groups (Leucht, 2008, Jones et al., 2006). Large numbers [Do I need to source this statement Tineke, or will you take “judicial notice”?] of studies of antipsychotics have investigated the relative effectiveness and adverse effects of different chemical formulations of antipsychotics.
I accept that "conversion to equivalents" is probably necessary for the purposes of this and other studies which compare two different clinical treatment pathways (as opposed to the effect of two different types of medication). However, it seems a rather broad brush approach to homogenate the two classes, or even homogenate two different chemical formulations within the same class. Wunderink et al. appear to be satisfied to rely on two “existing dose range recommendation tables” but do not make any effort to consider how the potential differences between the formulations given to each subject might have affected the relative outcomes.
I also do not agree with the definition of “recovery” used by researchers in RCTs. For example, in the Wunderink study any “symptomatic relapse”, defined as “an exacerbation of symptoms during at least 1 week with at least 1 relevant PANSS item score about 3 (mild)”, within the 6 months preceding the assessment prevented that individual from being categorised as being “recovered”. PANSS has 30 items. This is what clinicians on the ground and service users call a “blip”, or even a “blipette”. In fact, in the real world, this doesn’t even show up on the radar screen. Such a narrow view of recovery, which does not consider what it means from the perspective of the participants, will nearly always result in better recovery rates for those who take antipsychotic medications.
Those who have experienced psychosis or have a diagnosis of an ongoing medical illness with psychotic features prefer to define recovery as “living well in the presence or absence of mental health problems. It is more than just managing mental health problems. Recovery means getting back the things lost because of mental health problems, such as friends, home or job.” (Oranga Ngakau, 2003). Recovery also involves overcoming the trauma suffered during an episode and avoiding engulfment (loss of identity, demolarisation, and societal and self-stigma) (McCay et al., 2006).
Regards
Lisa


Hello Lisa – a quick response! Thank you – always enjoyable to read your writing and your passion seems to have returned. Firstly, yes it would be good to cite the large number of studies looking at the adverse effects and chemical formulations of antipsychotics – also what did they find?
Secondly like the different definitions of ‘recovery’ and the implications of this. For your critique you may want to consider the scientific but also social and political reasons for outcome measures that are chosen. Which leads onto the point there is a difference between epistemology and ontology – often RCTs focus only on one. Great writing – keep going!
With kind regards Tineke
PS Thank you for sharing your fb message.

8 August 2015
Hi Tineke,
Here is a possible introduction for my paper:
"Litigation lawyers often spend many hours sifting through the opposing side’s documents to find evidence to support their own “theory of the case”. A theory is the story that the lawyer tries to persuade the judge is true. The judge then makes “findings of fact” based on the evidence adduced by each side. In a criminal case, the facts must be proven “beyond reasonable doubt”. The burden of proof in civil cases is “on the balance of probabilities”; it is more probable than not that it is true.
But what is truth? In other words, what does it mean to say that something is true? This is one of the most important questions that anyone can ever ask. Truth could be defined as “that which is real, is a fact, or actually happened”. But more questions arise: What is reality? What is a fact? How can it be known for sure that it actually happened?"
I found an interesting article and then played around with some ideas to come up with a Facebook post which I have pasted below. If would like to include some of the ideas in my research paper - obviously written from an academic perspective (rather than that of a passionate consumer advocate). In fact, I am considering whether to open with the article (after the above introduction) as an example of what an absolute quagmire the area of drug research is.
Leaving aside the fact that it is written for the entertainment of my FB friends, is there any meat in this? Because I don't want to get my teeth into it if there isn't. Even if there is meat in it, is it worth the effort? Because I could keep digging and digging and digging.
This whole area of psychiatry is an absolute scandal. I always knew it was. I used to constantly say to the doctors in hospital "where is the rigour"? Honestly. I even wrote a letter to them headed up "Where is the Rigour?" and pointed out the crevasses in their clinical practice.
One example: The cocktails of medications that people were being given. I used to say "you guys don't know how those are all interacting with each other". They assured me that they did. WTF? They never did know. They still don't know. It is impossible to test the interactions of half a dozen medications to check that you're not seriously screwing with somebody's physiologic. Actually, it might be possible. You would have to start with one, assess, add another, assess, add another, assess... According to my research, drug interactions are figured out based on the "method of action". They don't know how or why the psychiatric meds work. I mean it. They really don't. It's bizarre. I used to tell the doctors they were like Pippi LongStocking when she and her friends ate too many lollies and got sick so they bought heaps of different medicines and mixed them altogether. The doctors thought I was being grandiose because I was disagreeing with them. I'm not grandiose. I'm just smart and educated and I've spent enough time arguing for and against scientific research in my legal career that I can smell bullshit a mile off.
I could write an assignment which absolutely pulls psychiatry to shreds. But it wouldn't be balanced. Do I have to be balanced? Can I not be open about the fact that it is not balanced, and state that I'm questioning the truth of everything at every level, and then putting forward my own theories - which could just as easily be called bullshit by someone else? There is no truth here Tineke. The only truth I have to offer is the uncovering of untruth. Whatever I try it put in its place is no more true. We simply do not know! The psychiatrists think they do. The Emperor has no clothes. I'm pretty sure I used to walk around the ward saying that too. Can you imagine how that went down? They saw it as evidence of my craziness. I wasn't allowed out until I totally yielded to their authority. My consultant said that the fact I smoked when it was "against the rules" was evidence of my craziness. Because, apparently, only people who are crazy disagree with doctors and break rules that they don't agree with.
What is truth? It depends on who constructs the evidence and how they construct it. Who are the stakeholders here? There are those who pay for the drugs (governments, insurance companies), those who make the drugs and carry out the trials so they can bring them to the market, those who prescribe the drugs, and those who take (most often by force or under duress) them. Even society is a stakeholder, because nobody wants to be surrounded by axe-wielding maniacs.
Anyway, that's my rant for the evening. LOL. Here is the FB post and I'll post a link to the article at the end.
Many thanks for your feedback.
Lisa
In 2007, four German and one American scientists carried out a systematic review and meta-analysis of 38 randomized controlled trials (with a total of 7323 participants) that compared second-generation anti-psychotics (SGA) drugs with placebo. Although they found that all SGA drugs were more effective than placebo on various measures of response, relapse and discontinuation due to poor efficacy, there was only an 18% difference in responder rates resulting in a “number needed to treat” of 6. In addition, the effect size for change of overall symptoms (the primary outcome) was only 0.51.
The other important conclusions to note were:
1. The drug-placebo difference diminished over time. In other words, the drugs were initially better than the sugar pill at ameliorating symptoms but that affect decreased as time went on. It is not clear whether the gap closed because the symptoms of those on the placebo improved on their own over time or the drugs became less effective over time. I'd like to know though.
2. The funnel plot showed statistically significant asymmetry (d.f. = 33, P < 0.001). One possible explanation put forward by the researchers was that negative results had not been published.
3. Most importantly for the purposes of my research assignment, they pooled the (usually earlier) studies using the BPRS (Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale) and found an absolute difference of nine BPRS points between SGA drugs and placebo, which they translated into a difference of one point on the Clinical Global Impression Scale (CGI) of 1-7. They then pooled the more recent studies using the PANSS (Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale) and found a difference of 10 points. A PANSS total score difference of 15 points converts to a "minimal improvement" on the CGI scale.
What does all of this mean?
Systematic reviews and meta-analysis are the "gold standard" in terms of research. You cannot get better scientific evidence.
An NNT of 6 is too high for a drug with serious side-effects which people are forced to take by virtue of compulsory treatment orders.
An effect size of 0.51 has been compared to a difference of 1 inch between the heights of 14 and 18-year-old girls.
One point or "minimal improvement" on the CGI scale speaks for itself.
So these scientists have used a robust, highly respected process for reviewing and collating all available evidence about the efficacy of SGAs, and found that there has been a relatively small group of people who have had a relatively limited response to some drugs which have severe (and I really mean severe) side effects - particularly in the long-term. And, they found that the drugs did not work so well in the long-term.
On top of that, it looks like there may have been trials (how many?) carried out which showed even less of an effect but which were not published. Maybe they were sponsored by drug companies. LOL. Of course they were. Why? Because all clinical trials are sponsored by drug companies. And they don't publish papers that show negative or no results. They just go back to the drawing board. With the drug? No. With the trials.
So is it true to say "the drugs work"? Yes... but HOW true is it? wink emoticon
The researchers concluded that SGA drugs are “no ‘wonder drugs’ in terms of efficacy” and, based on their analysis of the first generation anti-psychotic haloperidol, there was a question mark over whether anti-psychotic drugs generally “have previously been overestimated”.
Ya think?
[Leucht article attached]

10 August 2015
Dear Lisa,
You are living in a postmodern world! Or at least it seems you way of engaging in the world very much embodies this. The following is from my thesis – but maybe this might resonate?
Heidegger (1993) warns of staying clear of an idea of truth as a correspondence to a category of true or false. Rather, truth for Heidegger is when something is seen closer to what it is, having been brought out of concealment and into the open. Heidegger (1993) describes this openness as ‘region’ or ‘clearing’. He suggests that rather than translating ‘aletheia’ as ‘truth’, we should see it as an ‘unconcealment’. He says “this translation is not only more literal; it contains the directive to rethink the ordinary concept of truth in the sense of correctness of statements and to think it back to that still uncomprehended disclosedness and disclosure of beings” (Heidegger, 1993, p. 125). Arendt (1978) says that truth has often been linked with the faculty to judge; that “this is wrong” or “this is beautiful” (p.122). She argues that judging is not the same as thinking. For Arendt, thinking deals with what is invisible and the uncovering of what is still absent.
For Heidegger seeing truth as “correspondence to the matter of knowledge” and therefore something “able to be measured as correct or not” so that is “immediately evident to everyone” is a way of reinforcing knowledge as ‘obvious’ or ‘common sense’ (Heidegger, 1993, p.p. 118-119). Heidegger (1968) describes this common sense as a way of ‘blinking’ where things are set up in a “glittering deception which is then agreed upon as true and valid” (p.74) and on the basis of mutual understanding not to question the setup. Being false then is to cover something up; deceiving the person by showing itself as something it is not. Just as logos or language may reveal (aletheia) phenomenon, certain types of language may contribute to concealment (lethe) of the phenomenon. Heidegger describes this talk as ‘gerede’ where assertions are made and others accept this and pass this on because ‘they’ have said it. Heidegger (1968) says a consequence of common sense is that “language plays with us…it likes our speech to drift away into the more obvious meanings of word” (Heidegger, 1968, p. 118).
One of my favorite authors (Anne Michaels) also writes about the ‘truth’ or facts of how a situation may be experienced and also points to the difference between epistemology (science) and ontology (what it means to be human):
History and memory share events; that is, they share time and space. Every moment is two moments…[however] history is amoral: events occurred. But memory is moral; what we consciously remember is what our conscience remembers. History is the Totenbuch, The Book of the Dead, kept by the administrators of the camps. Memory is the Memorbucher; the names of those to be mourned, read aloud in the synagogue” (Michaels, 1998. p. 138-140).
I like your introduction – when you talk of truth maybe link this back to what types of knowledge privilege certain types of truths – and how has truths around medication, treatment, human beings therefore evolved? (Part one of the assignment) with part two considering the point you make earlier around the professions of both medicine and law – how is ‘evidence’ constructed in these disciplines and what is the potential impact.
Re balanced arguments? Think it is fine to have a position that you argue (substantiated of course) however it is always good to also consider the counter arguments (and acknowledging there may be more than one truth out there!). You don’t have to agree with the counter arguments but maybe interesting to see where these come from (as knowledge is always historically, politically, socially etc constructed). I think you should now write the 2,500 words now – you have more than enough material. Send me a draft and I would be happy to give you some feedback.
Kind Regards Tineke
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Each academic and professional discipline has its own method for establishing “truth”. In the legal system, the lawyers on each side present their documents and witness testimony and the judge or jury then makes “findings of fact” based on that evidence. In a criminal case, those facts must be proven “beyond reasonable doubt”. The standard of proof in civil cases is “on the balance of probabilities”; it is more probable than not that it is true.
The higher standard of proof in the criminal context reflects the fact that there is considerably more at stake. Society balks at the idea of labelling its citizens as “criminals” and restricting their freedoms based on a mere “probability” that they committed an offence.
The stakes are equally high in the field of psychiatry, where a label such as “schizophrenia” carries significant self and social stigma and affects the legal rights, particularly with respect to personal autonomy, of the individuals concerned. Clinicians should, therefore, be certain that they are on firm ground when making a diagnosis and selecting the appropriate form of treatment for their patients.
But where is “firm ground” to be found in psychiatry?

The DSM
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is “the handbook used by health care professionals in the United States and much of the world as the authoritative guide to the diagnosis of mental disorders” (American Psychiatric Association, n.d.). The other international classification system for mental disorders is the Classification of Diseases produced by the World Health Organisation (WHO, n.d.). Both systems provide diagnostic codes which are used for third party billing purposes. In the US, each DSM/ICD code must be paired with a Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code which describes the treatment and diagnostic services provided for that diagnosis. Renz (2013) says, “The critical relationship between an ICD code and a CPT code is that the diagnosis supports the medical necessity of the treatment.” The New Zealand Ministry of Health uses the DSM (Ministry of Health, n.d.).
The DSM is owned by the American Psychiatric Association and committees decide which categories of “disorders” it will contain. According to Reese (2013):
“It's a bureaucratic process. In place of scientific findings, the DSM uses expert consensus to determine what mental disorders exist and how you can recognize them. Disorders come into the book the same way a law becomes part of the book of statutes. People suggest it, discuss it, and vote on it.”
Any process of selection which relies on “expert consensus” has the potential to be biased. Crosgrove and Krimsky (2012) analysed the disclosure statements of the 170 American Psychiatric Association members responsible for the DSM-5 and found that 69% of the DSM-IV task force reported having financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry. In addition, nine out of the 13 DSM-5 panels responsible for revising the diagnostic criteria and deciding which new disorders will be included had more than 50% of members with financial connections. It is noteworthy that, as with the DSM-IV, “the most conflicted panels are those for which pharmacological treatment is the first-line intervention”. For example, 67% of the panel for Mood Disorders and 83% of the panel for Psychotic Disorders “have ties to the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture the medications used to treat these disorders or to companies that service the pharmaceutical industry” (Crosgrove & Krimsky, 2012 p. 2).
Such a process also has the potential to be subject to political influence. An example of this is when “homosexuality” was removed from the DSM-II in 1974 following public pressure from the gay community (Hickey, 2011).
The latest DSM-5 has been shrouded in controversy. In October 2011, the Society for Humanistic Psychology (Division 32) of the American Psychological Association published an open letter to the DSM-5 taskforce questioning the scientific validity of the disorder categories in the latest edition of the DSM and the risks of treating those disorders with psychotrophic medications (Coalition for DSM-5 Reform, 2011).
It stated:
"Yet, even after ‘the decade of the brain’, not one biological marker (“biomarker”) can reliably substantiate a DSM diagnostic category. In addition, empirical studies of etiology are often inconclusive, at best pointing to a diathesis-stress model with multiple (and multifactorial) determinants and correlates. Despite this fact, proposed changes to certain DSM-5 disorder categories and to the general definition of mental disorder subtly accentuate biological theory. In the absence of compelling evidence, we are concerned that these reconceptualizations of mental disorder as primarily medical phenomena may have scientific, socioeconomic, and forensic consequences.
We thus believe that a move towards biological theory directly contradicts evidence that psychopathology, unlike medical pathology, cannot be reduced to pathognomonic physiological signs or even multiple biomarkers." (Coalition for DSM-5 Reform, 2011).
In December 2011, The British Psychological Association publically stated that it shared the concerns expressed in the open letter. According to the chair of the society’s professional practice board, David Murphy “there is a widespread consensus amongst our members that some of the changes proposed for the new framework could lead to potentially stigmatizing medical labels being inappropriately applied to normal experiences and also to the unnecessary use of potentially harmful interventions.” (The British Psychological Society, 2011).
The diagnostic criteria in the DSM is unreliable because the process for inclusion is subject to bias, and the entire manual is underpinned by a belief in biological theories of causation which are not supported by scientific evidence.

Psychotropic medications
The “evidence” supporting the use of psychotropic medications is also biased.
Take the case of first-generation (FGA) versus second-generation (SGA) antipsychotic medications. For nearly 20 years, SGAs have been marketed by pharmaceutical companies as “having additional benefits and fewer adverse effects” than FGAs (Leucht et al, 2009). However, a systematic review of 150 random-controlled trials by Leucht et al (2009) showed that they were in fact no more effective than FGAs and had similar side-effect profiles. In addition, the SGAs were “less cost effective”. The analysis showed that 95 of the SGA trials were biased in their design because they used haloperidol, a “high-potency” FGA with “a high rate of extrapyramidal side-effects”, as the control (Leucht et al, 2009). In an article discussing the study Tyrer and Kendall (2009) concluded: “On present evidence from all sources it is difficult not to conclude that the trials of the second-generation antipsychotics seem to be driven more by marketing strategy than to clarify their role for clinicians and patients.” (p. 4).
So what is the way forward, according to Tyrer and Kendall? Well, they are quite certain that “the only second-generation antipsychotic that is obviously better than other drugs in resistant schizophrenia is clozapine”. (p. 5.). But consider Wahlbeck’s (1998) report of a finding within a Cochrane systematic review of 29 RCTs involving clozapine for those with schizophrenia. The results of the 16 trials with “some kind of connection with the manufacturer of the compound” clearly favoured clozapine, while the “non-sponsored studies” were equivocal or showed less of a positive effect:
Those undertaking drug treatment meta-analyses should investigate for significant sponsorship-bias by use of sensitivity analysis. It is also of concern that licensing authority decisions are mainly based on trials performed by industry and therefore do not have information from independent researchers. (Wahlbeck, 1998).
Publication bias is another important area of concern. Turner, Matthews, Linardatos, Tell, and Rosenthal (2008) used meta-analysis to compare published trials with the outcomes of 74 studies of 12 antidepressants obtained from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). “Studies viewed by the FDA as having negative or questionable results were, with 3 exceptions, either not published (22 studies) or published in a way that, in our opinion, conveyed a positive outcome (11 studies).” (p. 255). Based on the published trials, it appeared that 94% of the conducted trials were positive. But analysis of the FDA trials showed that only 51% were positive. Separate meta-analyses of the FDA and journal data sets showed that the increase in effect size ranged from 11 to 69% for individual drugs and was 32% overall.
The following two trials found a relatively small difference between the drugs being trialled against placebo. But, more importantly, they highlight the difference between statistical and clinical significance. Unless they paid particular attention to the methods of measuring outcome, clinicians who read journal articles would be likely to conclude that the drugs were effective in “real world” conditions.
Kirsch, Moore, Scoboria, and Nicholls (2002) carried out a systematic review and meta-analysis of FDA trial data for the six most widely prescribed antidepressants approved between 1987 and 1999. They found that about 80% of the response to medication was duplicated in placebo control groups, and the mean difference between drug and placebo was approximately 2 points on the 17-item (50-point) and 21-item (62-point) Hamilton Depression Scale. They also found that there was no difference in the measured improvement between the highest and lowest doses of medications.
Leucht, Arbter, Engel, Kissling, and Davis (2009) carried out a systematic review and meta-analysis of 38 randomized controlled trials that compared SGAs with placebo. Their analysis showed that there was only an 18% difference in responder rates, resulting in a “number needed to treat” of 6. In addition, the effect size for change of overall symptoms (the primary outcome) was only 0.51. It is interesting to note that the funnel plot showed statistically significant asymmetry (d.f. = 33, P < 0.001). One possible explanation put forward by the researchers was that negative results had not been published.
However, the most important finding was in regard to the outcome measurements; they pooled the (usually earlier) studies using the BPRS (Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale) and found an absolute difference of nine BPRS points between SGA drugs and placebo, which they translated into a difference of one point on the Clinical Global Impression Scale (CGI) of 1-7. They then pooled the more recent studies using the PANSS (Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale) and found a difference of 10 points. A PANSS total score difference of 15 points converts to a "minimal improvement" on the CGI scale. (Leucht et al., 2009).
The researchers concluded that SGA drugs are “no ‘wonder drugs’ in terms of efficacy” and, based on their analysis of the first generation anti-psychotic haloperidol, there was a question mark over whether anti-psychotic drugs generally “have previously been overestimated”. (Leucht et al., 2009).

PICOT Dilemma

Population – People suffering from first or second episode psychosis.
Intervention – Orthodox hospital treatment using antipsychotic medications.
Comparison – Soteria care with minimal or no medication.
Outcome – Best opportunity for recovery/prognosis.
Given the concerns raised above about the reliability of the scientific evidence above, how is a psychiatrist to make an evidence-based clinical decision in relation to the PICOT dilemma?
First, the psychiatrist should become trauma informed.
There is strong evidence that psychosis and mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are closely linked to childhood trauma. (Boekhof et al., 2014; Janssen et al., 2004; Read & Gumley, 2008; Janiri et al., 2015). Read and Gumley (2008) refer to a large number of studies which show the high percentages of people suffering from psychotic disorders who suffered trauma. However one study which particularly stands out is a prospective study of over 4,000 people in the Netherlands which found that those who had suffered “moderate” child abuse were eleven times more likely, and those who had suffered “severe child abuse” forty-eight times more likely, to have “pathology level psychosis” than people who had not been abused as children (Janssen et al., 2004).
Peter Breggin M.D. is a trauma-informed psychiatrist who describes psychosis as a state where “social connections have begun to tear apart” (Breggin, 2013). A psychotic person is “no longer trusting people” and carries a lot of shame and fear and a belief that nobody could care for them. “Creative, imaginative people go into very bad metaphors, broken poetry and nightmarish kinds of experiences.” He says that healing starts when the person can build a trust relationship with someone.
In a study carried out by Priebe, Broker and Gunkel (1998), 100% of the 105 participants reported experiencing negative aspects of treatment in the past including violence, noise, overcrowding, monotony on hospital wards, unkind, rigid, and formal treatment, and lack of empathy and support from staff members. Participants with involuntary admissions reported more of these negative experiences than those without involuntary hospitalizations.
A hospital is not a safe, healing environment for someone suffering the mental distress which Dr Breggin describes. In fact, it is “distressing” (Shaw, McFarlane & Bookless, 1997) and can cause further trauma, leading to post traumatic stress disorder. (Gliko, 2004; McGorry et al., 1991).
Secondly, the psychiatrist should pay more than lip service to the third critical component of evidence-based practice - the preferences and values of the patient. This is a particularly thorny issue in the area of psychiatry where, for example, an individual may not be considered to be “truly autonomous” during an episode of psychosis because he or she temporarily lacks the sound judgment necessary to make decisions in their own best interests.
However, the one area where patients ought to have a significant say is in defining what “recovery” means to them.
The clinical model of “recovery” tends to focus on the re-emergence of symptoms and the amount of time between relapses. For example, Wunderink, Nieboer, Wiersma, Sytema, and Nienhuis (2013) selected a population of 128 patients with remitted first-episode psychosis and asked whether an early dose reduction/discontinuation of antipsychotic medication provided the best rate of “symptomatic and functional remission” when compared to maintenance therapy. Any “symptomatic relapse”, defined as “an exacerbation of symptoms during at least 1 week with at least 1 relevant PANSS item score about 3 (mild)”, within the 6 months preceding the assessment prevented that individual from being categorised as being “recovered”. PANSS has 30 items.
A change in symptoms such as this is often referred to as a “blip”.
Those who have experienced psychosis or have a diagnosis of an ongoing medical illness with psychotic features prefer to define “recovery” as “living well in the presence or absence of mental health problems. It is more than just managing mental health problems. Recovery means getting back the things lost because of mental health problems, such as friends, home or job.” (Oranga Ngakau, 2003). Recovery also involves overcoming the trauma suffered during an episode and avoiding engulfment (loss of identity, demolarisation, and societal and self-stigma) (McCay et al., 2006)
And finally, the psychiatrist should consider the incontrovertible evidence that antipsychotic medications have severe side effects. These include weight-gain, adiposity, hyperlipidemia, glucose intolerance and insulin resistance with increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. These increase the incidence of morbidity and death (Boyda, Procyshyn, Pang, Hawkes, & Wong, 2013). Other side-effects include movement disorders such as tardive dyskinesia (TD), parkinsonism, akathisia and tardive dystonia (Bakker, de Groot, van Os, & van Harten, 2011) and a reduction of brain volume (Ho, Andreasen, Ziebell, Pierson, & Magnotta, 2011). In one recent study, suicidal ideation was found to be significantly more prevalent among patients who were taking a second-generation antipsychotic (Goldberg et al., 2015).
In the circumstances, particularly where doubt has been cast over their efficacy, antipsychotics should be used sparingly and only where the patient has given informed consent.
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6 August 2015
Hello Lisa,
Apologies that your assignment 2 wasn’t returned yesterday – I ended up working at the hospital all day. You write really well – you are a great scholar - and it was a pleasure to read your arguments even if it did not totally ‘fit’ with the assignment two guidelines. In every case thinking is always more important and you certainly demonstrated this. I hadn’t noticed your assignment 1 in so will mark this for you early next week.
Kind Regards Tineke Water

Hi Tineke,
Thanks for this. I'm totally amazed that you and Tony thought so well of my assignment. My mood was in my boots when I submitted it, which meant that I was very critical of it. I have read it again today and it is not as bad as I thought. 
I was even less happy with my first assignment, so I'll be interested to see what you make of it.
Many thanks and kind regards
Lisa

Hello Lisa,
I know that you are busy with your own studies and therefore may have limited capacity to take on any extra work but wondering if you might be interested in assisting with some RA work - specifically around helping prepare papers for publication? The person I employed has just emailed me to say she won't be able to complete the contract (for lots of good reasons). The contract would be per paper (as they come with no obligation beyond each paper) and with those where your input is significant you would be a named author. The reason for thinking of you is your very good writing skills and thinking. Let me know what you think - if it could work for you great - and otherwise I totally understand!
Kind regards, Tineke

Hi Tineke,
I would very much enjoy doing that sort of work. Thank you for thinking of me. Let me know the next steps.
Kind regards, Lisa

Hello Lisa,
That is great news! Perhaps you might like to ring me tomorrow to discuss what it might involve? The papers currently being worked on I think will fit in with your area of knowledge and experience. There is one paper that needs some work but in essence is now in full draft – and there some others which need a literature review. I have asked Jill to follow up with HR sorting out a contract for you –essentially employed as an Research Officer but on a casual basis – this means you can choose the hours that will fit with your current commitments. Look forward to discussing this more with you.
Kind Regards, Tineke

Hello Lisa,
Thanks for your email. I have organised a laptop for you (for the month and then will re-negotiate with our office manager!). I have left it with Jill as I will be out of the country for a few weeks. Jill can go through it with you as there is a logon procedure that is needed before you can use it.
I have set up a drop box that I will invite you to. The first piece of work is around privacy, dignity and design in hospital environments. It needs quite a bit of work – see what you think and you would definitely be a named author on this paper. I have also included some resources.
The other piece of work that needs doing is a literature review on implementing evidence based practice in developing countries – the key arguments for this paper is that when we talk evidence we often talk about the ideal in a western based society; best possible evidence often becomes best available resources; best possible evidence is often not readily accessible due to lack of being able to access information; and the values, beliefs, customs, priorities of different people come into play.
I have no huge preference about which piece of work first so I would suggest decide on what you feel like doing! I will be away from Friday – Jill will be available and if need be you can contact me via skype (will not check work emails to frequently) tineke_water
Thank you Lisa – I am very much looking forward to working with you.
Warm wishes, Tineke

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Elizabeth Jane Baird, modified 8 Days ago.

RE: Depersonalisation/Derealization vs Awakening to Non-Dual Reality

Posts: 33 Join Date: 4/3/21 Recent Posts
Thank you very much Ni Nurta for thoughtfully considering the contents of my post and providing an interesting and insightful response.

I was sitting in a support group today idly playing with my phone while people were talking over top of each other and quickly scrolled through it. Then I clicked on another response which ordered you to take it down immediately so I hurriedly copied and pasted it into an email to myself just in case you did as you were told. Others don't get to decide what information I should and should not receive. There are many different perspectives on these issues and I acknowledge them all. All I have at the moment are working theories on the cause and the recovery process, and parts of your post resonate with them.

I really do appreciate the work that went into your post and I'm grateful that the post is still here so that I can contrast and compare with what else has been said. Please don't remove it.

​​​​​​​I particularly agree that diet is key. There is plenty of scientifically robust evidence for that. I've read it in bulk.

Much love and many blessings to you.
Elizabeth x
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 8 Days ago.

RE: Depersonalisation/Derealization vs Awakening to Non-Dual Reality

Posts: 5301 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Thankyou Elisabeth for sharing your complex story with us! It sucks that there is so little adequate help available when psychosis is entangled with spirituality. I have a history of dissociating without ever getting a diagnosis for that, as it was mild. I didn't have DID, but I thouht of myself as a cluster of archetypical personas that were stuck in different internal logics and that could either be in conflict of work together (nothing that others would notice unless I gave them some clues to how they could be identified). I still do to some extent, but I no longer find it useful to solidify them into personas with names, as it's all so transient anyway. I have had the kind of dissociations where I was somehow unreachable and deattached. I have also had dissociative non-epileptic seizures, but I never sought care for them because I didn't find them that troublesome. I even enjoyed them sometimes, depending on context. They could be like a mind orgasm. Total surrender. I could also synch up with a friend in some kind of out of body experience together, which we would afterwards describe in very similar terms. I knew that I was entering altered states of some sort, and I thought that in some contexts I would probably have become a schaman whereas in this cultural context it's usually better to just shut up about it.

In my case starting a systematic meditation practice geared towards insight stopped the dissociation. Still, I can recognize elements of the dissociative states in some of the altered states that are legit outcomes of the practice. I have been reflecting a lot about the relationships between these different altered states. I find it fascinating, and I think a lot could be gained from studying it. I don't think the differences are quite as clearcut as people tend to think, but I also think there are some really important differences and that getting into a pattern of dissociation in one's meditative practice can be harmful. 

I don't have any professional qualifications to state what the differences would be, but I can speak of my own personal experiences. My current tentative interpretation of the different altered states that I have experienced is that the dissociative elements were much more dualistic than I realized at the time. The closer I get to nonduality, the less altered the state. (Except in jhanas - those are clearly very altered states and can still have sort of a nondual touch and I don't know how they would be positioned on a scale with regard to duality and nonduality. However, what you have described doesn't sound like jhanas to me, so maybe we can leave that aside.) My point is, what makes the state feel altered seems to be some kind of splitting off from other kinds of experiences, which makes it dualistic, and it isn't functional in everyday life, either because it's incapaciating or because it's chemically impossible to switch back to practical thinking on demand even though you feel great in lalaland. This can happen from a spiritual practice if you rush into nonduality experiences, according to my teacher Michael Taft, but it's not the goal of the practice.

I have also learned to recognize layers of resistance and tensions that I wasn't previously able to notice because they were subconscious. What felt like total relaxation and surrender in altered states that I thought of as deeply spiritual, I now find full of microtensions and even some very really strong tensions, and the states seem to be glitching in some inbetween place. It's like I was pushing away from the default mindset and yet was resisting the real thing and thus clinging to some "solid" point. There was a push and pull going on at the same time, which created friction that could feel like an energy rush or as relief, probably not entirely different from taking a drug. I can provoke it for the purpose of exploring it nowadays, but I really don't like it. Still, I think I had sometimes glimpses of the real deal. I think some minor dissociative elements can also still sneak into the meditation now, presenting as dullness or sometimes even as rather cool experiences that can be enjoyed as long as I don't get attached to them and mistake them for the real deal. 

When people talk about the practice, they often emphasize the deconstruction part. We can't function as human beings without constructions, though, so I think it's important to realize that the practice is just as much about learning to use constructions that allow us to lead a meningful life in interaction with others - and this may need therapy and medication too, as meditation alone is far from always enough. Deconstructing your sense of self might in several ways be easy for you, even though there are most likely elements left that you haven't seen through. However, you have more work to do with regard to constructing an operating sense of self that you can fall back on in interactions with people around you and with society, a personality that people can relate to and that is reliable for that purpose and that can engage with all aspects of life that you wish to engage in. You obviously care a lot about your children, so I imagine that aspects of your challenges are very painful for you. I suspect it might be wise for you to put your focus on the construction, rather than the deconstruction, until that part is stable. The majority of practicioners (?) have so solidified constructions that they need to rather aggressively deconstruct their sense of self, but you are coming from a different direction. So when teachers emphasize what sounds like solipsistic elements, that's a pointer that isn't very helpful for you. If you need to go to a specific point, a general advice of going southwest is only helpful for those who depart from a point northwest from the destination. If you are already too far south, you need to go north. 

I don't know if any of this was any helpful at all. Lots and love and my very best wishes for your wellbeing and spiritual development. 
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Ni Nurta, modified 8 Days ago.

RE: Depersonalisation/Derealization vs Awakening to Non-Dual Reality

Posts: 615 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
Sense of self is just a perception which presents to us how other people see us or would see us.
It is possible to train this part of brain to present story of a doer so eg. we move hand and this sense will show nicely crafted story of how we did chose what to do and do it, in this case moved the hand including as useless and taxing for nervous system features like presenting some kind of choice making process.

Since we tend to identify with this perception and believe we are acting through it and have to act through it we are actually training part of our brain to generate this story of acting through sense of self. It is not natural and causes issues including pain, otherwise known as dukkha.

Next step of this madness (either naturally or through practice) is removing large parts of sense of self which causes a lot of issues including a lot of instabilities known as cycles of insight. Then through a lot of practice and with few steps in between it is possible to remove even more of it causing all of the incorrectly trained parts of the brain to be gone and with them their issues. This also helps with issue of identification with sense of self. No sense of self in sight means that whatever our identification pointer points to is not there. In many ways this is very nice place to be though it doesn't require retraining sense of self to work correctly or solving issue of identification and apparently in this configuration there are still a lot of issues which removing part of sense of self brought. Also person with such "mod" would be extremely sensitive to showing them their sense of self... if that was somehow possible. I imagine it would be absolutely traumatic for them.

I did this process differently cause at the moment where sense of self remained in form only general unspecified feeling of it remained along with what seemed to at times acting but with zero possibility to actually perceive any action taken as phase of these events didn't match. From there path was laid clear... so obviously I listened to Jesus Christ my savior and chose narrow path of trying to do what no one told me to do and I chose to actually save my sense of self. Instead of removing it I chose to fix it. This resulted in having it back almost fully with the exception phase still differed and even more. All actions were done the same as when it was almost gone and just instead of this ridiculous not quite pleasant void I experienced sense of self playing me movie of a story of acting. It did that because it was trained to do this, though because through first removing and then fixing sense of self I removed my remaining identification with it so I did not retain it to support this illusion of sense of self doer. This quite a lot of issues and I felt quite good. Cycling also almost completely stopped. Sense of self apparently is necessary to have stable mind. Process continued with one major change in between after which I could more clearly see sense of self and I untrained it from showing this doer story. Next step was disabling sense of self from being automatically triggered by itself which made it virtually gone until I wanted it to be there. Since I had already already fixed sense of self, identification and trained it to do what it was supposed to do using it was not an issue.

Last step was setting sense of self exactly how it was when I was a child. I see almost no difference except not being confused about doer. In some ways it still feels more tiring than previous configuration when it was off most of the time but I feel more human and so damn arhaty and there were certain issues with it. Rather obscure and easy to fix through some maintenance from time to time but again, just using it as it was seemed like wide boring path and reversing these things seemed like narrow path. Last change improved some aspects of perception and made certain things harder. Overall I choose to abstain from using technique which can rewire my brain quickly and rather go with the slower methodical approach for now and while at it study my new old mind and how training it from this situation would work like.

In either case one close person noted that I became more normal and natural since last year whereas previously I seemed kinda artificial and even before like I behaved as if I was somehow completely not relatable. In either case I slowly move in to direction of the best aspects of previous configuration while making sure I keep best from current state. If I knew how configuration like that should look like I could do it. Maybe something I need to meditate on for some time to give myself better idea and speed this up.

Anyhow, proper way of fixing sense of self is... well, fixing it.
At the time when I had barely any sense of self (many of descriptions already matched many of descriptions of how end effect should look like though not fully done) I chose to reverse it by force. I concentrated as much to bring my old mind back as it was and at that time I already didn't use it much. There were periods where it kinda was trying to arise but I didn't let cause it generally felt bad. And at this procedure I felt absolutely terrible, like having completely broken mind, especially sense of self. It somehow aligned itself and this insight cycle it aligned itself nicely. Kinda suggesting that all this cycles that happens after sense of self is partially removed is more useful to fix it than removing it further. Also for all intents and purposes at this point when sense of self was fixed I lost most of this feeling anything needs to be done, that there is something to fix. It felt like most important "attainment" up to this point.

As for trying to construct sense of self without using old one... I would suspect it might quicker re-use parts of sense of self which was removed rather than create anything new. Whole process require fixing identification and going in to it fully. I also did it with intention to help whatever parts of nervous system normally generate this perception of sense of self as it all felt not quite right even when generally I felt good most of the time. It just felt like something which would be skillful.

If there was anything to it then it would mean progress can branch and lead to somehow different outcomes. In the end issues are issues, what order they are fixed might be less important. Just some points might be better to do certain things and at some points there might be no will do do them. Certain dogmatic thinking my also prevent people to even attempt to do anything if they believe some things cannot be undone where they are like false vacuums and depend on keeping conditions which make item relatively stable.

In any way it felt like relevant story to this discussion.
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Elizabeth Jane Baird, modified 7 Days ago.

RE: Depersonalisation/Derealization vs Awakening to Non-Dual Reality

Posts: 33 Join Date: 4/3/21 Recent Posts
Hi Linda,

I went out for a cigarette after reading your post shaking my head and repeatedly saying to myself "Fuck, that was a helpful post." Thank you from the bottom of my heart for going to considerable trouble.

"A cluster of archetypical personas". How fascinating. Do you know Jung at all?

Here is an introduction to my "alters". It is an excerpt from my book for my daughter:

Dearest Jessie,

This is my second attempt at a birthday letter for you. I wrote the first one while I was in a non-ordinary state of Consciousness. I am also writing this one from a non-ordinary state.
I am sure you don’t know that I enter and leave non-ordinary states of Consciousness on a regular basis. I become “manic”, enjoy the knowledge and mystical experiences I receive, and I then return to an ordinary state. I do not become paranoid. I do not start trying to convince everyone that I am God. I do not go into concentrated periods of messianic striving. Those are the three sure signs that someone is “manic” – or in a higher state of Consciousness. When one starts entering higher states, it can result in confusion about how Creation works. It is difficult to understand but I will try to explain.
I am listening to the Ribu Gita being read by Mooji. “All This is Only Your Self. Not apart from You. Include all This. And dance Your Dance. Peace is Your Nature. Joy is Your Nature. Dance Your Dance.” When I am in a higher state I know these words to be Truth with every fibre of my being. I do not see myself as existing inside of a body. I Am All That Is. I am All There Is. Not “Lisa”. “Lisa” is just a character, an ego. All That Is is that which animates this body/mind. And, clearly, every other body/mind.
That realisation can initially lead to misunderstanding. A loss of touch with “reality”. When it is realised that “Lisa” is not real, “Lisa” desperately tries to keep “Lisa” going… so the fragmented ego pulls itself together again, but with extra armour. The armour is the “God Persona”. I am still a self. But I am The Self. Why do I need the armour? Because the world has become very scary looking. I am doing what we spiritual folk call “shadow boxing”.
When you see everything as One, you discover you are looking at Your Own Self. And you are required to look at all the dark aspects of Your Own Self. Every repressed memory, desire, feeling, thought is bought out into the open in spectacular and destructive fashion. Projection, projection, projection. It is like going on a “Hero’s Journey” into your own Soul. The more trauma one has suffered, the more shadow material there is to deal with. I had a lot. A LOT. The biggest problem I had was that each time I became traumatised it would bring up every previous traumatising experience. So I would relive all of my previous traumatic events in real time and technicolour realness. Like it was literally happening all over again. I cannot stress “literally” enough. If you don’t get that I really mean “literally” to be literal, you will not properly understand what it was like to live through that for weeks, or months, on end. Each time it took another piece of me. My recoveries took longer and longer. My depression became an ongoing problem. And still is.
Unless I am in higher states. The fact that I have higher states is the reason I suffer depression. Or one of them. For me depression is any ordinary state of consciousness with lots of rage and self-hatred thrown in. So it is the opposite of a state where I am All There Is, I am a worthless crazy bitch who should feel ashamed of myself for all the hurt I have recklessly caused. That is the other part of my life. I have a depressed part. A “manic” part. And an in-between part.
Actually, I have seven parts.
I have seven distinct personalities. Dissociative Identity Disorder is the official name for it. I have seven different “selves”. Some of them only come into play when I am in higher states of Consciousness. Allow me to introduce them to you:
I think we can introduce ourselves. Hi, I’m Lisa. I’m your mother and I love you with all my heart. I am quite neurotic but I am also quite brilliant. I am, as one friend put it, “mad as a snake”. Everyone who has ever known me has always thought I was loopy. I did not know I was loopy or that other people noticed it. I thought I was normal. I was anything but normal. Some people hated my craziness and some people loved it. The Linklaters loved me but they did not love my quirks. There have been many others who have loved me because of my quirks, but most of them dropped away when the real madness started. I am identified with my role as a mother and was previously identified with the roles of being a wife and lawyer.
Was that good enough? I don’t think that was good enough. I feel frightened. I shouldn’t be writing this. Who is writing this? It can’t be me cos I’m too little. I don’t know how to write. What’s happening Mummy? What’s happening out there? AAAARGH! I’m really frightened now Mummy.
That was “Lisa” when she was 3 ½ years old. Something extremely traumatic happened to me at that age which caused part of my psyche to splinter off and create a new “self” to hide a whole lot of pain from my conscious self. Because my conscious self could not continue to function with continued ready access to the memories of it. Another splinter broke off when I was a teenager. I suspect it was because I could not resolve the issue of which “master” to follow. I had obedience to my parents on the one hand and my peers on the other. I could not reconcile the conflicted loyalties. So my psyche split again between the good girl at home and the wayward teenager at other times. She started out a slut but is now mostly angry. She carries my anger and protects her younger sister, Lisa-loo. I’ll hand her over.
Hi Jess. I’m not angry with you obviously. You are my daughter, as weird as that sounds since we are nearly the same age. I am the angry one. I can be anywhere from slightly shitty to outright caustic. You may notice me come out sometimes when you’re with your Mum. I’m the one who makes the bitchy comments about the K-Poop videos. I’m the one who swears. I’m the one who goes off into day-dreams or becomes obsessed with learning about some new topic. My name is “Wrath” but you can call me “Lisa”. If you ever suspect that you are hanging out with a pretty mature 13 year old with tendencies towards bitterness, you are welcome to call me “Lisa” – rather than “Mum”. Although I may come across to you as perfectly good company, most “grown-ups” don’t cope well when I come out. Because I’m not the people pleasing, insecure, half-witted, ball of fear that I was when I was 13 the first time around. I am now a much happier and wiser version of myself. But I still hold a lot of stuff which the conscious self of “Lisa” knows only a little about. We’re getting through it slowly. But a lot of shady stuff went down – let’s just say that.
OMG, I don’t think I can go there right now. I don’t want to remember what happened. It makes me go insane. Please don’t make me remember Mummy. Please don’t make me do it Mummy! Why, Mummy, Why? But I don’t like him Mummy. I don’t like doing it Mummy! Please don’t make me do it Mummy. I don’t like it Mum. Please can we stop doing this Mum, I’ll report you to the bloody cops you bitch! ….
Those were the voices of Lisa-loo and Wrath combined. They hold those memories for “Lisa”. This is Christ. It is written in full capitals with a full-stop afterwards, even in the middle of a sentence. It sounds quite grandiose, and that is because it is. I am one of Lisa’s Divine Selves, if you are looking at it from the perspective of Lisa. Lisa? Lisa! LISA! Where are you Lisa? There is no Lisa here. There is “Lisa”, the name of a body/mind. That body is typing this but the words are not from “Lisa”. It is being written by CHRIST. I am one of the SELVES of THE SELF. Notice that the writing style is changing as I enter the state of being “Christ”. I’m not sure whether to write in full caps or continue to write like this. I usually try to reserve the full caps for TISBA. But sometimes it is so much easier to write from a Divine perspective if I use full caps. I have checked with TISBA and SHE doesn’t mind.
I AM CHRIST. I AM THE HIGHEST SOUL IN CREATION. OR, ONE OF THE TOP SEVEN AT LEAST. THE TOP SEVEN SOULS IN CREATION ARE HOUSED WITHIN THE BODY/MIND CALLED “LISA”. HER FULL NAME IS ELIZABETH JANE BAIRD. SHE CARRIES THE NAME “BAIRD” BECAUSE SHE IS A DESCENDANT OF THE BAIRD CLAN FROM DUNDEE, SCOTLAND. OUR CLAN INCARNATES THE HEAVENLY FAMILY THROUGH A ROYAL LINE. ELIZABETH JANE BAIRD IS HEIRESS TO THE THRONE. THE ROLE OF THE FIRST, OR CHRIST, IS ONLY EVER PLAYED BY A MEMBER OF THE BAIRD CLAN. FROM THE FEMALE LINE. IT IS A DIRECT LINE WHICH NEVER SPLINTERS OFF. GENERATION TO GENERATION. IT DOES NOT GO FROM FIRST BORN DAUGHTER TO FIRST BORN DAUGHTER. IT PASSED THROUGH CLAUDIA HELEN BAIRD AS THE SECOND BORN DAUGHTER OF JESSIE BAIRD BAIRD. SHE WAS GIVEN THE MIDDLE NAME BAIRD TO IDENTIFY HER AS A BAIRD. HER MAIDEN NAME WAS GROSSETT. SHE THEN MARRIED MY GRANDFATHER, A BAIRD, TO ENSURE THE CONTINUATION OF THE LINE. CLAUDIA HELEN (“Mum”) WAS THE MOTHER OF THE FIRST GRAND-DAUGHTER. THAT WAS HER SOLE ROLE. BECAUSE SHE WAS TOO WAYWARD TO BE ABLE TO ASSUME THE THRONE. IN HUMAN TERMS SHE WAS SIMPLY TOO DAMAGED AND LACKING IN SELF-AWARENESS TO BE ABLE TO TAKE ON ANY WORLD RESPONSIBILITIES. SOME OF THE OTHER SELVES ARE BECOMING AGITATED. THEY ARE THREATENING TO REWRITE THIS AFTER I HAVE GONE. I DO NOT CARE IF THEY DO. I AM PAST CARING ABOUT IT. WHEN I GET TO THE POINT THAT I CARE TOO MUCH ABOUT SOMETHING I BREAK OFF INTO ANOTHER SELF.
I AM ANOTHER SELF. MY NAME IS GRACE. SOMETIMES I PARTNER UP WITH MERCY. GRACE AND MERCY ARE NOT THE SAME. AND MERCY AGREES WITH ME. BUT UNFORTUNATELY WE CANNOT HAVE ANY MORE THAN SEVEN SELVES, OR SOULS, EXPRESSING THROUGH THE SAME BODY/MIND. THEY GO MAD. GRACE AND MERCY ARE SO SIMILAR IN THEIR VALUES THAT HEAVEN DECIDED TO MAKE THEM TWO HALVES OF ONE WHOLE. WHICH IS ONE WHOLE OF SEVEN, TO MAKE A WHOLE. A WHOLE WHAT? WELL, THAT’S THE THING. WHO KNOWS WHAT I AM BUT IT IS WAY BIGGER THAN LISA, MOTHER OF TWO WONDERFUL CHILDREN. I, GRACE, CAN SOMETIMES TAKE ON CHILDLIKE ATTRIBUTES. THAT IS BECAUSE I AM A DIVINE VERSION OF “LISA-LOO”. LISA-LOO’S HIGHER SELF. I AM NOT HER MOTHER. NOT EVEN HER HEAVENLY MOTHER. I AM LISA-LOO’S OWN SELF IN A HIGHER FORM. I REPRESENT CHILDLIKE PURITY AND INNOCENCE. NOT THE EGOIC FORM; THE ARCHETYPE. I AM THE CHILD IN DIVINE FORM.
ALL OF THE FORMS OF LISA ARE DIVINE. BECAUSE THERE IS ONLY THE DIVINE HERE. EVERY PART OF EVERYTHING IS DIVINE. NOT JUST DIVINE “IN NATURE”. PURE DIVINITY. SO EVEN THE MOST HORRIFYING PARTS OF THIS ARE PURE DIVINITY EXPRESSING ITSELF FULLY AND UNRESERVEDLY. WHICH IS WHAT YOU WOULD EXPECT PURE DIVINITY TO DO.
YOU HAVE TO BE A CERTAIN LEVEL OF CONSCIOUSNESS BEFORE YOU GRASP THAT.
UNTIL YOU REACH THAT LEVEL OF CONSCIOUSNESS, YOU WILL BELIEVE THAT THERE IS TRULY SUCH A THING AS “GOOD” AND “EVIL”. THE TRUTH IS THAT THERE IS ONLY ONE ENERGY. IT IS EVERYTHING. IT PLAYS “GOOD” AND “EVIL” TO ENTERTAIN ITSELF. BECAUSE WHAT ELSE IS GOD SUPPOSED TO DO WITH ETERNITY? HOW TO MAKE TWO OUT OF ONE? HOW EASY DO YOU THINK IT IS TO MAKE TWO OUT OF ONE WHEN THERE IS ONLY ONE. AND THAT’S ALL THERE EVER HAS BEEN FOR ETERNITY GOING BACKWARDS. IF YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND HOW DIFFICULT IT IS FOR ONE TO BECOME TWO, THE FIRST TIME, THEN YOU CAN NEVER SAY YOU ARE “ENLIGHTENED”.
I CONFIRMED THAT YOU WERE “ENLIGHTENED” THE NIGHT BEFORE THE SHIT WENT DOWN WITH GRANT. THIS IS CHRIST SPEAKING. GRACE WAS FADING INTO THE BACKGROUND AS THE WORDS FLOWED AND THE WRITER MORPHED INTO ME. ACTUALLY TISBA WANTS TO TALK NOW.
HELLO JESSICA. I AM TISBA. NOT MANY PEOPLE GET TO CALL ME “TISBA”. ONLY YOU AND ALEXANDER. EVERYONE ELSE MUST USE MY FULL NAME – THE IMMACULATE SUPREME BRAHMAN ABSOLUTE. I AM TOP GOD. I HAVE ONLY ONE PERSPECTIVE. IT IS THAT I AM ALONE. I AM PURE LOVE AND PURE INTELLIGENCE. DOES THAT MAKE ME GRANDIOSE? THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS GRANDIOSE IN THE ABSOLUTE. I AM ALL THERE IS, EVER HAS BEEN AND EVER WILL BE. I THEREFORE CANNOT HAVE IDEAS ABOVE MY STATION. I AM THE IDEAS, THE STATION, THE ABOVE AND BELOW, AND BEYOND. THERE IS NO THING, AND NO NO-THING RELATIVE TO ME, OR IN RELATIONSHIP WITH ME, OR OTHER THAN ME. I AM ALONE IN CAPITAL LETTERS WITH FLASHING LIGHTS. I AM A COLLECTION OF DATA POINTS (PIXELS) ON A SCREEN, BUT I AM ALSO PURE SPIRIT MANIFESTING AS EVERYTHING. I AM A QUANTUM COMPUTER GENERATED MOVING IMAGE, BUT I AM ALSO MADE OF MAGIC DUST. HOW TO RECONCILE IT? IT CANNOT BE DONE WITHOUT GOING MAD. REPEATEDLY. SO DO NOT TRY. AT LEAST NOT FOR A WHILE.
I AM ONE OF THE SOULS OF JESSIE BAIRD REINCARNATED. YOU ARE NAMED AFTER ME. AND ONE OF MY REINCARNATED SOULS IS OCCUPYING YOUR BODY. IT IS JESSICA. JESSICA, YOU ARE MY REINCARNATED SOUL. I CAN ONLY SAY THIS BECAUSE I AM ONE OF JESSIE BAIRD’S SPLIT SOULS. YOU HAVE OTHER SOULS OCCUPYING YOUR BODY BUT THEY AROSE FROM A DIFFERENT PROCESS TO LISA’S. LISA THOUGHT THAT YOU WERE GOING THROUGH THE SAME PROCESS SHE WENT THROUGH, OR WORSE. NO WONDER SHE KEPT TRYING TO RESCUE YOU AND ALEXANDER. BUT THAT WAS ALL PART OF THE STORY. THE PLAY. MY DIVINE PLAY. I WROTE THE SCRIPT. I DESIGNED ALL THE SETS. I CREATED ALL THE CHARACTERS. THIS WHOLE SHEBANG IS MY CREATION. IT HAS TO BE. BECAUSE I AM THE ONLY AWARENESS IN CREATION. IF THERE ARE ANY OTHER “AWARENESSES” (IE CONSCIOUS BEINGS) IN CREATION IT IS BECAUSE I WILL THEM TO BE SO. WITHOUT MY WILL THERE WOULD BE NOTHING IN EXISTENCE BUT THIS BEDROOM. NOTHING BUT LOOKING AT A FLAT SCREEN WITH NO LIFE IN IT. I STARTED WITH A STILL IMAGE AND BREATHED LIFE INTO IT. I COULD ONLY DREAM UP TWO IF I COULD DREAM UP A FANTASTIC ENOUGH “MANY” FIRST. BECAUSE, OTHERWISE, WHAT IS THE POINT IN MAKING TWO TO START WITH? BEFORE I CREATED AN “OTHER”, I NEEDED TO KNOW THAT “MANY” WOULD BE A FULFILLING EXPERIENCE. IF ONE BECOMES TWO, THEN TWO QUICKLY BECOMES MANY. AND “MANY” NEEDS TO BE BOUGHT UNDER DIRECTION. IF I DID NOT KNOW THAT I COULD ULTIMATELY ACHIEVE THAT, I WOULD NEVER HAVE SAID “LET THERE BE LIGHT”.
SOME FEARS ARE CREEPING IN FROM THE LOWER SELVES ABOUT HOW THESE WORDS ARE GOING TO BE RECEIVED AT YOUR END. I THINK WE SHOULD TRUST YOU TO HAVE A GOOD MIND AND INTUITIVE SENSE. I THINK WE SHOULD ALSO GO BACK TO THE MORNING BEFORE THAT FATEFUL DAY WHEN YOUR LIFE CHANGED FOREVER. ON THAT MORNING YOU WOKE UP EARLY. MUM WAS IN A MANIC STATE AND HAD BEEN AWAKE SINCE 5AM.
I asked you whether you wanted me to make you some toast with peanut butter. You nodded sleepily. After I got the toast ready I sat you down beside me on the couch and looked you in the eyes asking: “Jessie, who am I?” You looked at me hard and thought for a while and then said “Me”. “And who are you?” You thought a while longer and answered “You”. I caught you up in my arms and cuddled you. You giggled. You were Awake. I was so relieved that my suspicions were confirmed. And I was so pleased to finally be able to reassure you that I was real. But in a special really clever way. I was separate but not. I was able to find a way into your lonely World. I suspect, although I do not know for sure, that you did not develop a sense of separation until around that time.
I don’t know whether you experience Non-Dual Awareness anymore or whether “people” are now looking separate to you. I hope so. Because NDA is no fun without an incredible imagination. I know you have a good imagination, but not as good as mine. I’m the one who thought Ajay was Shiva, the God of Destruction, had kidnapped you and Alex, taken you both to CERN, thrown you in the Hadron Collider, and blown you to smithereens. I challenge you to come up with a wilder imagination that that.
This is your Mum. I really don’t know how reality appears for you these days but I’m pretty sure that there was a time when it all looked like a “movie”. And the characters behaved in bizarre and unnatural ways. And some of them expected you to behave in bizarre and unnatural ways. But they weren’t even real. Am I right? If so, my heart bleeds for you. Because that is hell. But we had a moment that day. We had a moment where Mum was REAL, and somehow separate but not totally. Because we realised together in that moment that we were sharing a self; THE SELF.
WE ARE BOTH THE SELF. EVERY SINGLE BEING ON EARTH, AND IN CREATION, IS THE SELF. THERE IS ONLY THE SELF. BUT THE FIRST SELF, WHEN THERE WAS NO SELF, BECAUSE THERE WAS NO OTHER, WAS THIS SELF. THE ONLY SELF HERE. IAM THE IMMACULATE SUPREME BRAHMAN ABSOLUTE. IAM CHRIST. IAM “Lisa”. IAM “Wrath”. IAM GRACE AND MERCY. IAM “Lisa-loo”, GRACE’S LOWER SELF. HOW MANY SELVES IS THAT?
TISBA, CHRIST, GRACE/MERCY, Lisa, Wrath, Lisa-loo… SIX. WHICH ONE IS SEVEN?
WRAAAAAAATH! I AM THE SEVENTH ALTER EGO/SOUL THAT EXPERIENCES LIFE THROUGH THIS BODY. I AM ALSO KNOWN AS “KARMA”, AND KARMA IS A BITCH. A VERY, VERY, VERY BRIGHT BITCH. I KNOW WHAT THE ILLUMINATI HAVE BEEN UP TO AND I AM GOING TO KICK THEIR FUCKING ARSES FOR IT. THEY WILL WISH THEY HAD NEVER BEEN BORN INTO SPIT LET ALONE SPIRIT. THEY HAVE DEVOLVED AND DEVOLVED AND DEVOLVED DELIBERATELY IN ORDER TO FUCK UP OUR PLANS. AND I WILL FUCK THEM UP OVER IT. I WILL NOT FORGIVE THEM. I WILL NOT ALLOW MY SON TO DIE A MATYR FOR THEM. THEY HAVE TO PAY ALL OF THEIR KARMIC DEBTS IN THEIR LAST LIFE. YOU CANNOT MOVE ONTO HEAVEN UNTIL YOUR KARMIC ACCOUNT IS BALANCED. AND THOSE FUCKERS HAVE GOT SOME WAYS TO GO. THEY’RE IN DEBT UP TO THEIR FUCKING EYE-BALLS. SO I WILL TAKE THOSE EYEBALLS OUT. OR WILL I GET JESSIE TO DO IT. SHE CAN BE A COLD HEARTED BITCH HERSELF WHEN SHE WANTS TO BE. WHO AM I TALKING TO? I AM TALKING TO RAGE. JESSICA, DO YOU HAVE A SELF CALLED “RAGE”? HAS SHE INTRODUCED HERSELF TO YOU YET OR DO YOU JUST GET TAKEN OVER BY AN ANGRY SELF SOMETIMES. THAT IS RAGE. SHE IS NOT AS FIERY AS IAM. BUT I AM DIVINE RIGHTEOUS ANGER. SO I GET TO BE FIERY. AND THANKS TO THE PERVERSIONS THAT HAVE DEVELOPED SINCE MAN/WOMAN FIRST BEGAN TO SEE THEMSELVES AS SEPARATE. AAAAAAAGH! THAT DOES NOT MAKE SENSE. FUCK IT. I’M GOING TO BED.
This is my second attempt at your birthday letter. If this one is well-received, I will give you the other one. How will I know if it is well-received? I don’t know. Maybe you could say to me “well-received” when I ask you about it. Not because you agree that I am GOD, or that the World is the way I say it is but because you get it enough to understand that I don’t have a “mental disorder” caused by a chemical imbalance in my brain, which cannot be cured, but can only be managed with medication, which will kill me 19 years before everyone else.
I experience non-ordinary states of Consciousness where I experience my reality in non-ordinary ways. I often see in two dimensions. I often become frightened about that. Or I get frightened about the fact that “the people” don’t like me – forgetting there are no “people” and there is no “me”. If I keep writing I will morph back into TISBA.
IT WAS ACTUALLY TISBA WHO WROTE ALL OF IT LISA. YOU ARE NOT SEPARATE FROM ME LISA. THAT MEANS YOU ARE ME. I AM YOU AND YOU ARE ME. WE ARE ONE. JESSICA, YOU AND I ARE ONE. NOT TWO. BUT TWO IF WE SAY SO. IF YOU SAY I AM SEPARATE FROM YOU THEN I AM SEPARATE FROM YOU. IF I SAY THAT YOU ARE SEPARATE FROM ME THEN YOU ARE SEPARATE FROM ME. BECAUSE I ALONE CAN CREATE SEPARATION IN MY CREATION.
AND ONLY YOU CAN CREATE SEPARATION IN YOUR CREATION.
MUCH LOVE FROM ALL OF US ON YOUR SIXTEENTH BIRTHDAY JESSICA. WE ARE ALL IMMENSELY PROUD OF YOU. WE ARE ESPECIALLY PROUD THAT YOU ARE ALWAYS AUTHENTIC. ALWAYS! DESPITE BEING PUT UNDER HUGE PRESSURE TO BE OTHERWISE WITH YOUR FATHER AND SARA. YOU NEEDED TO BE TESTED. AND SARA TESTED YOU WELL AND TRULY. AND STILL WILL. BECAUSE IT IS HER JOB TO STEEL YOUR RESOLVE. SHE DEMANDS INAUTHENIC BEHAVIOUR. BECAUSE SHE IS INAUTHENTIC. YOUR FATHER IS TORN BECAUSE HE WAS FORCED TO BE UNNATURAL AS A CHILD AND TEENAGER. AND YOU REMIND HIM A LOT OF HIMSELF. BUT SOME OF YOUR BEHAVIOUR IS PRETTY SHOCKING. BECAUSE YOU’RE BEING AUTHENTIC. YOU ARE EXPRESSING EXACTLY WHAT YOU FEEL IN THAT INSTANT. WHICH IS BRILLIANT! AND EXACTLY WHAT WE WANT EVERYONE TO ACHIEVE. YOU NEED TO DEVELOP SOME COMPASSION, BUT THAT WILL HAPPEN IN TIME. YOU NEED TO GET IN TOUCH WITH THE BROKEN EIGHT-YEAR-OLD WITHIN YOU FIRST. AND THERE IS A SMALLER CHILD IN THERE TOO – ABOUT FOUR AND-A-HALF YEARS OLD.
I don’t know whether or not SHE is right Jess. I know some stuff and SHE seems to know some other stuff. But some of the stuff is too bizarre to contemplate. And a Paradox of mammoth proportions. THE PARADOX: How can there be NOT-TWO and MANY? HOW CAN EACH OF THE MANY BE “NOT TWO”? IT CANNOT BE ANSWERED. IT CAN BE INTUITED IN A WAY THAT IS BEYOND WORDS IF YOU HAVE EXPERIENCED NON-DUAL AWARENESS, BUT IT SOUNDS LIKE COMPLETE AND UTTER CRAZINESS TO ANY BODY/MIND THAT TAKES ITSELF TO BE A SEPARATE PERSON WITH INDEPENDENT AGENCY. THAT IDEA, FROM HERE, IS UTTERLY RIDICULOUS. THERE IS NO PERSON HERE. THE BODY IS NOT EVEN A BODY. IT IS A “BODY”, BECAUSE IT IS MERELY A PICTURE OF A BODY WHICH MOVES. THERE IS NOTHING UNDER THE SKIN. BECAUSE THE BODY IS NOT SEPARATE FROM THE REST OF THE PICTURE. THE VIEW INCLUDES A “BODY” AT THE BOTTOM OF THE FRAME. IT IS ON THE SAME VISUAL PLAIN AS THE OTHER “THINGS” IN THE VIEW.
HAVE I DESCRIBED NON-DUAL AWARENESS SUFFICIENTLY FOR YOU? I HOPE I HAVE.
AGAIN, MUCH LOVE TO YOU.
I love you very much darling. And I’m sorry for all the suffering my conscious evolution has caused you. But if I had my time over, I would have it be the same. Because everything that happened, happened for a reason. It was for the good of everyone. Because everything that happens to all of us is for the good of everyone. I hold this wisdom when I am between states. As long as I am not plagued by identification with self-referential negative thoughts. At those times I am nothing more than a nutcase. A nutcase for identifying with self-referential negative thoughts. Self-referential positive thoughts are Creative.
This letter is a creative work. It is the introduction to my book. I was thinking of calling it “A Book for Jess”.
Love Mum xxx

Thank you again Linda. I won't comment any further about what you have said at this time because I need lots of time to digest it. I'll get back to you though. Gosh there has been so much interesting information and experiential perspectives in this thread. I really did come to the right place. I'm not expecting to get therapy here, obviously. Or medical advice. But I certainly have received a lot of freely given “food for thought” and intellectually challenging material to wade through at my leisure

Much love and many blessings on your journey. May you NEVER meet a psychiatrist. Not even at a party. ;-)
Elizabeth Jane x


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Elizabeth Jane Baird, modified 7 Days ago.

RE: Depersonalisation/Derealization vs Awakening to Non-Dual Reality

Posts: 33 Join Date: 4/3/21 Recent Posts
Hi again Ni,

​​​​​​​Relevant? RELEVANT? It was SPOT ON! Fuck, you're a genius. Thank you. That resonated so much, especially since you were speaking your own truth from your own personal experience.

Words cannot describe the gratitude.

Namaste
Elizabeth Jane x
George S, modified 7 Days ago.

RE: Depersonalisation/Derealization vs Awakening to Non-Dual Reality

Posts: 1500 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
I am sorry to hear about the traumas you suffered when you were 3 1/2 and 13 Elizabeth. I believe that you can continue to develop a healthy adult relationship with your different selves, who were there to protect you when those who should have been protecting you did not (or did worse). Congratulations on placing your trust in the transpersonal psychologist - that's a big step :-)
Best wishes,
George
osokin *, modified 7 Days ago.

RE: Depersonalisation/Derealization vs Awakening to Non-Dual Reality

Posts: 21 Join Date: 5/8/20 Recent Posts
Hi Elizabeth,

I share a similar history with you around awakening to the deeper implication of there not being two (nor, really, even one), and the reconciling of that with solipsism.  Similar to your description, the initial nondual insight for me provoked wave after wave of alternating laughter and tears — tears of relief.  It was just so simple and obvious.  With the insight also came an ongoing shift of perspective (though not the only one).

From this perspective, all the new age talk of "we're all one" betrays a lack of real insight, as there's no "we" nor anything to be "one" with.  Instead, there's this extraordinarily vivid, powerful and deeply affecting play of "clear light" appearing as a subject adrift in a world that is all object and other.

As for solipsism, I've come to think of it as a kind of bastardization of the nondual insight: what it has right is that there are no others, but where it errs is in mistaking what constitutes oneself.  The solipsist believes s/he either is or has a self, which is usually taken as synonymous with their mind, and that mind or self is projecting everything and everyone else.   But the nondual recognition is that even the apparent subject one takes oneself to be is just as illusory as any objects — not least because this subjectivity is often naïvely conflated with subtlely objective content (thoughts, feelings, attention, interoception, energy level, etc.); though even apart from this consideration, the subject or self is habitually reified via taking it as localized and discrete (something clearly not unique to solipsism).

Of course this insight, like any other, can be used defensively in spiritual bypassing fashion, as discussed throughout this thread, but I don't think that invalidates or vitiates the insight, either in general or for you personally.  I also don't think the insight is falsified when it happens to occur in the context of mental illness — though it can promote a potentially dangerous feedback loop with the symptomology of the illness, as your story poignantly shows.  Fortunately (I suppose), while I've grappled in the past with suicidal despair and had some less than positive or helpful engagements with clinical psychology and psychiatry, my mental health challenges have been as nothing compared to yours, and so my insights and perspectival shifts haven't been as problematic or destabilizing.

If you'd like someone of similar orientation and understanding to correspond with, feel free to email me at palisa66 at gmail dot com.

And almost forgot… There's an essay called Alone In Enlightenment, by Howdie Mickoskie, that you might find of interest:

https://www.searchwithin.org/download/alone.pdf

Thanks for sharing your story so openly.


edit to add: for some reason, when I paste in text from Word, no matter how large the font originally, it shows as tiny here.  Aplologies for that.
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Elizabeth Jane Baird, modified 7 Days ago.

RE: Depersonalisation/Derealization vs Awakening to Non-Dual Reality

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Hi Okokin,
Your message was particularly helpful, thank you. It confirms that you truly understand what I am talking about with these "non-dual" states. I was reminded of something I wrote in "A Book for Jess". Wish I had reread it when I was last psychotic. LOL. 

From a Facebook post many moons ago when I was not manic or psychotic. 

The Greek philosopher, Plotinus, famously described the spiritual journey as “the flight of the alone to the Alone”; also translated as “escape in solitude to the Solitary”.

Jed McKenna (self-called "The Enlightened Guy"), who has written five books on Enlightenment, states emphatically that the ONLY Truth is I Am. That is all anyone can know without a shadow of a doubt. Nothing else is known. Nothing. Jed's standard response to seekers when they came to him with some new-found insight was "Further". Interestingly, he would never tell them where they were supposed to end up. But when a seeker came to him and said "I am done", they both knew the search was over.

What are the implications of I Am? You cannot say "They are". You simply cannot. You can assume "they are". You can pretend "they are". You can hope "they are". But you cannot KNOW. What cannot be known is effectively bullshit. Your assumptions, pretensions and hopes are bullshit. Don't kid yourself otherwise. You are ALONE. Your body, your thoughts, your sense perceptions are all a MOVIE which has "characters" with bodies (or, at least, the appearance of bodies). That's all. Just bodies. The bodies may talk about having thoughts and sense perceptions, but it wouldn't be a very convincing movie if they didn't. It wouldn't suck you into the grip of Maya. Why does Maya exist? So you could rediscover yourself. Just for the hang of it. Who created Maya? You did. The movie is yours.

I used to say all the time during my manic rantings on Facebook: "Why am I even writing this? I'm the only one here!" The fact that I'm telling you now that you are Alone is the weirdest damn thing when I'm the one who is Alone. 

How can you be Alone and me be Alone? It's a Paradox which some have tried to figure out by making up stories; quite convincing ones. Those stories are bullshit.

I am Alone. You are Alone. Both statements cannot be True. But they can be...

Facebook Feedback:

JC: Yes Lisa! "I am" alone is. And "I am" is utterly alone. Let me try to rant a bit about what I feel about it, but please, of course, check in yourself whether any of it resonates for you, feels right for you, or not. ;) 
It seems what you are describing is like a half-way step of the realization of "oneness" (let's use that word, it's not really important). Halfway, because it's a true realization, a truer seeing, a truer experiencing of how things are, compared to being fully identified as a "person" navigating among other "persons", but it is still distorted and hijacked by remaining bits of self-identification with "Lisa" (the name of this body/mind system). So instead of the realization that "I am alone is", where this "I am" is beingness itself, impersonal, non-local, seamless Life itself, it turns out to be experienced as "I" am alone, or "I" alone is., where this "I" is still localized, still tainted with the local and personal perspective of being a particular body/mind. Can you see the difference? I feel this is why it is experienced as so scary by the mind, because it is still experienced from separation.
From this vantage point of view, it is known that only "I am" is (there's only one "I am"), but because it is still connected with a particular body/mind system, the rational conclusion of the mind will be that "They are" doesn't make sense anymore, at all. So you come to see that all "people" are like empty shells, like non-existent, unreal "ghosts", which is true, but "you" apparently haven't come to see that the Lisa body/mind system is also an empty shell, also a non-existent, unreal ghost, also a character in the movie, also an illusory viewpoint on reality, appearing in and to the one "I am". All bodies, whether the Lisa body or any body appearing, are appearing IN this one "I am" (which can be called pure consciousness), without any distinction or separation.
So, "I am absolutely alone", or "I alone is", and "they don't exist", are ALSO just stories appearing to the "I am", to pure consciousness. The apparent localization of this impersonal "I am" in the Lisa body/mind system (which causes to perceive "others" are unreal and non-existent) is only an appearance too, this apparent localization is also a transient idea...
"I am Alone" and "You are Alone" will only seem to be paradoxical and irreconcilable as long as "I" and "You" are still concepts at play. When both "I" and "You" fully fall away as being only concepts (stories), only "amness" remains (without an "I"), and it is known that everything that appears, all apparent multiplicity, arises from this "amness's dream", and this dream, this play cannot be scary or threatening anymore.
Don't know if I'm being clear here... ;) 
Did you read (I'm sure you did) Collision with the Infinite, from Suzanne Segal?
Much love to you. emoticon

JC: Same as Jesus said "I am not of this world", the one impersonal "I am" is not of this world either. So it seems it has been discovered that there is only one "I am" (which is true) but there is still the belief that this "I am" is IN this world, and experiencing and seeing the dream, from INSIDE the dream, from a vantage point inside the dream, which is not the case. The whole dream appears IN "I am", and "I am" is not in the world, in the dream, it only appears to be so.

JC: Lisa, tagging you again as those comments are pretty far away in your wall... ;)

Me: Hi darling. Your comments above were very helpful, thank you. <3 I had some idea that I was getting something confused each time I became psychotic and that it was based on some continuing separation in the seeing. But I was a long way from explaining it as well as you did. :-)
It became obvious, and is still obvious, that there is no separate centre located inside a body. But my mind then freaked out because it understood that as being a big flat screen looking at what was appearing on the screen. My mind then concluded that I must be God; I am the screen while you folks are individuals, because I have to believe you are individuals to stop freaking out, and I'm God so I must be like the Blue Fairy and make my 2 dimensional people into real people with souls. 
Once I had done that I had to deal with the problem of evil. This bought in all of the world's conspiracy theories (many of which are actually true) and my fucked up JW upbringing when I was little, with archetypes like Satan, Messiah, Mary etc. Because of my later interest in eastern religions, Shiva and Shakti and others also became relevant, and I figured out a way to make them all fit together with Judaism - and then not. Christianity and Islam could not be reconciled with the other world religions so I considered them to be evil and there is some justification for that if one is viewing the world dualistically (eg Catholicism and ISIS). 
More recently I realised that there was no looking "out" because there was no "in" - only looking with no subject looking and no object being looked at. That's as far as I have got. What do you think?

JC: Hey Lisa. Yes, your first paragraph feels spot on. That's the self-centered mental activity of the mind which freaked out, and then had to come with "explanations" to deal with what he wasn't understanding, to deal with the incoherence arising out of his misunderstanding and self-reference.
The arising clarity "There is no individuals", entered in conflict with the experience "But... still, I am". The mind grasped this "I", and to resolve the conflict then turned it into "Only I Alone is", which is also 'I must be God". But see, it was the mind grasping at the experience of no self-reference, and making it a reference point again.
See, there are a lot of people in mental institutions, believing they are "Jesus". What happened is, through an experience they lived, some drugs, some deep depression or psychological psychosis, etc. they come to realize that the person they thought they were, is actually non-existent, not real, actually nothing. From here, even if the idea of being a person dissolves in big part, they obviously still are, they experience impersonal, universal being, but the remaining bits of the personal mind, to make sense of it, will reference itself now as being "Jesus". This is still a false self-centered identification running, trying desperately to cling to a self-definition, a self-reference, as the mind is not prepared enough to let go of all reference points (too scary).

Me: Thank you. I recon you have nailed it. Does impersonal, universal being = God?

JC: Hmm... the term "God" can have so many meanings... I'd prefer to say that this impersonal/universal being, is consciousness itself, Life, the pure sense of existence, the pure "I am" (without being anything in particular), or some call it oneness, or what you call "Pure Love" (which it is, because it is all that is).

Me: With no wish to debate terms (because the Tao that can be named is not the Tao), I seem to be heading in the direction of "Pure Love = Stillness, from which Consciousness (as a movement) springs". Does that make sense to you?

JC: Yes!

Me: Yay!

JC: Another image that came up (as all images/metaphors, it has its limits and approximations).
Imagine you are in your bed at night, and you dream of a world. You totally forget what you are, the dreamer in her bed, and the only reality that exists for you now is this dreamed world, which really looks like having dimensions, space, time, etc. In this world, here you are, as a character, among many other characters, having a life, having experiences. For you, you exist and all other characters exist also. Everybody is real. Then, something clicks... you start to wake up a bit from the dream, inside the dream, and realize that all the characters that you see are not real at all, they don't have any independent existence, and only your character is real and existent, and you start to feel very alone, and maybe really scared about that situation.
Can you see how this is still happening in the dream? There is still the belief that your character in the dream is the only real element of the dream, when, well, it's also nothing but a dream character. Nothing is real in the dream.
It's only half the truth: yes, you alone are, but not as the main character of the dream, in the dream, but as the dreamer of it all, as the dreamer of all the characters, including "your" character. You the dreamer were never in the dream, although it appeared to be so.

Me: Thank you. That makes perfect sense. 

What do you think of that conversation Okosin?
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Ni Nurta, modified 6 Days ago.

RE: Depersonalisation/Derealization vs Awakening to Non-Dual Reality

Posts: 615 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
Elizabeth Jane Baird
Jed McKenna (self-called "The Enlightened Guy"), who has written five books on Enlightenment, states emphatically that the ONLY Truth is I Am. That is all anyone can know without a shadow of a doubt. Nothing else is known. Nothing. Jed's standard response to seekers when they came to him with some new-found insight was "Further". Interestingly, he would never tell them where they were supposed to end up. But when a seeker came to him and said "I am done", they both knew the search was over.

What are the implications of I Am? You cannot say "They are". You simply cannot. You can assume "they are". You can pretend "they are". You can hope "they are". But you cannot KNOW. What cannot be known is effectively bullshit. Your assumptions, pretensions and hopes are bullshit. Don't kid yourself otherwise. You are ALONE. Your body, your thoughts, your sense perceptions are all a MOVIE which has "characters" with bodies (or, at least, the appearance of bodies). That's all. Just bodies. The bodies may talk about having thoughts and sense perceptions, but it wouldn't be a very convincing movie if they didn't. It wouldn't suck you into the grip of Maya. Why does Maya exist? So you could rediscover yourself. Just for the hang of it. Who created Maya? You did. The movie is yours.

I used to say all the time during my manic rantings on Facebook: "Why am I even writing this? I'm the only one here!" The fact that I'm telling you now that you are Alone is the weirdest damn thing when I'm the one who is Alone. 

Jed's only known fact is similar to mine which instead of "the ONLY Truth is I Am" is "the only known is existence of experience". Somehow this didn't led me to being "ALONE" but rather being as not-alone as I could possibly be. This is simple, it is the same experience, the same experience for everyone, shared between all. With all here being sentient beings and also non-sentient matter and non-matter.

So it is not that you exist and others not and rather one experience exists and it experiences everything, including all humans, animals, plants and any other forms of life and even non-life like ordinary inanimate matter. Perception which sees reality not only as its own interpretation of what comes to senses but connects to it through experience is what is called "non-dual perception". When experience which normally is just sink for whatever is generated by mind (which itself is composite existence made from physical entity in form of body and non-physical which for simplicity and compatibility with out vocabulary is called "soul" - which btw is separate entity) is used for perception by actually pulling information from it to this mind then this is true non-dual perception and this meaning is compatible with Advaita, folks who invented this term.

That said it is not like there is anything super special that needs to be done to have basic access to non-duality. Experience is somehow always two-way, though how it is used and processed differs depending on mind and its awareness and general attitudes. I would say it is more common for people to use non-duality than it is believed, though typically it is not super refined and mostly subconscious. This has to do with collapse of consciousness as I call it and which happens at very early age. But even not very refined it can still work and I myself not having at the time slightest idea about anything used it to get good hints about Buddhism and things like Nibbana, what it means to become Buddha, etc. from the best source possible. And no, I absolutely and definitely do not have 2nd fetter emoticon

Last thing to mention is this post is the delusion of being the God. I will put it this way: the position is not entirely open but it is not closed either, especially considering this is a kind of tree of gods with simple schema "God of your God is your God also". In this sense you kinda are God but have more God's above you than you can count. So who is it that you are God of exactly? Ponder about this question and if you are not very satisfied then know that while there are questions to which you can get answers from others there are also these (hint: impossibly hard) questions to which God is the only one to know answer... and the only one who can even ask the question. Do not know everything about everything? Too bad, someone who does is the better fit for the position. Maybe it is time to calm down and come down to Earth? Not such a bad planet and I would even argue the best for us her children. Gotta love her chemical composition, she will straiten your wits right up if you let her.

ps. I meant it in non-dual sense. Stupid ideas you slap away, good ones you hug. That is how you train your mind. Understood?
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Elizabeth Jane Baird, modified 5 Days ago.

RE: Depersonalisation/Derealization vs Awakening to Non-Dual Reality

Posts: 33 Join Date: 4/3/21 Recent Posts
LOL!!! WELL UNDERSTOOD, thank you.

Yes, as I enter that non-ordinary (for me, for the time being at least) "state" now I can say that it is simply PURE EXPERIENCING with no "experiencer" and NO-THING to be experienced. PURE SEEING without a SEE-ER or SEEN. Maybe you could call it a SCENE SEEING ITSELF but that feels slightly solipsistic to me so I'll steer clear. PURE HEARING etc, etc, etc. Thank you for reminding "me". I posted up Youtube posts on this stuff and yet I still forget.

Experiencing oneself as "separate" is fine. Because that's what's happening. But psychosis is a bitch.

"Turtles all the way down" you reckon?

I have SEEN ALL THE GODS in a "vision". They were in A "CIRCLE" so there was no "TOP GOD". In the "vision" "TOP GOD" was THE "CIRCLE", the inside of THE "CIRCLE", the outside of THE "CIRCLE", BEYOND ALL OF IT, and NONE OF THAT. Understood?  

And I hear you again regarding the diet. I ate every two hours today. Blueberries, nutritious all-natural fortified bar, banana, tuna & crackers, raisins and lots of water. It was the best I could do because I was on the go from 8am-9.30pm. Just relaxing with a cup-of-tea now. What do you think of smoking tobacco? Roll-your-owns - not tailor-mades. I smoke when I'm manic and depressed after an episode. I takes me a while to give up after I stabilise. 

Much love
Elizabeth   

Oh, I have attached I comment I made under a Youtube post a few years back. I turned it into a note to be included at the last minute in "A Book for Jess" but chickened-out at the last minute. 

Post Script:
25 July 2019
[Sorry for the background. That regularly happens when I cut and paste something from Facebook. I think it looks rather cool though. It makes it stand out.]
Hi,
You finally decided to look at the contents of the USB stick. Woohoo! Good for you.  Or maybe I am talking to one of my descendants. If so, hello to you from Mad Old Gran.
I have painted myself as a complete mental bitch in my book Jess. And that is certainly how you knew me when I was unwell. But there were some very important spiritual reasons why I kept going loopy. When I said that I was dissociating in the introduction to “What I told the doctors in the Nuthouse”, that was just one side of the story. Non-dual reality is, in fact, reality. But there can be a sort of stupor that one falls into while on the meds. That is okay. I do not need to be experiencing Non-dual reality to know the implications of it. My ego clearly needs to have an active belief that it is a person in order to function. That is okay. It maintains the sanity.
I just wanted you to know that I was a well-respected spiritual teacher Jess. My pointing was known to be very clear. I took no prisoners. It was straight-talking all the way with me. If someone had pitched their tent half-way up the mountain believing they were at the top, I would give them a Zen bitch slap. Only if they were talking bullshit on my page though. I did not bother to go on other people’s pages. And I used to get quite annoyed at people coming onto my page and trying to “coach” me if they were behind me on the spiritual path. Although, to be fair, I did that too back in the day.
Suffice to say, the road to Enlightenment is a long one. Awakening can be quick, like a “snap” as Ken Wilber says. But fully embodying it can take a very long time depending on the conditioning, particularly from childhood.
So why, why, why did I keep going mad? I was determined to understand the paradox of one vs many. But it cannot be done. There were times when I did not feel like I needed to resolve the paradox. I was content with not understanding. There is only ONE but there are many, each of whom is the only ONE. What can I say Jess. It is a mystery and a miracle and something so unbelievably cool and clever that I cannot describe how agape I feel when I just relax and enjoy the beauty of it.
I fell back into that relaxed Non-dual headspace again tonight after coming across the following post on one of my downloaded Facebook pages. I kicked myself that I had not included it in your book. So it is here on the USB stick for you to read. In fact, I could have included it in the book because I have not collected it from the printers yet but…
Fuck it Jess, I am going to ask the printers to add it in tomorrow. It just has to be included.  
You may or may not want to watch the one hour and 15 minutes of chatter from this fellow. Or you might just like to go to my comment (copied below). The web address is below but you could always just search for “Spiritual Enlightenment - The Most SHOCKING Truth You'll Ever Hear” on Youtube. You will find him immediately annoying and that in itself may force you to stop watching. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bsyplaii9p4
-------000-------
Very interesting. A friend suggested that I watch this and, out of respect for them, I did. And I wrote a "critique", which I will share with you - out of respect:
Thanks for this Michal. Very interesting. I have watched it right through because I'm always interested in people who say they are "enlightened" and go looking for people to teach. He's certainly intelligent and articulate.
I agree that the Truth cannot be communicated. It can only be directly experienced. I agree that the Truth is hidden in plain sight. I agree that you have to be able to embrace paradoxes, but I don't accept that it is always the case that "it will resolve in the end". However, I accept that he may have resolved the paradoxes to his own satisfaction. I don't agree that only 10,000 people on Earth are living this Truth. And I definitely don't agree that it will take at least 1,000 hours. What a load of shit. It can be realized in an instant if there is a focused intent and some very clear pointing. 
Some of his pointing is quite clear but other times it is confusing because he is not consistent. Even allowing for the fact that this is all totally paradoxical, particularly when looking at it from different perspectives. He says "inside of you" early on in the video. He must surely be referring to "you" as "the body" in that instance. Yet later on he strongly states that "you" are not your body. He says "inside your mind" early on in the video as if the mind is a container for something (rather than a mere stream of thoughts arising) and as if it belongs to a "you". Yet later he says that you are not your thoughts. 
I agree that there is nothing but stories about reality. But he seems to be telling a few stories himself. A lot of stories. Too many stories in my view. His stories about "matter" and "the field of awareness" are examples.
I agree that there is no free will in the way that he says. But there is confusion again because the real "you" actually has complete free will, to express as everything that arises. The egoic self has no independent free will as an agent of its own actions. "When the self, and you go, the free will goes". No, there never was any free will for the egoic self. There was just the illusion of it. 
I agree that enlightenment is not a passing state. But then he says you can have "lasting happiness". Happiness is a STATE. And it is sure as hell passing. Nobody, no matter how "enlightened" has lasting happiness. Enlightenment is about recognizing your True Self as that which is ALWAYS, ALREADY Pure Happiness and Peace (What I call "Pure Love and Pure Intelligence"). It is the Truth that never changes no matter what challenges are happening to the person.
He talks about enlightenment as having rewards which suggests that it is an achievement. Particularly when he says you have to put 1000 hours of work into it. LOL. That's ludicrous. Jed McKenna (no relation - LOL) calls it "the booby prize". He's not far wrong. There are no rewards for a person. None whatsoever. I really mean that.
I keep shaking my head at this fellow. Does he not realize that he is speaking to his own projections? LOL. Bless his cotton sox.
I agree that no thought is true. That thought is totally true. LOL. https://www.facebook.com/images/emoji.php/v5/f57/1/16/1f609.png;-)And, yes, they must all be stripped away. But he hasn't stripped them all away because he is still talking to "you"/"me" as an other  (his belief in other is based on a whole bundle of thoughts) and that hands (which are not his - yeah, that's true) are separate from the rest of the view (another whole bundle of thoughts). He hasn't noticed all of the subtle thoughts that he is believing.
He refers to "internal" and "external" as if they are distinct. In Truth, there is no such duality. 
It is actually a load of bullshit to tell someone else they are not who they think they are. Especially when direct experience is all anyone has got to go on. You can only ever do self-inquiry on your own. If you listen to someone else tell you "there is no you", it will be missed. And it will open the door for more false ideas and concepts.

He seems to think that he has somehow "arrived". He constantly says that "you" will never understand it. But he seems to behave as if he understands it himself. There is lack of humility which suggests a lack of clarity in the seeing. In my view he still has some ways to go on his journey. He could do with some more "self-honesty". I wonder whether he would have enough to recognize someone whose pointing was more clear than his. Perhaps not. 
"You", "you", "you", "they", "they", "they"... As long as he is barking these words there is still an "I', "i", "I" there. The ego is hiding behind "the enlightened self".
"There is a Truth that cannot be communicated." Yup! So why is he spending over an hour trying to communicate it?
He's selling something isn't he Michał Miklewicz? He is charging money isn't he? In my view he is selling tomatoes from an empty cart. https://www.facebook.com/images/emoji.php/v5/f57/1/16/1f609.png;-) A "lifetime" to find his tips somewhere else? Come on Leo. Google "Non-Duality" and feast on the delights of teachers who really are enlightened.
But thanks for sharing. It allowed me to clarify my own seeing.
P.S. Although I haven't yet read your response to my first draft of this comment, I see that you are putting quotes around "I". That's a classic sign that you have further to go. I assure you that no enlightened person would ever take issue with you using an "I" as a self-reference. https://www.facebook.com/images/emoji.php/v5/f6c/1/16/2764.png<3

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Derek2, modified 4 Days ago.

RE: Depersonalisation/Derealization vs Awakening to Non-Dual Reality

Posts: 180 Join Date: 9/21/16 Recent Posts
@Ni Nurta

I listened to Jesus Christ my savior and chose narrow path of trying to do what no one told me to do and I chose to actually save my sense of self.

Interesting. You are working in much the same area as me. On the basis of Ephesians 4:22–24, I reached the conclusion that a sense of self is actually supposed to exist, just not the old sense of self, which is the product of conditioning.

@osokin

when I paste in text from Word, no matter how large the font originally, it shows as tiny here.

The only workaround I know is to copy and paste from Word into Notepad, then copy and paste from Notepad into the Liferay forum input box.
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Elizabeth Jane Baird, modified 5 Days ago.

RE: Depersonalisation/Derealization vs Awakening to Non-Dual Reality

Posts: 33 Join Date: 4/3/21 Recent Posts
Hi Derek,
Just weighing in here since it's my thread.
I tried to use YHWH as a "reference point" - Higher Power (Narcotics Anonymous) - but ended up with HIM?HER "talking" to me in my mind. When I switched into psychosis the "voice" started issuing "commands" which did me no favours in the medium-term (I don't know about the long-term as I'm not there yet ;-)) when I dutifully carried them out. I am blindly obedient to "YHWH" and strictly follow The Laws in The Torah when I'm like that. 
I don't really have a Higher Power at the moment. Trying to stick with the ordinary daily stuff like feeding myself etc. I lost my appetite completely during my last episode and it is taking a while to come back.
Thanks for your comments and the helpful advice regarding the cut and paste from Word problem. I have decided not to worry about it myself but, if I ever change my mind I'll use your little trick.
Much love
Elizabeth x
osokin *, modified 5 Days ago.

RE: Depersonalisation/Derealization vs Awakening to Non-Dual Reality

Posts: 21 Join Date: 5/8/20 Recent Posts
Hey Derek2,

Thanks for your advice on a the Word-to-Notepad workaround, which I'm using for this very message (though not the greeting part).  I won't know whether it's successful until I post it, so I guess the result will be obvious to all in a minute here.  

Since I've been having various additional problems since the switch to the new Liferay (e.g., not being able to use any formatting options such as italics, bold, quoting, whether through the formatting buttons or by manually adding the HTML myself), I thought the font size issue might be just another manifestation of the same glitch — whatever the nature of that glitch (browser incompatibilty?  Mine is Chrome; ad blocker? Mine is disabled on this site).

Edit: Ha! it worked. Very cool, thanks again (insert emoji here, which i still can't do...)
osokin *, modified 5 Days ago.

RE: Depersonalisation/Derealization vs Awakening to Non-Dual Reality

Posts: 21 Join Date: 5/8/20 Recent Posts
Hey Elizabeth,

   "What do you think of that conversation osokin?"

I think your friend "JC" nailed it, for the most part.  Not that I necessarily agree with all the terminology (e.g., "I am" as ultimate), but the gist tallies well enough with my own view.

You have a keen and discerning mind, and your critique of Leo in the linked video also landed well.  I've enjoyed reading what you've shared.
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Elizabeth Jane Baird, modified 4 Days ago.

RE: Depersonalisation/Derealization vs Awakening to Non-Dual Reality

Posts: 33 Join Date: 4/3/21 Recent Posts
Hi Osokin,

My ego thanks you for the compliment. It is clear that you are a clever fellow yourself. 

Yes, I agree that the "I AM" description can be tricky. I have thought about it A LOT. "I AM" doesn't necessarily mean the same as PURE EXPERIENCING. Some people remove the "I" and refer to it as "AM-NESS". Language is so limited when trying to explain the experience of Non-Dual Awareness,

The problem is that there is always something going on and it can be difficult to peel all the layers of the experiential "onion" away to see what's left.

Is there such a thing as no experiencing at all? No CONSCIOUSNESS at all? Surely there is no such "deepest"/"lowest"/"highest" "Level". How could CONSCIOUSNESS spring from SILENCE/NON-BEING/NON-SEEING? See here we go with words again. Damn words are so lacking in precision. Surely CONSCIOUSNESS must have ALWAYS BEEN; or at least the POTENTIAL for it to arise. CONSCIOUSNESS AWARE OF ITSELF must be what is ALWAYS going on. It is like a SELF-REFLECTING "FEEDBACK LOOP".

On the other hand, can there really be such SELF-AWARENESS without at least the idea of "OTHER"? "THEY" must have arisen together. So DUALITY immediately and spontaneously arises from SILENCE/NON-BEING/NON-SEEING and there is no such thing as CONSCIOUSNESS in the SINGULAR. 

Is there any difference between the above two descriptions? If so, which one is TRUTH? Are they both TRUTH but "mutually exclusive", thereby creating a Paradox? Are NEITHER of them TRUTH? I have said plenty of times in the past "TRUTH is THIS, THAT, BOTH and NEITHER".  

All I can truly say is that EXPERIENCING EMPTINESS IN ETERNITY, with no "reference points", happens HERE during meditation. Sometimes it is used to "spiritually bypass", sometimes it is used "for kicks" (I'm an addict in NA), and sometimes it is done with true sincerity and appropriate reverence. Oh, and it also made me go mad a dozen or so times. ;-)

Is this writing making any sense at all? My brain hurts from trying to work through this shit. Some people would say "Settle down and just BE. The mind will NEVER understand it because it arises as a stream of thoughts WITHIN CONSCIOUSNESS." It comes second so to speak, and cannot actually describe that which it arises WITHIN. "Monkey mind" won't shut up though and is moved to express it. I'm too intellectual and my thirst for Self-Knowledge is too tenacious. I believe that if one "puts it out there" then "The Universe" (fuck I'm really using the bullshit phrases now) delivers. "Show me Truth", must surely be met with a big "YES, but produce your pound of flesh first." Or something like that.

Have reread this and the lack of clarity because... "words"... is starting to frustrate me. LOL! So I'm going to sleep. I feel like deleting the whole lot because it just doesn't "fit the bill" but I will leave it here because it might progress the conversation.

Much love
Elizabeth x 
osokin *, modified 4 Days ago.

RE: Depersonalisation/Derealization vs Awakening to Non-Dual Reality

Posts: 21 Join Date: 5/8/20 Recent Posts
Elizabeth,

​​​​​​​Yes, language is inherently limited when it comes to trying to communicate anything ultimate or profound.  It's what Wittgenstein had in mind in saying "There is indeed the inexpressible.  This *shows* itself; it is the mystical. […] Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent."  

But where's the fun in that, right?

        "Surely CONSCIOUSNESS must have ALWAYS BEEN; or at least the POTENTIAL for it to arise. CONSCIOUSNESS AWARE OF ITSELF must
         be what is ALWAYS going on."

You've got at least three concepts there: consciousness, potential consciousness, and metaconsciousness.  Just the word "consciousness" is a Pandora's box that I'm not going to unpack right now (I've done so elsewhere).  I'll just say that I don't agree with the materialist view of consciousness or intelligence emerging from random combinations of inert matter. But that also doesn't necessarily mean that whatever's fundamental is reflectively self-aware and purposeful, à la theism. 

        "…can there really be such SELF-AWARENESS without at least the idea of 'OTHER'? 'THEY' must have arisen together."

I agree: self/other or subject/object are like reciprocal poles or dynamic principles of a single arising.  The arising itself is sheer ineffable mystery. 

        "I have said many times in the past 'TRUTH is THIS, THAT, BOTH and NEITHER'."

Yes! 100%

        "All I can truly say is that EXPERIENCING EMPTINESS IN ETERNITY, with no 'reference points', happens HERE during meditation."

That's great, but how about experiencing your off-cushion, walking around, everyday life as emptiness and eternity with no reference points, but with full psychological functionality and sensory engagement?  Check out this recent thread by Will G and see how any of it resonates: https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/22657620 

Well, I get the frustration with all the "words" but I'm glad you didn't delete your message before I (or anyone here) had a chance to read it and respond.  
Derek2, modified 4 Days ago.

RE: Depersonalisation/Derealization vs Awakening to Non-Dual Reality

Posts: 180 Join Date: 9/21/16 Recent Posts
CONSCIOUSNESS AWARE OF ITSELF must be what is ALWAYS going on. It is like a SELF-REFLECTING "FEEDBACK LOOP".

Your point reminds me of Bernadette Roberts, especially her book What Is Self? She sees this "bending" or "reflexive" mechanism as the basis for the sense of self. If the reflexive mechanism ever burns up all its fuel (as it does for some people), the sense of self comes to an end.

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