Just Some Ruminations : Reflections by Gautam, Person with lived experience of schizophrenia.
When I write fiction, characters come out of my experience—they are hurtled and projected out of me—but there remains an (artistic?) detachment, a sense that in the end they are “other people”. Alike, akin, but not me. Appendages with flourishes. Departures from myself, with the arrival, the goal being a plot which has zero to do with me. With the voices, they are also projections, but they are projectile vomited on to me. They are projected, arise from my unconscious shadow, my inner child trauma, my karma. Things I have less control over. The voices are a splintered-off version of me, maybe from the past, maybe warnings of an infinite variety of possible futures. Okay, maybe they mean to just whisper (or heckle) Be Here Now. Mean bastards. Bastard, I am. Maybe, they do just mean to insult, forwhatit’sworth. I meet my archetypes, especially one’s I have callously rejected, or harshly foisted on myself. My inner child, who needed to have been “overcome” in my adolescent years to be up to snuff with the looming image of the traumatizing father. (So, I tried hard to be a dick, just like my father.) A denial of the crazywisdom of the Old Man, i.e. my true father, my Grandfather. I denied my Artha-Nari (a combination of male-female elements) and my anima. I almost lost my Joker when I threw out the (my?) personality out the window into the dusty street-gully, but luckily he doggedly hung on. (Yes, I’m picking at scabs again).
I’ve been through an evolutionary process. Asshole to Kundalini Awakening. Selfishness to egoless Third Eye activation. Lizard to Atom Heart Cow Mother. Toxically masculine to Kali Ma.
I am not a Person, a Self, a Name, a Form, a Livelihood.
Recognizing paradigms and patterns, I’ve learned to embrace the entropic random bewilderment with sure-footed inner conviction. Well, I always been supremely confident, because my parents read to me at a young age, took me to libraries. At six I wrote Star Wars-type fanfiction. In the first week of the first grade, I picked up third grader’s books on Roman and Greek mythology.
Lacan rewrites Oedipus as a need to return to the unconditional love of the mother, and that we posit an “Other” to cast our desires on, a worthy mate. I want unconditional agape for the whole world! And I want my lines (in written exposition), my “good ones”, to be distinctive, to be an “Other”, so “Other” it’s alien or at least inter-planetary, inter-galactic, no, from somewhere beyond the Multiverses. I want something from what’s happening in a trillion other Universes, a trillion other Buddha-realms right now. Right now!! Distinctive, different, original. And, I’m telling you my characters really do exist in a trillion Universes, simultaneously. I’m just channeling them.
Gooooooong!! Is Tri-kala-Drishti: Past, Present, Future in one continuum. I digress. I already am Pure Formless Consciousness from which, thanks to the Tao, all mutually arises. And the Tao/Absolute is the mantra captured in the retina, relayed by the optic nerve, and decoded by the occipital lobe. Maybe, there’s a quark? Probably. And the Absolute loves the Tao in the mystery of the Void, where there are no attributes.
And Bliss is not a symptom, but IS.
And Love is the deepest nature. The Heart, the Limbic System.
And all my characters, plots, sub-plots, and the form and content are already out there. It’s happened! I’ve written the ten trillion books.
I’ve wondered how much of paranoia is heightened awareness. I mean who can corroborate a voice insultingly hollering “madarchod”, to Marxian alienation and competition and war and hatred and bigotry and even climate change (I mean, if we are sooooo separated, Mother Nature is a mere resource) in Man. I stress “Man”. Or being called “hijra” to transphobia (okay, that’s too easy). Or your fucking super-ego to “What’s the use of a Nation-State if it doesn’t serve the people?” (The shaman codes and decodes to outmode the state with the zeal and gusto of the poet.) Down the rabbit hole—”justice and morality are only in the Constitution and law books? Don’t we need a fluid ethics? And, if you claim to be religious, read the Quran, Bible, Gita: where is your love and compassion?”
At some point the bubble burst, I became transparent, and I and everyone became God. Tat Tvam Asi. Except that not everyone agrees with it. I say “hello, namaste, salaam aleikum” nod my head and smile at everyone I see (strangers n all) and sometimes I’m met with incredulous smiles. I look at them with a twinkle in my eye; “Don’t you know? You are an aperture of the Universe gazing upon itself. You are God. You are me. You are Eternal Love in the deepest part of our nature.” But people don’t get it.
I’m psychic, not psychotic. I’m telepathic and transparent. Some call the voice-hearing gift clairaudience. I believe the voices are intimations from a Higher Self that still remains me yet is lurking in the spirit realms. Loss of connection with reality?! What is your “evidence” for your “medical model”? In all your uncertainties and ambiguities, you use evidence to infer the causes from an infinite plethora of possibilities. Even science “guesses”. And that’s where the beauty lies. The beauty in the dissonance. Perceiving is always a process, and it’s said perception is a controlled hallucination.
Modern society—Western pragmatism—has severed its relationship with Spirit. Maybe, the turn to postmodernism—no dominant discourses—may allow humanity to heal, repair, cure the split.
The Surrealist poet extraordinaire Apollinaire did what Krishna told Arjuna at Kurukshetra to do. Don’t worry about the fruits of action or the outcome. A bit of Wu Wei. No agenda, no goal. But App did something the Soviets and Khomeini did not. No censorship. So let the poem dream.
Row, row, row your boat. All in a dream: when your Pre-Frontal Cortex shuts off, stops censoring, allows the emotional centers to signal an electrical storm to give you (every night) a bizarre personal Rorschach Test, your own private myth, a shamanic iceros ceremony with a table set for one. And as in my waking state the archetypes proliferate.
What’s a number? An inch? What’s red? What’s garlic taste like? All arise in consciousness.
The Witness of waking/dreaming/sleeping can turn a wave into a particle. Wavicles…strings…and so so many dimensions. There is a fourth state, Turiya. Spaciousness, sacred silence. And just as you need deep sleep against dreaming or you’d go insane, you need Turiya against thinking to balance and harmonize. But you also, please, must think. To individuate, to not conform (as most people do), to take a risk on life, to stimulate the exhilaration. Dream and sleep, thought and Turiya compliment—the mind’s symphony.
Sure, mathematics is precise concise our purest most rational logical language. But it too cannot go beyond the speed of light. Or maybe it does throw a tantrum and spookily acts at a distance. Us hapless fools attach name and form when pure consciousness baffles us, playthings of Maya, where even rationality and logic is only an evolutionary tool. Stillness. Homeostasis. You don’t grow your hair, beat your heart. And with stillness comes the balance we seek in the quaking mess of our minds.
Who’s to say?
There is no “I”, no Self to “say”. Nobody says no-thing. Just another good vibration.
So, I had ego death on psychedelics. Satori: Awakening. Let’s not go into the whole “I’ve meditated, done yoga, chanted and sat by a Guru for 30 years and I haven’t awakened.” That’s not up for discussion, right now.
So, ego death. Hence, total loss of agency it seems. Anger, frustration, agitation even rage.
So that’s why I can’t surrender. I don’t believe in a Higher Power. Some God, somewhere. Up there, remote. Who not only allows suffering and evil, “He” just can’t make it a Heaven-on-Earth. That you have to be other than who you are to have His favor. And pray constantly (what is He a narcissist?). I do believe in the Divine Presence in each of us, only when we seek and find it. I believe each of us has God-consciousness in us if we look for it. Hence, not everybody gets the twinkle in my eye it seems.
But every cursing is a blessing. The obstacles, challenges and struggles have redefined me, instilled incessant change, to the point of annihilating the old to authentically rupture into new truth. Every crisis precipitates growth. And the Dark Night of the Soul makes the Light brighter. Suffering is the spark that ignites the cleansing fire of self-realization. Just don’t get attached to your suffering. Suffering is not enough.
We modulate between the entropic restless heavy metal of our agitated quark lives and the relativistic gentle waltz of Suchness. Like Shiva Natraja dancing the Universe into Existence—dancing like a mental case—wild!
Madness Muse Madness Medicine.
How do I know I’ve activated the Third Eye? Increased intuition, a certain clairvoyance, striking evocative visuals (almost psychedelic), vivid even lucid dreams, even telepathy. Although, I prayed for World Peace in Hindu Temples at fourteen, I am now more than ever obsessed with the things that matter. I find deep, sheer pleasure when I’m an empath, a groove I wish to deepen. I wish to be more open and receptive to energies, to other’s feelings, Nature (Gaia, Mother Earth). I wish to enhance self-compassion to be able to love all beings unconditionally. This is just a beginning; the whole Universe awaits.
And yet, it’s already here. Now. We are already enlightened. Nirvana is the great blow-out—Whew! Nirvana just requires greater concentration and being at the point where all things—mind, body and soul—meet. And I vow to be a good Boddhisattva, and delay entering Nirvana until all beings have entered it.
I am a practicing Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, and Christian. (I’d be Sikh and Jewish if I explored them. But Jains take the cake with their surpassing purity) I believe many emissaries were sent down: Christ, Prophet Mohammed, Krishna, Rama, Buddha, Ramana Maharshi and so on. (A great bunch of characters if you ask me). If I must talk about God, it is the Absolute Universal Truth, the Cosmic Principle.
And the antidote to our suffering? Well, the remedy was whispered by Our Medicine Man, the Buddha. Don’t crave, don’t attach, no aversion.
Recovery IS yours if you want it—NOT John Lennon
This article is part of our Reflections from Lived Experience Series where we document folks who sit with experiences of the systems and wonder and help us deepen our intentional meanderings to access cracks in these systems. Thank you Gautam for this reflective piece.