Archive for the Confessions of a Mad Philosopher Category

The “Blah-Blah-Blah’s” of Blogging

Posted in Confessions of a Mad Philosopher, Humor, Just For Fun, Random Observations on September 7, 2016 by dreamlanddancing

 

I am neither a snob nor an elitist when it comes to Art in any form, including the written word.
Years ago for instance,”serious writers” did not consider either journalism or eroticism to be literature.
Even Graffiti (as evidenced by, for instance the works of Banksy, or Jean-Michel Basquiat) presents us with an opportunity to experience insight, truth, or beauty.
Blogging is perhaps the newest form of literary verbal expression.
I admit that I am not much of a blogger.
Blogging requires a commitment to regular maintenance including reading and responding to the blog’s of others in order to build up a following.
I however lack even the discipline or commitment to pursue electronic publishing, in spite of the fact that it is undoubtedly my only hope for widespread dispersal of my work.
Blogging for me is like committing myself to a hundred pen-pals with the very best of intentions, and we all know the road to hell is paved with good intentions and charted by unrealistic ideals, so if you are reading this, please consider it as a formal public apology for being so selfish.
My primary interest in blogging came initially as a vehicle to present my first novel, Dancing in Dreamland to more than the few people that I could coerce into reading a dog-eared home computer generated copy in the hope of getting some constructive criticism from the few friends I had that understood the concept of reading for pleasure.
Although Blogging involves Writing, Writing is not necessarily Blogging.
Aside from a few semi-erotic fantasies of being discovered or even developing a cottage industry from the sale of my work, I have never considered or pursued a job or career as a writer.
Years ago, trying to make a commercial success in Music only resulted in turning it into a job, prompting me to ask “I wonder what a call-girl does on her night off…just for fun?”
(Incidentally, I already knew…even then it was an entirely a rhetorical question…but that is another story for another time.)
It takes a very special kind of person with talents beyond my ken to turn something they love to do into money.
As I have said many times before “I write for the same reason an alcoholic drinks.”
That being said, I wish to publicly apologize to the numerous persons whom I follow for being so lax in acknowledging or commenting upon their work.
I know that there are many out there that “like” a post without ever reading it, just to churn up their numbers and generate the traffic I call “the blah-blah-blah’s of blogging”.
By not being more selective, I now have hundreds of people whom I “follow” whom I fully intended to read until it has reached the point where it has become very difficult to even locate the people who really get me jazzed within my reader, let alone comment to them.
Comments get my attention; they provoke dialogue and imply a commitment to the material presented and an exchange of ideas, and I have been notoriously reticent in writing things like thank-you letters or responding to correspondence in general for most of my life.
A very few readers contacted me during my convalescence, finding my lack of activity here to be conspicuous in its absence and I love you for that; it has nothing to do with blogging, but you know who you are, and thank-you.
It is as if I have been living in the eye of a hurricane; even when it is calm in the center, I seem to be surrounded by a whirlwind of turmoil and controversy…“the same as it ever was…”
I write because I am compelled to do so; although it is a choice, I am driven by my nature to follow it (although my judgement as far as the choices I have made in my life is so notoriously shitty that it borders on the tragi-comic).
I just don’t know any better, and probably wouldn’t do it any differently, except by the benefit of hindsight and compassion for those I have hurt..
Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei….

 

 

Namasté
नमस्ते
Chazz Vincent
09/06/2016

Has Rock Become a Geriatric Art Form?

Posted in Confessions of a Mad Philosopher, Crazy Zen Wisdom on August 29, 2016 by dreamlanddancing

I am not referring to Rock and Roll…that’s an even larger and older venue.

Curiously enough, about the same time that Sears dropped Roebuck, Rock suddenly dropped the Roll.
Think about it…everyone who was at Woodstock either has or will soon be qualified to collect Social Security. (Except for the babies that were born there who may be grandparents by now.)
And everyone from Mick Jagger (and all the Stones), to Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Ritchie Blackmore, Robin Trower, the remaining living members of the original Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, the Who, or Fleetwood Mac is over seventy years of age.
Drugs culled the herd early on in Rock, but now a depressing number of Rock legends are dying of natural causes….
It’s sobering to realize how that was the generation that coined the phrase “Never trust anyone over thirty”, or Roger Daltry’s lyric in “My Generation”…“I hope I die before I get old.” (…btw: I hate to bring it up Roger, but that ship sailed a long time ago. Although two of his mates already beat him to it.)
While I was recuperating from my own ordeal, I watched the Eric Clapton World Tour…it made me think a bit. He addressed the issues of aging in the film, but then finished by saying that he suddenly realized that as long as he can get back up on the stage, it would be a shame not to share his talents and the benefits of his amazing life with the people who put him there.
There were of course, and lot of “old geezers” in the audience, but also no end to the members of the next three generations that followed him.
Thoreau once said that “In dealing with Truth we are immortal.”
Likewise for Art and Music (and possibly True Love), but Time, Gravity, and rust are relentless….
No matter what your age…“Be Here Now”
“…Until the end….”
Baraka Bashad,
Blessed be,
Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei!
Namasté
नमस्ते
Chazz Vincent
08/29/2016

I’m back

Posted in Confessions of a Mad Philosopher, Crazy Zen Wisdom, Crossing the Abyss, Escape Velocity, gratitutde, Memoires of a Post-Neo Dharma Bum, Zen on July 13, 2016 by dreamlanddancing

This is only the second time I have posted spontaneously since I started this blog.

Due to a back injury, I was incapacitated for nearly two months now, and am preparing to go back to work and resume normal activities of daily living.

Trust me, if I am in too much pain to post…all I could do was meditate, medicate, and try to leave my body; sometimes putting pen to paper to scratch out an idea that I did not want to forget.

I am most grateful for the experience. I frequently write on or around the subject of emotional pain, and I am no stranger to physical trauma, but I had lost touch with how pain can eventually create a sort of “slingshot effect” some call the “sub zone”. It was enlightening.

For me, it sent me to escape velocity spiritually.

Today I suddenly picked up a beautiful Fender Stratocaster that was given to me out of the gratitude a very dear friend felt for a favor that Suki and I had done out of love in her moment of need.

I sketched out the bare bones of a song I suddenly heard in my head that I slowly replicated on my instrument. It has been a very long time since that muse has whispered in my ear. I wrote some notations to make sure I don’t loose that moment, or those voicings and harmonies.

Suffice it to say, I am back; all around me, energies are flowing and Kaizen is in the air. All around me, what I had lost is slowly returning.

Some of it is material, and was badly needed, but the really important ethereal and occult and emotional/spiritual/transcendental blessings seemingly came out of the universe itself.

I became a paramedic to try to do penance for some of my previous actions; one day, I realized that just not being a bad person doesn’t necessarily make you a very good person. I had a lot of Karmic debts to pay. What followed nearly killed me and cost me my relative sanity more than once. I am not complaining; again I say I am NOW filled with gratitude for all of it.

I’m back.

Namasté
नमस्ते
Chazz Vincent

07/12/2016

 

 

How do I Feel? (revisited)

Posted in Buddhism, Confessions of a Mad Philosopher, Escape Velocity, Post-Neo Dharma Bum, The Liberation Through Hearing, this thing we do with words, Zen, Zen on October 14, 2015 by dreamlanddancing

How do I Feel about my World Today?

Who is Asking the Question?

Today’s Mantra.

Before I get in touch with My Gratitude, I feel the need to assess my current condition in terms that better lend themselves to self awareness as a way of exercising the Ever Questioning Mind.

Something to gnaw on while doing T’ai-Chi Ch’uan perhaps.

Once you see the illusion of life as well as its impermanence as we experience the Folly of it all, it is easier to choose which path to take at any given moment, as one might a hat or a pair of shoes.

This is not to rule out emotional considerations. They are a part of the equation, just not all of it.

I just ran across an old quote by Kurt Vonnegut. He was giving advice on how to write and called the semi-colon(s) “Transexual Hermaphrodites”. …as if that was something bad…at least that’s the way most of the critics of the day viewed it; however, only one source I found noted that his next statement was that in case no one knew if he was kidding, “…from now on, I’ll tell you when I am kidding.”

There is excitement in illusion, in intrigue and in the commission of The Act (whatever it is).

Kurt would not like my works, I think. Most of his advice goes completely against the way I write. OK, I get that.

I think I like the semi-colon more than ever, viewing it in the light Vonnegut suggests; and I also disagree that one cannot fragment and creatively use words in the fashion that John Coltrane or Pablo Picasso might with notes or paint. James Joyce already did that in Finnegan’s Wake, after all.

I want the reader to feel like they fell down the rabbit hole. (That’s where all the good [fun] stuff is).

By the time they reach the bottom they will have everything they need to know to figure it out for themselves…of course, they already do… even if they don’t know they know it yet.

Or maybe that’s just me.

Namasté

नमस्ते

Chazz Vincent

10/14/2015

 

 

 

TTWDWW: Shock the Monkey

Posted in A Dirty Mind is A Terrible Thing To Waste, Confessions of a Mad Philosopher, criticism, Dangerous and Unsavory ideas that are possibly harmful to the weak-mided and overly simplistic and religious, Dirty, Enhanced and Fortified non-fiction, Explicit Sexual Language, First Amendment Rights, inspiration, Mature Theme, Memoires of a Post-Neo Dharma Bum, Much Too Good For Children, NSFW, Philosophical Sexuality, Possibly Dangerous to Everyone, Post-Neo, Sex, The Power of the forbidden Word, The Talking Monkeys, This Thing we do with Words with tags , , , on April 24, 2015 by dreamlanddancing

This Thing We Do with Words, a slight return.

Part Ten

Shock the Monkey

I can think of two descriptive phrases I have used that were almost too off-putting to have considered using, and yet…the image that came to my mind as I envisioned particular feelings or situations left me compelled to use them.

One is clearly not erotic, and the other one is more of a sensual prelude to develop the erotic aspect of a particular character.

“…that sudden realization came upon him like hungry wolves running down lost children in the snow.” (There is nothing sexy about the phrase of course, but that was not my intention.)

Or (In describing one woman seducing another):

“She found herself transfixed and powerless to resist, like a child being lured into a van by some familiar stranger with candy, or a puppy…”

These may still be too bizarre a juxtaposition of images to be accessable to most readers as erotica, but I firmly believe that it is through the eyes of artists and writers that we learn to expand our visions of the world…it’s a dirty job, but somebody has to do it.

It would be safe to say that both are forbidden images. I am neither a pedophile, nor do I take pleasure in the misfortune of children… EVER…but it is in the very nature of the forbiden word or image that empowers it.

Namasté

नमस्ते

Chazz Vincent

04/23/2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Know Thyself

Posted in Acknowledgement, adversity, Confessions of a Mad Philosopher, Crossing the Abyss, Ctical Incident Stress Disorder, Dangerous and Unsavory ideas that are possibly harmful to the weak-mided and overly simplistic and religious, Depersonalization Disorder, Depersonalization Syndrome, DPD, Emergency Medical Services, EMS War Stories, Enhanced and Fortified non-fiction, Explicit Sexual Language, Knowledge, Mature Theme, Memoires of a Post-Neo Dharma Bum, Much Too Good For Children, NSFW, Possibly Dangerous to Everyone, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Sentience, The Knowledge of Good and Evil, Theater of the Mind, Zen on March 15, 2015 by dreamlanddancing

Know Thyself

While conducting research for the final editing of my latest novel, I literally stumbled upon a concept that has radically improved my coping mechanisms…something of which I have admittedly been in dire need for a very long time.

I recognize that self-diagnosis is a slippery slope, but after a great deal of inquiry and assessment, I realized that I simply felt better knowing that not only was I not alone, but also that the simple recognition of my condition is in itself instrumental in my own recovery.

Just as it has been said that those who would try to act as their own attorney have a fool for a client, so also it is that those who would attempt to act as their own psychiatrist may by definition have a crazy person as a patient, but it all depends on how much they want to get better because in this case, the physician has to “heal thyself”.

No one can figure it out for you; once you are given the map and the compass, you only have to find yourself.

Recognition provides opportunities for alternate behaviors that target the isolation, and initiate theraputic responses.

For that reason, I am sharing this with my readers. Some of you may benefit from it yourselves; some of you may know someone who will.

Wikipedia describes Depersonalization Disorder (or Syndrome) as:

The core symptom of depersonalization disorder is the subjective experience of “unreality in one’s sense of self”, and as such there are no clinical signs.

(This is probably because DPD victims are taught to cope, to move on and to ignore, mask, or overcome the symptoms. Divorcing oneself from one’s feelings enables a pattern of denial that allows the sufferer to continue to function despite overwhelming toxic stimulae.)

(Please note that I have added emphasis and comments throughout this text. This is typical of one of them. Also, the first time I saw the initialization of the syndrome, it sounded like a term of art from the Kink/Fet community…but that could just be me, I suppose.)

Depersonalization Disorder is frequently described as feeling disconnected from one’s physicality; feeling like one is not completely occupying the body; not feeling in control of one’s speech or physical movements; and feeling detached from one’s own thoughts or emotions; experiencing one’s self and life from a distance; a sense of just going through the motions; feeling as though one is in a dream or movie; and even out-of-body experiences.

People who are diagnosed with depersonalization also experience an almost uncontrollable urge to question and think about the nature of reality and existence as well as other deeply philosophical questions.

(Or is it more a matter of course that people are more prone to experience epiphanies and profound realizations that are triggered by the emotional, physical and sensory overload experienced as a result of Critical Incident Stress?)

(Those who choose to put themselves in harms way as a career often try to divine and attach meaning or purpose on a grand scale as part of the troubleshooting and diagnostic processes of our respective careers and life-long ambitions. This would appear to be an effort to prevent or resolve DPD by Rationalization.)

Individuals who experience depersonalization can feel divorced from their own personal physicality by sensing their body sensations, feelings, emotions and behaviors as not being theirs. This in effect, is the exact opposite of Sentience (as self-awareness).

Also, a recognition of Self breaks down (hence the name). Depersonalization can result in very high anxiety levels, which can intensify these perceptions even further.

A diagnosis is made when the disassociation is persistent and interferes with the social and/or occupational functions necessary for everyday living.

(Oh really? Just how fucked up do you have to be for this to be recognized? …Wouldn’t these people benefit from recognition and help long before it gets to that point? Even when I was that severely disordered, I never even knew that such a diagnosis existed, and the subject certainly never came up during numerous therapy sessions with many different mental healthcare professionals.)

Depersonalization disorder is thought to be caused largely by severe traumatic lifetime events, (such as the death of a spouse, or child, divorce, or other emotional losses involving a loved one), childhood abuse (verbal, emotional and sexual), accidents, natural disasters, war, torture, “…justifiable self-defense with extreme prejudice”, panic attacks and bad drug experiences.

(For many of us, “bad drug experiences” were regarded as failures to assimilate a positive outcome from an extremely challenging situation…after all, no matter what you experience, it all came from within you. You cannot fear the Poison Thought. Embrace it, and you will find meaning.)

Although the disorder is an alteration in the subjective experience of reality, it is not related to psychosis, as sufferers maintain the ability to distinguish between their own internal experiences and the objective reality of the outside world.

During either episodic or continuous depersonalization, sufferers are able to distinguish between reality and fantasy, and their grasp on reality remains stable at all times. (…or at least as much as it ever was…you could be completely delusional, for instance, and be quite stable.)

(For some, Zen meditation can lead to a paradoxical state of mind wherein the connection between the individual and all life, energy and matter is only recognized by detaching oneself from all personal biases and attachments including words themselves. Without a strong sense of Self, this strongly resembles DPD.)

Factors that tend to diminish symptoms are comforting interpersonal interactions (How about Romance?), intense physical or emotional stimulation, (especially sex) and relaxation (afterwards). Distracting oneself (by engaging in conversation, sexual escapades, meditation, or watching a movie for example) may also provide temporary symptomatic relief.

(Which does nothing to cure the condition, whereas “comforting interpersonal interactions” practically is the cure, or at the very least a good indicator of progress.)

Some other factors that are identified as relieving symptom severity are diet and/or exercise as well as psycho-pharmacological agents; while alcohol and fatigue are listed by others as to cause worsening of symptoms.

The exact cause of depersonalization is unknown, although bio-psycho-social correlations and triggers have been identified. Childhood interpersonal trauma – emotional abuse in particular – is a significant predictor of a diagnosis.

The most common immediate precipitators of the disorder are severe stress (either chronic or acute), major depressive disorder and panic; as well as hallucinogen ingestion.

(Personally, I never met a hallucinogen I didn’t like.)

Patients demonstrate abnormal cortisol levels and basal activity. (Frequently, the diurnal circadian rhythms are also disrupted.)

Studies found that patients with DPD could be distinguished from patients with clinical depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, (although the conditions may also exist concommitantly).

It has been thought that depersonalization has been caused by a biological response to dangerous, life-threatening or profoundly tragic situations which causes heightened senses and emotional neutrality.

Depersonalization disorder may be associated with dysregulation of the hypothalamic-adrenal-pituitary disorder, the area of the brain involved in the “fight-(fuck)-or-flight” response.

(I honestly think that is a dangerous combination…it may keep you alive, but it also facilitates detachment from our actions in order to enable us to survive the unthinkable consequences.)

As I read the above description, I realized that it was a condensed synopsis of my life thus far, which for me, meant that I now had an identifiable, recognized series of causative agents to explain a condition that I had not yet discretely identified despite the fact that even my earliest childhood memories are filled with elements of those descriptions.

Until very recently, I believed that my adult experiences, including a twenty-two year career in Emergency Medical Services, five failed marriages, the death of a spouse, and a lifetime of bad choices and dangerous living were all that factored into my condition.

It has only been after careful re-consideration of my childhood and early adult life that I began to recognize how the pre-disposing anticedents of my childhood set the stage for what was to follow; not because I did not have any choice, but because I did not know that I had one.

I now realize that it is long past time to make peace with myself, to forgive myself, and acknowledge the horrors I have either survived or created, congratulate myself for my achievements, and to embrace my life and loves like there is no tomorrow.

Unfortunately, Depersonalization Disorder patients do not process emotionally salient material in the same way as do healthy individuals.

As a result, I have been in denial for so long, that every time I open the door even the tiniest bit, so as to allow my emotions to touch me, to allow even the happiest or subtle moments of joy to be experienced long enough to be felt and savored I am overwhelmed by feelings so strong that they feel as if they will tear me apart as I am swept away…and heroes are not allowed to cry.

This is not a test.

This is not a drill.

This is not a movie.

This is not a dream.

This is real.

Every day is a miracle.

Every day is judgment day.

Be here now.

This is the only life you will ever recognize as yours.

I share these observations and information not to call attention to myself. It is not something most people would be inclined to admit. My own recovery is a work in progress.

If you know an armed services veteran, or a cop, paramedic, or firefighter, doctor or nurse, chances are that some aspect of Depersonalization Disorder/Syndrome either has or will affect them or someone they know or love eventually, depending on whether of not they were pre-disposed to it by early primal life experiences.

Perhaps aspiring heroes are born out of the emotional needs created by dysfunctional or abusive childhoods, further predisposing them to harm from critical incident stress and isolation as adults.

The very same tools that we were taught to use to prevent us from becoming emotionally attached to the critical stress incidents that hurt and damage us as we are thrust into them have the potential to distance us from the rest of the world as well, long after the turmoil is over.

Awareness and recognition are the first steps toward healing.

Namasté

नमस्ते

You Already Know….

Posted in Confessions of a Mad Philosopher, Jantor To The Temple Of The Holy of Holies, Memoires of a Post-Neo Dharma Bum, Sentience, The Liberation Through Hearing, Theater of the Mind, Vision Quest, Zen with tags , , , , , , on March 13, 2015 by dreamlanddancing

You Already Know….

I woke up thinking about how each of us are in fact the biggest stumbling blocks to our own success, which prompted me to share these ideas as they came to me.

Make a list of your dreams. A dream with a plan is a goal.

Rate them according to both their costs as well as their rewards.

Now write down all the things you can ever think of having used as excuses for why you did not achieve those dreams of goals.

Do not try to be kind or spare your feelings, but do not be afraid to see the humor in your folly. Defensiveness will block your objectivity. Regard everything in your life with enough detached compassion to accept your own best advice. You have nothing to hide from yourself.

Ask yourself if you are willing to give up those excuses in order to achieve what you desire.

And once you make up your mind, stick to it until proven otherwise…preferably more than once.

All is folly, so don’t be afraid of making the wrong decisions. What you need to do is to ask yourself “What do I really want?”

“If it all stopped tomorrow, and I had just one moment to reflect, what would I regret not having done?”

“Have I lived authentically and fearlessly? What have I sacrificed of myself to conform to the desires of others?”

“Who is dragging this corpse around?”

You can dance like a meat-puppet while someone else chooses the songs and pulls the strings, or you can figure it out for yourself, accept responsibility for your actions and pick and choose from the vast reservoir of humanity’s collective consciousness for inspiration, counter-point and companionship…and love yourself.

Namaste.

नमस्ते

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