Archive for the Sentience Category

Once in a Blue Agave Moon: Chapter 37

Posted in Enhanced and Fortified non-fiction, Metaphysical Action/Adventure, Once in a Blue Agave Moon, Sentience, The Knowledge of Good and Evil on May 2, 2020 by dreamlanddancing

 

 

Science Spirits Sentience

Science/Spirits/Sentience

 

 

No matter how logical, or rational, and scientific one considers oneself to be, at some point or another, Science and Spiritualism will put many people into an impasse.

Religion is another matter altogether, given the fact that the majority of the belief system is just that. A system of a series of beliefs.

Faith is what we may or may not choose to believe in the absence of empirical proof.

Then again, eventually, it would seem that even Theoretical Physics, Quantum Theory, String Theory, General and Special Relativity, ad infinitum would have to admit to base its beliefs on things speculated, rather than proven.

Faith is what we may or may not choose to believe in the absence of empirical proof.

Many might try to claim that what they believe in is based on evidence, rather than blind faith.

Usher in Heisenberg and all the corollaries of his Uncertainty Principle, ranging from the bias interjected by the observer to something akin to They became what they beheld.

Even measurement or observation may effect the outcome.

Faith is what we may or may not choose to believe in the absence of empirical proof.

Curved time and space, wormholes and parallel dimensions…well-established theories based upon solid evidence, or wild speculation in a lab coat? You be the judge.

Here’s a really interesting concept: if neither matter nor energy can be created or destroyed, and if whatever it is that animates dead organic matter is a slight, but nonetheless significant energy that is present (some say at the moment of death, that the body loses twenty-eight grams of mass), then what happens to that previously charged, focused energy?

Where does it go? What happens to it?

Can one believe in disembodied spirits (given sufficient empirical data) and still not believe in Elohim, God the Creator of the entire Universe?

Faith is what we may or may not choose to believe in the absence of empirical proof.

One of the definitions of both insanity and addiction is to repeat the same action over and over again, expecting different results, yet both in the theories of evolution as well as quantum theory, it is postulated that given enough time and repetitions, eventually there will be a mutation or variation in some part of the process that will result in either a quantum leap in Evolution, or any number of postulations about Chaos Theory.

The origin of the Universe, the Big Bang, the ability of sub-atomic particles to be in two places at the same time, or two particles in the same place at the same time and even the existence of altered realities of parallel universes that do not adhere to the rules of all physics as we know them today are nonetheless Theories.

It is generally believed that there have been numerous “Life-Ending” events that have occurred in the history of the earth, but Life keeps returning.

Some speculate that what mankind believed to be their Gods were in fact “Ancient Aliens.”

Faith is what we may or may not choose to believe in the absence of empirical proof.

Today, Jed, Amy, Rebecca, LeighAnn Chiana and Elliott would have to face beliefs that they hadn’t even known that they possessed, as well as revelations, epiphanies, insights and observations of phenomena, events, thoughts and long-forgotten memories woven into a common consciousness of essentially simultaneous inference.

They would See, Hear, and Feel experiences not possible without The Fruit  of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, but even their belief in the reality of it all was based upon everything that they had ever learned or been taught to believe about their ability to draw logical conclusions based upon evidence exhibited to them.

Because hallucinations are not the same thing as the Insight, Intuition, and Imagination sufficient to observe and assimilate perceptions occult to those who had not experienced The Knowledge, it would be a mistake to regard it as simply a Drug.

The Knowledge would be more accurately regarded as a Catalyst; something that like an enzyme, unlocked and initiated a chain-reaction that in itself became increasingly self-perpetuating.

Eventually, they would have the opportunity to witness Reason seduced by Romance as Love confounded Logic without the slightest hint of contradiction or conflict.

Jed, Amy, and Rebecca,  were already familiar with the experience, which seemed to continue to grow and evolve each time they shared it; Amy and Rebecca were expanding the One Mind/Universal Consciousness connection, effortlessly finessed to an uncanny level.

Elliott, Chiana, and LeighAnn’s initiation would close the circle and complete the circuit.

 

 

 

 

Namasté

नमस्ते

Chazz Vincent

05/01/2020

“There are two ways to be fooled; one is to believe what is not true, the other is to refuse to believe what is.”

(Søren Kierkegaard)

Preoccupied

Posted in Crazy Zen Wisdom, Observations of a Recovering Buddhist, Poetry, Sentience on January 16, 2017 by dreamlanddancing

An intruder
snuck into my head,
pretending to be me
so long ago
that I do not remember
a time
before him.
But he is an imposter…
He narrates all the thoughts I have
and tells me what I already know.
He announces, names and labels
everything I see.
He incessantly ruminates
about the past
as he injects Fear
into a future
that has not yet come
because it never comes.
There is only the Present.
which also does not come…
because
It is already here.
It never leaves…
It is always here.
It is the only thing that is real.

He claims to be the guardian of the
Common Wisdom
of fear,
of prejudice,
and insecurity.
He claims that if I do not
feed him with all my attention
that I will loose my mind,
which is just crazy,
because he is only
my mind…
and cannot survive without me,
‘tho I can live much better
with much less of him,
the Creator
of all Suffering,
the Creator
of the Illusion of Time.

Yet recently I’ve come to know
from a place deep within my soul
that before thoughts,
before words…
I already know.
I have always known.
My mind creates my ego
by identifying me with my thoughts
My thoughts are an addiction.
My ever-chattering Mind
is not me,
but he would not stop;
like a spoiled child
throwing a tantrum
to distract my attention
from the present moment…
so I fired him,
took him off the payroll;
told him
I will call him
when I really need him
but only as a consultant,
…not the captain
…not the master.
You have to loose your thinking mind
to find
your Self.

…Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei …
…さよなら絶望先生….

Namasté
नमस्ते
Chazz Vincent
01/15/17

Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei

Posted in Crazy Zen Wisdom, Escape Velocity, Mature Theme, Once in a Blue Agave Moon, Sentience on May 8, 2016 by dreamlanddancing
The first time I read a translation of this, it was “Good-bye Mr. Despair”.
As Japanese honorific titles go, it has been my understanding that although “Sensei” does mean “Mr.,” it is at about the top of the chart as these things go, and might better be regarded as “Master.”
When I re-thought the phrase as “Good-bye Master of Despair,” it took on the nuance of a changed paradigm; one in which I was my own worst enemy.
Well…once I began to recognize how this one concept was tantamount to a piece of flawed code that was imbedded in almost every program downloaded into my personal bio-computer, I felt simultaneously over-joyed and overwhelmed.
Hell, in many ways it was a part of my basic identity, and that just pissed me off in a very nebulous sense because I don’t believe that this is necessarily a required part of my operating system, i.e.: it was learned, meaning that somebody, someone taught me to accept that flawed aspect of self-awareness so far back that I was too young to realize what was being done to me at the time, and too deluded to recognize it later…at least until now.
I say nebulous because there is no need to try to identify whom or what it was specifically (a ridiculous waste of time with no real payoff) and because I perceived it as being a part of the culture of my life, rather than a specific entity to whom I could assess blame (which is equally pointless), yet inherently crippling.
I love the way a particular word of phrase can trigger such profound effects on me.
I am not cursed; I am blessed.
If one acts as one’s own attorney, they have a fool for a client.
If you act as your own therapist…you have a crazy person for a patient.
OK…I see no problem in that.
I always was blessed; good times, bad times come and go until you recognize the folly of thinking there was any difference.
We make the difference.
I remember the frustration of losing my ability to recognize the opportunities to express my gratitude during my most successful endeavors.
There was a time when nothing was ever good enough to suit me.
Now almost nothing is more than enough, and it suits me just fine.
I also remember the bittersweet poignancy of losing nearly every material possession I owned overnight in a hurricane, only to experience a genuine euphoria in realizing that the ones I loved were safe with me and thinking “It’s all just stuff…things…there will be more someday.”
When my reality was crumbling and my life was exploding I often wrote between three to six thousand words and still worked forty hours every week.
They were beautifully tragic, awe-inspiring times filled with heroic angst, optimism, betrayal, romance and heartbreak that turned on a dime and gave back eleven cents change.
Madness and Majick danced with me on the roof as the house burned beneath me. Love seduced Logic while Romance beguiled Reason in the pale moonlight…
But every time…just as I was about to find the Prom Queen’s tickle switch on Firestone Alley while we watched the submarine races out on the bay…or in the middle of an eighty mile an hour drift through the apex of an off-ramp, or onstage in the middle of the best song I ever wrote, …or while searching for the right words to undo the unforgivable…that defective code would pop up seemingly out of nowhere…
Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei.
I say goodbye to a part of myself that was never really me.
Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei.
There will always be pain somewhere out there, but I do not have to hurt myself any more.
It will no longer be necessary.
Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei.
You will no longer be necessary.
Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei.
You will not be missed…at least not by me.
Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei.
Goodbye Mister Despair.
Namasté
नमस्ते
Chazz Vincent
05/07/2016

This Thing We Do with Words

Posted in Jantor To The Temple Of The Holy of Holies, Poetry, Sentience, this thing we do with words, Uncategorized on March 3, 2016 by dreamlanddancing

…Paradox…

The words
of my
Eternal Beloved
breathed into my ear
as softly
as
a Butterfly Kiss
yet as
powerful and moving
as a hurricane
ripping through
My Mind
My Heart
My Soul
My Life.

Namasté
नमस्ते
Chazz Vincent
03/02/2016

Realization

Posted in Knowledge, Poetry, Sapience, Sentience on March 2, 2016 by dreamlanddancing

 

So Sad
to realize
so late
I had it
all wrong
since before
I can even remember;
this life
into which
I was born
so blinded
by what was
so obvious
to everyone
but me,
and from which
escape
seems
almost impossible,
yet as close
as a realization
yet to be
perceived
or
acknowledged.

Namasté
नमस्ते
Chazz Vincent
03/02/2016

On Letting Go, Part XI: Blame and Excuses

Posted in adversity, Letting Go, LONGREAD, Sapience, Sentience with tags on October 10, 2015 by dreamlanddancing

We judge others by their actions, but we judge ourselves by our intentions.

How many people do you know who would describe themselves as satisfied in terms of their lives?

The paradigm that seems to drive many people’s lives is “One’s grasp should exceed their reach.”

I am no stranger to the concept, but I have seriously marred some of the best stages or phases of my life due to my inability to remember to smell the roses while I am still in the garden.

No matter what I am in the midst of doing or trying to achieve, I am infused with this sense of Angst and Frustration because I find it very difficult to enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done…because it will never be quite perfectly executed….and because there’s always more….

I have a way of focusing too much attention on some real or perceived hidden flaw or imperfection in my work, or the tapestry of my life as a film noire.

For as long as I can remember, it has been my artistic expressions, whether in Music, Art. Photography, Film, Video, Multi-Media, or Writing that have been the driving force in my life, my purpose…my raison d’être.

 

To me, the activities of daily living are more like watching the Dead doing the St. Vitus Dance to waves of endorphins and polypeptides.

My Love and Sex lives reflect the same preoccupation with artistic, philosophical and creative expression…(needless to say, often to the chagrin of those who aspire to love and understand me).

My attention seems forever drawn to what could be somewhere over the next hill.

Yet years later it will seem like a grand romantic adventure to which I wish I could return…so why am I so unhappy?

Many years ago, a very dear lifetime friend said “I sometimes think that even on the clearest and most perfect days, your attention will be drawn to a dark cloud off on the horizon, saying ‘…eventually, we are going to have to deal with that…’ “.

At the time, I took it as a compliment to my foresight and vision.

It wasn’t until years later that I realized that she was lamenting on how I could ruin a moment of bliss with pessimism and negativity.

I have known her almost all of my adult life. We started as lovers but her lifelong friendship is unique to my life experiences with the exception of my wife. Only one other female relationship (or marriage) has ever lasted for more than six years.

She is the most successful person I know, and seems to possess a quiet satisfaction that I envy, despite the fact that she is no stranger to tragedy or disappointment.

…But back to the original point.

Several decades ago, I found myself proclaiming that I felt that it was time to get serious about my life and make something of myself, and perhaps achieve the satisfaction of artistic and financial success, a vow I seem to be compelled to renew every few years.

Money comes, money goes; jobs come and jobs go, but the work of one’s life remains. For me, my Art is my Life.

With the exception of my current compulsion for writing, my creative life has been in a flat spiral ever since I became preoccupied by some measure of financial security (which was almost completely fear-based). It has left me broke and nearly despondent at times.

(Just as it seems as if the digressions will never end, the snake bites its own tail…the Uroburos returns….)

Although I have been frequently led astray by others, and distracted from my real or imagined goals and dreams, their part in the failed processes was minor, compared to my own incredibly bad judgment.

There is a word for sound judgment, and it is referred to as Sapience. It is the cognate from which the term homo sapiens is derived.

Without it, we are just a bunch of Talking Monkeys, and I am their spokesperson.

Whenever I find myself beset by “…a sea of troubles…” and contemplating how to “…put an end to them…”, I meditate.

This last time around, my focus was on “Who am I?…”Who is asking this question?”

I am the one who is tired of singing only torch songs.

I am the one who is tired of settling for less.

I am the one who is tired of doing things I do not love to do.

I am the one who is tired of withholding my candor to simply keep the peace I never seem to find anyway.

I am the one who is tired of not being myself, or not trusting the results of my own actions to take me where they will. Better to die gloriously in battle, roaring like a lion than to be led whimpering like a lamb to slaughter.

I am the one who vows to embrace the results.

If I blame anyone else for the dissatisfaction I feel, I am once again relinquishing control over my life. It is only in accepting responsibility for my present condition that I can exercise some degree of self-determination.

Excuse-mongering and blame are like a co-dependent dysfunctional couple who never seem to be able to stop making excuses for themselves and blaming each other for their own misery.

Next time you feel defensive and find yourself declaring that something was not your fault, better think again….

The road to hell is paved with good intentions, charted by unrealistic expectations and lined with lame excuses.

The I in Failure comes well before the U.

Of course it is always your own fault ultimately, whether it be a failed marriage, a career, or your dreams, but there are so many factors (aside from poor judgment) beyond your control from which there is No Escape that we might as well learn as early as possible to view our lives with enough Loving-Kindness and Acceptance to learn from our mistakes and move on to make new mistakes as we learn to forgive so we can forgive to learn.

However…when I was a rescue paramedic, more than once I heard statements like:

“There I was, just standing there minding my own business (in a bar, or on a street corner in Ft. Lauderdale or Key West)…and from out of nowhere, this guy comes up and….”

or:

“I was trying to reach the top shelf, but the chair wasn’t quite high enough, so I stacked a couple telephone books on top of each other and suddenly…”

or:

“No I dont want to press charges…he was just drunk…I know he loves me and he’s the father of two of my children, and I got no place else to go…it was my fault for nagging him about losing his job…” (for being drunk) “…and I don’t work…because…and….”

Who hasn’t heard: “I just have so much love to give…I can’t understand why I am so alone.”

(Much of it is not beyond our control.)

I’ve heard it said that at least seventy-five per cent of what happens to us is random; whether you were born a Kennedy or an orphan in Calcutta is beyond your control, but it is what you do with the other twenty-five per cent that determines what will become of each of us.

I have a strong suspicion that it is our past and present Karma that determines the first seventy-five per cent. We just don’t recognize the connection.

The dog chases the bone.

It is said that the elephant is the only animal that can remember all of his past lives, and stands alone contemplating his Karma.

There are no good excuses, and blame is what distracts us from that realization. It is the difference between fault-finding and trouble-shooting.

The sooner you learn to forgive yourself, the easier it is to forgive others and accept responsibility for your life and your condition.

You don’t have to be kind, but you don’t have to be cruel either.

Just be real.

 

Namasté

नमस्ते

Chazz Vincent

10/09/2015

 

 

 

 

What kind of God Would Block my Entrance into Heaven?

Posted in Appreciation, Bardo Thordol, Crossing the Abyss, Dancing in Dreamland, Dangerous and Unsavory ideas that are possibly harmful to the weak-mided and overly simplistic and religious, Erotic Poetry, Escape Velocity, Mature Theme, Much Too Good For Children, NSFW, Poetry, Possibly Dangerous to Everyone, Primate Romance/Adventure, Sentience, Sex, The Knowledge of Good and Evil, The Talking Monkeys with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 1, 2015 by dreamlanddancing

What kind of God Would Block my Entrance into Heaven?

What kind of God would do this thing?

An angry, lonely God perhaps,

but

I think it must be one quite small,

(that Heaven or that God)

where neither animals nor disbelievers

are allowed to go.

Do you think

you are only being tested

here on Earth

to decide if you should go

to Heaven?

or to Hell?

Heaven is right here.

Right now.

Because there’s no place I’d rather be,

between Gratitude and Acceptance

at the crossroads of

Life and Sex

in rural

Ecstasy,

deep into

Love County….

Call Her what you want,

I am but God’s Reflection

on the surface

of a pond so still

you can

pick it up

with the

antlers of a mouse,

(…if only you know how…)

to carry with you

in your heart.

No matter where you go.

 

My Muses

Posted in Acknowledgement, Appreciation, Collaboration, Dangerous and Unsavory ideas that are possibly harmful to the weak-mided and overly simplistic and religious, Erotic Poetry, Goddess, gratitutde, Jantor To The Temple Of The Holy of Holies, Liason, Liason Between Parties, Love, Mature Theme, Much Too Good For Children, NSFW, Poetry, Possibly Dangerous to Everyone, Sentience, Share The Love, Sorcery, The Knowledge of Good and Evil, The Wisdom, Theater of the Mind, Tsukimono-suji, What You Have Conjured Up, Zen with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 20, 2015 by dreamlanddancing

My Muses

Our souls breathe the same air

somewhere

outside of time and space

resonating

as we breathe out

we inspire each other

as we breathe in

provocative exhalations

evoking visions and dreams,

wonderment and admirations

that just seem to fit so well.

As each pronouncement

of the ideal

of the other

mirrors our own aspirations.

If you can imagine it

you can make it happen.

To hear you describe it

is to desire to be that man

who inspires you

to be that woman.

To read your thoughts

is to feel

your soul

breathing your words into my ear.

Each of you

nurture, heal and inspire

the very best of me,

inspiring me

to do the same for you.

Indulgences

of spirit and flesh

are exchanged

as fluently

as

passing from one hand to the other.

Breathless humours and vapors

of our common consciousness

in mutual resusitation.

 

Step into the Light

Posted in Crossing the Abyss, Much Too Good For Children, Poetry, Sentience, Zen with tags , , , , on March 16, 2015 by dreamlanddancing

Step into the Light

Anonymity is its own punishment in its very safety.

Time to step back out into the light of controversy and notariety.

Notariety is not fame

but

Dharma coupled to Action

is compelled to attract attention to itself.

The controversy is theirs.

Action attracts action.

Too much time spent locked inside the pink house

of many doors

is no test

of anything except solitude.

Time to be alive again

to feel joy as well as passion

through conviction.

How do I find the words

to enable me to envision the elusive,

the esoteric,

the occult,

the indescribable,

the transcendental?

What will trigger a recognition of a feeling?.

No matter how universal it may seem

it is purely

Subjective.

What is common and endemic to our nature

allows us to recognize

whatever narrow slice of enlightenment or bliss

that we are experiencing

in our own private present moments.

Be now here

instead of

Nowhere.

The inner peace of one lone soul

is world-wide

for that one soul

whose perfection is contageous.

Namasté

नमस्ते

 

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

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