Q:Hey, can you explain the leaf quote? I'm having trouble understanding its meaning..
Um, I reblogged that because I liked it, but I don’t know that I can really interpret it fully. I liked the irony and humor of it, basically. The irony is that as the kid says “I’m not a tree,” and drops the leaves he’s holding, the parents say “look it’s fall.” Are they joking or are they caught up in the illusion for some strange reason, actually believing that he is a tree?
I see the piece as a short poem or even a piece of flash fiction, both of which are literary genres dedicated to a kind of defamiliarization, or making the everyday strange.
Q:i love your blog :) i was recently diagnosed with UC. and i've decided to be pro active about it! i have a post on my blog about donating and spreading awareness for crohns and colitis if you could help me out by reblogging it that would be much appreciated because not many people know of this disease. sending good vibes your way!
No problem. Best wishes for your health and well-being.
My memoir, cont’d - The eternal return
Many thinkers and cultures have postulated an “eternal return,” or a self-referential and recurring loop which constitutes reality. Buddhism is no different, which postulates time existing only as an eternal now (and yes: what’s-his-face completely ripped off that concept from us, which is why you will never see me quoting him. Ever.).
People get confused by this concept. More than once I have been asked: “but if now is the only time that exists, why do we have memories and plans?” Within the framework of an eternal return, however, the mind would still project onto an eternal now a pattern called “past,” “present,” and “future,” a way to make sense of time that was culturally appropriate.
Buddhists believe that you catch a glimpse of the eternal now, the true real, through meditation, because you are sitting and watching yourself. People who meditate on a regular basis see their thoughts coming and going and feel their breath going in and out, but see no evidence that there is anything happening outside of the moment they are in. This is called mindfulness.
No one has to tell a survivor of systematic abuse that there is no past, however, because we relieve it every single day. We are trapped in a self that reconstitutes our abuse every moment of our lives. Sometimes intensely, sometimes abstractly, but always as a happening, an event.
The human mind is a funny thing. A familiar sound, a smell, or a physical location can bring back experiences from decades ago. The problem with this system is, traumatic experiences often outrank serene experiences in the hierarchy of remembrance. This is what post-traumatic stress disorder is: a savage remembering, a terrible now.
Sometimes, however, the mind wakes up before you do and starts remembering before you’re even conscious. This is called, affectionately, a “night terror.”
Q:Hey umm are u currently open for people to ask for advice ?
Um, yes, as much as I ever am. Basically, I don’t believe in giving “advice.” I can tell you about experiences I’ve had that are similar to yours, if I have any, and if they apply to you, then great.
Q:Well im not so good in science.. i thought evolution meant change (which may be good or bad) and As you can see it really changed from Aristotle to Lil john ^_^
hi! I read your memoir and I just wanna say thank you for articulating all the things i’ve been feeling for the past months! I think I was drawn to Buddhism for the same reason as you were. I really admire your strength.
Most days, I don’t feel very strong, but thank you for reflecting that back to me. I know, intellectually, that I must be strong to have survived what I survived.
Q:"Never say these things to someone dealing with these" Then what do you say? The reason anyone would say these things, in one way or another, is out of spite or because they care, no? So, what would you suggest to say to someone who IS freaking out? What can you say, if anything?
I sincerely hope this is a genuine question about that post, and not an attempt at victim-blaming. You are very close to victim-blaming, whether you realize it or not.
The first thing you need to realize, is that there is nothing you can say to someone who is dealing with a with a major trauma like those mentioned that will ‘snap someone out of it’ or that is guaranteed to make them feel better. All you can really do is be there for them, and ask them what they need. You should never assume that you know what is best for them. Ask them.
Next, the best thing you can do, for anyone, at any time, is called mirroring, which is where you affirm what someone says, as in “I hear that you are feeling confused, frightened,” and whatever else they say.
You can also encourage them to express to you how they are really and truly feeling, and let them know you won’t judge them for it, no matter what they say.
WARNING: IF YOU SAY THIS TO SOMEONE, YOU’D BETTER MEAN IT. There is nothing more destructive than encouraging someone to open up to you, and then not being able to handle what they say, because it’s outside of your experience. You would not BELIEVE how many people have encouraged me to tell them my story, and then have turned around and judged me for doing just that, have tried to undermine my suffering, or have tried to “help me get over it” by trying to be my own personal Dr. Phil.
If you really are prepared to listen non-judgmentally to whatever someone will say, and to affirm their experience as valid, then that is all you can do, and all you should do, unless you are a trained psychological professional. If someone is in crisis, and you can’t handle it, for whatever reason, you should encourage them to call a crisis hotline instead.
And, if you are really serious about being a decent human being, you should become a student of authentic listening and caring human communication. Read books. Go to trainings. Talk to trained counselors. Most people are truly awful at validating other human beings, and spend most of their lives telling people that their experience is invalid without meaning to.
There is a reason why you need a Master’s or Ph.D. to do this effectively, because it’s very, very hard and most of our family systems and other societal sources actually train us to do the exact opposite of what is most helpful.
Q:who are you talking about, so I don't follow them! haha
I do not want to spread more hate than I already have by sending a rather nasty message to said user. Unfortunately, I have these fucking precepts to adhere to ;-).
Food for thought, though: this has been said many ways by many smarter and more enlightened people than I, but: ‘if it sounds like spiritual bullshit, it probably is’ ;-).
Q:This isn't a question but more of a way to express support? It might seem insincere but I really hope for the best for you. I have no right to say I know what you need as a person to grow from what you underwent but I also feel terrible not saying something from all that I have read. The best of luck to you brother.
I thank you for your very sincere support of me. It means a lot. Truly.