Sunday, January 22, 2012

Changing Direction

This blog is dedicated to The Tiny Turtle and Mezma, two people who read my old blog "The Entity in the Chapel" and suffered through many posts by me that sounded like I was planning on committing suicide one day. I am deeply loved and it bothers me that my feelings and thoughts have caused pain to those who love me so much. I know that I am not to blame for my depression or the ideas it has caused, but I am making an attempt to change my life and my way of thinking and I want these two very important people to see how I am trying to do that so they can be less afraid for me.

Many of those old posts are essentially me justifying the fact that I intended to kill myself some day. I wrote that I could not promise I wouldn't do it but that I would fight. I meant it but deep down in my heart, I felt it was inevitable. It isn't inevitable. It never was.

I don't believe in my Void or my universe built on a principle of almost divine despair anymore. I believe a lot of things, a lot of things that make me happy and at peace. I fought hard for these beliefs. I fought against a heart and mind that told me my depression was the guiding light of philosophy and theology and that it could not possibly steer me wrong. That thinking, that building a worldview based on such a horrible disorder, is almost as sick as the disorder itself but it goes to show just how far reaching and devastating depression can be.

I have changed. I have changed for many reasons. I have changed because love and friendship have changed me. I have changed because I demanded change from myself. I have changed because I refuse to let depression go from being a mood disorder to being a lifestyle.

Pain affects us in strange ways. When we are in its grip, we can frequently lose sight of the fact that there is something in the world other than pain. I am not free of pain, by any means. I am not cured. But I am fighting for real, finally. I am not resigned to depression winning some day. In the old days, to me, fighting meant putting off the inevitable for as long as I could. Now, it means something much different. It means loving myself the way my family and friends love me and giving myself a chance to live through anything, to make the best of any situation, no matter how difficult.

I want to promise that I will never kill myself. I don't honestly know if I will lose this positive outlook at some point. I am scared, because I have fought so hard for it. I'd like all my friends and loved ones who read this to know: If you are really worried about me, if I am giving signs that I am giving up or losing hope or fading out, do WHATEVER you think is necessary to get me help and keep me alive. I don't care if I end up being taken away to a hospital for weeks. I don't care if the police show up at my door. I must live. I must. Too many people who I now see would not be able to make it if I took that way out. I am going to promise that I won't end it that way. I am going to promise my wife and my dear friend Mezma who has helped me change so much and my father and anyone else who truly cares about me. It is scary, because now I know I've told people that no matter how bad it gets, I will survive. That means, even if I lose everyone and everything, I will fight to carry on. That's terrifying. But, no easy way out for me. None. I am not that person anymore. The pain I experience is part of my journey. Maybe in some past life, I ended it that way and caused horrible suffering. Not this life. The pain and surviving that pain will be my key to enlightenment and ascension. Whatever wonders and horrors come, life will not destroy me. Life is beautiful. You all are beautiful to me. I love you all and I am learning to love myself and the only suicide I will ever commit is killing the part of me that thought I must someday leave life that way.

Please, find peace in my words. You, reading this, my promise is to you. I will live. I will live, not just for you, but for myself, for my soul, for everything I want to be true. No more justifications. I will not kill myself. I promise. Please, find some comfort in that.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


As I work my way, day by day, towards happiness and peace, I find myself gathering music around me that serves as a soundtrack to that journey in much the same way that dark, depressing music served as the soundtrack to my despair. Not that I don't still listen to the dark, depressing stuff. It's great music and sometimes very cathartic. But I also need something that feels the way I feel, something that feels the way I WANT to feel.

Recently, I discovered the band Alcest, a French band. They were pure Black Metal at one point, in the very beginning. Then Neige, the main composer/musician/vocalist turned the band in a new direction. They incorporated elements of Shoegaze and Post-Rock into their sound and, with some much muted Black Metal elements still in place, they began rewriting the musical rulebook. Three albums and an EP later, and I stand in awe.

The concept for the band is fascinating. They reflect Neige's memories of a land he feels he visited when he was a child. The information about the concept as found on the official website is as follows:

"Alcest - that is music from another world, a world that is real, but that exists beyond ours and cannot be grasped by our senses. A world where all appearances - trees, glades, streams - emit a pearly light and where a faraway and celestial music fills the air like sweet perfume. A world inhabited by infinitely benevolent and protective beings of light, communicating in a wordless 'language' directly from one soul to another. A world where the soul knows neither pain nor sickness nor sorrow, but is filled with a deep peace and an ineffable bliss. A world that lies 'before' and 'after,' 'beside' and 'behind' our world and the awareness of which stills mankind's fears of death.

This world is no dream and no fantasy. Neige, the creative mind of Alcest, knows it - he has experienced it and keeps memories of how it revealed itself to him in the form of esoteric experiences in his early life. Alcest is his medium to come to terms with these memories and to share them with others"

I can see this place when I listen to the music, I am transported there. It is stunningly beautiful. There is some melancholy, perhaps. A bit. But it is mostly innocence and beauty. I can't get enough of it.  I have learned that things do not need to be miserable to be good or artistic. They can have an air of childhood wonder and evoke nothing but smiles and maybe tears of joy.

I urge everyone to listen to this song. It is a major key to understanding where I am in my life currently.I dedicate this post and the song to The Tiny Turtle and Mezma, the two people who make me think life truly is beautiful and make me feel like this music does. You two are the best. :)

Sunday, January 8, 2012


This is my newest blog. I'm on my third now. Maybe I'll be able to keep this one up. The themes here are mostly mental health and spirituality and the overlap between the two, touching on my usual love of music, art, philosophy, etc. My first post will be about the common thread in all my various spiritual pursuits and how I came to join all the threads of my spirituality and religion under the umbrella of Schizotypalism. Because, no matter what religion I may outwardly practice, that is my faith.

I was diagnosed with schizotypal personality disorder. There is a great deal involved with that disorder which I will cover at length in this blog. Suffice it to say, it is part of the reason I am different. They call it a disorder.... and sometimes it really can be. It causes paranoia, social anxiety, things of that nature, things that are very problematic. But it can also cause the sensation of profound enlightenment and awareness. It can lead one to insights that seem to escape the rest of humanity. It can open the third eye.

I am currently studying Hinduism, in particular Saivism. This comes right after Buddhism, which followed Left Hand Path studies, which followed mystical nihilism, which followed Heathenism, and so on and so forth. It seems like and feels like I can't commit to any one system of belief. However, I have committed, deeply. Schizotypalism is what I have committed to. It's not an officially recognized faith. In fact, I just made it up when I started this blog.

Schizotypalism is hard to define. But that's the purpose of this post and the hope that trying to define it will help people to understand me, the disorder and maybe think more about their own spirituality. Schizotypalism has no dogma. It is the most anti-dogmatic faith there is. Because I say so. :) If I made hard and fast rules about what my spirituality could be, it wouldn't be Schizotypalism any longer. So, that's the first point. It must be so flexible that no matter what belief I may hold, from Satanism to Christianity, from atheism to polytheism, it must be a Schizotypalist belief.

The basic core tenet of Schizotypalism is that I seek transcendence. Even in my most atheistic moments, I have sought to experience existence on a higher plane. It's not superhuman, it's more human. The human need to transcend is intrinsic to our experience. That's why there's so many mystical religions. That's why the most anti-religious people in the world still find themselves called to study the most mystical scientific advances in physics, mathematics, biology, etc. That's why there is such demand for art that goes beyond the Die Hard franchise of films.

Transcendence in my viewpoint is not exactly about rising above this world. To me, this world is essentially spiritual. To rise "above" it would be to seek a way beyond the tools we were given to increase our ability for transcendence! It's more that I see transcendence as a way to get more deeply in touch with that fundamental fact of existence's spirituality, its mystical nature. That involves being free from illusions ABOUT this life and this world... but not being free of this life and this world itself. To me, I can meet Siva just as profoundly in my human body as I could in any kind of soul-to-soul astral travel event. The key is to awaken the mind to see through the illusion of the material world that says this is not possible.

I want my soul to burn brightly, like the burning heart of God. It is not enough to simply meditate or worship. I want to be consumed, a blazing flame of love and divinity. I want to live a spiritual life that is so full of fire, it burns up all karma and all illusions and all limitations until my soul knows nothing but Siva. I want everything I do to be a prayer, every thought I have to be a mantra. I am far from this goal. But that is Schizotypalism. And I can find that no matter what the outward belief system may be.

So far, this is not all that different from any other kind of mysticism. But, what makes it Schizotypalism is the fact that I honestly think I wouldn't be here if it were not for my "disorder." Schizotypal PD makes me yearn to directly experience the out of the ordinary and also to think unusual thoughts that most others around me don't even comprehend. I have what are called by psychiatrists "bodily illusions." Those are sensations that allegedly do not exist in the body and are supposedly just produced by a sick mind. But I take those sensations as a sign of my transcendence. Unusual bodily and perceptual experiences are common in the mystical tradition and are usually called mental illness by non-believers. So why, just because I have a psychiatric diagnosis, does that automatically invalidate what I perceive to be mystical experience? I don't think it does.

My disorder is probably what makes it hard for me to keep to just one consistent path. So, all this searching I've done, that's the very foundation of the faith of Schizotypalism. As long as I am heeding the pull of this disorder, I am worshiping in my own church and staying true to my own faith. For, I am sure, if I am called away from a faith but stay with it, it will become dead for me and I will have betrayed my real religion, the religion that takes a mental "illness" as the only certain Scripture.

This is Schizotypalism as I define it and define it I can, since I made it up!