Love Not of the Real Child (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 197)

It is one of the turning points in therapy when the patient comes to the emotional insight that all the love she has captured with so much effort and self-denial was not meant for her as she really was, that the admiration for her beauty and achievements was aimed at this beauty and these achievements, and not at the child herself. In therapy, this small and lonely child that is hidden behind her achievements wakes up and asks: “What would have happened if I had appeared before you, sad, needy, angry, furious? Where would your love have been then? And I was all these things as well. Does this mean that it was not really me you loved, but only what I pretended to be? The well-behaved, reliable, empathic, understanding, and convenient child, who in fact was a never a child at all? What became of my childhood? Have I not been cheated out of it? I can never return to it. I can never make up for it. From the beginning I have been a little adult.

The Drama of the Gifted Child: the Search for the True Self

Alice Miller          1994

But Not (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 194)

Pretext Comment: This passage is the most succinct yet comprehensive statement I believe that I have ever come across which explains the overwhelming majority of ongoing mental illness in any of its various forms.

I knew

what had been done to me,

but not

what I had done to myself.

thoughts without a thinker

Mark Epstein          1995

The Two Poles of the False Self; The Root of much Mental and Behavioral Illness (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 190)

Paraphrased pretext note: According to Buddhist psychology, narcissism is an inherent consequence or side effect of maturation in human existence. It does not necessarily have to become a demon of future suffering, instability, and mental anguish, but most often it does. The adults suffering from such eventually become parents and pass this insufferable torch onto their children via their over invasiveness/intrusiveness or neglectful behavior in relation to their child’s true self. The child’s narcissistic anchor is unable to lock and hold on a stable parental entity in this dynamic and is thus unable to naturally autocorrect by withering away into oblivion from whence it came. Instead, the narcissistic anchor becomes a narcissistic “demon” possessing the child and that demon then assumes one of two possible versions, creating the shell of a false self around the child. Often, the child grows into an adult who continues to carry the demon for the rest of their life.

Cribb 2017

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Just as the philosophers of the Buddha’s day could be described as either eternalists (who believed in an immortal heaven, God, or real self) or annihilationists (who believed only in the meaninglessness or futility of life, so the human psyche finds comfort in alternatively embracing one or the other of these views. they are in fact, the two poles of the false self: namely, the grandiose self developed in compliance with the parent’s demands and in constant need of admiration, and the empty self, alone and impoverished, alienated and insecure, aware only of the love that was never given. The grandiose self, while fragile and dependent on the admiration of others, believes itself to be omnipotent or self-sufficient and so retreats to aloofness or remoteness, or, when threatened, clings to an idealized other from whom it hopes to retrieve its power. The empty self clings in desperation to that which it feels can assuage its hollowness or retreats to a barren void in which it is unapproachable and which reinforces the belief in its own unworthiness. Neither feels entirely satisfactorily, but to the extent that we are governed by the demands of the false self, we can envision no alternative.

thoughts without a thinker

Mark Epstein, M.D.          1995

Envy (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 186)

“You envy the leaves and the grass because the rain wets them, and you want to be the grass and the leaves and the rain too. But I am content to enjoy them and everything else in the world that is good and young and happy.”

Happy Ever After

Leo Tolstoy          1859

Awakening or Bondage (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 185)

Yet, one of the most compelling things about the Buddhist view of suffering is the notion, inherent in the Wheel of Life image, that the causes of suffering are also the means of release; that is, the sufferer’s perspective determines whether a given realm is a vehicle for awakening or bondage. Conditioned by the forces of attachment, aversion, and delusion, our faulty perception of the realms—not the realms themselves—cause suffering.

thoughts without a thinker

Mark Epstein, M.D.          1995

But It’s Here Now (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 184)

“Some people think that it’s only possible to be happy if one makes noise,” she said, after a pause. “I find it’s too delicate and melancholy for noise. Being happy is rather melancholy—like the most beautiful landscape, like those trees and the grass and the clouds and the sunshine today.”

“From the outside,” said Gumbril, “it even looks rather dull.” They stumbled up the dark staircase to his rooms. Gumbril lit a pair of candles and put the kettle on the gas ring. They sat together on the divan sipping tea. In the rich, soft light of the candles she looked different, more beautiful. The silk of her dress seemed wonderfully rich and glossy, like the petals of a tulip, and on her face, on her bare arms and neck the light seemed to spread an impalpable bright bloom. On the wall behind them, their shadows ran up towards the ceiling, enormous and profoundly black.

“How unreal it is,” Gumbril whispered. “Not true. This remote secret room. These lights and shadows out of another time. And you out of nowhere and I, out of a past utterly remote from yours, sitting together here, together—and being happy. That’s the strangest thing of all. Being quite senselessly happy. It’s unreal, unreal.”

“But why,” said Emily, “why? It’s here and happening now. It is real.”

“It all might vanish, at any moment,” he said.

Emily smiled rather sadly. “It’ll vanish in due time,” she said. “Quite naturally, not by magic; it’ll vanish the way everything else vanishes and changes. But it’s here now.

They gave themselves up to the enchantment. The candles burned, two shining eyes of flame, without a wink, minute after minute. But for them were no longer any minutes. Emily leaned against him, her body held in the crook of his arm, her head resting on his shoulder. He caressed his cheek against her hair; sometimes, very gently, he kissed her forehead or her closed eyes.

“If I had know you years ago . . .” she sighed. “But I was a silly little idiot then. I shouldn’t have notice any difference between you and anybody else.”

Antic Hay

Aldous Huxley          1923

 

 

 

 

Who do you think loves you? (Love vs Sex 244)

A woman said to a man “You have repeatedly called me a bully and a person who suffers from mental illness and delusion, how could you want to be with me if you believe that and I am constantly making you miserable?”

The man replied “I never said you were making me miserable. I never said that. You are putting words in my mouth that I never said. Instead of trying to tell me what I believe or how I feel about you, you might do better to pay attention to objective reality and my actual behavior, that is if you want to engage with the truth. You do not get to tell me how I feel or put words in my mouth to justify your fears. That is a distortion and a manipulation of reality which I cannot acknowledge for more than what it is. I cannot defend myself against your delusional projection and I will not. You are avoiding reality by creating a false premise regarding all of my feelings for you. You need to engage with reality.”

The woman flustered, fearful, and full of emotion, shot back “You have called me delusional. . .and a bully. . .and you have told me I was mentally ill! You have told me those things many times! Those are real! I am not making any of that up. Those comments, your comments, came out of your mouth. They were and are real, and they have happened many times. How can you think that I am such a monster and say that I do not make you miserable all of the time?”

“I have said you were a bully and that you are being delusional. I have also said that you suffer from mental illness and you do. I said all of those things and they are true, they are. I stand behind every one of those words and I am not recanting any of that. You are not always a bully, and you are not always delusional, but you do suffer from mental illness, and all of those things are connected and part of the same issue. I have discussed that calmly and indisputably with you a number of times. You know that.” Maintaining as stable of a tone and cadence as he possible could, the man continued, “How many times have I told you myself that I have also been delusional, and a bully, and suffered from mental illness? How many tales have I recounted about my negative and ugly experiences from being lost and confused in that delusion in the past? I have moved beyond almost all of that now, but it still lingers and I suppose that it always will. So, I’m not pointing any righteous fingers at you or pretending like you and only you are some kind of demonic abomination. I am trying to help you, you damn fool.”

He turned away from her for a brief moment as her silence and softened expressions seemed to suggest that she was trying to process his words. He gave her this moment of silence alone, intentionally, before continuing with what he needed to say. “I would look at your question differently. I would look at it and think about it in almost the exact opposite manner. Why would you not consider that if a man you know who is highly aware and perceptive, who knows you maybe even better than you know yourself, . . . if this man knows every one of your damn archdemons and slithering sufferings; your bully behavior, your supreme delusions, your overwhelming fear and insecurity. . . if he knows all of the intricate complexities of your mental illness and anguish. . . if he knows all of that shit, and not just the happygolucky superficial or watered down version of yourself that ninety-eight percent of the other guys and other people assume is the total culmination of you, . . . that he is the one who truly knows the totality of your existence inside and out, and that even with that knowledge and the burden of that knowledge, he has chosen, willfully chosen, to stand by your side despite all that excessive and weighty baggage you keep toting around with you everyday. Who do you think loves you? A person who just plays with your pseudo-perfect selfie projected persona or a person who truly forms a union with the good, the bad, and the ugly of you? You need to answer that question.”

Cribb          2017