It is the nature of the human animal to seek self preservation and place their own physical/emotional needs above those of others. The human animal, in an attempt to gain the attention of and possess another person, will say words like I love you. The human animal is not capable of love. Not true love. Society has painted a very popular yet false image of what love is. This false love is far more about control and personal gain than compassion. The human animal must raise its vibration to evolve into a true human being. Contrary to what biology class says, the homo sapien isn’t automatically a human being. This evolution can only be achieved by shedding our ego, shedding our desire for control and choosing to connect. Connection is a precursor to true love. Connection being the choice, Love is its consequence. Connection on the deepest of levels meaning the recognition that all life on this earth is undeniably intertwined and woven into one tapestry. In fact, the Creator’s breath of life…chi, energy whatever you wish to call it..is no different in us than it is in an animal or plant. We are all, one and the same. Our lower levels of thinking have allowed us to view ourselves as completely individual. This is the single biggest lie we have ever fallen for. Our physical bodies, are an individual collection of energy, but WE are not the bodies we wear. It is the lower elevation and ego of the human animal that believes this lie. We, in reality are simply unique expressions of the exact same breath of life or consciousness. You are another expression of me, and I of you. Accepting this is the only way to experience true, universal love. True love never seeks to possess or control. It does not concern itself with personal gain. True love gives rise to forgiveness, never vengeance. The Commandment love your neighbor as yourself is a great example regardless your spiritual beliefs. That commandment cannot be achieved until one knows the absolute truth that by loving your neighbor, you are loving yourself.
We are all spiritual beings simply having a human experience and as such, we are all pretty much lost in this world. Mainly lost when we deny ourselves our spiritual needs. Some people depending on their spiritual inclination, refuse to believe they are lost because they identify so strongly with their career or some other small detail of their life. There is so much more to know. So much more to understand. Our spirits cannot be continued within one or two small details of our earthly life.
I often receive questions from friends I served with in Afghanistan regarding PTSD. Whether or not I have any formerly secret coping mechanism that I can now enlighten them with.
To start, here is a bit of my own military background. I served 10 years in the Army, Deployed in combat capacity to Afghanistan three times, was injured in Afghanistan, awarded a Purple Heart and was diagnosed with PTSD. I have run the gamut of possible coping mechanisms. I’ve tried prescription medication, non-prescription medication, hate, shutting everything out, isolation and solitude. There has been no “easy fix”. It is a battle.
From what I have come to gather, the best analogy I can make to describe PTSD is using a broken record or a skipping CD. If you picture that CD being your mind. We all had that one CD that had such a bad scratch that it would get stuck on and repeat one part of a track, over and over until we threw the damn thing away. Simple fix to a simple problem. It isn’t quite that simple with the mind though. You can’t just throw a memory away. So we adopt coping mechanism that at best, drown the sound of the record out with some other but often times more destructive noise.
The human brain is infinitely more complex than the most advanced and intricate computer system you could ever imagine. I say imagine because even in our imaginations we could never come close to reaching the full potential of our brain. For all of its complexity, it is entirely possible for a traumatic event to happen and create a tar pit or a thinking trap in the looping of our memory. Where a memory should have been made and filed away into storage, our overthinking….scratches the CD putting the traumatic event on repeat.
Our ability to think makes us problem solvers in the physical world. We analyze risk, we find solutions and make great strides in all fields of study based on our ability and capacity to think. In the mental world, our ability to think is what can fuck us. If you touch a hot plate you think, ” Shit this hurts” and you move your hand. Problem solved. Ever try to think depression away? I bet you can’t. Though the pain of depression may be different it is no less real than that of the hot plate. Trying to think away a problem of the mind is not thinking, it’s self harm.
Action, not thinking is the place to start when dealing with any issue of the mind, specifically PTSD. I’m not saying it is the answer because I honestly don’t know. It is a battle. I theorize that exposing yourself to the things you have been avoiding is a start. Shedding any of the coping mechanisms. Purposely putting yourself out there so that the memory can be put on repeat. It is very painful and distressing, I’ve done it. You have to approach it from an angle of action because you will never think it away. Something everyone can relate to is being afraid of the dark as a kid. It didn’t matter how much you thought about not being afraid or how many times an adult told you not to be afraid, you still were. It was the action of being exposed to the night that over the course of however much time finally allowed that fear to be filed away into your brain’s archive. PTSD being in many ways a fear, could require the same (less thought more action/exposure) type of process. There is actually a type of therapy called Prolonged Exposure Therapy that engages PTSD in this manner. I’m just throwing my own ideas out there.
Lastly I feel that there is a problem of the spirit that can make us more susceptible to suffer from PTSD. War, as well as other traumatic experiences, take a toll on the spirit. In some sense they take a part of the spirit. They hold it captive. A few of the Native Tribes of the Americas used to hold ceremonies for their warriors returning from battle. The ceremonies were designed to return the spirit to the body because just like today, they noticed their warriors returning home as “shells”. Today we must reach a place of spiritual acceptance. Accepting that today, we are not less but rather much more than we were yesterday in the spiritual sense. We must not try to think our experiences away. These experiences are part of what makes us individuals. Whether war or any trauma, erasing the event would be erasing part of yourself. It would be denying yourself the spiritual growth you have earned.
This is just a theory of mine. I don’t have the answers and Knowledge can never be called Wisdom until the person holding it is able to use it in their own life, not just theorize on it. I still struggle but I think that as I learn and grow and as you learn and grow….Action and acceptance may be key ingredients in the journey.
Seconds tick by, as mortal time clocks fade.
Beckon my soul, the portal of death’s blade.
The adventure from which, no one can hide.
That which lies past, the Great Divide.
Does time’s watch stop, for an eternal bliss?
Finally home, unknown but still missed.
Will I smile and atone, with God By my side?
Is that waiting on me, facing the Great Divide?
I fought the bad fight and ran the wrong race. Done nothing to reserve, my spot in that place.
A forbidding cell awaits, me and all who resist.
Beyond the Great Divide, if such places exist.
However the case, is now I must fight.
Whatever the pace, I’ll stand firm and upright.
Fall victim I can’t, despite the grief I won’t die.
But roar a death chant, across the Great Divide.
I find myself wrestling with thoughts and searching for meaning in everything. As a spiritual man, I’m driven by what inspires me. Personally, what society considers popular or important has never pulled weight on my soul. The tiniest details of life that often go unnoticed, I consciously train my eyes to. The art is everywhere. My purpose for this blog is to serve as a platform for an exchange of information and knowledge. Open discussion on meaning and purpose. A sharing of wisdom that as students of life, we acquire on our journeys. Psychology, spirituality, religion, science and philosophy do not have to be at war with one another. We have allowed ourselves to create that division and give them separate names. The reality is that they all converge at one point….you. Me. Us.
Nothing is off limits. There is no judgment here. If you’ve come to judge, you’ve come to the wrong place and will be greeted accordingly. We all have a life story that has lead us to exactly where we are at this point. Respect others in their views, and they will respect yours.
-The world of the spiritual is where I seek shelter and search for wisdom. It is where I break from the mundane. The spiritual is the nest from which I draw strength to tackle a new day. Regardless of where I have wandered in life, be it the mountain tops of Afghanistan or coral reefs of the Caribbean, my nest has been my true north. In times of confusion, like an adolescent leaving home for the first time, I have in the past tried to deny a simple reality. Home is not where the heart is. Home is where the spirit resides. Home is in this nest. It has made me a thinker, a listener, a teacher, a student, a craftsman and a warrior. From within my nest, there is no denying my true self.