Entries In Several Catefories
One. Putting self in others shoes, specifically female ones. Today when I woke up, I found myself in posession of the power to imagine what it must feel like to be a hot 21 year-old female ordering a drink next to a dude like me at a bar (but not to keep my pinky relaxed when pressing delete on this keyboard), and I sat in that for a few minutes. She is wearing tight beige pants, a skimpy tank top, and victoria's secret lingerie. She is thinking, "The man who approaches me will like what he sees, but will see more than my physical beauty. He will say something endearing but provocative, and he will take me home and screw the shit out of me." I ask myself now, am I prepared to meet and exceed her expectations, or not?
Two. Emotional regulation (part one). With regards to "negative emotions." For me, this is about the Enneagram personality classification system these days, which is synonemous with "personality discovery" to me. A few notes on the Enneagram. I believe it is a peculiar set of ideas, but that it is completely tautological. In otherwords, I can place myself somewhere on the outer circle of the Enneagram symbol, I can relate to the Type designated to that spot on the circle, and if I follow the lines of connection through the circle to the other two points they connect to-- for me as a Three, a triangle is joining my Type to two others, Six and Nine specifically-- I will relate the results to some aspects of my experience and personality with relation to the lines connecting me to Six and Nine further below-- and I think you will be able to do the same vis a vis whichever Type you identify with. The "Wisdom of the Enneagram" is a meaningful pursuit with profound implications for how one relates to the various aspects of one's personality, and if you can't place yourself on the Enneagram Circle, and transfer yourself accross it following the lines carved through by either a triangle, as in my case, or by the hexad, for Four, Five, Seven, Eight, One and Two, and land somewhere you would also place yourself dependent upon internal conditions you experience on an ongoing basis, you are not human indeed.
The Enneagram says that the Three type, along with Four (my Secondary Type), and Two, primarily filters experience through emotions, rather than thoughts or intuition, the alternate dominions of the other six Types. Several weeks back, I was riding this concept like a knight on his loyal steed, ready to take on all comers; but for the past few weeks, it has been barely a blip on my raidar. Today, the meaning seems important again, and there are a few points I wanted to journal about with regards to it.
First, am I connected to my emotions? I would say that this question tantelizes for Threes based on what I read and experience, due to the strength with which Threes experience all emotions and their insistance that emotions indicating poor performance in one or more aspects of life be ignored, due to flying in the face of their primary ego coping mechanism, performing or, alternatively expressed, "acheiving." The manner with which one must overcome this "shortcoming" tantalizes me because the movement of Ego away from (or avoidance of) negative emotions has a negetive impact on my performance in many situations, one which cannot be dealt with directly, but which gets resolved by switching up the response and curbing the reflex to ignore or surpress negative emotions. This is obviously going to be useful in any social connexion, seduction being high on the list of possible scenerios for me.
To accept a negative emotion is to let go, letting go being a non-doing. If I don't want to experience any pain I can avoid the emotion, but avoiding the negative emotion means inability to deal with the problem. The crazy thing is that, in my experience, as soon as the problem is delt with, the emotion becomes nonsensical. So there is a forging with the fire of emotion and the tool of the intellect of a relationship, a business, whatever pursuit at hand, that comes about when the thing creating the negative emotion is delt with, and the only way to face it is to deal with the emotions present-- all of them. Often this takes the form of an aplogy, an odieous explanation of behavior or meaning, or a favor asked, where the negative/unwanted emotion acts like a snake with poisonous venom and ten inch fangs but can only bite me if I run away from it and refuse to pick it up in my hands and say, in effect, "There, there little snake with ten-inch fangs. Either you will bite me or you won't, but I have to pick you up or else I don't want to bother going on as a human."
Another example of looking at emotions as pathways to liberation follows. I want to type faster, which will help me make more money, enable me to feel potent, and enable me to brag about my above-average typing rate-- but I can't get myself to do any typing exercises or slow down, as it were, to speed it up. If I wasn't a Three, I would be more adept at processing my emotions, which, if I weren't in the Emotions Triad, would be less severe and destabalizing to begin with. If I am connected to my emotional states, I have overcome or transcended the primary characteristic of typing, and am resting in the Six position of the Enneagram, the Six, the Loyalst expressing ego through thought and as a conduit to connection, or so the tautology (Enneagram System) states. If I make a practice of checking in with my emotional state, which is what I was doing regularly several weeks ago for a week or two, I will be interacting with all of my emotions, the negative ones included, more. I will wind up across the Circle at Six. I will improve my typing at Six, seduce as a Six, and cease being a Three. The way of the Three is so "yesterday's news" for me. One step at a time grasshopper!
Thusly described, the regulation of my emotions is a very complex affair with profound implications for me, but one that involves simple enough practices, one of which I have identified and alluded to using already, namely checking in with the emotional state, or mindfulness of emotion practice. If you haven't already guessed it, when I do a successful check in, I first feel relief, release, that is; and second, I immediately feel exhilaration. This is what catches me up. I can't escape this dialectical trap with my emotional response to life, which is strong and always-impending-- urgent in other words, by participating in it. I am looking for ways I can indirectly change, by escaping the dialectic. I am finding some, but I need to either continue and take the practices that seem to be working momentarily to a deeper level or find some other way of transcending my "Threeness." The three being the personality type that is most pompus, narcissistic and cocky. To drop these unatractive qualities, there must be something else that is solid that I can reach for and hold on to, until it holds on to me. I guess I will keep practicing to find out what being a Six is all about (and read up on Six; Nine, the Peacemaker, which is where ego goes to die rather than be transcended for Threes, is a familiar old trope, so I don't need to read up on it). I am guessing the shortcut has to do with thinking less of myself, comparing my achievements to others' less, and accepting myself more intensely (intentionallly?) from moment to moment. Because emotional ping pong is the grist in my personhood that gets stuck in the Mill of Life and clogs it beyond repair.
Three. Emotional regulation (part two). Anger, rage and condemnation. I have discussed this already in some detail in this thread, but since I am devoting part of this post to emotional regulation, these three aspects of emotional life, all of which I have made serious progress in this year, get mensions. Basically, I have discovered within myself a primary cause of depression in anger, and that frequent anger leads to rage, rage being a tirtiary emotion, and anger of course being secondary (fear being a primary emotion, one of two, along with love). I emeliorated anger on a large scale in late summer when I got arrested after doing something silly but not exactly criminal. Encountering my least favorite people in society in such an intimate way somehow seems to have enabled me to let go of my anger to them, and consequently, to become free from anger toward aspects in society I deem to be dangerous with regards to values I hold dearly, including much of what humanity came up with by way of the Magna Carta and found its way into the U.S. constitution. Then, I began to notice the upcropping of rage in my psyche, which made no sense in a less angry mileau I was creating for myself internally.
Subsequently, I have noticed a second tertiary emotion, which operates similar to rage in that it is a "preparitory state" for another, more volitile state, and as such sort of just moves in without doing anything other than clouding thoughts towards the condition it "seeks." That second tertiary emotion is condemnation. I experience it in social situations, and it obviously gains entry through the conditions set up by the presence of too many individual judgements. If I come up with three or four things about you that are shit, I become a judge of you, capable of offering my bitter condemnation, just like when I am angry about a multitude of things, rage gains entry, putting me in a position to destroy the object of my rage. Like rage, condemnation is utterly arbitrary in what it latches onto; and like rage, it is nothing more than an energy state that blocks out other energy states, enabling its ends to come to fruition. I blame my parents and the schooling system aka child slavery in the United States for both my rage and condemnation tendencies, but they are mentioned here in the light of a breakthrough, so I am not bitter as I write.
What I am hoping will be the upshot of realizing how these tertiary emotional states depend on the interplay of other factors, noticing their presence at least some of the time they crop up, and experiencing them less, is a more productive mode of life. In the case of rage, I hope to destroy less private property, lose my bearings on reality less, to be able to meditate without rage attacks. In the case of condemnation, I hope to see myself more fully reflected in others, such that I can see the beauty in myself rather than just the shitiness, to make more friends more readily, and to enjoy the presence of all the "shit people" in the world more than I have up to now.
A second hope, I suppose, is to discover more secondary and tertiary emotions. Tertiary emotions are so rewarding, even exilirating to discover, because they are like third wheels. When you find a third wheel, the discovery is accompanied by instant access to the means to drop it. You say to your partner, "Have you noticed that we don't really need Jake? Shall we ditch his as?" and your partner says, "Yes lets," or "No," and you ditch them both. With secondary emotions, on the other hand, they can't really be dealt with directly. But figuring out what goes on with any of the secondary emotions, anger, judgementality, procrastination, compulsive eating included, there's a real serious release, like when you ditch the partner. Ditching the partner, the third wheel makes no sense if you didn't want it to begin with, but with secondary emotions, when I have seen through them, there's an actual breakup occuring there, and that is so much more releif-producing than ditching the third wheel emotions. The intensity level i different, the change is more far-reaching and immediate. I just hope I am broken up with anger permanently, because I find its bras and shit lying around the crib a bit too often...
Four. Approaching A Group. The "group dynamic" became the "Nightmare on Elmstreet" (The Shining?) dynamic for me in sixth grade. In sixth grade, I was booed by a few of the cool kids, previously my friends, currently (to this day) my sworn enemies. At the time, I was a happy-go-lucky kid who was happy to punch you in the arm or ask you what your favorite ice cream was if you were sitting beside me in a group of kids. There was no limit to the type of interaction we could have. But then I got booed while on stage having been picked to "conduct" a string and wind quintet after volunteering with an up-streching open-palmed hand, I speculate, due to offending two members of the clique by asking an inappropriate question, in one case, and snubbing out of a birthday party invitation on the other. So, two boys booed as I conducted, and their voices were unidentifiable to me due to distance and the number of bodies they could have bolonged to, that number being about 650. But I was able to create a whole host of "core beliefs" about myself and society writ large. Respectively, these are, that I am undesireable, socially castrated, and damaged/bad; and that groups are dangerous, unpredictable, and mean. This was the beginning of cynisism, and I only had to wait four more years for my "Cynic's Bible," in the form of Catcher In They Rye to find its way into my hands. (Two asides: would anyone be surprised to find out that I never had a conversation with a single adult about the booing incident, even though it destroyed my life?) Would anyone be surprised to know that I blamed myself for the incident? Self-blame is the cornerstone of my phobia of ineracting with groups or members of groups.
I found that Zoloft takes the edge off of this phobia of groups, and have been on and off it since I was 20. I finally, in the past two years or so, embraced the idea that Zoloft is a) not evil and b) is not going to solve all of my problems, and that I need to engage in therapy. This being said, I was on the internet yesterday and watched this vid of a group of girls going down a big-ass waterslide on a gigantic inertube. (Of course the video was taken by some creep wearing those new Rayban camera shades, his legs and feet visible within the frame.) Zoloft isn't sufficiently getting the job done, so I persist in my analysis of this innertube full of hot girls (more on my relationship with Zoloft in item five). I pictured myself on the raft, and felt the old familiar dread with regards to wheeling and dealing in the group setting. Any interaction with one could result in social ruin. Meanwhile, I have a hard time exploiting my Social Instinct and Self-preservation Instinct, which get overtaken by my percieved need to have intense interactions, i.e., my Sexual Instinct (this is Enneagram lingo-- in addition to the Instinctual Triad, presently being discussed, and the already mentioned Central Triad, there are a number of other facets of the Enneagram I will perhaps take up after more study of them in other posts, including Levels of Wellbeing; the Hornevian Groups, i.e., social styles; and Harmonic Pattern, i.e., modes of outlook on life). And I feel a powerful sense of internal and external pressure to "hit on" one of the girls or seduce the entire group, pressure which is paralizing. Noted.
Perhaps a clue as to my Harmonic Pattern, now to be discussed sooner than thought. Let's see, Threes are part of the Competency Group. Specifically, according to a table in The Wisdom of The Enneagram: The Complete Guide To Psychological and Spritual Growth For The Nine Personality Types by Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson, we place most emphasis on "Being efficient, capable, and outstanding. The focus on goals, being pragmatic, and knowing how to present self." We manage feelings, "By repression and keeping attention on tasks, staying active. Achievement offsets painful feelings. They look to others for feeling cues." And in relation to systems, "Threes want to work with the system. But they also like being outside of it-- bending the rules and finding shortcuts." Sweet.
Four. The difficulty with routine. I exist in a world devoid of responsibility, spend my time writing in my journal, toying with other writing projects, and surfing the internet and consuming cinema. Very little reading, memorization, practice. Practice mainly involves athletic pursuits I am already proficient in. I would like to practice meditation, memorize more English and Non-English vocubulary, and read more. I would also like to go to sleep and wake up at the same time most days, preferably being awake during business hours, and otherwise follow daily, weekly and monthly routines. And I would like to engage less in mass consumption of sugar and porn.
Five. I have a tenuated heart. This is basically an expansion or continuation of "Emotional Regulation" above, and will circle back to the Enneagram eventually. Anyone who has been keeping up with this thread is probably thoroughly mystified by me by now. Don't worry, you are not alone; I mystify everyone I come into contact with sooner or later. I am all over the place: can't keep a resolution, go back on/reverse breakthroughs, have a new sad story to tell every week, etc. As a kid, I experienced a handful of traumas and supreme alienation of family and peers, none of whom made the necessary efforts to understand or correct my increasing disalusionments and suffering. Ultimately, as a late- and post-adolescent, I came to oporate with a heart chakra/energy center that was tennuated in the extreme. And, whether I've come out and said it or not, multiple times in the last 20 years, I have been utterly and completely broken five or six times by a psycho-emotional ailment that protrudes unless I take a medication to which I am dependent, sadly.
The nature of this ailment is heavy and I believe it is lethal to many at this intensity level, and nearly so to me. I get sinus pain of an extreme intensity level in every sinus in the body, inlcuding behind my sternum, that is invariably accompanied by utterly dark and abismal recollections. Recollection: a memory or flashback that persists in the psyche for a moment or more. Recollections that are dark in nature like these only began appearing for me when I got the sinus pain, and I got the sinus pain the first time I withdrew from Zoloft; then it went away promptly when I got back on the Zoloft; and it has come and gone as I've gone off and on Zoloft ever since. I've heard that people go crazy in some cases when they contract Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, and that there is a neural component of Tinnitus that amounts to the diagnosis of "phantom pain with accompanying, potentially lethal mental illness." This is exactly what happens with me with the sinus pain-- though I know nothing of the neurological implications of being on or off Zoloft for me, other than that it is supposed to increase seretonin levels in the brain. My own neuroses become so intense that I spend all my time ruminating on what is wrong with me and the world and have strong urges, constant in nature, to end my life. These symptoms increase in severity as the sinus pain increases, which does gradually after withdrawal, per doctor's schedule of course, from the SSRI medication. At the apex, which is a chronic condition and in my experience has no bottom, they traumotize me both cognitively and emotionally. As I write, due to my bouts of chronic internal psycho-emotional traumatization, five or six of them in the last 20 years, I have been incapable of holding down a job for more than a few months at a time for almost eight years now.
There are undoubtadly a cognitive and social component to this disease, which I am calling "SSRI Dependence" and "SSRI Withdrawal Syndrome" but which little has been written about that I have seen. (This, in spite of the fact that untreated SSRI dependence is likely the cause of at least some of the mass shootings and many, many suicides in American society over the course of the last 30 years, I'd be willing to bet.) Basically, I have lost some of my short-term memory capacity, due to an inability to focus on anything at a high enough level to retain it, and have sustained damage to my higher intellectual functioning. The latter means that I struggle to hold complex thoughts, such as turning a three dementional object or walking around a three dementional object in my mind. Anything 3-D, meaning much of the math and science you encounter after 8th grade, is beyond me, as of my first bout of psychosis I've just described. (There was always a glass ceiling but it was lowered drastically.)
The social component of course affects seduction. Only those who have known me my entire life are not phased by my anti-social tendancies, developed through the trauma of the encounters with whatever it is that goes on in my physiology, some of which I can pinpoint, others perhaps not. I seem to operate on a different set of assumptions from everyone else, which leads me to say and do antisocial things. It's antisocial if someone finds it offensive or hurtful, and every 9th grader has learned the difference between statements that are "safe" to make and those that are not safe, depending on the audience or target. What happens with me, is that I don't filter offending statements either due to a lack of recignition that they will offend, or a lack of recognition of the sensitivities of my audience. THere's a difference between having an abrasive personality and being antisocial, and since I do have an abbrasive personality, and due to the other emotional features of my severely traumatized psyche, I have had a hell of a time curbing this antisocial behavior. I'm actually somewhat reminded of the protagonist of American Psycho (2000), Patrick Bateman, who proclaims early in the story, "There is an idea of a Patrick Batemen-- some kind of abstraction. But there is no real me-- only an entity something illusory. And though I can hide my cold gaze, and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours, and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comprable, I simply am not there."
The differences between me and Pat Batemen (and if you haven't watched the film, it's worth it for the scene I just quoted from alone!) are that I am not a sociopath or psychopath; and, ironically, he has more self-control, at least during the first two acts of the film, than I do. What we have in common is that "we are not all there," or put another way, "we have tennuated hearts." My energy structure, through chronic trauma of an internally manufactured and external sources, has been so damaged that I struggle with antisocial tendancies and a sense of emptiness inside that is akin to being souless, but I have no doubt can be repaired, bringing the soul back to life, if in a different form. It's a weird thing to admit, but even weirder to experience, and I am sure most people never do experience it. Just me and good ol Pat Bateman and every other sociopath on the planet, it would seem.
A tennuated heart is the condition in the Fifth Chakra and results in an inability to learn, an inability to generate ideas sponteniously, and a something-else I am not remembering at the moment (inability to be socially vulnerable?). You can experience "movement" in the Heart Chakra yourself by looking at or imagining an object that is the color green and "breathing it into" your chest cavity right behind your sternum, or by recalling a time you felt expansive openness, such as the first time you fell in love, or by accepting a feature of yourself or someone or something else or the world that you have never-- not once-- accepted fully before. When the energy field in there meets with one of these three experiences, there is a resonence with its primary identity, which most closely resembles a phrase, specifically the phrase "This can be" or "This can exist too." Anyway, according to Walter McKichen, a tennuated heart chakra comes about through extreme levels of self-hate, extremely low self-esteem, and extreme trauma, all of which I have experienced in abundance. To me, what having a tenuated heart primarily means is an inability to learn new things that are not easy. If it’s not facile, I’m not learning it. Secondly, it means not having access to major parts of my personality, including parts associated with athletics and seduction. I’m going to return to the idea of approaching with an open heart (nope, will do this in another post hopefully), but want to conclude talking about having a tenuated heart, which is connected to the difficulties I am having in accepting myself as I am, and therefore practicing and learning seduction, to say that the heart chakra is such an extremely powerful force within us, that has the capacity to shut down our emotions, will and intellect, or bring them back to life or into fuller states of thriving.
Six. Emotional regulation (part three). I am convinced that through therapy-- which as alluded to I have resisted due to pride though have paid lipservice in the form of engaging in counseling, AA and other spiritual schemes but am now really getting into— I can counteract the cognitive and emotional symptoms of my malady, which if not already mentioned, has only been slightly remediated with nearly four years of being on Zoloft again. The study of the Enneagram is hot for me right now, though. Thought patterns for me are centered around the past, which indicates that I funnel experience through emotions before they enter cognition or intuition. Emotions overtake me and have made for pivitol moments in my life— mostly for the bad. At a certain point, every single emotion seems to ping me back to square one, as if I’m a ball inside a pin ball machine and the player keeps letting me fall right down the trap, no matter how far I get across the board to begin with. Thoughts, generally comparison-rendering judgments, feed right into this— they are like the bumpers and walls in the pinball machine.
Therefore, examining emotional content of my life directly through contemplative reflection is making a lot of sense to me. Ignore the bumpers and the trap, focus on the pinball. ("Make it float, kimosabe!") When I muster the willingness to concentrate enough to authentically examine the emotions I'm having from moment to moment or have had at different junctures in the past, doing so has been extremely liberating, keeping me in play in the game of pinbball that is my life. One practice that helps with this is identifying a salient thought and addressing it, or the "deliverer" of it, an "aspect of the Ego," and say, "Is that so?" then, "Thank you," and then, "I love you," to it, placing the full thought verbatum at the end of each phrase before going on to the next or the next thing. Believe it or not, the Thing addressed, which I do think is ego-manifestation of personality and not real in the ordinary sense of the word, dematerializes in the psyche, or at least quiets down, when this is done. That's my experience, folks! (Practice taught me by Cheri Hubor and modified by myself.)
I still get few “crumbs” from life to snack on while I chew on all of this stuff, and masticating my emotions is a gradual process with much saliva expended. It seems helpful to think of the person coming into being within me, who won’t need any crumbs and will blaze his own trail through seduction and life in general; and I have to remind myself over and over— and don’t do enough— that the process is the goal, that the gift life is offering me is right here, right now. It seems like something you tell yourself to “make yourself feel better,” but this is a concept that only makes sense to an open heart, and transcends the need to think about it-- it comes as an insight but this doesn't occur until one has surpassed a certain threshhold of reflection on it (maybe three hours total). Thinking leads to emotion, emotion leads to bad emotion, leads to more shit thinking. It's a miserable cycle, and I want this process to speed up so my heart will just remain open! That being said, the process is what focusing on seems to be most helpful, and it does make sense that it should be arduous, since breaking habits, no matter how detrmintal or injurious, always feels "wrong," and is uncomfortable, causing us to immediately reach back to the habit just-broken.
Seven. Getting a tiny bit better at memorization. I guess I will actually close by saying that open-heartedness seems to preclude the need to study anything, but enables me to learn difficult things which otherwise seems impossible. I have struggled so much with memorization that I’ve lasted as many as five months— and then gotten fired from— front of house service industry positions due to failing to memorize the menu. “What are the ingredients of this dish,” I’ll be asked by a patron three months in, and have to respond, “I’m not sure. Let me go check in with the cook.” The cook, meantime, has already begun to wish I had never set foot in his kitchen. Another illustration. When I look up a word in the dictionary because I come across it in something I am reading or in conversation with another person (never my alternate personalities, we all have an identical vocabulary), I wish to remember the definision for the rest of my life. But unless I come across it and look it up several-to-many more times, I won’t remember it. This is where I will pick up the next post, where a seeming learning disability, but something I know to be connected to emotional trauma, comes into play in seduction and elsewhere in my life.