We know that the brain works by using cumulative pulses of electrochemical signals that get pushed along the axons that connect to the neurons that then connect through other axons to other neurons and that it all works using what is essentially a critical or tipping point of accumulation which causes the synapse to snap closed and send the signal scurrying forward. Billions of these are going all the time and these signals then interface with various other biological entities where they effect chemical potentials and push chemical interfaces back and forth amongst a plethora of other things I know naught of. Now, somewhere in this ebb and flow of signals another set of signals or symbols arise and then somehow these symbols take on their own system of rules and drives and this sets up further systems in an inverted cascade that uses energy to reach the places of the sub-conscious and consciousness itself. So it’s fairly obvious that the push from the purely physical to the purely symbolic is part of this process. We also know that the conscious part of the brain feeds back information and sense into the physical part of the system so we get a self generating loop of information travelling freely between the physical and the symbolic.
So where we would appear to exist is a place a bit above or beyond or beneath or between or amongst the physical part of the brain that gives rise to it, like a kind of virtual chambers, or headquarters with no room. Well, actually I think these headquarters have a few good rooms being virtual rooms, not real rooms. Actually we should call them quarters shouldn’t we? Now these ‘headquarters’ have access to senses that connect them with the outside reality, what we might call the real reality, or the ‘out there’ reality. All of these senses perceptions come through the skin, as in taste and touch, or enter through holes in that skin, sight, smell, and hearing. Language is misleading in this territory in that we talk of looking out, of sniffing out, and of listening out, to give three simple examples, but we don’t listen out, sniff out, or look out. The light comes into the eyes through the holes in the skin. The same happens with hearing, the sound comes in. Smell is the same; the particle of stinky stuff comes in. Indeed all of our senses either come in or come through the interface we call the skin. Whatever way we look at it, it all comes in. To where? Well, we know that all of these perceptions come through the neurons and chemical fields as everything else in the brain does but it does eventually reach the same place where we are. It reaches our virtual headquarters, and when it gets there it has to be in a recognisable form, not only recognisable, but close enough to reality that allows us to survive. The fact is if the mammalian brain expansion did not deal with reality the right way, then we wouldn’t be here to worry about it. Whatever way you think, you can’t think that a real bear is a teddy bear and get away with it for very long, in other words if you don’t have a damned good semblance of reality in your brain you shouldn’t be here, but it’s still just a bloody semblance, a replica in fact, but a very good one for survival one must admit.
You go to some beautiful part of the world, and you take some wonderful photographs with your state of the art camera, but when you look at them, no matter how good you’ve caught the light, how well you’ve composed the shadows, you have not got what you saw, ever. The panoramic view you were admiring was nothing like this photograph you’re now looking at, but the photograph has other features that you do like. So you resize it, you crop it and what do you know, you’ve got a superb photograph that has very little to do with the place it came from, Hell, even your own memory recalculates from the photo. I actually think that some photographers take photos of what’s not there in reality, they take photos of things you can’t see in any other way than through a photograph, but I don’t think they can see it either they just know there is something there, so they take it, trying to capture what cannot be seen by the eye, looking for ghosts in the shadows, shy of the light, hoping to show them a little of what they could be… and that in a way, is how our senses work once they’ve brought what they’ve recorded back in to the darkroom… ah yes but back in the old film days there certainly were ghosts, a veritable danse macabre in fact, in the red lit dark room, negatives hung on the line, deep sunk sink, and photos conjured chemically out of shiny wet paper, you couldn’t move for phantoms back then, now in the digital world, clean and dry and nigh on antiseptic, yet the phantoms still push through…, now, where did that lot come from, a bit of distraction methinks, oh well, now where was I, oh yes, perception…, so the view room, or wherever we sort these things out in our brains. So it has to be as close as a photograph to work or we would not survive, but it also has to be loose enough to allow us to play creatively with it to make it our own.
So now we’re back at headquarters, the windows are clean, and the light comes in, windows are open, and the sound comes in, a breath of air wafts the smells from the kitchen, and you can almost taste what’s still on the hob, as you fluff out the contours of comfort of home. We furnish our headquarters as we will, with our senses perceptions, our gathered experience, our woes and our wishes, our needs and our fears, and that’s our retreat from too much reality, too much confusion, too much bloody noise.
So you retreat from reality by going back home, kind of like getting home from work, but what if your home isn’t right, what if the too much goddamn noise is coming from the next bloody room, and you can’t get it to pipe down. How do you escape the noise when it’s coming from you but you don’t know why or what for and you can’t shut it down? Where do you go when your escape from reality is worse than what you just left? So where do you escape to: reality? Well, in a lot of ways that’s exactly where I’ve been trying to escape to, sometimes forced to escape to, remember the DVLA? I did there what would have cheered up a failed suicide and what did I get; a fit of pique! Also, to actually do what I did there, took some not inconsiderable confidence, I mean, if this had been anxiety, as the GP’s kept insisting, as they plied their pharmaceutical wares, wouldn’t that triple whammy combination of; dealing with an seriously uncomfortable reality, by going to a strange court; having the confidence to mount a defence and; winning the case! Anxiety! Come on, that should have been knocked out of the bloody park that day.
No, this has never been anxiety. Except in this sense perhaps: whatever it is; is itself; anxious. What this thing seems to have done is that by using my body against me, and let’s get this clear, that’s exactly what has been happening, and of the many things it put in place was the ability to affect the respiratory system and to manipulate the tongue and lips to create the symptoms of anxiety. Once it had that in place it set about bringing the actual anxiety about to keep the symptoms going. The trouble is that only worked for a very short time so after that failure it got nasty, really nasty, and that’s where it has been ever since; a nasty, petulant little shit. Now if that’s in some way my ‘lost’ self from thirty years ago it’s been in dark places for too damned long to be allowed out, if in some other way it’s to do with the left side of my brain trying to regain control then it’s the poorest advert in history for assuming the position. There is no question that whatever this thing is it does not like me doing things at all; it’s done everything to debilitate me altogether, both physically and psychologically.
I am taking control back, but bloody hell the grip is so damned tight, and it’s revealing nothing at all about what it actually is, and it’s this not knowing that is the biggest psychological assault of all. The thing is what would this thing want control for anyway? It doesn’t like public things, it doesn’t like me going out, it doesn’t like light methinks. The two times it got in charge, this time, it rendered me unable to go anywhere, and thirty years ago it did everything it could to make sure I lost everything, and it succeeded. I am remembering now just how bad things were thirty years ago, and they were bad. Then if the tipping point idea is correct it doesn’t want me to succeed at anything at all. If this is protection in some twisted way, it is the protection of the grave, because if you put this lot together it grants me nothing, nothing at all. Maybe I briefly entered the realm of the dead thirty years ago, and success is anathema to those who have entered that shadow, but I don’t believe that kind of stuff and even if there was some truth in it, it’s obvious that I never read that script. The strangest thing of all seems to me now is that the more monstrous I begin to realise what afflicts me the more confident I feel of defeating it.
One other thing I feel I must add here. Thirty years ago I was taken over by this monster, it didn’t happen instantly, it took some time, but slowly I became to all around me, someone else. What I experienced back then though was far worse because as I was taken over I did not disappear; I was still there but became increasingly powerless to stop what was happening. It was like I was trapped behind a great pane of glass that was soundproofed and had one of those one-way mirrors. The soundproofing was so I couldn’t be heard, whilst the one-way mirror allowed me to look out but no-one to look in. Actually it was more like a kind of curtain as I recall. So I watched myself become a monster and I couldn’t do anything about it. I’m only just remembering this stuff now, I suspect this has been locked away ever since then; for the memories are as if imposed on me, they were given to me, but they are not really mine. Maybe, at last I’m figuring out what this is about, a kind of guilt perhaps that’s been imposed but isn’t actually mine. Maybe I called this bastard back, to sort things out, maybe I shouldn’t have called this ghost back, but if I did, I did, and having done so I have to deal with it. Ah yes, but there I go again, doing everything to take responsibility for what I still suspect was my fault, but really wasn’t at all. There’s one thing I can tell you about this twat, assuming this is the same one. It did, does, not like anyone. This is one demon of the dark I could do without. Trouble is I don’t believe in demons but I want to know this one’s name. The real scary thing is it could be my own, but then again that wouldn’t necessarily make it mine.
I’d like to retreat back into headquarters and deal with some things that I’d like to deal with but I don’t like being forced to deal with whatever nasty thing this interloping twat has got in line for me, now if that’s depression I’m not sane, because to me that’s just pure resentment of this interloping twats interference with my life. Equanimity, by all accounts, is the answer though. So, I’ll follow my light and calmly thread my fine line of equanimity through the noise and the tumult and the calls of the witches and warlocks and demons and angels, none of which I believe in, so it should be relatively easy to ignore them. Forward with equanimity!
Left right, left right, left right, left right, left right, left right, left right, left right, left right, left right, left right, left right, left right, left right, left right, left right, left right, left right, left right, left right, left right, left right, left right, left right, left right, left right, left right, left right, left right, left right, halt… left right. Halt!