Month: January 2023

Howling Blog 2

Where it came from

I’m working on a hypothesis that only recently occurred to me: that the actual howling itself has come from a very early experience, of which I’ll spare you the details but had me screaming the place down for my first four weeks. It got sorted out in the end and of course I don’t remember a thing about it, but there are enough details in the tale for me to believe it’s true. 

I don’t know why it’s taken me this long to realise just how traumatic that would have been, but if it’s always there in the background as a part of the self-organising pattern it’s bound to distort whatever’s in the here and now.

So I’m working with a narrative that the original howling morphed soon enough into the ocean of sadness that has never been far away throughout my life, even when everything else has been hunky-dory enough, but has resurfaced with the grief response from Brexit. Grief for an abstraction is easy enough to dismiss, but no less heartfelt as so many of the old certainties are suddenly stripped away.

So it’s worth going with the narrative that Brexit (and the concomitant ‘get over it, that’s democracy’) was not the cause of the howling but it did, as it were, reach down into the depths and poke that trauma back into life. 

No need for blame

What’s also promising about this narrative is that with the ontology I’ve picked up from Jeremy Lent, I don’t need to blame anyone for it.

So what’s been happening is that that emotional load, which comes from so far back that my cortex wouldn’t have been doing much so there was no cognition involved, has been the engine for the weepies all along. 

Immediately there’s quite a profound liberation – all the hurtful memories that bring back the weepies had less to do with what people said or did, and a lot more to do with this load I didn’t know I was carrying.

They key is finally outside the box.

So, what to do with it?

I’ll put the Indigenous wisdom on hold for the moment. Next stop: a book on the neurobiology of trauma:

Bessel van der Kolk. The Body Keeps the Score: Mind, Brain and Body in the Transformation of Trauma (Penguin Books 2014)

Current State

The howling comes from my first month of life

This explains why my emotional responses have been inappropriately intense, from kindergarten to the present day

And with Jeremy Lent’s ontology it takes all the blame away 

I now have to work on the brain habits accumulated over seven decades

I think I’ll rename this the Healing Blog now

Watch this space.

Howling Blog

Time for a sabbatical

Sabbatical from what? you may ask. You don’t do anything, you just potter about at home.

Well, I’ve decided to take a couple of months off from any social contact (with a few kind exceptions), because things have got so bad that I can’t last a few minutes without causing offence. Pushing 70, I really do need to get this ‘mental health issue’ sorted out as a matter of urgency.

And I’m not even going to try looking for professional help, having been bruised by several expensive encounters over the years. I have to do this myself, with the wonderful support from my family and the aforementioned few kind exceptions.

So here goes.

We all have to find a narrative that both fits the ‘facts’ and is emotionally acceptable. I was worried that my impairment – my own version of what has been called Asperger syndrome – is a spiritual disability. I’d had enough clues to that effect from all the spiritual groups and organisations I’d tried to join over the decades. It mattered to me, but I was beginning to come to terms with it and Poor in Spirit was a step in that journey.

But I’d finally found a sense of belonging in the woodturning club – nothing faith-based there at all, unless you’re a passionate advocate of a particular brand of glue and even then no-one’s going to get hurt. 

But then Brexit happened and I found myself after all in a faith-based group of people to whom I was irrevocably an outsider. So the old ground-state of dissolving into a weepy puddle evolved into a howling inside, which was starting to spill over in all kinds of encounters on a hair-trigger.

So, crashing out of the club was a serious wake-up call, and I’m calling this my Howling Blog. 

Breaking the logjam

Despite the taunting over the years about my ‘busy little brain’, I still revert to thinking because it’s what I do.

Along the way I discovered a book via Amazon’s helpful recommendations and, for me personally, it has finally broken the logjam of the ‘key inside the box’. It honours the achievements of Western science and technology, while at the same time pointing to the fatal flaw in their philosophical underpinnings. At last there’s a way to bring the holistic worldviews of ancient Chinese traditions and Indigenous peoples into a coherent synthesis with the achievements of Western reductionism. No babies have to be thrown out with the bathwater after all! 

The book is: Jeremy Lent, The Web of Meaning: Integrating Science and Traditional Wisdom to Find Our place in the Universe (Profile Books, 2021)

Current state

I am not a good-or-evil entity, an immortal soul under the cosh. 

I am a pattern that perpetuates itself on a ’strange attractor’.

I know it pretty well by now. And I need to steer it into something kinder.

And I can do it by thinking.

I’ll keep you posted.