The F Word

Needless to say, the course I mentioned previously was the very last one I did, of its ilk. Trying to get arrogant insecure people to talk of Feelings, even a little tiny bit, can lead to a metaphorical crucifixion. Of course, it isn’t that bad, but when the T-type attack dogs are on the loose what is an F-type to do? Walk away and thereafter be disinclined. I got that T-shirt.

So very many are shit-scared about speaking of Feelings. They are caught in unidimensional brain-land. Where all their self-esteem is invested in their cleverness, which may in any case not be as extensive as they imagine. It is very simple, ask someone to open-up even a smidgeon and they attack, criticise, slag off and try to avoid it like the plague. Feelings are not Ebola, strange as that may seem to some.

We INFJ types are pretty rare and often we get bullied and persecuted. Many hide their talents under a bushel because we have learned long and hard. We may sense things about people which they seek to hide, and should we be stupid enough to open our mouths; BANG, we get it both barrels, the T-type attack dogs are let loose. This faculty, this skill set, remains largely unused.

A part of the cause of me being where I am today can be directly traced to this unwillingness to speak about Feelings in other people. This bottling up, leads to pressure and illness.

I’ll suggest something now, see what you think. One of the best ways of overcoming insecurity is through cultivating vulnerability. Sounds scary perhaps? But insecurity never goes away through pretending to be invulnerable, one is always on the attack, always defensive. It must be really unpleasant to live like that, always edgy, a kind of shell.

To be a spiritual warrior, one must have a broken heart; without a broken heart and the sense of tenderness and vulnerability, your warriorship is untrustworthy.

Chögyam Trungpa

What’s the Sketch?

I have been trying to sense what the Dao is suggesting to me. It might be saying to simply stop trying anything. Now a part of the problem is that if I do or try anything, people will then ask around; “what’s the sketch with this guy?” This causes some consternation, insofar as I can feel. I have no proof that this is what is happening, but this is what my INFJ antennae say. Nobody asks me what the sketch is, they ask others. Bearing in mind that few people have had anything much to do with me for over a decade, I doubt that any actually have much of an idea. Unless you share time with someone you really can’t say anything meaningful about them and currency of experience is more reliable than some stuff from way back.

The only way to stop this happening is to not set it in motion.

When I was back in pastoral care, the very first thing you do if you want to find out what is going on for / with someone is ask them. It is very unusual to ask the milkman or some bloke down the pub.

I am guessing that the sketch shared is not the sort of sketch that encourages asking me. It is all a bit sketchy. There is no chance of a casual encounter whereby someone “accidentally” bumps into me. If people wanted to know they would actually have to make an effort to ask. Or they could try to rely on what I am writing here, which is pretty fluid.

I don’t know what the sketch is elsewhere, but I feel this “what’s the sketch with this guy?” theme.


Ghosts and Other Intangibles

I am going to change tack now and this is prompted by the events of yesterday and a dream I had last night. Yesterday was an example of synchronicity, I was writing on the blog about buttering up and then went into town, lo and behold someone tried to butter me up. One cannot prove a causal link, but I am providing some anecdotal evidence, albeit sketchy, for synchronicity. This is an intangible and not really suitable for quantitative measurement. In my position I do not need to preserve scientific credibility any longer, because whatever I say here will not harm my job prospects any more. So why not?

I have long been interested in the workings of mind. If one uses MBTI, then I am an INFJ. Which means that introverted intuition is big in me. In fact, I scored top of the scale for this. Incidentally, despite the rarity of this type, the wife has been banging into an unrepresentative number of these INFJ weirdos of late. Statistically INFJs are the rarest of all types. When does introverted intuition become psychic, clairvoyant, savant, seer or hallucinatory? It is a moot point.

I have done a lot of meditation and a while back I bought myself a frontal lobe EEG, which measured electroencephalograms by using a fast Fourier transform (FFT) algorithm. Before I started using it, I wanted to understand its signal to noise characteristics. I took it apart, inspected the circuitry and downloaded the patent from Espacenet. I know a fair bit about instrument design and a bit about FFT. Happy that I understood the instrument I began experimenting, recording video and EEG data simultaneously. Like a mad scientist I tested it out on family and friends. The samples were not large, but sufficient to give indications. I kept lab books. What I found is that I can pretty much flat-line an EEG. There is only residual very low frequency and amplitude signal. The same “signature” is achieved doing Toltec dreaming practice and mantra induced Raja yoga states. Though the path to these states is different. I have very low wakeful EEG activity consistent with a reduced chitta and this is low compared to some others allegedly skilled in meditation. This machine works via the electromagnetic force and is therefore suited to only those things in which there is a change in this force for whatever reason. It says absolutely nothing about the quality of state attained. It measures a tangible, but that tangible does not speak in depth about an intangible. I can turn alpha and beta states on and off pretty much at will which suggests, though does not prove, that I have some control over my mind.

I’ll make a statement here and it goes something like this; it is from the intangibles in life that the quality of living stems, the je ne sais quoi is what gives life meaning and depth, they make life more exciting than scheduled and acquisitional living. If one is bold one could say that feelings change life from monochrome into HD. These intangible and unmeasurable things are the true richness of life. Overly rational mind is a bit barren.

Now in many there is a disconnect. The rational, evidence based scientist, does not often believe in ghosts and ghouls and things that go bump in the night. To admit such is to face ridicule. But put such a being in an old creaky house at night, alone, and the surety of their position may falter. They say one thing but when the hackles on the back of the neck rise, they are unconvinced by their rationalisation. They profess and opine one thing, but…

Traditionally ghosts are seen as remnants of beings once alive. There are a lot of paranormal programmes on TV which speak of demons and demonic portals from other dimensions. In some of these people use instruments. I’ll hazard a guess that these demon hunters don’t understand their instruments all that well. This subject sells, it sells movies and books, there is a fascination.

It would be interesting do a poll to find out what proportion of the population have seen a ghost or something supernatural. I personally have been aware of dead people on a number of occasions. My experiences do not match any movie portrayal.

There are other kinds of ghost of a more metaphorical nature. These are the ghosts of the living, of the missing and of unrealised potential. I am going to term these intangibles karmic ghosts (vide infra). These ghosts also haunt us.

It is in this intangible, the mystery beyond solution and past a solid evidential base where life gets interesting. Rarely is it spoken of, maybe after a few glasses of wine around an open fire, it is mentioned tentatively as a test. If the ground is fertile, people open up a little more.

I have now cued up the intangible, ghosts and karmic ghosts. If I can verbalise it, I’ll return to the latter first.