|Schizophrenia and Poverty, Crime and Violence|
|For people who have schizophrenia, and don’t get treatment, the result is far too often that they end up homeless or in jail (most often due to minor offenses).
Schizophrenia and Violence
People with schizophrenia are far more likely to harm themselves than be violent toward the public. Violence is not a symptom of schizophrenia.
News and entertainment media tend to link mental illnesses including schizophrenia to criminal violence. Most people with schizophrenia, however, are not violent toward others but are withdrawn and prefer to be left alone. Drug or alcohol abuse raises the risk of violence in people with schizophrenia, particularly if the illness is untreated, but also in people who have no mental illness. When violence does occur, it is most frequently targeted at family members and friends, and more often takes place at home.
The schizophrenic experiences a stunning barrage of continuous, horrifying symptoms: auditory hallucinations, delusions, ideas of reference, paranoia, etc. The “indescribable severe torture” is unrelenting and can go on except during sometimes restless sleep, at whichtime the symptoms are even active when one becomes conscious at all. This experience is so overwhelming it is beyond the imagination. It cannot be conceived of intellectually. By its very nature it in fact necessitates the concept of religion in order to relate to it at all. This continuous experience of psychotic symptoms can be viewed as “spiritual exercises in perfection”. The effect on the schizophrenic is similar to that of monks when practicing their rituals in monasteries. When these spirited exercises become a lifestyle for the schizophrenic (lasting 8-10 years) with no real evidence given to the schizophrenic that he will ever recover, a fascinating thing happens to the psyche of that schizophrenic—he loses the perspective of “ego”. Ego consists of all his identifying factors in the world: his age, sex, race, religious affiliation or lack thereof, education level, social class, political affiliations, nationality, etc. He begins to see his environment with the eyes of a newborn, without the bias or prejudices, preconditions of his particular circumstances. It can be seen as a sort of continuous baptism by fire, a kind of purification, enabling him to see reality for what it is in actuality, rather than being viewed through the preconceptions of his individual mental, emotional, and behavioural repertoire instilled in him from birth. The schizophrenic in this condition is able in his interior to walk around in someone else’s moccasins with perfection. This can be seen as loving your neighbour as you love yourself, perfectly. I do not believe it is a condition that can be acquired by a “normal” individual by any method, because the horror of the symptoms of schizophrenia are unduplicable by man. (Religious persons would call this condition repentance for all one’s sins, e.g. “perfect repentance”.) ~Source
Mindfulness. Mindfulness refers to being completely in touch with and aware of the present moment, as well as taking a non-evaluative and non-judgmental approach to your inner experience. For example, a mindful approach to one’s inner experience is simply viewing “thoughts as thoughts” as opposed to evaluating certain thoughts as positive or negative.
The term comes from Eastern spiritual and religious traditions like Zen Buddhism. However, mental health professionals are beginning to recognize that mindfulness can have many benefits for people suffering from difficulties such as anxiety and depression. Matthew Tull, Ph.d
“The art of living… is neither careless drifting on the one hand nor fearful clinging to the past on the other. It consists in being sensitive to each moment, in regarding it as utterly new and unique, in having the mind open and wholly receptive.”
“Through our eyes, the universe is perceiving itself. Through our ears, the universe is listening to its harmonies. We are the witnesses through which the universe becomes conscious of its glory, of its magnificence.”
“The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves.”
“Life is like music for its own sake. We are living in an eternal now, and when we listen to music we are not listening to the past, we are not listening to the future, we are listening to an expanded present.”
*All quotes by Alan Watts
For years now, we have wanted to pool our time, abilities, and resources with others who are also seeking a higher level of consciousness, and who want to live a life of exploration and learning, but we have not yet found such people. We are beginning to wonder if such people exist, so we put the question Out There (cyberspace) to see what we could see and if there are others who are willing to see and hear. We are always looking for others who are also looking for an existence based on vitality, health, and well-being. We are not so arrogant as to believe that we are the only ones, who else wants such a life? A life devoid of dogma, ideology, dramatization, cognitive annihilation, physiological destruction, etc. We want to meet people that want to grow their own food and build their own homes, who will to severance from the social, bureaucratic treadmill and media-driven shadows on the cave wall. People who want to remain unfulfilled so that they can notice what is new, who are open to imagination, innovation, and creativity; people who love the sound of running water, the wind, and the rain. People who value imagination, new and daring ideas, brave innovations, and wacky creativity; who value anything outside the norm, who are way outside the standard deviation. People who are curious and accept nothing at face value . . . what’s more, people who are not afraid to Be or worry at Being. People who know, understand, and do not want to engage in the false dichotomies, social constructions, and who know what those are and what they mean. People who are not delighted by mass movements, social causes, or political attributions and people who cannot be bought and sold at the marketplace. People without idols or outposts in their heads, who are untainted by the blue light special of the televised media, and without wide-eyed, slack-jawed, pineal maladjustments transacted across the commercial screens. People that know such abstractions as ownership and control are but illusions of the mind. People who want, nay! crave to think, to use their minds and consciousness and experience higher and higher levels of consciousness. People who do not believe or disbelieve, people without jealousy, greed, avarice, malice, willful ignorance, and denial; dammit, people who don’t wear masks. Honestly, you must be out there somewhere!