Showing posts from November, 2010

Delusion and the self

If you've been following my efforts to explain delusion then you'll know that
a) it is necessary
b) there's a layer of interpretation between what we think is going on and what is actually going on

Now, here's the next step. The layer of interpretation is hugely complicated because it is doing hugely complicated things, and our whole lives are an investment in the way it operates. Not only this, because it has a model of how it thinks the world should behave it is then able to screen out large amounts of information and work in abstract ways. We can exist entirely inside our heads, like I am doing now, writing this.

This mental construction gives us a sense that we are separate from the world and we feel that there is something real causing the separation - our sense of self.

So, to summarise, because it is physically impossible to process all the information coming to our senses, we need to have something that cuts it down and chops it up for us. This activity of interpret…

There is always pleasure somewhere

This is based on the premise that if you alive then there is always pleasure somewhere in your body. It might not be easy to find and it might be masked by other problems in your experience. For example, my thinking mind has a habit of clamping down and locking on to difficult moments in life (stress) to the extent that nothing else can get a look in. Getting this mind to let go is tremendously arduous and requires a lot of patience, however the process of letting go generally begins with some inkling of pleasure (or freedom) somewhere in the body.

What is this pleasure?

It is the pleasure of being. The breath can find it, perhaps the breath is it. We breathe in, we breathe out, the body likes it, the mind lets go.

Who knows what will happen?

I don't, do you?

Chronic fatigue and mindfulness

Mindfulness is very popular these days (thanks mainly to the work of Jon Kabat Zinn)as a treatment for depression and our relationship to difficult illnesses. Mindfulness is simply paying attention to what is going on. There is everyday mindfulness which is fairly accessible to everyone where we just pay attention to something, and there is a kind of infused meditative mindfulness where what is going on flows through us. The mental quality of awareness is essentially the same in both cases.

How do we know we're being mindful? Just asking, "am I mindful?", automatically creates the correct level of awareness.

So, I use mindfulness quite a lot to relate to my situation and I'll give one example here, although there are many uses for mindfulness. When I'm having a particularly difficult time I like to ask, "where is it now?" This immediately takes me out of mental proliferation about my present difficulty, breaking up thoughts such as 'This is really bad…


Delusion is current in my mind after being somewhat drawn short over the last week. Delusion is defined as a strong belief that is false, fanciful or not real in some way. It sounds like some kind of psychiatric condition except delusion is like gravity - an all pervasive force of nature that affects us all and that we are completely unaware of in our day to day lives.

How does that work?

In the case of gravity, when we stand up we don't think 'gravity is making me work hard, I feel my muscles straining under the demands of gravity', we just stand up and accept the world we live in. With delusion, our brains are designed to interpret and filter vast amounts of information so that we can make sense of the world and act according to our perceived needs. So, immediately there is a disconnect between what is going on in reality and what we think is going on - this is where delusion sets in.

Not all delusion is bad. For example, it is useful to believe that I'm still going to …