Tag Archive: Bible


Psalm 91

91 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.

He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;

Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.

Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;

10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

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https://www.gotquestions.org/Proverbs-26-4-5.html

I found the article above on these verses and I suppose it is fairly typical of the answers that would be given.  When I was at Bible college Elmer Darnall said the best way to approach answering a problem or question is to preface your answer with ‘it seems to me’, I suppose so as not to be dogmatic and unreasonable.  I try to follow that.  When I say ‘it seems to me’ I am doing the exact opposite of assuming a position of authority.

I’ve had an awful day today, though, and I was lying upset and terrified in bed.  Terrified of the prospect of possible further torture, as the UN calls forced psychiatry, at the hands of the mental health services, terrified of the way people in my community, including professionals, are treating me, many of them knowing I have a mental health diagnosis they can call on at any time, knowing that I fear that.  That is torture in itself.  I feel as if people are trying to brainwash me and I find my thinking in crisis.

I think people apply these verses as and when they see fit, for the most part, and that there is no fixed agreement on when to use one or the other.  Play it by ear and intuition, I really think must be the way it is done.  But tonight I thought the ‘it seems to me’ approach really needs to be backed up by a good body of wisdom and understanding – but again, whose wisdom?  I was wondering about the wisdom at the time and in the tradition it was written, that might be the first port of call.  But it seems to me that the original wisdom is not automatically the best wisdom for all time, though it must be interesting at least.

I was thinking about terrorism and suicide bombing and stuff and I thought of these verses and thought I had been a fool thinking I was being wise.  That answering a fool according to his folly in a situation like that might mean opposing and frustrating and arresting and even, in some people’s opinion, imposing the death penalty.  And if someone in the street has a gun then the police should shoot to kill, it must mean.  That’s what I was thinking.

Then I thought about things I have heard about Gandhi and his policy of passive resistance and I thought it couldn’t be that simple.  But how do you use passive resistance when dealing with suicide bombings and all that?  Maybe I have an incomplete understanding of Gandhi’s position.  And OK, back to me, do people like me need to have our computers hacked and lives stalked and harassed so we learn to think right, responsibly and wisely?  I’ve been thinking all this hacking, it’s like the wild west with computers instead of guns.  I believe at least one of my neighbours is hacking my computer because I believe I have heard many instances of reaction to what I have been writing or reading.  This stuff that I and the UN call torture, is it necessary to bring people to their right minds?  Am I being alternately answered and not answered according to my folly?  Not answered by being ignored, answered by being subjected to all the stuff I’ve just talked about?  If I am as wrong as some people seem to want to make out, have I lost my right to be taken seriously and treated equitably?

I wrote to the police on 18th August, following the Barcelona bombing.  I’m still waiting for a reply.  I put in a complaint to the IPCC a day or two ago about the fact they haven’t contacted me yet.  People who have read some of my recent posts will understand why I might have done this and I’m not going into all that again, I couldn’t cope.

People approach me surreptitiously and skirt around stuff.  Last Saturday I was in town and a community officer was walking towards me with what felt to me like an assumed nonchalance and I thought, ‘Oh yes?  Let’s see where this is going’.  I felt his attention towards me, even though he seemed to be trying not to appear to be addressing himself to me.  As he got near where I was standing at the bus stop he drew up close and touched his radio then touched his ear, like a coded action.  I just stood there, I didn’t react, just took it in, and when he got past me he cleared his throat, it seemed to me in annoyance or frustration.  So I, without doing it in his face, went, ‘ahem to you, too’.  He didn’t look round.  The bus came almost immediately and as it turned the corner I saw him standing making notes.

Is this normal procedure in a case like mine?  No direct approach, just signals you’re expected to follow or be broken by the ‘consequences’ of not doing?

Later I was in Tesco’s.  A couple of men were behind me on the escalator and I felt they were after my attention.  When I started trying to disengage myself from hearing them one of them said something about a ‘big fashion thing’ in a way that sounded to me like a ‘big fat thing’, and he quickly followed it up by making a strong reference to his wife Sue.  At the bottom of the escalator I said, ‘oh yes, very interesting, who are you, then?’, and they looked sheepish and embarrassed and sidled off.  This sort of thing has happened to me before.  I said a while ago that when I was staying in a hotel I was out in the street one day and decided to stop walking, feeling driven, and just stand still, and after a couple of seconds a man I didn’t know drew up to me and without looking at me or stopping said, ‘hi, Sue’, then carried on walking without looking back.  I think I recognise it when it is happening.  If these people were police, was I wrong not to try and co-operate?

Something else, too.  This thing some people seem to have about telling stories instead of making reasoned and reasonable approaches.  It seems to me that if you think you need to tell a story to reach a person or know them, you are setting yourself up as some sort of authority whose terms are more important than the person you are using the story on.  The story says, ‘it’s like this’, or the story teller tries to say that with the story, whereas the hearer might not agree, and it seems to me it is quite patronising to ‘try to get through’ to a person that way instead of dealing with actualities and entering into a communication based on equality and clarity.  What happens of the person you want to see the point of your story interprets it completely differently and wishes you would just be up front because you are confusing them and making them feel guilty for ‘not getting it’ or not being prepared to get it?  Does that mean the person has a bad heart?  Maybe the story teller has a bad heart, if they won’t communicate accountably.  A story teller examines the hearer, as much as anything else.  That seems to me to be an arrogant and/or fear based position to take.  Not quite ready to deal with things, not willing to be challenged and questioned.

Man, I need to sleep.  Shouldn’t they make a formal and explicit approach?  Or is it different when dealing with something like I’ve been talking about?  It makes ME feel foolish and that I am making myself vulnerable to mental health interventions by being explicit when no one is making a response to anything I have said in a way that I have been prepared to recognise and validate.

Psalm 121 – Safety and Security

Psalm 121 King James Version (KJV)

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.

My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.

He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.

Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.

The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.

The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.

The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

 

I had been thinking today about verse 8 of this Psalm when I saw a post by Ram Dass on Facebook which finished with a mantra that expresses the same sort of idea, I thought, so I decided I would post the whole Psalm.

Although I was thinking of verse 8, when I read the whole Psalm I felt I had to consider it in light of recent events especially, but many more before now, and decided that the key must be the last half of verse 7: ‘he shall preserve thy soul.’

have heard it said that when the Bible talks about the soul it means the whole person.  Unless the writer was indulging a flight of fancy I think it has to be assumed that in this case it is talking about the soul only, the Breath of God within the body (according to Genesis God breathed uniquely into man at creation and he thus became a living soul – Genesis 2:7, what I have been taught is the ‘fleshed out’ account and not a different story as some people assert.  I’m not sure where the story of Lilith comes from either, it isn’t in the Bible.).  God, Who Is Love, protects the soul that loves both Him and others and, as I assume must be part of that equation, is loved by others.  It certainly seems to be my experience that as long as I believe someone loves me I find refuge in that.  As my English lecturer, who was a Buddhist and also a psychotherapist, said to me once, ‘Love is your protection’.

There have never been any guarantees for the preservation of the body, and if anyone thinks there have, they must also think they have been broken, even within covenant communities to which they were given.  I can’t remember about the Old Testament, but the New Testament, especially in Thessalonians, talks about the resurrection of the body after death.  That is the only context I can think of for the word ‘soul’ in this Psalm meaning the whole person including the body.  I think that is the theological understanding, though I know people have many arguments and reservations outside of that.  My own sometimes, is ‘if God is love and perfection, where did even the possibility of evil in His creation come from?’.  I can find that question quite disabling in talking about God.  In Isaiah it says ‘I, the Lord, create both good and evil’.  Would any of the people who answer my posts anonymously through the media, Christian and secular, like to get into relativity with me?

For me, that question mark is not just the either/or that I have been taught, it is also questioning the either/or itself.

Pentecostal/Charismatic Christianity is Soooo arrogant and elitist, or at least it appears so to me in presenting such a false dichotomy.  Why?  Why take such an entrenched position?  Please. . . . It’s not even Biblical.  There is at least one verse of the Bible, that I know, that has been completely ignored in this position, or maybe it has just been ‘better’ translated?  I don’t know.  The verse I know is James 1:27 “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”.  Having just looked it up I see the word is used twice in the preceding verse as well.

OK, I’m just thinking now.  I know where I want to go but I’m not sure how I’m going to get there.

Martin Luther called the Book of James ‘straw’.  I don’t know why he was personally motivated to do that.  We have different historical accounts and opinions from many sides, I am sure, none of which I have examined, because I think I wouldn’t be any the wiser for doing so.  The multiplicity of Christian denominations and their (I suppose) sincere disagreements, and all the internal disagreements . . . . what are people really united in?  In the end, the delegated power of the chosen wins, at least in their own circles.  Maybe that is too pessimistic of me.

OK.  According to the AV translation of James, Christianity IS a religion.  This asserted dichotomy – mistaken, I want to believe – is really contemptuous and alienating and belittling to beautiful, loving and sincere people who seek – and find – truth in other religions.  We were told that the Devil (in other religions) takes a little bit of truth and mixes it in with a lot of error, to lead people astray.  Excuse me – does anyone know he also does this in Christianity?  In every human heart?  Love covers.  Grace covers.  Any true seeker?  Anyone who knows that he doesn’t know, but wants to know and be.  Jesus can be, and is, found, in measure, anywhere people want to know Him.  Even in Christianity.

For me this is all theory and it feels right and good, but I feel as if it isn’t working in my life right now, and the Christian onlookers I know would definitely say it isn’t.  So maybe I’m wrong.  I want to be.  I want to go back to pure and simple Christianity.  My heart has needs that argument and positions can’t deal with.

I’m not a good writer, I never save drafts.  I never – hardly ever – ‘kill my darlings’.  I write then publish, for all sorts of reasons.  Maybe I shouldn’t, if anyone wants to give their opinion on that I’ll be more than happy to think about it and maybe even discuss it, if I feel up to it.

Thanks for reading.  All feedback through this blog or on Facebook welcome.  Twitter doesn’t allow sufficient characters, it gets incredibly frustrating! 🙂

This is an edited version of something I first published on 23rd June 2010.  I’m calling out names and saying what happened, since one of those names came up for me early this morning in an email log I am writing to myself for future official use, hopefully.  In the meantime, when I add to that log people in the media use what I have added, or make their programmes unavailable (all this I have noticed at other times I have written).  When this post was first published I was a committed vegan and a convinced pacifist.  I look back on who I was then with admiration and at least a little regret that I am no longer the same person.

At least, that is what I have been taught.  I have been taught that the Bible is the sword of the Spirit.  Having been taught that, and having believed it for so many years, it is the book I feel most relaxed with, and that helps to bring some peace into my world.  If I don’t read it, my focus goes all over the place.  As a vegan and a pacifist, though, I have problems with some of its content that I used not to have.  And I can’t think of a safer person to be around, or someone more representative of Jesus’ teaching (and I want to be known as both of those things) than someone who will not kill for either appetite or personal, or even national, security.  If I will deliberately do harm for ANY reason, I might do harm for ANY reason.  And I won’t.  I want people to know that about me, and to know it is OK for them to be the same.  I am an aggressive non-killer (aggressive and violent are not the same).  I am frightened of the blindness of people who are not, and particularly of the ways they might express that towards me, feeling as vulnerable as I do.

I’m hearing a big suggestion, at the moment, that a decision has been made to attempt to home medicate me, since I haven’t been dealing well with things round here.  The suggestion is definitely there and deliberate, and is either true or a lie.  If I stick around long enough I will find out, if they don’t just back off.  Either way, no formal approach has been made to me to try and help in any other way.  I find it abusive at a cellular level.  (Hmm, cells.  That, with all the yelling and other weirdness, isn’t part of Colin’s code to break me down, is it?  It’s only just occurred to me.  I’m sure he wouldn’t like me saying it, but I read a book of his called ‘Prayer Explosion’ where he talked about praying in code.  He used the IRA bombings as an example, saying at one level he was praying about the bombings, and at another, not openly acknowledged but deliberate, level, he was praying about a problem in the church.  I stayed home one Christmas Day and read the book.  I felt racked.  I kept bursting into tears.  I thought it was a good experience.  I was happy to be doing it, I thought it was a worthwhile way to spend Christmas Day since I couldn’t or wouldn’t get my head around making myself vulnerable enough with the people I wanted to be with to try and break my isolation.  I spent other Christmas Days the same way, sometimes.  I loved the time with God (as I saw it, and am sure it sometimes was), but it never made much difference to what was going on.

What I said about reading the Bible, I said it because I just did, and it settled my mind.  But while I was thinking afterwards it occurred to me that, in Pentecostalism, which has been a huge part of my background since about 12-13, I often heard that I should read and carry my Bible, because it is my sword.  But it ISN’T my sword.  It isn’t MY sword.  It is the sword of the SPIRIT.  I think there is a problem with seeing it as MY sword, because that means, often, I will wield it in relationships.  If I see it as the sword of the Spirit, its first and maybe its only place of operation, as far as I am concerned, should be in my own life.

The image comes from Ephesians 6, where Paul writes that we should be equipped with the whole armour of God.  The whole passage is metaphorical, so there is no reason for believing that to take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, means to walk around literally with a book called the Bible in your literal hand.  Revelation 1:16 says that the person who appeared to John had a two-edged sword coming out of his mouth.  I was going to say ‘Jesus’, not ‘the person’, because that is the way I have been taught it.   But I looked it up on www.biblegateway.com and the first version which came up was the NIV which says, in verse 13, that it was one who looked like ‘a son of man’, not ‘the Son of Man’.  The Son of Man is a phrase from Ezekiel which Jesus applied to Himself, but it is my impression that, originally, it wasn’t referring to Jesus, even prophetically.   In Ezekiel it was the way God addressed Ezekiel.   But Jesus used it for Himself.  I like this, and its apparent ambiguity in Revelation in the NIV.  I can’t comment on the accuracy of the translation.  From what I learned at Bible College about the original language form (or was that only Hebrew and not Greek?  I can’t remember, and this isn’t a scholarly piece or meant to be, so I’m not going to look it up, but if I do later I might edit this) it’s as good a translation as any other and holding both this and other translations opens up possibilities if you don’t insist on putting them in opposition.

Who IS this son of man?  Just because it says in Revelation things we normally associate with Jesus, the NIV doesn’t make it clear, in the immediate passage, that it IS Jesus, so maybe it should be seen as having a wider application on a metaphorical and spiritual level than just to the person of Jesus.  What does it mean to be a Christian?  What does it mean to be full of the Spirit, to have the Spirit of Christ?  To be baptised in the Spirit?  It isn’t just a mind thing.  The Holy Spirit is in us and all around us.  He is the connecting force.  If we are ‘baptised’, we are soaked through.  Impregnated with the character of the baptising agent.  That is what we are and what we always are.  The Spirit of Christ is the human spirit as much as it is God’s Spirit.  They are inseparable and interchangeable, even in the Bible.  Bruce picked up on this 2 weeks ago at the 5pm service, or the 7pm service, when I wrote my open letter to Colin Dye (I published it as a separate blog, because I thought it might get wiped).  It was the week they had the visiting speaker at the 2.30 service, someone Rogers.  It took me a long time to write that entry, and already at the 2.30 service they were showing signs of having seen it, even though I hadn’t published it at that point.  I hesitated over using the word ‘spirit’ and whether or not to capitalise it, and Bruce ran with it.   I hadn’t published it at that point, or if I had, I hadn’t told them or given them a copy.  And I haven’t given them the blog address either.  I only sent a copy to Colin and Gabriel, and they had just left for a conference before I even sent it.

(Please note, I am not teaching, I’m just writing a blog entry.  My impression is my impression now, without re-reading.  You would have to read it yourself to form your own impression.  I’m just thinking onto the keyboard, trying to find a better shape for my motivational beliefs than the one I have carried for so long.  So I refuse to be held to account by anyone else’s assertion [usually covertly made, just like the threats and vitriol.  Or is that a misinterpretation of intent?  If you weren’t creating a context for me to interpret it in it wouldn’t even be an issue] that I am putting out a false teaching.  It is just food for your own thought and research.  This is a blog, not a teaching platform, which for so many years I have said I do not want, because I believe it goes against Jesus’ teaching.  But maybe that too is my misunderstanding.  Jesus stood up and taught (or did He?  Didn’t He normally sit DOWN to teach?), and although He told His disciples not to be called teacher, he did tell them to teach.  But what is teaching?  My question is not ‘is it ONLY standing on a platform’, but ‘is it standing on a platform AT ALL?’.  If we shouldn’t be called ‘teacher’, how can a situation arise where someone IS called a teacher that we ‘should’ listen to?  Listen to?  Talking and listening are not the only things required for learning.  Jesus said teach them TO DO everything I have commanded you, and forcing an earbashing on someone isn’t the way learning takes place for a child, so why should it become so for adults?  Head knowledge isn’t training, and telling people who have sat at desks and completed written assignments that they ‘are trained’, and saying their practice should conform to that ‘training’, leads to pride and elitism if a person is given authority on that basis.  (I know what I mean!)  In my opinion, all teaching and learning should be organic, hands on and relational.  THAT would do away with the professional classes, wouldn’t it?  It would also do away with state control  (I can’t write anything at the moment without doubting it, and I doubt that already.  Also it is not a commitment to a belief or an ideal, just a conclusion that I am coming to, rightly or wrongly, in my own head in this blog entry).

My reservation is over things like medicine, and the fact that I know that will be one of other people’s main reservations.  Am I thankful for modern medicine?  I don’t know.  I am as dependent on it as other people, at least when it comes to taking paracetamol for a headache or to deal quickly with cramp, which is more likely, but that doesn’t mean I am or should be thankful.  If I had a better lifestyle, I wouldn’t need the medicine.  And I believe in God, specifically I believe in Jesus, and I have already experienced healing through prayer myself, so I know He heals.  I mean physically.  I know He heals in other ways than physically as well.  One day, when I was 19 and still in Nottingham, I was at home reading the Bible and God said to me ‘I am the only psychiatrist you will ever need’.  I have never ceased to believe that.  It was a ‘holy place’ moment.  I knew it was true.

I read a book once called ‘Roots and Shoots’.  It talked about the root determining the fruit, and it was about psychiatry and other therapies.  For Christians, the roots of psychiatry are bad because its agenda was explicitly to eradicate religious belief and ‘superstition’.  So any manifestation of those things is at best marginalised, in the psychiatric model, and at worst costs people their freedom and a right to protect the inviolate state of their own bodies.  I suppose I mentioned psychiatry because it was in a mental hospital where I got into the argument about the roots of modern medical practice having come from robbing graves when research on bodies was illegal.  It BEGAN with illegality and a lack of respect for the person research was being carried out on, and for their relatives.  It hasn’t changed very much.  MANY people say they feel as if they are treated like meat, but the media doesn’t give many of them airtime (unless something undeniably awful comes to light, then they will bandwagon with it, how can they not and save face?) and the politicians vilify their own who say so.  WHY?  Why would they do that?  What could be the motive?  Who is it that they do not want, ordinarily, to benefit from otherwise acceptable people saying such ‘awful’ things?  Could it be the people they call mentally ill?  Maybe their thinking hasn’t gone that far, I hope it hasn’t.  But if hospital staff are rude and treat people as an inconvenience and a nuisance, why is a politician , OF ALL PEOPLE, slammed for saying so?  That was my experience as well.  The nurses would have loads of time to hold rowdy discussions in their office, and very little for the patients.  There was even a photograph in the ward showcase of a drinking party with one of the nurses totally out of her face, and they were expressing concerns about MY (non-existent) alcohol problem!  I, particularly, did not want to see one of my nurses in that state, not even in a photograph.  It was up there, on a psychiatric ward, supposedly portraying ‘normal social behaviour’ among staff in their time off.  Proactive they were not, except for making sure people got up, washed (sometimes), ate and were medicated.  They bullied you so much, or allowed bullying without comment, during the day and at medication times, you knew that if you didn’t queue you would be in trouble.  If you refused your medication they threatened you, even though they knew as well as you did if you had managed to get hold of the information in spite of that stance, that you had a right to refuse and to wait to see the psychiatrist to have it reviewed.  I refused one night and they threatened me with an injection, and when I said that I had a right to refuse and that the right thing to do was to refer me back to the psychiatrist, they still insisted verbally and said it wasn’t true, and I spent the whole night in fear that they were going to burst into the room.  I remember I was really upset that night by the way they handled it, they really made a barney of it, as they so often did about things.  They never retracted their insistence, but also they didn’t force the medication.  But it was like a cold war, and it was a constant state of existence.  And then they would come on friendly and expect you to be as well.  Or in conversation they would sternly say that you had refused your medication, even while, until you saw the psychiatrist, they weren’t forcing you.  But you were never in peace.  They had to maintain power.  They wouldn’t even acknowledge your right to exercise that right and be treated like someone worthy of respect for doing so.  When asked for time they were always busy.  Maybe people wouldn’t have had to ask if they had spent time developing a relationship with patients anyway.  Most of the time they didn’t.  Even if they were in the same room, ‘observing’, they would normally be reading a newspaper.  Most of the time the system was so abusive, even if not everyone in it was, and you knew nothing would change even if you spoke to someone who seemed to be reasonable, it was quite rightly beneath the dignity of most people in there with a modicum of self-respect to go cap in hand asking for time.  Even if you did it often didn’t happen.  I remember I was buttonholed to sit down with my nurse and work out a care approach for myself on the ward.  That was the end of the care plan.  All the time I was there it was never implemented, at least not insofar as a written commitment from the staff to spend time talking was concerned.  You were told you could approach your named nurse, but if you did you were always told they were busy, and promises to get back to you rarely materialised.  If someone became insistent, they got the door shut in their face, or worse.  It happened to me and others.  And often, if an incident arose, the nursing staff withdrew and wouldn’t participate, and no debriefing was offered, no process of resolution, and it would be handed over to the next shift, and they also wouldn’t mention it, and if you tried to bring it up with them they were reluctant to talk about it, and instead of offering any kind of counselling or discussion which ended up in them giving ground or acknowledging that ground might need to be given, you felt either told off and disapproved of, or dismissed. Even with senior nursing staff.  The whole attitude to care was ‘you will do this or we can (normally expressed as ‘we will’) make you’.   A choice appeared to be being given, but really there was no choice.  That is bullying.  It’s the approach that was used almost invariably and routinely with me.  Even if I managed to voice my rights so they backed off, as happened with one man, he continued to bully me so much, even in the act of backing off, I ended up sobbing on a chair, unattended and ignored, for half an hour or more.  He wanted to give me extra medication for some reason, I can’t remember why, and in the end I was begging him not to force it on me, and he grabbed my hands hard and twisted them.  He was the same person who, when I first went in and decided to handle myself as their equal and not as someone in need of medical care, and to make requests as their equal (it was for a pen and paper or a phone to phone a solicitor, or something) he said ‘who does she think she is, the queen?’  I put in a complaint, and he denied it.  I believe the other staff would have backed him up in that denial if I had tried to pursue it any further.  But I was devastated.  I believed I was acting with appropriate self-respect and was trying to show my presence of mind in the only way I had available, and he mocked me for it.  And that made me angry, and he didn’t care, he just acted as if I wasn’t there.  I was saved from the second incident, the crying incident, by a fellow patient who gave me half a banana and talked to me, otherwise I couldn’t have stopped.  Another time a girl decided to throw some old newspapers away.  A male nurse asked her why she was throwing them away, and she said they were old, and he said ‘who told you you could throw them away?’  Her answer was right.  With full dignity she said ‘God’.  She wasn’t being strange or anything, just getting rid of some old newspapers that were cluttering the day room.  And I don’t think she was being sarcastic either, she was a religious person according to her own Asian tradition.  I can’t make you feel this as I felt it, but he came straight back at her (I can’t describe his attitude, except that it wasn’t professional) and he said ‘where’s God?  He’s not in here.’  It was also not a genuine, open question inviting conversation, and none followed.  I felt awful, partly because my own first admission involved a nurse asking me ‘what was happening?’ and when I smiled and said, ‘something to do with heaven, I think’, she dismissed it, saying I was very much on the earth.  Then someone behind me who sounded like Colin Dye (I wrote and asked him, but he never replied) said ‘hmm’, in agreement.  I was on my back on the floor, Toronto style.  I felt hurt, and because I thought it was Colin, still with my eyes closed, I tipped my head back with my throat exposed, and I was thinking ‘I love you’.  At which point the person, whoever it was, was obviously crying and got up and left the room.  He was sniffing back the tears.  I wrote and asked Colin, and I think I might have told him this, but he didn’t answer me, whether I told him everything or not.  This is while I was suspected of a sexual offense on an 8-10 year old boy, a suspicion I didn’t know existed and which took me years to work out, piecing things together.  I have since heard a piece of audio which confirms the existence and origin of the accusation, even down to the use of the mother’s name, my name, and the place where it was supposed to have happened.  And I think the person involved tried to code it to me in the audio that they were sorry, because they realised they were wrong.  But in those days I didn’t understand the code.  That’s if I was even listening.  The only reason I wouldn’t have been would have been if I had been in hospital, and I can’t remember.

For one thing, the Bible is not the only manifestation of the word of God.  There are some things the Bible doesn’t talk about, because they are present day and were not around when the Bible was written.  But we still need God to speak to us about them.

I believe the word of God found in the Bible releases the wisdom of God, and light and understanding, for present day situations.  My experience often is that if I just open the Bible and start to read, something in it will spark understanding of what I am dealing with in my life or open my mind to a different perception.  For instance, this afternoon I decided to read the Bible when I felt I was getting too bothered about the way one of my neighbours is acting towards me.  It opened first to Ezekiel, I think, then to Maccabees (I’m not sure if the spelling is right, I only read the Apocrypha for the first time last year, which was when I decided to buy my first copy of a Bible which included the Apocrypha.  I thought that, if I didn’t believe something, I should at least find out what it was I didn’t believe).  I went past those and ended up in the New Testament at the story of Zacchaeus, and reading that he was a little man trying to see Jesus made me feel a bit differently towards my verbally aggressive neighbour, at least for that moment.

The argument about the origins of our medical knowledge and grave robbing?  I lost it.  Really, it never happened.  At the time I was up in arms at the thoughtless hypocrisy of a medical system with that KIND of illegal foundation treating me as they were for fear that I might myself do something illegal, and so treating me with legal backing, at least, they always said that.  I meant it.  But the nurse I said it to, one P J Charters, turned away from me and gave a dismissive and annoyed laugh to the other staff and said, ‘this makes me really angry’.  But like Tommy would have said, ‘why?  why can’t you just have the conversation?’  Thinking about it, his attitude was an invalidation of me as a person, because that is a serious view which I hold, and it would have been right to deal with it, and with me, with respect.  It’s supposed to be about mental stuff, right?  If you can’t even have such a serious and situationally relevant opinion taken seriously enough to discuss it, how does that help a person’s recovery from illness or trauma?  This man is a contributor to formative writing within the profession.  He is also a Christian belonging to a major London church (Ichthus, Sydenham) which would be in relationship with the leaders of St Barnabas, North Finchley, where the sexual assault accusation came from, and I believe he spoke to at least one leader there and that he knows about it.  One day I was on the concourse between the wards in Guys Hospital, when the wards were there, and somehow we got into the beginning of a conversation, I can’t remember what about, and I ended up saying I was too scared.  Instead of saying ‘OK’, and leaving it, he looked at me and said, ‘are you going to let that stop you?’  While I was sitting there trying to find a way to deal with that, within myself, he just stood there staring at me, then turned away and left the building.  I can’t remember why, I felt he had provoked the situation, and I believe at that point he knew about the accusation, but he never tried to talk to me about it.  When I tried to disengage from his control, he forced it back on me, and once, when he was about to leave, I think I had been afraid to ask him all through his shift if I could talk to him about something and I asked if we could talk, and he said, firmly, ‘tomorrow’.  I was upset by that because I thought it was uncaring and unreasonable, and when tomorrow came, he didn’t look for me to talk about whatever it was, and I was too offended to go to him.  The reason I was upset when he firmly turned away was that I knew I had approached him with normal and appropriate self-possession, and a clear mind and he turned away from me and I felt that my normal, non-dependent presentation had been invalidated.  He was facing off with me.  It was the same day he walked away from me asking if I was going to let fear stop me, I think, that I followed him 5 minutes later to the train station (I was free to come and go), thinking he wouldn’t mind, especially in light of what he had just said to me, and he got off the train and walked back to the hospital, and as he did he shouted at me, ‘there are boundaries, and YOU aren’t allowed over them’.  Did he then have the sexual accusation in mind, the one he never even told me about?  I told him I didn’t want benefits because I wasn’t mentally ill, one day in my flat, and he wouldn’t discuss it, he just said he thought I was, and that he didn’t mind his taxes being spent on looking after me.  But I did, and even then, he offered me no explanation as to why he thought I was mentally ill, and this accusation must have had a bit to do with it.  One day, he turned up at my door, and I had been listening to the radio, knowing that something was going on, but not making written or phone contact at that time, and he asked me who I had been talking to.  I don’t think I had talked to anyone, and I didn’t want to say anything about what was happening on the radio because I knew how they treated that, but I was fairly up and I said, ‘I’ve been talking to the fairies’.  I had no suspicion as to why he would be asking the question and he didn’t give me a reason, but he already knew I believed things were being said on the radio which I hadn’t given them.  There are other people on the wards as well who feel the same way, or rather, know the same thing, but it is insisted to be mental illness.  I suppose he must have been aware himself that something was happening when he asked this question of me, and that he thought it had come from me.  The hospital ward and its staff were often all over the programme, ‘Casualty’, even at that time.  I joked with him once that the charge nurse on Casualty looked like him.  He said a lot of people say that.  I don’t know if lookalikes of all the other staff were on there as they are now.  But I think something like that was behind his question.  I started talking to him, on the doorstep, about the bible saying that brother will betray brother to death, and that that was how I felt about the way the mental health system was being used towards me, and he said he didn’t see it like that.  But he never put the accusations or gave the reasons behind his questions, and I was clueless.  He passed off the lookalike of him on Casualty as a coincidence.

I mean (OK, here we go, my neighbour’s been shouting again, and he’s freaked me.  Should I hold back, with that, and threats of depots (or worse) being made, and no one committing to me?  It’s all words and pleas and linguistic manipulation and theatre, but no one ever says, Sue Barnett, in Bulgaria, we ARE talking to you, we are as desperate as you(!?), please come and see us’, just what feels like threats and intimidation to get me to squeal, from all sides really, sometimes).  I feel as if I am committing the unforgivable sin here, while you mess around with threats and uncommitted pleas.

But as I was saying, I mean, he’s a Christian, right, PJ Charters?  One day he was running a workshop which I attended with one other person, another patient.  This person did most of the talking, it seemed to be the way that PJ wanted it.  He was talking about feeling as if his girlfriend was following him, and a song which kept being played.  Near the end I had a question of my own, and the question was, ‘where does forgiveness come into it?’  Where does forgiveness come into helping you deal with this kind of thing?  He’s a Christian.  He stared at me and didn’t answer.  If he knows anything about what is happening now, neither he nor anyone else has made an effort to communicate that fact, so presumably he is still not taking responsibility.

Trip to the Pub

There is a pub 2 minutes walk away from us, on the other side of the road.  I’ve been in there a few times, and I was there tonight.  I went there tonight with the express intention of getting drunk.  I had 2 pints of guinness, but I was nowhere near as happy as I was the other day, unintentionally, on 2 glasses of wine in the Hilton restaurant.  I don’t go there that often, but I like it when I do.  They were doing lunch at half price, so I got a light 3 course lunch for a reasonable price.

Tonight at the pub there was a very sweet older couple just sitting at a table with some drinks and a packet of crisps.  The woman smiled at me.  As soon as the football match started they moved tables so they could see.  I looked at them and thought ‘there’s nothing wrong with this’.  An old couple enjoying a pint and a football match.

There is a lot in the Bible about getting drunk and how it’s a bad thing.  I enjoy being drunk, though, it makes me more mellow.  And Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding when they ran out and the guests were already well oiled, so what was he saying by doing that?  Would He have sacrificed a belief that it was wrong to be drunk in order to rescue a family from the social disgrace of running out of wine at a wedding?

I like to go on my own and just be with everyone else there, even though I’m not with anyone.  I like to soak up the atmosphere and just sit there on my own and enjoy it.  A few people smile at me, and I smile back.  It’s just a place to sit, with a drink and maybe some food, that isn’t the hospital.  I would do it at home if I had a home, with the radio or tv on, or something on my laptop.

Christianity and Veganism – Either/Or?

Today I went to a Zizzi restaurant in Newark.  All I wanted was a glass of wine but I thought I had better at least buy an Italian bread bucket, as it is a restaurant not a pub.  As a vegan I was not thinking that the fining process for the wine had probably involved the use of animal or fish products.  I wasn’t thinking, all I wanted was a glass of wine after over two weeks not drinking anything.  In the end I had two glasses of wine, sea bream and tiramisu.  Some vegan I am?  Yes, absolutely.  I keep wanting to ‘eat normally’, ie, not vegan, and sometimes I give in to the urge.  The last two or three months I have given in a few times.  Until tonight, over the last two weeks I have been OK and stuck to the straight and narrow path of being a vegan.  It’s been better for my digestion as well.

Today, before this, I was thinking that the reason I am a vegan is that eating non-vegan harms animals, even just using their products, given the farming methods used, and that it brutalises people, especially at the extreme end of those who work in slaughter houses.  I wanted to be a vegan because I wanted to affirm myself as a human being who does not harm or cause suffering to animals and is not in any way involved with it.  There are people who say they would never harm a fly who eat meat and fish and their products regularly.  They are in denial.  Other people are being paid to do the dirty work for them and they buy the sanitised product at the end, and obviously recognise no link between themselves and any harm or suffering caused to an animal.  If they say they would never harm a fly and mean it, their thoughts and feelings lack clarity.

At the moment, though, I could joyfully abandon veganism.  I often crave foods that are not vegan, the vegan equivalents are just a bit harder to get hold of and a bit more expensive, and there have been times when I have eaten seitan when I have wanted to cut into some real flesh.

Christianity and Veganism – either/or?  Apart from two years in my teens I have always considered myself a Christian.  Even during the first years of being hospitalised I sometimes had difficulty seeing myself as Christian, but in those days I considered myself to be in a bad place in my life.  In my teens I embraced a life without God for two years.

The one thing we know about the things Jesus ate, if we believe the Bible, is that he ate fish.  For a few years now I have held to a position in my thinking if not always in my practice, that abstinence from all things animal is morally superior to indulgence.  So I was asking myself earlier today, where does that leave Jesus?  If it is better not to eat flesh or any of its products, where does that put the Saviour of the world, morally?  I get embarrassed when I don’t eat vegan.  I would be embarrassed to give up my vegan position, and have often seen my slips as sin.  If my slips are sin, did Jesus sin in eating fish?  Yet I have seen my veganism as part of my Christianity.  I have thought a great deal of the vegans I have met, robust and beautiful people.  Is it enough to say that Jesus was a man of his time and ate flesh without sinning?  I think vegetarians and vegans existed in those days as well.

I don’t know about veganism, but vegetarianism is an important part of some Eastern religions.  When the apostle Paul wrote to the Romans he recognised that some people did not eat meat and saw them as the weaker brethren with weaker consciences, and said that if his eating meat caused any of them to stumble he would never eat meat again.  There is no reason in the text to believe he did not mean this and it seems possible that he might have become vegetarian himself, because undoubtedly there were people who would have been stumbled by his eating meat.  I’m wondering if I am making too big a thing of this in believing that holding to a position that veganism is morally superior and preferable is incompatible with me calling myself a Christian in the traditional sense.  The kind of Christianity I have believed in says that Jesus was sinless, yet He ate fish, at the very least.

John 14

I’ve just read John Chapter 14.  It is full of ‘I am in the Father and the Father is in Me’, ‘I am in you and you are in Me’, and John 15, which I haven’t got to again yet, starts off with  ‘I am the true vine and My Father is the Gardener’.  It will go on to say that the disciples are the branches.  What struck me the most was the intimacy, like Jesus saying, ‘Don’t worry about a thing, ‘cos every little thing is gonna be alright’.  It makes me pine for the days I had not heard of boundaries, for the simplicity of full surrender, total security in Jesus.  I can’t remember if I’ve ever been taught that forgiveness from the heart is not a contract or a transaction.  The Bible says that from the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks, yet we speak in terms of deliberate forgiveness of others for our own sake and not for theirs, as if the person being forgiven should not also be in our minds as someone who needs our act of forgiveness and who stands to benefit from it.

At the time of year that Jesus was crucified it was customary for a prisoner to be released.  The crowd was offered a choice between Jesus and Barabbas.  Barabbas was an insurrectionist, a revolutionary, it is said that he had killed people, but the crowd. in its manipulated and whipped up determination to be rid of Jesus, chose for Barabbas to be released instead of the Teacher and Healer and Forgiver of sins.  So supposedly Barabbas went free without penalty or any regard to boundaries.  Granted this was Pilate’s decision and not based in good theology.  So maybe this example falls down.

Part of the massive guilt I’ve felt about the way I tried to establish my personal boundaries in Church relationships when I had newly come across the concept has been that I felt at the beginning of that that in spiritual relationships it was different.  The Bible says act justly and love mercy (and walk humbly with your God), but we talk about forgive, but justice still has to be done.  Sometimes I want mercy without someone pursuing justice as they say they forgive, or talking about the consequences being distance and separation.  Certainly in Church relationships I have been afraid of making the wrong approaches in the wrong ways to people who are going to call me proud for seeking them out.  I want this inner crying to stop.  I don’t want to have to live with it for the rest of my life.

Love one another deeply, with a pure heart, fervently, it also says.  Does language like deeply and pure heart really allow for the insistence that love is first of all an action?  It could do, I suppose.  Maybe the action primes the pump.  But what if love, in sincerity, is first of all a feeling expressed in action?  You can tell I’m not a theologian, can’t you?  Or much of anything else.

I’m reading an introductory work to Foucault which has introduced me to the concept, in the chapter on madness, of knowledge as error.   Among other things Foucault was a hero to the antipsychiatry movement.   The writer, Gary Gutting, puts the word ‘creative’ in brackets before error.  It reminded me of the verse that says knowledge puffs up but love builds up.  1 Corinthians 13 says love never fails, although everything else will.

Down Time

I am hijacking my blog with complaints about staff and such like, and I think I would like a change of direction.

A few weeks ago I made some notes in my notebook.  I looked at them briefly (that is, the first note), and decided against putting them all up here.  They had been intended for my blog at the time.

One thing I was thinking at that time is that I am honouring the wrong writing voice (for the sake of psychiatric staff reading, many writers recognise more than one voice.  There is a play by Pirandello called ‘Six Characters In Search Of An Author’.  It is something like that and doesn’t call for medication.  They are writing voices, not psychotic voices, whatever psychotic is supposed to mean).  I recognise at least two voices that present as – one a motivation for writing, one a source.  The one I had been ‘honouring’ was a ‘yatter, yatter, yeah, critical’ one.  A follow and reproduce one, not a source.  I felt the one I needed to honour was more grounded and sprang out  of an emotional/devotional relationship to God and love for others.  I’m not sure, in fact I know that I have not always succeeded in going with that perception or even in always believing it to have been valuable.

I will write a few of the notes I made, especially after having put this one in writing.  Some of them were made with my blog in mind, others with my psychologist.  Also I was thinking about Terry at the time, because he had recently given me some time that meant a great deal to me.

~~~//~~~

“My lecturer, on a day like the one I’m having today, said there was a lot of ‘id’ around . . . This always seems to happen when I feel inspired and best able to express myself . . . Everybody around me seems artificially happy and deliberately uncaring.  I’m even feeling as if some people are being deliberately obstructive.  I’m sitting in a cafe trying to write”.

(I then drew a line in a different place and started again with . . .)

“I know I’m not mimicking anyone”.

“The staff are supposed to be here for us, not themselves and each other.  But the way they misbehave then lie about it or get evasive shows they are basically here for themselves”.

“Thoughts, staring, fear and outrage – grief” (That is, when I get a thought I want to let run and chase where it is going, people stare at me, I feel fear and outrage which I suppose to be grief because the inspired thought is stopped).

“Honouring the wrong voice.  Writing voice – spirit”.

“Jim said ‘come on’ when letting me out of the door.  I said ‘no, I’m not a dog’.  Possible misinterpretation of what meant as affectionate support.  Bless him”.

“I love Jim – I enjoy his smile when he sees me”.

“Kiran – mimicry, bubble – I vulnerable, she not – shameless, barefaced liar’OK’ – no – slander and perjury.  She is beautiful and her eyes are full of light – makes me feel i shouldn’t have a problem with it – Mimicry, copying, matching – why is she doing it – I have a right to know – don’t I?”.

“I think the problem here might just be culture shock – I’m not used to Nottingham, I’m from London.  When I’m out I hear quite a few people talk like the nurses”.

“Robb Thompson – what did he say that I just thought of?”.

“My shame is their shame.  Voice?”

“Terry – the way he looked at me – my glory and the lifter of my head” (It was intelligent, appreciative and kind, not to say tender.  That look has passed now.  I kept wanting it again, or somehow to retrieve something it communicated and made me feel.)

The last thought was as far as I got sitting in the hotel restaurant drinking whatever it was at the time.  The rest was on the Arboretum a couple of hours before seeing my psychologist.

I was feeling afraid in the Arboretum for some reason of what people might be thinking of my sensitivitiies as manifested by my body language and wrote this next comment:

“Most of the time our heads are so full of our own thoughts we might not notice the sights and sounds around us, unless for some reason we have become particularly sensitised”.

“William Blake – damn braces, bless relaxes” (I had received that as braces are to be damned, relaxes are to be blessed.  But in recent months, if not years, I have thought of it as ‘damn’ causes you to brace yourself, and ‘bless’ causes you to relax, more often than not, for both giver and recipient).

“This nervousness and ‘no’-screaming resistance when I write like this for a meeting (comments missed out, quite personal) is just anxiety and self-censorship and I needn’t pay it any attention.  I don’t need to worry about its impact on the other person or fear lack of efficacy when notes eventually become communication.  If it serves as nothing else it can serve as a seed or launching pad for later exploration.  What matters is that we trust each other”.

~~~//~~~

I cut my notes a little early, basically I got bored and didn’t feel the others were going anywhere.  I’m bored with it now.  I might come back to this post later and fill in the end gaps.  One thing I said was that I’m not available to people – I’m walking around in a stupid cloud of fear and trauma.  I feel raw and unprotected, undefended.  That was then.  Sometimes it is now as well.

Out here writing from notes feels better than trying to think as I go, but the notes I wrote this entry from were all written in public.  I have given up the idea of ever having a home where I feel at peace and have any degree of privacy.  I feel open to everyone against my will, and it isn’t only because of my blog.  I still feel there are psychic connections between my concentration and disturbances when I am on my own in a room and disturbances happen nearby.  I’m not sure which is the cause and which the effect, but it seems to work that way, much more often than not.

Angel of Light

The Bible says that the devil can appear as an angel of light.  I said that this morning meaning psychiatric staff, but obviously I am aware that it can have as many applications as people want to give it.  So let’s not go there. Maybe for me the biggest angel of false light is that which says ‘it’s nothing to do with me’.  Perhaps a twin would be ‘the experts must be right’.

I was thinking and saying tonight, 16th August, that I can’t understand how someone can, in good conscience, take a job which empowers them to commit acts that in other contexts would be viewed as assault.  I find it appalling that someone can assault you one day and, without apologising or anything, act as if nothing has happened afterwards and put it down to general relationship problems on the part of the patient, or mental illness, if the patient doesn’t go along with that.  If they did at home what they do to us here they might not have a relationship to go back to.  I would certainly find it hard to consider having them in my home,  Do they apologise for major failings at home?  If so, why don’t they apologise to us?  Are they trying to kid us that they really think their behaviour is an acceptable part of a normal relationship, or that they think we think it is, all of us, and that we wouldn’t want or expect an apology?  When Jim grabbed me I wasn’t putting myself or anyone else at risk.  So it really was an assault.  He wasn’t the only one involved.  I’m worried about the reasons for having me on a Section 3 as well, that while I am not a danger to myself or anyone else I suffer from a mental illness of a nature and degree which requires treatment in hospital.  Being mistaken about the reasons for harassment or violence or antisocial behaviour from others does not, in my mind, constitute a mental illness.  And if people believe I am not mistaken all the more reason for them to say, unilaterally and without any assurance of my good will, that they have made a mistake.  From the bits I’ve seen and the much that I’ve heard, we are all over the broadcast media, and it isn’t because of me.  It was happening before I started blogging about them.  It’s been happening to me, to my knowledge, for nearly 18 years.

Pastiche

What actually happened yesterday was that Kerry had been vocally trolling me all weekend.  She said I was full of myself as well.  One of her friends said I had deserved it when something happened, either that I was forcibly medicated or dragged out of the dining room by staff (I wonder if Kerry knows that I am virtually a Londoner?), and yesterday she was sat outside on the pavement near the doors smoking with Sa and Re, and I passed them to go out and said see you to Sa and Re but not to Kerry.  She took exception to that andsaid something about carrying on like that and I told her what someone associated with my care had told me, that staff on the ward had listened to things I had said and tried to make changes, i told her I had been there 3 months and that many changes for the better had happened because I had fought for them for people like her, and she started doing a really horrible voice at me and I spat in her direction twice.  I was nowhere near her and it had no hope of reaching and obviously wasn’t intended to.  She got up and said I would run away then asked if I was spitting at her and I said yes, and waited as she approached, and she kicked me in the lower abdomen.  Someone was passing that I asked to be a witness and she agreed and she got kicked in the ribs, but we both went back to the ward to report it.  If this woman had not been passing I don’t know what I would have done.  So that is the whole story.

I’ve called this ‘Pastiche’ because i wanted to mention a few things.  I thought there were four but I can only remember three at the moment.  I’ve already covered the first.

When all this started with the mental health system, after my first admission I came back to Nottingham and spent a while with my uncle and going to Church at Talbot Street.  One day in London I bought a card intended for David Shearman’s birthday, a card with dolphins on.  I can’t remember if I sent it or not.  It was in Victoria Station in London, in the days before they had any public seating, and I was feeling beaten up and exhausted.  I bought a bag of fruit and nuts and sat on the floor in front of a store, and I was approached by security guards who tried to move me on.  I said I was tired and didn’t want to move.  Eventually the police were called and it was quite nasty and when I got to the London Transport Police Station I was met by this oldish officer and I was really upset and I told him I hadn’t even been told my rights and he took me by the hair and told me I didn’t have any.  I was sobbing loudly in the cell and when I was released the officer who let me out told me it would be all right.

The other thing I wanted to mention was a girl who was on the ward here, this time around, called Michelle.  She hardly ever spoke at first and when she did start speaking she was quite aggressive, but in the first place i took to her because, as I told Terry, she reminded me of a woman who tried to get close to me when I was working as a volunteer at an HIV respite care centre.  This woman did not have long to live and I left shortly before she was expected to die.  After talking to Terry about it I felt horrified that I had basically walked out on a dying woman that had warmed to me enough to move from a little suspicion to coming to sit next to me, without speaking, if I came in and sat down.  I can’t express the depth of horror and shame I felt as I saw it that way, just about three months ago.

I have my radio on sometimes in the evening and on two nights Michelle, who I didn’t know was the woman next door to me at the time, banged violently on the wall, and I was afraid because I didn’t know who it was.  When I found out sometimes I would vent in my room if I thought she was disturbing me in any way,  and I would vent at her.  So I had gone from being friendly and saying hello even though I got nothing back to being verbally angry with her.  Sometimes she barged into me in the kitchen and started shouting at me.  She was verbally and physically aggressive to other patients as well, and one day I heard a nurse telling her about her behaviour and she didn’t want the police back.  I can’t remember if this was the day she was being generally aggressive and she ended up coming to me and spitting on my hand.  I was so locked up in myself at the time, so depressed, I didn’t feel anything in particular, I just looked and ignored it.  I wasn’t offended, in fact I felt a bit relieved.  I have thought about it over the past 24 hours and realised again, if not for the first time, that that meant I meant something to her, she was angry and she spat at me.  Later on that day or the next I wanted to say to her ‘thank you for spitting at me, I deserved it, and if you feel you want to spit at me again any other time you have my permission, and I won’t retaliate’.  I struggled with that all week, and I never said it, and then she disappeared.  I feel i failed her.  I keep thinking she must have gone to a more secure place or something and that if I had just dared to be vulnerable enough I could have helped her.  I feel really upset about that, and it isn’t a distress I feel proud of.  I failed her, and I resisted God.

Definitely for the first time in the last 24 hours I thought about the phrase ‘hatred is the flip side of love’.  During that period my thinking has been, accurately or not, that that phrase is seen as negative but it could be seen positively and it would be more helpful if it were.  She spat at me = she loved me, she trusted me.  She kicked me in the stomach = she was angry and disappointed because she had a need or positive expectation that wasn’t met.  I heard J John use ‘AHEN’ as an acronym for tracing anger back to its root.  Behind anger is hurt, hurt comes out of an unmet expectation, and expectation comes out of need, in this progression.  Part of me wants Kerry punished, the other part doesn’t.  But I have little hope for the relationship.  I am tired and cannot cope with her needs.  It is possible that I am interpreting her craziness as a deliberate attack on me rather than an attempt to help herself, which it might be.

What I do find difficult about patient confidentiality is that it does separate people who would be friends, sometimes.  You’re not sure what is what most of the time.   It leads to a psychological isolation if you don’t or don’t want to trust or validate the staff approach or system.  Can do, if you are someone like me in my position, anyway, but for the rest of us as well, I am sure.

Here is the fourth thing I was thinking of.  There was something on radio 4 this afternoon on the afternoon play that reminded me a lot of Tommy Boyd on the radio.  I was thinking last night that I wanted to be welcomed back into the fold and that I wanted Tommy to be the one who did it.

I am feeling very soft and vulnerable at the moment, but also angry, possibly, but i find myself wanting to get on with staff and even validating what they have done, and I’m just not sure.  The Bible says let a righteous man strike me it is a kindness.  What does that mean, is it right, or was it just a depressed king talking rubbish?  Listening to Tommy Boyd led me to want different forms of child discipline than smacking, so how can it be right for me as an adult, the restraints, forced medication, etc.  Joseph said to his brothers ‘you meant it for evil, but God meant it for good’, but this is supposed to be meant for good.  I’m sorry, I’m so tired and I feel very tearful.  Probably over-impressed with the depth of my perceptions in this post.  Crying over what a precious and deep person I am.  That’s better, that has made me smile.  What has made me smile?  The thought that Terry might read this.  I stare at him sometimes and I think it makes him feel awkward, and I don’t like that.  I told someone the other day that when I stare at him like that it is because I think he is beautiful at that moment and I am awestruck.  Suck on that one, Tel! 🙂  Much obeisance.  Much love.

Testing Listing

  • in the beginning
  • was the word
  • and the word
  • was with god
  • and the word
  • was god
  • all things were made by him
  • and without him
  • was not anything made
  • that was made

I remember this from my English literature class.  Not the listing, but the passage.  It was used by the lecturer to support the theory, or philosophical/religious assertion, that ‘nothing’ is a thing that was made.  Giving substance, even in the Bible, that everything is illusion.  It works better with ‘nothing’ than ‘not anything’.  ‘Nothing’ was made.  I like that.  If this is made the pivotal idea for understanding the Bible it makes for interesting reading and thinking.  Can we debunk the Bible?  Yes.  By understanding this thing that is said in this way and making it pivotal to out understanding of everything else it has to say.  It still presupposes God though, and that is OK with me.

Edit note 27.01.2012

I have been wondering if I have misunderstood this from my lecturer’s perspective.  He said (whether for himself or not I’m not sure, he definitely liked what he called gnostic – eg William Blake) that the material world, from the viewpoint of Gnosticism, was evil, and that before God created the material world there was nothing, and that it must have been a bad God who created the material world.  The context of this passage goes on to say that Jesus brought light into the world. Maybe because he talked about the world of spirit and its application to the material.  Also because he brought healing and deliverance.  I think my lecturer might say that I might have benefited from attending more of his classes!  I’m not sure if he said that ‘nothing’ was made, as I have said, but I think he did.

Jumble

WordPress has changed its presentation quite radically in its new presentation of Freshly Pressed.  I prefer the old ‘at a glance’ approach.  If I say something it is almost a guarantee that what I want isn’t going to happen in changing back.

I was thinking today that perhaps the reason for my dark thoughts and interpretations and presentations of my situation is the colour and design of my blog, and it might be time to get a new theme. Is the difference between bright and happy and dark and brooding the difference between child material and adult material?  I’ve been thinking I’ve been writing like a teenager with angst, writing dark things like someone trying to trip lightly.  Maybe the style I attempt is too light for the things I write about.

I watched an old play radio video today that I downloaded from Youtube.  4 hours of Tommy Boyd, but the lighting on his face was awful. It made it look as if he had white patches all over his face.  I am sure they could have done better than that, so why they didn’t I have no idea.

The door slamming isn’t stopping.  It is really making me feel ill.  I am lying pinned in terror and feelings of sickness to my bed.  It isn’t just the door slamming, it is the strangeness and contempt. Julie still refuses to talk to me.  I’d like to go and get a cup of tea but I am up here in almost constant shock and feelings of weakness and dread.  My own reactions have contributed to that as much as anything else.

I’m really confused, I don’t know what to do for the best.  The things I need to do I am not sure if I can do them adequately, like write new emails of complaint to Nottingham City Homes and the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission).

Who am I writing for when I write my blog?  I don’t know any of my respondents. Who comprises my intended readership?  I am largely aware of my stalkers and their responses/criticisms.  A lot of the time I am trying not to sound stupid to them, or I will be made to feel stupid.

I’m thinking about my pastors and their almost caveman-like approach to me, as one of their lost goods and chattels. There is something about David in the Bible who, when enemies took the camp;s possessions, ‘pursued and overtook’ until he recovered everything.  It appears that my pastors’ interpretation of this justifies stalking in their minds.  I don’t think I am imagining it.  Actually, at the moment I do, or I would not need to say that.

I’m sick of church and the thought of it.  When I remember the treatment I got there, especially in the 90s, and the fact that no apology has been given into my hands, I don’t want to go back.  I just want to sleep.  I just want some peace and respect and security.  I want some love.  I never knew a father’s embrace, a peaceful, contented, quiet and still thing.  I don’t think I will find it with any Pentecostal men, I don’t think they would sully themselves or their consciences to give that kind of support and therapy.  But now I feel as if I am being childish and that at my age, even given my background, I shouldn’t need that.  But David kisses his daughter and lets her kiss him, his 40 year old daughter who shares my birthday (I never knew that until a week ago, but David has known it for years and not told me.  I wasn’t close to the family so didn’t ask, but he could have told me when he had my birthday during the radio programme days.  But he didn’t.  It would have been a nice, friendly thing to do.).  I feel I am betraying myself and them by putting this in my blog.  And I feel I am being ungrateful by interpreting a hand up as stalking and putting unwelcome requirements on me.

The last sermons posted on the Christian Centre site are 25th November, the day after my birthday and a failed attempt to go and see Tommy Boyd.  I think they are reading my blog and my communications to Tommy, with or without his permission and co-operation, and they are holding back sermons for weeks.  If they are stalking me I shouldn’t go back, but I have been wanting to for weeks.  I feel really sick.  I can’t get my head together for anything.   Going back feels like the right thing to do but stalking is harmful and against the law, whoever is doing it and whoever they team with.

I’m reminded of a line from a Philip Larkin poem, ‘My mind’s not right’.  I offered that as the key line in a poem in 6th form and it was accepted and affirmed.  That reminds me of when David affirmed my selection of the verse that says Saul was jealous of David, because the Lord was with him and not with Saul.  I’m not sure if thinking in terms of key lines and thoughts and verses is altogether helpful now, and I could wish those things had not been asked, let alone my answers accepted.

PS The man in the ‘cinematic baguette’ post that was freshly pressed soon after I published this does not look far away from Gordon Brown who reminds me of David Shearman.  I’m not sure what WordPress’s purpose was in that.

How Useful is Philosophy?

When I was in my 20s I was aware of a stereotyped response people came out with about the usefulness of philosophy, ie that it was probably no use at all when it came to the practicalities of life.  In that stereotype people who wanted to study philosophy were asked what use it would be for anything.

I was just thinking about that.  I haven’t given it much time before writing, maybe only about 10 minutes.

The conclusion I came to was that every life action comes out of an underlying philosophy, whether conscious or unconscious.  That people who say they have no time for philosophy are unconsciously adopting that of pragmatism, though they would deny they are moved by any philosophical position at all.

In Colossians 2:8 it says that they should not let anyone take them captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy because in Christ we have fullness.  In the context of the chapter it says that.  I have been wary of philosophy for many years on the strength of that, as have many others.  I have thought, with many others, that true Christianity and conversion was what was needed.

He does say ‘hollow and deceptive’ though, and one hopes that he is not putting all of philosophy into that bracket.  Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.  It is true that no one comes to the Father but by Him.  Among His disciples He always preached non-violence, though He acknowledged that those who did not embrace His teaching would go to war but that the disciples were not to be afraid because wars were bound to happen.

There are many who would resent the Christian position, unadorned, being thrust into their faces as the solution to life.  I think that an awareness and understanding of philosophy is at least a bridge in cross-cultural communication between Christians and non-Christians and the arguments for the Christian position can be found in and through other philosophies which people who would consider themselves anti-Christian and anti-religion would engage with more readily.

It must be the ultimate in unaccountability to say that we recognise no philosophy or religion at all.  I think it is true to say that there can be no lasting peace without recognition on both sides of an immovable higher authority to which each side submits itself throughout.  So I find myself unable to reconcile Jesus’ statement that there would be wars with the Church of England prayer ‘give peace in our time, oh Lord’, because different people groups do not recognise the same authority, and each people group recognises its authority in ways that make them at odds with others in their communities.

So is God just an imposition of the strong on the weak?  Having experienced many things, including physical healing, I cannot say so.  To me it is not enough to say that everyone has the power to heal and not refer that power back to a giver, especially as the healing I received was in a Christian context.

But I do think that people who have no time for religion or philosophy are dangerous people to be in control.

I think I started thinking about this today after listening to a Noam Chomsky recording on Napster, about mafia and hegemony.

Society Aggressively Anti-Christian

Said the pope on his visit to Britain.

I think I can see what he meant.

While I’ve been in Nottingham, particularly, everyone who passes me shouts ‘Oh my God’.  Well, not everyone, obviously, but enough people for it to be remarkable.  I sat in a pub last night to use the internet and people were asserting themselves at the beginning of conversations saying ‘oh my God’ loudly in the usual tone I’ve become used to.  It is like spiritual rape and burglary.

I sat in Starbucks the other night and they were playing songs about grace and mercy and sorry and things.  I am sitting in Caffe Nero now and the songs have the same feel with open use of Christian/religious references.  One of them just said something about don’t preach about morality.  There was a song that said something about ‘nothing short of a divine intervention’, at which the person behind the counter tapped, then tapped again a few seconds later – aural interventions.  He said something to someone about ‘they just accept it that is how it works/we pass it off’ or something like that.

They are messing around with their own oral output as well.  I feel sick.  I feel seasick.  Because it is marking every place I go to in my own mind.  Moments when I doubt/think are marked by fluffed speech.  These people are unscrupulous, money-grabbing thugs.

While there are some people in society who might be doing this stuff stupidly and innocently and naively, not everyone is.  I came in here for a cup of coffee and to use the internet.  It seems to me these people are playing spiritualism games.  I’ve hardly been able to think.  I’m sitting here with my earphones in, with no audio on, because I don’t want any because I need to write an email.  I only put my earphones on in the first place to try to escape this spiritual distraction, this domination and power game, this grabbing innocent and vulnerable people by the throat.

It got me thinking about J K Rowling and the fact that she is supposed to be a Christian, and has said that that is what drives her work.  Some people have leapt on to that as if it is reliable truth.  Perhaps the same people who, if an American politician said it, would express open doubt and say it was a cynical statement to win votes.

I was embarrassed when I first saw that J K Rowling said she was a Christian.  I haven’t read her books, that is true, I only know what has been made of them by the film industry.

But as a Christian, and someone who is involved unwillingly in and adversely affected by the phenomenology accompanying society’s present behaviour, I have to say that I believe drawing on witchcraft and wizardry for your stories is completely un-Christian and anti-Christian in fact and effect.  J K Rowling, and her advisers, if she has them, and I suppose she must have, are not naive.  They have played on the lure of the supernatural to create their millions.  I know that in Deuteronomy 18 in the Bible it speaks against witchcraft.  I can’t see how an honest Christian, who must have been made aware of this and heard the criticism since she started writing, if not before, can have continued against it and in spite of it.

But this selling thing in Caffe Nero.  It is violently aggressive in tone, challenging, superior in vocalisation.  It is absolutely deliberate.  I find myself wondering what training these people have had both for the job and away from the job. It sounds viciously cynical and destructive and potentially violent.  The people who use it use it for psychological attack and are effective in that way if no other, but it seems to me there is more to it than that.  There are waves.  Maybe these people deliberately create the waves.  There is also a mirroring in their tone of voice, which goes all over the place, of every change in my  mind’s approach to a problem or question.  If I get upset they approach me with fake assumed innocence.  I have been in enough of these places to know it isn’t a one off.  Some people near me just got up to leave and I was physically afraid to be left on my own here with the staff.  Every strong thought I own someone goes (approximation) ‘erwerawerawera’.  Deliberately fluffing their speech. It isn’t clever but not only that, where I am sitting it is frightening.  I paused in my mind to give them the benefit of the doubt and one of them laughed quietly.

I have said this before, they have taken my money, they are offering internet use.  But they are so competitive I can’t see how anyone can concentrate who has something they need to work on.  If they are going to be rubbishing around like that is it MY duty to ask them if they are ok, and to consider that I might have got things backwards?  I need to write an essential email of complaint.  I have nowhere private I can go to do it.

Is this just Nottingham feeling so inferior they are trying to put on what they see as London slick, or what?  Also, I believe deliberate practitioners of occultism can successfully project thoughts that present as your own to express.

Or am I personally just so far out of the loop that I am making up these explanations for these strange and hurtful and inconvenient occurrences?

They back off then start all over again, this time or next.

This Moment IS

The staff on the ward have found my blog, without me giving them the address but saying angrily a few times that I was going to blog.  The ward manager collared me twice, once quite softly and the second time in a way which made me feel they wanted to take my computer and my leave away.  The second time she approached me with 2 other female staff members and in public.  She said she wanted to talk about my use of my computer on the ward.  I said it was music and that I have no internet connection on the ward.  She asked me quite crossly where I wrote my blog and how I wrote it and I pointed out that I have 5 1/2 hours total off the ward and I go where I can get a connection and that I have the same freedoms as everyone else in that time.  They said they did not like having their names associated with certain things.  I said that I have things associated with my name which I don’t like also, and that they were free to write or comment.  It was probably in that context that she said that it was a matter of confidentiality, but I took it to mean that she was saying I was breaking a duty of confidentiality which I was quick to point out that I do not have but that they do.  They talked about seeking advice.  I said OK.  I hope if and when they do the outcome will make a big difference in society and for people who are held against their wishes and with other forms of abuse, harassment and bullying thrown in.

This is good.

They saw me coming towards the office/ward exit this afternoon and it seemed to me they deliberately closed the office door and I stood outside knocking with them ignoring me.  This happens often.  The staff last night were calling people rude.  I’m not sure who they meant.  At the time it seemed it was obvious they meant me.

2 nights ago a woman had 2 separate instances of being forcibly medicated.  Hefty men called and involved, on an all-female ward.  If anyone knows how that is appropriate I would appreciate the feedback through comments.  She said they had hurt her hand and it was all swollen and red.  I know I have been there, in London.  It took 6 months for my hand to stop hurting, and the man doing it at the time, when I said he was hurting me, said ‘well, you will learn your lesson, then, won’t you?’  I was never contemptuous of my own life until I felt betrayed by the church and came under the psychiatric services.

We appear to have a large degree of revolt and anarchy on the ward at the moment.  Everyone is angry and the staff are, to my mind, often unprofessional.  Everyone knows what is happening but the staff say nothing, and I think most of us patients know they know more than they are allowing us to be party to and that, if we were allowed to be party to the staff’s knowledge of what everyone knows, a lot of things might be called into question.  Just a thought.

This blog is exactly what it says in the title, that and nothing else – the thoughts and observations of a certified nut.  Why would anyone want to seek advice over that?

Did I say that I had had a bad week as a vegan last week?  I was tempted again earlier this week but I talked myself through it.  I went through the ‘so I’ll feel guilty’ bit and realised afresh that it is about the suffering or death or utilisation of an animal in a way which is not ideal.  I decided we are different from most of the animal world in that we have a conscience and can think, philosophise and moralise about our behaviour.  I had tears in my eyes as I thought it through.  I was happy about that.  It is about the animal and about me, living according to my light.

Jesus is wonderful and I love Him.  He ate fish.  I’m not sure how to harmonise that.  It is said that the prophets were vegetarian and that the Essenes were also.  And I believe it is right not to use animals.  So I can’t deal with the Jesus and fish thing – not at all, in that context.  I think I was taught at Bible College that John the Baptist was an Essene.  So while they might have said ‘but Jesus ate fish so it isn’t wrong’, why would John the Baptist have lived by a higher morality?  We were told that when it says JTB ate locusts, it actually means the locust bean, and not the insect.

Good Point, Melvyn Bragg

Why DID Jesus tell the disciples to take a sword and say ‘it is enough’ when they said they had two?  What did they need them for?  We aren’t told they used them.  I heard that and thought my whole anti-war argument was demolished.  I felt really embarrassed and wrong.  So did Jesus’ teaching contradict itself?  Did Jesus require obedience, or did he teach by tests and by allowing people to discover themselves to themselves?  He said ‘if you love me, keep my commandments’, so what commandments are we to keep? ‘Render to no man evil for evil but overcome evil with good’, or ‘take a sword’?

On Thursday morning I felt I had a moment of painful but completely cohesive understanding.  The writer of Hebrews (who I thought of as Paul, even though I know many if not most scholars reject that, but I had forgotten, so most of what I was thinking falls in regard to Paul) says in Hebrews 6:4-6 that it is impossible for someone who has tasted of the heavenly gift, if he falls away, to be renewed to repentance, as he has put the Lord to an open shame.  On Thursday morning I was thinking that it would be better if that had never been said or written.  But I was thinking of it out of context.  Its context was the return of Hebrew Christians to the old sacrificial system.

But I was thinking that verses like that as they are often understood and feared are the reason  for so much bandstanding when it comes to disagreements between Christians and insisting that we, really, love God.  I think so.  I think it is verses like these, coupled with some of the more heavily directive and dogmatic teaching that can be heard in church, that make us afraid to embrace ourselves and our thoughts and experiences and trust God that, if we face and handle and accept who we are, as and when in every aspect, that God will bring us through.  Rather than saying, ‘no, no, no, I love God’ without even allowing the thing we fear in ourselves to fully present itself.  We try to push it away rather than let it present itself fully to our perception to be ‘naturally’ rejected by us as Christians, recognised after a good long look, after exposing our inner eyes and ears, and just expelled by the whole person as foreign, rather than battening down the hatches and nipping even the thought and perception in the bud before it can develop to be understood and recognised.  If you don’t understand what you are rejecting, how can you REALLY reject it?  Is that why we so often struggle over and over with the same thing, because we won’t let it manifest in the first place to our recognition so it keeps coming back, because we are not rejecting it in the first place but closing our eyes in stubborn fear?

And the bitter arguments and the fear of each other, the denunciations, overtly or covertly.  It seems to me they are born of a fundamental fear, rather than a trust in the love and faithfulness and goodness of God.

For years I stopped telling God I loved Him.  I believed it was an assertion of something which was barely true.  Sometimes I would tell Him I obviously DIDN’T love Him, or I couldn’t do or be as I was.  I affirmed HIS love for ME and refused to lie, as I saw it, by saying I loved HIM.  Consequently I think pleading and asserting our own love for God in a discussion, conversation, disagreement or confrontation, or even in a public act of individual worship, can be an act of abuse and manipulation and a hindrance to humility and openness.  I think focussing on our love rather than His is a hindrance to deep and lasting change, more often than not.  Change is about more than performance.  It has to be initiated from outside of ourselves and should be something we submit to, not something we try to produce as an angst-ridden proof.  That is what I think.  Lasting change is a response to a truth which we know won’t move or change.  The truth puts pressure on us and we yield.  We don’t need to invoke God.  He is in the process and reveals Himself in the process.  In the process itself He draws us into relationship, with Him and with others.

I’m thinking a lot at the moment and having conflicting thoughts, but at the moment I would say I know this much is true, and that is where I will stop in this post.

Edited:  written after midnight.  Some of my tag categories do not reflect the changes today.  Sometimes they do, but not today.  Angry, me?  Hurt at inconsistency, me?

1.  Yesterday morning on the bus to Heathrow (nearest tube), somehow I remembered the Gilbert and Sullivan line, “If everyone’s a somebody, then no one’s anybody”.

Many creeds and philosophies, including Christianity, insist that we are all someone in the eyes of God.  I don’t know the whole operetta or the context of these words or the writer’s intention, but there have been times when I have thought of the ‘madding crowd’ and taken these words as a contradiction of the ‘we are all equals’ position.  I have thought ‘yes, that is true, and how sad, that so many people press to be somebody that true greatness/quality/dignity is suppressed/frowned on/not recognised and respected’. But this time I thought of the quotation and berated myself/felt ashamed for being such a snob.  I thought ‘if everyone’s a somebody, then no one’s anybody – yes, exactly, and thank goodness for that.  That is the point.  Everybody IS somebody and no one is more special than anyone else, and that is a good thing’.  I am sure there must be a balance.  Recognising you are a somebody and pushing to be somebody are two different things.  When you push to be somebody you often put other people down in your own need to shine.  But when you know you are somebody and also that so is everyone else, you can let people be.

2.  The other one was the Bible, Psalm 1

1Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

2But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

3And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

4The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

5Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

6For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

Especially verses 1 and 2 I was thinking of.

I was watching the BBC News Channel and thought that retrospectively I understood why I had thought of those verses.  There was a lot about the situation at St Paul’s Cathedral, and I thought they were playing the role of the fool or court jester of Shakespeare’s time, mocking and mimicking.  Two of them were even wearing harlequin ties.  I felt sorry for the staff of St Paul’s and for their confusion.  I am sure they are intelligent people and know they are being mocked in the media, on reflection.  At the time I felt sorry for them because I thought they were getting confused being exposed to the mockery and not realising what it was, but they must do.

I don’t know any of the people there, but I can’t understand why the Dean felt his position there was untenable given the circumstances, and why he felt he had to resign.  I can’t really understand all the confusion they seem to be feeling and am personally sorry that he has resigned.  Maybe he felt torn between the demonstrators and the people objecting to them being there.

There have been times I wanted to go and join the demonstrators myself.  I have felt it would be an honour to be evicted from the property for what they are demonstrating over.  I’ve also wondered how much I am being manipulated by the media into thinking that way.  Apparently drink and drugs are involved now and I wouldn’t want to be associated with that.

All the news people going with the WWJD angle, as if it really matters to them, and the people being interviewed coming back with easy answers like he would be out talking to the crowds and wouldn’t call the police.  Apparently it isn’t the church that is seeking the injunction anyway.  The church should be this and the church should be that . . . but in a situation like this it is probably not so cut and dried.

I felt sorry for the Dean when he said he found it hard that the demonstrators seemed to think that he didn’t believe what they believed just because he didn’t express it the same way, and the man to his left started whispering into his girlfriend’s ear and messing around.  I saw the way he looked at them afterwards.  He seemed to feel frustrated.  The man was not for listening and was all for distracting his girl.

I would like to be there with the demonstrators, though.  The only way I could know if it is what I really want would be to go there.

James 2:4 “Judges with evil thoughts” (NIV)

It’s not them, it’s me.  If I retaliate I might believe or feel bad or that I am wrong, but I am not as bad as them, they are judges with evil thoughts, people who have no right to judge in the first place.

I thought.

Then I thought again.  If Jesus said “judge not, that ye be not judged”, if we say someone else is a judge with evil thoughts, don’t we become that ourselves?  Is it true that, every time we judge someone else and their actionbs, we ourselves are judges with evil thoughts?

I know the context of James 2:4 is about showing preferential treatment to the rich and well dressed, but is this something that should be limited by that context or understood more widely?

King David – Camera Snap From a War Zone

David said, ‘Let a righteous man strike me, it is a kindness’.  Is this the truth, or is it, like his affair with Bathsheba and ordering her husband to be killed in battle, a sign of emotional sickness?

Poor little guy, one of many sons, the youngest and despised, sent out every day to look after the sheep on his own.  With nothing but his target skills and his harp and singing and his idealised idea, in his loneliness, of his relationship with God, to keep him going.

When his father Jesse was asked by Samuel to get all of his sons together because he wanted to anoint one of them to be king after Saul, neither Jesse nor the rest of his sons gave David a thought.  He was out there with the sheep.  Samuel got to the end of everyone who was in front of him, the story says, and God said ‘no’ to all of them, and he had to ask if there was another son.  When Jesse said yes, he said yes but, not oh yes of course.  Samuel had to insist on him being brought in.

Later Saul kept trying to kill him, and he and Jonathan agreed a code that Jonathan would use to tell David that he needed to flee, if he thought so.  And David fled.  He got to a city and pretended madness, he lied to cover his tracks and people were killed in the wake of that.  Yet he said he would not fear.  He was very afraid and in denial, whatever his affirmations and confessions.  He said he was convinced of his own righteousness and that God was with him and knew him in his righteousness.  It seems to me his suffering and isolation had pushed him over the edge.  He felt he had to be perfect or something to be loved and approved of, and so he asserted that he was, exulted in it, and told God he was a perfect and righteous man.

And my teachers have believed his reported self-assessment.

It seems to me this is faulty interpretation and exegesis and shows no understanding of human psychology.

They are as much in denial about him as he was about himself, and as the prophet might have been who said God had said David was a man after God’s own heart, who would fulfil all of God’s desires.  And yet God had to tell David, when he wanted to build him a temple, that he was not the man to do it, because he was a man of blood.  He went around killing people and cutting off foreskins for trophies.

The Bible, reportedly, shows people as they were.  It doesn’t say that everything that came from his life and pen and lips were God’s truth.  The Bible, if it is true, is the truth about the people in it, and what they say is from God is not necessarily from God at all, and it is undiscerning and maybe a bit afraid to look at every word the people who are called God’s servants say and think they are all right and perfect and can all be synthesised into being truth in themselves, just because they are in the Bible and came from people who have been made, historically and by the will and judgment of men, both at the time and since then, into heroes.

When the Bible says God was with him, does it just mean that people loved and protected him?  The Bible was written by men, and men said that God was with him – because they had a warrior mentality?

David said I am for peace but they are for war.  So why did God say he couldn’t build his temple because he was a man of blood?  He was holding David responsible.  Or Nathan’s prophetic spirit and internal workings were.  Later David prayed ‘deliver me from blood guiltiness, Oh my God’.  So what was Nathan’s bag?  He put a real heavy on him, and made him live without formal punishment, which was obviously a psychological need and would have been appropriate.  (thought: unless man of blood is just referring to the thing with Uriah, then of course I am just being arrogant and proud again deciding it was about his killing sprees, which in the eyes of Israel were worth eulogising – Saul has killed his thousands and David his tens of thousands.  That was why Saul wanted to kill him – he was jealous.  It says the hand of God was with David because he was killing so many people.  Whose judgment was that?  Was it REALLY God’s?)

When it says the glory of the Lord filled the place and the priest’s could not go about their work, does it mean there was a sudden emotional and psychological crisis felt by all that no one knew how to handle? So they fell on their faces and worshipped until – what – released them?

I’m sure this could be taken much further.  I love the fact that it can.  But then who is God?  Who are you?  Who am I?  And what is good?  And how can we free ourselves of this evil and hero protecting mentality to pursue what is right and good, and not what is safe and cosy and cronyistic and cliquey and maudlin?

 

O . . .

(Public Health Warning: more mangled blood and guts, but also an attempt to address the issue of goading and chain-yanking, failed, unfortunately, on the whole, and I’m not the sort to incubate a post and try again.  I talk about the guy who got water thrown in his face by Spurgeon, I think, when he told Spurgeon he was perfect, and he got angry, which I think might have been the perfect reaction to Spurgeon’s mischief and therefore did not disprove his statement).

That is my open mouth, made silent with hysterical fear.

I’m living in Sofia now.  The woman above me screams hallelujah in the most hateful voice every time I feel I have a good communication and I can communicate it.

I want to scream for help and I can’t, it is that psychologically, emotionally and spiritually abusive.  I can’t express anything without feeling dishonest or that I am going to disintegrate or, if I am angry, be attacked, even physically.  She makes me feel she is my friend and I should ask her to forgive me and help me, whatever I feel she voices differently.  I said that because . . . well, if you read this blog, you know.  There is a man from whom the only vocalisation I hear is an angry or frightened throat-clearing.  That feels to me like part of the illusion, if it is an illusion, of their goodness.  If he spoke it might not persist.  But his vocal silence is also part of the oppression.

She is attacking my soul and spirit with razors and bludgeoning me with hatred which feels like a physical mallet to the head.

Combined with the banging . . .

So is this orchestrated, because it is happening everywhere I go.  Who is behind it?

The most torturous thing about this for me is the church’s dishonesty and use of these things.  Someone on Premier was talking about chain yanking this morning, and that is what she is doing and that is what Premier and the church have been doing for years – the way they have kept saying ‘crazy’, for instance, and pushing psychiatry.  This man said so this morning, he pointed it out himself.  What they have been doing is sadistic, cruel and abusive.  That must always have been obvious to them, surely, and if it hasn’t been . . . either way they are not fit to  hold ministerial duties of any description.

I don’t know if I’m imagining that when my recording was interrupted near the end this morning, John Pantry became annoyed because his attempt to build a bridge had been interrupted.  How would he have known, without illegal access to my computer?

Sometimes it feels like protection and I feel unworthy and shameful calling it criminal.  But it isn’t really.  It isn’t really protective.  They are keeping me imprisoned by their evasion of responsibility, procrastination, holding on to power, refusal to apologise officially, if not openly.

I don’t want a bridge back to the world where leaders are not first prepared to own their wrongdoing before I cross that bridge.  Own it where everyone can see, in a committed way. . .

One of the ministers involved, I think it was R T Kendall, but I’m not sure, told this story of someone who said to Spurgeon, I think, that he, the person speaking to Spurgeon, was perfect.  That he believed he was perfect.  Spurgeon (if it was him) said ‘oh, really?’ and threw a glass of water at him, and the man became angry, and everyone laughed at him.

The same chain-yanking.  That is hardly perfect, is it?

Now, was the man expressing imperfection to express anger in that situation?  Is anger a sign of imperfection?  But the Bible says Jesus was angry.  Our teachers have had it for ages that Jesus’ anger was different, that it was perfect and righteous anger.

It doesn’t say, though, that He ever pulled anything like this self-righteous, judgmental, proud, debasing, mischievous and malicious chain-yanking.  At least, not on true seekers and people who expressed something they thought they had grasped as a truth.

An exception comes to mind, possibly, in Mark 7.

Jesus Honors a Syrophoenician Woman’s Faith

24 Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre.  He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet he could not keep his presence secret. 25 In fact, as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an impure spirit came and fell at his feet. 26The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter.

27 “First let the children eat all they want,” he told her, “for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”

28 “Lord,” she replied, “even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”

29 Then he told her, “For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter.”

30 She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.

I’m not supposed to criticise this man, but what was he about here?  If he wasn’t being provocative, it could be put down to insensitivity because of tiredness, or some sort of irritation.  Our leaders say He was correcting her attitude.  But if it wasn’t that, if it was a lack of perfect response, where does that leave us in terms of my Friend Jesus’ perfection?  He;s my friend, I can’t talk about Him and theorise about Him like this.  But I just have, and for the usual reasons it has to remain.

But back to the perfect man who got angry when the person he told threw a glass of water at him.

In the Bible David said that God’s enemies were his enemies, and that he hated them with a perfect hatred.  I’ve heard it said that David did not have the complete revelation that we have today.  Would they say that of this occasion?  No, not all of them.  There would be different opinions backed up with chapter and verse and personal experience they felt was surrounded with the approval of those that matter to them.  I know for sure there would be some who agonised more over the truth than to be satisfied with that low standard of agreement, potentially low, at least, but I don’t know how many.

I got to this stage with St Barnabas’ Church.  They opposed me in every way, locking down on me and preaching at me.  I had read a book recommended by a Christian counsellor, on boundaries, which said that negative emotions were a sign that something was wrong.  I was going home, time after time, feeling devastated, and one night in bed I was frightened by a feeling of hatred.  I was also angry, I thought they were opposing what God was doing in my life.  I find that a bit embarrassing now.

But that was the verse which came to my mind, and I embraced it, because I couldn’t get rid of the feeling of hatred, so I actively justified it.  Hindsight says if I had done this or that . . . but nothing within me which is saying anything gets much chance to be heard at the moment, it is silenced by the violence around me, and as soon as I can strongly own and express anything from within, the harassment starts without and I am left too hysterical to cope.  I’m trying to argue something when I want to scream and beg and cry, since every time I feel I can and should surrender I refuse it.  I feel I should go up to them, apologise and ask what the problem is, then we could begin to sort everything out.  That is what I see and what I feel condemned by.  Her hallelujah makes me feel joy, but what about the rest?  It is chaos.  It is also illegal, and they know what I think of that.  It is the word I am reacting to, not the people or their activity.  I feel she even steals, with her occult violence, the tone of joy which would be in my own voice if I said it myself.  That must be where the confusion comes in.  I can’t validate this, it is so wrong.  I’m not the only one who hears them, and not everyone rejoices, I am sure.  I don’t want to be patronised by people saying poor Sue, come home.  I want people to focus on the issue of chain-yanking, and if I could focus on it myself it would help!  I try to be serious and have to be humorous.  Why?  I feel thumped in the head and I can’t cope with the pain.  There is no point waiting for a better time.  It never happens.  Don’t get bogged down in the circumstantial stuff that comes pouring out just because I don’t know how to edit it away. They seem to feel it when I calm down and start justifying them in my mind, and I hear them say dobre with a smile.  But I know what they are doing and it isn’t OK?  Or is it here?  Is this a valid and acceptable expression of Christianity here?  If it is, I’m out of step.  I feel as if I want to join in, like a party.  Go up and say hello and bubble along with them.

It’s a form of psychological harassment and censorship.  Who wants to read the silage that I insist on letting pour out of me, or allow by default, instead of being a normal, generous, kind, forgiving, friendly person and neighbour?

The point I was going to make was that I think there is something wrong with the theory and theology of leaders who can make a good and positive thing out of this incident of cruel chain-yanking in one of their traditions major heroes.

If that anger from the man came out of a damaged emotional place, it was incredibly cruel for him to expose it in that way.  Granted I don’t know the whole story, maybe it was just a bit of robust male joshing. I don’t know how the man took it after his anger was over.  But what if it wasn’t from a damaged emotional place?  What if it was the perfect reaction to such mischief and malice towards what he believed God had said to him?  Then who is the laughingstock?  If there should be one at all.  If our emotions are appropriate to the situation then they are perfect in that situation, aren’t they, so what he said wasn’t disproved at all.  In a sense we are perfect, and not just by imputation.  In a sense, as individuals, we are perfect, if people don’t interfere with us.  But they do, when we are too vulnerable to resist or realise.  I can’t do this, I’m tired and hurt.  I can’t think and write it through.  I’m mixing everything up all over the place when I started out believing I knew exactly what I wanted to say and where I wanted to go with it.  I’m already editing after first reading, and that isn’t doing me much good either.  I am ill and traumatised, I must be, to put this abortion out.

Another thing:  I believe this thing we call robust joshing is itself a manifestation and denial of pain.  Or is it just a healthy switching off every now and again?  It must be.  It must be me that is crazy.  So someone invite me to come and have some fun?  To live your whole life in the perfect therapy session and healing moment after healing moment, at least one participant has to be perfect.  And where have I got this idea from that therapy and healing is all about deep and querulous and earnest talk and tears and quietly and meditatively going about your business? ‘Tain’t, is it?

But what if, instead of throwing water over him and laughing at his anger, he had accepted the statement with respect and watched his friend over a period and tried to understand what he was saying and learn something instead?

It is thump in the back salvation.  I’m wondering if I am being a pathetic wimp if I object to that.  The people I have felt close enough to to love over recent years, and want to model myself on, I am thinking possibly I have only seen them awkward and afraid and desperate and making an effort, because of me and my situation.  Maybe they too are back thumpers and I have just not seen it, and I myself need to enter the real world of rough and tumble where people do not always treat each other with reverence and respect and it is OK.

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

OK that is it.  That is my communication after being butchered by upstairs and everything knowing my account/computer is being hacked is doing to me, turned into a bucket of unmentionable stuff and screaming.

Enjoy!

God Hates Fags

So do I, ask my sister.

Dr Gallo, my Spanish psychiatrist, who called me obese in one of his reports, came towards me in the corridor once, and he absolutely stank of them.  I suppose I must have given him a questioning, intelligent, ‘oh really’ kind of look, because he looked a bit sheepish and uncomfortable.

I was thinking something along the lines of, ‘smoking kills, I don’t smoke, and I’m a nut, he smokes, and he is my psychiatrist.  He knows smoking kills, so he is addicted or in denial, or at least dishonest, because he goes out for a crafty one and looks sheepish when caught by one of his patients, or inmates’.  My actual thoughts were, ‘oh, he smokes’.  It was a bit of an enlightenment, an ‘aha’ moment.  I suppose I might have gone into my Christian prayer ministry and revelation mode.  But for me the logic behind my thoughts and feelings, as a psychiatric patient, is as previously stated.

It is my opinion that someone that insensitive, to write in a woman’s psychiatric tribunal report that she is obese, almost as though he were a vet rather than a doctor, and who smokes himself, ought not to be dealing with people on the mind level.

No, I didn’t mean homosexuals.  Not honest homosexuals.  I did that myself for two years.  I’m not sure how honest I was, maybe I rationalised my activity with the rationalisations I had been given by society and psychology until in the end it felt irrevocable and unchangeable.  Along the way of coming to terms with it I answered my own questions and my partner’s questions and probings with my own rationalisations drawn from society’s logic and permissiveness.  Of course, homosexuality used to be a reason to be detained under the mental health act, I think, or it was at least viewed as a mental illness.  But now it is a crime to show yourself ‘homophobic’.  I said that to the psychiatric staff on my ward.  I was sort of stonewalled.  Or patronised.  No one was interested in changing anything they were doing to me after I said it, anyway.

I was thinking about homophobia the other day, and wondering if there is such a word or crime as ‘Christianophobia’.  In the interests of balance I think possibly there should be.  Maybe ‘Religiophobia’ as well.  I have indulged, in myself, a homosexual relationship, though not a complete lifestyle, and I believed it was wrong beforehand and believe it was wrong now, afterwards.  And I am a Christian who believes the Bible says it is wrong and that therefore it is.  Unfortunately you can’t catch me with the shellfish argument, because I am also a vegan for moral and spiritual reasons.  Therefore I would not wear animal fibres either, mixed or otherwise.  So OK, I used to have a lesbian relationship, and now I am saying it is wrong, and that Biblical Christianity says it is wrong, which I believe.  Where does that put me as an individual on the crime scale, in relation to this issue? (By the way, I think Islam and the Quran also say it is wrong).  Not only the crime scale, but what are my own human rights on this, in terms of owning my own experience and my beliefs about it, including moral, spiritual and religious?  Can I be penalised for religiously aggravated homophobia against myself?  Do I have to limit myself in how I talk about my own life and beliefs about it?

The politicisation of ideas of right and wrong, illness and wellness.  Mental illness really is a political concept, isn’t it? Part of the irony, for me, is that an awful lot of force and assault, not to say violence, is used against some very non-violent people to make sure they take their ‘medication’.  By these people who say we are a danger to ourselves or others otherwise.  I do feel sick thinking about it.  Sick with violence and rage, the retaliatory kind.  That is a normal feeling.  I’m not acting it out.  There would be no point.  Their force and violence would be greater.

So the force and violence of a recognised professional body against an individual is OK and justified, but if that person, before not violent or physically forceful, wants to retaliate, even says they feel they want to, it isn’t?  It’s a threat to society?  But these professionals are not?

God hates fags – an interesting forage and forray.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00zmc6f/The_King_James_Bible_The_Book_That_Changed_the_World/

Available until 9pm (8.59) tonight for watching or download.

I’m opening a new file – the VW FILE – Vulnerable Women Fall In Love Easily.

In this case the name came before the acronym.  Good though, innit?  On so many levels it would be a really long post if I wrote the explanation that suggests itself.

I watched some videos online the other day, by a legal expert in the US, saying it would be OK, in law, to lie to Mr Assange to lure him to a place where they could kidnap him.  I understand the feeling of what he is living with, in terms of the threat and uncertainty (even though I do not know that my life is in danger) living with threat from authorities (and non-authorities) in different ways. 

I don’t think there is anything I can do, but I wish it wasn’t happening to him.  I feel like pleading with him, ‘please don’t die’.

It shouldn’t be legally OK to lie to anyone.  Certainly not for government bodies.  But they do it all the time.  For our protection, they say. 

I don’t want a society riddled with and ‘protected’ by lies.  Some Christians quote Rahab who hid the spies and lied about where they had gone, as being an example of when lying is right.  But the Bible says ‘God is not a man, that He should lie’.  It also says ‘Walk before me and be thou perfect’.  In the New Testament it also says ‘put off lying one to another’ and ‘let no corrupt communication come out of your mouth’.

For me these are heart and covenant verses, and the only ones I can remember out of my own head.  But no one has the right to argue, based on what they see from my limited memory, that the whole issue is a covenant thing and that there are some circumstances, therefore, when lying is right to, or about, certain people.

The reason I say this is that the New Testament isn’t big on self-protection, not for Christians.  We are told to honour all men, and to do good to all (even though it does say especially to those wo are of the household of faith, that doesn’t mean it is OK to do evil to someone else, even if the law demands that they be punished for a crime). 

If the law allows lying, the law is a mess.  Why should the only sanctified place of honour be in court, where it becomes illegal to lie?  Think how much time and money and distress would be saved to so many, if only lying itself, in whatever circumstances, was a crime.  Why isn’t lying, such an abusive and dishonorable thing, a crime?  So that lawyers can continue getting fat?

The New Testament isn’t big on self-protection or for terrestrial country being on a par with God.  Christians were encouraged to accept death for refusing to say, ‘Caesar is Lord’.  I think that encouragement was right.  People are not perfect.  Even if the only acceptable point being made here for some people is that the individual’s conscience comes before any allegiance to king and country (or continent, or one world government, since that is obviously what people are trying to practice, it doesn’t have to be treated with sensationalism for it obviously to be true), I believe that is the point that has to win the day, over and above loyalty to earthly government and authorities.

The spies might have been covenant people, but they were also ordinary men. Who wouldn’t be grateful for having their lives saved?  If in rewarding the woman for that they affirmed lying, they were wrong.  The Bible says she was also a harlot, whatever that means, maybe it isn’t it’s modern meaning.  They weren’t, surely, rewarding and affirming that, if it was what is understood by the word today.  They were showing human gratitude and mercy.  Who knows, maybe they should never have involved the name of God in the transaction at all.  It was a normal, human response to someone who has saved your life.

The fact that someone uses an exalted tone doesn’t make them right.  Maybe they didn’t use an exalted tone, maybe it is just the way I have heard it read and carressed in Church.  I think a verbal carress expresses joy and gratitude and strong feeling.  it is not necessarily an indicator of truth, even though you might feel that people capable of expressing such strong and positive feelings can’t possibly be wrong.  People and their feelings should never be idolised.  Feelings rely on information.  Information might be wrong, or wrongly understood.  No one should ever say to another, ‘I am so and so, do as I say’, unless it is in a clear matter of law.  That is why, I believe, we need to be dispassionate and not inflammatory, if a safe world is what we want.

Yes, we should.  It is the only way to understand each other and live in peace with each other.  David Cameron is right.

But he is wrong about which language it should be.

The language should be mutual respect and respect for human rights, not the spoken language of your adopted country.  The problem arises if we let people in who are against our values in the first place.  What could happen then is that people learn our language (English, in our case) and subvert it to use it against us.  People who don’t speak our language coming in to the country are not our problem, but people who don’t share our values.

What are our values?  I don’t know!  Get any group of White Anglo Saxons together and you can have just as many culture clashes as you can with anyone else, even though we have been here for generations as the dominant group.  The loud mouths.  “It’s all the fault of the immigrants, coming into our country and stealing our jobs”.  If people have to make an enemy out of someone and unite against them, I have been taught that is possibly all they agree about, and some of those do it because they wouldn’t feel safe to disagree.   Correction, some of us, because we all do it sometimes.

But not speaking the language of the country should not be a problem, because there are ways around that.

Respect is the thing.  If we provide translations (or anything) but resent doing so, that communicates and damages relationships.  Or the people working with the translations, the officials and what have you who, for some reason, don’t really value different cultures but are doing a job because if they don’t they are financially penalised, if they can’t stand the people they serve or work with, how is that going to help anyone?  I know the answer is obvious and so does my reader.  “It isn’t”.

Translators are people who love language.  They problably love the culture that goes with it as well, otherwise they might not have got that far (I managed to take French to first year degree level myself, starting at the age of 9 or 10.  My best exam mark for it was an A at ‘O’ level, as it was before GCSEs.  My worst might have been an E at ‘A’ level.  I put it down to the increased literature element and my inconsistent attendance).

What if translators of English into other languages translated our literature for the non-English speaking people that live among us, and we also got their literature in translation?  This must be distress at its worst, because I know I’m talkiing garbage because I know that obviously happens, now I say so.  That’s what snakebite does for you, it has you all over the place!

But . . .  national identity doesn’t depend on us all speaking English, and you can’t blame the foreigners for the fact that there are many clashing value systems in our country, because that is true without them.

If we maintain respect there is no reason why we should push for integration.  People want to maintain their own identities, that is natural, especially in a strange place.  And why should it be seen as unhealthy if some of them never want to do anything else?  Saying that kind of thing about what someone wants makes them angry and miserable and promotes discrimination and prejudice.

We can keep the separate communities.  We can celebrate difference.  We can enable learning about each other within our own communities.  We don’t have to mix it, we can keep it separate, if that is easier, and let different communities be taught what they need to know by their own people and anyone else able to communicate with them that they accept.

Why, these days, should a non-English speaking child be thrust into an English taught school and therefore be at a disadvantage?  We can’t all learn another language, it doesn’t come naturally to some people.  Some people have problems with their own language, let alone someone else’s.  And there was plenty of illiteracy in England before mass immigration, so it isn’t fair to say we are being slowed down.  And why should the focus be language skills anyway?  What about other necessary skills?  There are some jobs you can do quite happily without needing to yap at everyone.  Some jobs might be better done that way.  Artisan type jobs, for example.

Let’s celebrate everything!  Different cultures, different gifts and skills.  It doesn’t have to be onerous and pedestrian, it can be a constant, joyous flux and flow.

People keep up trade links with their own countries anyway.  Why force people to integrate who can’t or don’t want to?  As long as we can establish and maintain respect between the communities there is nothing wrong with separateness where people want to be separate and coming together where they want that.  I’m thinking that education, at least in the first years, should be within the child’s own ethnic community, because that is where they will be happiest.  And what’s wrong with having further and higher education that way as well, all within our own country?  Why should we invade or insist on dragging out into the open the private place of someone else’s cultural identity?

It’s about choice.  Choice creates industry and jobs.  This is something there is both a need and a demand for.

I say, back to basics.  Back to reality.  Stop blaming people and trying to create jobs selling things people don’t need like food, for instance, with all kinds of subliminal messages attached (why else do you think we are obese and lazy?  But those who sell it and know the methods they use to sell it still turn round and blame us and say we are a burden on the tax payer.  Well, some tax payers are a burden on everyone!).  Start providing instead the things we actually need to make society work – people skills, philosophy, values, the arts, beauty, (shh erm – religion?)

Quack quack, said the silly duck, it’s time for another industrial revolution.

Hey, this is the 21st century! (I never thought I’d say that!)  David, what kind of leader says, “you must learn our language, or you can’t come here”?  Different isn’t bad, it’s different.  It’s an opportunity.

This is so outrageous I can hardly believe you mean it.  I watch the most serious things these days and find myself laughing as if it is a comedy, sometimes.  Does everyone end up saying, as they get older, “the world has gone mad”?  Because I did last night.

If we are going to say to people, “you can’t come here unless you learn our language”, what about the people here who already don’t speak it? Are we going to end up having an ethnic purge?  Shall I being the mental health system into this?  Yes, I think I might, because in many ways it is the same kind of thing.  Ethnic purge.  That is a real danger.  There are elements, including among those in power, who after stopping entry by others who can’t speak the language/don’t share our values, will next turn on those already living among us, and that wouldn’t be pretty at all.  David Cameron, you seriously need to rethink this.  You can’t make people conform at will without damaging relationships. There would also be a backlash from some people already here from countries from which some people were not allowed access.

By the way, when I talked about snakebite earlier – I had just watched the Andrew Marr Show before I wrote this and I first thought of that phrase after hearing William Hague talking.

I think among our human rights should be the right to be inadequate and incapable, if that is what our lives have done to us, without it bearing any kind of stigma at all.  I wonder if that is possible while the great god the tax payer gets invoked against everyone that is or feels that way?

This society stinks, it is so abusive.  But it is probably not that much different from many others.  Jesus said you can’t serve God and mammon.

He also pointed out that the Bible says in one of the Psalms that we are gods, and the scriptures cannot be broken.  I used to think that was sarcasm, but would the Jesus I have been taught about have been sarcastic about scripture?  No, He wouldn’t.  Is the Jesus I have been taught about the real Jesus?  Unquestionably!  Jesus defended the scripture that says we are gods.  He would not have been sarcastic about scripture.  And we can’t serve each other (God/gods) and money as well.

I apologise for my style, but I watch and listen to so much rubbish.  It seems to be all there is available.

There is a passage in the Old Testament I have been worried about for some time now, and my unease with it and my gut rejection of it as basic, primitive and misogynistic has grown.

I can’t remember where it is, but I hope church leader readers will know the part I’m talking about.  I think it might be Leviticus or one of the first 5 books.

It says if a woman is attacked or raped and she cries out for help it isn’t her fault, but if she doesn’t cry out for help it is.  Something like that.  I might be remembering it too black and white.  I can’t find it quickly because I can’t remember the wording.

I don’t think there is any provision for if she is being threatened in any other way and is afraid to shout for help.  If she is afraid to shout for help is it still her fault, and does the fact that she might also be afraid for her own life or someone else’s so doesn’t scream mean the man is not to blame for his actions?  If she feels too threatened or confused to scream or register objection outside of the situation, does that mean the man has not committed an offence?

Also, it seems to be allowing a provision that the woman might have ‘brought it on herself’ or that she deserves it in some way.  If there is that provision, people who think that of her or who want an excuse to not get involved would ignore her and judge her even if she did scream.

I might need to look it up to get a better understanding of the passage.  However, when it comes to the way people act and react and judge and reason I’ve got it right.

Edit note: I just found it and read it.  It’s Deuteronomy 22.  If it’s in a field only the man dies because there was no one to hear her scream.  If it’s in the city and she doesn’t scream, they both die because she should have screamed.  That is if she is married or engaged.  So according to the law the man should get it both ways.

Should I assume that rape and violent threat didn’t go together in those days as they do now?  Should I assume that, because of the death penalty, if the woman had screamed the man would have tried to escape?  Should I assume that these good, law-abiding people would always have obeyed the law to intervene and put a man like this to death?  The prophets are always telling them that they tolerate things they shouldn’t.  Would they have turned a blind eye like people do today?  Yes, they would, at least sometimes.  The existence of law has never been a guarantee that people are going to obey it and that wrongdoers will always be punished.  And the Bible recognises that there is lawbreaking among leaders as well, and that they also act corruptly and irresponsibly.

Sometimes Bible teachers teach this kind of passage as if the existence of the laws meant they were always kept without question.  That is bad teaching and poor understanding because it is just not true.

If she isn’t married or engaged, and a similar situation is discovered, the man has to pay the woman’s father for the offence and marry her.  They say in rape a woman’s feelings are mixed. This might seem like a monstrous rationalisation, but I wonder if this is a provision to help her deal with these feelings?  For the man it is a punishment for the offence and maybe an opportunity for expiation.  Hmm.  There is no mention of what should happen if the situation is not discovered.  I suppose it assumes consent from the woman.  At least if it isn’t discovered no one can do anything about it.  So it’s probably just a practical observation.

Big Or Small?

John Wimber used to say, ‘be as small as you can, so God can be as big as He can’.  Then I saw a poster with something by Nelson Mandela which said we should always be as big as we can, and shine, or something.

Maybe there is no real conflict here, but it seemed like it at first.  Maybe be as big as you can just means be your best.  But be small means don’t be conceited or proud, because God knows the proud from a distance, the Bible says.

For years that has been presented to me as a deliberate positioning thing on God’s part.  Yes, I have also been told that there are some things we are not morally capable of knowing, but the knowing from a distance, I have been left with the impression that God is watching and saying, ‘if that’s the way you want it, you can stay out there until you come into line’.  But writing this, I don’t think it’s like that.  I think it is more a case of, if we are ‘wise in our own eyes’, as Proverbs 3 puts it, we are not capable of receiving God.  We are only aware of Him in relation to our felt and accepted need.  I think He knows us from a distance, primarily, because WE are the ones who won’t let Him any closer.  He’s not saying, ‘stuff you, then’.

My First Time In a Mental Hospital

I watched TV a lot, because I seemed to be being bombarded with images of people in my life, or at least within my orbit.  It might be more accurate to say that I was within their orbit.

During my first few days I saw a lookalike of Gerald Coates in Parliament on a news programme.  I said so out loud and one of the nurses said, ‘we’ve got to put a stop to this’ – meaning me, not what was on the telly!  Later I saw David Shuchman, a reporter on the news, name sounds like David Shearman, pastor of the church where I spent my teens and who is involved with parliament.  I was particularly disturbed by his name because I heard it as ‘shoeman’, because David had wanted me to take my shoes off once during a service.  It wasn’t a direct request or command, but something he said which seemed to be general from the platform.  I didn’t do it, I didn’t want to.  It somehow felt like an illicit shortcut in dealing with relationship issues.

What really freaked me one night was a film I saw, with Susan Sarandon, about a couple and a child, I think.  One of the people in it had skin identical to Colin Dye’s, I had seen that in the trailer, and it immediately had my attention.  I watched it from the beginning.  It was a pastiche of what was happening with me and the church.  There were church scenes in it, the first one I remember had a stern header over the church, something along the lines of ‘do what’s right because it’s right’.  The other I remember was at the end, where this woman, who seemed to be me, came into the church dishevelled and on her knees seeking forgiveness.  It was appalling.  Shortly before that there had been a golfing scene between people who seemed to represent John Coles (big golfer) and Colin Dye, and they were saying they seemed to have the same woman in common, the woman who seemed to represent me.  I was at that time visiting several churches, these were two of them.

Right at the beginning of the film there was a big car crash scene involving the person who looked like Colin Dye.  I had been watching intently up to that point, but when I saw that I left the room distraught and in tears, wondering what they were doing to him.  I suppose he would say my concern was misplaced and inappropriate.  A nurse came out to me and asked me what was the matter, and I told her, and she said ‘it’s only a film’.  I knew there was more to it than that, but I didn’t know how it was working, I thought it was something psychic, and I was frightened and broken down, and angry as well.  This was the first time I had encountered anything like this, to my knowledge.  There has been plenty more since.

Why don’t people listen when you say what is happening, instead of dismissing it, sometimes as mental illness, just because THEY don’t understand it and have no frame of reference for dealing with it?

So anyway, that was the TV side of things.  Apart from that, I wasn’t allowed of the ward for ages, it might have been weeks, not even escorted, and I spent 11 days without a toothbrush or toothpaste, even though I had asked for it.  Because of what I was seeing, including the fact that the wards had Biblical names, I thought I was with church people and this was somehow part of leadership training, preparation and selection, and that the delay in receiving toothpaste and a toothbrush was one among many deliberate tests I had to pass, and that this was a deliberate test of my patience and my willingness to wait in trust.  For the same reason, when I was asked if I wanted to appeal my section and told that I had a right to a solicitor, I said that I trusted the hospital staff and the people in church who had decided I should be there, and I didn’t want to appeal.  I was taken off my section, but I had nowhere to go for home, and an ex-army bully, Nick Caswell, said, ‘but you will be straight back on it if you don’t take your medication’.  I didn’t believe that was saying I would become ill again if I didn’t take the medication, but a threat of what would happen if I didn’t conform to the regime while I was in hospital.  His subsequent behaviour towards me bears this out.  He once bent my hand forward so hard and so far that it continues to hurt for 6 months afterards.  I told him at the time he was hurting me, and he said, ‘you’ll learn your lesson then, won’t you?’

One of the things that bothers me about the way this is being handled with the people I choose to communicate with is that, whatever I say, they react to it as if it is the first time they have heard it.  But now I know they knew a lot before, even before I told them.  Quite how much I don’t know.  That hurts.  I trusted them, but it seems they secured a lot of that trust by deceit.

I feel guilt towards people, and I don’t even know if it is appropriate.  I wish I had trusted Tommy more.  But I’m confused about that as well.  But I just feel as if his presence is always with me, waiting for me to turn.  It is solidly behind me.  Yet he’s not there.  Is it just a dramatic persona he projects, or is he really there for me?  Given a choice, I’d far rather be romanced than threatened.  That has been most other people’s approach – police, politicians, housing, psychiatric staff.  Church.  Tommy is a man I wish I could have a relationship with (pick up your mental eraser and scrub out ‘sexual’ from your mind, you horrible slime, any official thinking that!).

I’m tired and overwrought.  It’s been a bad month.  I tried to leave Bulgaria twice, to pick up some clothes and come back, but both times I was arrested and not allowed to fly.  And everyone at home who has been involved so far, largely without my permission, knew all about that before I even said anything about it to anyone.  The only people who knew were airport staff and police, someone at the home office (or foreign office) who was called by the police and spoke to me on the phone while I was with the police the first day, and staff of the British Embassy.  I don’t know which of them told church people, or how media people seemed to be running with it.  I didn’t break silence for a week, and I only did so because of threatening noises that I was going to be taken out of the situation on mental health grounds, which I interpreted to mean I was going to be taken out under a section and put in hospital when I got home, which is how conflict has always been handled in the past.  I broke silence and gave my version of events because I was terrorised, by remarks coming from the House of Commons (no, not in my head, bozo, I watch it on the internet!).  I spent £1,000 trying to get back.  Credit card money.  I can’t afford to risk more without an assurance from the people issuing cute or desperate calls that this time I am going to be unhindered in my efforts.  I’m on benefits.  I can’t afford it, financialy or emotionally.

All the stuff about fatwas, etc.  Is that just more lies to sabotage my attempts to move forward with my life in peace?  I think it probably is, you know.  These people know how to manipulate my self-righteousness and self-pity.  I am so miserable.  I’ve stayed in the house for over 3 weeks now, for fear of what might happen if I go out, partly, and also because I can’t deal with my embarrassment at how stupid I’ve been believing this while I am seeing images of people in my vilage on television.  If they can see them, they can see me, and I feel crippled by self-consciousness.  How have they got their images?  Have people come forward voluntarily in response to the garbage put out by the media, or are they getting them some other way?  I had great hopes for Bulgaria.  I can’t find a way to recover the joy.  I feel there will always be a shadow over me here.  We are told that Bulgarian people welcome other cultures.  My neighbours welcomed me.  I’ve never had such kind neighbours.  But I’m not sure what they were expecting.  I’m not convinced, entirely, that I’m dealing with a general anti-British nationalism.  What if I’M the one that’s prejudiced?  These media people, they say ‘torture is not culture’, but what have THEY been doing or allowing to be done to me for years?  Hmm? (warding off an effing and blinding attack).  Dem people, dey hypocrites, or dey conveniently forget.  God bless America (sorry, forgot, I’m English!)

That’s another thing (my posts always leave the original topic).  What does my friend, and Prime Minister, David Cameron, think he is doing posturing my homeland as a junior partner in a relationship with another country?  how DARE he?  In what sense are we junior?  Fighting terrorism, because 9/11 was an event in America?  We are independent (every time I get a run on thinking the kids screech.  I’m so raw and terrified, it’s making me feverish and tearful.  I can’t follow through, I can’t get to the end of my thoughts.  For fuck’s sake, it’s theft.  Anywhere I go now as a result of someone else’s input will not be where I was originally going to go, and where I would have gone without the interference would, at the very least, have been right and better for me, if not everyone else.  I feel bad.  I feel as if I am resisting their attempts to love and embrace me.  But we have no common language yet.  I love hearing their voices.  I feel as if I am in a bad place without them.  But I also need space and privacy to do my own thing?  Problem – I don’t believe myself.  Is this insistence of mine on preserving my own space just a perpetuation of the abnormal and dysfunctional approach which has been taken towards ME for years? The longer I wait, the more sick and frightening the sounds become.  It renders me inarticulate.  That seems to be what everybody always wants.  Articulate OK, as long as you say what we want you to say, when we want you to say it.  Whatever you say beyond the questions and concerns WE have doesn’t matter.  I want to hit these kids, they are really pushing it.  Why don’t their parents do something?  Don’t they realise how cruel and thoughtless it is to do this to someone who doesn’t even speak their language?  Do they think I don’t have a life in here?  They are banging the bins now.  I feel inadequate.  I’m failing.  It’s MY fault.  I’m sick in my stomach.  I’m full of tears.  My throat feels strange.  I can’t release it.  Their insolent, angry, demanding faces.  Little changelings.  Sometimes I think it is people in Bulgarian media putting them up to it or provoking them to it.  I suppose Bulgaria is also hacking my computer.  I’ve seen this before, and I’ve watched videos years later where it seemed that was what was happening.  With all the stuff being said about Russia and everything, I’m really frightened.  I think Bulgaria won’t let me leave.  I am not a performing animal.  I’m not a hamster, to be woken up and got out to play with at someone else’s whim.  And it isn’t only my own conscience which is making me so crushed.  Is this what they think of as love and normal community living?  Am I the one out of step?  It feels like it.  It feels like it because the media likes to present it that way.  These kids are giddy and out of control.   I can’t be expected to deal with it, I’m traumatised and I don’t have the language.  Someone is whipping them up.  If someone can stop my tears and return me to joy, that will be quite a feat.  I invite you to try, if you think you are capable or have the right.  If kids are going to interfere with people like this, they need their bottoms smacked.  They obviously don’t respect anything else.  In fact, they play on the fact that that isn’t going to happen, and allowing that kind of disrespect towards adults is not acceptable, especially not towards adults they have no right to be targeting with their boundary testing.  As an idealist I think communities should be run around childen, but sometimes you have to do other things.  There has to be a place, doesn’t there, for saying ‘enough is enough’, and have it respected just because you say so?  You can’t always talk about winning or forfeiting the right, because some people don’t WANT you to win the right or regain it if you ‘forfeit’ it.  Children are NOT little innocents, and however that has come about, you can’t deal with things by assuming that they are and have a right to be, always.  Aren’t I allowed my own time and space to renegotiate the relationship?  They seem to be trying to drag me out like the woman caught in adultery [whose side Jesus was on, by the way].  First they utter a war cry, then they bang something, then they make a hard, vomiting sound from their throats.  Who is teaching them to handle themselves in this way?).   DISCLAIMER:  MY FEELINGS AND EXPRESSED OPINIONS ABOUT KIDS MIGHT NOT BE RELIABLE TODAY, IN MY CURRENT EMOTIONAL STATE.  BUT SAYING HOW YOU FEEL IS STILL THE BEST WAY TO DEAL WITH IT, IF PEOPLE ARE NOT BEATING ON YOU AT YOUR EVERY THOUGHT.  EXCEPT THERE ARE THINGS I DON’T SAY, ABOUT HOW WRONG I BELIEVE I AM, BECAUSE I AM NOT WITH THE PEOPLE I BELIEVE CAN HELP ME BE RIGHT.  My internet connection has ‘been down’ for the last 30 minutes or so.

Was it David or Solomon that said days would come when people would say, ‘if only I had accepted discipline?’  That is how I am feeling now.  I’m not sure where that fits in with the fact that I have been treated so inhumanly and torturously, and I’m not sure that David or Solomon was right in the first place to say such a thing in such an unqualified way.  Are we wrong to focus so much on human rights?  I’ve heard preachers say that people want rights without responsibilities.  I can see that is sometimes true, or at least appears to be (people say a lot of things in bravado or defiance of the truth they know because they daren’t reveal their heart).  But surely it has to be true that sometimes leaders say this kind of thing to avoid having to deal with issues in their handling of their authority.  I don’t feel I have any right to be saying this stuff.  I’m not a leader.  Who is going to help me if I alienate myself from my leaders?  But even the Bible says there were good kings and bad kings.  One of them refused the advice he was given not to lay a heavy burden on the people, and the people revolted.  It doesn’t say they were wrong.  In fact, according to the Bible, God never wanted them to have a king in the first place.  According to the Bible, God SAID that kings would rob people blind and make them slaves.  On that basis it seems to me that the embraced task of a Christian monarch should be to work actively towards dissolving the monarchy.  I’m not sure how much of that I said in the letter I never sent which I believe was illegally accessed on my computer, but David seems to be making a good job of appearing to have that kind of mission as his goal, at least in terms of government, if not of monarchy.  I still think they got it off my computer.  You can’t prove that kind of thing, though, without money, or unless people are willing to stand up and say (I’ve just realised I can’t spell it!) ‘mea culpa’.  That’s not going to happen, is it?

I’m listening to a recording of the end of Premier Breakfast.  What I’ve just heard might explain some of the violent emotions and phenomena.  If you believe in that sort of thing.  These people pipe so purely you think they don’t accept any of it, even though people into spiritual warfare and deliverance teach it.

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Working through the Dark Night of the Soul to emerge as me.

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Writing about my experiences with: depression, anxiety, OCD and Aspergers

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