|How sad, to fight so hard over so little when you have so much.|
- Account of a Curse
- Wretchedness and a Gun
- Those Times my Psychosis Nearly Killed Me
- Fragments of a Once Broken Mind
In social situations I couldn't help but imagine people thinking the worst of me, this was my negative self image created and reinforced over the years due to the way I'd been treated by thoughtless and hurting people. Under internal tension I couldn't help but believe these thoughts, including the thoughts that I was under magickal attack from a Buddhist priest and his two young punk friends. A delusion starting whilst I was high.
Part of the problem was extreme sexual tension. I was in a small college, a situation frought with sexual tension, and I was desparately ashamed of being a virgin (just as I was desparately ashamed of much of my past). This caused a desperation within me, finding an outlet in pornography and excessive masturbation, which of course exacerbated the problem. I was so bound up with continual tension and fear that there was no prospect of actually having sex, and it certainly seemed like everyone around me could see this horrible conflict within me. A humiliating vicious circle.
The other aspect contributing to this is that, I'm afraid to say, Evangelical Christianity indoctrinates children to believe what they hear and to accept external authorities for truth. It also teaches that believing things is faith. So my mind was well practised at believing things. To be fair most other belief systems, including New Atheism, outsource authority on the nature of reality. This is how the power of suggestion works, a worldview that includes external sources of authority about the world teaches you to develop a habit of doing what you're told and believing what you're told. It's not impregnable, it is merely a habit.
Yet another aspect that affected me was the trauma of a waking sexuality. I didn't have many friends during adolescence and even fewer I could talk about such matters with. I discovered masturbation by "accident" and having been taught to fear sexuality I was afraid and ashamed of my own nature, particularly the power and strength of my own feelings which overwhelmed me and made it impossible to think. My early experiences of being paralysed by the feeling of being in love made it a repeatedly painful experience.
As the magickal delusion took a grip, under the extreme tension of a series of bad trips, I knew that the only reason it could happen was if I believed it. That was the only reality it could have, and yet I could see it happening and I didn't know how not to believe it.
This is why atheism is such an effective and popular psychological wall. Everyone sees the horror and the madness, amongst which I count the awful harm done by blind adherence to religion. A strong determination not to beleive in any of it is a strong and powerful wall against the madness and the evil it contains. I personally believe atheism is a reasonable response and view on the modern world and I don't blame anyone for thinking like that. Refusing to understand others who think differently, refusing to accept that their beliefs may be rational and reasoned based on their particular experiences and in mocking those beliefs in order to reinforce their own psychological defences, is however an awful aspect of atheism.
I'll recount two of the particular occassions I recall the delusion burying itself deeper in my mind. These are merely a choice selection of a couple of these occasions I remember, perhaps I'll recount the others too at some point. They are forever etched in my memory, no danger of forgetting. They don't paint a particularly flattering picture of me, but then none of that unholy mess does.
In the first incident I was in the room gifted to me by the Buddhist priest I thought was stealing my soul. I was in the thrall of terror, probably high at the time, lying in bed. I felt the horrible tension gripping me as it often did and unable to resist. The pressure tightened inside until I felt it as the shape of a child then an infant within me. The infant too slipped away under the grip of the curse. As it slipped away it occurred to me that this was a curse meaning the taking of my first born child (I had no children then). Naturally I believed that explanation. I suspect that the reality was that the tension, as it cut further into my subconscious memories, followed the shape of my memories of being a child. I have no conscious memories of being a baby though and I have no idea whether that is a plausible idea. I do know it was awful and also that it is gone. In the past.
The second was one of the occasions that I felt subject to magickal attack in the presence of my Buddhist friend and his punk compatriots. I was sitting in a chair in the grip of the paralysing tension, the freeze of the fight, freeze, flee impulse. The other occupants of the room were all knelt on the floor arranging crystals bought in bulk by the priest for the express purpose of magickal warfare and his dream of the time of a new generation of wizards taking over the world. I couldn't speak but sat rigidly still. As they gleefully created a mandala of crystals before me the tension cut deeper and deeper, seemingly pulled in by their mirth and the arrangement of crystals before me. It would be fair to say that it wasn't the most fun way to spend an evening.