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Complete Psychological Topics 2: Chapters 4-End

 

by Ben Huot

July 10, 2018

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Table of Contents

Concise Philosophy Outline

Equal Opportunity Offender

  1. It is very hard for most people to accept that they are wrong about their core beliefs.
  2. It is hard to teach others things that you have no experience with, their beliefs contradict your base values and you cannot accept even part of their beliefs.
  3. It is common with most philosophies to accept part of another philosophy without accepting the entire thing.
  4. You can be sure you will offend someone if you talk about anything people care about.
  5. People who understand what philosophy is about often hate the entire discipline, because it challenges things that people thought they already had the answers to and those ideas force people to re-evaluate their core beliefs.

How to Determine What is True

  1. faith
  2. tradition
  3. scripture
  4. prophecy
  5. history
  6. fate
  7. theology
  8. prayer
  9. worship
  10. charity
  11. volunteer service
  12. religious laws
  13. forgiveness
  14. free choice
  15. intuition
  16. common sense
  17. life experiences
  18. divine intervention
  19. mystical experience
  20. meditation
  21. similar methods of discovery

Summary of My Ideas

Summary of My Ideas on Religion

  1. Sin is an addiction
  2. Faith cannot be proved
  3. Spending time with God is spiritual warfare
  4. Talking to God is a privilege
  5. Pray for God's will to be done
  6. Pray for faith
  7. Thanking God is the most powerful kind of prayer
  8. You can only see the results of your prayers through faith
  9. Do not wait to understand the Bible - Do what you do understand now
  10. Christianity is the anti-addiction
  11. The Bible does not dodge difficult issues
  12. Theology is not ideal but necessary - people get strange ideas when they just believe what the Bible says
  13. God is infallible but people aren't
  14. Only God can be truly objective
  15. Most aspects of God are a mystery
  16. Most Biblical theology is based on paradox
  17. If it is God's will, the money will come without asking
  18. Make sure God gets credit for the good things
  19. We can't even breathe without God
  20. Cutting down trees to build cathedrals does not honor God
  21. If you love God, you should be kind to the environment (His creation)
  22. Just because God forgives you, doesn't mean you should continue to sin
  23. Even though God bails you out, you should still try
  24. We should be happy we have so many choices in Bibles and churches
  25. The church is a network, not an organization

Summary of My Ideas on the World Today

  1. God is not responsible for the suffering in the world - we are
  2. Problem of suffering is an emotional one not a logical one
  3. Great changes in society require great changes on our part
  4. Society is good at engineering how to do things but is not so good at determining the need
  5. We live like kings did in the past
  6. We have sacrificed resilience for efficiency
  7. The world economy is brittle
  8. World makes sense if you see it from a negative perspective and follow causes and effects
  9. Most Christians in the world are poor and being persecuted by rich Muslims

Summary of My Ideas on American Culture

  1. American exceptionalism is hubris
  2. America was founded by atheists and was never a Christian nation
  3. People now expect the world out of others but nothing out of themselves
  4. Many peoples' greatest fear is doing their job properly
  5. Science as a belief system
  6. Sci-fi and feminism have become mainstream
  7. Most people believe and feel things they cannot say in words
  8. Our problem is not that we don't have enough money but that we have poor self control
  9. No one owes you anything - tell this to corporations
  10. God doesn't need your money - pay your taxes and worship God
  11. Don't take out loans - save up before hand

Summary of My Ideas on Individual Choices

  1. We are our greatest enemy
  2. You can only change yourself
  3. You can always improve your situation or make it worse
  4. We don't realize how much suffering happens as a result of our sins
  5. We expect too much out of life
  6. We need to be realistic in our expectations of life
  7. What we think isn't very important is the most important
  8. People that claim to be objective are the least objective
  9. People don't change their minds due to argument
  10. I don't want followers
  11. Don't be lazy: find your own path
  12. My ideas are a way of thinking, not a formula or a series of steps
  13. Be creative in your decisions so you save time and resources
  14. Creativity is useful in any area
  15. Creativity is harder when used within constraints
  16. There are no shortcuts to peace and happiness
  17. It is easy to solve other people's problems
  18. Don't expect that other people will solve your problems
  19. Be surprised when things do work out
  20. Everyone is an individual, whether they like it or not
  21. Don't count anything too close
  22. Don't rely on just one thing
  23. Trying to be humble is the most arrogant thing

Summary of My Ideas on Other Topics

  1. Boredom is a gift - exciting times tend to be painful
  2. Intention is everything spiritually but not physically
  3. Pain is the most significant thing to you when it happens
  4. The ends never justify the means - the means determine the ends
  5. I want others to be happy, even if I can't be
  6. People that clean and maintain things are the most important
  7. There are 2 sides to any personality trait
  8. Have lower highs and you will have higher lows
  9. Plain writing does not mean simple ideas
  10. Understanding comes in mid sentence
  11. Getting a degree doesn't mean you know anything
  12. Invention is nothing - implementation is everything
  13. Simple is not the same thing as easy
  14. Think long term

Future Possibilities

Technological Revolution

Information Revolution is a Great Technological Revolution on the scale of the Agricultural Revolution and any knowledge, institutions, and areas of study that arose when we started the original civilizations will be barely recognizable in the future if they even still exist

  1. written history
  2. basic math
  3. laws and government
  4. cities
  5. large scale food production
  6. public projects like roads
  7. accounting
  8. schools of any kind
  9. religious institutions
  10. armies and large scale warfare
  11. jobs other than hunter/gatherer

Legal Changes

Vice laws that people think don't hurt other people and Hollywood glamorizes will all be legalized

  1. gambling
  2. sex outside marriage
  3. drug use
  4. aggressive panhandling
  5. traffic violations
  6. bullying
  7. gossip
  8. dirty words and jokes

Advice for the Future

  1. be responsible and follow rules and common sense
  2. take care of yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually
  3. eat lots of vegetables, take all medicines, go to counseling, volunteer
  4. keep reading the Bible, praying and going to church
  5. think long term
  6. be aware of bad signs like doing things in secret or if you have bad feeling about it
  7. if you aren't sure, don't do it
  8. avoid anything addictive or inappropriate to show to your parents
  9. avoid anything too good to be true or something that seems too easy
  10. learn as much as possible and be as self-sufficient as possible
  11. keep busy doing something productive for others, give 100%, and keep loads of savings on hand
  12. always allow much more time to do things than you think you will need
  13. obey authorities without question or complaint
  14. do not anger others
  15. be as anonymous and unimportant as possible
  16. do not trust anyone asking for money or identifying information
  17. do not break others things especially living ones
  18. forgive others for your peace of mind

Business Ideas

  1. Care about your customer and choose an area you know about things other people don't
  2. Most successful products or services of the last 30 years were designed and marketed to make something easier for the consumer
  3. There are likely no new products or services people need or want anymore
  4. Privacy and security are the key ways to differentiate your product now - no one does it but every consumer wants it
  5. Multifunctional products or services have a big advantage over single function ones in convenience and overall cost
  6. Try to cannibalize other people's products or services
  7. Do not rely on just one product or services and expect some of your products to become irrelevant fast
  8. Go into an industry that has little competition
  9. Find a product or service that is a new spin on an old idea
  10. Find a product or service that is not easy for someone else to reproduce
  11. Find the most expensive product or service in that area
  12. Find a way to make money and do not change it (business model)
  13. Target market should be people who are spending a lot on that particular item
  14. Your brand is the most important thing - without it you can only compete on price or features and will have very thin margins
  15. You need to not hire too many people and control expenses
  16. You must do well in every key business area and can fail if you are bad in even one
  17. Invest money into the company and advertise
  18. Make a website that has at least your company email and phone number, address, hours of operation, map to store and update it right away when any of those changes and always respond to phone calls and emails promptly
  19. The key to the cost of stores is location or more precisely foot traffic
  20. Sell your company to a bigger one if you can get a good price

Military Ideas

Military Training

  1. There is no way to explain what the military is like or fully prepare a person before basic training
  2. The army has a distinct mono culture and designed it this way to bring people from diverse backgrounds together
  3. The army is difficult emotionally, not intellectually
  4. Every soldier is first and foremost an infantry/foot soldier
  5. What you learn in basic training are called combat survival skills and you train on them constantly afterwards
  6. Basic training is the army's version of a psychological evaluation
  7. The army deliberately puts you under stress to simulate combat, not to be mean
  8. The point of going through a gas chamber in the army is to make sure your mask seals correctly and to motivate you to put on your mask as quickly as possible - you go to the gas chamber every year in the army
  9. The army values improvement over anything else
  10. The army was too easy in training us for combat

Military Stereotypes

  1. Service members are some of the best people you will ever meet
  2. Our military is actually as kind as they can be and still win wars
  3. The army has no choice in the wars they fight in or how they fight in them
  4. The biggest fear of any soldier is serving in combat
  5. Everyone can be called back within the first 8 years after you sign up
  6. The enlisted service member gets paid too little and the military laws are unreasonably strict
  7. Best thing for enlisted soldiers to do for advancement is get college credit
  8. Women and men train together and serve from the very beginning of their service - we need everyone we can to run the military
  9. One soldier told the Drill Sergeant he was gay and the Drill Sergeant said he didn't care and get back to work
  10. The average soldier is in as good shape as an olympic athlete
  11. The army expects you to be good at everything

My Military Experience

  1. Give 150% and follow orders immediately and you will do well anywhere in the military
  2. I was constantly terrified, tired, and trusted no one in the military
  3. I had a near death experience in the tear gas chamber
  4. I never fully adjusted to the army culture because I never even thought of changing who I was
  5. I chose the army over the other services because as I saw it as the common man's service
  6. I understood the importance of labor unions during my training in the army
  7. Nowhere is more depressing than an army base
  8. Happiness is being out of the military

Military's Challenges

  1. The sergeants have the toughest job in the army
  2. Don't apologize to a sergeant, just don't do it again
  3. Most people do not sign up for a second tour
  4. The army is a cross section of America

Schizophrenia

Why I Cope so Well

  1. Accepted I needed help from the beginning
  2. Felt lucky I was not tortured or burned alive or even had to go to combat or do torture training
  3. I had a healthy, normal childhood
  4. Never took illegal drugs or smoked anything
  5. Never committed any crimes
  6. Always on medication
  7. Great family support
  8. Great support from God as born again Christian
  9. Get more money as veteran with honorable discharge
  10. Have been able to keep myself busy
  11. Live almost completely independently

Experiencing Schizophrenia

  1. All stimuluses are intensified
  2. Causes adrenaline to go through veins constantly while medicine makes you very tired
  3. Always tired and always hungry, gain huge amount of weight due to medicine
  4. Lonely disease - stressed out in social situations
  5. Very literal and religious
  6. Often suffer from anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorders
  7. Get regular episodes of depression as well
  8. Fear irrational things happening while at the same time knowing it isn't true
  9. Counseling people to overcome their fear is ineffective because you cannot out smart your brain because the brain is you
  10. Does not affect intelligence
  11. Most disabling disease that doesn't kill you
  12. Have to keep stress level low or it undoes medicine
  13. Medicine basically guarantees you will get diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease

Web Design Ideas

  1. Alice in wonderland like weird and messy design field
  2. Easy to do special effects, but very hard to center things
  3. Designs have to work on anything from business cards to billboards
  4. Making a website load fast is an entire career field of its own
  5. Websites are very brittle and can be broken very easily
  6. Everyone has to agree on what features are available and how they work
  7. Multiple entirely different and independent software engines have to display the same designs in the same way
  8. No matter what is done to make it easier, it creates different extremely bad side effects
  9. The career field is looked down upon by business managers and programmers because it isn't "hardcore/macho" enough
  10. Every client treats you like a technician and doesn't allow you to use any of the skills you learned
  11. Everybody wants to be a designer and very few people are willing to pay anything for it
  12. Best design helps the user understand the content better
  13. You need to develop the judgement to know when to and when not to follow the rules
  14. If your design is ugly, unreadable, or worse than before you designed it, you failed
  15. Design is a service industry and clients shouldn't have to know your design process, techniques, or tools
  16. Most designers do constant little changes to their designs
  17. Tracking down errors and mistakes is everyone's least favorite job
  18. I like web design, because it changes fast so that I am always able to learn new things
  19. I like the web because my designs and content are always available in their latest form
  20. Have enough experience to know what technologies to avoid and which ones to adopt
  21. Every one of my design decisions has a reason
  22. I am not dependent on any one software program to do design with
  23. I don't design for advanced users because they are only 1% of the population
  24. I haven't learned to program because there is so much free software available

Philosophical Influences

Biblical

Apostle Paul

Apostle John

Prophet Jeremiah

Prophet Nehemiah

Prophet Elijah

King Solomon

King David

Chinese

Chuang Tzu

Hsun Tzu

Bodhidharma

Dogen

Han Shan

Li Po

Tu Fu

Other Asian and African

Al-Ghazzali

Hafiz

Kabir

Kebra Nagast

Archbishop Desmund Tutu

Existential

Kierkegaard

Camus

Viktor Frankl

Tolstoy

Dostoevsky

Nietzsche

Renaissance and Enlightenment

Meister Eckhart

Erasmus

Montaigne

Berkeley

Locke

Spinoza

Latest Writings

Finding Qualified Psychiatric Help

It is hard to find good mental health service providers, as mental illness is a speciality within psychiatry and not only is their very limited money in that area, as most people with Schizophrenia are on government financial assistance, but also that it tends to be very discouraging to treat and the amount of bureaucracy involved can be very disillusioning for the providers. In addition, the (human) brain is the most complicated thing we have ever studied, in the physical sciences.

I was very surprised to find out recently that there are treatments for Schizophrenia that are effective, in addition to the medicine and the treatments are not difficult, scary, painful, or costly. I didn't put out much hope that this would happen because the amount of research goin into this area must be small.

We still don't have any movie stars who are championing our cause and it is very hard for someone with Schizophrenia to advocate to the government for people with this disease, due to them not doing well under stress. Also, Schizophrenia is much harder to treat than depression and anxiety, as it it a thought disorder rather than a mood disorder.

For diagnosis, you need a psychiatrist, which is defined by being someone with a doctorate in both medicine and psychology, because the medicines and the disease affect the body, as well as the mind. For prescribing, you need a mental health nurse practitioner or someone with a doctorate in pharmaceutical sciences, as they need to at least about how the medicine acts in your body. For counseling, which can be either/or individual or group, treatment is directed usually by a psychologist with a masters or doctorate in psychology.

What my family has found is that some people without degrees know a lot about the disease at times and it is also common to find trained and certified providers who don't know so much about the illnesses. Even reading a few good books and spending several years close to someone with Schizophrenia might give you more useful information than a lot of formal training given to psychiatrists. Even for psychiatrists, mental illness is not the main focus in their curriculum.

You probably already know this, but you need to be careful what you look up and even more what you learn from what you read online. There are many studies that say things like nutrition, illegal drugs, electro-shock therapy, or certain religious practices help with Schizophrenia, but many of these are written by non-professionals and either don't work or can cause pain, go against your beliefs, or even make the condition worse.

I believe, as a born again Christian, that there are spiritual realities beyond just the physical world and I believe that many people are misdiagnosed. It is more likely for a person to be going through an existential or midlife crisis, have dark night of the soul, an emotional breakdown, have a different psychiatric condition, or a long list of other conditions often confused with Schizophrenia.

But I do contend that these are different conditions or situations and these should be treated differently. Schizophrenia does not give you any special abilities and is entirely a disability. If you truly have special powers, then you likely don't have Schizophrenia or you at least want to deal with that part in a separate way.

Modern psychology and religion can coexist, especially with Christianity. The mind sits between the spirit and the body, so an ultimate provider would use an understanding of all three, in any treatment of any condition. But for now, you will have to piece together a lot of this yourself. But still, the best advice is to get diagnosed by a psychiatrist and then, depending on your diagnosis, take medicine as prescribed, before you try anything else.

I recommend treatment according to the medical establishment, even though I am not a fan of any establishment, which is not to say that non-professionals don't have good ideas as well. It is just like on the Internet, you can find all sorts of cool little boutiques stores, but when you deal with more important things and you don't want them screwed up, you go with an established brand.

Breakthroughs in Schizophrenia Treatment

It was for a long time in the modern medical era that it was thought by mainstream professional certified psychologists that you cannot counsel someone to apply reasoning to the paranoia and delusions that come with certain types of Schizophrenia and other forms of psychosis. The only major treatment options centered around taking medicine and distracting the person from symptoms like with music and engaging in conversation.

When I was introduced to meditation, almost 20 years ago, I discovered the Zen Buddhist meditation where you empty your mind of everything and the Tai Chi and Qi Gung meditations where you use movement with meditation. I figured out how to do the Zen meditation and got videos for doing the Qi Gong, but I didn't have the emotional energy to keep doing the Zen meditation and didn't have the ability to commit to a schedule with the Qi Gong.

This kind of meditation that is now being used a a treatment for Schizophrenia is called mindfulness, which I think comes from the Insight Meditation of Theravada Buddhism. It was popularized by Thich Nat Hanh and the book Wherever You Go, There You Are. It has also been applied for pain management and death counseling. This is a much quicker and easier and has been successfully used with average middle school age kids.

The mindfulness meditation is not about emptying your mind of everything or concentrating on movements for better health. Mindfulness is being aware of the phenomena around you in that particular moment and then recognizing it and coming back to your breathing and acknowledging thoughts and feelings as they come. This practice can be done with a guided voice track or even just in walking around your neighborhood.

The point of practicing mindfulness for a person dealing with delusions and paranoia is to work this mental muscle, so they can strengthen the rational part of their mind and control their feelings rather than be controlled by them. As a Christian Existentialist Philosophical Taoist, I am not a favor of rational and concrete thinking about life and problems, but I realized that the point of all this is about choosing and getting control of your life so that you can avoid unnecessary suffering. Those concepts align very much with those philosophies.

Mindfulness can be thought of as critical thinking as applied to your personal life. Just like I have no control over external things like politics or business, so I focus on improving my own life. This is just like the serenity prayer from St. Francis of Assisi used in addiction counseling. Even though the external world is truly painful, irrational, and out of any one's control, our internal lives can be happier and make more sense.

In reasoning out paranoid thoughts, we work against the greatest threat in psychosis which is ambiguity or the unknown. If you train yourself to do something beforehand, it become less stressful later on when you deal with it in a stressful situation. You think of the worst case scenario that is common for people who worry incessantly in a positive direction, but you think of only likely rational scenarios.

You evaluate like they do in business in what is called a cost-benefit analysis. I am very focused on making my website the best it can be and am often unwilling to leave it broken, so that I stay up late fixing it. The thing is though that the beauty of web design is when you make mistakes, no one dies. When you think of something bad happening, you have to first evaluate whether it is factually true or not and is it helpful to think about the thought in that particular way. Finally, you think of evidence for an against this scenario happening.

Why Things Are The Way They Are

Most people at least try to be rational, but there is a certain strain of thinking that embraces the irrational. It is not that we should do everything for no reason, but sometimes the way we go about reasoning can have some unforeseen bad side effects.

Before what is called the Enlightenment that happened in the mid eighteenth century, a lot of the thinking in the early modern and premodern world were more similar to what we have in the Middle East today. We see only the negative side effects of some very specific policies there, but we have lost some very important things from traditional thinking.

There were also many things that happened right around the time of the Enlightenment like the Industrial Revolution, modern economic ideas, and international law. This all happened at the same time as Western Europe dominated the world militarily and politically and right after the peak and decline of the Islamic world. Basically, the modern world is a creation of the Western Europe, more specifically the Dutch did most of the ideas minus the industrial revolution (which the English and then the Americans co-adopted). This was all made possible by the wealth of the Americas and the idea of world trade.

The Chinese fell behind because they adopted what is called agrarianism as part of Confucianism and the Japanese did not. Agrarianism is an economy based on subsistence where the main business is agriculture and the point is to break even and not do substantial trade in luxury goods internationally. The Chinese didn't keep a big fleet of ships because most their traditional enemies were inland (Turks, Mongols). The Japanese didn't even exist as a united country until about the early modern period, which was long after Chinese culture had peaked and China had already existed for thousands of years.

So what does this all mean and why is this a problem? This current world is a world dominated by wealth and power with the use of religion to justify this based on the idea that wealthy people are wealthy because they are more moral than others. Modern China and most of South and East Asia run the same way. Currently for all intents and purposes our entire world functions as one giant economy and much of it also works as one giant police state. The only major areas of the world which are hold outs are Russia, the Middle East and Africa, not coincidentally, the more religious part of the world, both Christianity foremost and Islam secondarily.

So why is this bad? The problem with wealth and power as signs of morality is that the basic ideas of major world religions are opposed to this idea, for good reason. Most people's problems are tied into sex or money. The traditional worldview sees these as problems and the modern worldview as our world cultural output which centers around Hollywood promotes these two things as necessary for realism or personal creativity.

The entire economy and things necessary to what we consider to be the modern world are based on oil which most reserves are in the Russia, Middle East, and Africa. Modern medicine that saves less than it kills is entirely based on disposable plastic containers. Computers, which are used for getting your food on your table before it rots, require a delicate exchange of goods that spans the entire globe, especially in East Asia. This creates a very brittle society because the business community is still trying to base our entire economic advantage in being efficient/cheap as possible at the expense of everything else.

The big obstacle we have hit that we can't get around is that this entire worldview is based on continual growth forever. Once we are no longer able to expand our economy indefinitely, then everyone starts getting poorer. The obstacle to continual growth is oil and the amount of oil we can use is leveled off. No one in the world is getting richer unless at the expense of others from now on. The iPhone was the last thing people bought that has significant markups that people wanted and most people bought everything with significant margins that they needed was at least a generation ago.

Everybody now wants to make more money selling stuff, but no one wants to buy anything. The only obvious thing anyone would be willing to buy is alternative energy and Internet privacy/security which are both considered unpatriotic. The most lucrative thing now is people's information but the government and industry will only buy so much especially as they learn more and more that there is less value and ability to get value out of this information than they realize. People aren't going to buy much of anything as they no longer have any extra money, no matter how well you advertise it and the government can only make use of so much data as shown by the continual school shootings that are the government cannot seem to prevent.

So the world today seems very well explained by the beliefs and behavior of the rival groups, but if you don't want to accept that we, as people, are actually the problem to the survival of moral world, than it seems to be more positive to just say things don't make sense. Some of the extreme ways wealthy people go to getting more money and their unwillingness to even consider other ways to make money sound very much like they are addicts. We could get rid of terrorism instantly by either everyone agreeing to never report terrorist activity or accepting that this is an inevitable cost of maintaining a one world economy and just increase security to appropriate levels in critical infrastructure around the world.

So the problem in our world is that we are starved for a relationship with God and the other part of the world that resists this anti-God one world economy has a very negative and violent understanding of God. We both need to accept that we cannot change the way other people want to live their lives and we have so many things we are doing wrong in our own worlds maybe we want to think about that before criticizing other people's choices. Also, the one thing that could possibly bring us together might be Christianity. But bringing us together has not seemed to bring peace to our society either.

Why I Try to Think Irrationally

Most people try to approach the world in a logical manner, but in my experience in dealing with most the things I have had to for many years, I have found that it makes more sense just to accept that things don't make sense. Obviously, this creates other problems like in dealing with Schizophrenia, where it is to my advantage to make an extra effort to try to think through things rationally.

My first introduction to nonsense as the normal way of things working was in the military. I remember early on in basic training that we would get a form and we were not to fill it out, until we were instructed how to by the drill sergeant. If someone started filling it out, it was ripped up and they had to listen to how to fill it out. We would cross off some items and write in others. Most of the space on the forms we never filled out at all.

The Drill Sergeants were mostly very serious about everything, but one of the few things that made them laugh is that the government passed a law for the reduction of paperwork. The way this was implemented was that we had to fill out an additional paper for this. Years later I realized the point of the paperwork. It basically works as a contract where filling it out acknowledges legally that the law congress has passed is being followed correctly and is a way for those following the law to show they have complied.

Although I have heard that officers get very different training, the enlisted training I had in the Army basically was that you just did whatever you were told down to the last detail with no thought as to whether it made sense or not. We were like the arms and legs or worker ants of the military and the officers and NCOs so some extent were the brains. It didn't matter whether it made any sense. It was not our job to consider that possibility. This is probably the core reason why it is hard to adjust to the military vs. civilian way of life and most people only do great in one or the other.

So after I left the military and went to college, I was introduced to Taoism and Confucianism in my Chinese Literature Class I originally took because I was trying to learn Chinese when I transferred into the local university after I got all the credits that I could at the community college. I was horrid at it as I was at French in high school. It just went too fast for me. But I understood the philosophy quite well especially Taoism from my very first reading of Chuang Tzu.

Taoism makes sense if you understand Confucianism, which was familiar to me because of how my grandma and uncles from my mom's side acted and similarities to the military. Confucianism is all about manners and respect for learning. In traditional China, the government controlled all business and the Emperor employed managers to run the farming which was most of the economy. The basis for selection was by taking a public service examination where you proved how well you understood Confucianism by writing poetry. Education, not business, law, or warfare was the highest ideal for profession.

So as in most things Chinese, there is a a duality to each of the basic ideas, popularized by the Yin Yang symbol. In Confucianism, everyone has a certain rank in clear hierarchy and every decision made is entirely political. In Taoism, the highest good is survival and the avoidance of unnecessary pain. Taoism in ancient China was like dropping out of society and was counter to the idea of any politics. Taoism was always associated with writing poetry and drinking wine. If you failed your imperial examination or were placed in Southern China, your alternative choice was to be a Taoist sage.

Confucius set the place for Taoism when he said that the village idiot was wiser than himself. Zen Buddhism is a kind of hybrid between Taoism and Buddhism, but in practice Buddhism and Confucianism have more in common than Taoism. This is because Buddhism and Confucianism are reflective and mental, Taoism is more physical and impulsive like an animal vs. a person. It is often described as spontaneity.

Neo-Confucianism (starting at 1000 AD) takes ideas from Buddhism to provide a metaphysics, as traditionally Chinese philosophy and medicine never asked the question of why, but how (or the way). The rationale for both Confucianism and Taoism was that previous Chinese dynasties followed what we now call Taoism and Confucianism ideas and Confucius and Lao Tzu were actually not original in their philosophies but rather wanted to bring things back to a better golden era in the past.

Soon after this, I learned web design because I had a sensitivity to chemicals and it was the one thing I could do that I could avoid being around cleaning chemicals. Web design is irrational as well and has gotten more so as time as progressed. In web design today, you have to make the same design work on everything from a postage stamp to a billboard, which has never been the requirement for any other type of design in history. Special effects are very easy to do, but it is almost impossible to center things especially vertically, do any sort of columns, or printing without cutting off the page right in the middle of the sentence (vertically).

One of the big problems today is that people's requirements for web design might not even be fully possible geometrically in the physical world. First, some people are still trying to make web pages that are basically written or graphically intense documents where others are trying to make a very sophisticated programming system out of exactly the same techniques and with the same content. The other thing that people want to do with web design is to make it design itself and the other questionably physically possible is they want to put random things into a space without knowing anything about them including dimensions, media type, or proportions. And the biggest rule of the web is that everything created beforehand needs to work forever in any future technology with the same techniques.

So I have thought of a model to put these things into a conceptual framework to combine both the rational and irrational elements to accurately reflect life and integrate them into my beliefs and experiences while still giving me peace of mind. There are 3 basic levels. The first level is boring and routine and fairly rational and predictable. The second level involves chance and luck and is driven by probability and people's decisions. The third level is God and His purpose working in the world as well as His direct divine intervention.

Childhood Lessons in Religion

Two of the big challenges I have had to deal with from an early age were an anger problem and a silliness problem, which much later I realized they were related. I had masked my anger problem with my silliness problem. This coping strategy finally fell apart in my first few weeks in the military. This kind of put on a major personality change that made me much more serious, having little patience, and having a serious self esteem problem.

After leaving the military before my tour was up and not knowing at the time that I had Schizophrenia, I found in college that I was not good at business as I had planned for a career in and found out that I was good in philosophy and writing. After looking for a number of years after leaving the military to help explain myself beyond just being unique, I finally found that a combination of Christian Existentialism and Philosophical Taoism explained these unusual views I had from childhood and gave me a framework to deal with my failures in the military and college and later Schizophrenia.

I had always been a born-again Christian from an early age, but I often got in arguments with others about it and this often made my angry and was divisive. I finally came to the conclusion shortly before I was diagnosed that it was futile to argue about religion as no one changes their mind due to argument. I also came to the conclusion that talking about it in a less personal and emotional way and more from an academic point of view, talking about religion became less divisive and more civil.

I also learned in college that the biggest thing stopping Christianity in 95% of the world was its association with American Imperialism (the Modern World Economic System, Secret World Police State, and Hollywood Culture). Most things you hear about well known Christians in popular culture and the well known televangelists is that they are extremely conservative, rich, powerful, and aggressive. I have always been a liberal environmentally and animal rights wise and since my first major job (serving in the military) I have been liberal in terms of labor rights and financial aid for the poor.

So I see a place in Christianity to bring the Gospel to a new demographic not served by politically conservative evangelicals. I am aiming for the seeker (the not yet believer but interested in spiritual things). I am not concerned with appealing to other Christians, who think I am not faithful for things they don't understand. I have chosen to go about this in a different way partly because of my personality and partly because so many Christians have tried the more popular route and adding one more to that would make less difference than taking and entirely different approach.

I believe that if someone truly searches for God, they will end up with faith in Christ. First they need to start reading again and second they need to start being more critical in their thinking. I would like to give them some information to people interested to help them criticize the establishment and then motivate them to read the Bible. One of the major parts of my writing that many Christians find fault with is criticizing the many different parallel church organizations as I do all of the establishment (and their blind support for the establishment). My answer is that you don't know the mind of God and I can hear His voice directly and do not need you to understand God and the Bible.

I am a born again Christian and I am unique and I follow the Bible the best I know how. I do not support the World Government and never will. I don't care how many times you try to explain to me that God likes rich and powerful people and hates the poor and needy, I don't believe that a system that is based on greed is Biblical. I also think for all the positives and negatives of this world that this kind of world is one of the few I could do more than just survive in.

I do not believe that God is conservative or mainstream and I believe that there is ample evidence all through the Bible that God wants to rule us directly and communicate with us directly. The only way to change our world is through prayer and it is also the safest. The only thing we can all change is in how we live our lives and how we think about things.

I have chosen to commit a good portion of my life studying comparative religions for several reasons:

Mindfulness 2.0

I am continuing to learn about mindfulness meditation, so I am giving a better idea of what it is and how it can be useful in treating Schizophrenia, as time goes by. First of all, the best and primary treatment for Schizophrenia is still psychiatric medicines prescribed by a mental health professional. There are many misconceptions about mindfulness as it is a subtle concept.

Essentially, anyone who has tried to deal with disturbing thoughts like in physical pain, anxiety or addiction has found that trying not to think about them almost always leads to a negative outcome, where you get the exact opposite of what you want. This is why you engage in what could be described at not-non-thinking in mindfulness which means that you do not try to think or not think about the disturbing thoughts.

Many people who have been in the mental health field, who work with the mentally ill have long considered any kind of counseling as ineffective in treating Schizophrenia. This new approach with mindfulness does not go against this reality. You do not try to reason out a mentally ill person's delusions or paranoia to convinced them they are not real.

These thoughts are as real to the people as time is to everyone. Ultimately everything physical is impermanent and ultimately an illusion. But when we experience pain, it throws us back into the middle of our physical world with such force that we cannot hold back how real it is to us.

So mindfulness is a skill that needs to be practiced to be effective. In mindfulness, you let thoughts come and go and notice them without forming judgements. It is like when you try to accept your life as it is that you learn to accept your limitations not as points of suffering but simply as a reality.

The more you think about or try not to think about your suffering, the worse it gets. The mind does a good job of putting things together and making sense of it and in a person suffering with paranoid thoughts, the starting point is the fear. Then the mind tries to explain it and in so doing builds a picture of it that gets More elaborate and convincing as it feeds on your attention.

Fear thrives on uncertainty and a good way to limit its destructive power is to just accept it and let it go rather than trying to fight it off or figure out how to suppress it. Distraction is also a proven method for dealing with disturbing thoughts, but the problem is that you have a hard time getting to sleep, while you are trying to distract yourself from your thoughts.

These fears unleash the flight or flight response, as the part of the brain, that helps others realize that these fears are irrational is destroyed or doesn't function properly in a person suffering with Schizophrenia. So the conventional strategy often used in more classical meditation and different ways of developing discipline and thought control are ineffective in a person with Schizophrenia's mind.

We often think too much and with it get overwhelmed by how much information is available today and have a hard time identifying what it relevant and what is not. Not only are many thing not worth learning or finding solutions for, but also many feelings we are burdened with don't need to be fully examined or explained. With some aspects of life it is enough to accept that they exist, even though our minds don't want to let the feelings go.

As much as we try to find other ways to fix our problems externally, sometimes the best solution is to exercise our free will. You cannot choose your DNA or your childhood, but you can choose how you want to live your life. You really do have the power to think about what you want to.

Do not just accept that you have to fight your own mind. There is no need to struggle, because you are already in control. If you want a peaceful mind, it already is, so just let go of your violent thoughts. You cannot always choose what thoughts you want let in your mind but you can choose what thoughts you dwell on.