A Note from the Psychiatrist

or

The Trance

After the last few pages on Colombia our Patient sensed that he was getting a bit extreme - ‘Reagan the Monster and Bush the Ape man’ - name-calling, as if he was on the playground - thinking somehow that these insults would do any good - thinking that somehow their followers would somehow change allegiances because of the eloquence of his poetic curses - not realizing that it’s rarely a good idea to make someone mad - especially when that someone has access to the mightiest military force the world has ever seen - and that this group of rulers are used to squashing humans like flies - anyone who gets in the path of their obsessive goals - or aggravate them in any way.

Anyway he needed a break. We needed a break.

It seems that he wrote the above ‘feel good’ story to break his trance. Note that he was reverting to the fairy tale. He was tired of the ‘fairy tale being over’. He wanted a happy ending, based upon love and harmony. He was seeking the Bliss, but unfortunately in all the wrong places. The fairy tale, not only is populated with beautiful princesses and dynamic prince charmings, it is also populated with fearsome dragons, evil wizards, and wicked witches. With the fairy tale comes the nightmare, the horror story - Hansel and Gretel, abandoned by their parents to be eaten by witches. Thus while this modern fairy tale helped to mitigate the negativity of his trance, in no way did it snap him out of it. That had to come later.

What did this Trance consist of?

Our Patient had begun to believe that his Newspaper World was real. This belief was encouraged by everyone else in the Asylum - who participated in the same collective delusion - which was, of course, encouraged by the Asylum Directors - who regularly distributed misinformation to the Inmates - with the idea of keeping them in control thru fear - As long as the lunatics were afraid they wouldn’t think of escaping - and further it was a great way to manipulate their behavior.

As an aside the Directors had put out so much of this Propaganda that they had begun to believe it themselves.

Our Patient had begun to see thru this misinformation campaign. He wanted to share his insights with the rest of the Inmates, but was afraid of retaliation by the Directors. However he had misinterpreted the Propaganda. He reacted to it and so became part of it. His opposition gave more energy to the illusion. Thus just as the Directors began believing their own Propaganda, so did our Patient begin believing the Not of the Propaganda.

With the Propaganda and the Not-Propaganda resting on the same faulty foundation, the result was the same - more confusion - a neurotic nightmare filled with fear. Obsessed with exposing the Propaganda our Patient actually began participating in the underlying implicit belief structure of the Establishment. Specifically he began to have the waking nightmare that more money and power meant more happiness. The children had been fighting over their toys and our Patient suddenly thot that he wanted the toys too.

Not only that but he had discovered this plot by some of the children to get more of their fair share of the toys from the other children. Being the type of person who is obsessed with fairness, our Patient took to his pen to show the exploited children that they weren’t getting their fair share. In the meantime the exploited children had been quite happy with their share of the toys and had actually been relatively content. But now that our Patient was trying to ‘spread the truth’, as he frequently said in our many therapy sessions, he began disturbing some of these Inmates who had been relatively content before. Further others of the Inmates, so believed in this Paper world that had been generated by the Directors that they thot our Patient even more insane - “Out of touch with reality”, “Paranoid delusions - based upon some far fetched conspiracy theory” was how the Directors labeled him. Further the Directors got a little upset with our Patient and even locked him up in solitary confinement a few times - to chill him out.

“Protect him from himself and his fellow inmates.” is how they labeled the official document. This was somewhat true as the inmates who believed in the Paper world became furious at our Patient for suggesting that their world wasn’t real. This was too unsettling. They had too much invested in the Paper world.

Still mistaking himself for the Children our Patient envisioned himself as the hero, who was fighting for the rights of children everywhere - not realizing as the Adult, we hoped he could sometimes become, that these were just children’s toys that were being fought over. I hoped that thru our regular therapy sessions he would come to understand that the solution to this sandbox fight was not to convince the exploited children to stand up for their toys, nor was it his role as parent to distribute the toys evenly - his only role as Parent was to show that the toys being fought over aren’t the only toys – aren’t even the best toys.

Even though the aggressive children had taken more than their fair share, attempting to take their toys away only made them hold on harder, while ignoring these toys or finding other toys, encouraged the possessive children to loosen their grip. They might even let go of these toys and go in search of healthier toys.

Maybe the Parent could talk about the advantages of sharing.

“Children, if everyone shared then we can all play together harmoniously and we all can have fun. If someone takes all the toys he won’t have anyone to play with - or will always be afraid that the other kids are out to steal his toys. What a panicky way in which to live. Let’s share and we’ll all be happier.”

Anyway our poor Patient got very confused. Instead of telling his children about the advantages of sharing and showing them some much better toys - he attempted to get one group of children mad at the others. He was thinking from a child’s perspective rather than an adult perspective.

Further as long as he was thinking as a child he remained in the Asylum under the control of the ‘evil’ Directors. You see these ‘evil’ Directors were just another fantasy of our Patient. The ‘evil Directors’ were really just playground bullies, who just wanted more than their fair share - They took over the swing set, when there were marvelous canyons and valleys to be explored. Because they took over the swing set everyone wanted to swing.

Viewing himself as the protector father our Patient became incensed that his children couldn’t swing, while the others could. Not realizing that all the energy he was investing in the swing set, just made his children think that the swing set was just that much more important. Not only that but it also encouraged the bully children to hold on that much harder to control of the swing sets.

And now they’ve called in their parents - And because all the supposed parents are just big children they fight a war over this Swing set in the playground - never once noticing the huge open fields and forests - with exotic trails going towards mysterious destinations - that lie just on the other side of the fence which encircles the playground.

We were hoping that our Patient would say: “Hey everybody how about we all go on a mystic Quest for the Holy Grail up this enchanted Path, rather than fighting over the old boring swing set, which just goes back and forth. Who knows what kind of exciting worlds we might discover. And certainly any world we discover, would be better than fighting over these stupid old swing sets.” We were hoping that he would say this.

Instead he said: “Hey kids they’re tricking you. They’ve taken over the swing sets by telling you that they are dangerous. They aren’t dangerous at all and are really quite fun. This is not fair. You should do what you can to gain swing set rights. That’s where it’s at. That is one of the most important things to think about right now. Heck, to prove that you’re not so self absorbed, why not fight for swing set rights for the whole world. Let’s have compassion for everyone on the planet. We should have swing sets everywhere and then everyone would be happy.”

How deluded he was. Everyone knows that swing sets are not the key to happiness - that even if everyone had swing sets that there would still be fights and squabbles. Even if swing sets were the key to happiness, there is not enuf wood and metal in the world to provide everyone with swing sets. Anyway our Patient in standing up for swing set rights, became just like the rest of the children.

At this point in the Game our Patient with his multiple personality disorder, commonly known as split personality, would suddenly think that these playground bullies were the Directors of an Asylum, with the accompanying fantasy that he was helping the fellow inmates, who were really his children in his other fantasy, to escape the Asylum.

Anyway by the time he finished his Colombia paper, he was deep into this psychotic split. He actually believed in the Paper world that he had created, that his fantasy Directors had encouraged, that all the rest of the Inmates fervently believed in. He actually believed that swing sets were the key to happiness and that he as the knight in shining armor was fighting for swing sets and playground rights all over the world, when the mysterious path was opening up right before his eyes, taking him far away from the playground, far away from the bullies, i.e. the evil Directors immersed in their deception and greed.

Luckily for him, at this time, his daughters visited him in the Asylum.

“Hope you’ll be coming home soon, Daddy.”

“We miss you.”

“How about another Dance with moonbeams dancing all around us.”

“Strauss waltzes emanating from the ozone.”

“How about one last dance Daddy.”

“We love playing Make Believe.”

The mysterious Path opened up.

And he finally left the Lunatic Asylum behind.

For the time being anyway.

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