Safe Spaces

I’ve addressed this topic before, so I may be repeating myself. Oh well.

There has been much tadoo about safe spaces of late. Conservative speakers go to college campuses and are shut down by a student body that is afraid of being “triggered.” The students believe they are in a safe space and that justifies banning such speakers from speaking so as to keep the students from entertaining arguments that might be construed as “micro-aggressions” or something similar.

Is there something to this? Are college students entitled to safe spaces?

Yes and no.

Let’s start by first answering the question: What is a safe space? I believe the term has its origins in psychological circles. As I never studied psychology, my definition might be off a bit. Anyway, in my view, a safe space is a space where one can talk openly without judgement or condemnation. In such a space, one should feel secure from threatening tones, language, and criticism. These spaces exist in order to help its user unload uncomfortable or even painful emotional experiences.

Three examples of safe spaces are as follows: a therapy session with a trained psychologist, the Catholic Confessional (originally instituted 2000 years ago by Jesus Christ—yeah, Jesus beat the psychiatrists to the punch by twenty centuries), and even (to a limited degree) a consoling conversation with a caring friend. What is important to realize when noting these examples is the fact that each one involves a kind of slowing down or stepping out of the ‘river of life.’ You step out of life to take a look at life and try to derive some benefit from it. That is, it is not a type of ordinary living. A safe space is something extraordinary. You don’t get to live your entire life in a safe space. That is neither healthy nor wise.

The following are NOT safe spaces: a college campus (most decidedly not), one’s place of employment, and just life in general. Mistaking one of these for a safe space inevitably leads to problems. At a college campus, for example, the students are supposed to be challenged by new ideas and critical thoughts. They aren’t supposed to be pampered. A safe space allows one to recharge; it is not a lifestyle.

Still … I think increasing access to safe spaces may be therapeutic for most, if not all people. Although it is unfeasible to go to Confession twenty-four or even sixteen hours a day, and it is equally unfeasible to attend frequent day-long therapy sessions, I think being open to “safe-space-like” conversation with friends should be available as much as possible. But with friends, only. Friends are supposed to be used as supports; discussing problems with friends is what they are there for. At least, good friends, anyway. I think that kind of attitude and approach is an important part of Christianity. Having friends to talk to can be very beneficial.

Regardless, there comes a point where the conversation must stop and the trials of life must be faced. In the end, safe spaces are a bonus; they are not a given.

Commentary on ‘Delusions of Grandeur’

As followers of this blog may know, I believe I’m the antichrist. I have believed so since March of 1997. My psychiatrist tells me I’m schizoaffective; currently, I don’t believe him. I say “currently” because for the past twenty years I have alternated between believing I’m the antichrist, and believing I’m just mentally ill. Generally, each of these states has lasted anywhere from several months to a few years duration. The antichrist “episodes” are usually accompanied by some erratic behavior (spending oodles of money I don’t have, walking the streets in my underwear, etc….). The mental illness “episodes” are usually accompanied by depression.

In 2006 I wrote a book about my experiences entitled Delusions of Grandeur. I wrote the book from a “mental illness perspective,” although, that is somewhat disingenuous. To be completely honest, I wrote the book (or at least most of the book—remember my states tend to alternate) believing I was the antichrist and the book I was writing was intended as a “secret code” to Christians across the globe. I believed that Jesus was coming down from Heaven backing me up and that things I took for granted, Christian believers would understand without explanation. I am no longer sure those two premises are correct—although I still do believe I am the antichrist and have so believed for the last five years or so.

Intellectually, my whole belief structure revolves around the meaning of the phrase “the ruler of this world” (ROTW for short) in the Bible. It was that phrase in conjunction with a “psychotic break” (for lack of a better term) that set me off and led to my unusual interpretation of the Bible, the life of Jesus, and Christianity in general. What’s my point?

Other than at a Catholic High School, I have never studied the Bible in all its intricate detail. My “delusion” is based mostly on the interpretation of the ROTW phrase that occurs only three times in a single book of the Bible and nowhere else. The Bible, in its entirety, is a few thousand pages long. It is arrogant and insulting to write a biblical discourse without a significant background in Bible studies. It is also, likely, prone to great error. In my defense: Have you ever read a phrase from the Bible and just “got it?” You felt it deep down in your heart and in your bones and just knew exactly what it meant? That’s happened to me twice in my life. The first time concerned the expression “gifts of finest wheat” and its relationship to love. The second concerned the ROTW expression. So, I went and wrote a book, a very personal book, based on these “got it” experiences.

Still, I do not have a Biblical studies background (though I do have a rusty, dusty philosophical one) and I shouldn’t have written the book and said some of things I said (like “Satan wrote the Bible”) without it. Like I said, it was arrogant (but I’m the antichrist, isn’t arrogance expected? :)) and I shouldn’t have done it.

In light of all this, I’ve started working on a book that, to a certain extent, addresses these concerns. It will be kind of a follow up to Delusions of Grandeur but written from the perspective that I believe I’m the antichrist. I intend to do a little homework for this one. Since the writing of Delusions of Grandeur, I have read the (Catholic) Bible cover to cover about twice just to get a feel for it. I intend to read it again this time highlighting and taking notes where I might have an insight. I’m also reading every bit of Catholic writing I can get my hands on. For example, I recently read Saint Augustine’s City of God as well as a number of works from other less famous and less influential people. Also, this time around, I’m taking nothing for granted. I will explain my beliefs and assumptions succinctly and clearly from the get-go. I won’t assume all the Christians on the planet already understand the things I took for granted in Delusions.

Unfortunately, all my homework involves only self-education. I won’t be going back to school to get a degree in Biblical studies or anything like that. If I can find one, I’ll likely join a Bible study group—but I’ve never really excelled working in groups.

Anyway, those are my plans and I figured I’d let you, my loyal readers, know.

Chi, Hellfire, and Witchcraft

Readers of this blog are likely aware that I believe I had an encounter with Satan a few years back. During that encounter, I was exposed to hellfire, or so I believe. It felt like a hot, burning fire in my chest that threatened to consume my soul, erasing my very identity from existence. Basically, it promised the oblivion that atheists associate with death, but with a much more painful exit from existence.

A number of years ago, I earned a black belt in the martial arts. In the studio at which I studied, black belt is the rank at which you begin learning about chi. According to Eastern philosophy, chi is the life force that animates all things. You have your chi. I have my chi. In martial arts, one learns first to feel one’s chi, and then control it. If you can control your chi, you can learn to do a variety of curious feats with it, like, strike a stack of six bricks and break the fifth one in line, hit harder and faster, etc….

Back in August of 2016, I had a mild relapse in my “antichrist” condition. I say “relapse” not because my beliefs about the matter changed—I have believed that I am the antichrist for about five straight years now—but because my condition changed to an extent that it seemed my mental “illness” was amplified: my mental faculties became a little more erratic, and I became a little more “hyper.” Anyway, the point I was getting to was that during these times of “hyper”-activity I sometimes feel hellfire again. Usually, it is not as powerful as that first experience, but it is very pronounced; I feel it coursing through my body. Fortunately, it doesn’t do any damage but it is recognizable. During this last episode, I came to a stunning realization. What I experienced as hellfire was actually/also chi. The hellfire I experienced was just like chi, just amped up to an incredible degree.

That’s really not too surprising if one thinks about it. If the universe consists of yin and yang, or fire and light, chi could very well by a form of the fire-like energy. What is worth stressing is that knowing that the universe is evil (because it is Satan), and chi is hellfire, Satan’s greatest, most destructive power, Satan can manipulate hellfire far better than we can as it is a part of him. So, basically, I’d like to warn people that it seems likely to me that he can take your chi away, manipulate it in any fashion he likes, on his whim. I know that sounds kind of extreme-fundamentalist-ish, but that’s where I am today. Not only can he do such a thing with chi, I suspect he can do the same with witchcraft (though I have never made a prolonged study of witchcraft—all I’ve done is read a few books on the subject out of curiosity). Lastly, I think he can do the same with science. The scientific principles we have discovered are not as reliable as we think. Satan can change them on a whim (I don’t know how that should alter someone’s behavior, though, because we can’t get along without assuming science for our daily lives. It’s not like I expect someone to walk to work instead of drive a car. Just consider the above a warning.).

Anyway, as I said, I know that sounds a bit too fundamental-ish, but that is where I am. Satan is a Liar, and Jesus Christ is the Lord.

Homophobia and Homosexuality

I hate the word “homophobia.” Why? Because it is a recourse to an insult to win an argument. I believe arguments should be won on the merits not by twisting language into pretzels. Basically, the word “homophobia,” when taken apart means “fear of homosexuals.” Why would someone be afraid of homosexuals? I read on Facebook once that homophobic men are afraid of homosexuals because they are afraid of being raped. The analogy used in the post was how women might be afraid of men because the men are capable of using force to gratify their sexual desires. So men will be afraid of other men because those men will have the strength to gratify their sexual desires against the former men. In my opinion, that misses the counter-argument/s entirely. Not to be macho or anything, but I’m 6’3”, 250 lbs., and I have a black belt. I don’t get intimidated by other men easily. I’m not afraid of homosexuals.

Anyway, I can’t speak for other Christian (or Jewish or Muslim) sects, but by my understanding the Catholic Church is not opposed to individuals being homosexual, they are opposed to the homosexual act. That may not be fair—expecting homosexuals to go through life without ever having homosexual sex—but that’s the position of the church as I understand it. I don’t necessarily endorse that position, but I believe the Church should be represented fairly in discussions like this.

When dealing with the homosexual issue, there seem to be two different ways of approaching it. One, is the intellectual argument. For example, if one claims that homosexuality is some sort of biological dysfunction since there is an obvious function of the human reproductive system that is not met by a homosexual reproductive system, one is making an intellectual argument. There are other relevant intellectual arguments as well—like the effect on the family in society, etc… Anyway, these arguments are characterized by an appeal to some kind of logical, rational discourse. They are usually cold and impersonal. Alternatively, there is the emotional argument. In the case of the homosexual this is, basically, this is my friend; he’s a homosexual; and if you are going to get on his case about that, you are going to tick me off as well because I have accepted him as he is and I still love him as a friend.

For many years, psychiatrists and psychologists considered homosexuality a form of mental illness. Nowadays, most of them have reversed that opinion. I am neither a psychiatrist nor am I a psychologist so I don’t know which opinion to endorse officially. My own views have changed with time. When I was young, I agreed with the Catholic Church. Then, one day I saw on TV a homosexual man grieving for his partner who was dying from AIDS and I realized he truly did love his partner, and my position on homosexuality and homosexual marriage softened. I became a quiet supporter of the movement. Then, there was the transgender movement and the demands for public access to restrooms and showers by members of the opposite sex. Upon reflection, I’ve decided that I think transgenderism is a form of mental illness. Once I came to that conclusion, I began to rethink my conclusions regarding homosexuality; I am currently up in the air about that. However, before parting, I will point out that if you are getting all upset by labeling homosexuality a mental illness (which I am not sure is the correct move anyway), the next logical question to ask is: what do you have against those with a mental illness? It’s not like mental illness is their fault (although in my case, mine—if it is that—is: but mine is an unusual case and that’s a long story). Those who are mentally ill deserve respect and acceptance, and, indeed, love, too.

Satan’s Play: Dreams and Visions

Satan’s Play: Dreams and Visions

Those readers of mine familiar with my delusion, if delusion it truly be, may find some of this entry familiar. I’ve written of it before elsewhere on this site and in other writings. However, let me recap some of the highlights of my “delusion.” I believe Satan and the Universe are one and the same thing (I also believe Barak Obama is Satan, or an appendage of Satan, if you will, but that’s not really relevant to this particular post). I believe all the religions in the world were inspired by Satan’s activities on this earth; he set them up according to his own desires to get us to “worship” him when we thought we were worshiping God. The God I believe in doesn’t really want worship. He wants love, and that is not the same thing. He’ll put up with the worship because he understands us and our needs.

But enough about God. Back to Satan.

Satan is evil and he is hell-bent (forgive the pun) on getting us to worship him, even when we don’t realize we are actually worshiping him. He doesn’t care if we know or not; he just wants us to pray to him. To that end, he can respond to prayers or take activities like sending dreams or visions to us.

Imagine, if you will, an Islamic terrorist has a vision telling him to blow something up and kill some people. How can we make sense of that? We can analyze the vision as A) God or some other benevolent supernatural entity told the terrorist to blow something up—but that hardly fits our notion of God as a loving Creator or the premise that it is a benevolent entity responsible for the vision. Or we can analyze the vision as B) no entity is responsible; it is just a product of the brain without any connection to a supernatural reality. Lastly, we can have C) some malevolent supernatural entity is responsible for providing the vision while working disguised as a benevolent entity. I suppose you could also have a neutral entity responsible, but I’ll just group that in A) as well. Regardless of what the source of the vision might be, removing the impetus it provides would be virtually impossible. A vision, presumably from God, which dovetailed with the so-called “teachings” of the religion, and the understanding of that religion, to a practitioner of that religion would simply reinforce the beliefs, even should they be terrible and heinous beliefs, of that practitioner. If all the world is telling you not to kill someone, and yet the God you are devoted to, to whom you pray every day, is contradicting that and telling you to go and kill … to whom will you listen? Devout individuals will listen to their God every single time.

It is my belief that ‘divinely inspired’ visions supporting acts of violence and murder would be evidence of a malevolent entity interfering in human affairs, and I would call that entity “Satan.” Surely, the visions do not come from God. They might be just some figments of the brain, or they could be the result of some other mysterious entity that thinks very little of us.

Anyway, that pretty much describes how I think Satan could use religion as a tool to wreak destruction. Or, perhaps I’m guilty of judging God. I believe I’m the antichrist, so treat everything I say as suspect.

Rage Against God

I am angry with God. In fact, I am enraged with God for a number of reasons. It is a futile and worthless emotion. It’s not like I can punch God in the nose for doing things to me with which I disagree. I can scream and rant and rave, but it’s not like that warrants any kind of response from Him. He’s not known for being particularly verbose—although if He wrote the Bible, maybe he is. But I am in such a confused state of existence, I don’t know if He wrote the Bible or if Satan did, impersonating Him. Anyway, you might wonder why I am angry with God. There are a number of reasons, but I’ll limit myself to the top three.

First, truth is dying. Perhaps, that should be made more precise as “Belief in truth is dying,” but these days I’m not so sure. I’m having doubts about the existence of truth myself. Which is sad and tragic because I spent four years of my life going over proofs and arguments and everything else that established the reality of truth. But now, everyone and their mother is arguing against the existence of truth and dressing such arguments up “in the clothes of science.” If it’s not the sociologists, it’s the physicists; if it’s not the physicists, it’s the psychiatrists; and so on … and if I don’t agree that truth is dead, I’m being hard-headed and inflexible. Why? Likely because truth stands as the last accuser against the immorality of our deeds. Is that what it is? That no one wants to believe in truth because they want to believe that they can do no wrong? I don’t know and I weary of the fight.

My second reason for being angry with God, related to the first, is the fact that relativism is winning. More and more people are becoming relativists. The official philosophy of the U.S. government is relativism. Don’t believe me? How else can you explain the “tolerance” of boyplay in Afghanistan by the U.S. government? How else can you explain the frowning upon of American Exceptionalism by Obama and the rest of his administration? There are other examples, but my memory is not what it once was. Keep an eye on the news and you’ll see more examples quite regularly. Anyway, I despise relativism, primarily because it is anti-truth and I was a philosophy major, much enamored with the whole concept of truth. As such, I will despise relativism to my dying day, but again I lack the energy to continue the fight. The field is yours, oh relativist, and may the destruction you herald not be absolute.

Lastly, my third reason for being angry with God is … well, I believe I’m the antichrist. Whether that is the result of a mental illness (with which I have been diagnosed but with which I disagree) or it is the truth of the matter, I do not know. Anyway, since I’m the antichrist, I therefore feel powerless to do anything about the preceding two issues without destroying the world. Yes, I believe it is within my power to destroy the world—which is probably hubris in itself.

Anyway, I saw a movie once (“God’s Not Dead”) in which a philosopher, gripped in anger, says that he hates God because “He took everything from me.” Sometimes I share that sentiment as well—because at one point I had a promising future, and then I succeeded in flushing everything down the drain. Anyway, the Christian in the movie says “How can you hate someone who does not exist?” Which is a valid intellectual point, but the Christian kind of missed the fact that the philosopher, when he dragged that confession out of him, was in extreme emotional pain. A little bit of compassion for that philosopher would be far more suitable than just leaping in with glee to “win the argument.” But that was just one of the closing scenes in a movie designed to support and buttress the everyday “Christian warrior” in this modern world of storms and sorrow. It had both good and bad points and if you’re in the right mood, it was a decent flick.

In case you are wondering, although I hated God for years—and still have issues—I have decided that that particular activity is just too exhausting to maintain. So, I’ve been reduced to turning back to God, praying regularly, and going to Mass once a week. Although if I’m the antichrist, I’m not sure if any of that will be effective.

Well, I’ve started rambling and that’s probably a good sign that I should close this particular post and move on. So, toodle-doo!

Transgenderism and Lycanthropy

I’ve been listening to the transgender-bathroom debate over the last couple of weeks. In light of that ongoing discussion, I have a question. Realize, of course, that I don’t have any training in either psychology or psychiatry, and I even have been diagnosed with a mental disorder myself. So, don’t take what I say below as gospel; I just have a question. I just want information. And I’m being sincere here. If there is a psychologist or a psychiatrist with the answer to my question, please feel free to fill me in.

We’re supposed to accept Transgenderism as normal, as just another equally valid state of being on the human “gender spectrum.” The Left argues that gender is a fluid concept. There are no such sharp distinctions in nature. I think that’s their argument. It strikes me as kind of bizarre, but that is how I understand it at this point in time. My problem is this: Can’t you make the same argument with respect to humans and animals? Or any other living organism?

Basically, the question I am asking is: What is the difference between Transgenderism and Clinical Lycanthropy (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinical_lycanthropy )? In one, a man (or woman) believes he is a woman (or man). In the other, a man (or woman) believes he (or she) is a wolf. One is regarded as the new normal. The other is regarded as a mental illness. I’m inclined to think that both should be regarded as a mental illness. But like I said, I don’t have any university credentials in this field.

Still, I think I’m right. And I invite a professional from the mental health field to explain to me where I’m going wrong.