ON THE EDGE OF GENIUS:
WHAT REGULATING OURSELVES IS ALL ABOUT
This is about a sort of Feng Shui of the mind. If having a self is that we can organize multiple states of mind into one big state of mind, then dissociative disorder means that we cannot achieve this. For me, instead of having larger states of mind, like a MPD person so that they all have separate identities, I have millions of tiny ones that have no noticeable identity at all.
A state of mind means that “things” are associated and organized around a central themes – usually the self. For me, these tiny states of mind are organized more around the external situations and stimuli in the environment that I was in while the event was going on.
Like being a mother. That was a 35 year long state of mind about LINDA being organized to raise my children. There were some sub-organizations in between, like being married or being a Baha’i or going to graduate school or going to ceremonies. But these states of mind were not connected to my self in any associated-emotional way. They were and are separate experiences like commercial interruptions of a program on TV, but there was no program that I was in, either.
Or like the previews at a movie theater. Snippets and flashes of movies that we have never seen, are not interested in, and will never see. They are not our concern and we are not, therefore, remotely interested in them – which means we do not “relate” to them.
The beginning of our life is about being dysregulated and existing with a body that cannot modulate essential life functions. Not our temperature or our elimination needs, not our sleep cycles, not our arousal levels within our body and nervous system, or much of our reaction to our environment. All of these subsystems within us organize themselves into autonomous and self-sufficient patterns and abilities as our body, including our brain, grows, develops and matures.
What we have to realize is that if any of these subsystems are prevented from developing properly we do not achieve the self-sufficient ability to regulate that aspect of our being on our own. We do not become competent in whatever area of our “life” we are deprived of the necessary experiences that allow and enable our maturing systems to operate in. We will therefore, to some degree orin some fashion or another, remain dependent on someone or something outside of ourselves for the necessary complete regulation of our systems.
To that extent we are dependent upon some form of life support for our existence. We must also realize that the human species is a social species and that our brains are designed to develop and evolve throughout our lifespan. This is meant to occur through our interactions both with our physical environment and with our human-to-human environment.
The human species is still on this earth because we evolved with and through an incredible ability to be flexible and to adapt. It is the genius of our species. We are not limited say, like the polar bears are who are at this moment drowning in mass because we have so polluted the earth’s environment that the icebergs the polar bears need to find to climb out of the ocean are nearly gone. They have no available option to adapt so they drown.
We, on the other hand, at least in this present moment, have a very wide range of adaptability options available to us. What we must realize is that any and all of these options entail very real consequence. What we need to decide as individuals, as cultures, as societies and as a species, what are the consequences that we are choosing to live with?
It has taken me 55 years of living and a year of hard study to realize that there is only one thing that matters in life: degrees. From a center point of necessary homeostatic equilibrium, or balance, all of existence is measured. From that point we go in one of two directions: toward sadness or toward gladness.
We are at a strange point in our evolution where we want two things simultaneously. We want increasing complexity manifested in our increasing use of fantastically complex technological advances. Yet at the same time we are demanding and increasingly dependent upon the fastest and simplest transmission of information possible. We want what we want and we want it ALL at the speed of light. Or faster, please, if anyone can manage that. We are moving so fast that we are running the risk of not only losing ourselves in this mad dash to the finish line, we are at risk of losing our societies, our species, and a planet that is livable for any form of life as we now know it.