(I finished this on April 30, 2009)
(Looking at this now I can see that this describes more than Asperger’s syndrome, as I mentioned below. It also describes an excessive introversion and a highly sensitive person. For me, it was Asperger’s syndrome that first led me to see that other people have had similar problems. Since then my inquiry has gone beyond that and revealed that there are other conditions that this resembles.)
Some time in my mid 30’s I began to question my life. I was struck by how my life was so different from everyone else’s. I kept feeling something was wrong with me but I could never pin it down. Nothing I could find could explain it either. Since it seemed so unique of a condition I began to try to explain it, asking myself how it appeared to me. In my late 30’s I began to notice a pattern in my explanations. As a result, I gave the ‘condition’ my own name and my own explanations. Last year (at the age of 40) I accidentally came across a condition called Asperger’s Syndrome that had many similar traits. At first I couldn’t believe it and then I happened to read some symptoms again one day and was amazed. I looked at it closer and found many more similarities.
I do not know if I have Asperger’s Syndrome or not. I have not been diagnosed (and I probably won’t go to be evaluated). Because of this I only use Asperger’s Syndrome as a comparison. I always say, “I have a condition that has traits similar to Asperger’s Syndrome.” Still, to this day, I use my own explanations and terms to describe it.
It’s because I look at it at such a different point of view that I think it’s worth mentioning as I did not look at it in the classical medical autism/Asperger’s point of view. As a result, I was not “biased” to that way of thinking. I personally feel that this ‘condition’ needs to be looked at from more angles than traditional medicine can provide. It’s my opinion that the traditional medical point of view is actually hindering our understanding of this problem
I tend to look at it as a ‘condition’ of a person which may or may not be a problem. This means I do not consider it a ‘disease’ or ‘ailment’. I consider it something like a character trait. Like a character trait, it may or may not work with you. It seems to be like a character trait that is ‘deeply ingrained’. That’s one of its main characteristics. Being ‘deeply ingrained’ it seems unchangeable and has very dominating characteristics. Perhaps those qualities are the problem to this condition? And just as in other character traits, some traits can be an asset in one situation but a disaster in another. For some people this can be their greatest strength in life. For others it’s their downfall in life. For most, I think, it’s a mixture.
Over the years my viewpoints of this condition have become quite extensive. I’ll try to paraphrase it below
THE MYOPIC MIND
The first name I used for this condition, and continue to use, is the “Myopic Mind”. I compared it to my eyesight, as I have near sightedness (myopia). I said that it was like my mind could only focus on a small limited ‘field of vision’ at a time, just as with my eyes. To me there is a similarity in conditions between the ‘Myopic Mind’ and myopic vision. Both are restrictive in their perception and make a person awkward in everyday life. With myopic vision, I can see things at a certain distance very well but everything else is not in ‘focus’. It’s no different with the Myopic Mind.
I recall how I’d used to joke how it was like my brain and eyes were ‘wired’ together. With my glasses I can see everything, but my mind is still ‘wired’ for myopic vision, hence my Myopic Mind.
It’s interesting that I said that if this condition was intensified the limited ‘field of vision’ I see now would turn into a ‘tunnel vision’ world, only seeing certain things and disregarding everything else. I was surprised to find this is similar to some traits of autism.
I tend to feel there are four traits to the “Myopic Mind”. These, I feel, are the basic ingredients to this ‘condition’. All these mixed together are like ingredients in a soup that creates the unique character to this ‘condition’. These traits are:
1. Over and under sensitivity to perception.
2. Concentration issues.
3. The “Crib Reflex”.
4. Inability to ‘relate’ or ‘connect’ to things.
1. Over and Under Sensitivity to Perception
To begin with, I tend to see this condition as a result of a distortion of perception from what is normal for most people. In other words, I consider it a perception problem. This over and under sensitivity is where it all seems to begin. All the other three traits are variations of this.
The area of perception seems to be in our minds, where we ‘integrate’ or ‘take in’ our perceptions with our self. It is not the interpretation of our perceptions. It’s your ability to ‘take in’ perception that the problem is located at. I see two forms:
– Interior, dealing with perceiving inner emotions, feelings, and traits. When this dominates in a person I call this the ‘Introverted Interior Mind’. I feel this is the most severe form and the most difficult one to deal with. It seems that when ones character is directed inward (introverted) things are more deeply ingrained. Since a person with this type is only looking inward they are only seeing their own myopic world. This makes it so it reinforces their condition, myopia building on myopia, making it harder to change this condition.
– Exterior, dealing with perceiving information and sensations from the external world. When this dominates in a person I call this the ‘Extroverted Interior Mind’. This seems to be the easiest form to deal with. Unlike the introverted type it is not as deeply ingrained. I tend to think this is because a person with this type has a character that makes them ‘look out’ into the world. Since the world is not myopic they are more exposed to a non myopic reality which gives plenty of examples and ways to be. In addition, looking out into the world they are not looking at themselves which makes them have something like a humility. They are more aware that they have to try to fit into the world. As a result, I think this is easier to change this condition.
These perception distortions seem, to me, to be primarily either an over or under sensitivity. I don’t think the perceptions are ‘warped’ in any way.
Now, our self reacts to perception. It would not be far from the truth to say that perception is the window between the world and the self. As a result, the self is ‘designed’ to depend on perception. And so when perception is over or under sensitive our mind reacts to whatever it receives. This means that this is not a problem with our minds or self. It seems to me that our self is reacting normally to what it perceives. The problem is that it’s perceiving a wrong or distorted thing!
I’ve compared this perception distortion to having hearing problems. Let’s say you can’t hear low tones. If you listen to the radio with an equalizer you will tend to increase the lower tones till it sounds O.K. to you. If someone else comes in with normal hearing they will find it sounds weird. This is how the Myopic Mind is. I feel this is one of the reasons why we’re perceived as ‘weird’ or odd.
Because of the perception distortion, I am perceiving the world differently than everyone else. As a result, I am literally living in another world than everyone else. All I’m doing is reacting to the perceptions I perceive, which is not what everyone else is perceiving, which makes me appear and behave odd to other people.
This over/under sensitivity to perceptions tends to make a lot of us what I call ‘Internal Minded’. This means that our internal perceptions dominate our lives. By internal perceptions I mean sensations that are interior in the sense of being from the mental sphere, such as thoughts, emotions, etc. and not sensory as in hot/cold, and other senses originating from the exterior world. It’s not that we don’t sense the world and external senses but the internal perceptions are more dominant and stronger for us. A person that is ‘External Minded’, on the other hand, tends to be the opposite. They depend on the world to give them their perceptions and their internal perceptions take a back seat (personally, I think there is probably an opposite condition where the external mindedness becomes too powerful and dominant creating problems similar to the Myopic Mind, but I don’t know what that it is). Typically, males are external minded and females internal minded, I think. Because of this, I would think guys with the Myopic Mind are often perceived as being somewhat femalish, showing traits such as passiveness, submissiveness, not outgoing, and such. I know I was perceived as that at times. I was always struck by how I was not always ‘malish’. It’s not that I’m homosexual-like or feminine, it’s that this internal mindedness gives me femalish-like qualities. I’ve noticed this in other guys as well. It would also mean that this condition would be more ‘accepted’ for a female than a male.
Being internally minded tends to make it so that our thoughts and imaginations dominate a lot. We tend to ‘live in our own world’, a world our mind creates. I sometimes speak of this as the ‘Internal World’. I feel this is a result of being brought up with this oversensitivity over a long period of time. In other words, it’s a developmental problem. I have always considered the Myopic Mind to be a product of a condition that exists within us and effects us as we grow. It ends up altering our growth patterns and development of our minds and personality. The result of this are the traits and qualities that make up the Myopic Mind personality and it’s subsequent problems. It’s so powerful in its effects that it becomes, so to speak, a source of identity for us. We identify with this internal world of perceptions. In some sense, it becomes our ‘center of being’, our ‘reality’. Life begins and ends here. In many ways the problem of the Myopic Mind are created by the power of this internal world.
I’ve also had this weird belief that, since the Myopic Mind’ is a condition that is put upon us, part of our mind becomes ‘myopic’ but another part of our mind grows more normally. This means that we sort of develop two minds, one ‘myopic’ and the other ‘non-myopic’. I often feel that it is this discrepancy between the two minds that made me aware of it, one mind became aware of the other. For me, I kept feeling something ‘odd’ or ‘weird’ about me and was continually struck by why I did things. One of the reasons, I think, why I’m noticing all this stuff is that my Myopic Mind is lessening in power and my Non Myopic Mind is gaining in power.
I often speak of the ‘myopic personality’ which manifests this style of perception. It has an uncanny resemblance to Asperger’s Syndrome.
I’ve questioned how early a lot of these problems began. I don’t know. I felt there was something by late grade school. I don’t think I was grown up enough to know what was ‘odd’ or not as a child. Naturally, there are not many memories of me doing ‘odd’ things (the only people who would know, I think, are people who knew me then). It seems that most of my weird traits that I noticed didn’t appear til my early teens, though I seem to have a sense of something as early as late grade school.
2. Concentration Issues
Concentration is nothing but the directing of perception, really. For me I found I’d be very concentrated on things at the expense of everything else. This concentration could be in the day to day activities to the intense concentration of a field of interest. Like myopic vision, it gave me a restricted view of things going on around me. I’d focus on something and it was like I put all my concentration there. ‘Tunnel Vision’ explains it very well, looking at life through a tube.
But this ‘tunnel vision’ shows two traits:
1 – It creates a narrow ‘field of vision’ in life. That is, we are only looking at a small part of our experience in life and not seeing the ‘whole picture’. Anything that is not within that ‘field of vision’ tends to be ignored, not noticed, disregarded and, oftentimes, might as well not even exist. This makes us focus on certain subjects or things.
2 – Within that narrow ‘field of vision’ we tend to put our being, our selves, our passion, and life into it. It’s like our whole being it concentrated in that narrow ‘field of vision’, like a big funnel channeling our whole life into that small area. It becomes our life, in a way, and often dominates our life. This makes us put so much effort and concern over subjects and things and not care for anything else.
It’s because of these that, in the Myopic Mind, there is a tendency to only be able to focus on limited things and one at a time. I call this act of concentrating the ‘Gaze’. If something is not in that area it is ignored or not noticed. This inability to not see things that are gazed at I call ‘Blindsight’. It tends to make it appear that people with the Myopic Mind don’t care, are rude, and ignorant. This often isn’t the case. The problem is that it’s just not in their ‘field of vision’. I’ve always said that if you want to know what the Myopic Mind is like get a cardboard tube (such as from a from wrapping paper), and looking through it, try to do everyday things.
There are different types of concentration, too, some of which include:
– Concentration of Focus. By this I mean how the mind can focus on a thing, such as a subject, an emotion, a thought, etc.
– Concentration of Will. This refers to where we focus our intentions and wants, I guess you could say.
– Concentration of Passion. This refers to our desire of or about something.
Each one of these forms has its unique form of ‘gaze’ and ‘blindsight’. In addition, I have found that, in this condition, the concentrations don’t always match. What I mean by this is that, in a normal situation, if a person wants to have something, say, they would concentrate the focus, will, and passion on it and put in their ‘gaze’. Then everything comes together so they can get it. With this condition, only one or two forms of concentration may have it in its ‘gaze’ and the rest are in it’s ‘blindsight’. This creates some weird traits. The best example, to me, is wanting to do something but almost paralyzed to do it (meaning that the concentration of will is not within its ‘gaze’).
I have found that this intensive concentration can be very exhausting (which can create a lot of other problems). I’ve compared it to pressure. A one pound pressure on a square foot has a pressure of one pound per square foot. Let’s just suppose, for this conversation, that this represents the normal state for a normal person. A person with the Myopic Mind has a narrow field of concentration, let’s say one square inch. So now we have one pound of pressure going into one square inch of area. That’s a lot of pressure in comparison. I often feel that the tendency to be so concentrated and focused in the Myopic Mind works on similar lines. Our ‘being’, lets call it, is designed to embrace the world. But because of the Myopic Mind’s concentration problem it is so narrow it’s only embracing a small corner of it. So now we have our whole ‘being’ designed for the whole world focused on a corner of it.
This over concentration, being so powerful sometimes, can make a person look obsessional. Our ‘being’ just becomes so focused on certain subjects or things that we can’t help it.
In socializing the tendency to over concentrate and have a narrow ‘field of vision’ makes it hard to read all the suttle social ‘signals’ that are given by people. Since a large part of social relations depend on these suttle social ‘signals’ you can see how it can hamper social relations. People will develop all sorts of viewpoints about you, that you’re weird, odd, distant, rude, ignorant, and so on, all because you didn’t read these ‘signals’ correctly. I’ve found, over time, the importance of these ‘signals’. They determine a lot and a person who is hampered in reading them is now put in a disadvantage.
Another aspect of over concentration in social relations is that a person with the Myopic Mind is focused on a narrow ‘field of vision’ without looking at the whole picture. As a result, there’s a tendency to only see a part of the conversation and to focus on it. This makes it so we often talk ‘out of context’ with what everyone else is talking about. It also means that we interpret what others say ‘out of context’ in which it was said. This can lead to all sorts of misinterpretations, misunderstandings, and confusions. In some sense you can say that we are speaking another ‘language’.
3. The ‘Crib Reflex’
This term was originally used in a joking way, but the name stuck. This refers to a tendency to want to surround yourself with something ‘comforting’, as if I wanted to be back in the crib. I called it a reflex as it was like the knee jerk reflex where I seemed to instinctively want to go back to the crib-like condition.
I feel this ‘crib reflex’ is part of over perception. Basically, the world is a big place. We cannot perceive everything. In actuality, we focus our perceptions on a small segment of the sensory stimuli we are receiving. If we took it all in we’d be overloaded with sensations. Most people have a ‘floating perception’ where they float around all the sensory stimuli they receive. With experience they learn that some perceptions require their attention and some don’t. Knowing what to pay attention to and what not to pay attention to makes you able to function adequately in the world. It makes you behave properly in social situations and to deal with problems.
With the Myopic Mind things are different. The over and under perception makes it difficult to have ‘floating perception’.
One of the important things we do to determine the meaning and importance of a perception is by ‘feedback’. In other words, it’s a natural process to check perception by the reaction we get when we react to it. Looking in front of me I see a table. I can see where it is and how far away it is by looking at it. By reaching my hand out I know when it’s going to hit it. This comes from experience (watch a baby play with things and you can see how they have to learn, from experience and feedback, how to perceive things properly). With over and under sensitivity some perceptions are distorted from what’s really ‘there’. I’d compare it to being drunk. When you’re drunk your perception of things are amiss. Watch a drunken person try to put a cup on the table sometimes. They reach out slowly to ‘test’ where the table is before they set it down. They are trying to get ‘feedback’ from what they think they perceive. This is somewhat similar to over and under sensitivity in the Myopic Mind. Like a drunk I become somewhat ‘awkward’ in life. It makes me continually bewildered at the inconsistency in things. What I perceive and the feedback aren’t always matching. As a result, it’s hard to tell what perceptions are important and what perceptions aren’t. ‘Floating perception’ is difficult to develop in these conditions.
One result of this is a tendency to narrow the situation down to manageable levels I can relate to so that perception is tolerable, acceptable, and ‘comforting’. This is the ‘crib reflex’.
One aspect of the ‘crib reflex’ is the need for a routine. Routine keeps us safe and in a comfortable environment. Many times I’d have great nervousness and panic if I was taken out of my normal routine.
I found that, for me, a lot of my interests were really nothing but surrounding myself with something comforting and familiar to avoid perceptions that I can’t make any sense out of. I’d devote myself to subjects, thinking about them day and night, it seems, till they became a part of me, like my arm. When I felt content with that I seemed happiest in life. Learning about things inside and out made me feel at ease in life. I surrounded myself with these familiar and manageable thoughts and was very content. When I was in a situation where I didn’t know something I’d feel uneasy and almost have a panic attack. As a result, I put a lot of effort in knowing things. This made me very knowledgeable about things which often helped me in life.
4. Inability to ‘Relate’ or ‘Connect’ to Things
The three above conditions create a situation where, in some sense, I live and relate with my own perceived world. There becomes ‘my world’ and ‘their world’ and they can be sharply demarcated. I was stunned to find out that, all my adult life, I was living in my own world, removed from the world everyone else was living. This ‘my world’ made it so it’s hard to relate or connect with the outer world. I tend to believe this is a result of our personalities growing and developing in the distorted perception world. In other words, it’s one of the results of living and growing with the Myopic Mind.
THE ‘RIFT ILLNESS’
The “Rift Illness” is another term I used to describe this condition. It is just a variation of the “Myopic Mind”, really, but directed to socializing. It came about as a result of problems I noticed while associating with people. I began to notice there seemed a big ‘gap’ or ‘rift’ between me and other people. I first started to notice this when people would claim I would have a facial expression expressing an emotion I wasn’t feeling. This happened all the time and helped to create a social phobia in me. It later expanded to conversation. People would say I said something I didn’t. In fact, this was so bad at one point I swore I’d quit talking to people. For a while I jokingly called myself, “the most misunderstood person in the world”. I do know this – I am misunderstood. Everyone misinterprets my motives and intentions all the time. It’s terrible. I feel like I’m living in some alternate reality sometimes, some other dimension.
As I watched it more I began to see that I was doing things I was not aware of. As I watched myself I can see how bad this really is. This inability to see what I’m doing is the ‘rift’, or the ‘gap’, or ‘wall’ that separates me from others. This ‘rift’, ‘gap’, or ‘wall’ is really nothing but another way of saying that something is not within the ‘field of vision’ as I described above. Because of this, I don’t notice it.
‘PRIMARY’ AND ‘SECONDARY TRAITS’
The four traits above are what I call the ‘Primary Traits’. But, as I said above, they can affect a person quite extensively and cause more problems and illnesses. When the ‘Primary Traits’ cause problems that are not inherent with the condition I call them ‘Secondary Traits’. I often feel that a lot of us are fighting the ‘Secondary Traits’ more than the ‘Primary Traits’. In fact, I sometimes feel that the best way to deal with this problem is to deal with the ‘Secondary Traits’ first. Here are some examples of ‘Secondary Traits’:
It’s no wonder that this condition makes people nervous, considering how it makes life so ‘unstable’ and conflict bound. My twenties was one big fit of nervousness and anxiety. In fact, I felt I had ‘anxiety hysteria’ and even considered taking medication for it. A simple thing, like going to the store, became a nerve wrecking experience for me. I’d pick my fingernails and, sometimes, start to cry because it made me so anxious. As I look at it now I can see that things that went out of my ‘routine’ were often nerve wrecking.
In my early thirties the anxiety seemed to turn into a depression. I got so bad I thought I’d shoot myself. Every morning I’d wake up and put my finger to my head as if to shoot myself. It was terrible. I ended up taking medication for it, which I took for about 6 months. This helped me get out of it (and may of helped me to not commit suicide).
I know that a lot of my depression is a result of my failure to ‘connect’ . . . with people and life. It is a result of years living in this condition.
I also have this belief that some of the depression is caused by over concentration exhaustion.
It’s no wonder that, with all the problems this condition causes, that it creates frustration, which eventually leads to anger. I struggled a lot with anger. I used to fly into rages over little things. I’ve found that, after my depression, anger has really subsided. I don’t get as angry as I used to.
For most of my life I never felt lonely. I was always stunned how people always moaned and groaned about it. I didn’t seem to care. About in my mid thirties, after I was overcoming depression, I began to feel a new sensation. I just felt terrible. It was like a depression but not quite as bad or intense, nor did it have all the hopelessness. I felt down and without desire to do anything. I’d just lay there. I found myself saying “I’m lonely” quite often and I could feel a desire for companionship. I now know that this is loneliness.
Because of all the problems there is a tendency to go into a ‘forced solitude’ where I have no choice but to be by myself. You can see how this can create loneliness and depression.
I started to complain about being alienated in my mid twenties. For me this reached crisis proportions . . . and still is. I used to always say, “I don’t belong here.” I used to always compare myself with a foreigner. I would always say, “I’d like to go home.” That’s significant in that this alienation made me feel I had no home, that I was displaced somehow, an exile.
A lot of social phobia’s have developed:
Over time I developed a lot of social phobia’s. Even today I don’t like to be around people much, nor do I like to confront people and ‘have to’ associate with them.
Low self esteem:
With all these problems it’s really not surprising my self esteem fell. To be frank, I really don’t like myself a whole lot, nor do I value myself that much. I have no reason to.
Fear of being misunderstood:
Because I have been misunderstood all my life I’ve developed a phobia toward it. I usually put forth great effort to avoid being misunderstood which often makes me continually repeat myself and go on and on about things.
Very suspicious of people:
A lot of times I am very suspicious of people. This is a result of all the problems I have had with people. I never know what people are going to think. I look at people with a “now what’s it going to be” attitude, I think. I also have always felt this shows and people can sense it. Naturally, it makes them want to avoid me even more.
I am insulted easily and made to feel bad easily:
If people insult me or treat me coldly, especially girls, it can bring me to tears and create a horrible depression. I do feel that years of this condition has made me more susceptible to it. Little things hurt a lot oftentimes, a lot more than they used to.
Feel resentment toward people:
Just recently I began to realize and accept that because of all the problems with associating with people I have that there has developed an incredible resentment of people. In fact, I could say that, at times, it’s turned into a hatred. This is particularly true with girls, which is where I first noticed it. I’ve been treated so bad by Her Highness all these years that I can barely stand to be by some of them. But I can see that it has expanded out into people in general. Oftentimes, a slight insult by someone and I will not like them after that.
Further sinking into eccentricities:
According to what I’ve been told I am sort of ‘weird’, ‘strange’, or ‘odd’. But from where I stand I seem normal though. I could never understand why people said that. This is the ‘rift’ again. Apparently I do things I don’t see or am not aware of (that’s my ‘mental myopia’). No one tells me the details so I don’t know what they are but they are evidently there. I can only guess what they could be.
One of the worst places for the Myopic Mind is in the social sphere. It seems that this is where its greatest tragedies are felt (I know it is for me). The Myopic Mind can devastate social relations and ability to associate with people. For me it pushed me into solitude. I have no real friends and never married. I have found that the effects the Myopic Mind have on social relations are quite involved and have given a whole new dimension to social phenomena.
Difficulty associating with people:
I have always had problems associating with people. A simple conversation can be a difficult thing and can be nerve wrecking at times. Many times have I said I wasn’t going to associate with people anymore because of all the problems I’ve had. I believe these have many factors as a result of this condition.
Difficulty relating with people:
A distinct feeling I’ve always got around people is this sense of not belonging or being a part of the group. This goes back to grade school. I always had this weird sense that I was an ‘odd ball’ of the group, the one who didn’t belong. It’s still common today. More than once I’ve compared it to watching other people behind a glass window. There seems to be a lack of a ‘connection’. After many years I feel they sense that in me. To me, it seems that a lot of the social problems I have is related to the ‘intutuive senses’ people have about me (what I often call my ‘aura’). Apparently, they ‘sense’ things about me. I feel this is a result of being ‘disconnected’.
I can’t develop any friendships with people:
No matter how hard I try I can’t seem to develop any friendships. I sit and watch people develop friendships all around me. It seems only I am excluded. I will make a special effort and it never comes to anything. To be frank, I’ve practically given up. What’s the point? I can’t explain this. How can this be so difficult? Apparently it is, at least in my case.
Apparently, I have difficulty ‘reading’ people:
There are signs that I have difficulty ‘reading’ people and understanding the second-to-second nuances and signs that people do. It’s hard for me to say much about them as I don’t see them. I know this because of a number of things. First, people have remarked on it, that someone was wanting me to do something, for example, and I don’t notice. Secondly, because people react to me strangely. I do a lot of things ‘out of time’ and in the wrong context. I seem very good at understanding people from a distance, in an abstract way, I’ve found. This is how I best understand people. But understanding ‘up close and personal’ is another matter.
I’m often ‘stumped’ as to what to do or how to act when talking to people:
Many times I’m at a complete loss as to what to say with people. For most of my twenties and into my thirties I continually complained about not knowing what to say or how to act around people. You can guess how this put a damper on my social relations. Often, I don’t know how to keep a conversation going. This seems particularly pronounced with females. It’s not uncommon for the conversation to just ‘stop’. I don’t know what else to do so I just walk away. It’s often very frustrating as I often want to talk to people but can’t. It’s like things just ‘run out of gas’. I often wondered, though, why the other person doesn’t keep the conversation going.
When people get ‘personal’ with me, I shy away:
It’s hard for me to get ‘personal’ with people. When people get ‘personal’ with me I often shy away from them. When people get up close to me and talk ‘person to person’ I often put my chin to my chest and move away, not unlike a shy kid. I’ve been told that my face will sometimes go beet red, especially with girls. I’ve described it as being overwhelmed with a passion or emotion or something. I believe my shyness is caused by oversensitivity. It basically becomes so intense it’s unbearable. Being ‘personable’, I think, is one of the most intense sensations you can have. When people get close to me I seem to feel this sensation that is almost too much for me to handle. I can’t describe what this sensation is like. It is and isn’t like an emotion. Perhaps it’s like a tingling or feeling of being hyper. I can’t put my finger on it. But the sensation, it seems, makes me pull away from people.
Sometimes I can react quite dramatically, and often with anger. There are times when this could be the worst thing a person can do, particularly if it is like a criticism.
An endless variety of social phobias have developed:
I have also developed many social phobias as a result of this condition. I fear being misunderstood, that people are making fun of me, that I’m weird, that I don’t know what people think of me, that I’m ugly, etc.
I don’t want people looking at me or looking at people in the eyes:
Many times I don’t like people looking at me. I notice it and I shun away oftentimes. I go through periods where I don’t like to look at people in the eyes. I believe this is sort of like shyness. I’m avoiding the over stimulation of looking at someone in the eye. I’ve described looking at someone in the eyes, oftentimes, as a feeling that I am going to somehow fall into them. It reminds me of how I described my fear of heights: I get dizzy and feel this big space that seems to pull me into it and I’m scared I’m going to fall in. Another way I describe it is that I feel tingly all over and it just becomes too much so I look away. I’ve also said that I don’t like to look at people because I’m worried what they think of me.
People often say I have ‘weird’ expressions on my face or that I am showing an emotion I’m not feeling:
This has always bothered me a lot. In fact, it has led to a social phobia. I never know what people are going to say about me. It makes me apprehensive about talking to people and getting ‘close’ to people.
I tend to feel that this problem is a result of my oversensitivity to emotions. I experience them more deeply than most people and, for some reason, I express them quite openly and readily. In other words, I don’t have the ‘stone face’ a lot of people have. I’ve even watched myself talk in the mirror and have been stunned by the facial expressions I show . . . more than anyone else I know.
I feel the ‘weird’ expression are a result of my being detached, alienated, and disconnected from people. As a result, I show emotions that don’t ‘fit in’ to the situation. That appears ‘weird’ to people. I also tend, I think, to experience emotions more intensely and this shows.
Being ignored, I’m always the person forgotten or left out
For many years I’ve jokingly called myself the “forgotten one”, as I’m always the one forgotten from everything. It’s almost like I’m not even noticed. This has bothered and mystified me for years. Now, it’s reached the point that it is sort of painful and actually hurts. It can make me very mad, too, almost to the point I can hit someone.
I have been misunderstood as a person all my life. I’ve always said no one understands me, not even my parents. People also misunderstand what I’m trying to say. There was a time where I was so misunderstood that I used to always jokingly say, “all I have to do is open my mouth and I’m misunderstood, even before I say anything”. It was weird. I’d be talking to some people about a subject. Afterwords, they’d say a remark. I might say, “I don’t know if I agree with that.” They’d then say, “well, that’s what you just said . . .” When I said that’s not what I said everyone else that was there agreed that it was what I said. After years of stuff like that I just quit talking to people about things. What this has done is left a doubt that’s always there when I talk to people, that no one knows what I’m saying. I never know for sure.
I try to be friendly, kind, and joke around but it doesn’t work:
One thing I’ve found is that being friendly, kind, and joking around doesn’t make people more friendly with me. This is one of the things that has made me despise people over the years. I mean I try to be friendly but they’re not friendly back. Sometimes it can turn into a terrible resentment of people.
Low self-esteem in associating with people:
I sometimes don’t want to associate or do anything with people because I’m so bad at it. I feel no one likes me and that I’m ‘weird’. Often, I get the feeling no one wants to associate with me. Seldom do people ask me to do anything after they go with me. I don’t know why. I watch other people ask people to do things many times and I often wonder what it is that they have that I don’t. Am I that weird?
I have problems relating with females:
Females, for me, are very difficult people to associate with. I know one of the reasons is that it’s hard for me to read the second-to-second nuances and messages they give out in social situations. Females, no doubt, are the worst for this. They seem to expect and depend on me to read all these ‘messages’ they are sending. If I don’t respond correctly they won’t associate with me.
I’ve also found that girls expect guys to be like a ‘Prince Charming’ and this ‘Knight in Shining Armor’ that has the world in control. Unfortunately, we with the Myopic Mind, don’t fit that image. Many of us, I think, appear incompetent as people, and very awkward in life. Not too impressive from the female point of view, I’m sure.
No one seems to want to associate with me:
I’ve found that people, in general, don’t want anything to do with me. No one speaks to me, hardly ever. There have been many experiments I’ve done where I’d go in a room and say, “I’m not going to do anything and see what happens.” Typically, nothing happens. Even at work, where I try to be friendly and a joker, I will go through bouts of “I’m not going to do anything and see what happens.” Hardly anyone speaks to me.
It seems that I have social problems but I often wonder if it’s the other people. Why aren’t they doing anything? Where is all their socializing? As I said once, “it’s like if I don’t do anything nothing happens.” More than once have I questioned if the social problems may be a reflection of a general social problem, but I don’t know. The fact is that we aren’t as social as we used to be. I’ve had many people of the older generation say that to me. I sometimes wonder if I’m somehow caught up in this problem, or maybe it just seems more pronounced to me?
I could never understand parties and all the big socializing people do:
I’ve been to a number of parties. Big deal! A bunch of people shooting the bull. What’s so great about it? I hear everyone talk about partying and how great it is. So what! I actually get bored after awhile. People getting drunk . . . who wants to see that?
And that goes with a lot of other stuff too. When I was a teenager ‘dragging state’ was a big thing. I went with my cousin once. Big deal! A bunch of people going up and down the road. We’d stop and sit on the side of the road while people went by. What a waste of time. I could never understand that stuff.
Socializing never meant that much to me.
My brother took me to a strip bar once. Woopidado! A number of girls dancing with hardly any clothes on. It was neat to look at for the first few minutes but I actually got bored. After about 10 or 15 minutes I was looking for something else. I recall I had more fun watching the expressions on all the guys. Now, that’s a show!
It seemed that what a lot of people thought was neat I didn’t like or couldn’t see any sense in. It went, I think, the other way. What I thought was neat no one else seemed to like.
When I was in late grade school I always wanted to create a club. This seemed to be the beginning of my socializing problems:
I remember always wanting to start a club as a child. I’d come up with emblems, badges, and gadgets for this club. People used to laugh at me for it too. I’d make my own medals out of cloth and painted checkers and put them on a board showing the medals of this club. For me, this was a big thing. I’d sit and think about it for hours . . . but no club ever materialized.
What is odd is that this seemed to be the beginning of my socializing problem. In fact, I feel there is a relation. My feelings now are that the ‘club’ shows a warped distortion of the idea of friends and society and what they are. I guess you could say that it shows that ‘society’ had a different sense for me. It was a ‘private’, ‘personal’, and fantasized world. It was an idea of a society and friends in my head. The ‘club’ was the beginning, perhaps, where the internal world took over and dominated my life. What I mean by this is that the internal mind perception took over and dominated things. Normally, kids would look out into the world for society and friends. But, in the ‘myopic mind’ the interior reality of the interior mind is so strong that it dominates everything. It’s no longer how society is displayed but how I perceive it inside that matters. I think it shows a shift in my mentality.
After the club phase I began my ‘career of solitude’ that continues to this day. I think I only made one friend in Jr. High that I did anything with after school. I don’t think I made one friend in High School that I did anything with after school. After High School I was pretty much a loner most of the time.
The Question of ‘Aura’:
Over the years I was always bothered how people treated me differently. I was never treated like other people were. Besides being ignored, never talked to, or treated as a child, people often claimed I “looked” like a certain type of person I wasn’t or seemed to have these strange notions about me. Where they got them always mystified me. Sometimes, it’s like they are speaking of a different person. Many times I thought they were talking about someone else. I was always stunned how this often took place even before anyone had even talked to me.
This strange situation became a bit more clearer to me when I saw movie footage of me in the early 90’s (when I was in my early 20’s). I couldn’t believe what I saw. In fact, it unnerved me for a week or two. I could see that I had this weird ‘way about me’. It was like I was looking at another person. I called this ‘way about me’ the Aura. It’s a certain quality that surrounds a person. A person cannot see this Aura about them, but others can. This Aura made me look like someone I didn’t know.
Once I noticed it I began to watch myself and how things went about me and noticed that there was a discrepency. The Aura did not reflect how I felt. There is a ‘mismatch’ between how I felt inside and how I appeared to the outside world. It’s almost like they are not connected at all.
It appears to me that the question of the Aura shows again the importance of how my inner perception is so strong that it creates an ‘inner world’ I live in that is detached from the outer world. It’s so strong and personal that only my individual self is aware of it or knows of it. This perception of myself isn’t even being passed to my ‘outer self’, so to speak, and to my Aura. It’s like a split. In some ways it resembles a ‘multiple personality’.
For most people, their ‘inner world’ and Aura tend to match. This is very important in that the Aura is critical in social relations as, in reality, a persons Aura determines alot of how people will associate with you. The Aura gives people a sense of who another person is. To have a mismatched Aura can be disastrous, as I found out. To have a mismatch is like an endless misunderstanding. You think this but everyone else thinks that. It’s a recipe for social conflict.
ODD TRAITS THAT DEVELOP WITH THIS CONDITION
Naturally, with this ‘condition’ some odd traits develop (at least in the context of everyone else). Some examples are:
Tendency to over concentrate:
I found that it’s not uncommon for me to over concentrate on things to the point that it becomes a problem. Examples are:
– It can make me so one sided that I don’t see anything else. I’ll start to disregard other things.
– It’s not uncommon that over concentration creates a condition resembling an obsession. It may even be mistaken for an obsessional condition as well.
– It can dominate my life.
– Over a long period of time it can exhaust me. I sometimes think that a lot of the depression and problems of my thirties was a result of the intense concentration on things I had done in my twenties.
There is something which I call the ‘Dread Illness’. Basically, I put so much emphasis and passion into something it wipes me out mentally, so I begin to have a dread of it. There ends up being all these subjects I want to learn and things I want to do but now I can’t. Every time I try to take it up I feel that dread. When I do try to do something, say read a book, I can feel that intense concentration within me, like I’m putting so much of myself into it. I can actually feel the exhaustion it causes me. Oftentimes, it’s a long time before I take that subject up again.
I used to spend all day thinking about one subject, literally from sunup to sundown. I used to take pride in that, and it helped me a lot in school. But it made it so these subjects dominated my life (which they did). I found it very hard to stray away from these subjects sometimes and didn’t like to do anything else but something related to those subjects. I know that people got tired of me talking about them to.
I often sounded like a University professor:
I lectured to people about subjects much like a University professor, boring people often. There have been a number of people who actually thought I was a University professor. At work I’d often get up and lecture about history or something. People would joke when the test was going to be.
I often described myself as having a ‘love affair’ with certain subjects I study:
I get so involved with subjects I have something like a ‘love affair’ with them. My feeling is that it was a unique form of a ‘love affair’. I look at certain subjects with a great caring and love, even to this day. I need to spend time thinking or dwelling on certain subjects and it must be done with a certain devotion. If I don’t do this I will actually feel bad, as if I let it down. There are many times I’d actually apologize to it, believe it or not!
This, I feel, shows how certain subjects can become something like a replacement for a person. In actuality, certain subjects became ‘better’ than people. I recall saying something to the effect that I’d rather go study something than associate with someone, because people aren’t that ‘great’ to be around or were boring. This further made it so I didn’t want to associate with people. What this reveals is that certain subjects are not just an ‘interest’. They are more than that and, as a result, entail more of myself, my emotions, and my life than they would for a normal person. That, in itself, creates a neurotic-like situation. Accordingly, it brings up traits, symptoms, characteristics, and problems that that situation causes.
Tendency to repeat things:
I often talk about the same thing over and over again. This has often annoyed people. It’s not uncommon for me to repeat the same conversation almost word for word to the same person, often years apart. I often repeat the same jokes as well (which is embarrassing).
There was a time where I’d repeat the same sentence or sentences twice. I don’t do it as much now but it does happen from time to time. It’s like my mind couldn’t digest the idea the first time so I say it over to make sure . . . it’s like my mind couldn’t digest the idea the first time so I say it over again to make sure – That’s how I’d sound all the time. It used to drive me up the wall. No one mentioned it though. I also felt that I’d repeat things because of my fear of being misunderstood.
I will often repeat the same thought over and over again. This has become more prevalent recently. I have done this to the point that it annoys even me and have caught myself saying, “God, I wish I’d think some other thoughts”. I’ll repeat the same thought, with the same words sometimes, over and over again. Sometimes I’ll have the same daydream over and over again too, day after day, changing very little. I often go through phases of daydreams that can last for months, where the same daydream is repeated over and over again. That also drives me up the wall sometimes.
I care about subjects no one cares about:
People often remarked how I talk about things no one cares about. One guy told me I was someone who was a vessel of ‘worthless shit’. Someone else remarked that they will never get back the 10 minutes that they had to listen to the useless information I spoke about. This always stunned me (and it really hurts too), as I always thought these were important things. Just last night I was thinking how I loved, at one time, riveted construction in buildings and ships and would sit and talk to people about it. I now know no one cares about it.
Take things too seriously:
Because I’m so focused there’s a tendency to take things too seriously. This is because the area of focus becomes so much of my life. Everything rests on it, so to speak.
I became very passionate about things:
I can recall how I used to talk with such enthusiasm and excitement about things (like the arrangement of the turbines, condenser, etc., in the Lusitania) and how people marveled at this passion. No one cared about it though, as I said above. People would always give me this look of astonishment and amazement that I always loved (and made me feel sort of proud) due to this incredible passion I had. After my depression a lot of this enthusiasm has subsided. For me this passion and enthusiasm over a subject became very involved and intense. When I learned a subject I devoted myself to it and ‘loved’ it, like you would your child. I was always insulted and disgusted when I went to the University and noticed no one had this passion or love for the subject they were studying. To be frank, this is one of the reasons why I left the University and studied things on my own. I could also see that people were studying things for profit and money. I couldn’t stand to be around people like that . . . and still can’t. I used to say that a real Scholar loved his subject like a child, completely and absolutely devoting himself to it. When I was studying to be a Psychoanalyst I would always say “I eat, sleep, drink, and shower Psychoanalysis”. No matter what I did that subject was always on my mind. I called it “Perpetual Reflection”, endlessly having a subject on your mind and dwelling on it. Later, when I considered being a monk, this philosophy would help me in contemplation and the monkish life. For me the Myopic Mind seemed to fit me well into the monastic life. I still feel I’d be happier in a monastery. The problem is that I just wasn’t Christian enough. I am attracted to the life but not the belief.
I talk about things for long periods of time:
Apparently, when I get on a subject I go on and on about it. Even my dad would always say, “don’t get him started”. A guy at work used to always tell me, “O.K., we beat that horse to death.” I could never understand all that. To me I was talking about important things. They sit and talk about things and they never said that to each other.
I feel emotions very intensely:
I often found I feel emotions very intensely and deeply. Sometimes, in a single day, I can go through a roller coaster of emotions. I’m always stunned how everyone else seems almost unemotional in comparison. Because emotions are more intense I react to them in accordance to that intensity. This, I feel, tends to make me over react to things and often blow things out of proportion.
I also think oversensitivity to emotions can create a ‘pseudo-neurosis’, so to speak. I mean it can create an emotional problem that isn’t an emotional problem. It just seems like it. The problem is not the emotion or what’s contained in the emotion but, rather, the effects of it being so strong.
Intense self consciousness:
I’ve found that, at times, I become so self-conscious of myself that it can become unbearable. It makes me ‘retract’ when in a social situation (that is, I usually turn away for a while).
I’ve also found this intense self consciousness has a ‘crushing’ quality. It’s sort of hard to explain. It seems so intense that it almost seems to ‘threaten’ my awareness of life, if that makes sense. It’s like my ‘reality’ is about to be squashed out of existence. I also had this strange sense, sometimes, that my ‘self’ seemed to expand at the same time and as if fill up the whole world. This is a good example of how this intense concentration can have a ‘mystical’ quality and can expose me to something like an altered conciousness.
This type of oversensitivity can make me very bored of myself too (since my presence of self is so strong) which can turn into a loathing of myself. This can lead to a low self esteem.
As a child my play was very intense:
For me play was so intense it was almost like a mystical experience at times. When I lost play as an adolescent it was a blow. More than once I’ve said that I have never recovered from the loss of play. A lot of my life seems to be trying to regain it. That’s how powerful it is. This, I believe, is part of the hypersensitivity of this problem. I also noticed that play, as I got older, was more solitary. I seldom wanted to associate with anyone while playing. It sort of started me off on the path of a solitary. Normally, it seems that pre-adolescent play is more social for everyone else. In fact, it seems like a ‘pre-socializing’ in many ways. For me, play gave me this sense that was very powerful, a sense of ‘God’ that has made me somewhat religious even to today. I can recall playing and having this sense of a presence, an all powerful presence. I seemed somehow transformed by it, somehow different. Later this sense was so strong I nearly joined a monastery. Beginning in my early twenties I became very involved with contemplation and mystical prayer. It is still a big part of my life today. But I can’t get this notion out of my head that my play was different than most people. I studied to be a psychoanalyst for a while and got very involved with play therapy. I never saw a kid have the depth of play I did. I feel that this intense play is not normal and have led to problems for me. It created that deep interior personal life I have. It made thought and thinking very powerful and influential. In fact, it sort of dominated my life after that.
Difficulty making decisions and deciding what to do – lack of spontaneity:
If someone asks me to do something it can create a big dilemma for me. I usually sit stumped and bewildered as to what to do. It’s almost like I need time to ‘digest’ things. Sometimes, it can take days, weeks, or even years for me to do decide. I always was stunned how I need time to think about something as simple as someone asking me to go to the store (quite a few times I didn’t go because I couldn’t decide!).
I have always thought this was a version of the ‘crib reflex’. Basically, since this is a perception problem I need to have a ‘controlled perception environment’ where all perceptions are ‘comfortable’ (that’s the ‘crib reflex’). Normally, during the day my concentration is directed to a specific thing. When I am all-of-a-sudden given a situation that is not in that concentrated ‘field of vision’ (such as someone asking me to go to the store) I now am out of the ‘comfortable crib environment’. I now don’t know what to do. I’m ‘stumped’ and can’t decide what to do.
I must be in the ‘mood’ to do something:
It’s not uncommon for me to be unable to do something unless I’m in the ‘mood’. If my mind is not directed in that direction then it’s not going to go in that direction. It’s that simple. I cannot read a book and remember things unless I’m in the ‘mood’ to read that subject. It has created this weird condition where, even though I’m interested in a subject and want to learn it, I have to wait for the ‘mood’ to come over me before I can study it. I can’t just will this ‘mood’ to happen. It can take months or years for the ‘mood’ to come so I can finally read a subject.
This is another example of the ‘myopia’ of the mind. If something is not within my ‘focus’ or attention I simply don’t care about it. If it’s within my focus then I really care, probably too much.
Inability to do some things I’d like to do:
There are a number of things I cannot do, even though I would like to. I could never understand why. These include initiating social relations, asking a girl out, making changes, trying new foods, etc. I’ve always called this the ‘Great Reluctance’ or, sometimes, the ‘Ledge’ as it stops me in my tracks. I once jokingly called it a ‘chronic lack of initiative’. One of the ways I’ve described it is that it’s a result of the concentration of Will. The problem is that these acts require me to will them. But since this condition seems to be a problem of concentration that means that this is going to have the same sort of problems. Accordingly, it appears that the Great Reluctance is a result of the fact that these things are not in my ‘gaze’ of the concentration of will. Unstead, they are in the ‘blindsight’ of my concentration of will. Hence, I am stopped in my tracks. This is a good example of how different concentrations can work. Normally, you assume that if a person thinks or wants something then they can will it. With the concentration problems of this condition I’ve found that the different forms of concentrations don’t always match. A subject may be in a persons ‘gaze’ for the concentration of passion but it may be in the ‘blindsight’ of the concentration of will. This makes it so they want something, perhaps badly, but they can’t initiate an act to get it. This can create great pain and conflict.
Lack of caring for others:
There have been times when I have been struck of my lack of concern or caring for other people. I don’t know if this is unusual or a problem, but what strikes me is odd is not that I did it but that it stunned me even then. It just didn’t seem right to me, nor did it seem like me.
I’ll never forget when me and a friend of mine climbed over a fence and he cut himself really bad in the arm on the top of the fence. I didn’t care one bit. I recall once a friend of mine stayed over night and all I could say was, “if you weren’t here I could build my models” (this was during my model building days in late grade school). Even at that time I couldn’t understand why I behaved that way. It’s a good point that it seemed, in a way, as if something was controlling me in some way, making me do those things. For me, a lot of the Myopic Mind is like that, a condition that makes you do things, usually unconsciously, but often you can sense it’s control over you. This is a good example of the two minds I described (the Myopic and Non Myopic Mind). It shows how one mind can have a ‘control’ over the other.
I also feel that the lack of caring is not a lack of caring. In reality I do care and did. The problem is that I couldn’t care because I was not in the ‘mood’ for it, as I described above, and it was not in my ‘field of vision’ at the time. This shows how, in the Myopic Mind, there is that ‘tunnel vision’ I described above. If something is not within that ‘tunnel vision’ then it is disregarded or not noticed. This is why many of us with the Myopic Mind don’t notice things or seemingly don’t care about things. This is why it seemed I didn’t care.
Inability to ‘change gears’:
Sometimes, it is hard to ‘change gears’. In a conversation, for example, I’ve often found it difficult to keep following the meandering path of the subjects everyone was talking about. It’s like, when a subject came up, I had to think and talk about it for a long period of time. One of the guys I used to work with used to always say to me, “O.K., we beat that dead horse to death”.
Inability to ‘follow the flow’:
It’s often very hard for me to ‘follow the flow’ of things or even ‘roll with the changes’. It’s a lot easier now, though, than it used to be.
I often had problems following the conversation with people. The bouncing around between subjects that happens in conversations could, at times, be difficult (it seemed to vary). It’s like my mind had to have time to ‘digest’ a subject before a new one could be taken up . . . and my digestion was slow. When the subjects changed rapidly I’d lose a sense of control and I’d feel like I was in a whirlwind. This often made me uptight.
It wasn’t uncommon for a subject to be brought up and I’d still be thinking about it half an hour later. People used to make fun of how I would continue to talk about a subject we were talking about 5 subjects ago.
I recall hating change. In fact, I hated the modern world because it changed so much. Every time I turned around something changed. I used to joke about how what was right for the past 10,000 years all of a sudden became wrong today in the highly superior advanced stupendous spectacular modern world, then tomorrow the whole thing was all but forgotten.
Because of endless pointless change a lot of my life revolved around (and still does) finding something with a firm base to believe in. I’ve spent most of my adult life looking for that firm base. It’s still a big part of my life. I despise how nothing is solid or lasting. It drives me up the wall, frankly.
I often felt bombarded by information and stuff:
This was a big problem for me about 10 years ago. I used to complain and joke about how all this crap was endlessly crammed down my throat. I still get pissed off about endless commercials and fine print and details details details to drive me up the wall. I used to complain how I felt enslaved by all this. Everywhere I went I saw images, words, music, people speaking, things trying to entice me, traffic, faces, blah, blah, blah. I used to say, “everything is an endless bombardment of crap thrown at me at a million miles an hour”.
I’ve also begun to notice a problem with concentrating as I get older. I have a hard time concentrating on things now. It’s sort of ironic how, many years ago, I used to over concentrate on things so much but now there’s a problem concentrating. My interest in things is short lived. It’s getting to the point that I can’t do anything. I’ve questioned if it is sort of an Attention Deficit Disorder. I also tend to feel that it’s actually a result of long years of over concentration. Because I was so focused and concentrated there was a tendency to put all my hopes and dreams into these ‘subjects’. But I found they never ‘delivered’, so to speak. All these ‘subjects’ I put all my effort in never panned out anything. As a result, I have found I have nothing to put my hopes and dreams in anymore. In effect, I sort of ‘gave up’. I see this as helping to cause my depression, for the inability to concentrate on anything was one of the first signs that told me something was wrong when I was depressed. Even now I catch myself saying, “why learn or do anything? It doesn’t do anything.”
This inability to concentrate (and it’s association with depression) has created a tendency in getting bored. I seem to get bored of everything now. It’s becoming quite a problem. Life has become boring to me.
I seem to be and ‘all or nothing’ guy:
I’ve found it hard to just do things partially. Either I do something with my whole being or I don’t do it at all. Oftentimes I can’t do a project until I am ‘committed’ to doing it. I cannot do it without myself putting my whole being into it. I’ve put off things and interests for years, and even decades, because I am not ‘committed’ to doing it yet. Once I commit myself I put my whole self into it though. It is not uncommon for it to dominate my life after that.
I have found that I cannot read a book, for example, unless I’m in the mood for that subject. Even though I may want to learn about the subject I still cannot read it til I’m in the mood for it. It’s pointless reading a book I’m not in the mood to read. Basically, I find it hard and I don’t remember anything anyways.
This is interesting in that it shows there is a difference between desire and mood. For me this ‘mood’ is a certain quality of emotion. Like I said elsewhere, a ‘subject’ for me meant I became sort of a part of it, I had a ‘love affair’ with it. In many ways, I become a part of it. I go through bouts where my ‘mood’ will be this subject so I can’t think about anything else. Then that will change to another subject. Then another. This means something like reading a book can take years. I seldom can read a book all at once, though it has happened. I literally alternate between 30 or so books, all of which are stacked on my bedroom floor. Many times, though, I would like to learn this or that subject but my mood just isn’t for that.
It shows that the ‘mood’, not what I desire, determines what I do. This conflict between my ‘mood’ and desire gets me very frustrated and upset and has created a lot of problems for me. It is, I think, another example of the dominance of ‘interior mindedness’ and of the structural state of the interior mind. That’s what determines things in the ‘myopic mind’.
Noises drive me up the wall:
I seem to be bothered by noises that doesn’t seem to bother anyone else. They don’t just annoy me, they drive me up the wall, to the point that I can’t take it. I used to say that if I was a prisoner of war all they had to do is put a ticking clock in the room, especially at night, and I’d tell them anything to get them to take it out. Repetitive noises (like a clock, a barking dog, or snoring), airplanes above, automobile traffic outside, and the noises of a TV or radio in another room are some of the worst. This is particularly pronounced when I’m trying to sleep. Just the noise from a ceiling fan in another room can wake me up in the middle of the night and annoy so much I have to go turn it off . . . and both of the doors are closed! I’ve noticed loud noises, like a loud TV, can bother me too. In my room I have one of those small fans I always turn on immediately when I enter the room. I don’t turn it on for the air, but for the hum . . . to drown out all the other noise! That’s true. I’ve been doing that for almost twenty years now. And I have an extra fan just in case this one goes out so I can immediately replace it. This way I don’t have to be driven up the wall by all the noises while I wait to get a new one.
When I was about twenty there was a dog next door that, for some reason, started to bark all night long. It did this for a little less than a year, I think. It drove me up the wall. It took me about 10 years to admit that it actually caused something like a ‘mental breakdown’ in me. I’ve often said that it impaired me. Even now, twenty or so years later, I still ‘cringe’ a bit when I hear a dog bark. By ‘cringe’ I mean an internal recoil-like reaction. To me it was almost like a reflex action. I guess a comparison would be like hiking in the mountains and all of a sudden you walk through some foliage and find yourself about to walk off a cliff. You naturally would recoil back with a start. One day I found a similarity in my reaction. At one point I was a world war one fanatic. I happened to be looking at the shell shock cases and was stunned that I responded very similarly to shell shock cases. I had similar reactions. Believe it or not, I’d go in the basement and try to stick my head under the sofa to get away from the noise. I’d wrap myself in a blanket and plug my ears and scream out, “shut up! shut up!”, which bothered everyone else. This would go on for long periods of time at night. What happened, and why I believe it resembled shell shock, is that whenever I heard a bark I ‘cringed’ with dread, just as a soldier would in world war one, listening to the explosions during bombardment. They cringed because it might bring death, I cringed because I’ll be driven up the wall. This ‘cringing’ would be repetitive for long periods of time. That’s where I think it’s similar – it’s a long standing intense ‘cringing’ to a repetitive threatening noise that won’t go away. This ‘cringing’ creates a continuous horrible dread that remains even after the noise is gone (and lasting years afterwords). It’s like a cloud that hangs over you continuously. It also created like an intense internal tenseness, as if my muscles inside were as tense as they could be. As I said above, I still ‘cringe’ when I hear a dog bark. It’d take years for that tension to subside. I can remember feeling it, a sense of relaxing. It was nice.
I think this shows how the oversensitivity to certain sensations can hit a deep cord in the mind with the Myopic Mind. I sometimes speak of this as the ‘Piercing Sensation Condition’ as it’s like a needle that pierces deep within ones mind. It’s more than just a sensation. Sometimes I’d compare this condition, in its most extreme form, to a needle that pierces the skin and the nerve endings there but it goes deeper. It follows the nerve all the way to the spine, then all the way to the brain and then, form there, it seems to send a shock to the rest of the mind. The mind then reacts to this abnormal sensation, which is one of the reasons why this condition has such weird manifestations. Maybe this is just a form of hypersensitivity, I don’t know. But I think it’s more than that. It seems that some sensations have a deeper manifestation with us. It seems to dictate and control our lives in many ways. It also has a determining factor in our personalities, our development, and the pattern of our lives. It seldom seems to have that effect on other people.
I will only eat certain foods:
I was always told I was a ‘fussy eater’. I always wanted to count how many foods I will eat but never have. It’s not a lot, I know that. This eating problem has greatly hindered me. If I am invited to eat at someone’s house or are told food will provided and don’t know what it is I will be in a panic. It’s made me apprehensive to do things with people as I never know what we’ll eat or where we’ll eat. More than likely they’ll go somewhere that has nothing I want to eat. I don’t want to be put in that position of either forcing myself to eat something I don’t want or telling people I won’t eat anything. As a result, I don’t go.
I cannot eat foods I don’t like. If I don’t like it I can’t eat it, plain and simple. I’ve noticed, particularly, a problem with meats. I’ve found meats must be done a certain way or they will actually nauseate me. I can’t eat plain meat. The only meat I can eat plain is bacon . . . it’s one of my favorite foods. Meat has to be mixed in together with something else for me to eat typically. It’s not uncommon for me to pick all the meat out before I’ll eat some foods. This is true, oftentimes, with Chinese foods and soups. For years I thought it was some sort of repulsion for meats that I have, which may be true, but I also know that people with Asperger’s Syndrome often are fussy eaters as well. I’ve also found I have lactose intolerance and wondered if there could be a relationship. I don’t know.
I don’t like people to look at me while I’m eating. I despise it when people look at what I’m eating or my plate. I also don’t like to eat socially. I’d much rather eat alone. To have someone sit across from me at a table can, oftentimes, ruin my meal.
Talking to myself:
One of the weird things that happened to me in my late teens is the tendency to talk out loud to myself, which I still do. I do things like walk down the street talking out loud. I’m not ‘talking to myself’, as people say. What I’m actually doing is ‘thinking out loud’. Unstead of thinking silently in my head I say it out loud, so I actually hear what I’m thinking. For me this would become very involved and, I must admit, an art form. I found that when I thought that way I thought more clearly and more profoundly. I used to call it the ‘secret of the trade’ in regard to thinking about things.
What I often do is go in my room and turn some music on. I then would sit and talk about a subject or say what comes to my head. I’d do this for hours, and still do. I recall that, when my mom and dad left somewhere, I’d be all excited. I’d go turn the music on and think practically from the minute I got up to the minute I went to bed. For me, this was one of my greatest joys in life, especially in my twenties.
At first I did it to review things I learned, repeating things. I found I remembered and understood more clearly. If I didn’t do it I forgot things and didn’t understand. That’s still true today.
After I studied psychoanalysis, I started to free associate and say whatever came to my mind. That’s where it really began. For hours I’d just sit and say what came to me. It was amazing. All this stuff would come out of nowhere, like some miracle. I’d start saying things about this and that, stuff I never thought about, and marveled at the insight I’d say. I’d reach a point where things would just flow out of my mouth, pouring out like a fountain, without thought or consideration from me at all. Sometimes, things would flow out so quickly I couldn’t keep up with it. In many respects my free association became like a teacher to me. It’s in this way I came up with some of my greatest insights. It gave me my understanding and a stance in the world. I feel this is a good example of a weird trait of the ‘Myopic Mind’ turning productive.
I always felt this tendency to talk out loud, which I have been told is often seen in Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism, shows the unusual ‘wiring’ in our minds.
Tendency to spend time alone:
There are two forms of this, I’ve found. There is the form where I prefer to be alone then there is the form where the problems of the ‘myopic mind’ forced me to be alone (I will speak of the later one below).
I do feel that, with the Myopic Mind there is a tendency and a joy to be alone. Since we’re so focused it’s the natural place to be. People, under those conditions, fade into the background. In addition, the problems with socializing and the difficulty with relating with people make you naturally turn elsewhere for happiness and meaning. Aloneness, in this sense, is a form of the ‘Crib Reflex’.
I find that I tend to prefer to be alone. This doesn’t mean I don’t want to be around people. I used to always say that I want to be “alone in the midst of people”. In short, I guess you could say this means I want to be around people but I want privacy. I think I’d go out of my mind if I had to be around people all the time. But, at the same time, I’d like to have a companion and friend. Since I don’t have them I feel so lonely, depressed, and rejected. It’s like, with this condition, there is a dilemma between the private and social world. In fact, I often feel this dilemma between the private and social world is a factor in determining this condition. Not for nothing do I call it the ‘Private/Social Dilemma’.
Weird problems with speech:
One of the weird things that has always bothered me is the sound of my voice. Though people have denied it I’m telling you the voice I hear is not the same as my recorded voice. Many times I’ll hear my voice on a video or somewhere and wonder who it is. I can often recognize it only by how the way the letters blend together. For further proof is how people used to make fun of how I talked. Once everyone said I spoke with a high voice (early teens). Later (in my twenties) peopled said I talked with a low voice. For years I’ve maintained that the voice I hear is not what they’re hearing. A long time ago I often thought it was a result of how the sound resonates in my head. It just sounded differently, possibly because I have a deviated septum in my nose which makes it hard for air to pass through my nose. It now makes sense that it is yet another perception problem. I’m hearing the tones differently than everyone else. Here’s another good example of the equalizer that I gave above. I hear everyone’s voice and, naturally, I try to make my voice like theirs with similar intonations, etc. But I’m hearing different tones. I adjust the tones to sound normal to me, but that’s not how it sounds to everyone else. To them it sounds weird or odd. I was often struck by how people said my speech sounded.
I also was listening to myself talk in a video 15 or so years ago. I noticed what appeared as a slight difficulty in pronouncing the words. Is it true? No one told me. I’m still not sure on that point.
I’ve also had people make fun of my grammar and how I word things. I’m not sure why or if it’s significant but I hear it from time to time.
I was also bothered a lot by how I couldn’t seem to recognize my own voice. I’d watch a video and would wonder who it was who was talking. Once (this happened only a couple of years ago), we shot some video then played it back 5 or 10 minutes later. When I heard my voice I thought it was someone else . . . only after 5 or 10 minutes!
In late grade I used to fantasize about living in a self-sufficient ship by myself:
One of my biggest daydreams beginning in late grade school is living alone in a self-sufficient ship or submarine (sometimes I’d do a plane, tank, or spaceship). I would spend hours drawing plans of submarines showing all the compartments engines, etc. I’d show bedrooms, kitchens, and everything. I’d sit and daydream living in it.
This was so powerful it inspired me to go into my profession.
Oddly, I daydreamed about the self-sufficient ship til about 5 or so years ago. I used to daydream about it to put me to sleep. This means this daydream lasted about 20 or so years.
I believe this daydream is a sign of my growing solitude. It showed my ‘retreat into the interior world’ as well. It is an excellent example of the ‘Crib Reflex’.
In late grade I began to idolize solitary guys who devoted their lives to a subject or thing:
I still do. It began with Isaac Newton in late grade school and continues with Hermit Monks today. Even recently, I would always say, “hooray for the Hermit Monks!”
I found that, for most of my adulthood, I idolized hermits, guys who shunned society. Even to say ‘hermit’ always evoked a special emotion in me.
This made me look at being alone in a different way, not as a thing forced on me but as something that was neat. I feel that I idolized these people because I was being driven into solitude. It somehow justified it all and gave it meaning. In many ways, my justifying of this condition is one of the reasons why I never noticed anything. I never noticed I was being driven into solitude.
Being brought up with these over/under sensitivities effects and alters your development. As we grow we have stages where certain things naturally appear. Nature has given our mind a pattern of growth which requires certain traits, emotions, passions, etc. to come at certain times, which I call their ‘windows’. They need to come during the ‘window’ and with a certain degree of strength. Otherwise, the mind does not ‘integrate’ with the passion properly and developmental problems are created.
The ‘initial’ developmental problem:
I sometimes feel, though, that the Myopic Mind is really, from the beginning, one big developmental problem. In effect, we have not grown out of our ‘infantile mind’. By this I mean that our mind is still working like an infant in the crib (In fact, it was in describing this that I first used the ‘crib reflex’ term). Like an infant we are still looking at the world from a crib. In a crib I am comfortable and safe. I focus on and am concerned about a few simple things (like food). The infants mind has not ‘expanded’ yet to see much of the world. It is restricted in it’s conception of things, unable to see the whole picture. I can see so many similarities between the Myopic Mind and an infant that I feel there must be a relation. It’s like our mind is ‘fixated’ to this growth phase. Under this theory, then, a part of our mind is fixated to this phase. As a result, when we grow our mind does not really grow with the rest of us. It remains fixated on the earlier phase. I call this the ‘Shifted Window’ (because a growth phase is a ‘window’ of growth and when it’s delayed it’s ‘shifted’, so to speak). This ‘shifted window’ alters our growth which ends up creating odd traits within us. One part of our mind proceeds to grow normally and another remains fixated. This creates something like a dual mind within us. I feel that many traits are really conflict or discrepancies between these two selves. This initial developmental problem ends up creating secondary developmental problems as we grow. Why this initial problems starts I cannot say. Since oversensitivity seems a recurrent theme in this condition I’ve speculated that it is a result of that. Perhaps this is nothing but the initial phase of our life of oversensitivity, where it first manifests itself? I do feel that it happening so early dramatically effects our growth. It predisposes us, probably, to problems later. Whereas, if it happened later in life we wouldn’t be so predisposed to these problems.
Secondary developmental problems:
After the initial developmental problem begins it sets us up for others as we grow from phase to phase, window to window. To me, there seems to be two main forms of secondary developmental problems:
1 – You are so over sensitive to something that a phase is ‘awakened’ years before the ‘window’ that it would normally appear.
This, to me, seems to be the character of the initial developmental problem that set may of set the whole condition off. I tend to feel this situation tends to split the mind, creating a ‘dual mind’ (the initial developmental mind ‘split’ may of predisposed us to later problems as it has already ‘split’ our mind). One part of our mind remains fixated and the other proceeds to grow normally. The fixated mind, I feel, becomes the Myopic Mind and the normal growing mind becomes the Non Myopic Mind basically.
I also feel that, sometimes, the mind will ‘reject’ the perception. Once this is done, it seems, there is a tendency for this ‘rejecting’ to continue in later life whenever that perception is felt.
2 – You are so under sensitive to something that it does not appear in the ‘window’ it should appear.
It seems to me that, under this situation, there develops an absence of ‘integration’ of that growth phase in our mind. The traits of that growth phase are simply not taken in by the mind. This may create conditions where there is a lack of maturity or traits may be missing.
Both of these create aberrations in our character and growth, which effects our personality and how we behave and react to things later on in life. They could lead to learning problems, personality problems, and more.
I am very love-shy. This means it’s hard for me to get personal or intimate with a girl. Some love shy guys can’t even talk to a girl. I can talk to them but only socially. I find that personal talk is very hard for me, almost impossible. I believe this is a result of oversensitivity to being ‘personal’. which creates a shyness, as I described above.
But I feel there is another deeper aspect to this, which involves developmental problems. I used to have very deep crushes on girls which, I feel, came too early in grade school. For most boys it would have been just a form of ‘puppy love’ (which is good for growth) but, because of my oversensitivity, it became an intense emotion and very powerful. In a way, it overwhelmed me. I tend to feel that my little mind didn’t know what to make of it. You see, it hadn’t grown enough. As a result, my little mind couldn’t ‘integrate’ that emotion into my self. This basically made my mind ‘reject’ it, as I said above. As a result, my mind keeps ‘rejecting’ it every time something similar happens. It’s almost like a reflex action. I don’t seem to have any control over it. Because this happened so early in my development I think it is deeply ingrained. It’s very hard for me to change something that is that ingrained.
I still feel that the only way it can be done away with is for someone else, namely a female, to ‘walk me through’ these emotions more. Because this happened so early it’s like there’s a ‘knot’ deep in my mind that has continued down to today. This makes it so I am love-shy. It makes it hard for me to initiate or do anything. As a result, what I need is someone to be my ‘surrogate ego’, so to speak, to take over what I cannot, but would normally, do. I speak, really, of a female who will take more the initiative and active role. By then experiencing the emotions and such it will ‘override’ the knot and allow my more ‘grown up’ self to take over (it’s like a transferring from the younger self where the ‘knot’ is to the older more mature self). It seems that it’s not easy for someone to override the ‘knot’ that creates love-shyness. This sounds weird but, interestingly, I found out that they are doing stuff like that as therapy. Just recently, I found that love-shyness has been linked not only with love infatuations that come too early but also with Asperger’s Syndrome.
CHANGES IN CONSCIOUSNESS OF ONESELF AND THE WORLD
I tend to feel that this oversensitivity creates a changed or altered state of consciousness. In this sense, it creates an altered world and self perception that may appear ‘odd’, ‘weird’, or unusual to other people. I will, for example, be bothered by things no one else is or I will disregard things other people think is important.
There are times, I’ve found, that this change in consciousness can be very profound and religious-like (I just about joined a monastery . . . ). In fact, I credit it for giving me a somewhat religious outlook on life. It’s been so powerful in this sense that it has made me wonder if the Myopic Mind is actually an ancient character trait that the modern world has made defunct. In our old societies (some of which still exist) there are people who are very involved with the profound: shamans, medicine men, priests, monks, etc. Some of their behavior resembles the Myopic Mind, it seems. Is it possible that in these older societies that live in the midst of nature, the Myopic Mind was a ‘gift’, so to speak, that allowed a greater insight into life and the world for some people? In that sense it’s a strength and a good quality. But now, in high ultra-organized society, this trait has been made useless. As a result, those who have this trait tend to have problems. They become ‘awkward’, ‘weird’, and struggle with it, forever unable to fit in. In that case, the Myopic Mind is a casualty of the modern world and a sign of our dehumanization.
GOOD TRAITS THE ‘MYOPIC MIND’ CREATES
As with all things, there are good and bad points. It’s no different here. Some examples:
– I’ve became very studious and learn a lot about things. This makes it so I know alot of things and often am the only one who knows about specific things.
– I tend to become very detail oriented. I will notice details noone else will notice and take into consideration things noone else will take into consideration.
– I find I’m very moral, law abiding, and don’t do things that are wrong. I have been repetitively stunned how moral I am compared to other people. More than once have I thought I was the only moral person in America.
– I tend to be devout, committed, and loyal. Once I believe in something I believe in it. I can devote myself to things very easily as well.
– Because I am ‘steadfast’ and unchanging I often become the guy everyone depends on and can rely on. I become the one who maintains things and keeps things going. While everyone wavers in their viewpoints and such I will remain constant, often saying and believing the same exact things for decades, despite what happens.
– Because I am more passionate about things I become more involved with things. Meaning and value are more important to me. This means I make more of things than most people. I end up looking more into things than other people, as if I’m on a hunt. I inquire and explore more. I do things most people don’t, and take paths noone else takes.
THE SPECTRUM OF THE CONDITION
As I look at this condition I can see that there will be something like a spectrum, similar to a light spectrum, which encompasses different levels of severity. Accordingly, how you deal with the problem will depend on where you are on the spectrum.
I tend to group the spectrum into three groups:
1 – The ‘Severe’ group.
In this form I can see the four traits being so severe that it can make someone almost retarded or severely impaired, living the ‘tunnel vision’ life, unable to grasp the totality of life. I consider this form to be the ‘unhealthy’ variety. I don’t really believe, at this time, that people can be ‘cured’ of that severe of a Myopic Mind. In this case the Myopic Mind is dominant and in control.
2 – The ‘Mixed’ group.
This group is a mixture of the ‘Severe’ and ‘Mild’ group (see below). Because of this there is alot of variety in its manifestations and treatment. On end of this group a person can have so many problems that they are severely impaired by it. On the other end they just need to work at it abit and it isn’t much of a problem. If a person is having problems and is aware of it then they are probably in this group.
3 – The ‘Mild’ group.
In this group there is just a ‘hint’ of it. I tend to believe that these ‘mild’ forms are a normal human trait and is quite common. I also believe that they have done alot of good for humanity and have greatly enriched human culture. I believe this form to be the ‘healthy’ variety. I don’t feel the condition creates any problems most of the time. As a result, it’s seldom noticed or aknowledged. Maybe they might just be alittle ‘weird’ or ‘awkward’? In these cases the Myopic Mind is not dominant but something like an ‘addition’ to the normal human quality. In a way, it complements the normal mind, giving it an ‘edge’ sometimes. I think it is this aspect of the condition that tends to be neglected.
I tend to feel the goal of dealing with this condition is to try to push it into the ‘mild’ form which is healthy. This means to lessen the power of the Myopic Mind. It also means a discovering of it’s strength.
THE CHANGE THAT HAS BEEN HAPPENING TO ME
In the past several years (beginning in my late 30’s) I noticed a change in me. First of all, I became aware of this condition. Before, I didn’t have a clue that there was a problem at all. I also found that a lot of these problems weren’t as strong as they used to be. Many of the problems I described above don’t control me any way near the way they used to. In fact, some are no longer a problem at all. It’s like the Myopic Mind has weakened in me. Now I seem to be in this phase of ‘now what?’ With many of these traits gone or not as strong I seem at a loss as to what to do. They were so much a part of my life and have become a habit that, without it, I feel, in a sense, ‘abandoned’. It appears I am in a transition phase out of the Myopic Mind as a dominant force in my life.
THINGS THAT HELP ME
Over the years I’ve noticed a number of things that have helped me. These include:
The need to deal with the Secondary Traits:
As I said above, the four Primary Traits create alot of other problems which are the Secondary Traits of this condition. In addition, I mentioned how we can end up fighting these more than the original Primary Traits. They are probably responsible for most of our problems. It’s because of this that we need to look at, confront, and deal with these Secondary Traits.
I seem to think that dealing with these Secondary Traits are the first thing to do. Any depression, anxiety, lack of self esteem, etc. needs to be looked at. It must also be remembered that these are a result of the effects of the four primary traits. In effect, they are not the problem but the result of the problem.
I sort of feel that most of my advice below won’t work effectively until alot of the Secondary Traits are dealt with first (as they are very specific to the four Primary Traits).
The need for understanding from people:
I think that being around people who are understanding would be the best influence for me. I would especially like this from females who, from my experience, are not understanding at all.
It’s not easy but accepting my situation is necessary. This can be very difficult and painful. For me, acceptance has come in stages that have lasted years. Acceptance just doesn’t happen over night. It needs time to grow. You can’t ‘force’ acceptance to happen. Like all growth it needs its stages . . . and time. One of the first and important things to start acceptance is being aware of the problem. You must know that there is a ‘something’ that is going on.
Develop a strong sense of self:
In many ways, one of the greatest things we can do to deal with this problem is to develop a strong sense of self, something like a ‘center of self’. It creates a foundation, a strong footing, to build oneself on. When you look at it the Myopic Mind seems to greatly devastate our self and our sense of self. Perhaps that’s where the real crisis lies? The more we develop the self and strengthen it the better we’ll be, I think. You’ll notice that a lot of what I remark below really revolves around this issue of a sense of self.
If this condition is a spectrum with autism on one extreme and Asperger’s Syndrome on the other then it would make sense that in the more severe autisms the self is really devastated. So much so that the person is completely impaired as a person, unable to grow well, much like a retardation. Maybe the devastation of the self should be the measure of this problem? On the other extreme we would have people with an impaired self but not totally devastated. That group has enough self that, at least, they can develop their self and possibly counter reacting the problem.
Developing a ‘Non Myopic Mind’:
As I said above, there seems to be two minds. In many ways we suffer problems because the Myopic Mind is dominate. As a result, we want to try to develop the Non Myopic Mind so it is the dominating mind. Or, another way to look at it, is to try to ‘integrate the two minds’. Here’s some ways I tried to do it:
1 – Try to decrease the Gaze of the Myopic Mind:
Since the Myopic Mind has a Gaze (as I described above) that is intense and dominating, we want to try to decrease it’s power over us.
The way I usually did this is that when I noticed I was concentrated on something intensely I’d stop and look somewhere else and, in a way, divert my mind elsewhere.
I’d also try to not think about anything specific. I’d try not to think and just relax. I remember that was hard to do at first.
Another thing I’d do is to do a variety of activities that are totally different in character. When I got too involved with one I’d change to another that was opposite in character. By the time I graduated from High School I found that I would study things a certain way. I got so involved with math and engineering that they were like a big black hole sucking me in. I found I became interested in other subjects to ‘counter react’ the rigidness of those fields. I got very involved with psychology. What I did is create a ‘rigid’ subject (math, engineering) and a ‘soft’ subject (psychology) and alternate between the two. I used to describe this as ‘keeping a balance’.
2 – Try to increase the Gaze into the Blindsight of the Myopic Mind:
Since the Myopic Mind has a very strong Blindsight I tried to increase my ability to see and be aware of what I was not seeing. One of the ways I did this is by not thinking and, unstead, experiencing things. I’d sit and try to experience the simple things I was doing, such as brushing my teeth, just being aware of what I was doing. I’d also sit and be aware of my surroundings, of where I was, the temperature, etc. I’d try to forget myself and look out into the world and try to take a stance of ‘see the world first’ before I noticed myself. I try to loose a consciousness of myself. That’s the main thing. I try to do this without thinking or ‘putting myself into it’ which takes some practice. I found that not thinking and being aware of the simple things in life helped me with my anxiety. It made me feel that maybe a lot of my anxiety is nothing but being too ‘overthought’ or ‘overconscious’.
Another thing is to try to make a habit of standing back in life and trying to get the ‘whole picture. Try to develop a more holistic approach to life. Try to not focus or devote yourself to a few things. Look around, see what’s going on, and ‘take it all in’.
3 – Try to disregarding oversensitivity:
Since oversensitivity is a big part of this condition I found it is good to try to disregard the oversensitivity I was feeling. It takes some practice but I’d try to ignore some of my perceptions, emotions, and thoughts. I’d find, through experience, which of them I could disregard and start from there. Then I’d slowly do more. A good example is not caring for what people thought of me or how a certain emotion seemed so strong. The more I’d disregard them the less control they had over me. But, like I said, this takes time as it needs to be like an attitude and turned into a habit.
4 – Being aware of the problem:
I have found that just being aware of the problem helps immensely. In fact, my sitting down and describing the ‘condition’ has been one of my biggest helps. This is why I feel that, if a person can, they ought to sit down and describe to themselves how they feel and watching how they behave. They should do this with as little help from people, books, theories, etc. as possible. If it does not come from within themselves then it will not work at all I think.
Above I gave the example of ‘integrating the two minds’. In that sense, we can compare it to a ‘multiple personality’, in a way. And how are many multiple personalities cured? A big part of it is increasing awareness of the other selves. That helps tremendously.
5 – Being aware of the Non Myopic Mind:
It’s easy to notice our problems, our painful emotions, and horrible thoughts. It’s natural to dwell on them, I think (I sure did). Now take note when you aren’t that way. Be aware of when you’re not being Myopic, of not having problems, etc. Dwell on when you’re ‘normal’, so to speak. What makes you that way versus the other way?
The idea here is to try to strengthen the Non Myopic Mind within ourselves. By being aware of it we reinforce it’s presence in our life.
Develop an ‘inner gaze’:
Stand back and watch what you do and look deeply into oneself. Watch all the stuff you do, all the good and the bad. Get to know yourself.
Knowing your limitations and abilities:
With experience and self observation find out what you can and cannot do. Keep yourself in the area you feel comfortable with. For example, if you aren’t good talking in front of people then don’t do it. This will decrease stress and unnecessary conflict in life. As I said above, this condition has it’s strengths. Try to use your strengths. Basically, you want to try to put yourself in a situation where your strengths are used and your weaknesses are not used.
Look for examples of people that are similar to you:
Finding other people similar to me helped me to not feel so alienated and isolated. It also made me appreciate my condition more. I also used them as a mentor and example to help me in life.
Find ways to express yourself:
It’s very beneficial to express yourself. When I say ‘express yourself’ I don’t just mean in one way. Try to express different aspects of yourself. Each person has different aspects of themselves. In reality, we only know a small part of ourselves. Explore, try different things, do things you normally wouldn’t do. Try to find a ‘hidden self’ within you and bring it out.
Take an ‘experiential’ view of life:
Don’t think about life, experience it. Let life effect you. Let life move you. Don’t try to intellectualize, don’t try to control things, don’t try to dominate things. This experiencing of life, I’ve found, can be painful. Don’t shrink away from pain or complain about it. Experience it and move on. I have always emphasized the importance of experiencing pain and conflict. It helps us grow.
Getting rid of bad habits:
Because of the problems this condition causes there is a tendency, over the years and in growing up with it, to develop horribly bad habits . . . about yourself, people, your situation, and the world. Perhaps there is truth in that what many of us are fighting is nothing but the bad habits accumulated over time. Unfortunately, as many of us know, bad habits are hard to break. But breaking bad habits, I feel, is a big part of what it means to be an adult. In a way, growing older should be a continual ‘cleaning house’ of ourselves, I think. This takes a continual observation of ourselves, how we behave, how we react, and so on. It takes a lifetime for this. It doesn’t happen in a day.
Some bad habits that are probably good to watch for:
– Bad attitudes. This, I always felt, is where a lot of bad habits originate. All of us should always try to ‘refine’ our attitudes in life.
– Bad patterns or ways of thinking. A lot of our problems in life are a result of a continual pattern or style of thinking about things. Some of us walk around with a ‘chip’ on our shoulder, have a complaining or sulking way, and such which only causes us more problems. When we have problems and know it (especially if it is an ‘accepted’ problem) we use that to make us more sick as if it ‘allows’ us to complain or feel bad about ourselves. I’ve found stuff like that just continues and intensify the problem.
– Bad conflicts. In a situation like this condition there are a lot of conflicts that happen. As a result, we often get wrapped up in petty, trivial, nonsensical, and ridiculous conflicts that really don’t mean anything. From my experience these can suck you in like some black hole. They can end up dominating our lives. One thing I’ve found that helps, though it may sound weird, is ‘learning not to care’. In a way, I just ignore the conflict. This is not easy and takes a long time (years for me). In this way, I sort of ‘cut it off’, so to speak, and cease being controlled by it. Then I began to see that it was just trivial and, sometimes, it’s sort of embarrassing to think I made an issue out of it at all.
– Bad ways in how we interact with the world and others. By watching how we interact with things and noticing the problems we have can sometimes help us.
The need for maturity:
One of the things I’ve found that is important for this condition is being mature. As I said before, it seems that this condition is a continuation of the ‘infantile’ state into the later stages of life. Because of this maturity does not happen as easily.
In many ways, what many of us need to do is to ‘grow up’! There needs to be a more adult outlook toward life and themselves. I truly believe that the Myopic Mind works best with a mature outlook. In fact, I have this feeling that the Myopic Mind creates, under the right conditions, a very mature outlook (perhaps the most mature of all?). That may very well be it’s greatest asset and strength. Nowadays, in this ‘modern world’ there is not much cause to mature. Could it be that the Myopic Mind is a symptom of ‘stunted maturity’ created by the ‘modern world’?
The need for personal crisis:
I have found that personal crisis has helped me a lot. One thing I have always emphasized and that’s the need for personal crisis. We shouldn’t shun it away. Personal crisis should be embraced more and accepted. Oftentimes, it’s there to help us, though it may not seem like it at first. I still feel my depression was a big factor in helping me to understand and grapple this condition.
Find ways where the traits of the Myopic Mind can be a strength:
There are a lot of good traits with this condition. Try to find them and use them. It’s very important to discover its good traits. I believe the Myopic Mind is actually a good trait, as long as it doesn’t get out of control. It’s for this reason that there needs to be an inquiry in the benefits of these traits in a persons life. This may entail an abandoning or disregarding of preconceived notions about oneself, the condition, and societies expectations. Sometimes, this is the hurdle that is most difficult to climb over.
Try to look beyond the petty conflicts and problems:
I feel that, with the Myopic Mind, there is a particular tendency to get wound up with petty conflicts and problems. People get so involved with them and make a drama out of it. I know, I’ve been there! Try to look beyond them, disregard them or even forget them. For example, I’ve found that over the years I have begun to not care what people think about me or what I do. This alone has helped me quite abit, giving me less to fret about. Learning not to care about petty things is, I feel, a good quality and strength.
Remember that things take time:
I have found that none of this happens overnight. It takes time. It also takes diligence and presistence. Things must be practiced almost to the point of habit, it seems to me. It’s almost like a garden. It must be planted and maintained to grow.
The effect of aging:
Personally, I think that growing older helps some of us. We get used to it and live with it. We find ways to live with it and tolerate it. Some of us even grow out of it, I think.
Other things I wish I had to help me:
I think, after all these years, that what I wish I had the most is someone to ‘reach out’ to me. I need someone to help me and to not expect me to do everything. Sometimes I do think I am like a child and need someone to practically ‘hold my hand’ in things and guide me along. I would like, very much, to be cared about too. I would like to not be criticized and nit-picked to death about stupid details as well.
THE EFFECT OF THE SOCIETY WE LIVE IN
I keep having this notion that we are living in a society that is not conducive to Myopic Mind traits. This, as a result, brings out the bad side of it and makes it appear worse than it is. It also gives us alot of problems. In fact, I often feel that the ‘modern world’ is what created the condition that I now call the Myopic Mind. In other words, it is a product of the ‘modern world’, its conditions, and its mentality. Without the ‘modern world’ the Myopic Mind does not exist.
It is my belief that the ‘modern world’ is an inhuman world (for a period of time one of my jokes used to be that “the modern world is not fit for human beings”). It is an artificial world built on over intellectualized ideas, machinery, and ultra organization. It’s no secret that alot of people are not finding themselves fitting into this very well. Some people cannot fit in. It demands people to be a certain specific way which, really, is not a natural way of being.
I tend to believe that we, with the Myopic Mind, are part of the group that usually can’t fit in. There is no ‘niche’ for our type of mindset anymore. So many of us find ourselves at a loss and unable to connect. What this would imply, in some ways, is that the Myopic Mind is very “human” or that it has a very “human quality”. In an inhuman world this quality has no value, hence our alienation.
What is even more sad, and tragic, is that the ‘modern world’ with it’s highly organized system was, probably, created by people with the Myopic Mind. Who would sit and devote themselves to all the details of things? Who would sit and devote themselves so much to knowing about something? Who would come up with all the intricacies of things like science? Most likely, a person with Myopic Mind traits. I tend to believe that the ‘modern world’ was, to a large extent, created by people with the Myopic Mind. What this would mean is that we have become victim of our own mentality.
This is the tragedy.
This is not to say that it’s a bad thing. It is not. What it shows us is that it is truly “human”, that alongside good qualities are bad qualities. For example, look at good intentions. Having good intentions is a wonderful human quality. It’s done alot of good for us. But take another look. Do you know that alot of the worlds and humanities problems have been caused by good intentions? That’s the tragedy . . . the human tragedy . . . where something that is good can ends up doing bad. Perhaps this is the trait that makes us most human?
It is for this reason that I feel that what we need the most is one of the most human traits of all – wisdom. And before we can have wisdom we must have RESPECT for it. It seems to me that respect is very lacking. Believe me when I say that behind this condition there is a wonderful human trait. But it can never be used wisely when there is no respect for it.
This, to me, seems to be the crisis we now face.
One of the unique qualites about this condition is that the traits are not inheritantly bad. It is not a disease. It only becomes a disease when it’s too powerful or gets out of control in our lives. I believe that it is a human trait that has helped us in the past and been beneficial. Perhaps we can compare it to an inflammation? When you injure yourself your injury will often get inflammed. It may swell up, get red, and be sensitive . . . but that’s the body ‘rushing’ the blood there to heal it, so to speak. It’s a natural defense the body does to help it heal. But there are times where inflammation and swelling can prevent healing. The swelling can get so bad that if you don’t reduce the swelling it will take forever to heal. In some respects that’s what this condition is like. It has this duality of being good and beneficial in some situations and tragic in others. It creates this dilemma that is sometimes hard to make sense of.
WHAT I THINK IS BEHIND THE ‘MYOPIC MIND’
I have this strange notion that the Myopic Mind is a beneficial and necessary human quality that has been made useless over the years. Centuries ago, when we lived in the midst of nature, the Myopic Mind manifested itself in certain people more than others as a way to deal with the demands and complexities of nature. It created a group of people who looked at and felt nature and life more intensely than others. These, probably, became people like the shamans, priests, philosophers, intellectuals, and scientists. As I’m sure you know, these people ended up making major contributions to life and culture. They gave meaning to life and the world and so on.
As time went on and civilization grew their use and place in society and the world changed. Slowly, the Myopic Mind trait became more and more useless and without place. As a result, the social function the people with this trait had disappeared. But yet the trait remained within some of us. It continued and persisted in a world that no longer needed it.
Because of this those who have it find themselves like ‘fish out of water’. In effect, it becomes like a trait from the ‘primitive world’ persisting into the modern world. It’s no wonder it creates problems. To begin with there’s no outlet for it, especially when we’re younger. Having no outlet at a young age, no doubt, begins alot of the developmental problems. It continues like this as we grow older and older compounding problem upon problem.
I compare this problem to the male ego. I believe the male ego was a necessary thing when we lived in the midst of nature. Without it we all would of been in a world of hurt. But what is the male ego? To me, it is a false sense of confidence placed there innately by nature. Why would this be so important? Because the male was the one who confronted the massiveness of nature. He had to have a ‘trait’ that would make him think he can deal with nature’s might. Without it he would of shrunk back from nature. Without it do you think the eskimo would of hunted walruses with a spear? Without it do you think primitive man would of walked out into desolate territory not knowing how he was going to survive? This ego, this false confidence, gave the male the ability to face nature. But what use is it in the modern world? It’s almost useless. In many ways, the male ego has become a caricature, almost a joke. It will make many guys do stupid and dumb things. You see, this thing that once was necessary has now become defunct, almost an aberration of the human being.
This, I feel, is the situation we’re now facing. This is why I feel that the quest for the meaning of the Myopic Mind is a quest for our humanity, our primitive humanity, in an inhuman advanced world. To regain the meaning of the Myopic Mind is to regain our primitive humanity.
SOME OF THE TRAITS OF THE ‘PRIMITIVE MYOPIC MIND’
As I said above I feel the Myopic Mind is a residue from our primitive ancestors that has become useless in the modern world. I do not know if this is true with the ‘severe’ forms though (I sometimes wonder if the ‘severe’ forms are really an altogether different condition . . . ), but I seem to think the other two are of this nature. And so what are the traits of this ‘Primitive Myopic Mind’? Here’s some of my speculation based on my personal experience:
– A deep inner sense of self. This is why I have emphasized so much above the need for a sense of self. This requires, I think, a maturity that we don’t see much in the modern world. More than once I’ve wondered if part of our problem is because of this lack of maturity. It seems to me that the Myopic Mind, used in a healthy way, leads to a higher form of maturity than normal.
– The need for imagination and creativity. I feel this is very important. I mentioned before how, in the Myopic Mind, there is a condinuation of the ‘infantile state’. Well, I feel there is a reason for this. Children have a very good and healthy dream life which is actually very insightful about things. As we grow this fades and insight fades. By continuing the ‘infantile state’ we continue that ‘dream life’ of children and, in a sense, remain partly a child. In this sense, we do not become like the normal adults but more like a ‘child adult’.
– A deeper sense of meaning in things. There’s a tendency to philosophize and a need to see value in things.
– A sense of the ‘otherwordliness’ in life. There is a need for the ‘mystery’ of life and to see it everywhere.
– The need for a ‘world view’ or a philosophy of how the world works.
– An intuitive sense in life. By this I mean an allowing of insight to come up naturally. It’s a great trusting of an ‘inner truth’, so to speak.
– A tendency to have a spiritual outlook on life. This means a belief in ‘things unseen’. In fact, I tend to feel that the intense ‘concentration’, which is a trait of this condition, is really but the peering into nature that was required by our ancestors. It created a group of people who looked deeper than other people did. Perhaps this is the real strength and value of the Primitive Myopic Mind originally?
– A tendency to have an increased or different awareness/concsiousness of things. It’s my opinion that this is one of the traits that can give so much pain and agony people with the Myopic Mind, as it places people in a whole different world than everyone else. It can make us feel alienated, lost, etc. This trait is, I believe, given to some of us to make us look at the world in a different light than what is normally done, giving us different insights.
– A sense of a correct or right way in doing things. It creates a tendency to ritual, morality, and law.
– A tendency to feel things with great passion.
– There is a need to express oneself and what one feels. This, I feel, becomes part of our living and knowing about life. For some of us this can be quite intense. Keeping it bottled up, as it’s usually done nowadays, is one of the causes of our probems, I feel. I think that, with the Myopic Mind, life needs to be more experienced than thought about. This is why I emphasize so much about experiencing things.
– A tendency to look closely at things.
– A tendency to be devotional to something.
All these traits seem to describe a person that experiences life on a different level than most people. This makes them different or unique in many ways. It seems to give them the ability to ‘peer into’ life and nature more. Nowadays this seems almost useless, but centuries ago, when we lived in the midst of nature, the world and life was this big massive entity, a great presence full of awe and mystery . . . and it stared us in the face! It makes sense that nature would make a small number of the population have an ‘innate need’ to go beyond the normal human perceptions and sense life differently, to further grasp the mystery of the world. I seem to think that it was these people who had this trait that created things like mythology and religion that placed us in the world, and shamans or medicine men who used nature for our benefit. They, probably, were the ones who ended up creating things like morality, law, and such that help create an ordered life. The normal person, on the other hand, were too concerned and absorbed with all the intracacies and details of everyday life to get too involved with it.
Because of these traits one of the ways, perhaps, in dealing with this problem is to ‘rediscover’ these traits and develop them. This is one of the things I’ve done and it has greatly helped me.
I’m always struck how alot of these traits tend to be sort of ‘spiritual’ or ‘religious’. But we must also remember that primitive man was ‘spiritual’. To be frank, I feel the Primitive Myopic Mind is a manifestation of the ‘spiritual’ in the human being. This means that to ‘rediscover’ it is to have a spiritual-like outlook on life.
Behind all the problems of this condition I feel there is a wonderful human quality waiting to be discovered. I know this from personal experience.
Copyright by Mike Michelsen