October 2013

* woman

"If you want to change people's minds, you've got to talk to their elephants."
(Jonathan Haidt)


Altered States of Consciousness | by David Quinn

Over the last few decades [altered states] have been attracting increasing attention and have underlined the growth of interest in Eastern thought. By altered states I mean those blissful realms which seem to pulsate of profundity - the so-called religious experience.

This is a very unusual experience, qualitatively different to what we call normal consciousness. Indeed, it seems so much more real than the everyday world. Blissful, timeless, sublime, holy, deep - one feels that one has come upon something of eternal significance. When we turn our attention outwards, everything appears different. Normal everyday things now seem to exude the sacred. God! It is God! Tears well up as one contemplates this mystery. The ultimate answer appears as equally mysterious as the question, and yet it satisfies the mind. Or does it? Who can say? The psyche oscillates with feelings of familiarity, anxiety, clarity, mystery, fulfillment and alienation.

Note well, these experiences are not related to wisdom. People experience these "heavenly realms" and naturally, but erroneously, interpret them to be God or Nirvana. They then busy themselves seeking a belief-system to support this view.

These experiences awaken the deep-seated emotions of the ego. They powerfully revive the old infant yearnings for supreme egotistical happiness. Sometimes, these experiences are accompanied by vivid memories of childhood, especially of long-forgotten mental outlooks on life. All this persuades people to the view that spirituality is in the direction of the womb, which consequently strengthens the belief in the feminine. For the feminine is firmly rooted in childhood.

If the mind which experiences these powerful and blissful altered states lacks discrimination, then there is grave danger. If one has a poor understanding of the way delusion builds up the ego, then one will take these "glimpses" for what they are not. If one is not committed to rational consistency, to the desire to fully understand ultimate truth, then there will be no stopping the imagination from constructing the most fantastic interpretations of the world. If one's reason is not grounded in the concept of cause and effect, then all altered states of consciousness are worthless.

Indeed, if your mind lacks all these qualities, and if you speak out on the virtues of compassion often enough, then you can be sure the world will hail you as a man of great wisdom.

Altered states can be of benefit in that they powerfully bring home to one that there is definitely something more to life than meets the eye. These experiences can be an excellent progressive stage on the way towards the beginning of spirituality. These experiences themselves do not relate to spirituality, but can help send one to its gates.

This stage of development can properly be called the aesthetic stage. Upon experiencing a deep altered state, the ego naturally becomes extremely interested in exploring the matter further, and does so through books, art, music, drugs, meditation, etc. However, the mind which is developing will soon see the stagnant nature of this path. It will say farewell to the aesthetic stage, perhaps painfully, and will embark earnestly on the true spiritual path, the path of reason.

The one obstacle preventing people from entering into the beginnings of genuine spirituality is the lack of intellectual discernment. Absolutely vital is a good intellectual understanding of what Truth is, combined with a deep understanding of what the ego is. If this does not exist, then a person will travel down all paths except the true one. He will think that he is developing spiritually when in fact he is merely developing egotistically. Clarity as to what the path is is necessary before one can travel along it. It is impossible to stumble along it by virtue of blind chance.

Altered states are but the tip of the iceberg. If one touches them without the sharp sword of discrimination, then an infinite chasm will immediately arise between oneself and Truth. Just look at how one person converts to Buddhism, another to Christianity, and yet another to atheism - all on the strength of an altered state! This farce alone should give one pause for thought. Clearly, at least two of these converts have absolutely no idea of what they have experienced! Yet all three will swan about the place, certain they know the truth and, God forbid, even go out and preach it to others!

This is the great danger of altered states. Being so seductive, they can empower the mind to believe in the most narrow-minded and irrational of concepts. They so easily capture the soul and place it in a cosy little room situated in an impregnable fortress. Such a soul is safe and happy, and lost forever. "I know." - this is all it can say for itself.


This underlines the above factors and forms the very substance of the feminine. The ego has no trouble snuggling up to a few thousand lies in the great bed of pleasure. Indeed, dishonesty has always been of paramount importance. Mankind cannot stand an individual taking honesty to extremes. Even in the supposedly male-oriented rational society of ancient Greece, Socrates was put to death for having a well-developed conscience.

(David Quinn, An Exposition for the Advanced Mind)

When I was a graduate student in psychology at the University of Pennsylvania twenty years ago, I had the privilege of taking several seminars with Martin Seligman who is best known for developing the theory of learned helplessness. Here's a simple experiment that illustrates his theory. Suppose you take a mouse and give it a really fun environment to explore. The mouse gets to burrow through dirt and sand, squiggle through narrow tunnels and jump around in the branches of little plastic trees. Dr. Seligman refers to such a mouse as a master mouse because that mouse has become a master of its environment. Let's suppose you're not so nice to a second mouse. The second mouse doesn't get to play in the fun environment. Instead, you just squeeze it tight. You hold it. The mouse might try to wriggle away, but you don't let it. You keep holding it tight. You do this over and over again, several sessions a day, day after day. The mouse learns that no matter what it does, it can't get out of your grip. Dr. Seligman called that mouse a "helpless" mouse.

Now comes the test. You toss each mouse in a bathtub filled with water. The master mouse immediately paddles to the side of the bathtub, scrambles up and out of the bathtub on the little rope ladder you've hung on the side of the tub, and shakes itself off.

The situation is dramatically different when you toss the "helpless" mouse into the same bathtub. The helpless mouse makes only pathetic and feeble attempts to swim out of the bathtub. It flounder's for a moment, then sinks. If you don't reach in and pull it out, it will drown.
(Leonard Sax, Why Gender Matters)

The Borderline reawakens the excruciating anguish that the Narcissist learned to put aside or adjust to as a little kid.

The core shame that's invoked in him during these times, is monumental. He remembers how powerful, in-control and popular he was before he started up with the Borderline and his world began to collapse. He cannot reconcile his current (dispicable) frailty with the entrenched Superman persona he erected in boyhood - and it causes him a deep sense of despair, embarrassment and frustration. Self-worth repair within core trauma work can help him, but it's like 'boot camp' for the soul. Few will make the effort to heal and grow past the grandiose false-self, which was constructed in boyhood.



"The Borderline individual lives with psychosis, so they have difficulty distinguishing between fantasy and reality. The Borderline's inability to separate fact from fiction, distorts their perceptions. Extreme emotional reactivity in reference to those distortions, is a typical borderline personality feature."

"It doesn't matter how smart or powerful he is, she'll turn his world upside-down to where he could lose his entire fortune, acquire a serious disease, and become a shadow of his former self."

A person involved with a Borderline for even a limited time, will be prone to adopting psychotic (BPD) symptomology, due to proximal exposure. That's why we call their behaviors, "crazy-making."

The Borderline compensates for core deficits - but does it with her well-worn ability to seduce, for that is the only arena where she feels any true sense of mastery or self-confidence.

Borderlines have such a fragile sense of Self to begin with, they'll usually act-out their frustration with the Narcissist's 'Mr. Know-it-all' defenses by retreating or raging. He may regard her as explosive or crazy, but he's the one who's unwittingly lit her fuse. His ongoing need to be in the one-up position and exert control, forms the basis of many conflicts and struggles with this couple. The sad reality is, he has observed these traits in his narcissistic parent, and has emulated them.

"Borderline personalities are chameleon-like--they'll quickly discern what's important to you, and become that, in the early phase of your relationship."

"In couplings, the one who needs the least, is always the one in power--and the Borderline's needs usually far outweigh those of her partner. The Borderline is like a little child when it comes to impulse control and asserting wants/needs, so she's the active partner in this dynamic."

"A Borderline needs the qualities in you, that are lacking in herself; honesty, dependability, strength of character, etc. She possesses an uncanny ability for finding men who've built stable, flourishing lifestyles (whether married or not), but who have insecurities and self-doubts left over from boyhood."

"The Borderline methodically goes about finding out where your vulnerabilities are buried; when she discovers what's behind your props, she cleverly uses your weaknesses against you, for her own advancement/gain. Decades ago, these women were referred to as gold-diggers or home-wreckers."

"The Borderline feels at home when she locates a partner who initially showers her with adoration--but then retreats, or finds fault with her. Girlhood longing for love was associated with pain, so she's programmed to keep striving for that which cannot be satisfied."

"The greater your need is for this female (sexually, emotionally, psychologically or financially), the more easily she can keep the upper-hand and control you - and it's always about control for the Borderline."

"The Borderline can initially smother/suffocate her prey with attention that causes him to retreat or distance, because while it's flattering, and mitigates his abandonment fears--it triggers vaguely familiar sensations of engulfment he had to endure in boyhood, with Mother."

"Show me a man who has acted, and who has not been the victim and slave of his action."

The Borderline believes; "If I feel bad in a relationship, it has to be your fault."

(Haven't we Met Before?)


"Narcissistic males generally cannot commit to value-building work, until their 'props' have vanished--meaning, they've lost their fortunes and good health, after involvement with a Borderline. At this point, their defenses are lowered, and we have a chance to construct a Man from a broken little boy."

"The mother of a Narcissist could make her son feel that he is the center of her universe. He is the Golden Boy who can do no wrong - but only when he's perfectly responsive to her demands and wishes!"

The Narcissist cannot tolerate this loss of control, he'll literally fight to the death to maintain it - never realizing what he's losing/giving up, while highly focused on surmounting this challenge.

The Narcissist has never really felt worthy of having needs, so he suppresses them; he's the passive partner. Somebody must be willing to carry the emotions for this relationship, so that typically falls to the active partner - or the Borderline. She'll keep pushing the envelope until she gets a rise out of her partner. She literally thrives on drama and chaos, but rebels like a three year old, when he takes a stand - even though she requires the containment and comfort that boundaries and limits provide.

Narcissistic individuals are frequently People Pleasers, which means they're passive-aggressive. They're more comfortable giving rather than receiving in relationships, which is part of a control issue they adopted during childhood, in response to parental neglect.

Early wounds to one's narcissism, breeds narcissistic adults. If a child had to shut down his needs and difficult feelings in order to survive the rigors of his painful childhood experiences, he may have acquired a sense of invincibility, and assumed he could handle anything that came up.

Narcissists have built-in grandiosity. This is a defense against their feelings of inadequacy and inferiority, which triggers their compulsion to rescue, fix, teach and train others. They automatically presume to know what others are thinking and feeling, and can come across as absolute authorities on various topics. A Narcissist loves to tell you what you're feeling, rather than asking about it, which can be infuriating for anyone.

"The Narcissist usually compensates for core self-worth deficits, with rescuing or fixing compulsions, athletic, scholastic or professional over-achievements, charm/charisma, amassing material wealth, etc."

"If he succeeded, he might have received praise. If he failed, their disappointment was palpable, which triggered feelings of shame. This child enters adulthood shaming himself, if ever he senses that he's performed less than perfectly! But what constitutes "perfection," and isn't it always a subjective state of mind?"

A Narcissist relentlessly tries to 'crack the code' with his BPD lover, due to long-standing, faulty assumptions about himself he adopted as a boy, when his parents required him to be the perfect child.

The Narcissist's grandiosity works against him in this type of coupling, because he has an unquenchable need to win, due to self-worth issues. He won't let himself be one-upped by anyone.

Narcissists are frequently 'super-givers,' but authentic intimacy/closeness is often avoided, given their engulfment fears. Caregiver types can be drawn to borderline disordered individuals who match their own attachment issues, so that 'safe' emotional proximity remains for them a non-issue.

"A Narcissistic perfectionist believes; "If I feel bad in a relationship, it must be my fault."

"When you've grown up gaining a sense of worth from being the perfect child or accommodating a parent's needs, and backing that up with rescuing or fixing impulses in adulthood, you're pretty confident you'll turn this deal around--if you just keep working at it! If you can just stabilize your partner, all will be right in your world. After all, you've accomplished other great feats, and this will prove no different, right? Wrong. This is your narcissistic injury talking, and it's needing to be healed. Core issues that are not resolved, are doomed to keep repeating."

(Haven't we Met Before?)