Trusting the world

I once saw the most intriguing insect crawling along the ridge of a bench. It was a creature which reached out with its head, forming an arch, then brought the rest of its body forward, lurching forward pace by pace.

It was young, tiny, new, full of vigour and curiosity for the world. I held out my bag to offer the creature a safer place to crawl upon. It rose up on its ‘haunches’, making a half-arch with its tiny body, reaching up and out to the new surface, buffeted by the wind and tugged upon by gravity. It hung there for a while, ‘sniffing’ out what must have appeared another vast plane of existence.

It would all be so far beyond its tiny comprehension, where it was, where it might be going, what I was, what my intentions were. This creature had no defences, no knowledge but its survival instincts, no obvious direction, no solidarity with its clan. All it could do was trust and drive itself forth. Reaching up, hanging there, it made some kind of ‘decision’ and latched onto the bag, bringing the rest of its body with it.

If beings of greater time-span and superior mind exist in the cosmos, I should imagine we are would appear much the same. With our tiny scope for perception we must always have to trust the world and trust ourselves.

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Pieces of a puzzle

A man of great knowledge may have a hundred pieces to the puzzle. Yet so obsessed is he with growing his hoard of knowledge that he is only focused on attaining more. He keeps his pieces piled high somewhere safe and prides himself on his collection. It shows everyone else how learned he is. Sometimes he takes out a piece of a puzzle and marvels at it, then returns it to the disordered jumble in his vaults.

A man of great wisdom has spent more time thinking about the connection between things, about the whole. He has only found twenty pieces to the puzzle. Yet he can attain greater truth than the man with a hundred pieces. For the wise one can lay out the few pieces he has – perhaps all of the edge pieces, or a significant portion of one part of the puzzle. Through reason he can try to fill in the gaps, make educated guesses, find some kind of direction, deduce what is missing. Whatever happens, the wise man has not been blinded to the wood by the trees. Despite having less pieces he knows more about the truth by his abilities of intuition, the making of connections, inferences and imaginations. Empiricism is a vital part of his truth, but it is only an aid to a deeper form of understanding.

So much for the value of sheer accumulation of knowledge in discovering truth. A man could have the totality of the universe at his finger tips and yet never put it together in a meaningful way.

Low-energy being, the Parasite, inner conflict

I have been seeing myself as a ‘low-energy’ being these last few years. I am surrounded by active creatures who can rush from place to place, miss a night’s sleep and not be wiped out for the next week, fill their schedules and carry out routines.

Ah, these are the normal-energy people to whom I am in comparison low-energy?

I don’t normally have ‘epiphanies’, but very recently I realized that perhaps my low-energy is not due to a lack of capacity, but that my capacity is constantly drained. As such, taking on new things or doing normal-people things is just too much strain and the system shuts down. The psyche is processing constantly and all the while made anxious by a hostile society, further hampering its processing. Perhaps a degree of ignorance is required to get through it, a mask I simply cannot don so ‘late in the game’ of life. So it must be lived with and dealt with.

This force I have come to personify as the Parasite. There is something which constantly sucks and feeds away at the soul, a force which holds back and prevents rapid growth or moving forward.

But this raises the further question of what is this Parasite and where did it come from? There are definitely social forces at work, values which exalt some people and not others. The effect is something like a parasite – all other things being equal, for a person of my complexion to take a step forward will be harder than for something with a more ‘favourable’ complexion. Likewise people raised with more favourable entitlements, opportunities and expectations will be much more prepared for ‘success’ when they don their smart shoes and step into the soulless world of professionalism.

But I would not stop at prejudice, class and tribalism. That would be to mask another thing the Parasite feeds on – inner-conflict. I believe this inner-conflict to be the loss of much psychic energy, with little to no gain. For years the demands to be loving and forgiving toward abusive people was a great contradiction and waste of energy. A duty fostered by deeply instilled guilt, but also genuine need for suffering people. My empathy and magnanimity is what keeps Parasite alive, I cannot tear it away from me nor tear myself away from it. This pity is a strong source of the conflict. The human psyche is a mystery even to those of us who wish to know it, and the confrontations demanded by the deepest wounded child are the hardest challenge imaginable. But this seemingly unresolvable problem is the cause of endless, enervating conflict.

Where does this black pain come from? Once you are ‘enlightened’ you realize that emotions are ‘psycho-logical’ and that the primal pain you have to carry is forced there from an early age. But what is behind that abuse? More abuse, stretching back into history. But how far can it stretch back and where does it ‘come from’ to begin with?

The suffering we endure and that is forced onto people, abusers and abused and all alike, is an element of nature itself. It is there and it is inevitable, waiting to be inflicted upon things that live. Just as a lie spreads half way around the world before the truth catches up with it, a being suffers a thousand wounds before it even starts to process a single one.

But some of us cause less damage than others. Some of us learn from our mistakes and place onto the scales of balance a greater degree of nurturance. I do not wish to promote a determinist message when I am somewhere between ‘fate’ and ‘freedom’.

We are not doomed to cause ‘evil’ just because it is an inevitable part of nature. To survive being subsumed by that immense force often means going against the grain – against a false family history painted by idealism, against an archaic society that is always a century or so behind, against dogmatic power and the false truths of institutions, against the small percentage of dangerous and deluded psychopaths who stain the fabric of humanity.

To be good and to do good is often an immense and unrewarded burden. But it is still worth it, for without good there would be no reason for a moral being to live in this world. And we can always choose the good, all of us, even if we feel a hateful resentment and will to destroy everything around us.

We will always be flawed and make mistakes, but what can change a man’s intention but himself?

 

 

Depression – breaking it all down (Part I)

I am not one of those people who believes that depression is all about thought processes, behaviour and ‘life style’. It is something far more deep reaching and fundamental than that. You cannot think your way out of depression, just as you cannot think your way into it.

However, I still see the important role of thinking in keeping you there once you are there and the dreaded making a bad situation seem worse!

Depression for me makes all the bad things seem inevitable and the source of the bad things far more powerful than it truly is. It is like a wall of despair, a vast amorphous barrier, so tall you cannot possibly see over, or around it. But when we focus in on this behemoth, we see that it is made up of individual components, and our perspective is that of someone hunched, low and defeated.

Stand up to your full height and the wall, whilst still imposing, is not so large. Focus in, and though you will see the strength of your enemy, the weak points also reveal themselves.

Breaking it all down –

My new direction is to break it all down in my mind; to dispel this mythic image of an undefeatable, invincible, inevitable foe. I know that the hostility of capitalist society is a very real thing, not just an imagined enemy. But lets use our imagination too break it down into realistic components.

Nature is being destroyed by the machine, but cracks in the pavement are full of life, chopped down trees unexpectedly sprout a thousand branches, certain species thrive even in this era of mass extinction. In ten years time an abandoned neighbourhood will become a wild garden, in a hundred it will become a grove, in a thousand there will be nothing left of it, strangled and hidden by thriving life. Nature is going no-where, and it is never far from regeneration. This ancient thing is more resilient than us, and we will always live in its beautiful shadow.

The officials who keep the machine running, do they truly believe in what they are doing? Would they not rather be pursuing some goal more true to themselves, spending time with their children, resolving emotions they have repressed, exploring and finding themselves? The amount of coercion and brainwashing needed to keep people in their place to blunt their true dreams and ambitions is proof positive that most people, even those in positions of power, are themselves led along and trapped by the madness of civilization. The lack of self-knowledge and true ambition, this is a reason to pity the machine-servants, hypnotized by digital screens, life void of meaning but for the targets from above and the will of invisible figures more powerful than themselves.

Advertising is everywhere, shallow, crass, idiotic pleas for conformity. But there is nothing democratic about advertising; it is there, but who wants it there but the sad corporations trying to control our choices? No one is really taken in on a conscious-level; eyes are rolled on the tube, people take the piss out of the sell-out celebrities, a bad pun elicits a long groan. Deep down, a subconscious lever may have been triggered, a greater sense of dissatisfaction and desire to go on holiday to ‘discover life in Greece’ (or whatever). But this is again an affliction – how many of us would vote to give powerful corporations thousands upon thousands of square metres of space to try and influence our decisions? The ubiquity of advertising only demonstrates how fucked up property and power is in our society, not the democratic will of the people. Some of the more idiotic populace might find advertising interesting or be consciously duped by its bullshittery, what can be done for such a hopeless minority?

It can be a loveless existence suffering from mental illness. You are vulnerable and need to be loved more than most people, but that same vulnerability makes trusting others difficult, and that same hurt makes you less desirable. The lack of strength and stability is a massive turn off. Month after month of failure and rejection makes the chances of finding a woman who is interested seem less and less likely, a feedback loop of frustration and disappointment. But all this doesn’t make things impossible, only more difficult. The spiral down into despair is one that is hard to avoid here; it is informed by the deep subconscious wounds and triggers of childhood, but it is not inevitable. Am I totally helpless and disadvantaged by this depression and anxiety? Everything to do with this mental illness and the abuse of the past makes the whole sphere of love much harder for me. Still, the act of breaking down how mental illness is contributing to isolation and lack of love dispels the mist, promotes understanding. It is the gargantuan wall which leads to despair, not the individual bricks. Maybe through understanding things will change and improve, though I cannot promise this to myself or anyone else. At least they cannot get any worse. Going from things are hopeless to who knows what can happen, I will have no judgements is a massive luxury for me at the moment. Neutrality – feeling neither loved or unloved, does not feel so bad.

End of Part I

Know thyself

They want you to deny what is true.

They want you to turn away from what is happening inside your very self.

They want you to heal their wounds and fill the black hole of their souls…

It is no mystery to me where self-destructive energies originate from. The pornography and the drugs and the listless consumption, the social competition and the striving for impossible goals. It is only a mystery to one who dares not to know themselves.

Life is filled with wounds and they can only be healed with acknowledgement. They must be brought out from the depths and overcome with the aid of enlightened witnesses. The work must be done to rid us of their chains before we can move forward.

Yet the great illusions of society; halo-wearing authority and idealized family, protects abusers and wrongdoers and humiliators, forces us to be silent.

Wounds are caused, atrocities committed, but they cannot be spoken of. They must be swallowed down by the sufferer, carried like a great burdening stone so that an abusive tyrant can have his warped rule and his illusion of conscience.

It is a pointless arrangement, no one wins. The tyrant, filled with unacknowledged wounds, is a black hole which swallows all love and encouragement. Until one decides to look within, they are hopeless.

There are those in this world who have elected to be only the mask that they wear. Such people, the ultimate cowards of the human soul, have turned away from their true inner selves. Not only this, these blind would lead those with sight; their way will poison the well for everyone else, and drag all that is good down to their gutter-level. They can do nothing else.

From such wretchedness spring the cruelties of the world we see, the destruction of nature, the wars between nations, consumerist nihilism, the lust to dominate and enslave and abuse and abuse and abuse and abuse and abuse.

These things might be called ‘human nature’ by those who dare not seek the better explanation. They may seem inexplicable to fools who do not even know what lies inside the cavity of their own bodies, such is their ignorance.

Someone who doesn’t even strive to know the very mind they experience the world through, what can they know? Someone blind to their own dreams and their own creative will. What can they say that is of any worth to anyone?

It is no easier to face the world from a place of ignorance. The wraiths of the soul haunt everyone who is scarred, in dreams and extreme emotions. Ignorance is no bliss, but to be reduced to a bovine state, to cage oneself and lash out for the lack of self-knowledge or understanding whenever dark emotions bubble.

The philosophy of mindfulness can feed into this ignorance. To believe you can be a creature of the present is nothing if not naivety. Whilst mindfulness provides useful tools for coping in a hostile capitalist world, it does not answer the question of how to heal our wounded souls, and provides the unreachable vista of ‘living in the present’ to further make us feel like we are falling short of Buddha-like enlightenment. Self-knowledge can only be achieved through the understanding of human beings as total beings – of past, present and future in conflux around our minds. There is no escaping the inner depths, no enlightenment from it, no ultimate control of what occurs down there.

The subconscious root-mind has to claw at us for us to hear, and drag us into its dark domain where we cleave to light and life. Perhaps not everyone gets that call with the same potency. But what happens to human responsibility if knowing the very essence of ourselves is something outside of our control?

You may not be able to dive to the depths whenever you please, but you can have the gate ready to open when the blackness inside calls, to accept the dark passages of our wounded souls and venture into it shield raised and heart steeled when the time is right. There might even be allies near us who can help us in this difficult quest.

All the people who live for illusion, those live-for-nothings, have a chance to accept the truth that they are wounded, that there are no gods on this earth, and that we must take final responsibility for our souls before the end of our days. However destroyed our mental state, however unfair our circumstances and however unsupported we may be, we can strive to be true to ourselves. There are no excuses.

I have often written about the burden of the Sinbearer – one who is hurt by an authority and forced to be silent, to carry that weight. It is a burden which always crushes and destroys, and which serves no purpose.

Here is the truth of the matter – it is you, or him.

Will you speak the truth of his wretchedness, unbind yourself with your own will to freedom and daring, or will you self-destroy in primal acts of repressed rage and frustration, addiction and self-harm?

I know much of this has been rather black and white, good and evil – this is acknowledged. But I believe it is ultimately true, that evil is as real as anything else in the world around you. There is never a time where to be blind to oneself can lead to anything but destruction, and our dying world is proof of this. This is evil itself, the supreme ignorance and supreme indignity upon oneself.

Nature contains suffering and predatory behaviour – it is inevitable that we will suffer somewhat. It is also filled with beauty and a will to live and exert tremendous power on the gaian world which birthed us. In human beings we can largely control the darkness and be Whole together, our will to power can create incredible art and music, our souls can rise to become gentle stewards of our part of the world, creating edens of nature and technology.

This is if we want such a world – we certainly have the potential. And to want such a world, which we could begin to make tomorrow, we must first acknowledge the pain that is inside us all – to liberate ourselves from the rule of the tortured and the insane.

This cannot be done through the power of love and forgiveness alone, though it is a potent force. Thus we must struggle to the last of our strength to acknowledge our will to power, rise up and be seen, heard and understood. To not do so is to live in wretchedness, so what do you have to lose?

The survival of our species depends on…

Isn’t it insane that we are hurtling toward catastrophic climate change, yet people seem to be going about as usual?

As a short-term survival strategy, going about the standard life of a coffee-chugging capitalist citizen seems sound. You need money to pay your rent and bills, which means you need to be constantly working to get good pay and prospects, which means you need to understand what employers are looking for and conform to these expectations, which means being involved in society’s value system.

The present capitalist system is very well rigged to make you like this. It is a hostile environment whose purpose is to make you feel anxious and afraid. Without constant “productive economic activity” you could lose your shelter, be forced to live in poor and dangerous areas, be unable to afford the luxuries which sustain your lifestyle, be thrown onto the scrapheap along with the “unproductive” worker ants.

There is always a risk of losing your material basis, as the government strips away protections and inspires ever more precarity. There is the shame of inactivity, poverty, being an outcast, or simple boredom (and all of the existential angst that comes from it), hanging over our heads. This makes it seem logical and sensible to conform to the system, even as it gradually serves us less and less. The warped and toxic value-system of our society promotes mindless conformity and hurtling-juggernaught growth over considered choices and gradual, creative growth (it might have some elements of enlightenment, and perhaps some people do what they genuinely love to enrich the soul of man, but we are talking about the masses).

So in the short-term, it makes sense to be a conforma-drone. I imagine that most people don’t know any different from their lives as exploited proletarians, whose biggest offering to society is the sale of their labour to larger, more powerful entities. If they do know of alternative ways of life, it is as an intellectual exercise, an “utopian ideal” which is all well and good, but cannot get in the way of all this labour-selling and moral underachievement.

But in the long-term, there is no species survival in it. The sum  total of the “its just my job” people, all of the “I have a mortgage to pay” people, all of the “my boss might fire me” people and all the “I don’t have a choice” people is a dystopian hell. If the world was left in the hands of such unimaginative souls, we would truly be approaching the end times.

Fortunately, the blinkered short-term thinkers are redeemed by those who see into the long-term; those who have foreseen the cliff that human civilization is hurtling towards. Such people have been around for decades. It is generally such activists and scientists who have taken risks in the short-term; the risk of destitution and humiliation, the risk of imprisonment and punishment, for the long-term survival strategy of evolving our society.

Imagine if all of those activists never took action because they had to work in a supermarket to sustain their mundane lives. Imagine if all of those climate scientists let the powerful corporations silence them, because they had to put their families and reputations above the truth. They would be as much underachievers as anyone who cannot see beyond capitalism and its destructive effects on the present, and the future to come. This is not to separate people into black and white categories of hero and drone, it is to say that most of us can, and should, rise up and strive for the true freedom which can only come in a free, equal, sustainable society.

It is not easy to think ahead – it is extremely anxiety inducing, and not always understood by people why such thinking is important. The future is unpredictable, we cannot map it out anymore than we know which way to turn in life’s labyrinth.

But we can learn from the paths we take, prepare ourselves with a shield and a big ball of wool to help protect us against danger and navigate what lies before us. We can look back on the past and learn from our mistakes, and vow to never again repeat them. Perhaps someday we will live in a world where short-term survival strategies are in harmony with the long-term, but that is a world we must earn.

We are coming to the point where we no longer have a choice but to risk a society-wide evolutionary experiment or face further catastrophe. Perhaps we are already at that point.

But thanks to the rebels (who are increasingly becoming the mainstream) I have hope that there is a future for us, and for our living world.

 

Why do haters hate?

So the haters hated, the naysayers said nay, the abusers abused, the controllers exerted their control.
 
And they failed.
 
With all of their advantages of power, seniority and material wealth, they still failed.
 
They made the journey much harder. They gave me these mental disorders and suicidal thoughts. They forced me to traverse barren lands of isolation and pass through tunnels of despair. They taught me to distrust the world and made every relationship an uphill struggle. 
 
But still they failed to drag me down to their level.
 
What drives these petty hate-filled people? What makes them obsess over others, latch onto them like limpets and try to drain them dry? What would they be left with even if they succeeded?
 
What does it matter. They don’t matter.
 
When I hear people mocking ambition I am taken back to their twisted faces, screaming desperately, afraid of being left behind. They don’t want a star in their midst – that would mean challenging themselves and admitting how much they fell short. They are unambitious in that sense; moral underachievement is their comfort zone. Ambition is what makes us want to better ourselves, it should never be mocked.
 
Without ambition I would be as bad as the people I was surrounded with most of my life. The wretched want to hold me down in the spiritual muck where they dwell, but that is not their decision. Where I end up is ultimately up to me.
 
Every time I am attacked, derided, put down, criticised or insulted by deranged and stupid people, I imagine Jeremy Corbyn standing in parliament, some Tory slime hurling shit at him, trying to divert him into that same base level of existence. If Jez can resist that much pressure in the chambers of power, then why can’t I rise above the terrible, petty little shits life is so frequented with.
 
Of course, there have also been many great friends and allies in my life, without whom I would not have survived. If you are reading this, you are one of them.

The price of lying to yourself

The price of lying to yourself is the seemingly arcane depression and insomnia. Red marks on the body, back pain, skin flaking off your hands. Anxiety and trembling, nightmares and endless dread.

The body is communicating to you, because the body remembers every pain and every injustice. It is screaming to be heard, to be acknowledged.

So many of us are writhing and suffering for nothing, serving a morality which does not serve us. Why are you protecting the honour of the honourless?

Seemingly innocent things like forgiveness, understanding and compassion for others, come right back round into uncontrollable hatred and spite, cruelty for others.

Why?

It is very simple and very psycho-logical. When you have to forgive the unrepentant, when you have to have compassion for those who treated you like an object, when you have to show trust to those who broke all trust and harmed you when you were helpless, your body will continue screaming in helplessness, and horrible emotions will continue manifesting (however much “Christian love” you think you have).

So long as traditional morality is obeyed, the emotions which run deep beneath the conscious mind will not be brought to the surface and experienced as feelings.

When morality tells us to forgive and forget, rather than to truly love ourselves by acknowledging our bodily wisdom and speaking the truth of what happened, we consign ourselves to suffering – not to mention those who face our “random, unexplainable wrath”. Anger which cannot be directed to the source will be misdirected upon others. The most hate-filled, spiteful and bitter of all will be those who think themselves ‘forgiving and compassionate souls’. It is impossible to be such when you hate those who hurt you, so deeply and absolutely.

It really is not that hard to grasp, and it really is not that arcane. Once you pull your head from morality’s arse that is.

One hurt and humiliated should seek reparation and acknowledgement for that pain. They should find a trusted person to help them rediscover their pain, so that it ceases to control their consciousness. They should listen to their bodies, not to the morality which goes completely against their own interests. They should seek vindication, cutting off whoever they need to from their lives if need be, and start to look for those who truly love and care for them.

Namely, those who do not expect them to lie to protect an abusive partner, or a father who was an absolute prick, or what have you.

This is the way to resolve the pains stored in the body, and to be free from depression caused by feelings of helplessness. Even more so, this is the way to prevent the demons inside turning you into one of them, repeating the cycle, inflicting pain and harm from the infinite source of inferiority and helplessness deep inside.

Fuck your compassion for them, what about compassion for yourself first? 

The false temple of ten thousand misguided years needs to be brought down to the ground, stone by stone. It is time to stop worshipping an illusory Father. A new monument needs to be raised to truth – an open palm facing up toward the sky.

There is nothing good in lying to ourselves, and nothing good in respecting or protecting those who do not deserve it. I speak of course of the irredeemable – abusive partners, bosses, parents, family.

I do not trust those who have suffered and yet speak of forgiveness and compassion for the worst of humanity. I trust people who first serve their own interests through honesty, who free themselves from dependence upon abusers (the wellspring of hatred and vileness), to stand in the true light of their own self interest.

Only such a soul as that can be free from the price their body inflicts on them, and thus able to choose to be truly loving and forgiving, to those who deserve it.

Realistic thinking: my four c’s

This article could easily be the most ‘practical’ and ‘how to’ I have ever done. So much so the title could be in CAPS and something like ‘How to improve your life and wellbeing with four simple tips!’

Recently, my ability to think realistically has been improving my situation. By no longer being prey to a wandering mind, suffering is limited and thinking realistic. Anxiety disorders and negative thinking are the ultimate causers of ‘secondary suffering’. Life will sometimes bestow some suffering upon us – this could be low mood, injury, Winter time, what have you. But this can be made far worse and more protracted if we are in negative patterns or anxious states. The secondary suffering is in fact often worse than the primary.

Fortunately, we can be in control of our thoughts. I cannot easily say the same for mood and depression and fundamental emotions; this is a much deeper mystery with a much more complex healing. But over your thinking, you are sovereign.

This is the first thing to understand. Lets repeat it – over thought you are sovereign, over thought you are sovereign, over thought you are sovereign. No one else can control your thinking. It is yours, the gift of your sentience.

Now let us begin to look at 4 C’s which can help diminish or destroy negative thinking patterns. When you find yourself lost in a negative thought…

I) Catch it

ii) Categorize it

iii) Challenge it

iv) Conclude 

I find the first stage, catching it, to be the most important. Often our thoughts swim hither and tither, getting more and more wrapped up in their own logic. Training yourself to catch those initial forays into negative patterns is essential.

Remember, our lazy brains want routines and patterns – even bad or unuseful ones! There is a certain auto-pilot to us, and until we are sentient and sovereign over thoughts, we are at risk of being dragged along by them. You have to catch yourself out, it is the only way. Get into the practice of catching your thoughts.

Once you have caught a thought, you can categorize it. I find this very useful, because it can quickly reveal whether the thought is rational or not.

‘Oh god the man next door is shouting down the phone again, I will never get to sleep and tomorrow will be ruined and…’

This can be categorized as predicting and catastrophizing. It diminishes the power of the thought greatly to categorize it. Other categories include mind reading, generalization, emotional reasoning (because I feel this it must be true), black and white thinking, diminishing or exaggerating problems. Once you categorize, you can rest assured that you are not the only person with this kind of thinking pattern, and just how common it is in our culture. This greatly diminishes the power of a thought, and is often enough to quell it.

However if a thought gets through the categorization filter, then it can be challenged. This means weighing up the evidence for and against it. How much do you truly believe a thought to be true? Really turn it upside down and inside out. Rate it as high or as little as it deserves. Challenge it!

And then, conclude accordingly. Often my conclusion means dismissing a thought as having no significance or truth value (this is because I have a very loud negative voice in my head, it might be different for you). Compulsive and intrusive thoughts are powerful and can be more disturbing. With these, really challenge by asking ‘how is this significant?’ and seek more detailed guides on OCD and the like.

I hope this is useful. Practice, practice, practice, and seek out CBT therapist or self-help if you need extra support. Of course, being able to meditate or turn down the volume on thoughts is also very powerful, but these require a lot of time and patience. The four c’s are far quicker to get, and can tide you over until you attain enlightenment beneath that elder tree!

In summary: over thought you are sovereign. When a thought comes into your head, catch it, categorize it, challenge it and conclude accordingly. You are master over your thoughts. You have the power to diminish secondary suffering.