Anxiety

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Mars
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Anxiety

Postby Mars » Tue Oct 01, 2019 1:22 pm

While browsing the forums I noticed that there isn't a thread for anxiety, even though the term has been mentioned multiple times especially in the Finnish section (I feel that the Finnish word ahdistus perhaps better describes the matter in question than the English word anxiety).

For most of my life I've been suffering from intense anxiety and I feel that it's the anxiety that has brought me to occultism. Therefore it's probably the biggest blessing and the biggest curse in my life. I'm extremely sensitive by nature and I get anxious very easily. I'd like to hear from fellow sufferers some thoughts concerning anxiety and what measures you take to understand and, if possible, relieve it.

The main thing for me has been that I've tried to understand the spiritual meaning of it. In mundane thinking anxiety is basically meaningless self-torture that serves no purpose but is just a by-product of trauma, sensitivity or what have you, and this doesn't make it any easier. To think of such intense suffering as inherently meaningless is more than enough to create tsunamis of further anxiety. As an occultist I've tried to understand anxiety at a spiritual level, as a call towards the search for truth (to put it in grandiose terms) or just a necessary by-product on a path towards spiritual growth. While browsing the forums I came across two posts on the Finnish side by Obnoxion and Lux. I’ve lost the links, but the gist of the messages was (correct me if I’m wrong) that when we feel suffering, it’s not just our own suffering, but we are partaking in the collective suffering of humankind. This was an incredibly elating thing to read.

One big problem for me has been my difficulties in living and interacting with my fellow humans, especially in my childhood, my teens and early twenties. There would be no problem if we humans were not social beings, and while I’m a shy introvert who needs a lot of time alone, I’m by no means a hermit. So simply living with and needing other people in my life has been hard since I find a vast majority of them quite hard to be with. Trying to spend time with people I do feel connected with has been a major help with my anxiety. My more mundane remedies have been stuff like hobbies, physical and relaxation exercises and moderate use of alcohol. One or two beers or glasses of wine do wonders to the overstrung nervous system.

Any thoughts or comments?
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Insanus
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Re: Anxiety

Postby Insanus » Tue Oct 01, 2019 5:03 pm

One eye-opening thought for me was reading Heidegger's Being and Time where he makes a distinction between fear and anxiety. According to Heidegger (the way i remember reading him) , fear is afraid of something, of an outside threat for example, but anxiety is anxious of itself. There is no "reason" to be anxious, we get anxious of our own Being. In this way, anxiety is like a fundamental part of our Being. This anxiety may be overcome only by courage that chooses to stay in this anxiety, where one chooses to be authentically his self, owning his journey towards death, or perhaps by forgetting the lifeproject completely. Anxiety is like extreme of fear, it doesn't Want away from this or that, but from this-ness and that-ness. In anxiety every form of routine sort of shatters, nothing belongs anywhere, everything is insufficient or wrong, but nothing specific. It's like the way of Being is insufficient, because It's not completely owned, that is authentic. In this sense, anxiety could be the gate from everydayness to deeper and truer life.
Myrkky sattuu siihen jolla on haava.
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Cerastes
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Re: Anxiety

Postby Cerastes » Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:18 pm

I guess that some people here feel the same and I have found that I also have problems with finding connection to other people, even though I am not shy.
It is somehow paradoxical that connection to the collective consciousness can result in a certain distance towards people. I often feel the energy of others as very strenuous, especially when it comes to groups of people. Partly, I think that depends on the sensitivity or recectifity for energies. But it also matters how big the energetic difference between you and the others is. People are always drawn to energetically similar people. In a certain state every contact to others might feel more like a disturbance than a pleasure. I even was at a point were I did a cleansing ritual every time I was forced to be with a group of people and this leads to slightly misanthropic waters. I believe that there is in fact a „world anxiety“ as well as there is an existential „world pain“ - meaning the collective pain of the world not the individual pain about the world. Just like sensitive people tend to mirror the anxiety of a person standing next to them it might be possible to mirror the collective suffocation even without any physical contact. In our society, people are often loaded with an additional guilt because of this as we live in wealthy countries and suffering without a fixed reason, like poverty or a painful disease, has been given a taste of ungratefullness. I talked to a friend who ist anorexic and still at the border of starvation. It turned out that she felt bad for having no obvious reason for her suffering and the anorexia at least gave her a physical reason to suffer and to project world pain on a profane, individual cause like hunger. It might be the same with anxiety and therefore it should be helpful to realise that this „world anxiety“ exists. It may not ease the anxiety but at least it can minder the guilt and shame about it by raising understanding.
“Granny Weatherwax was not lost. She wasn't the kind of person who ever became lost. It was just that, at the moment, while she knew exactly where SHE was, she didn't know the position of anywhere else.”
(Terry Pratchett, Wyrd Sisters)
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Cancer
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Re: Anxiety

Postby Cancer » Thu Oct 03, 2019 2:29 pm

Thank you for the eloquent and interesting introduction, Mars.

I recently saw a psychiatrist and am now trying to get treatment for anxiety / depression. People close to me have been telling me for ages that I'd benefit from therapy, but somehow I've not been able to seek it. Years ago, when I was at my most "Satanic" - when I tried to practice intense LHP occultism with all the wisdom and temperance of a 20-year-old - I experienced nearly all of my suffering as very clearly meaningful and scoffed at the idea of getting help. I still believe that the horrors of that time had to be faced alone, although I've also come to see that much of my grim resolve back then was simply a kind of bravado, an emotional immaturity expressed in occult terms. Suffering has since then gradually become more meaningless for me, or at least less directly meaningful. My final word on anxiety won't be that it's just some absurd neuronic twitching, but I did have to feel that way for a time in order to be able to contact healthcare.
Cerastes wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:18 pm
In our society, people are often loaded with an additional guilt because of this as we live in wealthy countries and suffering without a fixed reason, like poverty or a painful disease, has been given a taste of ungratefullness. I talked to a friend who ist anorexic and still at the border of starvation. It turned out that she felt bad for having no obvious reason for her suffering and the anorexia at least gave her a physical reason to suffer and to project world pain on a profane, individual cause like hunger. It might be the same with anxiety and therefore it should be helpful to realise that this „world anxiety“ exists. It may not ease the anxiety but at least it can minder the guilt and shame about it by raising understanding.
This is indeed a problem that mentally ill people often face. Their conditions are framed as ungratefulness, excessive sensitivity or some similar depravity. (Anorexia in particular is a "selfish" sickness - a trope that always makes me cold with anger.) I can't help but see this shaming mentality as a way of exercising power: if a great number of us are in pain for a legitimate reason, then perhaps our society isn't such a utopia after all. Which is an unacceptable conclusion for anyone near the top of said society (and scary enough for many in the middle). There is absolutely no reason to be grateful for ones own comparative comfort in a world that is as willfully unjust as ours.
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obnoxion
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Re: Anxiety

Postby obnoxion » Thu Oct 03, 2019 3:32 pm

I suppose this relative Western luxury sheds light on the nature of anxiety. I think it should be clear by now that our comforts and our security will not mend our anxiety. It only affords us the realization of how freely the world of anxiety flows amidst us. It is a well established psychological fact that attempts to avoid anxiety tend to increase anxiety. Thus, if we project into these surrounding structures of comfort and security some anxiolytic properties, this may actually transform these structures into panicogenics. So the belief that we are so well off that there is no reason to be anxious, I believe, increases and produces anxiety.

It is also a well established psychological fact that anxiety tends to decrease when accepted and owned. Naturally, this is much more simpler thing to say than to implement. It is the individual moments spent in the experience of anxiety that will not go away merely by these kinds of philosophies of anxiety. But I think it might help the suffering individuals if we could accept more collectively the limits of our luxury to fend us off from the mysteriously ubiquitous world of anxiety - it might deconstruct the panicogenic properties we have invested in our defending comforts by our misproportioned faith in our progress.

So I do believe we must in some way embrace the Panic to make it more managable for all. But how? - That is a delicate question. And it can only be effectively answered from within the world of anxiety.
One day of Brahma has 14 Indras; his life has 54 000 Indras. One day of Vishnu is the lifetime of Brahma. The lifetime of Vishnu is one day of Shiva.
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Cerastes
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Re: Anxiety

Postby Cerastes » Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:11 pm

You guys always manage to amaze me with your empathic choice of words.
Cancer wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 2:29 pm
This is indeed a problem that mentally ill people often face. Their conditions are framed as ungratefulness, excessive sensitivity or some similar depravity. (Anorexia in particular is a "selfish" sickness - a trope that always makes me cold with anger.) I can't help but see this shaming mentality as a way of exercising power: if a great number of us are in pain for a legitimate reason, then perhaps our society isn't such a utopia after all. Which is an unacceptable conclusion for anyone near the top of said society (and scary enough for many in the middle). There is absolutely no reason to be grateful for ones own comparative comfort in a world that is as willfully unjust as ours.
Yes, mental illnesses are widly missunderstood. Images of perfect female bodies in commercials are not the main reason for anorexia and there is not a childhood trauma behind every anxiety. This materialistic focus is something I always hated because it does a lot of harm to people who carry a lot of suffering anyway. There are even patients who form their own traumata and end up believing that they are real, just because this need for a profane reason. Ironically, the very base of how society deals with this phenomonen is nothing but fear. If the cause-effect chain appears in a deterministic way, it provides the illusion of safety on which people so desperatly trying to hold on.
“Granny Weatherwax was not lost. She wasn't the kind of person who ever became lost. It was just that, at the moment, while she knew exactly where SHE was, she didn't know the position of anywhere else.”
(Terry Pratchett, Wyrd Sisters)
Mars
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Re: Anxiety

Postby Mars » Sat Oct 05, 2019 12:15 pm

Cerastes wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:18 pm
I guess that some people here feel the same and I have found that I also have problems with finding connection to other people, even though I am not shy.
It is somehow paradoxical that connection to the collective consciousness can result in a certain distance towards people. I often feel the energy of others as very strenuous, especially when it comes to groups of people. Partly, I think that depends on the sensitivity or recectifity for energies.
Indeed. I spent my childhood and early adulthood in a company of people very different from myself, and I believe that by being exposed to very different - or negative, from my point of view - energies of all those people have been a hindrance in my personal development to some extent. Luckily, things have changed with age and I'm now in a situation when I can spend time with people I actually have something in common with.
Cerastes wrote:But it also matters how big the energetic difference between you and the others is. People are always drawn to energetically similar people. In a certain state every contact to others might feel more like a disturbance than a pleasure. I even was at a point were I did a cleansing ritual every time I was forced to be with a group of people and this leads to slightly misanthropic waters. I believe that there is in fact a „world anxiety“ as well as there is an existential „world pain“ - meaning the collective pain of the world not the individual pain about the world. Just like sensitive people tend to mirror the anxiety of a person standing next to them it might be possible to mirror the collective suffocation even without any physical contact.
There is a danger of misanthropy here, and I've wandered down that path myself. It was only after I took some distance and realized that I had to change my approach from fear to understanding and love I was able to let go of it. Fear and love open doors, as a wise man once said (Major Garland Briggs in Twin Peaks).
Cerastes wrote:In our society, people are often loaded with an additional guilt because of this as we live in wealthy countries and suffering without a fixed reason, like poverty or a painful disease, has been given a taste of ungratefullness. I talked to a friend who ist anorexic and still at the border of starvation. It turned out that she felt bad for having no obvious reason for her suffering and the anorexia at least gave her a physical reason to suffer and to project world pain on a profane, individual cause like hunger. It might be the same with anxiety and therefore it should be helpful to realise that this „world anxiety“ exists. It may not ease the anxiety but at least it can minder the guilt and shame about it by raising understanding.
I've never really understood this. Of course there might be some ungratefulness involved and our society deserves as much criticism as possible, but to me it's obvious that as societies develop (in a sense) and our whole existence isn't centered on survival, new problems arise. The problem is that in the West too much importance is put on material progress, as if that solves everything.
Cancer wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 2:29 pm
I recently saw a psychiatrist and am now trying to get treatment for anxiety / depression. People close to me have been telling me for ages that I'd benefit from therapy, but somehow I've not been able to seek it. Years ago, when I was at my most "Satanic" - when I tried to practice intense LHP occultism with all the wisdom and temperance of a 20-year-old - I experienced nearly all of my suffering as very clearly meaningful and scoffed at the idea of getting help. I still believe that the horrors of that time had to be faced alone, although I've also come to see that much of my grim resolve back then was simply a kind of bravado, an emotional immaturity expressed in occult terms. Suffering has since then gradually become more meaningless for me, or at least less directly meaningful. My final word on anxiety won't be that it's just some absurd neuronic twitching, but I did have to feel that way for a time in order to be able to contact healthcare.
An important insight, thank you. What I failed to mention in my opening post was that I wholeheartedly recommend psychological help to anyone suffering badly from anxiety. I have very positive experiences from therapy. To try to solve serious mental issues alone or "by occultism" is a dangerous road, which I've tried.
obnoxion wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 3:32 pm
It is also a well established psychological fact that anxiety tends to decrease when accepted and owned. Naturally, this is much more simpler thing to say than to implement. It is the individual moments spent in the experience of anxiety that will not go away merely by these kinds of philosophies of anxiety. But I think it might help the suffering individuals if we could accept more collectively the limits of our luxury to fend us off from the mysteriously ubiquitous world of anxiety - it might deconstruct the panicogenic properties we have invested in our defending comforts by our misproportioned faith in our progress.

So I do believe we must in some way embrace the Panic to make it more managable for all. But how? - That is a delicate question. And it can only be effectively answered from within the world of anxiety.
Yes. Anxiety - or most problems for that matter - won't go away by avoiding them. Anxiety grows worse when left to fester in the shadows.
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Cerastes
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Re: Anxiety

Postby Cerastes » Sun Oct 06, 2019 9:02 pm

Mars wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 12:15 pm
What I failed to mention in my opening post was that I wholeheartedly recommend psychological help to anyone suffering badly from anxiety. I have very positive experiences from therapy. To try to solve serious mental issues alone or "by occultism" is a dangerous road, which I've tried.
That is a very important realization.
Occultism is not a psychotherapy. It can even exacerbate existing problems, and in extreme cases the relation to reality is completely lost and honest self-reflection is therefore no longer possible.

Many do not want to see a psychologist out of shame but we go straight to the doctor because of every physical affliction and make numerous health prevention. For example, it is absolutly normal to see the dentist twice a year. In my opinion it should be perfectly normal, even if you feel healthy, to go to the psychologist every 2-3 years. Why is there no such a s thing as psychological health prevention? All those, who get treament for mental illnesses, would feel less socially excluded.
“I will see a psychologist tomorrow” should cause the same reaction as “I will go to the dentist tomorrow”.
Mars wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 12:15 pm
There is a danger of misanthropy here, and I've wandered down that path myself. It was only after I took some distance and realized that I had to change my approach from fear to understanding and love I was able to let go of it. Fear and love open doors, as a wise man once said (Major Garland Briggs in Twin Peaks).
Yes, this is certainly true. I believe that spiritual devlopement is not possible without getting out of the personal comfort zone and in some cases this means accepting the energetical influence of others which can be very valuable.
Side note: I should probably start watching Twin Peaks. Everyone here seems to like it. :)
“Granny Weatherwax was not lost. She wasn't the kind of person who ever became lost. It was just that, at the moment, while she knew exactly where SHE was, she didn't know the position of anywhere else.”
(Terry Pratchett, Wyrd Sisters)
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Polyhymnia
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Re: Anxiety

Postby Polyhymnia » Fri Oct 11, 2019 3:57 pm

obnoxion wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 3:32 pm
It is also a well established psychological fact that anxiety tends to decrease when accepted and owned. Naturally, this is much more simpler thing to say than to implement. It is the individual moments spent in the experience of anxiety that will not go away merely by these kinds of philosophies of anxiety. But I think it might help the suffering individuals if we could accept more collectively the limits of our luxury to fend us off from the mysteriously ubiquitous world of anxiety - it might deconstruct the panicogenic properties we have invested in our defending comforts by our misproportioned faith in our progress.

So I do believe we must in some way embrace the Panic to make it more managable for all. But how? - That is a delicate question. And it can only be effectively answered from within the world of anxiety.
This reminded me of my favourite analogy when describing my own emotions with my partner: The Babadook. I saw this movie come up in the thread about movies, so what a coincidence! At first, when I started trying to understand all of the emotions that overwhelmed me, my brain would shut down and revert to, "I want to die." For years this was the case, and even as an occultist that thought would persist, and in some cases would even give me a reason to want to die sooner (the body is worthless, let's see what's on the other side etc etc). Fast forward years later, after much and different types of therapy, and I'm able to identify that which overwhelms me, and acknowledging it and giving it names allows me to live with it without feeling so afraid from it I want to end my life. Whenever I start to feel that control slip away from me, I remember the end of the film and that I, too, am in control of my emotions.
"Limited love asks for possession of the beloved, but the unlimited asks only for itself." -Kahlil Gibran
obnoxion
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Re: Anxiety

Postby obnoxion » Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:22 pm

Polyhymnia wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 3:57 pm
Whenever I start to feel that control slip away from me, I remember the end of the film and that I, too, am in control of my emotions.
Beware of spoilers, because I will comment on the ending of Babadook, and you really don't want to know it if you haven't seen it.

I love it how she has actually welcomed Babadook to live in her house, feeding the creature just enought to keep it satisfied. She has formed an individual relationship to a power of darkness that will not be fully controlled and cannot be completely excluded. And this relationship is not clean and clinical but dark and vital. The best attitude, I think, is found from that Simon And Garfunkel song, which I might be quoting somewhat out of context:

Hello darkness, my old friend
I've come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence


It is a beautiful lyric however one takes it. But consider it in the context of the movie Babadook, and it really captures the heroic proportion of coming to terms with anxiety.
One day of Brahma has 14 Indras; his life has 54 000 Indras. One day of Vishnu is the lifetime of Brahma. The lifetime of Vishnu is one day of Shiva.

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