Wednesday, February 15, 2017

"There is no world" versus "Bereishis Bara;" a Dose of Reality.

So, I have ten minutes and the blog window is open.  I wanted to share something philosophical with you, which is probably attributable to something wrong with me, but whatever.

I have always seen life as fluid, "streaky."  Light has always flashed before my eyes, and without glasses, one thing seems to merge into everything else.

Couple that with some cell theory that when you touch something (e.g., a table), cells of your leave your body and join to become the structure of the table, and cells of the table leave the table on a cellular level and join to become part of who you are.

We are not talking shmutz here, but real transference of cells.  Pretty cool concept.  Add in the thought that the world is pretty much empty space, and you have a world view that says that the world doesn't exist except for an illusion which tricks you into believing it is real, and then there is that "Bereishis Bara" problem where G-d CREATED a world, tangible and real to you.

Then there are mitzvos which bring down G-dly energy which re-vivifies the world and studying Torah, which is a physical vessel (a klaf and ink, or in English, a scroll, parchment, and ink), yet it is able to hold and contain G-d's essence himself, as if we could understand such a concept.

Like a dog can see a malach without freaking out (because it lacks the comprehension that it is looking at a spiritual entity), when we study Torah, we connect with G-d in a way that if we truly understood what we were doing, we would expire and die from the G-dly light.  Yet we don't.  We look at the parchment and ink, we read the words, and it does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to us, as if we were a dog unable to comprehend the magnitude of what we are seeing or doing when we read a word of Torah.

Then there is the TV screen problem, namely, that I see my reality as if my eyes are glued to a TV screen and as if the TV screen is like VR goggles (virtual reality glasses).  The better analogy is eyes being glued to the TV with sticky glue, and thus we 'see' our body, and the 'world' that Hashem created for us to live in.  But... just as a TV can be shut off, so can our reality.

I have often visualized a spaceless expanse that when I "shut off" the TV, I can float down, up, forward, backwards... in any direction like a Peter Pan, and yet the 'image' of the TV remains in front of me.  I can in my mind switch it on or off, but independent of what my eyes see and what my mind tells me is real, it also tells me that the spaceless expanse is also just as real, if not more so.

So I live in the world and allow myself to trick myself that everything is real, when in my heart, I suspect it is not.  But then, "Bereishis Bara," so who knows.

Lifting the Veil of Fog (so, Waking).

I am writing this after having experienced a re-awakening after a few days, but last Wednesday after writing the "dying" article, I resolved that the current vitamin regimen wasn't working, and that I would go back to the DHA that was working for me.

I ordered it last Wednesday, and it arrived the following day.  I took 300mg of the vitamin on Thursday night, and then again on Friday morning again.

Friday morning, I lay on the floor of my office taking one nap after another ("Alexa, set alarm for 15 minutes" over and over again), and around noontime, something weird happened.  I felt as if the veil of fog lifted from before me.

"That was weird," I thought.  All of a sudden, I was able to think, and not just think, but I could think clearly... about life, about work, about goals, and so I grabbed a pen and paper, and started goalsetting (something I have not done in weeks).

I called my wife and said, "I don't know what has come over me, and I hope it is a permanent thing, but for the first time in weeks, I can think clearly.  I am almost afraid this is a fluke, but whatever it was -- whether it was the Alter Rebbe's Tanya I started learning deeply, or the new vitamin (likely the vitamin), it was working."

I wish my wife was more supportive, but it seemed as if she was happy to hear the good news, but she didn't really appreciate what a big deal it was.  I think she sees me as lazy or unmotivated, and this hurts.

Anyway, I wish I could make this article more exciting for you, but really, that is all I have to share.  It is now five days later, and I have maintained the clarity, but I still don't like the idea that my ability to think is hinged on my maintaining some drug or vitamin chemical level in my brain.  I wish I functioned well without having the need to DO anything or TAKE anything.  My inability to think without vitamins or chemicals makes me feel flawed.

Anyway, it is the late afternoon on Wednesday, and I did not take my afternoon vitamins (nor have I had my afternoon coffee), and I am feeling a bit down in the dumps.  I am lacking motivation, but I understand that it is not that I have no motivation; I am simply not feeling it.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017


My vitamin regimen is not working.  It has been how many weeks since I started taking the vitamins for ADD, and I am literally feeling nothing.  It has also been three weeks since I gave up soda, aspartame, and artificial sweeteners cold turkey.  Instead, I purchased a soda stream and have been making seltzer each day with some non-artificial sweeteners.

Yet it has been three weeks, and my brain is still a fog.  I have difficulty focusing, and my motivation has dropped through the floor.  Honestly, I feel as if I am just clawing to make it through the day, only to repeat the same dreadful devoid of meaning routine and day of taking care of the morning routine with the kids -- getting them woken up, negelvasser, dressing them, getting them fed and out the door, only to repeat the process with the younger kids for a second round.  Then, exhausted, I go to work, and without motivation to do anything, I take care of the incoming inquiries and I take whatever calls come my way, all the while struggling with a foggy brain and waiting for the day to be over.  I come home (usually in a rush because I've lost track of time), I take some child to some afterschool activity, I get a 30-minute workout at the gym, I pick them up, put everyone to bed with kisses, and I do it all over again the next day.

This evening coming home from a grueling day at work (where I feel as if I got nothing done) [brain fog, wanting to roll into a ball and cry], I sat down in my office at home which has been taken over by my wife with her post-graduate medical program.  I told the kids to please leave the room, and they didn't listen.  I waited a few minutes asking a few more times and being ignored before I screamed, "get out of the office!"

My wife looked at me, and said, "If you died tomorrow, their last memory of you would have been you screaming at them."  Not exactly understanding what she was referring to, I smiled at the thought that tomorrow I could die, and I thought, "Baruch Hashem!"  At least then I would be released from this life of boredom, meaningless, headaches and pain.

When I told her this, she got concerned, as if I should see a doctor or something.  "I'm not suicidal!" I exclaimed.  Rather, it would be nice to get away from all this garbage and my meaningless existence.

I thought more about it, and maybe I didn't eat lunch, or maybe I didn't drink that second cup of coffee (I haven't been drinking much coffee since I gave up artificial sweetener), or maybe I was dehydrated, or maybe my brain was mush from staring at the computer all day, who knows.  Either way, when I later took my daughter to her afterschool activity (of which I am sitting in the cafeteria typing this article), I couldn't help but to almost start crying when I was talking to her.

I am obviously not anywhere near ending my life, but you know, if it ended via natural means in a way that wouldn't hurt my family, that would be great.  I could feel myself dying inside just from the thought of being willing to let go, as if -- if I willed it strong enough, I might just be successful in dying just because I will it to be so, without any overt action needed.  Again, I am obviously NOWHERE NEAR this point, but it amused me to notice this.

[ENDED ARTICLE HERE.]  [NOTE: I meant to speak about how meaningless I have been feeling life was, and that I was not feeling anything that gave me the feeling of a REASON to be enthusiastic or motivated about life.  It all just seemed meaningless.]