Recently I realized that the two worlds I shift between, the one where I’m stuck in depression, worthless, living a meaningless broken life, and the one where I haven’t wasted my suffering, and my work on myself benefits everyone — that these two worlds represent two different paradigms.
The old paradigm, based on the Newtonian clockwork world, says that God made the world and then left, only things we can measure are real, only the “fittest” survive, etc. I realize that my interest in science and my degree in Astronomy have allowed me to update the scientific part of my paradigm to one based on relativity, quantum physics, etc. I’ve also updated my understanding of “evolution.” It’s not the fittest organism that survives, it’s the most complex and resilient eco-system that can maintain itself. Life did not happen by some random process, but by a natural tendency to “self-organize.” (See my blog post called “We’re at Home in the Universe.”)
But I haven’t been able to update my understanding of myself. Sometimes I even find myself saying things like “God loves everybody… except me.” Actually those kinds of thoughts mostly don’t get expressed in words because as soon as I give them words, I can see how stupid they are. God, if there is a God, of course loves everybody. When I’m in depressed mode, there is no god. Of course when god says “You want a tougher vocation than PTSD?” I have to laugh and that takes me out of it. Sometimes I feel like a ping-pong ball.
In the new paradigm, everything is connected to everything else, and my work on myself benefits the collective. When I’m able to be in that place, I don’t feel that my life and my suffering have been wasted.
I think that our whole culture is presently also struggling between these two paradigms.
A quote from my journal for March 25:
I like my idea of the two paradigms. The old one in which my work on myself is “self-involved,” the new one where my work on myself helps everybody. I bounce back and forth between them. I’ve also been seeing that I think my biggest problem is the one who hates me and keeps kicking me to get me to “shape up.” I know it’s a younger one who doesn’t have all this new information.
This both inspired me to work on the blog post, and just now, as I was typing it up, I realized that it’s possible that the one who keeps trying to get me to “shape up,” even though she does it by criticism which doesn’t work at all, it’s possible that she sees how much I am capable of and is upset that I’ve been able to enact so little of it. She doesn’t understand the damage that was done to me.