Without Fear of Death or Blindness

I haven’t written much these past few days. Most of my energy is poured into writing for my class. Even that is slow. Too slow. I have still been reading, keeping up with current events, as well as scholarship. That much should be evident. I guess you could ask me what I think about the events of late. That’s all anyone seems to care about. The assassination of Haiti’s president came as a shock to me. I had just gotten home from sailing, and there was a noise in my kitchen, it sounded like a gunshot. Right after that, I read the news.

It has been difficult for me to think lately. I’m all twisted up inside. The days break, one after another, after another. There’s little time for philosophy, let alone economics. I think this time it’s easier to rest. There will be days where I can write a few paragraphs, and days where I write none. When I’m finished with my essay on the Wadsworth Atheneum, I may post it here. It’s going to be a good essay. I can feel it.

My writing focuses on too much emotion, I’m thinking softly, wishing that there were more facts. It’s easy to write academically when you have a prompt but now there just isn’t one here for me to ponder. I reached out to a college department, a philosophy department, asking about their PhD program. I went out on a limb, letting them know about my illness. They said that I should apply to their MA program. That I didn’t have the undergraduate background. Tell me, what is economics good for?

Really, it seems very little. I guess you need to have a research direction of some sorts if you want to apply to a PhD program. It’s not like I don’t have one, but mine is simply the entire canon. Reading “Perceptual Experience” yesterday made me feel as though there is hope for our world. Even though it was written in 2006. It is the cross section of various fields, the so called wicked problems that no one knows is there until you reach a little deeper into the void, that really get me.

Doesn’t feel like there is hope for me though. I’ve got to slog through how many more years of this? But then I think about picking back up my book about materialism and I’m surprised by how easy it is to understand the concepts, drawing from my “perceptual experience” (lol). Someday there will be ‘mental illness studies’ in major universities, ‘depression studies,’ ‘anxiety studies,’ and ‘schizophrenia studies.’ I’m sure of this.

The brain is too important to forget about.

We are afraid of the history that we have had with it, I think. Too afraid of what to do when someone has an ‘episode.’ It’s just not ‘sexy.’ Someday it will be, probably not valorized, but not shamed either. the best I can hope for is to progress, to wait for treatment, or even cure. I think it’s on the horizon, maybe 50 years off, but it’s there.

I’m probably going to avoid politics for the time being. Too many big machinations for me. I can deal with ideology, but violence is almost too much. I’m speaking of international news… Brute force requires scholarship, diplomacy, and an evenhanded attitude that I lack. As if we can ever forget about the many humanitarian crises that crisscross the globe. Haiti is just one more, it will sort itself out, even without Biden’s aid, which I think is a bad idea anyway… The people in Haiti need a minister to step in, restore order, give in to the protestor’s demands, and set up the next election cycle.

Shows you how much I know about that. I like riding solo, sometimes I wish that I didn’t have to write so much for my classes so I could spend more time here. I haven’t revealed that much of myself here to you yet, I think. Before I step back into my official duties discussing postcolonialism, antiracism, the governance, management, and communication styles of museums around the world, I want to leave you with something to think about.

I like writing here, it’s my muse. How would you feel if every day that I could, I reviewed a book chapter, a journal article, or a piece of news that came my way? I certainly read enough to do it. I’ll think about it.

Bye for now.

On perceptual reality: notes from “Perceptual Experience”

Sensations from different aspects of reality may have different effects on different subjects when the object sensory input is the same. In thinking about perceptual experience, one wonders about the veil of reality that sits between out consciousness, and objective reality. Beyond metacognition, thinking about our perception of reality entails a different philosophy altogether.

The object of our perception must be within our minds. What object falls within our mental purview such that it could be represented and manifested within our brain state. While I know little about the topic, I draw from Gendler and Hawthorne’s 2006 Perceptual Experience to learn from their work. Their question, as they pose it, is why do so many deny the assumption that when it appears to us that some object has a certain quality, say color, than there must be some mental or non mental entity that has that property (5).

“What reasons do we have for thinking that perceptual experience represents the world as being a certain way, and (assuming that it does) what sorts of features do we have reason to thing that it represents?”

  • our experiential life is not to be understood as a body of semantically inert events that serve as mere signs or symptoms of goings on outside.
  • perceptual experience is understood as making a distinctive contribution to our epistemic lives by representing the world as one way rather than another: it has representational content.
  • “if we look inwards we can just tell that our experience represents the world as being this way or that”

Semantico linguistic considerations: “it looks to be the case that P,” “it tastes as if Q,” “he sounds R.”

Transparency: “Our experiences are not the objects of our attention; they are vehicles that enable us to attend to things in the world.”

Experience must be representational of the real world. Perceptual experiences might cause our external world beliefs, or might play a role in the belief forming mechanism, or it might play an epistemic role in socializing us to understand how the objects, stuff, states, and events of which the world is composed operate (7).

“When we experience an object as red, circular and motionless, which properties are represented, such that the object needs to have them in order for the experience to be veridical?” (7)

  • We use specific categories of words to represent experiences that have those properties of that word.

“Assuming that it has representational content, what is that content like?”

“What is the relation between the representational content of perceptual experience, and its phenomenal character?”

“How are perceptual experience and perceptual success related, and how can one be analyzed in terms of the other?”

Finally, “What does the structure of perceptual experience tell us about our own physical and chemical make up?”

Gendler, Tamar Szabó, and John Hawthorne. 2006. Perceptual Experience. Oxford University Press. New York.

We are never going to survive unless.. We are a little crazy….

Living with schizophrenia isn’t easy. There are many days when, feeling overwhelmed, I sit and stare out the window, overcome with thoughts that aren’t mine. However there are good days too. It is when I get out of the house, do ‘normal person’ things, and breathe the fresh air, knowing that I will have more days like it, that I feel most alive. I don’t often think anymore what life would be like without mental illness, because I know that even if I knew, I wouldn’t change anything. It is part of my life now, as much as anything or anyone can be.

Being influenced by an illness creates a world of problems that many probably don’t have to face. Putting these things down into words helps somewhat, but what truly liberates my mind is letting others know what I am going through, and learning their perspectives on the trials that we all must go through in life. It seems that I could write whole books on my experiences in the 3+ years since I was diagnosed, but none of them would ever come close to the reality that I live day to day.

Because in many instances it is still shameful to describe your afflictions with a mental illness such as schizophrenia, I am careful, and guarded about expressing myself the way that I would want to. I know that an off-beat burst of laughter, a disparaging remark made at just the wrong moment, or a step made in the wrong direction would cause others to pause, and reconsider their relationship with me. But, truly, I want to be seen. I want to show off my inner being, the one that is still whole, and has not been touched by this illness.

The things that I write on this blog, are my experiences as I have them. A combination of thoughts, emotions, ideas and feelings that are all mine. As much as I can push towards having a ‘normal’ life, I will. And when I can’t, I will try to make sure you know about it. This is our bond, that special connection between reader and writer. Here I am, hoping that you will have some sense of empathy for me when I cannot aptly express myself, but valuing me when I can. It is not often that I will speak of having schizophrenia, and that is for my sake as much as yours.

I think in many ways, simply knowing that it is there, out in the world, living its life, is enough. That we all go through things which are traumatic and unfair, but that there is beauty in pain, and not always pain in beauty.

Towards a Reformation of Man

Meta. Once we call forth our inner being out into the world, we release our energy into our work, craft, and passion. We are finally alive. Being alive comes with too many consequences for me. Why can we not be carefree? Why must the politics of every situation come to light, breaking down the truth as it has been discovered? Plain as day we sit on a spectrum of social needs. What one person wants the next cannot have. How the players squabble around the center of the ring. Each necessarily deserving of his own piece of the rewards of the result of the labor of billions. Too many choices. Too many places that need investment, work, repair. The question of money, always on everyone’s minds. We are mired in it. Deep into our society from which the flow originates. People spilling over themselves to attract a single penny. Yes, this is the competition of the world. Everyone pitted against everyone else. Capitalism at its finest.

How to reform the broken system? The excess of profit which brings only waste. How will we turn inwards into our selves, reinvolving our process to include those who are left out? Shifting the landscape of production to protect the last remaining sacred landscapes, the last remaining untouched developments. What view of the world will we have once we can view ourselves and every man around us as a posthuman? I am left with only questions. The world seems twisted, gaudy, unwieldily. Something that needs to be fixed. Yet at the same time, it seems efficient, streamlined, technological, and innovative. We have built the world we have been seeking. So where is the next innovation?

It lies I think in politics. The last remaining sphere of public life which necessitates a change. The world order is shifting, the economy kaleidoscopes beneath us. Humanity is reaching it zenith. At least some parts of it. There is too much inequality. This will never last. The crumbling of the foundations of our society needs action. Needs structure and support. To support the top, we exploit the masses. How will we form a society which is empowered to create change, with themselves and with others?

The Times.

Blank template.

Dark Spaces.

Void of devotion.

Welled up inside.

The arts reside.

Motionless.

Waiting.

Wanting.

For thought or fire.

Misuse.

Lack.

Revelations.

Through the buildings.

Thought you’d admire.

A spilt cup.

The path splits.

Making sense.

Doesn’t mean a thing.

The enemy of my homeland.

The times writ true.

Blamed my pen hand.

For the things you do.

The Escape

To be subjugated, defeated, taken prisoner. To be robbed of your morally just deliverance, put down in front of your people. To be humiliated. Stolen from. Ostracized and judiciaized.

These are things of which we know not. But in order to find our humanity we must know them. We are not ‘others.’ Every person alive has witnessed this excruciating pain of subjugation from and to another, whether it be race, gender, class, or ability. We think of race first, it is the most dangerous, the pounding in our heads, the racing of our hearts, we align with our own and deny others their own. We deny others their own. This is the question which has divided our nation for hundreds of years. How can we grapple with our future when our future is not another’s? When we lift up our own people, and at the same time deny others their time. We must rebuild and refurbish. We must transform our people, the people of the world, Europe, and the United States. For we cannot go on lingering in the shadows of what has past. We cannot celebrate our culture when we have nothing to be proud of. When we take from others what does not rightfully belong, and enforce our laws on those to whom it does not apply.

Yes, we need a renaissance. It will not come with out trials. It will not come without the complete destruction of the institutions which have stood too strongly in the test of time. It will not come without the reorganization of our governments which their bureaucracy of whiteness. Yes, I have said that. We must take the office into the outdoors and show the office of the president to the world. Not taking from without to bring within, but taking from within to bring without. By opening our doors and accepting that yes, we are all in this together, but we are not all one and the same.

We think we are all one and the same. A revisitation, revitalization is needed urgently to this question. Who are we really. We forget where we came from and that history is sown with the blood tears and sweat of our fellow man. Who were the founding fathers of our nation and who did they fight for. We must have something to fight for if we are to fight. For if we do not fight we are sure to lose.

This battle is not for one people but all peoples. The leadership of our nation is old, weak, crumbling before our eyes. To express ourselves, to express the world we cannot look to our technology to save our humanity, for that is what is eating away at the very fabric of our being. We are being exploited by the very thing we seek to exploit. To learn, to grow with, against, and from this terror, we must not band together, because it is then that we are most apart.

The revolution is coming, and to be on the right side of the United States and Europe as they are enveloped by the tsunami of metaphysical transformation and enlightenment, we must think fast, be strong, and expose ourselves like we never have before.

Modern Love.

Rapt attention.

My feelings,

they stand in

muddled water.

Depths of not

unknown yet.

Still forgotten,

my trials threadbare,

rusted unused,

melody unchanging.

Digression from fact,

outpouring emotion,

death.

Silence certitude,

grace unwavering,

eulogy, elegy,

uncaring,

heart pounding.

Awake at last.

The mind elopes,

restlessness,

awaking silently as I

stride.

The cowboy wanders.

In peril,

at last,

a feather.

An extradition.

Modern love.

Twisted up under,

the covers.

A mighty rift.

Angrily rushing,

towards

nothing.

Nevertheless

came about beneath,

the starry sky.

A breath.

A gasp.

One ponders,

on fleet we fly.

Into

By Miles Francis.

Turmoil, Anguish, Fear.

Lobbed onto my forehead.

Broken pieces on my ears.

Spinning unnaturally into my world.

Spinning, twisting into a whirlpool of my being.

The dangerous ones come last.

Before I become whole again.

I must reach into that dark chasm.

Grind my way through tears.

Into my body and soul.

Forming a new person.

Charming, elegant.

Eulogy of desire.

The revolution draws nearer.

Awake we must be.

Economies will be free.

To change, overcome, transition.

The beast awakens and runs.

Finding its stride.

In our hearts and homes.

It is here.

It is now.

Mental Illness: An Exposition 6/9-6/15 2021 Part 3

How the earth has worn, shown its true colors. It seems that reality is perhaps 5 centuries behind science. We find and apply, and then we must wait. Wait for what? wait for the world to change. Science is science, the rest is just politics. What is the transformation of humanity, as we the ones who are being shaped by our science adapt to the intrusion or enlightenment of our minds by technology. As the web is spun around us, into us, and among us, we find that we are not who we thought we once were. We are expanding ourselves into the universe.

The spectrum of humanity, those who are human, not yet human, and once were human is becoming more and more visible.

Ahead

By Miles Francis

She ran on ahead,

To find her purpose,

And knelt by the stream,

To where it had led.

She ran on ahead,

The key to the castle,

She crept to the window,

Saw a sunset, pure red.

She ran on ahead,

Skirt swinging so gaily,

Found a purple flower,

He left in his stead.

Schizophrenics Anonymous

“I hear they’re using heavy water in the showers down at the insane asylum…”

“Oh you’ve got a GE showered? Well I’ve got a Rolls-Royce. That’s right, I’ve got a Rolls-Royce showerhead.”

And they say the road ain’t no place to start a family…

My fears grow day by day as I wait for death to envelop me in its loving everlasting embrace. The time that I have on this earth lingers and quakes as shadows, clouds, nimbus and cumulous, pass overhead. I think, I feel, nimble and quick, slow and fatigued. Each day is a new dawn, but each day brings with it new emotional, physical, and mental trauma that I must undergo in order to prove myself human, to prove myself alive. These things reach deep into my conscience and threaten to overtake me. I hold them at bay until they no longer have power over me.

These things of which I speak affect all men, yet I am more susceptible than most. My journey is rough, but my task at hand is clear and growing clearer by the day. To survive, to flourish, to compete, to accomplish, are things few man have done in my place before me. I alone posses the ability to make my future become reality. No one else. I am the master of my destiny, I must remain at full health in order to achieve my goals, however slow they may come.

There are few things on this planet as precious to me as art. Art gives, but it also takes . In order to create are we must put a piece of ourselves into the work. Without this essence of the creator in every work, there is no art. Just as a computer cannot program without a programmer, art could not be created without a human. This is my stance on art. So many artists create from others’ work, by failing to create something original, they are selling themselves out to some lesser ideal. This ideal of unoriginality, is evil. It should be a crime.

Just because some things aren’t created doesn’t mean that it isn’t pure genius. So many intelligent people have been forgotten because they didn’t allow their greatest work to be seen.

Anno Domini

In the day of the Lord.

Yes that is one of the few latin phrases that I know. I felt that it fits here. I am not talking about God, and yet he needs to be mentioned.

This phrase

These days

Imagination

Generation

Age of reason

Crypto treason

Explanation.

Where do the youth of today find their fortunes? The city dwellers of today who are unmarred by the harsh realities of life. Are they not human too? There are to many people in this world who are not where they wish to be it is almost an international crisis. The want of millions to be where so few reside. This strange oddity seems to most, to be a fact of life. Not to me. How do the stars align? Whose journey is beginning and whose is just coming to an end? These questions will bring on the next generation of political leaders, and communications technology. Enabling diversity, inclusiveness, and harmony among the people of earth.

An elegant

Staircase

Elevated mandolins

A twinkling

Chandelier.

Light footsteps

In the garden

A flickering candle

In the window.

A waltz performed

In the ballroom

A gentleman’s

Tuxedo

A ladies’ gown.

Children running

On the beach

Not an instrument

Out of tune.

A personal note: Do not ever joke with other people diagnosed with Schizophrenia.

Many people who are today in the hospital with me, will soon no doubt be back due to substances, illnesses that come on unexpectedly, or unhealthy lifestyles and behaviors. I too may be back sooner than I expect, although I hope not.

By Miles Francis:

Pen in hand

A place to stand.

I fought for right

To save my life.

These riddles told

A night so bold.

A feather quill

My oil lamp spill.

A spot of ink

A page on brink.

I write my past, It won’t come true. I once belonged, one day for you.

Next week again, I’ll see a friend. With hopeful eyes, I’ll claim my prize.

Why do we write? Why do our thoughts compel us to put pen to paper, to mark in ink with these symbols of meaning? Who do we (I) write for? Who are you? You are reading this writing. What is your name?

Today might be my last day here. It is quiet. Few people are left to hold loud conversations and carry on as they did before. My mind wanders. I feel well and able. I am anxious to see my family once again. I will recount my time and rejoin the outside world, mad as it is.

I think one of the greatest things to aspire to be is to be famous. To be known in your field, in your community, and in your accomplishments. There is no better feeling, at least in my eyes, than recognition.

Home

By Miles Francis

O to be home,

To be free,

To explore the world,

To chart a path.

Set your sights,

Do the math,

Learn the books,

Find your passion.

Guess the time,

Put your stash in,

Create your work,

A work of art.

Develop your theory,

Play your part,

Enjoy the rhyme,

Deflect the reason.

Go to school,

When its in season,

And finally,

Remember this.

Love won’t come,

Without a twist,

Don’t think first,

But just don’t miss.

Forever comes,

A word,

A kiss.

Thinking about this poem takes some thought. At first you are found to be in a vocation, a skill, a craft. Then you learn that home can take many forms, including love. Home is a place for all emotions, sometimes even bad ones.

Mental Illness: An Exposition 6/9-6/15 2021 Part 2

This same thinking can cure dementia, cancer, arthritis, Alzheimers, Parkinson’s, everything. They are the same, we need a change in society to deal with these illnesses and free ill people. This will do. A free economy can do this.

The variety of characters on the unit is the best part. So many different backgrounds brought together in one space. Girls, boys, men, women, everything in between. Every race is represented, with individuals from every color in the spectrum. The illnesses represented are diverse too. Everything categorized as “mental” illness. Age is not a factor, except when hanging out. There are the old men who want nothing to do with the kids. The older women who offer advice and emotional support. The gender non conforming girl who keeps her nose in a book all day, and her roommate, a tattooed, short cropped hair LGBTQ individual, close friends with her roommate. Then there are the gangsters, hispanic and black young people who use drugs on the outside, and talk about it on the inside. They form the cliques of the unit. There are others too, men and women who come here to heal, rest, and escape from the world and recover from the traumas imposed by daily life.

My reflection

or yours

on mine

hundreds of people

everyday people

persecuted

lift up my spirits

or hers

liberate my spirit

because it is mine

heal my soul

I have one

free my heart

to be like yours

Truly yours,

Miles Francis

Inevitability

Tranquility

Express this

Serenity

History

Shock that

Hinduism

Sufism

Identify me

Idealist

Surrealist

Apparently you

Numerous

Humarous

Influential object

Cosmology

Ontology

Singular being.

“This physico-techno-military given, only leads us as far, he says, as the gates of this ‘promised land.’ But while modern science guides us to the gates of the promised land of liberal democracy, it does not deliver us to the promised land itself, for there is no economically necessary reason why advanced industrialization should produce political liberty.”

Spectres of Marx pp. 75.

It is unclear where we would be without nuclear energy and the atomic bomb. In my view the nuclear question will be solved by deactivating and disarming all nuclear weapons or otherwise finding a use for them in society. One thing is clear however, the control of nuclear weapons should not be given to any one person let alone a committee of individuals. This is something that should be left to a highly sophisticated computer intelligence to determine.

To be betrothed,

My love she wrote,

Come hither to find me.

I went to where,

To find her there,

And now she’s my fianc√©.

Destiny

By Miles Francis

Destiny

The best

In me

The rest

For thee

A set

For tea

Just us

Two

A place

For you

The things

We’ll do

The painting

We drew

From me

To you

Our Destiny.

The state of the psychiatric hospital today is this: well staffed, poor infrastructure and amenities. At the IOL inpatient unit in Hartford, CT there is a need for more space, more modern buildings with modern architecture, and better activities for patients to take part in. The many young patients could use exercise, outdoor recreation, more space indoors and outdoors, ideally an enclosed campus like atmosphere. There could even be stores and restaurants and libraries, staffed by mental health workers. This would be an incredible advancement and investment into the livelihoods of mentally ill patients. In essence creating a world for them to live which is the same as the world outside.

The Shadows

By Miles Francis

Fear ye the weather

My friend

Or never find true

Love again.

Eerie be shadows

They tend

To whisper when night

Comes again.

Here in the darkness

We’ll be

Laughing around

Yonder bend.

The witch and the cripple

Will flee

When moonlight shines

Down in the end.