8 Jan 2013: Kehkasha means ‘Galaxy’
A galaxy is Space….space for stars of all types, and for the supernovas and auroras, for the comets and the black-holes….a galaxy of possibilities
The spirit of Kehkasha is also to explore possibilities — different ways of being and living, for people experiencing 2 specific mental challenges — Depression and Bipolar
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21 March 2013: Why am I suffering?’
This is not a particularly useful question. It’s hard to explain it away rationally. Thinking about it will eventually lead you to stumble into the randomness of life.
However, given that suffering is an inevitable part of the human experience, it is valuable to experience it fully, to not fight it. It is important to let it happen, knowing that you are not the suffering, neither is the suffering exclusively yours alone.
And, it is important that we take away the taboo of suffering, and instead, learn to see it as a valuable process — a process that deepens our capacity to empathize, a process that prunes away what is not important and a process that builds profound meaning into our lives.
May our suffering lead us to wisdom, to humility and to immense patience :)
30 March 2016:
World Bipolar Day today….
“Now I think I know
What you tried to say to me
And how you suffered for your sanity
And how you tried to set them free
They would not listen, they’re not listening still
Perhaps they never will”
6 April 2017:
We all need help.
We are craving to be heard, to be seen, to be loved for who we are.
We want to be loved, held and cuddled much much more.
We want to feel safe.
This isn’t the job of counselors or doctors — it is a call to each of us.
Hence, the 1–2 3
Spend 1 hour with yourself. In nature, or doing what we love.
Let’s reach out to 2 people and let them know we care.
And let’s find 3 ways to express solidarity — by sharing, learning and speaking about this.
7th April is a great occassion — its the World Health Day and mental health is the theme.
Depression isn’t happening to some of us — it is happening to all of us.
When your stomach hurts, YOU have a stomach ache, not your stomach alone.
As some of our the members of our human family experience unexplained grief, sadness and angst, we must remember that it is happening to humanity.
Big pharma may see this as the next big business opportunity. Global NGOs may pitch for funds to create ‘awareness’. We may pass more laws and train more doctors.
But that isn’t what this really is about.
This is about destruction and violence taken to an extreme.
It is about a grieving planet that we’re digging deeper into.
It is about an unstoppable treadmill we find ourselves on, with no choice but to keep running.
There is a reason why this is happening and pop-optimistic thinking won’t solve it. There are too many lives around us that aren’t working out.
Beneath the surface, it’s not that cool.
Here’s a generation you call self-obsessed for clicking selfies. Wasn’t that exactly what we were supposed to learn?
Every teacher pushing us to do our individual best and get ahead? Every ad promising better, faster, smarter (taller, fairer, cooler) for us? Every parent reminding us how important it is that we ‘make it’?
We have allowed our communities to get destroyed, systematically. We’ve isolated ourselves into nuclear families that seek refuge in shopping malls over weekends. We’ve become very very busy.
And when a generation looks for purpose, it is told to work harder because jobs are harder to find.
It is told to memorize more not reflect more.
It is told to spend more time in classes rather than in nature or exploring the world.
It is told to make it as fast as possible, not patiently cultivate talent, skill and virtue.
We’ve created profit-driven spaces that invite us to speak about how great things are, how fun life is — and beneath that we hide away a fundamental dysfunction.
And that stares at our face as this statistic. Are we reading?
There’s a suicide every 40 seconds somewhere on the planet.
People are ‘checking out’ of the world we’ve created. It’s not working for them.
Some of the most intricate and sensitive human beings are also most fragile. They cannot deal with the violence that we have normalized in our lives.
Can’t deal with the alienation, the absence of love and community.
Can’t deal with having to show up like machines to be productive every single day in exchange of bread.
Can’t deal with the hopelessness, the selfishness and the craziness of our world.
They’re telling us something — they’re screaming it so loudly, not only with their throat but with their lives.
And we aren’t listening. We just aren’t listening.
As soon as i say i am experiencing a low, there is an immediate instinct for people to say ‘Oh! don’t worry it will get better’ or ‘It’s okay — hope you feel happy again soon’.
This declaration isn’t a call for sympathy or attention — i am sure you’ve had an experience of grief as well (though this one often has no outside reason).
It isn’t a call for empathy either — because how do we even know if we’ve felt the same extent of sadness or grief? Is there even a measurement of these things?
It isn’t an excuse either (any more than you would use an illness as an excuse to stay away from what your potential is).
Instead, what i’d like you to know is
1. i am trying my best and i need to trust my own judgment, i need to give myself the rest that’s needed
2. i need some ‘rope’….just as you’d give to anyone who has caught a cold or has a period
3. i don’t want you to keep probing but i want you to be around. How that’s done is hard to tell, but i’m sure you’ll figure
Happy World Health Day — #letstalk
Tomorrow is World Health Day, with depression as it’s theme. On its eve, I find myself grappling with a low phase.
Depression comes from latin ‘deprimere’ i.e. to press down.
That is what I feel depression really is — DEEP-REST-ion.
It is a call to rest.
It is a call for self-love.
It is time for pruning and withering. (wither is connected to the root word weather — it’s that season)
While we correct the ‘chemical imbalance’ in the individual with medication, what really needs attention is the severe imbalance of our world.
Anyone who feels a connection to his fellow human beings or to nature is bound to experience the avoidable pain and grief.
If you are NOT feeling low, you probably need to take off your rose-tinted glasses once in a while and allow yourself to be affected.
Perhaps, that is the invitation we need — to slow down, pause and reflect on where we are headed.
29 June 2017:
We are sexually arousing ourselves with advertising and media. All the time.
A society kept on the edge artificially becomes hungry.
Some part of the hunger is met with porn.
Another part with buying more stuff.
And some part of it comes out in gender-violence.
As far as it helps buying, advertisers are happy to seduce.
And we, the bored and helpless beings that we are, grab the lollypop and suck away.
3 Oct 2017: One way of seeing Mental Health challenges is as an imbalance with the sky element (aakash / ether)
At this stage of our collective journey, Akaash is attempting to enter and mingle more and more actively with the elements, in newer ways.
Access to the realm of aakash is trippy and unsettling because it contains a whole new set of ‘objects’ — energies, ideas, beings and collective unconscious material.
It feels like entering the attic of humanity — where one can get totally lost if one is not present and attached to the ground.
What was earlier a domain only of a handful of mystics and shamans and saints is now becoming accessible on a much much larger scale and we have no clue what to do.
The primal response from our colonized western-mainstream civilization is to diagnose, label and control.
Hence, the violence that arises between the normal and the altered states of being — a war that benefits big pharma, and finds willing supporters in the well intentioned practitoner’s community.
The recieving end of this violence to me are nature’s more fragile beings who are sensitive to the energies that are panning out — they feel the pain that others are suppressing, they feel the lack of motivation that is mainly manufactured by money.
You as a society are medicating and helping us be functional- that is an entirely questionable frame altogether.
In fact, it is the society collectively that has a mental health crisis going on — the ‘normal’ people refusing to confront their own craziness, run to erase it wherever else they see it. It unsettles them perhaps.
As a mentally ‘ill’ person I have a reverse hypothesis and invitation — that you, the mainstream have a mental health issue.
You are out of touch with nature and life (living by the mechanics of cities), you are out of touch with rhythms of nature, out of touch with capacity to be functional outside of your world of measurements.
(I am delibertely mirroring the language you use — more to mock you, including dividing this as YOU-ME while I really believe in WE)
If you accept your diagnosis, I would recommend the following presecriptions
- Lots of rest and no more work than what your innate motivation and joy allows you to do
- Long periods of silence and time with nature
- More trusting of your inner cycles rather than looking at them with skepticism
Over a longer term, let’s expand out this world order that you currently hold, run and have no clue how to steer. Lets ease this — let the shamans and saints in the house (a whole new emerging breed of them now) join into a new order and in fact lead it
4 Jan 2018: I’m recovering from a ‘psychotic episode’ over the last 3 months.
In this phase it became very clear to me that collective madness is preferred to individual insanity.
When groups have a different version of reality, they organise themselves and lobby to shift history, laws and consensus towards their world view. They fund and welcome others into their fold, they evangelise.
In doing this, they ‘normalise’ their madness — as religion, politics or even plain organisations or clubs.
Individual madness is an altogether different matter — it is mostly a lonely experience that is medicated, evokes a lot of guilt in me (at seeing and feeling differently) and leaves me fairly disoriented.
Perhaps, drawing inspiration from history, it would make sense to collect other ‘crazy’ folk (those experiencing “mental health challenges”) and intensively lobby on an identity politics platform (WE are the mentally ill, we are the oppressed and we DESERVE a different treatment).
I stay away from it though because all it will do is become one more ‘movement’ and recreate a divided status quo — yet another group asking for “more” for itself.
A healthier way forward instead would be to embrace the madness in each of us — we are all insane in our private worlds, pretending to be collectively sane.
Nature welcomes diversity, and as it’s youngest children, why shouldn’t we?
30 Aug 2018: Mental health challenges feel like the personal version of climate change crisis.
Through our actions we are tinkering with the planet’s ecosystem. These very actions are manifesting as disturbances in our psyche.
The lack of connection with others and nature, the suppression of our feelings and dehumanising ourselves in service of productivity, all are affecting our collective consciousness.
Basically more and more of us are getting screwed mentally and we don’t have too much of a clue what to do about it except medicate ourselves.
We are also in a world where the most vulnerable members of our family are required to be as productive and contributing and the privileged ones — else they are left to starve and die, or atleast systematically denied healthcare services.
Without paying any attention to this, we continue to march on screaming DEVELOPMENT at the top of our lungs, hoping that more of the same will somehow create some magic and redeem us.
Those who’re paying a price for this foolishness have to make their voices heard. If we do not reclaim our connections, our community, our leisure time and our connection to nature, we’re going to pay for it in more than one way.
For every flood in Kerela, there are millions of mini-floods in lives of people, induced by this very system, that ruin families and lives.
Let’s change course, shall we?