The Mind Link: A Vivid Encounter with an Extraterrestrial Presence

The Mind Link: A Vivid Encounter with an Extraterrestrial Presence

Pencil sketch of an alien

The Incident...

One evening, while drying off in the shower, I experienced something extraordinary. It was a vivid mental connection, a mind link, with an extraterrestrial being from its ship in orbit. The encounter was so intense, so real, that it has since left a mark on my psyche.


In a sudden overwhelming moment, something like a strong visual memory presented itself as if it was streamed live. I saw its face and the dark surroundings, cluttered with black and transparent plastic tubing, wires, and the luminosity of screen glare and diodes. The large humanesque ibex-shaped eyeballs eyes fixated on me; their sharpness invaded my mind, directing my attention to the one eye. Fear, awe, and also brave curiosity initially kept me there. Soon, I would feel insignificant I was, I sensed his disgust, his cold, calculating observation. 


Prior to this, my mental state was charged, perhaps even elated, as I revelling about the astonishing World War II pilots who fought dogfights above Britain. I suspected my state of mind must have somehow aligned into that aliens frequency of observation. This was no mere hallucination, I knew it was beyond me, though absent from my temporal spatial location. I could see it was profoundly realistic.


Questioning yourself...

After the experience, I turned to the internet, desperate to understand what had happened. Wikipedia had a cracking article on Greys, the stereotypical alien species often depicted in popular culture. The face I saw held some resemblance to them. However, the entity I experienced was mentally dominant and war-like. It's black almond eye-caps were torn off. Damaged grey synthetic rubber coverings surrounded its exposed chalk-coloured wrinkled skin. This was not a small, humanoid figure but a tall, ancient powerful creature, similar to us hiding behind unnatural materials. I decided I should draw it how I experienced it, pencil sketching first. I updated it.

Computer drawing of my alien archetype
Damage around eye-hole

The encounter left me somewhat obsessed. It was bizarre, a mind link from orbit! However, being a realist, I had to doubt it, poke and interrogate the ordeal. When, in my own blog on archetypes, here, I explore how such forms emerge in society, through the various channels available, it made more sense. 


A little reflection...

Who is giving rise to whom? The SciFi culture of the 1930s and 40s undoubtedly sparked our collective consciousness into thinking, awakening our fears, planting that cold, intelligent extraterrestrial into our imagination. As alien beings took form, developing in our books and film it acquired familiarity and now the typical grey space invader has our own homonid form. Nonetheless, it remains a soulless, logical observer from the dark void of space, not an angel, a demon, nor is it a monster, but maybe an amalgamation of all three!


The grey alien is an emergence of our existential anxieties peering into our possible future—will we become emotionless, purposeless super-minds? Will future Elon Musks' amplify our grey matter while our hearts wither away? What path is humanity on? 

Alien like stone head


Making the monster...

Old television shows like 'Ancient Aliens' used to appropriate any ancient artifact with large or almond-shaped eyes as proof of alien contact. I enjoyed my thoughts of war pilots before engaging in a war-like extraterrestrial, who was hostile. My vivid imagination empowered this archetype. It was all like a mental ideomotor effect, the puppetry of my own representation with strings pulled by the weight of Roswell, Betty and Barney Hill, Travis Walton, so called government cover ups, YouTube sightings, the Dudley Dorito, UFO communities, abductee accounts, the general media and hollywood, it has become a social manifestation. 


The mind is powerful, creating rich concepts and vivid archetypal characters. These archetypes are fed years of stories eventually becoming lore. For me, I fear humanity is becoming those soulless super-genius creatures. We become that when we become too synthetic, plastic and unnatural—when we sell our souls and lose our nature. What if such desperate brainiacs have to visit these times, from the future in hope of finding a solution to their failures? It resonates with our species today. This is environmental anxiety and extreme capitalism personified, a grim prospect of us as grey and alien. As we continue to experience and share these myths, they become increasingly real. Perhaps we should consider them as lessons from the higher aspects of our spiritual awareness? 

Alien hybrid

At the end of the day...

Experiencing your own representation of an archetype can be unsettling, but also insightful. They are our brain-derived children, interconnected creations nurtured globally in the collective consciousness. Our potent contemporary mythologies are impressive. They are channels of human belief forged into legitimate thought forms, personifications of our nightmares, dreams, or hopes. It is almost theological. Perhaps it is? Is this modern theology?

Another alien
With eye-cap in situ




When Relatives Go Holy: Turning to the Dark Side?

Often I Feel Like Obi-Wan Kenobi Who Lost His Padawan: When Relatives Go Holy—Turning to the Dark Side? 

Cartoon guy moaning about religion

Real-Life Stories and Personal Experiences


We have all encountered religious zeal in our families to some extent. I enjoyed listening to biblical morality stories in my school assemblies; I do still value them, but I say let's keep everything in moderation. When my fathers side of the family attempted to exorcise me though, I began to draw a few lines! 
I'm not alone. 


It's frustrating to see another relative turn deeply religious and scriptural. He considers himself a humble philosophy enthusiast and speaks highly of modal logic, as well as the philosphy of moralty, and cosmological arguments, and theories of time. You might know where I'm going with this. He and I might spark up a debate, and often, it will seize up, because my eristic socrates will even deny established fact or adopt futile pedantic semantics solely to pose as being right; for example, he once used the common layman definition of 'proof' to argue that the existence of Jesus's tomb is a proven fact, despite knowing that a proper Richard III level of verification is needed to do so. The bible alone, he argued, sufficiently validates it. He openly admits his dishonesty and enjoys playing the contrarian. Has this happened to you? Did it affect your family dynamics? His reading of philosophy is admirable, but he undermines it, as he does with the core virtue of his religion, namely, the teaching on honesty. The online Cambridge definition of 'Philosophy' and 'Christian' are:

Philosophy: the use of reason in understanding such things as the nature of the real world and existence, the use and limits of knowledge, and the principles of moral judgment. 


Christian: of or belonging to the religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ: 


    ● a Christian charity/organization

    ● the Christian faith


My kindred thinker is not impartial to dismissing science, even after nudging his scientific data to promote prayer potency on poorly patients. Anti-science rhetoric is mostly thrown around by those who confuse science with anti-theism. I'm not anti-spiritual or an atheist, my own personal path simply isn't a mainstream religion. I'm just saying, reason and faith can be opposing attitudes, just as Christian Moral Realism is illogical. Imagine the conflict of being gay and Muslim. Our nature as humans is imperfect, I dont accept unwavering religious conviction, despite such belief being an expectation, or a vague 'ought' for you to have, simply because it's 'good'. This unrealistic concept of unwavering belief, would, if it worked, remove our fear of death, and scriptural eternal damnation would have prevented all crime in the clergy. You see, genuine unwavering belief would flood the cities and streets with crowds of believers desperate to save their non-believing friends and loved ones from the nearing nightmare of hellish unending fire and damnation, but where are these believers? Strings of belief animate us, but here, they droop under laissez faire puppetry. I just want my relative to go back to the way he was before!


When I ask myself what strengthens wavering faith in a world of natural disasters, horror, war and madness, I usually put it down to bravado and self-deception. I consider the theology of an all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-loving Israeli God (omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent) to be devoid of philosophical thought; people promote their God's unchanging nature, immutability or everpresence. However, there's a conspiracy of silence in churches who aren't inclined to explore any of the key religio-political transformations during the history of the God of Israel. Theology and historical sciences differ.


      'This wrathful and jealous lord of the old testament has gone all 'love and peace' clearly quite a significant change in just two testaments. Where's the unchangeability here?' 

                                                                                                       Me ranting. 


Free Will, Omniscience, and the Illusion of Choice

Judeo-christian theology lays it all out; Yahweh gave us free will and we defied him—we ate from his fruit tree! Undoubtedly, these theologies have also respectively been developed, every Abrahamic religion acknowledges that our free will does continue to lead us into sin or wrong doing. I guess it does follow that Yahweh, the unchanging, all-knowing, all-powerful and now, benelovent God (who walked amongst many gods), knowingly let humans fall into their own quagmire. 


This all-knowing God, would, by his nature, have known that humanity would choose to commit sin after creating us; so here's the question begging to be asked: does this mean free will was always just an illusion? If so, in this tradition, omniscience has undoubtedly facilitated sin, and it has nurtured human evil, even priming its ideal breeding grounds in that garden! 


What punishment did this loving god create in order to steer us away from the sin he enabled? Banishment from paradise? or even eternity in hellfire? Does it seem right? What an irrational theological burden! It goes too far, loses coherence, detracts from its own concept of divinity. Surely better ideas exist elsewhere? 

Upset vicar

The Pointless Sacrifice and the Selective Intervention

When Yahweh lovingly appointed his so-called son, Jesus, to be tortured and then, to die for a weekend, no evils ended; it didn't even alleviate the roman occupation, nor did it avert our twentieth century wars for that matter. The problem of evil was not resolved by Jesus Christ. Christianity was persecuted at the start, but we did, however, see an increase in interesting church-made, brain derived theologies that had equally cruel consequences. Fair dues, there are fantastic Jesus moralty stories, maybe they are best left there, or is that avoidant? People don't like to think about the jewish trials and tribulations that followed the crucifixion, such as the seige of Jerusalem. Rome slaughtered ridiculous amounts of Jewish people, just like in the Bar Kokhba revolt. Does the fact that the God of Israel's chosen people actually lost Israel not suggest anything? Jewish people endured centuries of persecution from Christendom, how is that not a sign something is off? The horrors of the holocaust go without saying. I've said all these things to my philosophical Christian sage to no avail and it is frustrating. I should leave him to his own devices, I really should.


After running both modal logic and Bayesian analysis, mundane removal of the body is the likely explanation for the historical events that inspired the resurrection story of Jesus. It rests well with contemporary grave robbings and confiscation measures to prevent religious dispute. Scripture is understandably pro resurrection, but its objectivity is very much questionable. The story is central to the Christian Church, despite its improbability from an entirely historical perspective. As a myth, it is wonderful and packed with ethics and wisdom we should embrace. 

Alien parasite eating christians but dislike taste

Surely, in theory, such an all-powerful and all-knowing divinity, could have originally designed our genetic predispositions to be repulsed by doing sinful things, right? Yes, of course. So why do people hold on to an irrational reliance where the Almighty relies on religious agency such as teachers, scripture writers and churches? It's simply club membership perks. Our DNA already steers us away from doing quite a few unsavoury things and that doesn't detract from our perceived free will, so its a fair question to ask. In fact, if we consider those enslaved to gambling, sex or drug addiction, stealing and other forms of sin or wrong doing, the free will theology loses appeal because we naturally become enslaved. There is a paradox of divine persuasion here.


This omnipotent, Israeli God, who has fought tribal wars against Baal and Chemosh, and once revealed his presence in the ancient Jewish sky; so why has it stopped? Why does he not appear to all the nations and order an end of wars? We can all visualise an ancient divine strategy, some coceivable solution that could've literally wiped out thousands of years of pointless hide and seek theology and slippery debate. The reliance on evangelism and dubious clergy with which Jesus himself clashed could all have never existed via a bit of genetic tweaking, but, instead; we are sadly left with cryptic scriptures and promises from orthodox people and holy relatives who all interpret things differently.


This changeless and evolved deity doesnt fit his own theology. After sharing the archeological history of Yahweh with my kindred of Christ, and moral realist, he stopped, listened and began to think, instead of just trying to win for once, before spouting out a theory on societal realisation for the deity. Poof! Out of thin air! Not too much unlike an apologetic, he thrust his idea of a gradual revelation of the God with a forced conviction by claiming that Yahweh had only been properly truly understood in his full godly form by Christian era theologians. It was very disappointing guillotine decapitation of historical and cultural acquisition. The scripture and all the pertaining archeological discoveries hit the floor, rolling centre stage to become his reimagined version of the God of Israel. I always said, people created God and not the other way around, unfortunately, he proved me right in the end! I found a new level of ignorance that day. I have found self-righteousness in Christians in my life, I guess it's only a minority? 

A sprout saying dont doubt!




 

The Mystical Experience: Blending into Religion

Unveiling the Mystery: Exploring Mystical Experiences Across Cultures


The Mystic

Don't you think 'The Mystic' sounds pretty dramatic? I'm sure it might conjure up jedi-like imagery, something a bit merlin or those stigmata marks on devoted monks. What springs to my mind are those orange clad sitters who tranquilly await enlightened, but equally, there are shamanic seers, and the Islamic Sufi who can also enjoy mystic experience. Regardless of any cause, be it neurological, or even the psychological, spiritual, drug induced or even a traumatising event, they're all experienced and often called mystic. 

Nondualist experience of being with nature

No tradition, faith or ethnicity can claim exclusivity of this sort of thing, even though we might think otherwise. It's unique, personal. We can see for ourselves how mystical experience go by a variety of names across the globe, here are a few: moksha is Hindu meaning liberation, gnosis was secret experiential knowledge stemming from antiquity, nirvana is a Buddhist state of bliss similar sat chit ananda in Vedic tradition. Satori is a temporary zen buddhist state of enlightenment, and theosis is a term found in orthodox christianities describring a state of unity with their concept of God.


Theurgy is interesting; just going on the esoteric basis of working with divinities and altering consciousness, it holds mystical, religious and occult themes! Samadhi is an eastern term meaning a profound absorption into the absolute, for Jewish people devekut signifies their deep unity with HaShem through veneration. Islam has fana, a sufi death of egotism resonating with Advaita Vedanta and then, we have 'theoria,' admittedly, it is quite an interesting form of mystical experience. It's triggered by a sufficient point of philosophical contemplation. All of the above hold qualities and some overlap. 


Profound mystical moments are hard to put into regular words, because human language itself is a limitation.  You could liken it to the task of putting a brand new, totally unseen colour into accurate words. Such a task would involve referencing other existing colours and anything similar to it. It is a 'burden of interpretation.'

depiction of union with the source via meditation


The Challenge of Interpretation:

After a mystical experience fades, it's just as the christian mystic, Meister Eckhart describes, 'the well overflows, and then it runs dry,' and so, as the moment will gradually diminish; we might begin doubting the mystical union. When a shift has taken place as such, those who try to salvage the last dregs of water with their leaking bucket, will likely spill it and make a mess. 


Qualia and the Limits of Language:

It is fair to say that any mystical experience we rationalise will often end up catagorised, mentally stored away, re-interpreted, re-questioned, reframed, processed and reformed. In various religious scriptures, we see textual descriptors or criteria of awakenings, especially in Eastern traditions. There are so many lenses to view these experiences. Which are true? Where is the consensus? We will explore this soon. 


Qualia, the inner subjective experience we have of something, namely, the mystic experience itself for this point of this blog, is rooted in a valid, 'what-was-it-like?' means of comparatively judging something. It's measuring against another object or idea: 'this soup tastes like curry' 'the culprit looked like a camel,' or ultimately, 'my mystical experience was like the religious figure 1, 2 or 3 telling me X Y or Z'. When we strongly try to carry the last of the well water with 'what-it-was-likeness' bucket explanations; we leak all the unexplainable, and we spill the most abstract and lose the finest detail. 

Stupid cartoon I drew of illuminati, men with light bulbs on their heads

To support this we should consider the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis, which states that speakers of languages with a greater vocabulary for colour, for example, will enjoy a richer intellectually colourful dialogue than basic languages. Imagine having a ton of words for different shades of blue, see what I mean? That's just blue. Even the various sounds and rhythms of a language (accents and pronunciations) will influence how speakers feel about such words (with more connotation and concepts) and what they mean to them as speakers of that language. What makes one mystical insight more valid than another is hard to say, but there are determining factors with interpretation, as we are slowly beginning to explore. 


Similar to mystical experiences are Near Death Experiences (NDEs) which are culturally specific phenomena. I always supposed this cultural specifity was based on an inbuilt psychological defense mechanism evolved to help us face end of life stress. You know, like the explanation for the brains DMT secretion near death? But, we do, as people, tend to season our strange experiences with familiar flavours in order to digest them more easily; it seems there is an element of phenomenal relativism of interpretation here. 

By phenomenal relativism of interpretation, I mean the preconceptions of the world that we utilise in our interpretation of and processing of new and unique experiences. This really would be great to apply to hypothetical paranormal experiences as an example. 

If a UFO was to tour our planets skies, international interpretation of the phenomena would differ:

    ●Westerners, generally construe UFOs through a sci-fi lens, usually as advanced spaceships flown by extra terrestrial beings.

    ●In Japan, on the other hand, these mysterious flying anomalies are yokai, a more earthly, organic spiritual being living parallel to us. 

    ●In Africa, the same Yokai or alien ship would be a star being, once considered to be ancestors who now come back to visit. 


The phenomenal relativism of interpretation is clear. I chose to leave my other examples out, because three does suffice. For further observations on this relativism of interpretation, compare the numerous cultural and historical variants of Jesus Christ across the globe. If you don't believe in Jesus, or see him as a historical cult leader, his depiction show our bias. 

Bosch painting of afterlife tunnel


Shared Themes Across Traditions:

UFOs and NDEs aside, I should say, there are mystics like Teresa of Avila, who would describe mystic experiences as simply 'ineffable,' which is putting it as something impossible to articulate properly in words. Instead of, let's say, trying to play Einsteins theory of relativity on a trombone; some individuals who have mystic experiences might acknowledge that taking up such a difficult challenge is pointless! This is why we have a plethora of mystic experiences, by trying to explain the unexplainable. Countless gods, deities, ancestors, spirits have been reported in the realm mystical experience. Yet, I must add, despite the common themes, they cannot all be correctly interpreted. 


Transformation and a Lasting Impact:

Even though specific details of mystic experiences fade, they still bring new perspectives. This doesn't mean you'll turn into the next mountainside guru living in a constant state of bliss—that's psychologically unhealthy. It's a stereotype. Enlightened people can be grumpy like anyone else. It's unnatural to force yourself to be something you are not. Self-learning is a common theme across numerous spiritual and philosophical practices in which, we might obtain satori. Primarily many spiritual and religious beginnings come with accepting our imperfect biological human nature, and to be aware of our ego. It's not easy. The Mystical is personal, a private gift. 

Art of man leaving body, medieval.


A World of Perception

I guess I painted a picture of a world where our perception is not passively impressed upon us. If our senses are just the recording equipment, and the brain is the organiser, the mystical experience will grip the heart of phenomenal consciousness itself bypassing reason and consistency


What's the deal here? 

The cause of mystical experience is beyond the scope of this blog. All we could conclude here is how we should question how people interpret their own experiences of ineffible occurences. It is like the paraple of the blind men and the elephant; they all touched the beast, each saying it was a different creature!


More Starmer vs Sunak? Really? What's The Point?

Televised Debates: An Ultimate Frustration-Fest


Ugh, mate. Where do you even begin? With the fact that debates aren't usually rapid fire responces? Come on, questions need more than a forty five second TIME LIMIT!? Maybe we'll begin with that weird popularity-gameshow-feel? It could have been aptly called 'Don't get booed!' It knobbled any real meaningful exchange—great thinking, itv! Public discourse is an outlet and they're supposed to be a grand showcase of political excellence, flirting their grand ideas to the masses, that's right, isn't it? 

A dog frustradedly looking at out of reach ball
Like a telly debate


This supposed itv debate was a real chance to show my family what the Keir Starmer was really about with regard to all the important issues. Yep, his father was a nurse or some b*****ks, and his mother made tools. That was most of it, well, unless you count his anti-Tory, parliamentary programmed polemics, which was no more than stating the bleeding obvious that the country is ****


First off, can we acknowledge that CONSTANT interruptions need to change? It was a bit of a one way assault from a terrified Tory—noisy, rude, with scare tactics, my face rarely left my palm. Sir Keir had no bite, like Stallone in one of those old Rocky films where the dude isn't fighting back. Rishi, playing the angry posh kid did whatever he could to get his way. Neither party had a chance to properly explain anything and the moderator was a news reader—did itv let her do a news report on herself?  

Kier Starmer caricature explaining his dads toolmaker status

We shouldn't forget the dodgy facts. Look, everyone has different viewpoints, but straight off bull***t shouldn't be allowed in these debates, we used to have fact checkers but that's clearly gone. Don't you think a candidate should be dishonourably disqualified if they lie or twist the truth? 

Man sent mad with politics

It may appear that I'm saying televised debates are a complete waste of time, because I am, quite frankly. They're about as informative as a hayes mini cooper manual for fitting a kitchen. As this is my blog, I have a responsibility to call out for some kind of meaty, proper lengthy debate—maybe a Netflix or YouTube event would do it justice because itv are sporting a no frills value lettuce. 

Naked Attraction: More Than Meets the Eye? A Look at British Gameshow Nudity

British Gameshow Erotica: Unveiling Our Obsession with Seedy TV


Naked Attraction isn't the same as watching Baywatch for the first time as a kid in the Nineties. It's a bare-all bonanza of boobs, balls, butts with banter, bringing a buffet of bulging bits binding Brits to their boxes with a barrage of bewitching bodies! 


Curiosity Served Raw: 

In a genuine Naked Attraction world would be strange; everyone's nude and everyone primarily remembers you because of your peculiarities, everyone will know a Fiona Floppy Flaps or Donkey Dick Dave. The selling point is the gradual process of unveiling, which in such a real world, might reflected or portrayed as the slow and gradual build up to the person? Objectification is why the contestants break up; this fact is ongoing proof in every episode. The pseudoscientific 'sex facts' add another layer of comedy, because of it's so-called cutting edge-ucation. Naked Attraction as a world would be very silly. 

 

Desire for Meat? 

As a TV show, the raw physical presence on the live meat market is positively dissected and judged by contestants who might make you tilt your head. The unconventional format does not stop the laughable predictability of who a contestant might pick. It's supposed to entice our innate animalistic desire to attract a mate, but please, forgive my ignorance; I only half watch it in the background while I write these blogs or draw silly cartoons, I can tell what they want. It's like being a candle in the dark for the self-loving nympho contestants. The internet is rife with direct, intravenous filth, so why do we bother watching this drivel? 

Muppet monster confused about what he should eat

The Comparison Game

Let's face it, there's a weird kind of voyeurism involved in these shows. A lot women find it hilarious, there are men, like me, rooting for mr micro to get picked. No, it's never cocktail sausage Colin, but always a confident dullard with a gargantuan horse size monstrosity, penduluming in-between his knees, hypnotising the contestants and viewers alike. We tune-in and might end up comparing ourselves or gawping at the madness of it, have a giggle at the weird and wonderful. Some people – all ages included – do like to oggle, others prefer erotic paperbacks, or possibly google image results of Anne Widdecombe. We have imagined regressing back to when our primary sex organs defined our breeding outcomes? Another mesolithic period?! The chosen get fed, clubbed and dragged into a cheap hotel/cave. 


British Smut: Laugh Out Loud, But Also Think It Through

How they turn every flirtatious moment into a punchline feels somewhat like putting tomato ketchup on a delicious steak—yeah, it'll get a laugh, but it diminishes the succulent flavour. Countless people profess that good sex involves a connection; a little fornication is fine, but to see it reduced to saucy puns and risqué humour for eleven seasons is tiring, don't you reckon? Try something new, they could all take turns in a big white cube to prove how good they are at s******g or make the presenter do her job dressed like gimp Madonna's tit suit—Richardson never has a go! 


The Whole Thing Failed Anyway! 

Yeah, duh, Naked Attraction doesn't prioritize the forging of enduring bonds. The media have certainly not celebrated any marriages between previous contestants who chose one another. Quite humorously, the experiment failed, and continues to do so, but they're onto a good thing and they will keep churning it out! 


Normal Attraction Coming Soon! 

Does the constant barrage of vulgarity, boasting, shock tactics, and euphemisms all overshadow the unseen reality of the beauty of great relationships? If Naked Attraction has failed, would that mean regular, everyday attraction has won? And if so, would it be safe to say most of us tune in because it's just smut? 


Naked Wisdom

British smut? Yep, it is, and entertaining, of course, many of us watch it. Are we wise by not being mindless consumers? Certainly. A touch of critical thinking will stretch a long way, you gorgeous readers! By questioning the rights and wrongs, feeling the general vibe of what we watch, grasping the message behind it, we continue being savvy viewers. ❤️


Above all, shouldn't the standard of our smut be thought-provoking? What about The Naked Chase with Bradley Walsh? 😱

Contestant in the pink booth who pooped himself

 





Wellbeing Duck: The Mental Fight For PIP

 

The Wellbeing Duck Blog Logo


Wellbeing Duck: Have They Rejected Your PIP Claim? You Should Fight Back! 

Days ago everyone in the UK with disabling mental health problems were recently struck bellow the belt by the tax dodger, Rishi Sunak! 

Cartoon of a tax dodging yes man

A denied PIP claim for a significant mental health condition can turn your world upside down and leave you feeling gutted or accused. People need their support, especially if you have taken the advice of professionals such as disability employment officers, counselors, community psychiatric nurses or maybe even your own psychiatrist, who might have recommended you to not work. 


Well, now those politicians who give themselves nice payrises and claim huge expenses have just made things tougher and have done a U-turn on many individuals living with mood and anxiety based mental illnesses. The solution here is to be strong and patient. Draw in your support circles and fight for your rightful PIP award; it might be financially better for you in the end.


This guide aims to equip you with the knowledge to challenge the PIP reconsideration and tribunal process. We'll discuss why re-applications might be rejected and consider what might help you win. However, firstly, it must be said, it's fair to not expect full points for milder mental conditions that hold very little effect on daily living. We have to be honest. 

Tory cartoon of ugly human
After a nice pay rise offered nurses 1%


Let's Talk Money and Mental Health

That being said, significant disabling mental health conditions are real, and they will impact daily life. However, the PIP system is flawed and they are interested in the effects of the illness more so than the diagnosis. They rarely look at peoples medical records because a diagnosis is not direct evidence! Isn't that bonkers?! Remember, The Department for Work and Pensions has slammed down some urgent rules for mental health that overlook the fluctuating nature of symptoms. They fall short of their own criteria. Filling out an application form you might see a question like this one: ‘Can you prepare a basic meal?’ 

Duh, yeah! 


But look at their actual criteria which they fail to mention:

Completed to a reasonable standard (Section 2.1.1)

Completed safely (Section 2.1.2)

Completed repeatedly (Section 2.1.3)

Taking no more than twice as long (Section 2.1.4). 


‘Oh, well, now you put it like that!’

Now, if you say you can sometimes do a meal, it will be unfairly marked against you, in bad faith. The criteria asks whether you can prepare a meal to a reasonable standard, safely, done repeatedly, taking no more than twice as long as usual. We can see what is happening. Many mental health conditions, from mood disorders, thought disorders and attacks of anxiety come on in attacks, episode. Immediate qualifying you under section 2.1.3 of their own criteria! It’s clearly a money saving operation. 

PIP is an important financial support, and losing it can bring a lot of unspeakable stresses. You do deserve these resources for your wellbeing, and so, I hope you can take some comfort, maybe a tad of hope in this blog post. I hope to help you get that calm back.


Fighting for What You Deserve: Reconsideration and Tribunals

Be tough, dig your heels in, be a warrior, and don't accept the first ‘no.’ This is a dubious process on their part, considering they are deliberately reducing claimants, people have shared on YouTube and in blogs and websites that they are losing every point they were rightfully awarded. It raises the question: are mentally ill people facing discrimination yet again? That is the broader political war. Focusing solely on the process of claiming for a moment, offering up a diagnosis, such as, say, paranoid schizophrenia, only seems to waste space on the form; our DWP do not believe a medical diagnosis proves your problems with daily living. It makes you wonder then, doesn't it? What will prove anything to these people, especially if they deny what claimants tell them?

Two politicians in a car paid for by the public
These politicians call people scroungers!

Mandatory Reconsideration: By writing a well structured letter, as your mandatory reconsideration, you can retain your argument and evidence on file, and the DWP will be expected to hold a copy too. A phone call is only worth the paper it is written on. Even though a different person reviews your claim, it is part of the  same not-so-merry dance, which may well be another rejection. Over all, it’s become a financial process now and one where they are instructed to reduce claims; just think, hundreds of expensive tribunals, two thirds of them re-awarded their PIP does not inspire them to continue. They do offer claimants their PIP as alternative, known as a cleared decision!

Example: 

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing to request a mandatory reconsideration of the decision to reject my claim for Personal Independence Payment (PIP). The decision letter was dated 23 November 2023 and the reference number of my claim is PIP/123456789.

Points I disagree with regarding your decisions:

Preparing a Meal

I am diagnosed with Mickey Mouse Disorder and Cramping Tummy Syndrome (CTS). This means I can only eat cheese, but I need tablets because I am allergic to the diet but alsi intolerant to the tablet, and so, I suffer agonising cramps meaning I cannot repeatedly prepare a meal as described under section 2.1.3 of the PIP criteria. This also slows me down, and disrupts me (2.1.4). I have provided extra evidence, such as a written testimony from my carer and my doctor (contiue as you wish). 


Tribunals: 

An independent tribunal is most effective! It is free, you can follow online Government website instructions to initiate things after your mandatory reconsideration. Also, you can alternatively choose not to attend if you prefer. The panel will have no connection to the DWP. Tribunals typically side with claimants—a 2022 report found that nearly two-thirds (64%) of appeals resulted in a better outcome for claimants. That, right there, is the financial advantage for the DWP: resolving your case favorably before a tribunal has to begin is often quicker, and less expensive. Claimants might receive an offer before it reaches the tribunal. However, you must follow the procedural stages from mandatory reconsideration and then apply for tribunal after rejection. Take what is rightfully yours. 

Job centre expect long term sick to spring back
Do they expect folks to dive into work without support?


In Your Corner!: Resources to Help You! 

Here are some resources designed to empower you through the PIP claim process:

Citizens Advice: Useful but can be busy, help on benefits claims and appeals, including PIP: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/sick-or-disabled-people-and-carers/pip/

Benefits and Work: Follow the guides and support they have in place! Here is the PIP claim process: https://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/personal-independence-payment-pip/pip-claims


The Resurrection Story We Never Mention

The Resurrection Story We Never Mention! 

Cartoon of disciples stealing Jesuses body

What is more plausible, an executed religious leader who fronted a growing movement, abruptly raised from the dead? Or a group of his followers hiding his body to claim the same thing? 

This topic resonates with me because of the dissonance I've seen from my entrenched family members, and the fact that I go obsessed with religion especially after I've had experienced something mystical. People throw all common sense out of the window just to believe biblical narrative or fixate on it. Thick books with stained glass windows on the covers, exist, sitting on the bookshelves of gray haired men discussing such pointless topics, issues that can never be resolved. The Empty Tomb: Was Jesus Resurrected? Well, uh, no. Obviously not! Don't be silly! However, the impossibility of it is never sufficient in breaking the paranormal premises disguised as some variant of academia. I advise leaning on the laws of nature and medical science, but people are people. 

'No this is nonesense! It says in all four of the gospels that Jesus rose from the dead!' 

'Of course it does, early Christians compiled these stories didn't they?' 

'Those disciples went from being afraid to hiding. Why would they suddenly proclaim the resurrection? No, no sorry, it's unlikely these followers would endured hardship for something they knew to be false!' 

'Did early Christians write that? Of course they did, listen, in reality, people charged with committing sedition against Rome would have been left on the cross as an example, those followers of his had good motive to retrieve the body,' 

'Yeah but still, the fact remains, why risk death for something you know to be untrue?' 

'The movement was only important if the teacher was resurrected somehow, but such resurrection stories were common then anyway and easily circulated. They had the means, motive and opportunity to swipe the body—the corpse was on display,' 

'The followers knew he was Gods son!' 

'That epithet came well after his death, so no, sorry.' 

'Oh for goodness sake, look. . . there was a Roman guarding the bloody tomb, and we know the tomb was sodding empty! Witnesses existed!' 

'Is that a bible source again? Terrible, why would a Roman guard an empty tomb? Nevermind!'

A little backstory: A man was impressing everyone around him, garnered a huge reputation, rumours exist of him being the annointed one are spreading, like a prophet, mysterious and charming. With his apostles, they will change the oppression of the land, a country for the divine. Captured, mocked, humiliated, ridiculed, tortured and crucified as an example. The entirety of his message is over. Killed. Disbelief, shock. I'm just saying, his closest circle swiped the body, continued the myth, grew the faith, established a footing. 

This does challenge the heart of Christianity, but so what? Things have to be challenged, it's how we uncover the truth. Indeed, we can say Jesus was resurrected as a concept, and idea, religious or spiritual ethos of their collective which evolved into the church. But, it must be said, his remains didn't get up and walk off! This is not walking dead. Don't you agree? 

Its more plausible that the body was stolen resurrected. The movement was crushed and the crucifixion was a major blow, the body had to go. They had means, motive and access. Christian sources are biased toward the christian narrative. 

Wellbeing: Keeping religion in check, when you are feeling unwell


Wellbeing Duck cartoon drawing

Holy Smokes! Where'd the Miracles Go?

Years ago I was going through a few wacky symptoms and my own unstable mindset, which, unexpectedly, directed me toward our church! Skipping on a little bit, and I found myself literally expecting armaggedon at any moment! At one point, I was convinced of my healing powers and I grew suspicious that I might be an actual incarnation of Jesus. Clearly, I wasn't balanced, and the preacher's never really helped. You see, religiosity and psychological moments of vulnerability, can, being honest here, be an unhealthy combination. Its not about gullability, but rather the strong mental states in which a person can find themselves. Here are a few points well worth consideration if you, or a friend, begin to go religiously unwell. 


Firstly, have you ever wondered why the Bible is chock-full of miraculous happenings, while these days . . . well, there's nothing? Let's dive into that holy world of ancient beliefs and stand firm, armed with logic to keep things fact based:


Back in the Day: Seeing Was Believing

Fair enough, that's respectable given the circumstances, isn't it? Try and imagine a time before science explained everything to us all—beliefs held validity. Ancient Israel was a hotbed of superstition, metaphoric story's were the go to choice for communicating history and wisdom. Today we scoff at burning bushes, talking donkeys, and invisible presences, it's all b******s for many of us today. However, with respect, it's no wonder miraculous signs and omens were once legit. 


Fast Forward: The Rise of Our (so-called) Reason

Nowadays, we have the merits of employing microscopes and whatnot. We have feasible theories, justified manners of investigating or respected explanations for most ancient mysteries. This new direction in scientific inquiry does make us a tougher crowd to convince; claims of an ark constructed to house two of every species on the planet becomes rain off a ducks back for many of us. It's fair to presume this is why miracles have been dropped these days? Personally, rationality helps to keep us grounded when that obsessive religious fervor awakens to dress your cognitive dissonance in finely woven interpretations and vague scholarly concensus. 


Mental Health: Not So Heavenly

It is important to remember that modern diagnosed psychiatric conditions did not exist back then. What a rabbi or a roman apothecary might have called demonic possession was most likely something resembling a familiar condition like an aggressive type of psychosis to medical science, for example—there's so much choice! We don't know if Moses had mood instabily or if Jesus was on the spectrum, we can never know; posthumous diagnosis is impossible, given that written sources about these events and characters were compiled years later! Imagine how easily superstition and mental ill-health may well have influenced the ancient paradigm and consequential scriptures and manuscripts. 

Angel complaining

Christianity the Actual Religion: A Double-Edged Sword

Let's be honest, Christianity's history misses all that love and forgiveness it preached. Persecution, anyone? There is quite a bit of bad stuff: castrati, witch-hunts, they burnt Joan of Arc, and a few others. We mustn't forget those horrible child cases, and that whole 'wealthy Catholic Church' thing? Google that and click the National Post article about the churches wealth. Yeah, not a great look.


Jesus: Man, Myth, or Messiah?

Let's drop the miracles for a sec and focus on the historical Jesus. Scholars and evangelicals alike will always debate the details, but most agree, Jesus was a real man, a human being, and he preached. I think he could've been a cult leader of sorts, I don't know. His ideas were a bit radical, somewhat nice sounding and early followers were enthused by his message of God's coming kingdom (Mark 1:14-15). They awaited this literal earthly reign, but it went unrealized. This fact is usually swept under the carpet, or apologists talk it down. Be that as it is, Jesus being the only son of God doesn't logically follow, even more so if he was initially some kind of sacrificial lamb for the chosen people. Why? Well, how'd that work for them?These people lost their holy land because of diaspora, and then they suffered two millenia of persecution from Christians and Muslims. It makes me think of what happened in the second world war. Why would an Almighty being need a spokesman, anyway? Appear in the sky or something! It is kind off weak isn't it? 


Early Church in Fighting & Drama

After Jesus suffered his dramatic tortuous death nailed to his cross, his brother James took control; he must have been mad! What a death wish! Later, James ran the Church of Jerusalem, inspiring different groups of early christians who sprouted into the fold. One of the earliest were the Ebionites, who often recognised Jesus as more human than a divine person, there were always new concepts of Jesus. Surprise, surprise! Well that had to change! The fancy Church Fathers disapproved of that and called the lot heretics! Like modern apologists. Holier than though, the lot of em! Then those nutty gnostics started to pop up all over the place with their own so-called improved brand of Jesus! The key thing is, does it make sense that the main emerging orthodox church of the era was mostly non-Jewish? The entire narrative is based in a Jewish culture but Christianity has no synagogues! What????? 

Angels goofing around on misile

Jesus: The Rebel with a Cause

From a different angle, maybe the miracles were just a metaphor, like I suggested earlier? It is quite respectable to think that Jesus' true power was directly challenging the status quo, the f*****g might of Rome and Israel. His sermons and epithets like 'Son of God' were a thorn in the side of power. I cannot think of a more gutsy move. However, scribes wrote it all down and the narrative was garnished, edited and touched up, and each church developed cultural ideas surrounding it all and bosh!! A new dogma! We influence ourselves with our own fiction. Meditation is healthier than scripture reading. Try Buddhism, well. . . be careful of that one, actually, Zen mindfulness or zasen is good. 


The Bottom Line

Miracles or mental issues? Actual history or edited hype? My answer would be to turn to the mundane, think real life, and visualise the likelihood of an angel appearing on the news after flying into a building Unlikely. We know that even the pope relies on medical science; faith healing hands are not required. This post is scratching the surface; hopefully it will encourage self-awareness so you don't relinquish too much to a strict religious worldview. 

Jesus cartoon on the cross




Is the UK Unhappy?

Feeling Down? Well, if You're in the UK That Makes Sense: It's The UK Mental Wellbeing Ranking Has Fallen! One Nations Misery Is Another One Nations Happiness, Right? 

Pointing at acts of degeneracy

Let's face it, life here in the UK isn't always sunshine and beer gardens. A recent study ranked us second to last in terms of mental wellbeing—ahhh! But before you book a one-way ticket to Benedorm, there's more to this. . . 


The Telegraph points to a few possible culprits we could blame for these collective blues. One big finger points to the internet and social media with its constant barrage of negativity and unrealistic portrayals of perfection. It aided the economic woes that put retail mostly online, providing many thriving towns into empty building projects and charity shop high streets! That's before we even get into culture wars, and wokism. It looks like we're turning into a digitised national echo chamber, teeming with screen addicts, who, on average, now spend less time making the bacon and more time eating it, and then chatting to AI


What new archetypes and identities will arrive soon, digisexual, typophiles? But, come on! we do have a glimmer of hope! We do have regions that actually smashed the ball out of the happiness arena. What should we do to improve our national mood? Well, according to the data, we should simply be wealthy. Sign me up! 


Well. . . we all have our own ideas on how we can be happier, I'm not a community action type of person, and I take pleasure in my self-gratifying dry, grumpy humour. Spending too much time in our so-called happy regions could tip me over the edge. So ask yourselves, how happy are most of us, as Brits, when we are compaining online, or smashing ideas we think are ludicrous? I strive for total disconnection from my community—my house is my castle to keep people out. Perhaps, this happiness study might have to redefine key British notions of happiness, because we are quite unique? Maybe, a little tapped. Our weird irony and paradoxical ways extends to the pleasure in dealing in misery, look what we voted for in 2010 and the drivel we watch on television! This recent research should conclude we are quite well and good with our own special happiness, thank you very much. 

Town alcoholic out of work and pleased he is british




Should Psychiatry Use the Term: Personality Disorder?

Should We Replace the Collective Term 'Personality Disorder' with Something More Sensitive? 

Years ago, when I was a student mental health nurse, I wrote an article for an NHS magazine called Mental Health Practice. It was an opinion piece, reflecting on how careful we should be when labelling a condition as a personality disorder, because, the meaning carries connotations directed at ones sense of identity. It is counter-intuitive given how invalidation itself significantly impacts on people living with these diagnoses. The name of this condition acts like an ongoing trigger of the condition: We can, for example, argue, that borderline personality disorder, alone, is infact, confining a person to their disorder.

A self entitled victim pooping in protest

When a trained psychiatrist labels someone, and, someone who (like everyone) will have their own personality, will feel an unkind impact. Immediately, upon diagnosis, their personality is sort of stamped 'out of order,' you could expect a person might feel frazzled or marginalised, because a trusted source delivered such news. In contrast, it's a bit like the clergy saying your soul is evil, your teacher saying that you're thick. Imagination can take the freshly diagnosed individual to a few unkind places; such terms do reject, ignore or reduce a persons lived experience, which I previously identified as invalidation, a significant thorn in the side of people with problems of which they seek help. We could rename the whole personality disorder umbrella term, using something more fitting, like 'Ingrained Behaviour Pattern' for instance. I wrote this magazine article in a time of active stigma against these particular clusters of conditions. I am unsure if much has changed.


From the magazine:

'IT WOULD be awful to be told that you have a personality disorder. Imagine coming home from seeing your psychiatrist and thinking to yourself: ‘Am I disorderly or is my personality out of order?’' Mental Health Practice. 12, 7, 13-13. doi: 10.7748/mhp.12.7.13.s19


Are my views the same now? Have I changed my mind?

To answer this the way I feel I need to, I might have to go off on one! So imagine a sun-touched golden haired surfer, paddling her solid surfboard in the blue cool sea. Without recognition of what water is, nor any grasp of the concept of swimming, a shark could swim through the water and bite hard into the board crushing it with its powerful jaws. Mechanised and cold, not one ethical thought of doubt crossing it's mind, no fear of spiritual consequence; the clockwork dynamics of reality simply playing out. It's the multifactored determinants of our world that drove the genetic evolution of that shark. Modern sharks instinctively swim, hunt and eat as a consequence of evolution. The natural world, has made many creatures like bio-organic robots. Even us, our lives are dominated by biological pullies and cogs and even much of our human conduct is chemically triggered: Grehlin and leptin regulate our desire to eat and to stop eating, melatonin and adenosine make us tired, cortisol makes us more hypervigilant, do you see where I'm going? 

Shark pooping on small shark

We often describe sharks with vocabulary rich with soulless words, like cold, spiritless monster, we call them the perfect hunters and killing machines. Yet, we cannot for a second see ourselves that way, because, self-evidently, axiomatically, we are alive, and we experience human feelings and human thoughts, which don't exist in a shark. For me, I try to see myself as the awareness of a human and not just the human itself. I am a bit of a mystic, and, I will often slip into the mistake of believing that we are purely our body in the materialistic sense, entirely physical. The human animal, or homo sapien, is just as mechanical as the shark, it hungers, moves, follows desires. Phenomenal consciousness within any form, be it a dog, shark or a chicken, will vary. Going on that, we cannot know subjective sharkness any better than a shark can understand what the human word 'shark' means. 

Cartoon philosophers realise they are drawings

What's this got to do with Personality Disorders? 

It has everything to do with personality disorders because we humans defied the laws of the natural world by denying our own physical instincts full control over us, we developed reason, logic and most of all discipline. Today, we are liberated, resulting with our awareness of what a 'person,' is, from the word 'persona' meaning mask, to appreciate that social etiquette or conduct has become personality. The etymology and development of personality is social, pertaining to conduct and assimilation. It is a mistake to assume your personality is you, rather than your mask or social presentation. This persona is comprised of aspects of the mind, and ones own physical attributes, (namely genetics). Psychiatry should be looking at concepts surrounding social assimilation and ingrained behaviours not highlighting a faulty personality. 


In all thinking creatures, lots of well organised braincells enable higher processing and performance of certain tasks; copious olfatory neurons give dogs their superior sense of smell, sharks can smell blood from miles away, allegedly. As we humans evolved; developing reason, morals, and our arts and sciences, we suffered for it. Humanity tasted death in the form of mourning, impermanence, existensialist fear and we became addicted pleasure seeking behaviours and comfort. Unlike snakes, sharks and chickens who must be much happier than we are, because there is no evidence of them wrestling with nihilistic trappings of athiest philosophy; our, uniquely human words, and complex and stupid ways such as flat earth actvism, our religious teachings etcetera are testament to the fact that we are a species that will define itself. 

A sign holding protester in the dark
To end this madness, let's have a butcher's at thought and mental discipline considered to be causally not of the body: mathematics is not inspired by grehlin or melatonin, disciplined discussions don't usually require lust or violence, and paradoxically, pious meditations and focused expressive arts are often deemed to originate from the self, because practitioners aim for selflessness and union. Self-focus, embracing egotism, and hedonistic living are not helpful for anyone, short term happiness is not they key. I believe people can defeat these challenges.

That little idea is quite sweet. We are not just crude matter, despite it seeming very much so, but we are the experience of it. It's all one and the same. If you've been told your personality isn't quite orderly enough, or you've had social conduct or assimilation issues, you still have the same opportunity as many others to face your challenges. Hopefully with support. 

Do you think the term needs updating? 








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