Some music

As a person who listens to music during most of her free time, I really value “the good stuff”. For me it’s mostly progressive rock/metal bands like Tool, Rishloo and Opeth. But today I wanted to write about a band that I finally got to see performing live in a festival – Stoned Jesus. They come from Ukraine, their genre is mostly stoner rock/sludge. The sound is amazing. During the festival they played one of my favourite songs – “I’m the Mountain”. Mighty Gods. Such a wonderful song. So well written. I think I got high just from listening it (and I think I’m getting a little bit high just from thinking about it as well). Especially live. Give it a try:

I’m The Mountain (Youtube link)

During the concert I just spaced out. It felt like the music was flowing through me (I told you that it felt like being high!). I danced as if it was a ritual, all the people who were at the concerts were connected and performing the ritual together.

So, yes, I get dissociated easily, but this time only showed how consuming this music is. I also recommend to listen to their other songs like “Stormy Monday” or “Indian”. Simply wonderful.

High on the mountain,

Copper

From Analytical Psychology

The works of Carl Gustav Jung always astonished me. After reading his “Memories, Dreams and Reflections” I had a great list of books that I just had to read. Sadly the list is moving really slowly. A month ago I read his “Psychology of the Unconscious” and it opened my eyes to so many things. I really was intrigued by his explanation of neurosis – that it has a purpose to get some sort of a result, for example, a woman afraid her husband might leave her for another has these neurotic phases, pleading her husband to be by her side, to save her, to take care of her and not to leave her. The husband will feel guilty if he had even the slightest thought to leave his wife. He sees how ill she is and how much she needs him. Unfortunately to all the “neurotic people”, at the end this works in the opposite way – after many times when the husband is put into a role of savior and nourishment (a neurotic person becomes like a small child), he will be fed up with it. How long can you act as a mother to a grown up infant? The husband needed a wife, maybe he had a mistress but that happened for a reason as well – maybe just midlife crisis, or maybe the relationship was just getting cold and the husband needed someone to look at him and see a man, not a care-giver. I’m not saying that it is the woman’s fault her husband needed a mistress but I’m saying that the fault might fall on both of them.

So, what did I learned from this? I’m not neurotic, but as a girlfriend, I used to mistreat my boyfriend by blaming him for no actual reason, getting mad at him for no reason and even having some small heart beat issues after that (of course, only when my boyfriend was with me). Saying that “for no reason” I mean, that there was no reason for the reaction of this kind and strength. I mean, that a normal person would react in a less dramatic way, maybe he even wouldn’t react. But I did. And I would always understand a few hours later what happened wrong, so I would apologize and apologize to him for my mistakes. I always thought that my “little neurosis” came as a result from my complexes, childhood problems and that it was a normal reaction for me that I couldn’t change or alter. And it felt like that, I just get so angry that to think straight would become an impossible thing to do. Somewhere deep I would understand that my boyfriend is not the reason, but the thought was just too weak. I would still feel that he is guilty for not understanding my childhood issues and saying or doing something that would make me react like this. After reading the book I understood that I shouldn’t be looking to my behaviour like this:
Some bad stuff in my past —> my “neurotic” reactions to regular things

but I should be looking at it like this:

My “neurotic” reaction —> result: my boyfriend feels really guilty

And I started to be very conscious of my behaviour, I wanted to prove myself that I was not wrong, that it is not about my boyfriend. But it was. One evening we got into a fight, and again I started it for something really insignificant, trying to convince him that behind his actions lies deep hatred for me (my choices made our relationship really complicated, half of the year it is a long distance relationship) and when he didn’t admit his anger, my heart started skipping beats resulting in lose of breath, chest pain and blurred vision. My boyfriend thought that it was his fault for causing me this pain and he was agonizing inside not being able to help me. And when I came back home, everything ended. No more pain or shortness of breath. Then I realized everything – I am causing myself all of this pain, I am making myself ill to make him feel guilty about it, to make him take care of me. And actually, somewhere deep I felt that it is his “fault” that we are together and it is his “fault” if everything falls apart. This struck me hard. I felt really bad, ashamed. I explained everything to him and apologized even more than ever. And since then I am controlling myself. Even if I start to have this “neurotic phase” again, I just stop it with the thought that I can get better results by talking to my boyfriend about what I need and what I feel than making him feel guilty for not understanding that telepathically.

Mine is only a small example what might be causing people to act out like this. I believe that everyone might have a quite different structure and can seek a different result. Or maybe the causes are not so different. Freud explained neurosis through sexuality, Adler through the need of power, but Jung put everything really well into one idea – both Adler and Freud were wright, it is just a point of view, a way to find the system of the behaviour (and different ways are more easily accepted by different people) and then it is easier to search for a solution, for the way to change.

“Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment.” — Lao Tzu

For the enlightment,

Copper

Free at last

Yesterday was the last day of my summer job. I was working as a waitress-bartender in a small Cuban bar for a minimum wage. It was my first job and I am grateful to the owners – they taught me everything I know about making cocktails and ‘mixology’. However, I am so glad to be out of there. I think I learned a very important lesson working for these people – people with power over others can get carried away easily. Everything depended on the mood of my boss – when he was in a good mood, he talked to me like he was my teacher, tried to share with me his knowledge of how he became an owner from a simple bartender boy. However, when his mood was not as cheerful, he would find how to shout at me or my co-workers, how to insult us. He would gladly talk about how I don’t think rationally, how I don’t understand the way the world works, how I will rot working in a lab earning even less money than I did at the bar. He was the one paying me money so he acted as my owner not just a boss. A few times I grew tired of his insults so I talked back to him just protecting my name not insulting him back. It didn’t work, I don’t really think he listened. So I learned to listen with an emotionless face. I think that scared him a little bit. Or maybe my face was not as emotionless as I thought. People tend to say, that I look angry when I don’t even notice that.

A few days before I left, the cleaning lady/kitchen helper didn’t show up to work. She was a friend of mine so I texted her, was everything ok. She texted me back, that she had some heart problems and was going to the doctor later that day. My phone was standing on a small table were all the waitresses put their stuff. My boss saw my phone light up when the text message came and he saw who it was from. He came to me shouting, that I shouldn’t have business with other co-workers if they start skipping their duties. I said that I just asked her if everything was alright. He shouted that it is not my business and asked me what the cleaning lady answered and would she have a doctors note for this. I said that she was going to a doctor and he left me alone for a while. Then he came back to lecture me that I am naive and stupid to believe that everyone is telling the truth and that by showing my authorities that I actually don’t despise the cleaning lady (the boss and his wife really don’t like her, they blame her for not doing tasks that I see her do everyday…) I prove them of being not loyal. At the end he just told me that people are never equal, she is a cleaning lady because she didn’t have aspirations in life and because she didn’t work hard enough to reach for something more. And that is her fault. Why others should help her now?.. I just nodded and got back to work. Yes, this was the hateful part of my boss, probably he was not accepted by his friends in school or abused by his father. Otherwise it’s really hard for me to understand that anger for others, that deep necessity to be better than others… Anyway, after our little ‘discussion’ I found out that during lunch time (when the whole bar is crowded with people) I will have to wash the dishes and boss’s wife will be in my place. This wasn’t the way I imagined a waitress’s work, but I didn’t argue. After that I got some more assignments – to clean the bathroom’s sink, to sweep the floor and even to clean some waste from the repairing of the sinks (macroflex, if you heard of it), that stuck to the skin of my hands and took two days to peal off (the boss gave me some gloves but they were with holes and helped only a little bit).
My normal duties were very broad – from just regular waitress-bartender stuff like attending customers, making cocktails, taking orders, cleaning the bar’s surfaces and etc. to carrying heavy tables every Friday to the kitchen (the tables didn’t fit through the doors, so we had to lift them in a very uncomfortable way) and carrying them out on Mondays or cleaning up after the boss (if he makes himself a drink in the bar, he always leaves every utensil he used dropped anywhere he liked at the moment). I did everything the boss or his wife asked me. But maybe I crossed the line where I should have just stood up for myself and said “no”? How much do I have to sell myself? Yes, I needed a job, but I didn’t need it so desperately. They could have fired me for not obeying and the other employers would know that I was disrespectful, lazy or something similar. And shouldn’t I defend my co-worker if she is falsely blamed?

I know that a lot of people deal with this. And I am definitely sure that my boss was not as terrible as many others are. So the society forces us to obey, nothing new. If your job is important to you, you cannot overthrow your boss’s power. You depend on him.

I’m glad that some people don’t get lost in authority and still act as human beings with their employees. I promise to myself, if it happens to be that I get some power over other people, I will resist becoming a monster as much as I can. It’s easy to get used to let out your anger on the people who are “below” you when they can’t fight back. And it is hard not becoming too soft when your employees will start to use you as a weakling, so it is easy to “overdo” trying to be authoritative.

Can I change my boss? No. But I can change my own opinion about leadership. I hope that if my next boss is similar to the first one, I will do better dealing with him the same way as with others who channel their anger on innocent people – don’t give them the pleasure by becoming a victim, by letting them put you down. I will still stand for others and, yes, naively hope that they would stand for me as well. Maybe they won’t, maybe they will, but I will be able to feel not as a worthless sold-out but more as a truthful person. I know that people have reasons for their actions, some maybe are similar, some different. But having a reason doesn’t make you innocent of your crimes. You can understand others, know that they are just weak, trying to defend themselves, but it is hard to forgive.

Where do you put the line between your values and obeying?

Finally free and jobless,

Copper.

The red of Copper

Today I start writing this blog. It is an interesting thing – you are reading this and you don’t know who I am. I won’t introduce myself, I want to stay hidden in this small internet chamber and speak freely. An alternate ego? Why not. Just for the sake of providing a way for you to write “sincerely” at the end of your letter, call me Copper. I don’t feel like I’m not worthy enough to call myself Silver or Gold, I just think that Silver or Gold have their worth for their shinny surface, that is merely affected by air and water (and for their ductility and malleability but copper is also good for shaping). I am not a shinny person nor am I immune to forces of my surroundings. That’s why I chose red of the copper.

My plans of writing are quite vague at the moment. I feel that I have a lot to say about what I experienced and how I’m going through my life. Science and art are also my deep passions, so I plan to write some reviews of articles and experiments as well as literature, music and paintings. However, I still think that the majority of my posts will cover insights on self-development and psychology.

Maybe it’s easier to say what you won’t find in here – politics, economics or pictures of food or cats. Sorry for the disappointment.

Until we meet again,

Image

Copper.