I am delusional because I believe in the myth of my ego, and I am insane because I think my shame is Truth.
Two days ago I lay in a small meditation hut at a Buddhist temple. I hadn’t spoken a meaningful word to anyone in 4 days and hadn’t practiced formally. I just slept and stared at the ceiling. Yet I experienced an epiphany, zeitgeist, light-bulb, “a-ha” moment:
I saw that I am not:
my thoughts or emotions,
my hopes or desires,
my name or money,
my successes and failures,
my cravings or aversions,
my opinions or beliefs,
my shame or guilt,
my body or mind.
Yet even with that Knowledge I continue to believe that I AM a sum of those parts. I’m not my sense of shame, but I act as if I am. More on that later.
However, the true personal insight was simple, practical and straight forward: Shame, like a virus, can be destroyed by the light.
One could call it exposure therapy, but I’m conceiving of it more as an experiment in honesty. Putting words to the insanity must either cure it or exacerbate it; that’s the experiment. And I invite you to be my audience, but I’m not sure if it truly matters whether you’re reading or not. Nonetheless, I’m glad that you are reading, hope you’ll reflect the light back at me and perhaps share in this catharsis.
I choose this because shame cripples life. I exhibit those classic reactions (fight, flight and freeze) whenever shame arises. My default reaction to perceived shame is paralysis followed shortly by fleeing the country. Perhaps that’s why I’ve traveled to over 40 countries? But belief in shame goes deeper: It begins to explain the depression, anxiety, perfectionism, social phobia, alcohol abuse, narcissism, ego-centrism and much more. I write my truths because, “happiness is not ready made. It comes from your own actions” (Dalai Lama XIV). But really, I’m fucking fed up with constantly feeling ashamed.
Now what? Simply put, I resolve to tell my stories to excise the delusion and liberate myself from insanity.
And to keep myself honest, and provide you a teaser, those true story titles might look something like this:
- Surviving Mental Institutions: A How to Manual from My Experience
- Celebrity Rehab
- Drinking Alone: Dissent into the Drink.
- I am a Trustafarian
- 12 years, 5 Universites, Gluttony and a Degree
- A Hedonistic Refugee Fails to Find Happiness
- Peddling Door-to-Door Sales for Love
- Dysentery and Seizures: The Haitian Combo
- Lessons from a Childhood of Manipulating Friends and Family
- A 14 Year Old Phishes the Internet
- And many more.
Because in the end, I am delusional and will be forgotten within a few short generations if not sooner. Will your children write books about you, let alone me? Would it change your behavior if they did? Because as the good Doctor Seuss said, “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
That being said, there will be some explicit and certainly hard to read posts. I will do my best to warn you beforehand, but please unsubscribe if you think it’s necessary. Furthermore, I will respect privacy boundaries as best I can, but ask my friends and family to acknowledge when they feel violated (jamison [at] thewiggins.com).
So that’s it. The comments section is open. The light doesn’t exist without you.
Thank you for reading.
~jamison christopher albert colitti wiggins