I am Delusional

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


9 thoughts on “I am Delusional

  1. What I’m learning as even I turn 60 soon, is that generosity is never bad, but we need to protect ourselves and stay on our own true and enlightened path. Writing is a wonderful way to dispel demons and enlighten others as well as leaving a truly lasting legacy. Focus on what you’ve done and overcome and life will be bright again.

    Love, Godma

  2. Shine the light J. Think you have a very good sense of things and there isn’t a person alive, who won’t identify with some part of your story. And I maintain, better out than in. So staring at the ceiling may not have been formal practice, but then what is formal practice, especially when it yields such clarity.

  3. Jamison,

    I am glad that you have made this realization. I am also glad to hear that you are sharing your story with us. As Godma said, … Focus on what you have done. Remember compliments and forget insults. Jamison, you’re doing really good work. Keep it up!

  4. My dear, dear Jamison–

    This frustration is somthing I battle with constantly. The only thing I have to say– and I say this to myself– it’s so easy to judge ourselves at any instant. The only way I’ve found to subdue the ego’s attachment to shame is to cultivate compassion for all instances in the past, in the future, right now, when you’ve felt shame. This process always invevitably makes me cry– I just begin to feel such a sense of love for myself and by showing the ego respect, I realize how I’ve allowed it to make me feel like shit. It’s like being nice to a person that’s obviously having a bad day; sometimes your smile is the one thing that will turn their day around. In essence, give yourself a hug and remember, act with impeccability and the ego will gradually release it’s grip on the story its created for you.

    I just heard this really great quote in a song: “I’ve got your memory / Or has it got me?”

    It’s funny; I find myself feeling a little bit of shame whenever I speak about my impression or interpretation of whats happening, especially since you seem to be surrounded by teachers and beings who might be able to put this more eloquently or use timeless Taoist quotes, or whatever…

    I think it also comes down to taking things personally. Shame probably gradually disappears as the boundary between ourSelves and otherSelves dissolve.

    Oh Jamison, again, I say this to myself, to you…when we finally begin to trust, we release our delusions and merge with infinite love and compassion, shame simply bows to the light.

    Love, sophie*

  5. What you see as shame, I see as bravery.

    I wish everyone in the world had the courage to look within themselves and try to learn how to love their “self” for what they are and not what they think they are supposed to be.
    I’m very proud of you for recognizing your need to self investigate and I don’t believe for any minute that there is a right or wrong way to do it. The fact that you are doing it is the whole point.
    I can’t wait to talk to you about this journey in self-enlightenment more in depth upon your return.
    Keep up the tough work & be well

  6. Dear Jamison – I am deeply moved by your incredibly insightful, brave posting, and, as always, greatly impressed by your intelligence and wisdom. It has been my observation that everything happens for a reason. Even those things that we perceive at the time as negative often ultimately prove valuable. Maya Angelou said “I can be changed by what happens to me, but I refuse to be reduced by it.”

    So examine your life – so far – and use the brightest light you need to see it. But as you do so keep your Godma’s words in mind – “focus on what you’ve done and overcome.” And listen to Maya – refuse to be reduced by any of it.

    You are a remarkable, extraordinary young man. I look forward to sharing your journey, and to more long talks when you visit.

    Love, Uncle G

  7. Jamison, your writing is beautiful and touching. You have a gift. Everyone needs to take their own journey through self truths at some point (or sometimes repeatedly) to be able to appreciate and experience all that we are. Not many people have the talent to put words to their feelings as you do. There is poetry in your pain. xo

  8. Jamison,

    Good luck on your quest – it’s not an easy one. Permit a few comments from the peanut gallery. One, we’re human and we all make mistakes – and we all have regret for those mistakes. Two, you’ve had advantages in your life but you’ve also had challenges that have flowed out of some of those advantages – no one has walked in your shoes – so don’t be too hard on yourself. Three, you’ve got something basic going for you that a lot of people don’t have – friends and family who love you. So, good luck on your journey and look forward to seeing you when you get back in the Western Hemisphere.


    Aunt Cathy and Uncle Dennis

  9. Pingback: About Jamison, by Jamison (Experiment) | ~ jamison ; wiggins

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