Friday, 2 November 2007

'Margaret takes everything literally......

The heading of this post is what was said to me today by a guy at work. I pretended that I understood what it meant but the truth was that I didn't. When it was quiet I put a search into Google called 'taking things literally'. What I found out has really amazed me. Taking things literally means not to look for any hidden meanings in things. So that if someone says 'I caught his eye', to take this literally would mean to look for someone holding a physical eye'. As an adult we know that it is a figure of speech but children do not know this. I remember once asking my niece 'when is it bedtime'. She looked at me and with a level of indignation that I found amusing said 'when it's bedtime'. To her bedtime was at bedtime. I have always cringed when I hear adults say something to their children and when I point out how it could be taken up I often get the answer oh he/she knows that I was only joking, I didn't mean that'. I want to scream that children take things literally, they believe what is in front of their eyes and what is said to them for what it is. They don't look for hidden meanings or voice tones that don't reflect what is said.. What is said and seen is what is accepted at Truth.

I know that there are lots of things I don't take literally. This is because past experience has shown me that they are symbolic sentences. I understand that 'I caught his eye' is another way of saying I got his attention. The scary thing for me is that where I can't see that something is not to be taken literally I will go immediately for the literal meaning. So like today, when the guy brought me a cup of tea from the machine and said jokingly that he hadn't spat in it. I immediately looked down into my cup. This was automatic and normal for me and created great hilarity for him. Of course I knew that he hadn't spat into it, but that wasn't strong enough to stop me from doing what came naturally which was to look into the cup. It also prompted the comment about me taking everything literally.

This is exactly like the right brain of a child behaves. The worrying thing for me is that the development of this side of the brain is continuing. As a result the childlike nature of the way I am in life is going to get stronger. I put in a search in Google in ways to change or alter this but of course nothing came up. I have often spoken about how confusing I find the adult world and today I was given an explanation as to perhaps why. Maybe this is what my brother meant all those years ago when completely exasperated with me he said 'you've no idea what you're like do you? I often think back to those words and wonder if it's something like this...the frustration of trying to tease an adult out of a child's brain. Is this why I find it so difficult to initiate a relationship with a guy, I'm just not adult enough. I would give anything for science to come up with a link between the lack of sight in one eye and over activity in the other side of the brain. This would give me so much reassurance.

Walking home from work, I became afraid. Afraid for the future and how my brain is going to develop. I stepped out onto the zebra crossing and there was a red double Decker bus coming. I had a fleeting thought to step out before waiting for the bus to stop and was amazed that such a thought could be there. I waited for the bus to stop and then walked across. I think it was a reflection of what the implications of this insight of taking things literally may mean for me for the future. For a split second I didn't know if I wanted to have that kind of future. It means that I am going to do nothing but stand out if this is the way I am going to go through life. What's worse is that it has been picked up by the guys at work who are having a field day at my expense. I understand now why I don't get jokes quickly because I immediately go for the literal meaning and then the other meaning kicks in. But it's too late because the others have seen that I haven't got the joke. This is quite scary for me. It's on a par with being told as I often do that I am naive. Suddenly the future seems really uncertain. It also explains the 'duh' I often get from my nieces when I don't get something they are trying to tell me.

And yet, this is only going on in my head. I had to call out an electrician today to fix a light socket (it was more complicated than simply changing the bulb, I promise!) Usually these people charge a call out fee. This guy didn't and fixed everything perfectly. I just found a list of numbers, his seemed to stand out so I called him. Then I was in danger of running over my lunch break and ran to the station only to find the train pulling in when I reached to the top of the stairs. So I know that these little messages from the universe are gestures to reassure me and so I relax and trust into whatever is laid out for the future.

When I came home this evening I read a little of the Course in Miracles and suddenly I had a strong and powerful insight. The design of human is different to that of animal because we as humans separated part of our mind off into the ego mind. We separated it off from the spirit mind and made it our creation and in it have invested everything. The guilt that we feel is the splitting off of energy from spirit to form an unreal structure..the ego. Healing is the seeing of this and giving it up so that it can be reunited with spirit.

How do these insights come through so clear, so strong, so powerfully. I think it is because of the right brain consciousness that is receptive to what is in the present. When I read spiritual writings I form pictures in my mind and in those pictures I have perfect clarity and understanding. What I want to do is to communicate the meanings and essence of these pictures in a way that is easy for people to understand. What I interpret these spiritual writings to mean is always and ever my own. This evening though the insight that it is humans capacity to create structures which we then see as real i.e the ego and defend its structure and contents i.e thoughts to the death is an ability that only belongs to humans. This isn't an interpretation on my part. It is something that came through loud and clear. In that instance I saw the consciousness as split. One part is the spirit mind and the other is the ego mind. The ego is dimly aware of spirit which is why it is mega protective and defensive. The spirit is blissfully unaware of ego and so tries constantly get its message of unity and connection through. This message is violently resisted by the ego. All that is happening is that one part of the mind is playing a game with the other. That game is the creation of total awareness.

My manager from the assisting agreement called me tonight to see how I was. I always find the first couple of sentences in a conversation uncomfortable as my brain goes round a race track trying to find the right thing to say. I managed something about being glad it was the weekend. He then told me that he was going to be there tomorrow and would be doing some training with me. This surprised me because I had been given training last week but hey...any training that will make me more effective and powerful so that I can touch and inspire people to gain access to power for themselves, I'm up bring it on.

My mum also called tonight to tell me about cousin's wife funeral. When I asked how her sons were my mum went off into raptures about how 'happy they were, playing with their friends'. I felt like screaming 'look a bit deeper'. Because of the design of human being those boys will have made a decision about what the death of their mother means about life. To make events mean something is the way young children make sense of the world. There is no way they will know how to just make it mean that their mother died without adding anything else to it. That's it. It means nothing more than this. I really don't think that the sensitivities of children are thought about enough. There seems to be this attitude that children and young people are kind of robots that they don't feel anything or think about events that happen in their world. But I guess if this is the way that these adults were treated as children then when it comes to their children then how can it be any other way.

Or maybe it is my right brain consciousness that makes me oversensitive when it comes to children. Why shouldn't children be allowed to feel the same depth of pain when they experience a painful event. Why should it be assumed that just because a child is playing happily with friends that there is not some terrible turmoil going on in the mind. I really resent this bluntness that many adults have towards children. All it does is produce adults who don't acknowledge the emotional needs of their own kids because their emotions were never acknowledged, it may go against the grain to then acknowledge the process in children.

That's my rant over for this evening. It's been a tough week. I have had a level of tiredness at work that I haven't had for a long time. I am becoming more and more aware of how my brain operates differently to others. The tiredness shows me that it is draining me of energy. I know when I am on course because I have loads of energy and am never tired. After I finish my assisting agreement I am bursting with energy and vitality. I know that this is because I have been sharing with and listening to others. This is the only thing that brings any vitality to me. If I think I'll have an early night because I'm tired. I won't wake up more rested the next morning but more tired. The issue is not the tiredness, it is not doing something that I love and am inspired to do. When I doing something I love, there is no tiredness.....


Anonymous said...

Firstly, don't panic. Now, let me make a few points.

What the guy at the office said is true. Anyone reading your blog can tell you are extremely literal from the way you write. For example, you tend to repeat the same term for something (e.g. "the guy from the gym"), rather than vary it; you tend to spell everything out rather than abbreviate, and so on. I think this is because you don't understand how to do it any other way.

You identify with children because you instinctively feel that they think the way you do. You might be mistaken in that belief, especially for older children. Your point about wanting to scream at adults for not understanding the effects of what they say to their children may have some merit, but not necessarily always. Why would you think that you will always understand the effect of what is said to a child by its parent better than the parent would?

You are also overly attached to your left-brain vs. right-brain theory. Do you honestly believe that something as complicated as the human brain can be described in such simple terms? I might add that in this simple theory, a literal attachment to words is "left-brained", but you want to make it right-brained, just because it fits your theory better.

There is something I can suggest, but you might not like it. You could have a very mild version of Asperger's syndrome, or something like it. It might help if you got some help in that area.

If you trust a surgeon to fix your foot, would a psychologist really be so bad? It might not sound like a very attractive suggestion, but doesn't it beat stepping under a bus?

Margaret Dempsey said...

Posting this comment was a difficult decision for me. This was because I was concerned with how it would make me look to those who are reading the blog. But looking good is not what this blog is about and so the comment is published.

I was frustrated that comments so far are confined to human aspects of the spiritual journey. I consider that the spiritual writing is also worthy of a comment, but up to now it's only the clumsy human coating over the spiritual essence that gets singled out.

I have spoken about the three stages of the spiritual journey - 1. know thyself, 2. know THE SELF, 3. know THE ONE. All the daily things I write about the insights I have into myself are all to do with stage 1.

The material I write about connection and not seeing others as separate and in competition - that demonstrates stage 2.

Stage 3 is shown when I write about the deep connection with nature and how I know intuitively that nature is the form of the Divine in all its guises and differences and consciousness with all its variations is the mind of the Divine.

The worst disservice I can do for this blog is to get hung up on stage 1 or allow comments to revolve solely around stage 1. Yes, it's important and it is not possible to know THE SELF or THE ONE until we see the inherent emptiness of THY (individual) SELF but it's only a first stage, NOT the one and only stage.

I now accept that I take things literally. But what is wrong in taking things at face value and not making them mean something else. I write all the time about not letting things that happen in life mean anything more than the event that has just happened. This is in a similar vein. At least I am true to what I write!

I had a real example of how I take things literally in the gym this morning. We were sitting having coffee and one of the guys was talking about climate change. He said 'they needed caterpillars to move the snow in Greece recently'. Immediately into my mind came A picture of the insect and the thought 'how can these tiny insects move snow!!! When I realised that what was being referred to was some kind of vehicle I started to laugh to myself at myself.

This is how I am going to deal with this in the future. I am not going to be upset and make myself wrong for being this way. I am going to be upfront and play with this great gift that I have of taking things literally.

Thank you so much for your suggestion that this quality of taking things literally could be linked to a mild version of Asperger's syndrome. I was amazed when I read this because I remember when I read Mark Heddon's book 'The curious incident of the dog in the night time' identifying so well with the literal way in which the book was written. This book was written from the perspective of someone who has this syndrome.

I am definitely going to check it out. It would make more sense than my left brain/right brain theory which I agree is too simplistic to explain the kind of way I am. If I am overly attached to this theory it is because it is the only explanation I can come up with to explain how I live a life that is relatively peaceful and stress free. I have a deep inner contentment in the midst of all the mental anguish. I am aware of how paradoxial that sounds but this is exactly the way it is.

I was sorry that you picked up my comment about the bus and made it more than it was. I mentioned it as an example of the kind of thoughts that occur in the mind. I was detached from the thought, I knew that I had the thought, but I wasn't that thought. So for me it was only a thought without any power.

For whatever reason I have been given an enormous gift of grace that for me to throw it into the Divine's face by taking myself away from the world before my time is up would be the height of ingratitude. This I will never do no matter how confusing and turbulent my inner life gets.

So once again a comment from 'anonymous!' has pushed me that little bit further. It has been the most challenging of comments to date but not less welcome because of it.