Innocence in an Evil World

I only recently started using the term “evil” – previously that word was too loaded for me:  I have Buddhist training for goodness sake!  But, perhaps like you, my bubble has been burst.  Which bubble is that?  The innocence bubble.  Let’s explore this.

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The Innocent

The Innocent is an archetype that everybody can relate to because at one time we were all innocent: open, vulnerable and trusting.  Babies are innocents and for this reason, we (hopefully the majority) want to protect them.  There is something profoundly beautiful about the innocent person.  

In the mind of the innocent, the world is essentially good and people are generally honest.  Innocents trust leaders, government and the general public because it is assumed those mentioned have our best interests at heart.  After all, the innocent believes and wishes the best for others, why wouldn’t everybody else?  

When the world is cruel or indifferent, the innocent naively believes they are the problem.

This is the thinking:

  • The world is a good and beautiful place;
  • People are naturally beneficent and wish the best for others;
  • If people aren’t supporting me or are harming me, the problem must be with me.

It occurred to me recently that the people suffering the most right now are likely those that believe the world operates according to natural (vs. contrived) laws.

  • Those who are trusted are trustworthy;
  • People who do good work, do well;
  • Good people are loved and respected.

And when they do not thrive in this truly backwards, evil, nonsensical world, they assume the problem is within themselves:  “There is something wrong with me.”.  This forms the basis of shame, guilt and hiding.  

But what if these assumptions are incorrect?  What if the people who do the best are the most corrupted?  What if those who receive support are those who know how to play the game?  What if admiration and adoration is given to those who best know how to manipulate?

The more I investigate, the more dystopian this world seems.  Our current world (2021) is obviously run or more accurately, manipulated by psychopaths.  Psychopaths are always harmful and to put it bluntly, they are evil (substitute corrupted or malicious if you don’t like the term “evil”).  What’s “evil”? – that which works against life, by my own made-up definition.  I’ve spent some time investigating psychopathy for my own very good reasons.  We collectively have a big problem on our hands because psychopaths love positions of power and will do anything to claim these positions.

That puts innocent people in a very disadvantaged position.  When you assume that politicians and broadcasters and so-called “leaders” speak from the heart when they say “we’re all in this together”,  you might spend your precious time and energy trying to help others feeling that this is a group effort.  Undoubtedly, it will do you good to assist others.  However, when you spend your time helping everybody, but nobody will return the favour, even under difficult circumstances….where does that leave you?  If you are an innocent –  feeling like you are somehow unworthy of the same generosity of which you are capable of sharing.

Moving out of innocence and into “orphanism”, another archetype (the Orphan) happens in its own time, but often after a major betrayal.  Certainly, recognizing that the world is manipulated by sociopaths will help make sense out of the nonsensical. 

The benefit of this transition to orphanism is savviness, wariness,  self-reliance, and group-reliance.  The orphan stops blaming themselves and starts protecting themselves.  Orphans band together, like the little bandits that they must be.  We are going to see a surge of this archetype surfacing in the next little while.  The outcomes will be interesting.

If you are suffering psychically and mentally, if you doubt yourself, if you feel like you don’t belong….

Know that you definitely belong, beyond that, your heart and your integrity are needed in this world, now more than ever.  The fact that your worth is questioned is evidence of the desire to be good and to do good.  Please, stay with us, just reconsider your premises.

I will write more about the Orphan shortly.  Stay tuned.

Perhaps you’ve heard of the link between depression and inflammation.  This links the immune system with the emotions and the mind.  In reality there is nothing that exists in isolation, separated and not affecting other systems within or without, which is why I very conscious about what I use, buy, eat, consume and put on my body.   Don’t get me wrong, I’m not perfect, I just do my best on most days.  

Inflammation is a normal, necessary, even healthy process instigated by the immune system.  It is going on in some form or another, all over the body, all the time, just in varying levels and degrees.  Inflammation is how we clean up damaged tissues and how we remove invaders.  There are certain white blood cells, proteins (e.g. antibodies) and chemicals (cytokines) that function to get the inflammation rolling.  One thing that often happens with inflammation is degranulation.  Degranulation is when a white blood cell releases its granule (storage) contents into an area.  Degranulation is like throwing napalm but on the cellular level – damage is broad and non-specific.  This chemical assault dissolves bacteria and other invaders along with some of our own cells and tissues.  Obviously, this type of inflammation is important to keep in check. 

Under normal conditions, episodes of acute inflammation are short-lived, e.g. a sprained ankle or a cold or flu.  But most of us are not living under what would be considered normal or healthy conditions in this day and age.  From the food we eat to the air we breath to the cleaning chemicals we use in our homes to the invisible frequencies that surround us – we have a lot of exposure.  The actual effects of all this exposure – that’s a good question, one that remains to be answered because we just do not know.

There are chemicals (cytokines) that signal inflammation and recruit white blood cells.  These chemicals also have an effect on our mood.  Interleukin 8 and 6 for example can cause irritability and depression.  There is even evidence that certain cells in the brain (microglial cells) secrete these chemicals under inflammatory conditions.  The result is inflammation in and around the brain.  These chemicals can certainly affect mood, sleep, appetite and well-being.  

For this reason, when considering the underlying causes of depression, anything known to promote inflammation must be considered.  Some considerations include:  sensitivities, toxicities (e.g. metals and heavy metals) and nutritional imbalances.  Inflammation is just one and certainly not the only cause of depression.

If you would like an assessment, please reach out.

Now, I cannot suggest this scenario is typical or relates to anybody reading this article….but it does seem to be a trend and it is often over-looked.  There aren’t always easy fixes for things in life, but sometimes there are…. This is just one (potentially) easy fix for anxiety.  If you think this might be your situation, look at the list of symptoms at the bottom to see if one or some match your symptoms.

In my world, health and wellness is often simple but not always easy.  Having a healthy, balanced mind is no different.  And let’s be honest, sometimes we’re looking for these really complicated, storied explanations, when the real solution is close at hand.  Here’s what I mean – a physical malposition can create a sense of anxiety.

Hiatal hernias are a very common condition that can create the physical sensation of anxiety, can affect your breathing and also cause heart palpitations.  This is one of the things that I always check during physical exam.  A hiatal hernia occurs when a portion of the stomach goes above the diaphragm.  The stomach does not belong in the chest cavity and when it gets stuck there, it takes up the valuable real estate of the heart and lungs.  This can create a particular type of discomfort, almost like there is not enough room to breath, often interpreted as anxiety.

I’ve treated many hiatal hernias in my career and this fairly straight-forward manipulation can bring a lot of relief.  The other thing that I do when I correct a hiatal hernia is that I ensure the person is breathing in a balanced manner.  Stress and stressful situations will tend to change how we breathe.  This change can actually encourage the formation of a hiatal hernia.   This becomes a self-perpetuating cycle and if not dealt with can recreate the hiatal hernia.

What causes hiatal hernias?  In my opinion the number one cause is stress.  So being aware of  stress and understanding how to manage stressful situations is still necessary and beneficial.  

Common symptoms of hiatal hernias:   

  • sense of difficult breathing
  • heart palpitations
  • easy satiety (can only eat small amounts of food before feeling full)
  • acid reflux or heartburn
  • bloating
  • pain or discomfort at the left upper quadrant of the abdomen or just under the left ribs
  • nausea

Most people with hiatal hernias do not have ALL of these symptoms, but might have one or some of the above.

If you believe this scenario might describe you, I would be happy to investigate and provide my opinion.   You must live in or around Calgary for physical exam, however.  Send me and email or give me a call.