The term “Neuroception” describes how neural circuits distinguish whether situations or people are safe, dangerous, or life threatening. Neuroception explains why a baby coos at a caregiver but cries at a stranger, or why a toddler enjoys a parent’s embrace but views a hug from a stranger as an assault.

The love of my life (my trouble and strife) thinks that she has heightened neuroception and that I have none at all. I’m almost sure that she has virtually none and that my neuroception is loads better than hers.

Guess what our ‘conversations’ are like.

Bases for Attraction

As I begin to clean the downstairs toilet I think ‘there are more bases for attraction than sexuality’.

I write ‘there are more bases for attraction than sex’.

I search the internet for ‘bases for attraction’ and the jnternet tells me how to get to first base with a girl.

I ask the internet for some different words for ‘bases’ and I am given words about chemistry, architecture, botany, zoology, geometry, surveying and heraldry.

I tap some words onto this screen to form the basis of this post and then watch the cursor blinking at me in a mocking way.

I think that when two people like each other then neither the starting premise nor the end goal of their story together necessarily have to be about sexual contact. This is equally true whether it’s a story of a moment spent exchanging smiles in the street or the story of a consuming relationship spanning continents and decades.

I think that these things can also be bases for attraction:

  • Shared interests (physical, mental, spiritual)
  • Convergent points of view (or divergent points of view of you love alternative points of view (and have found someone who loves in the same way))
  • Loving others in the same way that one loves God. Can we flood people with love in the same way that we would flood God with love? Yes we can. And if we’re not flooding God with love, then why not? Doesn’t God deserve that?

This list is not definitive. It doesn’t become complete just because I can’t think of anything to add to it right now.

And now, apropos to nothing, I’m going to go out and cut up the (dead) trees that I felled last month. Do you happen to know anyone who has a spare zero-emission wood-burner? And Freud – if you’re listening – there’s no symbolism involved in my desire to reduce my wood to a manageable size.


Just Musing – don’t bother reading

As regards my new year resolution, I’m not doing so badly, thanks for asking. I set out to notice my triggers and I’ve noticed a couple of them, but nothing didn’t already know about. But what I’ve been pleased about is that I didn’t use those triggers as excuses to jump into incandescent rage (not that I do this very often anyway), so that’s alright. ūüėä I am, that said, quiet today, but that might just be my way to recharge after being with a lot of people (in Worthing and London) over the past few days.

I’m aware I’m being very unspecific here and that bothers me for two reasons:

  1. this post won’t mean a darn thing to me when I read it back at a future days and
  2. I seems to me to be evidence that I’m hiding something from myself and, by extension, you.

Let me think about what I’m trying to hide …

Got it. I’m fed up with the way that I’m conducting my life vis a vis the people around me.

If you’ve ever read any of my posts then I don’t suppose this will come as a big surprise. If you know me at all then you can only be one person: me. If you’re someone other than me then I’m sorry about this post, but hey – look on the bright side: at least I know what I’m talking about now and I’ll be able to relate to this stuff later. ūüėÜ

Happy third of January.

Love has Many Faces – Connected to One

Gody love has made many hearts that had been attached to many relationships (and had been broken into many pieces) become connected to the One. Because here’s the thing – when you connected to many others then you get pulled apart by the tides of their movement. People and things are always moving and when they do, sometimes they move towards you but, more often than not, they move away. And when they do, they take another little piece of your heart with them. But hey, look on the bright side – if you love God instead then your heart is going to stay in the same place and it’s always going to be whole because – you know what? God never changes and always loves and is forever yours. Neat, huh!

Heart Key

Heart Key Ring

Strikes me that there are at least two ways to change the way we communicate, in order to have a better relationship with our significant others.

One way is excruciatingly exhausting and the other is very easy.

First, the difficult way. This path is is the one beloved by marriage guidance counselors and couples therapy experts the world over. Call me cynical, but I suspect that this is because it makes them rich. What am I yapping on about? Yep, you guessed it: talk more.

To be fair, it’s not just about saying more words, it’s about saying the right words, and it’s about listening too. And don’t get me wrong, it’s great in theory, but in practice – it can be exhausting. I mean, who knows about anyone to be able to say the right thing to them?! Heck, I don’t even know what to say to myself most of the time!

Which bring me nicely on to the easy path. Done properly (with love) this is a method that has the potential to stop each and every argument dead in its tracks. It is guaranteed to prevent you from putting your foot in your mouth (again), saying the wrong thing (again) or winding your partner up  beyond their breaking point (yet again).

It’s short (almost brutally so) and therefore easy to remember. It’s simple to apply and so it’s open to anyone. And it’s effective in any circumstance, when used compassionately.

What is this method? Well I’ll tell you immediately after this short break:

Here’s the advice: STFU already!

About People and Communication

It strikes me that I don’t so much want to write as to get my thoughts down in writing and share them with the world. Do you want to do that too? Are we in the same boat?

Or perhaps I don’t even want to extend my reach to the whole world. Possibly I just want to find people who are interested in me. But then, when I do, that kind of gets me into trouble. I’m already in a committed relationship and I don’t need another one. I confuse talking with intimacy. I confuse people on the other side of the internet with friends. I confuse friendliness with something deeper. In short, I’m kind of screwed.

It crosses my mind that I might not be able to interact with real (in the flesh) people and so I talk to strangers instead. But that’s not true. I interact with real people very easily when I want to. But they’re a bit too close. I think that perhaps I need the protection of a few thousand miles. I need distance for closeness to work.

Why am I saying this? I really have no idea. I’m writing this to several people at once (I know who they are in my head) and I’m talking to you (yes, you) but I’m also talking to myself too.

I’m also listening to Dummy, which is an album by Portishead. You should give it a listen.

And that (this) is how not to end a post.


Michael / Imago – Relationships

The Cast:

Michael is one of a cast of three and he is the binding agent; the one in the middle. The other two characters are The Writer (shall we call him Harry?), and Joan (latterly known as Sister Joan). There are one or two bit-parts, but they are merely walk-ons that elicit remarks that pertain to the plot and have no other part in the story.

The Story (the events in order):

Michael knew Joan when they were children and he was more than a little in love with her. Her family moved away and they lost touch until Michael went to the University of Sussex to pursue his Masters in Theology. He found that Joan was enrolled on the same course and that her family were living in that area. They became a couple, she introduced him to LSD and they got high together. M was not really into it, he was into her. Unfortunately, he became addicted and, because she cleaned up with the aid of the small tortoiseshellPoor Clares (an order of nuns), they again lost contact. Michael cleaned up too and remained obsessed by her. M¬†dropped out of University and¬†embraced the life of a¬†homeless and solitary¬†traveller and that’s the last J knew of him because she joined the closed community of nuns. She retained, though, feelings of guilt about M and blamed herself for his state. What she did not know is that he was clean and his mental state was due to an organic condition unrelated to the drugs. He settled down eventually on the steps of St Michael le Belfrey in York and continued with his twin obsessions of Joan and transcendence through suffering. Oh, this is all so very unlikely, but not all of it will come out in the story. Most of it will be inferred by the reader (if they choose). A writer (Harry) happened along and saw M as a beggar and decided to help him by interviewing him and then giving him the result as a booklet that could be sold to¬†the public instead of begging.¬†This somehow released¬†M from his mental prison and allowed him to open up in a stream-of-consciousness (SoC)¬†kind of a way. H edited the resulting text, but when he tried to deliver it to M he was gone with only a butterfly in his place.

The Plot (the events rearranged for dramatic effect):

  1. Sister J in nunnery praying for M (Michael/Imago (New Beginning))
  2. H interviewing M on the steps:
    • M talking (SoC)¬†of childhood. Segues into¬†several scenes with strong imagery:
      • 7 Mother punishing cake-eating by locking in cold shed overnight
      • 10 Joan finding and returning¬†him after he runs away
      • 15 Joan’s family leave
    • M talking (SoC)¬†of¬†university. Segues into¬†several scenes with strong imagery:
      • 21 Joan¬†meeting M at uni
      • 22 Joan introducing M to¬†drugs
      • 23 J & M taking drugs regularly
    • M talking (SoC)¬†of¬†cleaning up. Segues into several scenes with¬†strong imagery:
      • 25 Joan cleaning up and becoming nun
      • 26 M cleaning up and becoming homeless
      • 30 M diagnosis of … something that makes him¬†withdrawn
    • M talking (SoC¬†/ lucid) of seemingly random things that mean little to H but are important to the plot:
      • 47 Feelings for Joan – tenderness and wanting to take away her guilt (she thinks …)
      • 47 (lucid) – get this to Joan. Poor Clare.
      • 47 (SoC) – butterfly babble. Imago.
  3. H returning to the steps and finding M gone. Sees first butterfly of spring.

My approach to characters:

I tend to write about characters based on the kinds of people I see every day. I write about what I imagine they do, say and think. My stories are extrapolations based on what I see people do, what I say to people around me (or what I would say if I were bold) and what I think about (or imagine others to think about). They tend to speak to each other about normal, everyday things, act in ways that are realistic within their environment and think of things in a rather deep way rather than about shallow things. Their intentions and actions are towards harmony and resolution even though they may have problems at the beginning of the story.

This story is typical of my approach to life. Do you think I’m putting myself into my stories too much?


This is all connected to anything you see on this blog about Michael or Imago. Here are some links for you to investigate further (one of them leads to this post):

Remembered and Forgot

I remember when there was nothing to remember. I remember a time before it was necessary to remember anything at all Рdays where I just woke and moved and ate and slept without bothering about memory.

We went out to play without thinking about coming back Рour mothers would call us when it was time to eat and when it was time to sleep again. We lived like that Рfrom second to second.

I remember the times when the more we played the less we would bother about the effect we had on the people around us and the animal ways they had of making us feel that we should not be reading and playing and enjoying ourselves. Even now, as I write, I should not be writing – I should be working. I am taking ten minutes out to do this and I feel guilty.

I never felt guilty as a small child. I remember that.

Growing up is a matter of learning rules. Rules to bind us to places and people. Rules to keep us safe. Rules to keep us driving down an endless highway that can only lead to one place, and it ain’t Santa Monica, California.

I remember when I didn’t have to look up things on the internet before I gave my sage opinion about this and that. The internet has¬†become a manifestation of just another rule.

I wish that I could break all these rules but they are bound too tight about me.

Oh look. Do you see that? A forbidden subject has flashed into my mind Рsuicide!

It occurs to me that the only way to break all the rules is to kill oneself. Rules can’t bind me from the other side of death.

I say that and then I think ‘I don’t know that for sure.’ And I guess that it’s this uncertainty that keeps most of us bound to this plane, this existence, this set of rules.

But I’m going to break all of those rules.

I don’t remember the way that your hair fell across your face – was it to the left or to the right. Why does this seem so important to me now, of all times – just as I’m about to leave?

It’s been hard thinking about you recently. I seem to remember the good things along. I only seem to be able to remember your kind eyes and the way made me feel when you did something nice for me, like wrapping your arms around me when I was cold, or blowing flies out of my eyes when they flew in there.¬†It seems like they were¬†always getting in there.

I should be remembering the thing you did that got me annoyed – like the time you … But I just don’t remember them.

I guess that’s why I’m choosing to leave.

You always said that I needed a balance. And I never listened. I ought to have. I still need to now.

If I could only remember the scorn in your eyes as you watched me that day. But which day?

If I could only bring your¬†mean streak to mind. But I can’t.

God, I miss you so much!

I’m going to go now. A world without your ever-constant smile, without the kindness that never failed me, without the feel of your fingertips against my cheek – that’s not a world worth living in.

I’d write you a note – something just for you, but I know that it’d just fall down the back of the sofa and get lost, or accidentally get burnt on the cooker. I’ve seen you do that to letters, and not just the red ones that demand and demand and demand more and more from you until there was¬†nothing left but a cold look on your face. But I don’t remember that look. I don’t remember your pain. I don’t remember.

So instead of a note, I’m sending this message into the world instead.