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My Winning a War with Mental Can'titis in Pursuit of Self-Advancement

Val is a self-made out-of-box thinker and individualist de-hypnotized from social brainwashing advances.


People who appear to be resisting change may simply be the victims of bad habits. Habit, like gravity, never takes a day off.

-- Paul Gibbons

Nothing but Some Necessary Bragging

An old maxim says: "He is not a conqueror who conquers cities -- but one who conquers himself".

So, call me a conqueror, lol!

Actually, I just might deserve it, after all those countless hours -- rather call them years -- of a Spartan stoicism, self-discipline, and persistence which I hadn't known I had before the time came to apply it.

Being a pragmatic version of a studious dude heavily into exploring my unused potential, I extracted whatever appeared usable from those thousand non-fiction books. The ones that I often mention in similar articles, whenever I want to impress the reader about how smart ass I am.

Those practices and exercises have been many -- some exotic, one would see them as belonging to the New Age spirituality stemming from Eastern mysticism; others belonging to that ultra-new movement in science bearing somewhat similar name -- New Edge.

At places, they seem to blend into one fund of knowledge, since many a proven scientific tenet of study is like echoing the ancient teachings, just explained in terms of solid science.

So, here is the short version of the list of my practices:

Meditation and kundalini, to expand my consciousness; sound frequencies to synchronize my left and right brain hemispheres; self-hypnosis, to establish cooperation between my conscious and subconscious mind; Brahman's fear killer pranayama, to massage solar plexus with its network of nerves; Sedona method, to release negative emotions; personal sovereignty, to de-hypnotize me from social suggestive advances; est, to instill sense of responsibility for my inner reality, bliss-at-will...etc.

Am I bragging here?

Of course, how else could it possibly be explained by any deep thinking person. LOL

Well, there have been others, like qigong and its Small universe meditation, silent belly laughter, Emotional Freedom Technique...and those top shelf sciences like epigenetics, neuroplasticity, and psycho-neuro-immunology, from which I have learned some of the best things about human potential...just to add these few more --specifically for those who still don't see me as a bona fide smart ass.

Take it as you wish, and we can joke about it all we want, but without mentioning the above list, this article wouldn't make any obvious sense. Namely, I had to present these practices to make understandable why there was something like a need for any "conquering" at all.

Those practices were a tall order, and the resistance had to be commeasurable, as it really was, in retrospect.

Now, many will ask, why bother at all doing any of it? Why not just let myself be as I was -- meaning a regular, normal dude, enjoying a cold beer while watching football game -- maybe even with a joint in another hand guaranteeing an instant bliss --instead of any crazy mental exercises to produce a bliss-at-will.

Well, I guess, for the same reason why an athlete is not content with being able to carry grocery bags upstairs from his car, and a culinary chef is not satisfied with knowing how to make an omelet.

So, I also had to jump on the bandwagon along with many thousands of others of the similar mentality in this world, and turn that shitload of books with their challenges into a way of life.

My chosen life.


Meaningful, lasting change only happens when the pain of the status quo finally outstrips the fear of the anticipated pain of the change we seek.

-- David Taylor-Klaus

Inner Spoiler, That Ugly Bastard

Maybe I was merely lucky to have been born with this insanely beloved creative curiosity. And maybe it computed itself in my mind in the process of reading all those challenging books.

Be it as it may, but it does feel natural to me, together with that need to pull myself by bootstraps out of my mental automatisms. Maybe my innate peripatetic, gypsy, unpredictable, and extremely flexible mind had everything to do with it.

Some people undertake any of those practices and mindstyles motivated by the need to get rid of their possible anxieties, depressions, phobias, or other shitty dispositions that bother them.

I didn't.

With my phlegmatic temperament, I could have spent the rest of my life letting all my flaws just be. But I didn't. I got so freakishly inspired to challenge my limits, to find out what else I could be, what other models of emotional experiencing I could construct out of thin air.

And I knew the road was going to be bumpy, and I would be perpetually hurt by thorns before being able to enjoy the smell of roses.

The name I gave to that natural inner resistance to change was "Spoiler". You know that inner bastard of the voice ever ready and willing to sabotage, thwart, belittle, do anything against some heroic intentions that you may have had.

That Spoiler's main emotional weapon I named "can'titis", to sound like a damn sickness, for it surely feels like one, once that you declare a war to it.

Each and every time I would undertake to perform something from that list, it would have raised its ugly head. Was it sheer stubbornness, spitefulness, pissed persistence -- rather than something more dignifying like a "spiritual call" -- which made me go on?

For, at one point I thought I would have died of spiritual shame had I quit against that robotlike idiot in me knowing only how to replay things over and over.

That emotional can'titis would quickly find its equivalents in a whole battery of discouraging ideas, like:

"Come on, Val! What are you trying to do here, man? Be like any other Catholic and just pray for your miracles, don't torment yourself with this crap! What do you think you can accomplish anyway? Really...what if it backfires in some way?...what if you go nuts much more than you already are?...what if you get a nervous breakdown pushing yourself like this?...hey, it's new...NEW, NEW!..."

Well, now you know why there had to be a war.

That can'titis had to be defeated in me, and only a cold steal of sheer willpower could do it; not some friendly persuasion, begging, that kind of chickenshit.

And I was all up to it, those four decades ago. Young, still full of those good youthful hormones, with a vivid imagination of what a total freedom would feel like.

Yes, freedom was that magic word that gave me wings. I was so painfully aware of my autopilot and its slavery to the collective consciousness of this brainwashed world where one thinks and hundred just copy.

Someone said: "If you want to think like a genius -- start using your own mind".

Becoming genius was out of my ambitions -- albeit it sounded delicious -- but using my own mind was definitely a goal worth pursuing.

For, at one point of a decent and deep introspection, I was horrified by realization that I was only believing how it was my free will -- nope, even that notion of a free will was a part of the collective mind.

I had to feel that freedom on my gut level.

And then I did it.


Most suffering comes from the failure to adapt and a resistance to change.

-- Debasish Mridha

Then Breeze of Peace Dispersed the Smell of Gun Powder

Now, rewinding to those times, all meditative practices from that list were much, much, much easier than those that required the mobilization of will power.

Sitting down with eyes closed and practically more undoing than doing anything new, was a sheer joy. Here I mean Sedona method of releasing, meditations, self-hypnosis, silent belly laughter...that stuff.

As a matter of fact, applying will power in the above activities would have defeated the purpose, and actually helped my Spoiler to sabotage it. Indeed, you don't "will" yourself into an absence of intention -- even sounds ridiculous.

But then, it was an altogether different ball game with applying will power. That focus had to be ensured; that sense of direction and a merciless cutting through the crap of invading thoughts and bodily sensations which all had to be totally ignored, along with all input from perceived environment.

I had to be all in my head, bodiless, nameless, a nobody, just a stream of will taking me where I wanted to go and making it ever bigger and stronger.

Like my blissfulness-at-will for example. Nothing but ecstatic wave after wave flooding my all personal space was allowed -- which later on made me give it the name "orgasmic spirituality".

That continuum brought one victory after another, until the stallion named Spoiler surrendered to my will, dropping its weapon can'titis.

The joy of inner peace was almost unbearably divine.

Somewhere within these lines or between them there should be hiding that question of: who the hell am I after all this?

People are so used to identifying themselves with their "stronger" attributes, that they may totally miss what could be the only logical identity of me after all this being practiced, and so much of it being mastered.

They won't understand that a mentality like that cannot be labeled by its "stronger", or any other attributes.

I am not any of it. The whole thing would be a filthy lie if my sense of identity got affected by my advanced practices. Like that monk in Tibet, the deeper he is sinking into his essential humanness, the less important he feels.

So I am just this old fart, having a simple life in a one bedroom apartment that I rent with my wife who is my teenage sweetheart, with a son and a daughter in their fifties who call me their best friend ever; and driving my second-hand Toyota.

By all criteria of this western world, I am nothing, a nobody.

And as a writer, I am trying to use my English-as-my-second-language after Croatian which is my native language -- and perfectly aware that my traffic is a reflection of the use of my English -- plus my controversial niche.

Namely, I just love writing satires, bringing out the silly aspects of the cultural paradigm. As soon as you dare to touch those taboos like religion, politics and limitations of medical practices -- you have minimized your chances of popularity.

And then, on top you keep reminding people of their mental laziness and their being brainwashed automatons -- and they even start avoiding you with a passion, not only with indifference.

But it's O.K., I don't have to be an online favorite -- wouldn't know how to live up to that image anyway -- because for my neighbors I am that funny, friendly guy, always finding something nice to say. How much more one may want for their popularity.

So, who am I?

Who really cares -- just myself.

Oh, I forgot to mention -- but I DID win that war, and I AM a conqueror. LOL!

I hope you may like the attached poem below:

With an Unstoppable Spirit

It takes nothing short of our alive spirit

to have an honest peek into the mind

while being all determined to clear it

of self-tormenting crap of any kind.

Now with an audacity of a ruthless healer

spirit infuses some blissful sensations

at same time acting as a revealer

about absence of its limitations.

And when the mind offers resistance

the spirit goes on, not ever giving up

but proceeds with added persistence

with its tough and unyielding cleanup.

Acting as stubborn mule

mind wants to save its crap

making us feel like some fool

attempting to ditch us into its trap.

So it arouses this crazy fear

suggesting what we do is insane

but as our demand is remaining clear

all its wiggling out of it remains just in vain.

For indeed sky is the limit to our free choice

with absolutely nothing standing in our way

when we choose to follow our spirit's voice

new happiness gets born, destined to stay.

© 2022 Val Karas