There is an ongoing discussion regarding the causes of personality disorders (according to the Wikipedia article on personality disorders). Depth psychology emphasizes childhood as the key area, psychotherapy emphasizes adolescence and the identity buildup phase, learning models and behaviorists emphasize that personality disorders are something learned. Globally, they are rather complimentary and support each other well, so that the overall impression (without any detailed knowledge) is that personality disorders develop from a complex interdependency of genetic loading and the environment.

I thought about what (simple) illustration to use for such a complex situation, and perhaps the following might serve well for some aspects: there is a solution of a substance that can crystallize. It does not crystallize however unless crystallization seed is there (e.g. some dust particles). Now I compare the crystallization seed with the genetic loading, and the solved substance with problematic aspects of the environment. The environment has, so to speak, the potential to create personality disorders in a limited number of people, by unloading its problematic aspects unto them. The people that get “struck” by the crystallizing substance are those with some genetic qualities (for example less stress resistance, which would, in a healthy world, be just a harmless side-effect of appreciable qualities like high-degree empathy). In terms of system-theory, the different
kinds of personality disorders seem to me the different self-supporting, self-stabililizing programs that are possible to run on the human brain (within a specific social environment).

The interesting thing is now: to a higher or lesser degree, every (or nearly every) person seems to have a personality disorder. If you don’t yet believe that, go through the
list in the Wikipedia article on personality disorders and find out what symptoms fit for you. At least I found myself in this list … (ICD-10 F60.6) and also friends of mine. Now this does not mean that I or any of my readers needs a therapy … the degree might be far lower than what would need a therapy (note that a society assigns therapy only to those that cannot contribute to the society in a meaningful degree any more … society does not want to help you, it wants you as a tool for its own survival). It does however mean that most people don’t reach their highest personal and social potential because they’re in the grip of their rigid, dysfunctional behavior patterns.

Now it is also clear that healthy social relationships and groups have a curative effect on the personality disorders of their members (at least on mild degrees of those). And I count the relationship to God among the healthy relationships, and a healthy church among the healthy groups (which just means that their curative effect is supposedly a social effect, nothing supernatural). There are persons in my mind who indeed got (nearly) healed by long-term (~25 yrs., in one example) involvement with God and a healthy church!! Which does not mean that every relationship to God or every church is such a place. Most churches seem to be infected themselves by some kind of “group disorder”. Which is not the fault of any single person, but a fixed behavioral pattern that develops in a likewise complex interdependency (in this case, of group attributes and environment) as the personality orders do … .

There’s all this hype going on about the “web 2.0”, which is “social Internet”. So how about the version 2.0 update of myself: the social me. It’s long overdue, I suppose. I envision myself to approach my fellow humans directly, audaciously, furiously, and at the same time lovingly, warmly, and heartily. That’s quite the opposite of the current state, the vision of the Different Me … (more Jesus-like, I suppose).

But updating is often a difficult process – at least with computer programs, and with humans also, I suppose. I’ll mention here to things that should belong to this process, taken from my notes on “Personal Life Development”:

Have community by phone calls. Discuss relevant issues for personal life development, and create blog posts from the results.

Have a good conversation every day (>40min), esp. about spiritual and life-practical issues. This should enable a delightful lifestyle independent of what the rest of the day is filled with.

One of the first concrete actions that was coherent with this notes was to go for lunch with a neighbour of mine. Now, we could’ve had an open, honest , helpful conversation as many times before. But I think this time it was my fault that this was not really the case … . Without justifying me, I think that there are causes for my current difficulties: the last three weeks I worked in Frankfurt, and most (not all) conversations with my colleagues had been on a shallow level. We worked on things, so we discussed things. Sometimes my mind wanted to break free from being captured in such a way, but when I was tired from the work I was too tired to even think about something different. When Anna Eleanor Roosevelt said “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”, she missed to mention those who discuss just things … .

So I got acclimatized to small talk, and now I’m reluctant to get honest and open again in conversation, even where I have the opportunity. What a pity! Seems like I will need some more exercise to undo the acclimatization … . Whom am I going to call up now? Let me see …

Note on a style change for my blog posts

As you may have notices, this blog post is shorter, less elaborate and more personal than most of the previous. It shall be the start of a new variant how i use my blog: more in diary style to document and reflect daily events and developments (esp. of personality, as in this one). Such posts might be of worth to myself in the future, also, just as other people use their diary. Another reason is that I’m awfully tired to write sophisticated, highly intellectual posts for many people, of whom most will never read them. (You can see my tiredness from the fact that August 2008 has seen no blog posts at all.) All this thinking had no life-changing effect until now, which esp. means that I did not get to know God better in deed (instead of in speculation). So I’m trying to exchange thinking for action now … .

In addition to my recent article on Amy
resp. her YouTube videos on “emo”
I wondered how an authentic life
with Jesus could be made known to people like the emos, in a way that
would make them take Jesus seriously. Invitations to any Christian
events are useless if there is not already a personal connection. So
what? Here’s a radically different approach to try out. It is an idea
that’s enabled by the rise of the Internet, esp. web 2.0 social
platforms like YouTube.

The basic idea is: come into individual people’s life without any
invitation. Help them where they need help, and call them to Christ.

The practical approach would be kind of the following, and I am
currently inclinded to try that out once my
expedition mobile
is ready:

  1. Get a community of ~4 authentic Christians who are able to deal
    with conflicts quite well, have good social skills and have sympathy
    for every other kind of freaky people.
  2. Get a community truck, e.g. the expedtion mobile I mentioned.
    This will be the permanent living place of the community.
  3. Search and select interesting, freaky people on web 2.0 platforms
    like YouTube. They should be selected if the community judged that they
    might accept Jesus if they just get to know him really and experience
    that he’s truly God and saviour.
  4. Contact these people and await their invitation to meet in
    person. For example, send links to video clips to them with a stylish
    self introduction of this freaky, nomadic community. This steps might
    also be left out … .
  5. Meet in person. Therefore, visit them with the community truck.
    Stay some days with them, placing the truck near the place where they
    live.
  6. Invite them to travel with the community for some time. This will
    give good opportunity to introduce Jesus to them in a way that they are
    able to take seriously.
  7. If they finally want to know Jesus personally as their saviour
    and stay with the community, that’s fine. Perhaps they stay for 3
    years, which is a fine time for character education and transformation
    (also called sanctification). Then they start perhaps their own
    invitational transformational community, and the network grows 😉

Does anybody note the similarity to the way Jesus called his
disciples? They were called and had the chance to come at that very
point of time in their life – that’s different from the “permanent but
shy invitation to Jesus” nowadays, that does nothing but get on
people’s nerves. Also note that Jesus started his worldwide kingdom
with 12 (well, 11) well-educated disciples, not with a multitude of
non-transformed churchgoers who had nothing but heard about Jesus.


Start date: 2008-05-25
Post date: 2008-05-25
Version date: 2008-05-25 (for last meaningful change)

Exactly 7 months and 1 day ago, I wrote the article “My vision for my life, as a mindmap“. Here is an update. The mindmap is actually much bigger, as you can unfold the notes that end in a little circle. You see here just the first levels. Actually, I really like playing with that mindmap, ordering stuff and making it clearer, at every time where I’m too confuded or depressed to move on.

Again, note that you need to click the image to view it in original, readable size.

I wrote back then that “it will be cool and humiliating and enlightening to see the differences”. It is! Here’s an overview of the developments in my “thought life”:

  • No steps any more. Instead, all my life content can now be parallel, it’s just ordered by importance, and I’m dealing with the individual items according to present needs and possibilities.
  • Project definition for “A Seeker’s Guide to Life”. That’s what was formerly called “find how to live with God practically” in the mindmap.
  • Cancelling of short-term projects. Namely, the third-place community and organizational design in my church. As for the third-place community, I undertake some steps but failed, and am not really motivated any more for that. However, if the opportunity arises, my motivation will arise as well, I think.
  • Elaborated lifestyle definition. The previous definition laid not that much importance to serving. It went thus: “My desired permanent lifestyle is to be sanctified, travelling the world as a missional mobile community, especially documenting what God does today to confirm God’s truth.” I now think that I’ll have one day seen enough to believe (sic). That is, there will be excess time, which I want to use for other people. I don’t know wat God will recommend then, but I could imagine different kinds of service in different parts of the world, together with a mobile community. This might include teaching at universities in development countries, and some more things a little power community can do.
  • Priority changes. The “Second Acts” (that is, collecting God’s contemporary acts in good historician’s manner) project came from last step to first priority, as I really need the first results in short time.
  • Company establishment. What was formerly “jobs to earn money” is now my own “company”. A small single-person IT company,actually. And at most times, I like this style to work: a really huge amount of freedom, inclduing teleworking, and no career pressure at all. I’d like to have self-employment as my permanent style to work, I think.
  • No world tour? Perish the thought! This was a separate point in the first visionary mindmap, but does not appear in this. I still want to travel, and I still intend a permanently nomadic life. But I don’t call it “world tour” any more: a tour won’t give me what I search, but mobile community, the “Second Acts” project and “A Seeker’s Guide to Life” project will. And all these need journeys and travelling. So, world tour got integrated in these other projects. And into “equipment”, which includes an expedition mobile, and if just to be free to go where I want or need to.
  • On partnership: the big question mark. Nothing concrete to say here. Currently, I’m easygoing with that big question mark in my life.

Start date: 2008-04-30
Post date: 2008-04-30
Version date: 2008-04-30 (for last meaningful change)

During my service in the German army (Deutsche Bundeswehr), I made
an interesting experience. During the basic military education, there
were many situations and circumstances that really sucked. This got on
our nerves, and all of us were really frustrated and pissed off. Now,
when the situations sucked beyond a certain threshold, the interesting
experience was a paradox reaction on my part: at that point, I suddenly
felt well and relaxed and acted bold and audacious.

One instance was when we had a training unit with rifles. It was
raining like all the water had reached its “best before” date. There
was a shelter section spreaded on the ground as a mat for each of us,
to dissassemble and reassemble our weapons on. One of them seemed like
it was not properly waterproofed and was dripping wet. We complained
about that, and nobody layed down on that. The corporal commanded that
one of us should, in order to start the weapon disassembling. Nobody
moved. All of a sudden, I thought this would be fun, stood up and
throwed myself down on that wet mat. Another instance was, in the same
education, one of us had to stay with the weapons during lunch. I
thought it was fun to eat in 10mins after all the other, and
volunteered for that task.

There were other instances like that: there’s a threshold when other
people start to go mad, and I get relaxed and into best mood. On the
other hand, I am often depressed while other people are in their best mood, namely, in
everyday life’s routine. As most of my life currently is made of such
routine, the latter is the normal case and I did not experience the
former for a long time. Until today, which reminded me of that part of
my character.

I stood at the car station and waited for the train to go to my home
town. There was a public announcement that the train is to arrive at an
undetermined time, due to a contact wire damage. That sucked. Than a
woman who stood nearby called her partner and yelled at him to come by
car and pick her up. I myself was in depressed mood all day, but that
cheered me up. People start to go mad? Then I’m going to relax. I sat
down on my Zarged aluminium box, got my notebook, PDA and headphones
and started some transcription work of voice notes. While the world
outside was like hey-go-mad: trains arriving without public
announcement and with wrong destination signage, train personnell
yelling at travellers, travellers yelling at train personnell, people
demaning public announcements (“Damn, can anybody tell us all where
that train goes.”). All that cheered me up for the rest of the day …
🙂

Perhaps I should take a close look at life, to recognize that it’s a
war of its own sort. That would make me relaxed and cheerful for the
rest of my life.

Relax, folks, this is war!


Start date: 2008-04-24
Post date: 2008-04-24
Version date: 2008-04-24 (for last meaningful change)

Ok then. Finally, this is the “official” start of the Second Acts
project. I’ve to admit that its predecessor project (“A Seeker’s Guide
to Life”) is not yet finished. But there’s a need to move on now, away
from knowing God just by words about him.

Definition

The project “Second Acts” is a proof that God is real. (It’s however
no classical “proof of God” because “proof” is used as in everyday use
and does not mean a strict quasi-mathematical proof.)

This proof is performed by identifying and collecting cases where
the direct and immediate agency of God was experienced. This will
include supernatural answers to prayers, healings, fullfilled
prophecies. To arrive at a strong proof without the discussable
attributes of textual transmission, only contemporary cases are
included, and strong confirmation from various disciplines is collected
for these cases.

This is a quasi-empirical proof, because this way of collecting
contemporary acts of God can be repeated infinitely with new
contemporary acts of God. This is sensitive to the fact that a
permanent personal immediate encounter with God is impossible —
instead, encounters with God occur on are special, rare occasions, and
these cases have to be collected (see the article “The
third way of life in this world
“).

The “Second Acts” project will, for a good part, be no more than a
historician’s collection of what God does today — this fills a gap, as
writing sober chronicles has become unpopular in this world of
Christian pamphlets, emotional devotionals and Bible commentaries. In
biblical times, simply writing facts down was a more common thing to
do, as can be seen from the four Gospels and Acts, which are the new
testament chronicles.

Purpose

To prove and show God to be real is necessary because ubiquituous
human success, error and heresy robbed our perception of God’s reality.
This is  detailed in the article “Oh
ye of little faith!
“. It’s necessary if we want to want a true,
clear, absolutely full conviction of what we believe — if it is true.
And to disprove Christianity — if it is false.

In practical faith life, the results of the “Second Acts” project
should be combined with a nonreligious, completely demystified
Christian faith. Because this provides a reality-conformant faith in
God: what remains is just the truth, and its confirmation by experience.

The purpose of the “Second Acts” project is not to “find life”, i.e.
to arrive at the conviction and experience that life in this world is a
good way to spend our time. Finding life is up to “A Seeker’s Guide to
Life”, the other project, and “Second Acts” is a part of that, so to
speak. However, an important part, as finding the truth about God is a
very important part of life.


Start date: 2008-04-22
Post date: 2008-04-23
Version date: 2008-04-23 (for last meaningful change)

I was in a very large house, at least 3rd or 4th floor, reatively dark, roomy environment. My position included some military responsibility, but no high degree of that, and the house was something like a military base or headquarter. There was a woman, perhaps end of 20, brown hair, nice and normal appearance, with her child, perhaps 4 years. Both were clothed in bright or white clothes. There were soldiers moving all around, clothed in black, and many weapons and military equipment stood around. I commanded one of the heavily armed soldiers to be the personal soldier of the woman and child, and the intention was that he should bring them "out of here" or "back home", I don't know exactly. It was a dangerous mission, though I don't knwo why (war outside?) or how dangerous. I told the woman, this is your personal soldier, take good care of him. (I now think it was in the sense of: "Take care that you don't lose him, as he's the only one to protect you out there.") They went off together. The last thing I saw was a collection of some strange black rifles standing all in a row.

That was the dream. I dreamt it on 2008-04-18 right before waking up (which was 9 o'clock), and the strange thing was that it was really fluent though no connection to recent personal experiences could be made. Now the question is if it relates in any way to a prayer that I had prayed the evening before when going to bed: to see somewhat of the future, in the sense of, "God, let me see the world somewhat more from your perspective."

If yes, the interpretation would probably be that our walk in this world is always dangerous, as a spiritual war is going on. But there are "personal soldiers" from God's army, assigned to us to protect us and bring us through.

I think that my new interest in dreams as a means ba what God maybe wants to communicates something to us comes from a blog post about dreams in NT times, with some good quotations, that I read in the last days.