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September 25, 2014


Edited Sept. 27, 2014:

I believe to understand the theory of Positive Disintegration (see my two previous posts for links, The Introduction and Part 1), one must create a foundation, what some might call a myth. Theory evolved from myths. Myths were what inspired humankind to dream and learn new things. Things that went far beyond simple replication.

There aren't any "role-models" that I know of that have survived Positive Disintegration to become Positively Integrated. For that reason I can only provide my experiences. That's not to say any role-models died or perished, from disintegration, no. It's just no one has come out and said, "I survived Positive Disintegration; I am now have a Positive Integrated personality; what do you want to know?"

So I'm coming out saying, I've experienced it, the whole nine yards and after much difficult work over the years I have a rudimentary Positively Integrated personality. I also have PTSD and the two don't get along. That aside for now...

In 1974 I began what I now understand was my Positive Disintegration. I can't tell you when it began to happen, how it felt at the time. I can't provide you with a way to do it. Dabrowski's theory suggests that it can't begin in childhood. He may be correct, however I think there are traits present; mild autism perhaps, breaks the rules, experiments, argumentative, takes things apart, a loner, picked on in school, reads a lot, draws pictures often. These are but a few traits that come to mind.

At the time, as much as I read and studied, the Dabrowski Theory was nothing I'd ever heard of. There were plenty of alternative theories which I used to my advantage, so called Self-Help" books, and oddly books like "The Teachings of Don Juan", by Carlos Castenada. I had a hunger to understand religion around age 18, raised Zion Covenant we had to complete Confirmation. A 3 year after school education taking up several months, Friday's.

I'll tell you the thing that turned me off to religion and I was - I have no idea how old I was. It was a Sunday and I was in Sunday School. Our teacher was an older man, with long sideburns which is all I can remember, and tall. I have no idea what the topic was, whether I abruptly asked a poignant, off-topic question, but the subject must have been Genesis as I recall talking about dinosaurs.

I asked, " if dinosaurs were millions of years ago, how could Genesis have taken place a thousand years ago?"

I could tell the teacher wasn't thrilled with my question. He swallowed, murmured, cleared his throat and replied, "dinosaurs existed during the darkness before creation."

The switch in my brain went "click". Dinosaurs existed before Creation??? I didn't think so. If "God created the heavens and the earth..." how could dinosaurs exist pre-creation? I realized then that religion was a hoax and something made up and not based on truth or reality. 

But the whole idea of religion, something I had to endure until I was 18, confused me to the point of anguish and hunger for more knowledge. It was still a mystery to me why it was taken so seriously? And like I said I read a lot. At 18 I was enrolled at the Community College, all quite by the book. So far I was playing the part of the the oldest son.

A year and a half later all that changed. I had been majoring in electrical engineering. Half of the worst part, two semesters of physics were over, complete and I got C's. Good enough for me. Starring me in the face was a semester of math. Calculus I recall. I was close to graduated, but far from it and I changed.

I lived at home, tried to follow the rules (that kept changing) and had a part-time job at a department store nights. I drove an '89 Ford Mustang, dark blue, with a 289ci V8. Chrome alloy wheels and a 3 speed. Yes, "I was living the good life", rising up into the ranks. But it wasn't me, and I sensed it.

I only needed a catalyst to find my true self... something that at the time I had no idea it existed. There's something to be said about the smugness and hold of being raised in a stable, American family. Everything seems so well-organized and predictable. It's Erikson's theory, the 8 steps - the linear movement through society until one get's old and we die. 

I suppose some things are meant to be repeated, and for my followers, my apology; and for my new readers, for both, my Positive Disintegration began in earnest quite by accident.

It was a warm, summer night in August when I met with my childhood buddy and we walked through the suburbs to get to another childhood buddies house. I was probably 19 and 1/2. What we had planned I don't recall. But Fate had something in mind for us and me especially; marijuana.

This was 1974. The 1960's had turned America in a new direction. The hippie movement was everywhere. Not all good. But a lot positive. There was Viet Nam, the War, something we were all very unhappy about, and for myself, back then we had a federal draft, and a lottery. I drew the short straw which meant when I turned 18 I was going to the war. The first miracle was due to my birth-date being in September, I witnessed a miracle - the draft was ended August 31, 1974, days shy of my birth-day.

There was no such thing as DARE (Drug Enforcement Resistance Education) then. NORML hadn't been invented yet but while in high school we had been subjected to good old-fashioned anti-"drug" abuse education. It consisted of scaring us half to death with stories of moral and physical decay for those who used marijuana which created a stepping stone to heroin use and death. Simple message. No DARE, no NORML, no DEA... yet despite that, myself and my peers had grown-up to be very anti-drug. So consider the horror I felt when my good friend offers us some Panama Red cannabis???

We both got past our shared horror and indulged. We laughed our asses off, something that only occurs with early users, by the way. Meditative thought quickly follows, along with "dimensional shifts of consciousness" - which are hard to describe but which have nothing at all to do with the experience of drunkenness. Similar to rebooting a computer, the DS is called a "rush" and it envelopes your mind and body into an orgasmic shift where the past falls away and you're reborn. Older users experience a lessening of DS but an increase in insight and a mellow mood, relief from pain which isn't "pain-relief" but rather more tolerance to pain.

That aside. The experience changed my life and opened my eyes to a great big world, and not some drug-inspired world as I'd imagined. I was really opened up to how infinite and beautiful our world really is. Which also opened me up to the atrocities... thank god for the ability to blog today, which we didn't have back then!

What I accomplished, in 1974 and over the next 4 years was phenomenal. I got a full-time job as a custodian at the college, working in the Fine Arts Center... I had free tuition and took every course imaginable. I met and made a lot of friends, had many lovers.

The only two problems were how difficult it was to become an integrated personality without a map or theory, and familial culture and mores. I violated most rules my parents believed, something I've written about previously. Yes, one of my parents took it particularly hard and did everything possible to steer me onto "The One Road". My other parent was actually encouraging, albeit, powerless against the one with the strict ideological theories. Theories I ignored for the most part except for this annoying "bee" that buzzed me with regularity.

Add to that having my heart broken many times, close friends committing suicide, friends dying from alcohol or car accidents and what began as a very positive future rather quickly degraded into, what I now know was negative disintegration. That was late June of 1978. I lost most of what I'd attained during those 4 years, in the 10 years that followed. I was 35 - 40 before I found an equilibrium, and between then and 50 I found a balance in life and survived. I did okay.

Around turning 50 I took a downward spin. It began with a ten day stay in the hospital with acute pneumonia. Afterwards things changed. Things I remember less about than I do between 35 - 50.

It was only just before turning 60 I was shown Dabrowski's theory. I'm still studying it. It's deep.

To me it explains a lot, and for others out there I post this hoping it will help you too.

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