Blog entry by Alan Chapman

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by Alan Chapman - Friday, 19 February 2021, 6:58 PM
Anyone in the world


Thoughts on Self-Destruction


Update 27 Feb 2021:

I'm further moved by discussions about this posting, thanks all. 

I want to clarify: 

  • I do not wish to die. I mostly love life, and at a level that is often euphoric.
  • I am involved in increasingly exciting work.
  • I am finding crucial new purposes and value and self-belief, or more accurately they seem to be finding me.
  • My use of the phrase below 'longing towards death' is misleading and unhelpful, except perhaps for anyone who feels like me that this is an expression of a positive euphoric welcoming of death when it comes, which is probably a more accessible way to explain my feelings about my own dying and death for the vast majority of people, who very reasonably in their own life situations and stages prefer not to engage with death as being welcome under virtually any circumstances.
  • I believe that if someone wants help they will be asking for it and open to it, and otherwise it can be extremely unhelpful to suggest or imply to someone that they need it, which can then become part of a potentially overwhelming negativity, conscious and unconscious, directed at, and also becoming a part of the person's environment - the entire atmosphere that surrounds them. This is how people are given grossly wrong reputations of weakness or disability or failure, when the opposite is often the case. It's how people become 'labelled', 'stigmatised', 'othered', 'belittled', 'marginalised' and much much worse - read Wiesel or Frankl or Levi for example (which is all actually extremely relevant to the point of this posting in the first place, since we are in some sort of genocide or holocaust IMHO). 
  • Personally I'm extraordinarily proud of how I've survived my traumas, which I prefer not to detail here, and which (in my experience and knowledge of traumas and suicide) were I not so strong, would have killed me several years ago, after just the first one or two, never mind the many afterwards, of which I have genuinely lost count. Gifts, as I explain below and elsewhere. And so please do not 'reframe' me as a victim or weak. I shall be among the last men standing, if it all actually goes to ratshit, because simply and metaphorically, I've been to hell and back, and rather more times and for longer than most people, is my belief.  
  • It is part of my continuing strengthening recovery and whatever future that I might have, that I write a record and a sort of 'statement to the universe', particularly addressed to whatever malevolent forces might exist in life/universe (some characterise this as 'the devil' or 'Satan', although I do not) that I will not submit to forces that seek to control or disempower or weaken me, and if I consider that such forces would make my life a hell on Earth, then I'd prefer to die.

End of update.

Update 26 Feb 2021: 

I'm moved by responses from members of my family to this posting. I hadn't realised anyone (except for one dear long-standing friend) was actually reading my writings here unless I promote a link, which I certainly do for some items but not for this one, and certainly I did not realise any family members were reading this blog unless they were so informed.

I repeat have not promoted this item. It is a record for when it's needed. 

Anyway, please be reassured everyone that:

  • I'm not ill.
  • We are all dying from the moment we are born.
  • I've been entirely comfortable with my own mortality - a hard-fought and hard-earned ambivalence about living or dying - since 2015. I am not ever going to relinquish such a gift.
  • This gift - of fearlessness or longing towards death - is regarded as such by many wise people and understandings of what life and death are. I'm not alone. Many meditate for hours each day for many years to acquire such 'enlightenment' and acceptance. 
  • I have referred elsewhere in this blog to Dabrowski's Theory of Positive Disintegration. Please read about it before you try to understand me, and/or other similar perspectives that I've studied and written about for over 20 years, for example Erik Erikson's Life-Stage Theory, Ruiz's Four Agreements, the Nazi Holocaust writers such as Frankl, Levi, Wiesel, Eger, Kor, etc., and more recently in this blog the heretics Turing and Semmelweis
  • If all/any of this upsets anyone then that's not my responsibility. I'm 64 this year, and while I have no wish to die, and mostly I love life with an indescribable passion and wonderment, I am not frightened of dying, and I'm happy to die when my time is right. Younger people will make a better world, with or without me, and most likely the latter.
  • IMHO older people cling on to life far beyond what would be acceptable for animals. They cling on because they are frightened, and more so because their loved ones are frightened. Big pharma, the banks and the care homes and funeral industries all benefit hugely from this denialism and fear, which also drives the coronavirus 'pandemic', climate/ecosystem threats, and the tyranny of governments and media. Follow the money, as ever. 
  • I am blessed to have this acceptance and gratitude of my mortality, which enables me to do work that very few people know about or would be able to understand; and I like it that way. Ego just gets in the way. I am a speck.
  • I am lucky also to understand some things about death and truth, and these are my views. 
  • This is my mind, body and soul. I will defend my right to live in my own way, because I try do no harm and I try to do good. 
  • I shall not judge you, and I ask that you do not judge me, nor project your views, nor especially your fears onto me.

Thank you.

End of update.


I'm in training for fasting, for these exponentially evolutionary times :)

Hunger striking perhaps. 

It's maybe what I've been born for.


I believe almost everyone has self-destructive tendencies, or potential.

New-born babies and little children do not, in the same way that they are so loving and trusting.


When we love ourselves, we love others.

It's complicated though. Ultimately self-love is the inward quest, to discover that each of us has this opportunity.


We are not truly born until we die a living death, perhaps a few times gently, or just once in a horrific storm, to be free of conditioning; and this can hurt, especially if we are not shown early that there is a purpose in the pain, or a gentler path.  


My own experience is that I have not loved myself since being a very small child, and for most of my life, although I've generally loved life, I have been very unloving towards myself and much worse.

I never believed I was meeting standards or expectations that I thought existed for me.

Probably being the oldest son was a factor in this, which from an early age caused me to seek responsibility beyond simply looking after myself. Going to an all-boys school and having no sisters probably gave me a very distorted view of myself too. It certainly gave me a very distorted view of relationships with women, with whom I've tended to work very well, but misunderstand on any other level.


I am in awe of women however, and for many different reasons I consider women to be much stronger, wiser, and more resilient and capable than men, which is another story.  


I cannot remember a time until quite recently that I felt that it was okay to put my own needs ahead of others, because this would have made me selfish, and therefore not a good person.

I built my life and work on this foundation, and I've been very lucky to have made a life with space for my own needs, as well as for others.

The effects of my living according to what I perceived was my responsibility to others have been catastrophic for me, especially because I became quite good at taking this responsibility, and performing well in various ways.

But it was all false; built on lies that I told myself and projected outwardly too, which I still do.

The irony is of course that other people do not generally want or need or benefit from my interventions. My delusions and arrogance caused me to imagine the opposite.

I've been genuinely helpful on some occasions probably, but mostly, definitely not.

Much later in life, inevitably , it became impossible for me to sustain such a distortion of my natural-born self.

Around 2007, my life began to disintegrate seriously, although actually I'd been disintegrating gently, while strengthening the false me, since early childhood.

Being strong, and to my own thinking reasonable successful in life and work, I persisted telling myself and believing the lies about how and who I should be until quite recently, as I continued to crawl through the destructions of my own making.

I began to unravel very deeply at the suicide of my partner in 2015.

This prompted increasingly deeper self-destructions, whose consequences I wrestle with today, which fortunately I can 'reframe' and consider as gifts of growth towards loving fearlessness. 

I am satisfied now by who I am. It's a profound growth after nearly 60 years of lying to myself, and to everyone else too, about who I really am.


I can probably do some helpful work in the future, whatever emerges, but I wonder, is there really any point.

This is a world for young people to make their own now.


And so to the dilemma.

If I love myself, and I love the thought of being dead, then logically suicide is a perfect solution, and even though it leaves potentially devastating wreckage for others, I know from my own experience that suicide bereavement often comes as a relief, and more importantly it opens the door for loved ones to grow euphorically and miraculously beautifully and lovingly, in time. 

The very few loved ones who would be disturbed at my suicide or dying, are all extremely strong people, in situations that would allow them to cope and grow well. I'm sure they'd understand and forgive me.

My firm instruction - that I want to record here - is to empty my house using a house clearance company, or a man and a van. Keep nothing. Look at nothing. Just clear everything. It's stuff and baggage that nobody needs.


The challenge is giving maximum purpose to one's suicide, rather like the self-immolation of a monk in a public place, although significantly nowadays this would be rather pointless because the news media would not carry the story, or would distort the story grotesquely.

And this really is the point of the suicide. 

All things considered, I do not really want to live in this fucked up world any more.

It will eventually recover and be beautiful, but I'm not enthused by waiting, spending the remaining years of my life being terrorised, and living like some sort of prisoner or social outcast.


I have had thoughts self-immolation in the past, during my divorce, and also in trying to explain/convey at a political level what I know about suicide.   

That said, self-immolation doesn't particularly appeal to me. 

I think it's an interesting question - what method of suicide, or death, would you choose?


Hunger (and drinking) strike was my Dad's chosen exit, and he did it brilliantly, although incredibly, at age 86, when my Dad decided to stop eating and drinking, it took about six weeks to kill him.

It was profoundly beautiful, but then I am unusually captivated and enthralled by death and suicide.

 

I believe hunger strike is genetically more natural and easy for me, especially given my physiology and experience of endurance hill running, and my aptitude and conditioning over many years, in sport and lifestyle. 

Water would be a powerful regulating factor. 

We can live for many weeks without food, but only a few weeks without food and water.

Hunger strike is also to my thinking a more dramatic and strategically potent and adaptable means of public protest and resistance than other forms of suicide.

It's certainly a very appealing option that's emerged in my thinking in the past couple of days.

I'll keep you posted on this :)


Meanwhile:


I'm in training for fasting, for these exponentially evolutionary times :)

Hunger striking perhaps. 

It's maybe what I've been born for.


Please know that when and if I choose my dying, it will be as purposeful and powerful as possible; a gift, and not a wasted death. 

Please excuse and/or enjoy the pun :)


Love,

Alan

[ Modified: Saturday, 27 February 2021, 9:50 AM ]