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by Scarabic Jasmine

'Ello, and welcome to Cyber-Psychos and Other Diversities, Issue #6. Do you know what AOD stands for yet? No, I didn't think so. Hopefully this issue will enlighten you anyway. 1994 was the year of death and damnation. I still don't know how I managed to avoid dying alongside too many friends. Death didn't even limit itself to bio-organic forms, it hit 2 of my computers in a row. Well, I'm back, and life goes on for those of us who are still here. Nothing we can do but focus our energies on making '95 a better year.

After over 2 years of happily calling this "The Magazine of Mental Aberrations", I figured I would do something silly and, well, talk about mental "aberrations". Or about opposing realities, to be specific. Over 2 years is enough time for me to have become completely neurotic, frustrated, confused, over-worked, and generally ready to butcher every... oops, I guess that isn't the form of mental affliction I'd had in mind. Despite my obvious cynicism, I'm thinking fairly optimistically here. I'm still thinking that defeating cohesiveness can be a saving grace.

You've all seen Altered States. No, I'm not going to yack about hallucinogenics, we all know that Ken Russell has done his fair share. I'm sure most of us have for that matter. But I like the fact that, in the beginning of the movie, the concept of schizophrenia as a gateway to new perceptions, rather than being a simple mental illness, is being thrown around. Schizophrenia. Hmmm... If you think about it too extensively, you would be startled to realize that most of us would fit under the definition to some degree or another. Most of the world would for believing in a higher being, such as God, and having the "delusions of grandeur" that they will one day go to Heaven and stand by His side. I'm not knocking it, that would be defeating my purpose here. I can't claim to be even remotely stable in such a sense. I, after all, spent most of my childhood trying to find the gateways to those darned elusive worlds like Narnia, and wondering whether or not I'd had a past life in Middle Earth. Not to mention my chronic habit, over the years, of writing my apocalyptic red world stories. That basic, "let's end the world so we can go home to the comfy, non-material, spiritual planes" spiel. Do I believe in my red world and in my obsessions (such as the Sumerian legends)? Who knows, maybe I believe in everything. It is a concept that everything exists. The universe is theoretically endless, it might as well be, how would nothing exist? And how do you fill eternity? Well, filling it with everything would make sense. It can be more fun to read a fantasy novel if part of your brain is thinking that the world of the story's setting is out there somewhere, that the author knows about it through some psychic connection or past life memory. Maybe JRR Tolkien was a hobbit. Maybe Anne McCaffrey fought (or will fight) silver threads on dragon back. Maybe Jasmine Sailing read too many fantasy novels when she was younger. It's all relative, depending on your perceptions of time and space.

I've oft times griped about religious fanatics. Why? Because I've never thought it was a good call to force religion down someone's throat. I don't care if someone believes in God. I firmly believe that everyone should find their own truths within themselves. If that truth turns out to be "I should be Christian", so be it. I've gone off on adrenaline rants telling people where they can put their scare-tactics and preachings. I've also reassured people of their faiths when it was proper and they needed it. Opening gateways to new perceptions. You can never prove what you touch upon in this world. But you can believe in it for yourself. I remember one day when I was sitting around thinking I was completely off-the-wall bonkers because I didn't have enough proof for certain of my beliefs. I went through an over-extended episode of hopelessly trying to evaluate myself. It occurred to me that, since I had adamantly shaped my life in pursuing my goals (all of which were based on beliefs that could be rendered schizophrenic due to their lack of scientific backing), if I realized my beliefs had no substance and discarded them, my entire life would be empty and void. I would have no clue of what to do with myself. Then understanding dawned. Obviously my beliefs are real if they've had such a profound effect upon my life. I can't be effected by nothing, hence my perceptions are something. They are real for me. Sure, I still don't know what's what. I suppose I'll find out when I die. I could live on, I could wind up as a rotting corpse or a pile of ashes in someone's urn. But I'm happy in the belief that my reality is my own, for as long as I still have the conscious ability to believe in it.

Have you ever thought about how much simpler life would be if everyone believed in everything? Most of the pagan religions acknowledge their similarities; there may be different names in each religion involved but the essence and creations were the same. Some people can't see that. The legend of the Virgin Mary is remarkably similar to that of Isis. Leviathan could easily compare to Tiamat, the Midgard Serpent, and the Ouroboros. I'm sure some people are thinking I'll burn in Hell for saying that. Maybe I will. Maybe those who are thinking that will burn in purifying flames for bigotry and prejudice. I don't personally believe in Heaven or Hell, so I don't envision myself in either place. Open-mindedness is the key phrase as always. If somebody's reality doesn't fit you, that's fine, it doesn't have to be your token belief. Nor does it have to be wrong for the person who feels it. Set it aside as a split reality and it can't do you any harm. When there is no proof for anything, we could all be just as easily right as wrong. Let people go where they want: be it Heaven, Hell, Limbo, Nirvana, Hades, or another dimensional fold. The end could be the Revelations, the Apocalypse, Armageddon, Ragnarok, a supernova, and/or a nuclear war. Will the hows, whys, and what-name's be so crucial at that point? I think not. Let the faeries walk in other dimensions, and aliens fly in space. If it scares you just separate it into someone else's reality, rather than your own.

Beliefs are opinions. You can't chastise me for finding comfort in the colour burgundy. Well, you can, but I would just consider you a dolt. I like cats, some of you like dogs. It is all simple enough for people to live by their own choices and, in the instances of neighbors, avoid becoming too heavily involved. At least we haven't yet had any violent anti dog-lover crusades. What is the difference? Your favourite band might be different from that of your best friend. Maybe you prefer the spirit of Test Dept songs, maybe you're gloomy and need gothic mope-alongs. Maybe you feel like telling people to shove it when they suggest that you try happier tunes. You know your own emotional needs better than they do. If you like dance music, that's your prerogative. If you like people of the same sex, that's your prerogative too. To each their own, though they should know that their opinions need not be forcibly integrated into the psyches of others.

I've known enough "mentally aberrant" people in my life, still do in fact. The technicalities depend on your perspective. If someone tells you that they're a demon, you can either roll your eyes and label them schizo or shrug and ask what it's like. If someone has multiple personalities, who knows... they could have split up due to trauma and emotional deficiency, they could actually be channeling various energies that aren't their own. Should any of those personalities be invalidated and ignored? I suppose I'm too fascinated with the human mind and universal possibilities to be overly prone to judgement and condemnation. If something new comes along, I would rather examine it, analyze the intricacies, than completely write it off. I do always seem to be the one left sitting talking to people whom others consider to be too whacked to understand. Not that I don't roll my eyes on occasion, but at least I try to utilize varying perspectives.

I seem to be running out of babble space again. In case you somehow missed it, the general moral behind this rant session is that people should lighten up and let others believe what is right for them. Look into your own self for your beliefs, let others do the same. You don't have to love everyone, you don't have to hate everyone. Just believe in yourself and respect everyone else's private space. Life will prove to be much more simple that way. Now that I've worked this optimism out of my system, I'm going to stop wasting my breath (or finger movements on these keys) and go back to being my usual cynical self. And if you think I belong in a padded cell after reading this editorial... fuck off, I've made peace with myself. Fare thee well!

(By no means should this be interpreted as a plea for leaving alone the mass corruption of consumerism and apathy, or as a deterrence from recognizing the hazards of obsession. It is a plea for the acceptance of personal belief systems.)

Mr. Tibble says: The Exodus shall be preceded by mass insanity and psychosis,and look how far along we've already come...

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