permanent brain damage?

Submitted by looking4balance on
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Still riding the coaster. Quiting an addiction seems to be the hardest thing in the world and yet the easiest in another sense. I encourage the younger male members of the site to really listen to the stories here of men and look at and he results of years and years of addictive behavior. Beware it's effects on the mind and the impediment for general peace and happiness that can result. Not from a standpoint of sin, or any such nonsense, but from the scientific point of ruining your brain, and the spiritual one of distancing your from your Spirit, your humanity.

I wonder if having seen thousands and literally thousands of pornographic images that my brain is beyond repair. I remember reading somewhere that those images are permanently burned into the mind since the conditions in which they were viewed were so intense (chemically) and almost like PTSD. I can only imagine having blazed those neuropathways for 30 years that it's must be a rather deep groove I have worn. I can only wonder realistically if the damage is beyond repair.

Also, again I wonder how one can overcome this affliction without a benevolent attitude towards oneself. Even sitting and doing a healing visualization requires the intention of self care. In the last addictive episode, I can clearly remember certain points where I could stop if I wanted to. In fact, I wasn't even clearly in the mood. I just remember a feeling of self-hatred and that abusing myself seemed appropriate. Whoa, what the hell is that? That's the part that sucks the most, since with that attitude, I don't think there is any hope. I am really proud of some of the members here that are doing it, they are really giving 100% effort it sounds and that's great.

The worst effect of being hooked on porn for so many years, to me, is clearly what it has done to the way I view women. I don't know if I have EVER viewed women correctly since I started this when I was so young. It's the context of most porn and the underLYING message clearly being "women are here for our selfish enjoyment", "most women are Ok with being used in a purely sexual way with no love", things like that, not to mention the hyper-attention we develop for body parts. It really sickens me and I want this gone from my brain, cut out, surgically removed forever. I want a new brain...

Sorry such a doom and gloom post but today, but I am not writing to entertain, but rather get my feelings and thoughts out of head so I can look at them perhaps with some clarity and from a different perspective. Thoughts and comments as always are welcome.

Peace

Comments

Of COURSE it's not hopeless!

All addictions tend to create feelings of despair during withdrawal. That's the BIG TRAP for keeping you stuck in the addiction, since there seems to be no point in even trying ...because it's "all hopeless," etc.

That's why it's so helpful to have a playmate as you go through the withdrawal. If you did something like the Exchanges (see http://www.reuniting.info/science/ecstatic_exchanges_and_neurochemistry), you would have someone to whom you could GIVE your life force energy, without simply repeating the pattern. By allowing all that sexual energy to flow selflessly toward another you would quickly see an improvement in your state of mind...even during your withdrawal phase. You would also laugh a lot and give and receive lots of healthy touch.

See if you can interest a friend in trying the three-week program in the back of our book with you...just for the heck of it. Just to see what you both see. I know if would be ideal if you could "clean up your act" first, but maybe you'll have to do it with help. My husband says he'd still be masturbating frequently if he were on his own...and yet, he was able to move right into this practice "cold turkey," and quite successfully. He said that by the third night of the Exchanges he already felt much calmer.

I'm sorry you're suffering, but unlike some of the folks visiting this site, you seem to have access to a partner. You are very fortunate. See if you can interest her in a healing experiment for both of you. At the end of three weeks, you can reassess.

Warning: she needs to read the book first, or she won't "get it."

that would be nice

thanks Marnia..
I don't doubt in the least that the method you describe would be of great benefit. I do have some concerns, however. For one, as you mention, I do seem to have access to a partner, however for cultural reasons as she put it, she is not interested in trying the technique - at all. So having a partner/gf/sex buddy doesn't help me at this time. Also, I would be a bit hesitant to try this with a friend or someone I don't plan to have a relationship with since perhaps strong loving feelings could arise with someone who may not be appropriate for me as a partner. I could see falling for/getting attached to that person and they might not even be right for me! (i have done that by becoming addicted to 'sex friends'). I need to be really careful there. It's hard for me to extricate myself from even the worst relationships.

BTW, I wonder if you have any info on whether porn images are indelible to the mind..are there any studies on that? Will I be haunted by what i have seen for the rest of my days? Am I doomed to stare at womens' backsides forever due to porn imprinting?

In the meantime, I think I will wait for someone who i am in love with, or is a good match for me, before trying the exercises.

Something to reflect on

Notice how you are thinking in terms of what's best for you, as opposed to how your healing energy might benefit another. This is what holds in place the alienation between the sexes: mistrust. Feelings of lack make us selfish.

Never mind your ultimate partner. Don't be afraid to love unconditionally (as a true healer would). That being said, check inside before connecting with any partner.

neurofeedback/biofeedback/consciousness

I've learned some interesting things in school recently that may be applicable. There's a highly-respected dutch scientist named Pin Van Lommel who has studied near death experiences in which the person seems to have an expanded state of consciousness even though all electrical activity in the brain is flat (ie, the person is not conscious, or is dead). From this he has concluded that consciousness does not reside in the brain at all - in fact, the memory is not large enough to even be able to store all the information it receives in one hour of porn watching.

Lommel believes that consciousness is all-pervasive, does not reside in our brain, and that it is our DNA that filters what we do and do not remember. Most of our experiences, he believes, are stored in the collective consciousness. This conclusion fits nicely with the Buddhist notions of rebirth, emptiness, and karma, as well as with many concepts in quantum physics - there is only one continuum of consciousness, and that continuum continues after death of the physical body. So, you have a responsibilty to the collective consciousness to become liberated. Also, the difficulty you are having in becoming liberated is likely directly related to the struggle that humanity is having collectively with addiction in general -you are as prone as you are BECAUSE you are part of the collective consciousness. This is not just about you. We all have a responsibility to eachother and to the whole, and we are all sensitive to the collective. At least I believe so. I'm not trying to impose my view but such a perspective may be helpful, simultanously taking all the blame off your shoulders but at the same time pointing out that it is still all your responsibility.

If you do believe in the Buddhist concepts of the bardos, or consciousness states one goes through following death, then imagine how amplified the images and suffering will be when you enter those realms if you are suffering this much now. I don't mean to say this to instill fear, and I usually have a very strong aversion to any philosophy that uses a fear of hell in the future to modify behavior. But, it makes sense that if a huge amount of your life, your attention, and your consciousness has been spent on such images, they will be amplified when your enlightened awareness tries to come to terms with those mental patterns as it seeks to become fully liberated at the moment of death.

Death is potentially the high point of one's life, because it presents an opportunity for total liberation. However, since all mental habits are amplified in the process of death, liberation can be that much more difficult, which is why a lifetime of training is necessary for this special moment, so that when the ground luminosity dawns, the mind will be clear enough of distractions to be able to recognize it and merge with it.

Two other ideas worth looking into: could biofeedback or neurofeedback help in porn addiction? There may be a therapist where you live trained in this. I don't know a whole lot about it, but it does strike me that watching porn is like a biofeeback loop - electrical stimulus followed by a physical response (arousal) followed by a reward (orgasm through masturbation or dopamine surge). It's a feedback loop. Why not use this same principle to heal yourself? I've heard there is a lot of potential in neurofeedback, tho I don't know any particulars, or how it differs from biofeedback. I believe it works on stimulus of different cortexes of the brain. My prof also told me that damage to the insula was recently found to erase addictions. See the NYTimes article: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/26/science/26brain.html?ex=1186632000&en=....

She also mentioned three books that sounded relevant: "Power vs. Force: the Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior" by David Hawkins, which deals a lot with addiction, and "Orthomolecular Psyciatry." Also, Daniel Goleman has written on emotional and social intelligence.

Good luck in getting some new grooves in those tracks! Our consciousness is with you.

NDE. DNA.

I saw a documentary about Lommel and NDE.

On the topic of FDE (Full Death Experience!), I recommend also Bruce Moen's web site: http://www.afterlife-knowledge.com/

The research of Lommel, Moen, and scores of people like them give a strong indication that Death is not an end but a new beginning. I am sure all of you here are already aware of that! :)

Lommel believes that consciousness is all-pervasive, does not reside in our brain, and that it is our DNA that filters what we do and do not remember.

I wanted to comment on this. Science assumes that DNA is never changing significantly over the lifetime of any individual. DNA is changing. When cells replicate themselves, "mistakes" are being made. This is the origin of cancerous cells: their DNA have become too abnormal. So, while it is a perfectly accepted scientific fact that DNA might change in some cells, I believe the scientific community things that overall, the "healthy" DNA of an individual will remain the same over their lifetime (see all the CSI TV serials and the DNA tests used to prove people guilty... or innocent of crimes).

Now, I remember an individual who was a member of a Kundalini mailing list, who claimed that his own DNA had changed significantly over decades. He said he'd had two DNA analysis done for some reasons. Once when he was quite young, and the second time much more recently, i.e. after the Kundalini awakening he claims to have had. The doctors/technicians/scientists compared the two DNA samplings and their conclusion was that they belonged to related individuals (e.g. siblings): according to them, the two samplings did not belong to the same individual. The subject claims that its DNA has changed as he progressed spiritually.

What I would be very interested to know is whether there has been any long term study on people's DNA. Take a very large sampling (10,000 or even 100,000 people). Test their DNA when they are young. Do so every 10 years of their life. Match the samplings with interviews of the subjects about what's going on in their life (e.g. some of those individuals might go through tremendous spiritual growth). After a few decades, we can start to draw some preliminary conclusions. The study can get a boost at the beginning by systematically re-testing today all the individuals who have had their DNA sampled years, and even maybe 10-20 years ago (think about all the blood banks, the sperm banks, tissue sampling made 10-20 or more years ago!)

To conclude, I would like to come back to looking4balance's post, about his fears of permanent brain damage, and neurone pathways indelibly chiselled in his brain.

1) DNA filters what we do and do not remember/ how we perceive the world.

2) DNA can change over a lifetime (maybe!)

3) nobody's brain is permanently damaged :)

QED!!

In short: keep going! There's always hope for ever deeper healing!

junk dna

The majority of DNA consists of so-called "junk-DNA".

This from Wikkipedia:

"In genetics, non-coding DNA describes DNA which does not contain instructions for making proteins (or other cell products such as noncoding RNAs). Some noncoding DNA is involved in regulating the activity of coding regions. However, much of this DNA has no known function and is sometimes referred to as 'junk DNA'."

I recall in Van Lommel's article that he said he thought it was this "Junk DNA" that was responsible for memory storage.

I'm sorry for referring to a paper without the title. I sent the photocopied paper of Van Lommel to my grandmother, as I thought she might benefit from it, since she is now a widow and does not believe that the consciousness exists apart from the body. I'll be sure to get the paper's title from my prof.

thanks for your

thanks for your support...

Marnia: good point, i guess a selfish outlook could prevent healing of myself and other. I guess its a self preservation instinct since I have seen the some of the disasters i get myself into. I will try to be more aware of my intentions around sex.

Oh, BTW...

"check inside before connecting with any partner"

was that meant literally? i got a funny image of asking a girl before sex if I could inspect here down there and then promptly getting smacked in the face!
Sigh..shows you where my mind goes by default :P

Hotspring and Janitor: also thanks very much! Very interesting information. It's good to know that the consensus points in the way of these images not being permanently etched in my mind. Maybe I need to go to a place like in 'Eternal Sunshine' and have particular memories erased..oh, but that turned out badly if I remember the movie!

Thanks everyone, I feel the concern and caring energy from you!!! Thanks for your healing thoughts and words!

Ha ha!

You're a Chinese monkey in astrology, right? I'm married to one, and I love you "bad boys."

However, as you know, I meant check with your inner guidance, Smarty.

I know you KNOW I'd say this, too, but when you disconnect those images from the payoff of orgasm, they lose their oomph in a most amazing way. It's the constant "reward" that gives them so much power over you.