Are You in a
Flying Into Windows
By now you will
have some understanding of how the brain manufactures a different
reality for each person. When a person’s view of reality radically
differs from others, he or she may be considered delusional. A delusion
is a very vulnerable state of mind because obvious dangers are hidden.
Consider the fate of birds that fail to see windows. Delusions are the
cause of many disasters which strike individuals, couples, families,
religions, companies and countries.
Last century Germany attacked Russia, Japan attacked the United
States, and the U.S. attacked North Vietnam with devastating
consequences for all. The leaders of these countries firmly believed
victory was possible. Would they have gambled everything if they knew
they were certain to lose?
The Titanic was considered unsinkable. Jim Jones and David Koresh led
their followers to gruesome and unnecessary deaths. Some predicted the
world would end at the end of the 20th century. Artificial birth control
continues to be condemned in a world bursting with people.
Common Individual Delusions
(or Famous Last Words):
I can’t get pregnant.
Since I’m a good driver, I don’t need to wear a seat belt.
Once I have everything I want I’ll be happy all of the time.
My fiance will quit drinking or fooling around after the wedding.
They’ll never catch me.
I can quit smoking anytime I want to.
No matter how I act, he/she will never leave me.
Suicide is the only way to solve my problems.
I’ll buy it, everyone is in debt.
I couldn’t catch anything from him/her.
Higher education is a waste of time.
Clues that you may be in a delusion:
are friends or relatives constantly warning you to be more
do you have a sense they may be spending a lot of time talking about
are their warnings becoming more forceful or louder?
are you often in trouble with the law?
do you often find yourself defending your actions?
are you in constant conflict with others?
do your thoughts race much of the time?
do you have insomnia or do you need a lot less sleep?
do you believe you have discovered something no one else knows and are
you trying to keep it a secret?
do you dream of fame and fortune as the result of your plans?
do you expect quick and lasting success from your efforts?
are you on a “natural high” much of the time?
do you think you can predict the future?
do your plans dominate conversations?
do you ignore less optimistic opinions?
would you prefer not to write out a detailed plan of action?
If you answered yes to many of the above questions, you may be in a
delusion. The longer you remain in this state of mind, the greater your
chances of “flying into a window,” and the more painful your awakening
will be. Try to consider more factors to balance
your outlook. How realistic are your predictions? Ask a true friend,
relative or impartial person for an honest opinion of your situation and
what you should do next.
If the above analysis has exposed a delusion, you may find yourself in a
crisis and feel intensely anxious and depressed. You may not be able to
sleep, eat or sit still. You may abuse alcohol and drugs to calm your
nerves and quiet your racing mind. You may desperately focus on doing
little things in order to distract yourself from the big problem. You
may feel suicidal, and if so, seek help. Everyone deserves a second
The crisis will pass more quickly if you retrace your steps to the point
where you left the rational path and lost track of reality. Find someone
who has more experience with the issues you are grappling with. Swallow
your pride and listen to his or her advice carefully. Taking steps to
avoid a catastrophe is nothing to be ashamed of. The crisis created by
an exposed delusion will crush your spirit and confidence for awhile.
You will not trust your judgement for a long time. However, as you take
steps to clean up the mess, your confidence will return and you are
unlikely to repeat the same mistakes. You may also discover that
recovering from a delusion is a fertile source of wisdom.
Many of my clients have great difficulty forgiving themselves for errors
that have caused major losses or harm. To foster a sense of
understanding and forgiveness, I have them compare their mistakes to
ones made by others. You may use the following information to do the
publish articles that clearly illustrate the concept and consequences of
mistakes caused by delusions and other temporary lapses in judgement.
Religious cultists, convinced that flat tires are the key to salvation,
created major traffic jams in Manila by deflating tires on scores of
buses and cars.
As long as he can remember, Judge Charles H. has put a happy face on his
signature in hopes of brightening someone’s day. After he signed a man’s
execution date with his usual flourish, he provoked an outcry.
A Church of England vicar said that women priests were “bloody
bitches” who should be burned at the stake like medieval witches.
“I would shoot the bastards,” he added for good measure.
Police in Vinton, Louisiana, were surprised to find 20 people crammed
into a 1990 Pontiac Grand Am. And they were dismayed to discover that
all 20 were completely nude. The Vinton police chief says the naked
travellers were Pentecostalists from Texas who claim the Lord told them
to get rid of their belongings—including their clothes—and go to
A former Police Chief was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for
embezzling $2.34 million from a police fund and for income tax evasion.
A fight over a dollar coin has resulted in Toronto’s 37th killing of the
year, police said.
Four young men killed by a freight train as they lay on the tracks in
Manassas, Va., may have been playing “chicken.”
A rock singer who defecated on stage and tossed excrement at his
audience was convicted by a jury that rejected his argument of artistic
An unemployed Italian smashed a toe on Michelangelo’s David with a
hammer. He claims a Renaissance ghost told him to do it.
A Russian poacher was electrocuted when he tried to catch fish by
putting a live electric cable into a pond.
A woman who tried to hire a hit man from a company listed in the
telephone book as Guns for Hire has been sentenced to 4½ years in prison
for plotting to kill her husband.
Television evangelist Jimmy S. made only one reference to the incident
in California, where he was discovered in a car with a prostitute. “The
Lord told me it’s flat none of your business,” he told worshippers.
A 14 year-old boy has been expelled from school in Colorado City,
Arizona, for wearing a T-shirt depicting The Penguin, Batman’s arch
enemy, which the principal complained was a sign of devil worship.
Rodney K., the black motorist whose videotaped beating by police led to
the Los Angeles riots, was arrested on a charge of drunken driving.
A motorist, upset his car broke down in New York City traffic, shot it.
A woman psychologist has been charged with illegal confinement,
dangerous use of a firearm and uttering death threats after she
allegedly tried to force a male psychologist to impregnate her.
Staff at a British hospital for the mentally ill mocked and terrorised
patients, using one as a “human ashtray” and putting pictures of human
brains in a lobotomy victim’s locker. Another patient was sent a live
snake in a package.
Two Minneapolis police officers were suspended for taking two apparently
drunken native Americans to the hospital in the trunk of their squad
A former New York chief judge was indicted on charges he extorted
$20,000 US from an ex-lover.
A former Suicide Prevention Centre volunteer confessed he slit the
wrists of a chronic caller who became too demanding.
A man turned in a [live] artillery shell at a suburban Scarborough
station house saying the First World War relic had been used for years
as a doorstop.
An Internal Revenue Service agent was suspended after it was discovered
that he had filed false tax returns and failed to report income he had
The St. Louis prosecutor, who has crusaded against prostitution and
pornography, was charged with soliciting a prostitute.
A man who wanted “to see if he had the power to derail” an Amtrak
passenger liner got a 17½-year sentence.
A teenage couple in Bossier City, La. chose a department store’s
bedding display for a display of midday sex.
A man has been charged with sexual assault after a customs officer was
grabbed by her breasts as she searched a car.
People shouting their sexual organs had been stolen have set off riots
in Nigeria in which several people have been killed.
Michigan teachers have stifled plans to include a breathing exercise as
part of a health course, bowing to opponents who are worried the deep
breathing could promote devil-worship or mysticism.
The first of six British women who had hoped to give birth among
dolphins in the Red Sea delivered a baby boy at an Eilat hospital
Three deaf-mutes who broke into the music room of a New Zealand high
school were arrested after they failed to hear a burglar alarm go off.
The only drug and alcohol counsellor in the remote community of Wrigley
has been charged with bootlegging.
A drowsy asthma sufferer who grabbed the gun under her pillow rather
than the inhaler she keeps there was taken to hospital with a bullet
wound to the face.
Cooking Italian could endanger your freedom in Arkansas. A bill
introduced in the legislature could make possession of oregano illegal,
and punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
A Brantford drug dealer who brought a gym bag full of marijuana to court
has been sentenced to 22 months in jail.
An investment banker accused of assaulting a flight attendant and
defecating on a food-service cart during a United Airlines flight was
A Honolulu man who was beaten into a coma, allegedly by his
anger-management counsellor, has died.
A woman with a painful callus used a shotgun and a lot of vodka to try
to remove it after a razor failed.
A bill-collecting company that used curses and death threats while
mercilessly hounding a couple over a $2,000 US credit-card debt has been
ordered to pay them $11 million.
Mike T. came home to a hero’s welcome Tuesday after three years in
prison, basking in the cheers of a sweltering crowd and shielded from
questions about his rape of a beauty queen.
An Italian man who was late for his plane called police on his cellular
telephone to say there was a bomb on board so the flight would be
A 17-year old was arrested for allegedly selling cocaine in the back
parking lot of the London, Ontario police station.
The entire community (20) of the remote Long Dog Reserve has been
airlifted out after being spooked by stories their homes are haunted.
A Thai Buddhist monk who wanted to uphold the honour of the clergy
decapitated the abbot of his temple for having an affair with a nun.
A Swedish teacher who undressed in front of her class to spice up a
lesson has been forced to resign.
An Italian woman who taught her talking blackbird to make death threats
against her neighbour has been told to move the winged messenger out of
Twenty-three third graders were strip-searched by a teacher and crossing
guard looking for about $20 a pupil had reported missing.
North Carolina officials have suspended a brain surgeon’s license
because of “erratic behaviour,” such as leaving for lunch in the middle
of an operation.
Four Britons skied naked down a mountain in the French Alps for a wager
and met with a frosty reception from police.
New York police officers are accused of drunken debauchery that included
pawing women and sliding naked down a beer-slicked escalator.
The jilted lover who dive-bombed his small Cessna into the living room
of his pregnant former girlfriend is dead.
The former owner of the Los Angeles Kings pleaded guilty to defrauding
several banks of more than $236 million.
One fire-fighter was taken off active duty and another suspended after
investigators blamed them for setting last year’s Malibu wildfire that
killed three people and destroyed 350 homes.
The police chief of Camden Point has resigned amid charges he made
$27,600 Cdn. worth of calls to a psychic hot line at taxpayer expense.
A San Francisco woman says her boyfriend stabbed her and drank her blood
two days after they saw the movie Interview With The Vampire.
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