What do we tell the retarded, the insane, and the ugly?

Zane (@albinomongoose) 8 years, 11 months ago

People on High Existence are attempting to, well, live a HIGH existence. Threads are usually about improvement, being all you can be, thinking positive, breaking limits, etc. Usually the highest rated answers are the ones which express, in so many words, “Just do it” or “Your the only one stopping yourself”.

I really like the can-do attitude and no-bullshit advice people like Manimal bring to the site but…

what do we say to people who can’t take this advice, no matter how badly they want to?

“You can not be stronger than your strength, no matter how hard you try” – a quote I read somewhere, and the truth. Some people just can’t do certain things.

What do we tell the autistic dude who reads a thread about expanding one’s mind, when he can’t do much more than spit in his mom’s napkin and talk to himself. Or the girl who reads a thread about finding real, passionate love, when she has birth deformities which repulse every man who looks at her? Are they just out of luck, doomed to an inferior existence?

October 15, 2013 at 1:26 pm
Ben (62) (@Mallorn) 8 years, 11 months ago ago

you imply that any of those things automatically make someone “doomed,” and if you actually think being ugly makes someone inferior…well…luls. I assume there’s at least one human not attracted to you. Do you think they wonder how to help you get up to their level? Maybe they realize attraction is largely cultural and individual.

attractive people often form false identities because they don’t feel sincerely loved, but only for their attributes. they may have much more cognitive potential than another, but waste it because of emotional traps.

your statements and questions are inherently flawed, as you assume “retarted (which is rude), insane, and ugly people share some common inferiority. surely autistic people do more than “spit in their mom’s napkins.” Many can perform more complex operations than you.

and the can-do attitude only works with things that are physically possible. Just like we all accept our mortality, and various unique shortcomings, so do you I assume accept yours. That’s all a human can do.

Zane (89) (@albinomongoose) 8 years, 11 months ago ago

@mallorn, I DID NOT make any valuation of said people, I purposed a valuation of the quality of their life. Nothing is inherently better than anything else, that much is clear. What I’m saying is, most people on this site valuate certain styles of life, and I think it’s true that some ways of living are more enjoyable, rewarding, and fun – so what do we tell people who can’t live that way at all? You don’t think someone who can find a lover can be happier than those who can’t?

I never said that many mentally defective people aren’t capable of amazing feats that others can’t. Not sure why you keep assuming things. But a lot of retarded people don’t have any notable mental advantage to speak of.

Cosmic (79) (@cosmicd46) 8 years, 11 months ago ago


A high existence or an inferior existence is, in a sense, defined subjectively and based on personal experiences. Even when one compares the quality of one person’s life to that of another the initial and concluding judgements will be subjective, personal, relative, biased. The people you chose to pigeon hole can certainly reach their own, unique high existence, which I think ultimately we all here do (or can).

Zane (89) (@albinomongoose) 8 years, 11 months ago ago

@cosmicd46, I think you’re right. But this kinda breaks the “can-do” mentality I mentioned in my first post. If everything is relative and subjective, which I believe it is, than why even strive for goals and what not? Couldn’t you just train yourself to be perfectly happy without ever pushing yourself or trying hard? What does it matter?

Perhaps you don’t espouse the aforementioned, purpose driven mentality, but my question is more for those people.

Manimal (2,998) (@manimal) 8 years, 11 months ago ago

@albinomongoose, Well, let’s break it down…

What is ugliness? Who is ugly? Compared to what? According to whom? In what context?
A birth deformity that repulses everyone, that’s something I find hard to imagine. There are lots of people who aren’t repulsed by that stuff, and there are people who look beyond such factors when choosing a target for their romantic expression.
Pessimism never helped anyone, and damn, it makes people uglier.

The western society of today makes it seem like looks has much more importance than it really has.

Well, there are many different types of retardation, and there are many different levels. A lot of retards are highly functional, they are capable of most things you or I can do, it’s just a bit more challenging.
And those who aren’t, well… do they need to do this stuff? Seriously? It’s not for everyone, it’s not something everyone would choose, most people aren’t retards and they don’t do this sort of stuff.

There are many different kinds of insane, and many different degrees.
A lot of looneys are highly functional, capable of most of the things you or I can do. The majority of insane people are not insane all the time, just every now and then.
And again, do they really need to do this stuff? There are many ways to live life, the “higher” ways are just options.

By the way, do you believe in reincarnation? It seems most people on this forum believe in that stuff.
So, what if these forms -retarded, deformed, insane- are just more limited incarnations, teaching a different lesson, while the higher ways are a lesson for another life?

Or, what if it’s just karma? Maybe they earned this trouble in their last life, and have to miss out on some opportunities for now?
Just food for thought, for those who believe in rebirth.

Any way… some deranged, wretched people have done some really big stuff yknow. What’s stopping the others?
What’s stopping those who have the capabilities and privileges?

And in the end… does it even matter?

Ben (62) (@Mallorn) 8 years, 11 months ago ago

Surely someone who /could/ find a lover /could/ be happier than one who could not…just as true as the inverse. As said @cosmicd46, all we have are our own experiences to analyze subjectively, and so the wheel of happiness is comprised of different spokes for everyone (stole that).

, If I’m correctly understanding your question as for an individual, I look for the things i feel most compelled to do, and i enjoy observing my own limits and seeing how far I can push them. The subjectivity of our own minds is all the more reason for this. A person who has to work to regain the use of his legs might be able to be just as happy without ever doing this work as he would be if he did. Or he might not.

I think it only matters as far as the will of the individual. Maybe this is why those monks are so attracted to monk-ing, they literally train themselves to be happy without needing these things they thought they needed. freedom

John (12) (@johnharris67) 8 years, 11 months ago ago

We don’t tell ‘them’ anything, we continue to live our life the best we can and trust they will do the same. We simply offer them love and compassion as we would to any other human being.

YHVH (462) (@spaceghost) 8 years, 11 months ago ago

@albinomongoose, I think in the past these kinds of people would either survive or die. Now, they get assistance and medical care.

Anonymous (2,654) (@) 8 years, 11 months ago ago

Seems like you like categorizing people a lot, which isn’t very smart, sane or beautiful.

Anonymous (328) (@) 8 years, 11 months ago ago

@albinomongoose, No one is equal, face it. We are equal by way of law and human nature, but no one is equal based on traits, attributes and experience. So if you want to live a “High Existence” or whatever the fuck you want to brand it, you need to accept reality and be okay with it.

Hey. Seems like you’re no different than those retards you’re so weary about.

Tine (366) (@tine) 8 years, 11 months ago ago


gotta love a good breakdown, lol.

everybody’s got their own version of the perspective, which to me, is defined as the accumulation of knowledge and experience that the individual uses to interpret reality. so each person is literary looking at reality through a different lens.

meaning, everyone, based on this accumulation, has different expectations and ways that information correlates, and in the examples you gave, the perspectives in question are fairly extreme,

if the brain is damaged, they cannot realize what they are missing, if the body is deformed, they cannot know what they are missing, for these things fall outside their perspective’s ability to grasp because they are unknown,

they can only imagine, yearn for, get caught in dissatisfaction loops

considering all of this, something they can glean from this site’s ‘get out of your way’ attitude is to learn to let go of the things that are beyond their control and focus on what is within their intellectual / physical grasp of doing,

MonkeyZazu (1,865)M (@monkeyzazu) 8 years, 11 months ago ago


“What does ‘The window of opportunity has arrived.’ mean?”

“Buddha can only help those seeking enlightenment. When the window passes, the chance is lost. And if the window has not yet arrived, then the effort is wasted.”
— Reign of Assassins

Your post reminded me of that conversation. You can only help the people seeking help or that want help. Once help is given they will reject or accept it. If they accept it, great. If not, oh well. Some people try to oppress their way of thinking onto others and get angry when its rejected, but its not “one size fits all” with this type of stuff. People learn and process information in different ways. If they don’t vibe with your advice, then they don’t vibe with it. Just acknowledge that you tried and move on with your life.

Kinda what @johnharris67 said.

Zane (89) (@albinomongoose) 8 years, 11 months ago ago

@motorik, @beyond, Don’t really understand these antagonistic responses. I’m simply trying to discuss reality and the way we deal with it. My post was motivated by empathy for people who are born with less, not to boost myself up. I just want to understand how someone in such positions can/should live life. It’s interesting to me. Maybe someday I’ll be retarded. Maybe, like you said, I already am.

Why is even bringing the issue up and trying to comprehend life from another perspective so offensive to you? And maybe I am categorizing people, but only because it allows us to talk about it. You can’t talk about anything if you don’t have categories – that’s fundamental.

, Reincarnation is an interesting idea, though I have no idea if it’s true – a nice theory of a balanced universe. I find it hard to be proud of anything I have/am when I realize it’s all just luck of the draw. I’ve always been fond of the Hindu myth which postulates that we’re all one self, one awareness, that’s playing games with itself, limiting its perspective, until finally we all wake up and realize there is no separation.

Or maybe there is a field of consciousness which gives everyone awareness, and our brains our like antennas for it, not generators. Maybe some peoples antennas just happen to be better than others.

, I pretty much agree with what you said, except that I believe some people are aware they’re somehow damaged. Look at a guy like Syd Barrett. Or one time I saw a TV show where a healthy, athletic teenager got hit by a drunk driver and than woke up and eventually realized he was severely brain damaged and paralyzed.

Ben (62) (@Mallorn) 8 years, 11 months ago ago

Oh no you definitely already are.

people in unfortunate situations do the only thing humans can do… adapt.

josephm (772) (@josephm) 8 years, 11 months ago ago

@albinomongoose, god is with us

Anonymous (328) (@) 8 years, 11 months ago ago

@albinomongoose, No one is offended. I’m trying to level with you. The ability to critique something just simply means it has been made familiar to an individual by experience, so when you say “people who can’t take advice”, it just means no matter how good the advice, it is pointless until they experience it.

inna (95) (@paintedbeings) 8 years, 11 months ago ago


Well you can’t stretch one big pair of HIGH EXISTENCE panties over everyone. Advice requires understanding, and on a forum like this, people generally try to put more effort and thought into it all (at least I hope).
Personalize advice according to the subjectively perceived shortcoming that person is experiencing. There are many things that can possibly make living a high existence more of a challenge, and that increases how challenging your response/output is going to be. Someone posting with terminal illness got incredibly little response – it was difficult to be helpful so people shied away. Also, don’t forget that these people are acquiring different experience than you in life, and that can also be an advantage.

I also assume you’ve never met a high functioning autistic individual. In some other thread on HE people were marveling over a person’s amazing unspeakable talent and didn’t even realize he’s able to do that easily because he’s autistic.

What I personally noticed is many throw around divine love concepts while having a very naive point of view about reality and lack of knowledge of basic psychology which could potentially mislead some people down the wrong path (for example, handling sociopathy and emotional manipulation). But that’s just me being cautious from personal experience. You just can’t cure HIV with massaging your third eye at sunset every day, and you gotta remember that.

Stfrancis (110) (@Stfrancis) 8 years, 11 months ago ago

@albinomongoose, you owe these people your greatest debt of love. For someone seemingly concerned with bettering your own life and the lives of others, you need to learn what love means and how to apply it to your thought process a little better. The traits you described are thought patterns which judge and exclude. Everyone’s ugly to someone, everyone’s retarded to someone, everyone’s a little insane. But these designations assume there is such a thing as an objective attractiveness, sanity, and intelligence scale, which of course there isn’t. We are all part of God’s infinitely beautiful creation, no part any less beautiful than another.

Sandy (115) (@sandman) 8 years, 11 months ago ago

@stfrancis, I struck up a conversation with a one-armed guy on the bus a while back and asked him about how he lost it. What struck me was how much he didn’t think about it. Everyone on the bus was thinking “This guy only has one arm! This guy only has one arm!”

But all he was thinking about was “I hope we’re not stuck in traffic, I’m late for a meeting… Gotta get my PowerPoint slides in the right order…”

It’s easy to label people from our perspective and assume we know what their experience is like. We assume it about fortunate people as well. If someone wins the lottery, we assume they’ll be happy. But a study of the happiness of lottery winners vs. people who lost a limb showed that one year later, each group had returned to the same levels they were before the fortunate or unfortunate event. We think beautiful models have it made, but I know a few, and some worry that people only like them because they’re attractive and can’t get past that to have a real interaction with them.

So, my advice is to not assume that ugly people are thinking about their ugliness. They might be super psyched about something that is totally unrelated to what you notice about them.

I think the one exception is people struggling with debilitating mental illness: depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, paranoia. Those conditions really can haunt sufferers pervasively, and good-natured advice might fall on deaf ears until they can get the help they need, whether it’s psychological or spiritual counseling or medication.

So, let’s let people speak for themselves. Don’t pity or condemn “ugly” people or whatever kind of category you want to sort people into. Everyone has multiple factors to their identity, and the most important aspects may not be what you happen to be paying attention to. Approaching another human being with pity actually puts you at odds with having a genuine interaction with someone as an equal. Think of a weakness or flaw that you have that others may judge you by, and ask yourself if you would rather be pitied…or just treated like a person with dreams, hopes, fears, joys, inspirations and annoyances.

Your insistence on “us” and “them” is the heart of the problem.

Tatler (43) (@tatler) 8 years, 11 months ago ago

@albinomongoose, Who eyes are you looking through? perspective is key, some people would view autistic people as genius or the people with birth deformities beautiful.
Yes everyone is unique and everyone has there preferences. Personally i think diversity is a beautiful of life.
To the people who battle with who they are, take this quote

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”

Whatever you believe “god” is or is not

Ellie (1,363)M (@tangledupinplaid21) 8 years, 11 months ago ago

@sandman, yes.

Obviously, you’re not a golfer (605) (@donjaime23) 8 years, 11 months ago ago

If the autistic dude can’t do much more than spit in his mom’s napkin and talk to himself, then what is he doing on the internet in the first place?

As for the girl: Tell her to wikipedia “Annie Jones (bearded lady)” and “Julia Pastrana” Also check out this link: http://www.sideshowworld.com/41-GG/60-S-Married/CG-Al-Jeane-Tomaini-Married-B.html

Stfrancis (110) (@Stfrancis) 8 years, 11 months ago ago

@sandman, I appreciate your post and you made some very good points, but I’m not sure you were actually responding to my post. In my post I tried to explain that the designations people hand out are based on arbitrary thought patterns and don’t have a meaningful reality, everyone deserves the most love you can possibly give them based solely on their humanity, no other requirements.

Zane (89) (@albinomongoose) 8 years, 11 months ago ago

Well, I learned a lot and gathered some very cool ideas from everyone’s responses. I’m sorry if I came off insensitive in my initial post. I have a penchant for playing devil’s advocate.

I probably only came to this idea through egotistic attachment to my own body and mind – or maybe deep insecurities and fear that there’s something wrong with me. So thanks for helping break my conceptions of normal, happy, and healthy. It’s all about perspective.

Sandy (115) (@sandman) 8 years, 11 months ago ago

From your posts:
“Are they just out of luck, doomed to an inferior existence?”

“I appreciate your post and you made some very good points, but I’m not sure you were actually responding to my post.”

From me:
I don’t know. Your post still strikes me as an “us” and “them.” With the “them” we should pity rather than just have a real interaction with. I read helpful advice all the time. It may not be appropriate for my age, my gender, my particular circumstance, but I appreciate that the author went to lengths to try to convey something helpful. Why is it so hard to imagine that someone with limited resources would pick and choose what they can use and what is meaningful to them?

Someone’s identity is not an all-or-none thing. If someone is disabled or (your words) “ugly,” they do not simply have a single designation like one of the seven dwarfs of Snow White or a smurf. They’re just people with challenges like everyone else. Some things will resonate with them, some things don’t.

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