It's a modern phenomenon, and yet it has been around since the dawn of conscious time... we choose names or avatars or other symbols to represent us, things that are important parts of who we are, what we believe in, and who and what we want to identify with.
We are born, and by whatever course of action and influence, we are given names by those who are responsible for us - usually our parents. These names come to mean so very very much throughout the course of our lives, as we explore the boundaries of our self identification and placement in the Universe. With this name, we understand who we are, and where the boundaries are between "Self" and "Other". The names become our "Identification" in the world. Our name opens all sorts of doors. It allows us to open bank accounts; to attach drivers licences, passports, certificates, degrees and other awards and qualifications to it; to be directors of business entities (with their own names); to be uniquely identifiable.
We and our loved ones modify our names from time to time, abbreviating or otherwise changing things. We collect nicknames over the years. Some of them stick, some of them don't, some of them we wish hadn't ever seen the light of day, some of them become more important to us than our really real names.
We can further add to our names by attaching degrees, ranks and salutations to them.
So... what's in a name?
My name is Hans Peter Walder, as given to me by my parents. I go by my middle name Peter. Always have. In fact, when my parents were naming me, they initially named me Peter Walder, and as they were walking out of the registry office, dad said that he would have loved to have called me Hans as well, so they turned around and changed it to Hans Peter. But as a kid, I was always Peter.
I don't much like the name Hans. It sounds nice in Danish, but bloody awful in Australian English, which is the tongue that I most often wag.
But anyhoo, getting back to names and other symbols. Flags are also an example of this phenomenon. Countless millions have been inspired, died defending, or killed in the name of flags. Such important symbols...
Symbols (and names) exist because we want to identify and label something. As humans, it seems to be one of our great intellectual interests to call a thing a particular name. Almost as if...
...by knowing this thing's name, I now know the true essence of this thing.
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T-Shirts are another example of this phenomenon in this day and age. They can say a heck of a lot of profound or funny things that tickles the wearer's fancy enough for them to share it with the rest of the world.
But nothing is quite as important a symbol as our names...
I chose Silenus as my nom de plume, my pen name, my own name for myself.
So why Silenus?
In short, this site is all about Creativity, Health, Personal Development, Challenging and Accepting in Equal Measure, Asking the Hard Questions, Being Crazy and Proud of It, Mental Wealth, Fun and Well-being.
This website is constantly under construction. In that, it mirrors Silenus' mind, body and shifting place in the Universe.
The Mental Wealth forum is fully active, and can be accessed using the Main Menu. Silenus welcomes you to join this forum if that appeals to you. It is a forum for people who have recognised that they suffer with mental health issues.
My name is Silenus. I am officially diagnosed with Bipolar Type 2 disorder. That's the milder form of bipolar. The kind that has the ability to fuck up my life and the lives of those around me, but without the psychotic breaks, voices in my head and scary inability to occasionally tell the difference between the reality within my head and the reality as experienced by the majority of humans in the really real world. My Moods swing a lot, and when I'm flying high, it's almost guaranteed to be higher than your average bear flies. Conversely, when I am low, there are no words to describe the depths of my depression.
One of my greatest desires is to share my life experiences so that I can help others to realise that it's okay and normal to have mental health issues, and that it's so much better to seek professional help than to go it alone. I've tried both in my life, and by going it alone, I ended my marriage of 10 years and caused a lot of pain. For that, I am eternally regretful, but also eternally grateful. I have struggled through the pain to find the gain. In that, I am trying to turn my frown upside down, learn from my life experiences, and share what I have learned in the hope that my life can be an example to others, before they have to go through the same depths of pain that I have gone through (or worse still - cause your loved ones undue pain).
I'm doing my darndest to learn more about my mental health issues. I recognise the fact that every single person on the face of the planet has mental health issues at some point in their lives. It's natural and normal, and the sooner we start talking about it in a relaxed and matter of fact manner, the better. To assume you will never have mental health issues in your life is like assuming that you will never have a pulled muscle, a dodgy back, a bung knee, or the common cold afflicting your physical health.
So, once again, I invite you to consider joining Silenus' Mental Wealth forum. Existing members could learn a hell of a lot from your own life experiences if you are willing to share them in a supportive, open and caring environment.
But the Mental Wealth forum is not the only thing that makes up this website. There's a lot more to Silenus than his ongoing pre-occupation with his mental health. There are so many things in Silenus' life that interest, intrigue and delight him. He loves sharing those delights, too. So, strap yourselves in, and here's hoping that you enjoy the ride. Life as seen through Silenus' eyes is truly grand in so many ways.
Articles will more than likely appear in the various sections over time.
More features will be added to this site as Silenus' Muse whispers sweet little nothings in his ear...
Thanks for stopping by. Silenus humbly and profoundly hopes to see you again.
Oooooh look! A butterfly!
[Silenus goes running off through grassy fields filled with wild flowers, following the butterfly.]