So Mote It Be……

So Mote It Be……..

So here he was.
At a stage in his journey where he had never been before. Letting the individuation process guide his choices via intuitive hints, synchronicities and dreams appears to have led to this place. In some ways it was comparatively deserted plain in terms of perspective. Ego driven goals no longer act as markers in day to day actions. Behaving in a way to control or contrive situations were now alien to him as he flowed with the tide of the day.
Ego centred action hid and hindered the growth of his true self by virtue of distraction and negative self talk.
But no more.
Now standing metaphorically before the shores of a new and uncharted land. There was no fear as to what lies ahead as he felt that he saw how life truly was.
No longer separated from the stars, oceans and mountains. As one with the flora and fauna of the planet, indeed with Earth and the Universe themselves.
To live his truth would be his shield and sword as he moved onward in life. Not for battles however but for clear seeing and the security of knowing he was as eternal as the world around him.

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Love Actually…

Sitting outside on my porch gazing at the small pinpricks of starlight piercing the clear black velvet of the night sky.. The chill evening breeze gently brushes against my skin, light chirruping of birdsong reaches my ears and the cool, musty aroma of the evening air infiltrates my sense of smell. The pure, sensual beauty of the moment triggers bittersweet memories of similar feelings previously experienced in my life. Of when we first met.

Our eyes subtly, ever so delicately touched. With that brief, miniscule action my heart and spirit were given flight. My body and soul became aflame with a deep incandescent love for you.
Your very presence lightened my heart and quenched my previously unrequited thirst for emotional and intellectual intimacy.

All of my senses became excruciatingly heightened as if to ensure that I did not miss any aspect of your divine presence.
I bathed in your gaze and through your eyes I was drawn into your very soul. Any self control I had, withered away as I responded to your every word and gesture.
To others it may have appeared to be an intimate friendship but together we were as one, intrinsically in synchrony in our interactions.

The content and context of our verbal and non verbal responses were immaterial, they simply served the purpose of allowing us to subtly and sensually mingle our individual energies. Consummating our union with every word, touch and exchange of eye contact.

Our sharing of similar appreciations of beauty, humour and the intricate complexities of life itself.
We interacted in a joyous, almost childlike manner. No ego’s, pretences or barrier’s between us, you and I were lost to the world of mortals. We were in our private heaven.
Any sense of time was lost as this was beyond physicality, this was the realm of the eternal soul. There was neither any beginning or end, only that moment for eternity.We met many times after that, each meeting always exquisite in its depth and liberating in its intensity. But extraneous circumstances moved us apart and our time together diminished until ‘we’ are now just a shared memory.
Now it is unlikely I will ever know if what we had was meant to last and be something more enduring.
I look upon those times in the not so distant past with warmth and appreciation for those so special moments.
Perhaps this is how it is meant to be.
After all some of the most beautiful and wondrous things in life are transient.
Transient, possibly because those unique set of circumstances that lead to the blooming and eventual blossoming of that particular numinous experience could not be sustained.
Like the peak of a storm.
Like an Autumn sunset.

Love Actually….

Sitting outside on my porch gazing at the small pinpricks of starlight piercing the clear black velvet of the night sky.. The chill evening breeze gently brushes against my skin, light chirruping of birdsong reaches my ears and the cool, musty aroma of the evening air infiltrates my sense of smell. The pure, sensual beauty of the moment triggers bittersweet memories of similar feelings previously experienced in my life. Of when we first met.

Our eyes subtly, ever so delicately touched. With that brief, miniscule action my heart and spirit were given flight. My body and soul became aflame with a deep incandescent love for you.
Your very presence lightened my heart and quenched my previously unrequited thirst for emotional and intellectual intimacy.

All of my senses became excruciatingly heightened as if to ensure that I did not miss any aspect of your divine presence.
I bathed in your gaze and through your eyes I was drawn into your very soul. Any self control I had, withered away as I responded to your every word and gesture.
To others it may have appeared to be an intimate friendship but together we were as one, intrinsically in synchrony in our interactions.

The content and context of our verbal and non verbal responses were immaterial, they simply served the purpose of allowing us to subtly and sensually mingle our individual energies. Consummating our union with every word, touch and exchange of eye contact.

Our sharing of similar appreciations of beauty, humour and the intricate complexities of life itself.
We interacted in a joyous, almost childlike manner. No ego’s, pretences or barrier’s between us, you and I were lost to the world of mortals. We were in our private heaven.
Any sense of time was lost as this was beyond physicality, this was the realm of the eternal soul. There was neither any beginning or end, only that moment for eternity.We met many times after that, each meeting always exquisite in its depth and liberating in its intensity. But extraneous circumstances moved us apart and our time together diminished until ‘we’ are now just a shared memory.
Now it is unlikely I will ever know if what we had was meant to last and be something more enduring.
I look upon those times in the not so distant past with warmth and appreciation for those so special moments.
Perhaps this is how it is meant to be.
After all some of the most beautiful and wondrous things in life are transient.
Transient, possibly because those unique set of circumstances that lead to the blooming and eventual blossoming of that particular numinous experience could not be sustained.
Like the peak of a storm.
Like an Autumn sunset.

With Discerning Eyes….

When he had found out that he was empathic his experiences finally made sense. It also explained as to why others seemed to not understand some of the ideas and feelings he had expressed.
This energetic ‘ sensitivity’ it would seem allowed him to access the depths of others emotions or thoughts from the briefest of encounters. Also to preternaturally sense sites and places of power in the landscape.
When occurring the experience was never easy to describe as they presented frequently as fleeting gossamer tendrils of energy manifesting as thoughts, feelings or images or a combination of all three.
Sometimes he would become overwhelmed with the presenting energy and find himself utterly absorbed into the persons self or the genius loci of the site and it’s magical history and presence.

The older gentleman sitting by himself at the bar, baseball cap covering his eyes as nurses his glass of spirit and ice. An ex military man mumbling a soliloquy of painful memories and regrets. Rheumy eyes gaze blearily out from under the peak of his cap as the waitress delivers his next shot. The alcohol numbing his reflective suffering and giving some relief to his emotional turmoil.

The young mother in the restaurant doting on her two year old, making entreaties for him to eat. Her partner sits there disinterse, texting on his mobile phone. His demeanor suggests his belief that he sees himself as an ‘ alpha male’. His overt masculinity she once found attractive however all she feels now is oppressed and disregarded.

Walking along a narrow lane towards the holy well, surrounded either side by overhanging gorse bushes and tree branches creating a natural aisle for a reverential procession. One can almost hear the hushed, silent voices of the ancestral supplicant as they approached this sanctum of Gaia. Grey, corbelled walls surround the natural font, many clouties hang from the hawthorn tree in the grove. These given as offerings by those wishing to be healed. Their entreaties almost palpable and their silent tears having fallen on the soil to be mixed with the translucent waters of the spring.

The overgrown scrub obscured much of the ruinous stone circle within the small copse. However it’s ethereality could strongly be sensed. A long history of mystic practices had impressed themselves on this spot and what remained was a subtle but powerful energy. The quality of the energy sometimes changed on each visit. This time the feeling was stark. The sandstone uprights seemed to stare disaffected towards him. It felt as if a hundred or so malevolent eyes watched warily from the undergrowth resenting his presence as if he had interrupted some sacred liturgy.

He reflected on all these memories and felt he had been given a special insight into the true nature of reality. And if was really one’s perspective that mattered then he was truly gifted.

Spiritual Individuation

Colours blind the eye.
Sounds deafen the ear.
Flavours numb the taste.
Thoughts weaken the mind.
Desires wither the heart.
The Master observes the world
but trusts his inner vision.

He allows things to come and go.
His heart is open as the sky.
From the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu.

I know many of us with a predisposition towards the spiritual life can suffer tremendously as we precariously tread our path. There is in us all, our own rendition of spirituality. A unique and innate seed that seeks expression and fulfilment through our experience of life itself. My own was through the discovery that I am empathic.
I am no expert on anyone’s life as we all are different. Each of us growing from a distinct DNA in our own individual habitat of physical, psychological and emotional environments.

However, in the hope of helping others, I wish to communicate briefly my experience thus far.
After many years of reflection, meditation and various numinous experiences in my life I found that actually I knew my truth all along, I just needed to discover it. My truth was ingrained in my heart from the very beginning. I suspect it took awhile to discover as my truth was not of my culture and thus many of my spiritual experiences were alien to me as they were to my peers.

This is where the idea of spiritual individuation came from.
The term ” individuation ” was coined by Carl Jung, a psychiatrist and psychotherapist. His theory was that in order for humans to become the best version themselves we had to allow ourselves to be authentic. That is to seek to express in ourselves and in life our intuitive true nature. The problem with this is it can often be at odds with our culture, peers the society we are born into.
Although I never used to think that being empathic was a gift ( due to its initially confusing and draining properties ) , I now know that it was indeed. One which, once understood, has been pivotal in helping me find myself and for me, my true relationship with the world around me.
So to all you fellow strugglers, whatsoever pain or challenges you may face, rest assured that you are more than you perceive yourself to be. You are more than your current problems, more than your fears for the future and more than the hurts of your past. If you can carry on pursuing your heartfelt path, in my experience, you will find peace and equanimity.

And the Shell Crack’d……

Sitting alone in his darkened lounge he sat with his head in his hands. It was early evening but already the days occurrences were weighing heavy on his heart. His life over the last few months had become a veritable tsunami of stress, relentless in its persistency and in its increasing escalation of painful situations.
He had begun to wonder if in some way he had contributed to his own suffering though he could not imagine how.

It was, on occasions, difficult enough to be an empath. Seeing as he did into individuals souls and feeling their pain and their suffering both historically and currently. More often than not he would try and help them in ways that were none intrusive but more by giving them a safe space to verbalise their thoughts and reach their own conclusions.

But now he knew he had barely enough strength for himself let alone others.
He felt vague currents of anxiety start to set in, in both his mind and body. He so wished he could be saved. Rescued from the edge of this towering precipice above a black pit of annihilation. However it was never going to be that easy, never was.

Then suddenly it felt as if his mind broke. All the thoughts and emotions that had been building inside of him burst forth from the finite confines of his ego and out into the world.
Nothing particularly physically or behaviourally were to be observed to suggest any internal change had occurred.
However cognitively and emotionally his inner landscape had changed dramatically.
He felt himself to be outside of himself looking in. Floods of compassion swept over him for this man and his burden. But the compassion did not stop there. It flooded out towards the whole of humanity and the Earth’s flora and fauna.

It dawned on him that actually, at the end of the day, we are all one. Though our senses and speech suggest otherwise, this was indeed not the case. That every living beings pain and ecstacy are irrevocably caught up with everyone and everything else.
For some reason his suffering could not be alleviated by logic or therapy. The often seemingly impossible task of maintaining a semblance of sanity and a will to continue could only be guaranteed through a breakthrough of sorts.

He noted that he no longer felt alone.
He was indeed as much a part of this world as the mountains and lakes, as the animals and the birds, as the clouds and the soil.

A quote came to mind. A long time ago he remembered that a gentleman called Carl Jung allegedly stated that there is no coming to consciousness without pain.
This he now understood.

Vernal ( viral?) Equinox……

It was early morning as he sat out on his patio overlooking his garden on the outskirts of the city. Just where suburbia relinquishes her grip to the manifest countryside.
A mug of steaming hot coffee in one hand and a hand rolled cigarette in the other, he sat back on his bench and reflected on the new day.
A pale morning Sun cast pale rays of sunlight over his immediate vista.
The deep purple grape hyacinths were thrusting up through the towsled foliage left from the Winter months. The delicate yellow and amber flowers of the daffodils lining the borders of the limpid pond which rippled silently with insectile activity.
An aptly named quarrel of house sparrows land in a nearby bush, some carrying twigs or moss ready to to build their nests in earnest.
A pair of squirrels seemingly anxiously foraging in the undergrowth searching for past hordes.
The chatter and birdsong appeared louder this morning. Maybe because of the lack of human bustling in the neighbourhood or maybe an increase in excitement due to the nascent beginnings of Springtime.
He found a deep irony in the correlation of the outbreak of the virus and this time of year. This equinox was about rebirthing after all. Perhaps that was what was happening but on a global scale.
A human shift in paradigm from its largely narcissistic relationship with Nature and the planet. God knows, he thought, it was well overdue from Nature’s perspective. He felt humanity had moved to far away from it’s symbiotic origins in the mists of time.
Preoccupation with electronic gadgets, devices and novelty pastimes instead of an awareness of the beauty of the world and the preciousness of each living moment.
Perhaps something good could come out of all this.
A new moral order based on mutual respect for each other and our planet Earth. A society formed on the basis of trust, honesty and compassion instead of lies and self serving actions of many in power and those whom they rule.
Taking a large swig of his now cool coffee and a long draw on his cigarette, he exhaled the smoke into the morning air.
” Perhaps………” he thought.

More Than a Diagnosis……

Having worked in mental health I find this to be very true.

“All of the diagnoses that you deal with – depression, anxiety, ADHD, bipolar illness, post traumatic stress disorder, even psychosis, are significantly rooted in trauma. They are manifestations of trauma. Therefore the diagnoses don’t explain anything. The problem in the medical world is that we diagnose somebody and we think that is the explanation. He’s behaving that way because he is psychotic. She’s behaving that way because she has ADHD. Nobody has ADHD, nobody has psychosis – these are processes within the individual. It’s not a thing that you have. This is a process that expresses your life experience. It has meaning in every single case.”

Gabor Mate

A Light in the Black?

A Light in the Black?… ( Empath reflections part two)

Seemingly he could no longer reliably depend on external information resources as a basis to understand the world and what was actually happening. Bias and agenda’s, both hidden and not, infiltrated newspapers and the media wherever he looked. Ten to twenty years ago this did not seem to be the case. Sure there was always some skullduggery going on but many news sources could be relied on to give a more objective account or at least, one knew of their bias.
Not so nowadays. There seemed to be so much false information around that individuals can pick and choose what they want to believe and find rhetoric to support it.
Whereas historically many people used social media and other resources to express their individual and unique experiences / understandings on issues, this no longer seems the case.
These days one can find a polarising influence i.e. a setting of one aspect of society against another. Opposing views are encouraged and promoted to the extreme, encouraging vitriolic exchanges between parties.
He had noted that these attitudes and ideas were now much more common in everyday society. Conversations overheard in cafe’s, restaurants and bars seemed to contain the same content as encouraged in media outlets.
So, what has actually changed over the last twenty or so years?
He decided to write down objectively ( as best he could ) what he had witnessed with his own two eyes ).

  • increased homelessness
  • less or lack of an ability of the under privileged or disabled to access appropriate benefits
  • increase in race related crime
  • increase in acts of random violence ( and increase in severity )
  • the gradual breakdown of the family unit and supportive social networks in the comminity
  • the rise of politicians and celebrities whose main claim to fame is overwhelming egocenticity. Many of these individuals are openly racist, bigoted and self serving. There views voiced with impunity
  • an increase in mental health problems in the young on an unprecedented scale.

The list goes on.
What’s all this to do with spirituality or empathy one may ask? Everything he believed.
Carl Jung may have got it right he thought. These occurrences and behaviour were very much a shadow aspect to people’s personalities and so easily encouraged in those whom were unaware.
The unconscious ability to project one’s unacceptable feelings on to others, be them individuals or minority sections of society.

So what could he do if anything, he thought?
As an empathic individual such angst caused him to feel stressed and overwhelmed. A large part of him wanted to hide away from society and preserve some degree of sanity.
But he knew that would be pointless. He would still be able to ‘feel’ what was happening in the outside world. He would still hear silent cries of the hurt and wounded.
His resolve therefore was to carry on as he had been doing. After all there was still some goodness in people. There were after all individuals not that dissimilar to himself.
Through small acts of kindness and positive / supportive action he would act to counter balance what he perceived to be the trend.

‘Tis…….

‘Tis those whom have suffered much dishonesty that truly appreciate honesty,
‘Tis those whom have suffered much hate that truly appreciate love,
‘Tis those whom have suffered much loneliness whom truly appreciate comradeship.
And for those of us whom have fought many silent battles that truly appreciate peace.

Paul Watkiss 2020