Shifting Sands

I’ve always found it strange how my mindset can change from day to day ( sometimes hour to hour). Not usually to extremes thankfully but enough to make me aware of the fluctuant nature of both my mental and physical processes.

This Sunday morning, sitting on the porch looking out on the garden and outlying countryside I am in awe of the world before me.
All of Nature feels adance with energy. A myriad of creatures all going about their daily business in perfect symphony with the stiff breeze that has excited the branches and leaves into a seemingly synchronitic movement.
I can almost sense the thrum of the very vibrancy of life coursing through the flora and fauna.
I too cannot help but be infected by the apparent urgent burgeoning of the raw potentiality of the day.

A single bee frantically busying itself collecting the last vestiges of nectar from the fading pink flowers of the Japanese Anemone.
A small flock of house sparrows and starlings descend on the pond to drink and bathe in a flurry of activity.
Two grey squirrels dart and leap amongst the branches of the old oak tree feverishly gathering acorns in readiness for the leaner times ahead.
The eternal moist freshness of the cool morning air blowing gently through my hair and over my bare skin, as if anointing me for the day ahead.
The primal cry of a nearby rook breaks the silence of the early morning bringing me briefly back from my reverie.

It’s in moments such as these that I am reminded of the true divinity innate in all of existence.
That every single second of our lives should be spent in eternal gratitude of this gift of human life.
It is truly humbling yet paradoxically liberating to realise that I too am just as much a part of Natures perfect tapestry.
I am as one with the all that abides on the Earth, the stars, the Moon and all the galaxies that exist billions and billions of miles away.
This flimsy carapace of flesh and bone had fooled me long enough into believing I was an isolated soul, abandoned on a planet speeding inanely in space.
I realise now that there is no singular life or death of anything or anyone, simply an unfolding of all that is.

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Wanderlust

It seems that my wanderlust has returned yet again. I’m no stranger to such feelings however, they frequent many times a year but never so powerful as when Autumn approaches.
The increasingly golden sunsets, the chill evening breeze hinting at the soon to be arrival of cooler weather.
The iridescent foliage of the trees and bushes as each becomes more vibrant in colour, accentuated further by the aureate sunlight as it shimmers through the leaves.

My heart aches to spend time alone in the parting dusk of Summer, not wanting to miss a single ethereal moment of the subtle changes now manifest in Nature. Out amongst the woods and forests, in the groves overgrown by bracken and silently watching a gossamer spectral mist arise slowly from the lakes.

It’s at times like this that I could so easily walk away from this fettered life of supposed domesticity with its alleged comfort and security. Following my souls primal call to be amongst Nature herself.
The urge as irresistible as a mermaids song, gentle and hypnotic but relentlessly demanding of the union of myself with Gaia.

I would gladly leave the demands of modern societys day to day machinations. The nine to five daily sacrifice of eight unredeemable hours in order to pay faceless companies for ‘necessities’ to which I have been socialised to accept as normal living.

Instead I would stroll in silence, through the long grass of the meadows and the copses of huddled trees, save for primordial sounds of birdsong and the gentle babble of nearby brooks.
To eventually lose any remnant of my human self, no longer able to distinguish where myself and the rest of creation were either to begin or end.

Adventures in Empathy…………?

Having awoken I go through my usual morning routine.
Strong , hot coffee with the usual breakfast cigarette sitting on the decking looking out onto my ramshackle garden.
Providing my dream time has not been excessively infiltrated by seemingly high definition, Kafkaesque imagery my mind usually starts the day in a kind of tabula rasa modality. That is to say ‘not a lot going on’.
Taking in the dank,early morning air my mind gradually fills with a mixture of recent memories, vague plans for the day an reflections on recently read articles that have instilled in me a sense of intrigue.
These thoughts start off innocuous enough.
– An excerpt from an interview with Carl Jung where he discusses the tendencies of intuitive introverts which seems to me a pretty accurate description of an empath
– A recollection of yesterdays evening walk around a nearby ancient hillfort as the Sun was setting on the horizon. Searing sunlight blazing ochre behind the clouds redolent of seams of lava breaking through the Earth
– A mentally sketched plan to get out and do a little photography hoping to catch some images of Summers tentative withdrawal making way for the initial tendrils of Autumn subtly tinging Natures landscapes.

Returning to the kitchen I remember that I’m nearly out of coffee.
I carefully consider as to whether my need for further caffeine outways my apprehension of walking to the local shop and getting involved in the outside world so early in the day. Having donned sunglasses and a thin cotton hoodie I deem that the need for coffee is greater.
Walking out on to the street I realise that I was perhaps a little unprepared for the subsequent inundation of stimuli from the outside world.
– The roar of car engines as certain drivers manifest their ire and frustration in the manner of their driving
– A radio station on high volume from a closely parked car carries the news of abject suffering of women and children in a not so far away land ( my heart withers slightly on hearing this )
– A father roughly pulls his child by the arm and loudly berates him in front of commuters, the child’s only sin being that he is a child, full of energy, intrigue and playfulness. I know the child feels pained , vulnerable and hurting but still looks at his father in unwavering love
– An elderly lady hobbles precariously just ahead of me. As I pass I smell the odour of stale alcohol from her. Her rheumy eyes seemingly out of focus, unable to acknowledge my passing. Many an amount of alcohol she has consumed in an attempt to dull her past pain, to drown out those unbearable feelings of despair wrought upon her by others misdeeds. What was once her crutch had become her ultimate demise, lost in a world of welcome drunken incoherence.

I suddenly find myself at my front door having relinquished the hazardous trek. I had apparently decided somewhat unconsciously that this was something that had to be done later, probably when it was dark.
That brief journey had left me breathless with ever escalating feelings of anxiety and overwhelm. In the past I would probably have remained in that raw state for the remainder of the day however now that I am aware of my empathic predisposition, I am able to quickly ground myself with mindfulness and meditative techniques.
Empathy is indeed a double edged sword.
It can give us the ability to become sensitive to the most beautiful and exquisite aspects of our lives but also to the darker aspects of ours and others souls.

Self Fostering

Many of us I know are well aware of how modern western society either by accident or design ( or a combination of the two ) undermines the individuals predisposition to authentic spiritual growth.
The influence of our peer groups and the inherent wish for us to be accepted by those around us can distract us from our natural, personal needs in terms of fulfilling our spiritual potential.
The proliferation of electronic gadgetry available that provide novel and immersive experiences in an easily attainable manner can provide us with a short term fix of stimuli. This however is at the expense of longer term goals which may require some degree of dedication and effort.
The seemingly endless narrative of businesses advertising their goods in order to boost your attractiveness to others, to make you more efficient, to improve your material life and even to ‘ make you more spiritual! ‘

I think this probably stands for most people the world over, but few are more aware of this disparity than those of us who are considered empathic and / or have had numinous spiritual experiences that do not align to society’s norms.
We know that we do not ‘ fit in ‘, we are aware that what most individuals seem to seek or enjoy are not truly shared by ourselves.
Everyday conversation with the majority seems largely inane, insubstantial and rather tasking. This often makes us seem aloof, preoccupied and disinterested but this is because we so often are unable to share our pertinent experiences as most would not come anywhere near to grasping what we aretrying to communicate.
We sense something deeper albeit sometimes difficult to ascertain what exactly. It may be from synchronicities, spontaneous insights, anomalous events or personal intuitive revelations about the world around us.

I personally am not a stranger to the above however I hadn’t realised how actually disengaged from my spiritual growth I had become. I always considered myself ( in human terms as opposed to advaitic ) as a reasonably grounded person when it comes to living life authentically.
The revelation came about when my family went on holiday leaving me to my own devices at home alone. Along with this I was forced to take time off work due a foot injury. Being actively engaged both mentally and physically in work and family activities ( on reflection ) probably occupied 90%ish of my waking hours.
Subsequently whereas most of my day was largely task orientated. it then became mostly self directed.
The first few days I kept myself busy by doing odd jobs around the house but soon I found myself with vast amounts of time to fill.
Now with the week is almost over I have discovered / rediscovered the following:
– That I do not ‘ need ‘ to fill my time with activity but that I can simply enjoy the subtly quiet sensuality of the moment
– Just how much of my time is actually taken up with the usual day to day chores leaving little space to mentally, physically and spiritually breathe
– The ongoing pressure that I put upon myself in order to complete tasks to alleviate the stresses of others
– How much the effect of being around others for long periods can easily derail important self care.

Obviously I am not suggesting that we all leave our families and relationships and go and live in a cave on a faraway island somewhere. But what I do suggest is that we take time to reflect on our lives and how we live them. And that we give due consideration to ourselves, otherwise we can easily become disenchanted and unfulfilled and our perfect, individuating souls become lost in the machinations of modern society.

Sanguinity………?

Oh for the sanguinity of being in Mother Natures bosom.
Far away from tumultuous grasping of modern society and the machinations of the human mind.
Away from the harried rumble of incessant traffic, of bustling individuals vying for space on their personal treadmill of journey’s to and from work.
Away from the garish, high definition, pixelated preoccupation of humanity and the subsequent sense numbing devices designed to distract us and subvert our own unique particular creativity.

Instead I would have the exquisite paradox of being alone amongst the flora and fauna of the outside world. For it is only here I find consummate peace.
A sense of oneness with my environs, a joyous relinquishment of humanitys preconceived perception that the demarcation of selfhood ceases within our own flesh.
You would find me amongst the overgrown groves hidden away from the eyes of men who would be deaf to the subtle yet pervasive genius loci inherent in these sanctas of Gaia. Here I would hear the barely audible whispers of the primeval past, of nature spirits playing amongst the undergrowth and of human supplication to those that would listen.
Or on a citadel of rugged granite clifftops towering over a bottomless, tumultuous ocean of crashing waves. The roar of the sea serving as a metaphor for my souls cry for a fully realised union with all that is.

After some time you may find me alone amongst the wilderness, in the wildwoods or along austere, barren and tide worn coasts. No longer dressed or preened for societal consumption.
My hair long, tousled and rain sodden. My sun parched face and body engrimed by Nature’s earth.
My clothes tattered and torn from living a life of feral freedom.
Despite my appearance there will be a wild primal glint in my eyes.
Telling of my complete and utter return to my primordial archetype.
No longer alone or differentiated but whole, inseparable from the Earth and the cosmos within which we all belong.

From Shakti to Shiva ( or a human perspective on spiritual awakening)

Having had a few spiritually numinous experiences in my life which have seemingly boosted me along my ‘path’ somewhat I find myself nowadays living a rather paradoxical existence.

In short, being an empathically sensitive sort of guy led me to discover that my ‘sensitivity’ was related to having a more acutely tuned awareness to others and my environment. This in turn with meditation and the aforementioned experiences led to an understanding of the nonduality of life. That is to say there there is no true separation between everything in existence and that at a basic level we are all of one energetic event. The idea that we are separate is a delusion created by our largely crude senses combined with society’s predilection to socialise individuals into the same ideology.
It’s not a particular problem and in most ways it is rather helpful but having had in those moments a glimpse of what I now take to be my understanding of the true nature of reality, I seem to find myself admidst a society of mostly ‘crazy’ people. I am defining crazy here as merely my subjective description of others behaviour in line with my current perception of life itself, for it may be me who is crazy after all!

I see now why certain spiritual people describe the majority humanity as sleeping.
Individuals living their lives in search of novelty and distraction from the bigger questions of life, death and the transient nature of our mortal selves.
Investing their precious time here on Earth with the gathering of commodities and socially reinforcing relationships all in service of the ego.
This does by no means make these people less valuable, after all in the nature of true ‘oneness’, we are all in this together.
For me, the truth of the matter is that true divinity is all around us and inside of us. There never has been any true demarcation between ourselves / sunsets / sunrises / stormy seas and the serenity of a Summers day.
All of Nature, if one observes, sings of happiness and freedom. Ironically it seems only Man can feel burdened with the task of life.

Time Out Anyone……….?

Awoke this morning with my head still spinning from a busy week heavily involved with societal norms.
I need a day to slow right down and ground myself in reality. Not to be swept along by the chorus of egoic demands of society.
Being around people who largely behave like overgrown children in an adult world. Interpersonal one upmanship, individual voices vying for attention and praise from those that would listen.
Advertisements via every media format dangling like proverbial carrots to the masses. Unsubtley suggesting the acquirement of certain goods will increase their masculinity / femininity / desirability ( delete where applicable! )
Society’s obsession with getting things done faster and more efficiently.
People treated as cogs in the materialist machine. Generating company profits through the marketing of goods designed to entertain and distract individuals from other more soulful pursuits.
Paradoxically, despite the world having had many great compassionate leaders such as the Dalai Llama, Mother Theresa and Ghandi for instance as well as renown scientists such as Max Planck, Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking, as a society it seems we have learnt nothing.
The populace and governments continue to be preoccupied with the promotion of personal gain at the expense of others regardless of our Intrinsic human bond as a species.
The extolling of glamourous movie and music moguls whose only real gift to society is the publicity involved in their own small, personal indiscretions with others.
As an empathic, energetically sensitive sort of guy it seems as if the outside world is set up to be a place that seeks to swamp and distract me from any form of personal reflection, introspection and spiritual growth.

Sitting amongst the long grass in the meadow, Mother Nature sings a very different song.
The warm, comforting Summer breeze blows gently through my hair, brushing my skin in a loving caress. Bringing with it an array of aromas, from the May blossoms to the subtle but pervasive smell of the recently rain adorned earth.
The multifarious colours of the flowers rendered almost incandescent in the sunlight.
A flurry of house sparrows play amongst the brushes.
The low hypnotic thrum of the insects going about their seemingly incessant activity lulls me into a trance like state. A feeling of Oneness with creation transcends, a feeling of having never being separated from Nature.
Truly everything that has ever existed or will exist in the future are the closest kin I will ever have or need.
The heredity of every species of flora and fauna stretching back through history to the beginning of time.
Such a beautifully exquisite manifestation of life can only highlight Man’s shortfalls when it comes to a true appreciation and veneration of the very essence of existence itself.
Despite being surrounded by the unequivocal beauty of our planet, much of the human race seemingly remain either blind or asleep to its message.
Preferring to indulge themselves in soundbites of entertainment or time limited snippets of electronic novelty.
Yet amongst many, their discovery of their true nature is not so far below the surface. If only they took time to stop and stare.

“What is life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare…………..”

From the poem ‘ Leisure ‘ by William Henry Davies.