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.

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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.

On The Couch………….

Having worked in the mental health field for many years I have had numerous conversations with various psychiatrists and psychologists around being empathic. Also about the role of numinous spiritual experiences in individuals.
The article that follows albeit a theoretical scenario is a fair precis of the my interactions with professionals both at work and in my own therapy, although a little ‘tongue in cheek’ at times.
I will refer to myself as Mr P and the health care professional as Mr T.

Mr T: “Hello Mr P, how can I help you today”?
Mr P: “Well it’s kind of complicated. It’s probably best if I give you a brief overview of my experiences to date.
Firstly I find myself to have strong empathic tendencies. I belong to a few empath groups in order to share our experiences as they seem to be somewhat unique amongst the general population.
Mr T: “Could you elaborate please”?
Mr P: “Of course. You see I have a high degree of energetic sensitivity. This means that I can pick up on subtle energy frequencies from people, places, objects etc. I may for instance feel another person’s emotional state, pick up on spiritual entities or sense inter dimensional activity. Previously before I knew that I was empathic I had great difficulty managing my emotional and mental health as I would unknowingly get ‘infected’ by someone’s emotional state and presume it was my own”.
Mr T: “Mmm, I see. Is there any other, how shall we say, special powers you may have”?
Mr P: “Just to clarify, I don’t particularly feel that I have special powers. I consider myself as just a little’different’.
I have had and still have strong spiritually numinous experiences.
These have taken the form of Kundalini / Advaitic or non duality episodes”.
Mr T: “Are they not aligned to the Hindu faith? But you are an English Caucasian”?
Mr P: ” Indeed they are. However they seem to be part of my spiritual growth. I am very much have the mindset of Carl Jung when it comes to individuation and personal spirituality”.
Mr T: “Are you aware that in psychiatry a belief that a person has which is not aligned to their culture or sub culture could be seen as delusional”?
Mr P: “Personally I believe that understanding to be over inclusive”.
Mr T: ” Mmm. So then, in what way do you find these personal traits problematic, if at all”?
Mr P: “Most of the larger problems came before I understood I was empathic as I stated previously.
I suppose the main problem, if you can call it that, is the feelings of isolation at times. It’s difficult on occasions to live in a society on a day to day basis that you don’t fit into.
For instance, I am frequently overawed by the beauty of Nature just by being in my garden. The verdant green of the lawn, shimmers of sunlight flickering through the trees casting animated shadows across borders. The small patch of daisies all leaning towards the sunlight seemingly in reference. It’s the frequent inability to share these sensual experiences leads the more human side of me to feel sad.
I suppose in essence there are two aspects to my personality. The more aware ,realistic spiritual side of myself and my more egoic part which wants to indulge the more human side of me”.
Mr T: ” Do you think that there may be two personalities within you?”
Mr P: “No, not at all. Just different aspects of my assumed whole”.
Mr T: ” Well Mr P, I feel that although you don’t seem to meet the exact criteria for most treatments,I can offer you a little something to help reduce these experiences then you may feel more ‘normal’. Some medication perhaps?”
Mr P: “Actually, no thank you. Our chat has actually helped somewhat in that I now appreciate even more than ever that I am extremely lucky to have such a sensitivity. I would rather live with it’s drawbacks than for anything to change.
Oh, by the way. Just a thought but do you think that you could prescribe medication for the many others who do not seem to appreciate the divinity of living a life on this Earth. I think that may help me more in the long term?”

An Experiment in Authenticity

In my day to day life I try to be as authentic as possible, that is to say I act and speak in line with whom I am. Sometimes for reasons of social acceptability I may dilute myself somewhat in order to reduce the risk of having to get into protracted discussions / debates about my beliefs and perspectives on life. Not that I mind a bit of healthy intellectual debate but having done so, so many times simply to feel frustrated at the end of the conversation I rarely no longer am inclined to do so.

By way of explanation I seem to have a very different take on life than most people I know. I come at things from a kind of spiritually empathic viewpoint. It doesn’t mean that I am in some way better than other people, just that I seem to be of a very different mindset to those around me.
So, to get to the point, I thought that for a couple of days I would be as honestly open and authentic as I could possibly be. A kind of experiment shall we say.
It didn’t really go well.

My experience was that most individuals ‘turned off’ , that is, either changed the subject, made excuses to go and do something else or look at me quietly thinking that I was truly crazy.
A scenario being the simple though somewhat open ended question when someone asks you ‘ how are you today?’.
My honest response might well be ‘ I’m generally good though energetically a little out of kilter. A spot of meditative strolling through the woods always works. It’s that wholesome oneness you feel amongst Nature’.

A common question also being ‘what did you do last night?’.
My response may be something along the lines of ‘ I read Fritjof Capra’s book The Web of Life and his take on Deep Ecology. Later I sat outside breathing in the still night air and admiring the beauty of the dusk’,

So I’m thinking, how do I resolve this issue? Sure there are Facebook/ internet groups out there that discuss such things but somehow that doesn’t work for me.
I therefore surmise that I will remain authentic but will be diligent in terms of what I say and to whom!

Love of an Empath

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.

On Being a Dystopian Protagonist

Dystopia –
an imaginary society in which social or technological trends have culminated in a greatly diminished quality of life or degradation of values.
( Webster Collins Dictionary )

I have a few issues with the many definitions of dystopia. Ironically because if I was a dystopian protagonist, I would have. My main issue being the assumption that this society may be solely imaginary or imagined.
I am not a stranger to feeling isolated and alone in Western Society, after all, being both an empathic and a spiritually minded individual lends to not sharing similar proclivities to those around me. Add to that, that I have a rather indefinable organic, non dualistic, animistic understanding of existence pushes me further to the periphery of society.

Subsequently one could assume that, from my viewpoint, I wouldn’t feel particularly comfortable with the world around me as it stands.
Saying that however I know of many, many people who share the same disillusionment with the way the Western world has ‘developed’ over the past fifty or so years.

Going back to the definitions of dystopia, I find they relate more to today’s societal structure than at any time in the distant past.
The dystopia ( I believe ) has occurred in a multifactorial / multifaceted manner. Though I know many believe in conspiracy theories relating to the mind control of the populace and the supposed power held by hidden organisations. They may, to some extent, indeed be true, but I can only really go by what I percieve.
Certainly it seems that we are nearer to a dystopian society than a utopian one.

It seems to me that social and technological trends have indeed led to a diminished quality of life and degradation of values.
Whereas countries and states had their own cultural identity, their own unique ancestral imprint that helped define them and make them who they were. It seems that due to mass commercialisation via the internet / cable and satellite TV/ radio / etc etc much of the world has become a monoculture of materialism.
There are cases where the introduction of television and other technologies have adversely effected the mental health of those cultures who were previously naive to such things.
Add to that the current social media epidemic that encourages the promotion of self ( via ‘selfies’ with or without filters ), littered with advertisements about how to boost your looks / wealth / social standing by engaging with different groups and products. There is even some credibility in ‘false news’, where the suggestion of its existence implies some degree of validity!!

Also the amount of young ( and not so young ) individuals who spend vast amounts of their life being ‘entertained’ by gaming or preoccupied with other similar technological devices. People using technology to gain revenge on others or videoing acts of violence and depravity.

Don’t get me wrong however, there is some good come out of the advances in computer science and its ill but it seems largely uncontrolled and has undoubtedly changed massively the way people live their lives over recent years.

Even when I was young I took social trends to be the ‘norm’ and sacrificed some of my authenticity in order to be more accepted by my peers and this was without all the commercial brainwashing and societal conditioning of today.
However, this I have not done for a long time.

So, what’s all this to do with anything?
Firstly, as an empathic individual I feel others unhappiness and frustration and believe me it seems to have increased immensely over recent years.
I urge people to find ‘themselves’ amongst the array of stereotypes being forced on them, either openly or insidiously. Everyone has their own truth inside of them, we just need to discover it. You do not need anyone to agree with you or you to falsely agree with others to maintain one’s mental and emotional homeostasis.

In fact, in some ways you could say that we have a moral obligation to not do so.

“Resistance to the organized mass can be effected only by the
man who is as well organized in his individuality as the mass itself”.
Source: The Undiscovered Self, chapter 4 (1957)
“It is the individual’s task to differentiate himself from all the others
and stand on his own feet. All collective identities . . . interfere
with the fulfillment of this task. Such collective identities are
crutches for the lame, shields for the timid, beds for the lazy,
nurseries for the irresponsible”.

Carl Gustav Jung.

Societys Zombie Apocalypse…….?

Most days I get by.
I get by thanks to my undying belief in the purity and glory of life.
In the knowledge that all is transient, all is interconnected and that all is one.

However at times my human heart tires, my spirit is dampened by those that would seem to be other than sentient. It is an unavoidable aspect of existence and one that thankfully only briefly clouds my vision until personal clarity and equanimity resume.

These instances are only ever caused by my fellow man.
By those whom –

– Prefer to persecute and criticise others in the aim of inflicting pain and percieved personal gain.

– Much prefer the idea of an anthropocentric existence to a holistic, empathic world view.

– Those individuals who would invest their time and energy in order to display their personal financial wealth in order to fill the empty rooms of their soul and to feed their ego with the transient.

As above , there are those that would use their position in society to promote themselves and reduce others.

There are also those that due to them living an almost voluntarily blinkered life, consumed by materialism, satiated by the toys given them by society.

– Those whose eyes are affixed to their mobile phones, who wander the Earth using technology as a window in which to frame the infinite complexity and divinity of the world around them. That also blind them from her entreaties for compassion for herself and her kin

– The dead eyes of the many television viewers soaking up without question all that is programmed into them via satellite networks

– those whose preoccupation with building a wall of amusement and distraction around them will never hear the cries of help from others, feel others pains or seek to understand and nurture those individuals who need the sustenance of warmth, love and belief that may have otherwise been available.

Despite the indifference, negativity and sometimes active resistance of others to experience or entertain any other philosophical or psychological standpoint, I will quietly go my own way. By subtle actions, quiet words and compassion, I will stand my ground and hopefully make some difference for the benefit of those that would require it.