Primal Empathy 

Primal Empathy 

( or my current take on understanding empathic awareness) 
Within ancient cultures ( especially of the indigenous form), animism seems to have been the original belief system adopted by humanity. It’s a little paradoxical however because the ‘practice’ of, and the animist beliefs associated them were never extrinsic to man’s early existence. 
“Our original way is not a belief system. It is a lived way of life, being a participant within the whole of the living world”. (Graham Harvey 2014).
We were closer to Nature, creatures, objects and places were all perceived to have a spiritual essence. All was deemed to be animate and alive. 

Bearing this in mind it would be quite understandable that the human race had a natural empathic relationship with the world around them. 

This may thus suggest that empathy was an organic and naturally occurring emotion in early Man. 

Even today, one can still read of other cultures for whom this ethos predominates i.e. Native American and the indigenous Aboriginal let alone historical references including Hinduism and Buddhism to name but two. 

The question is, what happened? 

It seems patently obvious that currently most of society are happy to act as blind consumers of the Earth’s resources, be it animal, plant or mineral. 

Even with each other there is an ongoing one upmanship. Individuals seeking more wealth and power than our peers in order to satiate our ego’s, thus warding off the underlying feelings of insecurity and disconnection. 

Have we been socialised and conditioned out of these feelings? 

For those of who are genuinely ’empathic’ or energetically sensitive, it would explain much. 

Many of us feel :

  – a natural loving affinity for all of Nature and the Earth 

  – an acute ability to feel the pain of others including humans, animals and the environment 

  – out of place in Western Society, as if we belong elsewhere 

  – often a sense of loneliness and anxiety eased when in Nature

 So if this were the case, what can we draw from this supposition? 

I personally feel that we need to remain authentic to ourselves and to individuate as individuals. This way we can be led by Spirit to serve our worldly purpose. We may not know the whole picture but in many ways we do not need to. We can be content in the knowledge that we are here to serve a purpose and to this we must be true. We should not mistake our empathic gift to be something to be used for personal gain or to be seen in isolation as a burden on ourselves as sometimes it may seem. 

For being energetically sensitive is all about connection and realising the interconnectivity of all creation. 

I have been fortunate in having experiences of feral vision and Advaita which seem to support this scenario. 

Therefore the existence of the Oversoul / Collective Unconscious /Paramatman appears to be a defining issue in understanding true empathic feelings. 
“I feel it with my body, with my blood. Feeling all these trees, all this country. When this wind blow you can feel it. Same for country … you feel it. You can look, but feeling … that make you. Feeling make you, out there in open space. He coming through your body, look while he blow and feel with your body…because tree just about your brother or father…and tree is watching you. Earth…like your father or brother or mother, because you born from earth. You got to come back to earth. When you dead…you’ll come back to earth. Maybe little while yet…then you’ll come to earth. That’s your bone, your blood. It’s in this earth, same as for tree” (Bill Neidjie 1985).

Tat Tvam Asi……?

As many of us go through times of what seems spiritual growth a number of occurrences may happen. 

  – Our human ego becomes transparent ( as do the covert ego led actions of others). That is to say we still have instinctual urges and drives but we see them for what they are, merely actions to defend itself and preserve its fragile integrity.

  – We transcend in our awareness of the world around us, well over and above our previous human egoic based interpretations we had held before. 

  – Paradoxically we may perceive ourselves and the world around us as a vastly interconnected web yet seamless in our shared existence. 

  – Whereas our previously ‘reality’ may have been defined in human terms as the experience of life that is identified with the majority of individuals within that particular society. It may now include much numinous experience. For example of being aware of the mythic aspects of self and society. Of the subtle but substance of dreams,  visions and unexplainable personal epiphanies. 

 

If these instances occur one can easily find oneself feeling isolated and alone as few others share similar experiences. 

These feelings may not be new, especially to those of us who have ’empathic tendencies’. 

For those of us who are ‘energetically sensitive’ ( or empathic), most, if not all of our lives can be spent being misunderstood not only by others but also by ourselves! 
Ironically if we can incorporate our empathic perceptions into an understanding of the nature of existence, we see that we are far from alone. The fact that we can preternaturally sense the energies of people, places and objects suggests that there is an aspect of self in others. As in the  Sanskrit phrase ‘ Tat Tvam Asi ‘, meaning ‘ Thou art that ‘ ( from the Chandogya Upanishad). 

Empathy therefore, if one is able to nurture it effectively can be a springboard into spiritual awareness. Whereas if one sees it as a solely personal, human quality in isolation, it may well become something of a burden. 
In summary, empathic awareness along with spiritual awareness can easily leave our human, egoic selves feeling alone and isolated. Yet paradoxically from a spiritual / objectively empathic perspective the suggestion is that of the unity of all things, of there not being a identifiable separate self.

The Story Thus Far…………….

My previous post was about an epiphany I had a few weeks ago now. I have had requests to elucidate what exactly I experienced, so here goes.
I generally sense that we all grow develop in different ways in terms of spirituality, that is to say that there is no generic right path. However if we are authentic in our approach to life we have the capacity to individuate and thus are more able to fulfill our own potential.
There have been many subjects and experiences historically that have resonated with me although at the time I was not sure as to why. A kind of intuitive nudge I suspect.
These in short have been :
– sense of oneness with Nature
– Neolithic and pre Neolithic history
– ancient sites
– quantum physics
– Taoism
– Buddhism
– aspects of Paganism ( pantheism and pantheism)
– animism
– the works of Carl Jung
– deep ecology
– Hinduism
These are to mention just a few. I have also experienced instances of Advaita and to some extent Kundalini.
I also am very empathic by nature and can sense feelings and energies in people, animals and places.
However until now I had been unable to unite them into a coherent understanding of my own individual vision of the world.
My current suspicions are as follows :
– in primitive early man there was a strong empathic connection with our planet and its flora and fauna
– in sensitive and empathic individuals today this is also the case. Part of our mind is not ours but is found outside in the object. That is to say that intuitively we feel the unity with existence, that we are part and parcel of the the world around us. Thus due to this kind of unconscious link we are able to feel the energies of others and places around us. We recognize that we potentially share the same soul
– this would explain why many spiritually empathic types feel that do not belong to this world as it is currently. Due to Western Societys propensity to subjugate Nature in many of her forms, to live among the general populations casual acceptance of this is uncomfortable to say the least
– some Animistic belief systems ( e. g. American Indian cultures) recognise the Divinity in Nature and treat the world around them accordingly. This tradition and its maintenance would continue to maintain that natural empathic link.

For many people in Western Cultures these feelings are now lost or irretrievable due to the generic dualistic and Cartesian mindset. Hence many people are concerned about the environmental impact it is having upon our planet.
I hope that I have explained myself coherently as it’s rather a tricky topic to write about, mainly because the essence of it all is not about thinking but feeling.
I’m now going to have a read of the Chandogya Upanishad.

Tat Tvam Asi

Journey of an Empath 

No one person or organisation has a monopoly on truth.
Certainly when it comes to spirituality and the development of same, there are probably as many paths as there are people.
Everyone has a unique predisposition and potential inherent in themselves, all that remains is for that individual to discover it, nurture it and follow it wholeheartedly. Also to trust in their own instincts to go with whatsoever resonates with them.
Saying that our spiritual paths do have some similarities:
– the knowledge in our hearts that there is more to this human existence than our everyday life.
– an irresistible inclination to follow this regardless of our circumstances.
– a humble acknowledgement that most others will not understand, so frequently it will be a lonely quest.
– and that as with all journeys there will be times of fear, tiredness, hardship and loss of direction. Nevertheless we know that the only way is onward.
So by imparting some of my experiences I hope to reassure other travellers that if we follow our intuition, progress will eventually be made.

For a long time I have continued along my spiritual path encouraged mostly by small glimpses of insights into the nature of life and perceived reality. Also seemingly by novel interests that I have collected along the way with which I have found resonance although I knew not why at the time.
Often the way ahead is unclear.
As we tread through life we often are walking in the wilderness with no particular identifiable way forward. Sometimes there will present a choice of paths to take and we have to decide which one ‘feels’ right for us at that time. There are many distractions along the way enticing in their apparent security and material comforts but my journey consists in part of the relinquishment of such, much as the spiritual seekers of old resorted to hermetism and paucity in order to gain clarity.
And occasionally if we are truly fortunate we will arrive at a clearing and the way forward becomes clearly apparent.
That dizzying moment when all of what you have learnt and encountered before unite in a coherent picture. When ones spirituality ( which is usually difficult to define in real terms) unites with one’s individual human cognition in a way that can be physically manifested ( lived) and can also be related to others in a comprehensible manner.
Not ever exactly but in way that can be expressed to some degree.

These moments are few but when they occur one becomes revitalised and further inspired to continue. One’s experience suddenly becomes fraught with synchronicities, every breath, movement and view become numinous, imbued with holiness.
I personally have had to take a week out to be able to assimilate the most recent occurrence for fear it may overwhelm me and render me unable to effectively live my day to day existence.

However the challenge is clear. For my progress to continue, I have to unite my future actions in the world to be in alignment with my spiritual heart.
It will probably again demand I remove myself from societal norms and live life authentically as I have to respond to the call of my soul.

“The fact that a man who goes his own way ends in ruin means nothing…He must obey his own law, as if it were a daemon whispering to him of new and wonderful paths…There are not a few who are called awake by the summons of the voice, whereupon they are at once set apart from the others, feeling themselves confronted with a problem about which the others know nothing. In most cases it is impossible to explain to the others what has happened, for any understanding is walled off by impenetrable prejudices”. 

Carl Jung. 

A World in a Grain of Sand……..? 

Grateful for the opportunity to rest, I sit down leadenly in my armchair and close my eyelids. 

Outside I hear the wind press itself against the windows, giving the occasional gentle whistle where egress is found. 

The distant sound of children’s laughter, as natural as the babbling of a brook.

A soft, lilting chirrup of birdsong joins Nature’s symphony providing the perfect soundtrack to my repose. 
The generic aches and pains from my previous exertion gently remind me of my physical incarnation. I can almost feel every muscle, tendon and sinew of my body, still tender from my activity..

My heartbeat steadied to a dull regular pulse within my chest, my breathing reduced to a gentle ebb and flow. 

Slowly and tentatively I drift into an involuntary but not unwelcome meditative state.
A discreet impartial awareness arises within me, allowing a sensual acuity of my inner processes.

Words are barely able to interpret the experience. 
I can sense ( feel? hear?) the incipient vibration of air molecules upon the emanation of a distant crow’s caw. 

I can sense the almost untrackable speed with which the sound reaches my the membranes of my eardrums. 

That bundle of energetic information now rapidly traversing through a network of neurones and synapses, electrically bridging the gap between receptors to continue it’s journey. Becoming lost and indiscernable amongst the multitude of other quantum neurological activity. 
I am paradoxically both acutely and dimly aware of other physiological processes inside of me.

Of how I am a world within worlds. 

My arboreal lungs exchanging gases to maintain homeostasis. 

My arteries and veins carrying my lifeblood to the entirety of my corporeality as rivers and streams carry sustenance to the land.
My true self is indiscipherable from all that exists.

I am of the world yet also between the worlds. 

I am the earth, the air, fire, water and yet quintessentially spirit.
Returning from my reverie to my mortal existence. Back to the comparatively coarse and blunted sensorium with which my human form is endowed.

I live my life in the knowledge that all is not what it seems. 

That whatsoever my earthbound experience is at any given moment, it is simply a temporarily fleeting corporal construct.

The Ghost in the Machine ( a paradoxical reflection) 

” Listen – are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life? ” – Mary Oliver. 
So, what happened? 

I understand the premise that the whole is more than the sum of parts however it gives little in the way of logical explanation. 

So a coal miner marries a factory worker who begat a son. Neither parent ( or any other relative) ever had an interest in the esoteric or spiritual. They were both very grounded in their day to day human existence. Conversation generally touched on the unremarkable topics of football, work, family members and associates. Therefore in terms of hereditary and environmental conditioning I should not be whom I am. 

Also it appears that the majority of society live similar lives to that of my parents. 

I seemingly cannot. 

I am consumed by an inner restlessness, a thirst for knowledge and understanding of the world about me. An eternal journey of inner and outer discovery, of questioning everything that I happen upon. 

Despite society’s pressure to live within recognised and largely acceptable themes, I cannot. 

Many of my feelings and ideas used to remain locked away in my head and my heart for the fear of rejection and ridicule of others. Some such were:

  – my ability to read people, their histories, their hearts desire and their hidden agendas

  – the barely tangible energies of places and people, linking past and future existences 

  – the experience of none duality, in the light of which the physical world dissolves into a dreamlike state

  – the daily synchronicities, of eels and Ouroboros, of Nataraja and quantum reality. 

 

So here I stand, watching the world go by in a neverending stream of apparently meaningless activity. Very few seemingly stopping to question what they are doing or why. Most comfortably coccooned in their experience of mortal existence, of living within the confines a predetermined, linear and purely reactive life. 

So, back to my original question. 

What happened? 

Am I cursed? Gifted? Possessed? Individuating? 

A man’s knowledge is always going to be finite in the grand scheme of things, sometimes one has to accept that there are no simple answers. 

Personally I go with gifted and individuating . 

The immense depth and painful beauty of my experience of the world though at times a little overwhelming, is something that I cherish and would never relinquish. 
  – 

  –

It’s Not You, It’s Me……….? 

Society largely considers what is normal by the agreed consensus of the majority. If I was in complete agreement with this then most of my communication in the outside world would consist of the phrase under which this is written. 

Indeed being empathic ( energetically sensitive) I feel that many of us find growing up and maturing in the outside world something of a unique challenge. 

At an early age we may discover that we are different from our peers and often our parents. 

The constant emphasis when at school and by others on the physical, percievable, allegedly concrete world felt as if most people only lived in a 2D reality. Their world seemed to have little depth, a linear monologue of an existence. 

My awareness of my sensitivity and my spiritual path are inextricably entwined. Indeed being energetically sensitive has helped create a somewhat unique spirituality in me that is reflected in many aspects of other belief systems ( that is Buddhism, Hinduism, Pantheism and Taoism to name a few). 

Through many conversations that I have had with others with similar experiences it seems we have much in common when it comes to living our lives and the challenges we face. For example, having been born into a society which operates on a model that is the antithesis of what we feel to be right.  This can lead to :

  – subsequent feelings of loneliness and alienation which may lead to social withdrawal, addictive behaviors ( in order to numb our sensitivity) or wearing a socially acceptable mask in order to fit in. 

If we do this however we compromise our ability to individuate and fully bloom into complete self actualization.  This may leave us feeling unfulfilled and frustrated. 

  – having to constantly assert our needs to others as most people presume that our needs must be similar to theirs ( in terms of space, down time, opportunity to be creative etc) 

  – finding oneself in constant conflict with others and institutions that prioritize materialism and egotism

  – having the desire for honest, open, loving human contact but mostly having to compromise due to the apparent lack of individuals who are unable to form relationships that do not involve some degree of attachment and / or dependence. 

 

Despite the difficulties encountered on my path and the many years spent in a spiritual wilderness, it has all been worth it. For every challenge I have faced has shaped me and furthered my understanding of the world in which we live. 

The ability to experience the external and internal worlds in such a searing depth and excruciating beauty has led to a true appreciation of lifes pulchritude. 

Any solace that I have needed has come largely from my inner self and has not been found in relationships within my social circle. For those that have found some with others, you are truly fortunate. 

So if over the years, you yourself have been your main source of solace, rest assured. 

To have retained your authenticity and to still be here is testament to your inner strength and tenacity.

An Infinite Journey…….? 

​An Infinite Journey…………? 
It’s funny how life turns out sometimes. 

If someone had said to me many years ago that I had empathic tendencies and these tendencies would greatly effect my life and who I would become, I probably would not have believed them.  I understood however that I was different. I couldn’t understand why people behaved in certain ways or why they made the choices that they did. 

There was literally no one that I could relate to on a personal level. Not that it made me unhappy, I just decided to go my own merry little way. 

So after many years, many mistakes, wrong turnings and uninformed choices later, all has become somewhat clearer.

I am drawn to heal. 

Be it people, animals or places. People with unresolved issues or are in some emotional pain always manage to catch my eye. They may be individuals who I have never met before but who seem to communicate their distress with the briefest of eye contact. Or others who, either consciously or unconsciously seek my acquaintance in order to enlist me at a later stage in our relationship. 

Before I was aware of my ‘ sensitivity’, I would simply automatically do the necessary ‘ rescuing’, much to my regret. For many who seemed to need rescuing were not looking to be so. They simply needed me to fill a gaping emotional hole in themselves. I was simply a tourniquet to be used to dampen their pain and chronic sense of loss. 

Also houses and certain places also drew me to them. Or more accurately, I was drawn to them. When I look back now to many places I have lived, it seems obvious that had a rather ‘ haunted’ feel. 

Also here there seemed to be unresolved business but not of this time. 

There were feelings of darkness, poltergeist activity, entities continually reliving past actions and visions of people and actions past. 

It’s only over recent years that I have come to understand the link. 

I find that for me there is no implicit definition of my abilities. I have a sprinkling of other ‘clairs’  too of varying degrees. 

Despite all the difficulties I have experienced because of my sensitivities, I am truly grateful for their presence as they have me to develop personally and spiritually in a way I could not have imagined all those years ago. 

However that only seems to be part of the journey. Still now I find that I discover other tendencies that I have or somehow developed. 

I pick up on other people’s emotions and frequently they are amplified within my self. If they are miserable, I’ll feel devastated. If someone is angry, I will feel furious. 

For instance, I was having a quiet beer in my local bar doing a little people watching. In walked two well built, muscular men who had had a little too much alcohol. I could tell instantly that they were looking for some target to rough up a little. Their gaze fell on me. For some reason I felt their anger ( I was unsure as to why they were so, it turned out they were soldiers back from a tour of duty). 

It felt as if I somehow channelled their anger, increased it and ( very out of character for me) held their eye contact in an intense and challenging manner. 

They then turned their attention elsewhere. 

This was done completely automatically without a conscious thought from myself. 

Also there appear to be occasional glimpses into other realms or sometimes a mix of realities occurs. Usually I will be somewhere and get a strong feeling or a picture in my head of how things looked in the past. Of people and activities long gone. Things that I thought to have been illusions I feel have reflected other realities. 

I prefer the phrase ‘ energetically sensitive’ to describe my human traits. After all quantum physics has proven that all is energy and there is no real ‘ hard’ reality in terms of form. 

Ancient cultures have also identified this to be true in varying guises i.e.  Buddhism, Hinduism and Taoism for instance. 

So let the journey of life continue for who knows, in a world of infinite possibilities what lies around the corner.

Belerion, Cornovia. 

I feel that I have arrived at last in the land of my ancestors. 

The moors, valleys, rocky tors and the eternal voice of the ocean in the background seemed to welcome me back to where my heart and soul truly belonged. 

The landscape wholly rendiscent of a past life I had lived. A life that still seems a hairs breadth away, that is so near to the surface of my consciousness that I could so easily become overwhelmed with reverie. 

Yet I had never before set foot on this land. 

A land woven with myth, magic and majesty intrinsic and inseparable from its landscape. 

A place of groves, stone circles, fogou’s, holy wells , castles, standing stones, ancient settlements and hillforts. Many untouched by man due to the uncompromising nature of its granite hewn soil. 

Though many have sought through research and study to understand the purposes and possible relationships of the myriad of archaeological sites, it remains enigmatic. 

However therein lies the answer. 

Man had a very different interpretation of the world around us in those ancient times. 

The cold, analytical thought patterns borne of the ‘Enlightenment’ and furthered even more by science were still thousands of years away in the future. 

Man was still inextricably connected to Nature. He never saw himself as apart from the world, he was at one with the Earth, skies and stars. A natural and organic reverence for the Universe was an implicit aspect of life. 

A land so old it still reflects the archetypes and legends of primeval man.

Of Gods and Goddesses, of mermaids and piskies. 

Of giants, lost civilisations and alleged visits by the Devil himself. 

One of the keys that may lend to an understanding of this land is clairsentience. 

The feeling of being a small part a unique jigsaw. 

Of fitting in seamlessly with one’s surroundings unlike nowhere I have known before. 

The gnarled granite hills, many crowned with rudimentary fortifications. 

The overgrown aisles of black thorn and hawthorn bushes hiding away groves of healing springs. 

The dark but somehow luminescent fogous, a chamber for intimate communion with Gaia herself.

Stone circles stand testament to the passage of time, still retaining a mystical essence of primeval magic rituals. 

The roar of the ocean as its tempestuous waves throw themselves in anguish against the rocky cliffs. 

Any type of human interpretation is destined to be flawed. 

This is a place to sensuously feel the raw energy of Nature, to become immersed in it. To feel the essential oneness of all creation.

My lungs full of air drawn from the same high breeze that billows around me.

My blood, sweat and tears formed from the same crashing waves thrown upon the beach.

My bones created from the very substance of the earth. 

The fire in my heart borne from the searing sunlight bathing my presence. 

All of my human and spiritual aspects of self are reflected here in the outside world. I do not need to search for meaning or inspiration for I am home. 

Where the pains and joys of birth, life and death are a divine, ethereal journey in themselves.

Our Life……………. A Factitious Autobiography? 

Sitting quietly on the porch gazing upwards, I watch the gossamer like clouds flit across the sky. Constantly changing forms, merging and breaking apart from each other in a dance of perpetual motion.

I am silently and unobtrusively aware of my mindstate. Thoughts and images drift by, each vying for my attention. Each trying in its own way to remove my sense of passive subtle awareness and entangle me in some form of concrete action. 

Fortunately I am well aware of the minds ability to fill my day with distractions, I therefore simply allow myself to witness my minds internal activity. 
However, I have often noted that my senses and psyche act as a constant lens in which to incorporate and interpret my  subjective human experience.

This frequently seems to have led to my ego having created a seemingly objective storyline to my life. A storyline with which I am tempted to identify with completely. It sits far more comfortably with my mortal self than to surrender to my underlying sense and knowledge of non duality. 
As I reflect on the past month , I am presented with the following egoic, corporeal chronicle .
A battle worn knight finally taking a moment to rest from repeated and relentless skirmishes necessary to maintain a degree of equilibrium in life.

The two battlefields of home and work aligned side by side as if to prevent any respite as I go from one to the other.

Mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted I fall into an involuntary but welcome relaxed and meditative state. 
I have fought :

– Corporate deities who have sought to undermine any financial security I can muster. 

– Those who have also sought to encourage organisational priorities over human welfare. 

– Against politicians who seek to further impoverish the poor, disabled and elderly. 

– To tackle and disarm individuals who had insisted that a persons unique and personal experience as invalid. 

– To temporarily thwarted the ravages of psychosis in those who would succumb.
Then there are those more subtle, insidious adversaries who are much closer to home. The barely tangible voices whispering covertly to my soul.

Encouraging me to lie and deceive others to my own advantage. 

Suggesting that I use whatever skills I have in order to promote myself above my peer group. 

Ushering me to ‘ give up ‘ battling and resign myself to fate.

Inviting wrath, greed, lust and gluttony into my life in order for me to expend my energies in self pleasuring but inevitably self defeating activities. 
I understand unequivocally that as long as I am alive and in human form the battles will continue. 

But one day I will again reflect on my recent past to find a completely different tale has been told.

My life’s history laid down in my memory, like chapters in a book.
The key to my ongoing survival is being of the knowledge that I am truly not that which my mind suggests I am.

Of not falling into the delusion of self-hood.