Spiritual Individuation ( a precis )

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.

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In This Moment………….. 

I love to read by candlelight. 

As dusk falls outside, a chill breeze passes through the house. 

The candle flame flickers in response, instilling life to the dark shadows around me.

I take a moment to enjoy the serenity of  silence that only night time can bring.

The sensual, earthy aroma that accompanies early Autumn has filled my house, bringing with it a multitude of memories infused with bittersweet emotions. It feels as if there is no demarcation between inside or outside. Both worlds are incorporated into a seamless, unified reality of which I too are intimately connected. 
A deep tranquillity settles within my heart and soul. 

It seems that this very moment will last forever . When all worlds become one an eternal stillness is created within which any sense of duality is lost.
Through the open window I see the black velvet of the night sky peppered with small pinpricks of light. Moonlight highlights misshapen clouds as they scud silently across the horizon. Her silver phosphorescence cast upon the landscape as if to lovingly caress her nocturnal kith and kindred. 

I draw comfort from the sight, the same stars and constellations that were there at my birth and have been with me throughout my life. They continue to provide an exquisitely beautiful backdrop to so much of my life, both past and present. 
Out to the porch overlooking my ramshackle garden, my ears are met with the distant mewling of fox cubs. The occasional solitary hoot of an owl adds testament to the incoming night.

A single pipistrelle darts around the street lamp seeking to snare those insects drawn to its fluorescent light. 

A small field mouse scurries through the undergrowth, halting only to sense for any nearby predators that might be hidden amongst the shadows.
I remain as one with the Earth and with eternity. There has never been any separation between myself and the universe. For I feel that deep inside myself I have borne witness to this world since the beginning of time. 

It feels that all of my ancestral memories are within me. There is no physical recall of events, just a deep and soulful knowledge. 

There is no fear of the future for this has always been so and will be forever.

Perspective…….. 

Perspective………… 
Lest we forget amidst the dusty, dark and neurotic corners of our mind there is another world not too far away. A world not concerned with money, status, strength or weakness. Neither cursed with wants, needs or desires. 
This world is just outside, but you will have to leave the dubious comfort of your human mind for a few moments. 

You will have to simply be present, undistracted, allowing all of one’s senses to be open to the gentle touch of Nature.
As I walk slowly through the meadow I can feel myself begin to relax. My mind and body leave behind the human hubbub of life.

The roads full of seemingly angry cars and lorries vying for their place, the people verbally wrestling with each others egos in order to validate themselves in a world where most cannot be seen. 
My breathing slows to a natural rhythm and my heartbeat becomes regular and unhurried. Mentally I am here, now amongst the flora and fauna of Nature. My sense of separateness dissolves and I become as one with the landscape. A simple witness to the beauty of Gaia, where no judgement or opinion is necessary. 
Because of the ‘ oneness ‘ that I feel and the open acuity of my senses, I seem preternaturally aware of the world around me. 
I am in awe as a leaf falls majestically from the foliage of a tree. A once in a lifetime gesture of grace, never to be repeated moment in time. 

The pale sunlight glistens on the barely visible, gossamer carpet of spider webs across the grass. 

The loud, reciprocated caw of crows in flight as they swoop and flock together continuing their families ancient legacy of life.

A single bee flies lazily amongst the flowers, half heartedly collecting nectar. Perhaps she realises her part in Nature’s great play is nearly over and there is no longer any urgency for her to work.
Just below the surface, I can feel the energetic thrum of life. The immense but subtle power of the universe as it both permeates and creates all that is. 

No one aspect of creation has ever been separate from one another, we are all energetic events within energetic events. An eternal cycle of seamless quantum activity gives testament to our immortality. 
How different this world seems to the one that I left a little while ago. The irony is it is made of exactly the same constituents.

The planet and the rest of the universe continue in relative peace and harmony, the only disturbance is that of the human mind and its tendency to subjectively detach and judge its experience. 

In continuing with this Cartesian appraisal of life we lose sense of our true essence and subsequently a true sense of belonging. 
Everyday we are alive it is true to say that every morning when we awake and in every moment therein, numerous opportunities await. Depending on our perspective, we can to a certain extent decide as to whether we realise them and fulfil the latent potential on offer.

Empath Problems 

Living the life of ( what is largely described as) an empath is a very challenging experience to say the very least. After all trying to exist and live a ‘normal’ human existence is frequently fraught with anxiety, stress, drama and perceived obstacles. 
So it is not surprising that those of us who share a predisposition to being energetically sensitive have more than the average person to contend with. 

Whether or not we agree with the term ’empath’ many of us indeed share similar proclivities. There are going to be variables depending on individuals however many ( including myself) experience the following :

  – a tendency to pick up on the emotional states of others ( and sometimes confuse them as our own) 

  – a tendency to pick up on Earth / Nature energies 

  – an extreme sensitivity to whatsoever is in the energetic field of our vicinity, including spirits, ghosts and paranormal entities 

  – we may take on physiological and psychological aspects of those to whom we are close to 

  – numinous spiritual occurrences, for example Advaitic, Kundalini et al episodes 

  – moving in and out of anothers dreams. 

This list certainly is not exhaustive nor exclusive but it gives us an idea of what ‘ normal’ can be like for the empathic on a day to day basis. 

Before we discover and understand our ‘ energetic sensitivity’ we are largely at the mercy of whatever situation we find ourselves in. This can leave ourselves prone to intense uncontrolled emotions, questioning our sanity as well as feelings of isolation and loneliness ( due to not being able to confide our feelings to those around us). This is when being empathic can feel like a curse. 

However it is possible to embrace these abilities and to enjoy the rich depths of insight and sensuality open to us. 

The first step is to understand what being empathic is. 

The next is to find what works for us to enable the individual to maintain balance and reign in some of these disparate energies. Some find grounding, shielding and meditation helps. 

We do though need to bear in mind that we need to be loving and compassionate to ourselves. The fact that on our journey so far we have encountered many, many challenges, possibly more than most others. And this is often without the advantage of peer support due to the uniqueness of our predilection for sensitivity. 
Namaste ( “I bow to the divine in you” – Hinduism) 

  –

Thou Art That.. 

Although to others I appear as simply yet another human being amongst millions of other human beings. The expectation from them is that I too operate and act from a similar perspective. In that I will to some extent seek personal, ego related goals. That I will endeavour to make myself secure by the acquisition of material wealth. That I will have similar external interests involving media driven activities of which I am assumed to have a shared predilection. 

This is the hard part, as I by and large do not. 

Living within a society that lives out and expects individuals to adhere to an anthropocentric ideology  is, for me, completely unnatural. 

My empathic spiritual journey has now led to perceptual changes in the way that I experience the world around me. 

I am as one with the Earth. 

My human body forms the flimsiest demarcation of my soul, for my soul too is at one with the Universe. 

Out in the forest the feeling is intensified. 

In the wilderness, the air in my lungs once expelled becomes one with the wind. The breeze then wraps itself around my human form, caressing my hair and skin. Evaporating the thin sheen of sweat on my brow, which had once been part of one of the great oceans. Although the presence of blood, bone and sinew are to be found within me, they too are only borrowed. One day, upon my passing, I will again return to the Earth from whence I came and from which I have never truly been separated. 

Even in my humanity I can sense the other. 

The autonomic consciousness of the bee as it almost preturnaturally carries out its duties to ensure the survival of his hive. 

The feral mind of the fox, raw and unencumbered by a superego seeks to satiate his hunger. 

The various parts of the dense undergrowth, clearings and landscape that give rise to their own genius loci. That speak subtly of sublime nature spirits, evocations, spiritual communion and desperate entreaties to the ‘other’ world. For in these places the veil between the worlds is barely perceptible. One can easily visit other dimensions and planes of existence simply by being present. 

I have no wish to return to my previous experience of life as a simple, egoic human. Indeed I feel that I could not if I wished to. 

So if you see me around, please feel free to say hello as I have much to discuss and desire to hear of your thoughts. You will recognise me by my eyes, they have all the elements of the Earth therein. 

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).

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