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.

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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.

A Conflict of Interest? 

“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

― Jiddu Krishnamurti

Society largely considers what is normal by the agreed consensus of the majority. However there are many individuals ( myself included) who by virtue of their natural predilections and personal interpretation of the world around us will never be ‘ normal’. This is by no means saying these people aren’t valuable, quite the contrary in fact. They may have a certain quality in their perspective which can infuse us with inspiration and reflect a deep, contrasting insight into the nature of reality. 

These souls may be labeled occasionally as autistic, mentally ill, over sensitive, eccentric or simply ‘different’.  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. 

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), mental disorder or feeling that we have to wear 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. 

 To summarise, in my opinion I feel it is important to remember:

  • Every individual has a unique history and a unique physiological / psychological make up
  • Therefore everyone has their own potential to fulfil ( whether or not it is in line with society’s expectations)
  • As a society we should encourage everyone to fulfil that potential.
  • Not to be quick to judge others and readily put people into boxed categories, for this can easily become harmful. 

Namaste 💜

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) 

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