Your Eyes………

Your eyes are, after all, the gateway to your soul.

All the past hurts, pain, joy and love you have experienced are their for those who can ” see ” to see.

You have battled for forty years, first to try and save yourself then to save close friends, family and children. To protect them, to feed them physically and emotionally.

Despite all the physical and emotional scars you have received over time , you have stood strong.

You have lived your life without religious belief or any crutch to keep your spirit aloft. Your religion has been simply of having a pure and compassionate heart. A natural, uncomplicated spirituality which resides in your human soul, untouched by the mind, one in which your actions have always reflected your innermost self.
The years have taken their toll, physically and emotionally. At this very moment you need a crumb of the love you have given to be returned. Your heart needs to feel warmth and gentleness of another, someone who can see you. Someone who recognises your strength and your suffering, who completely accepts you as you are.

In whose eyes reflect deep human compassion, compassion that will be eternal and unwavering.

An unspoken acknowledgement of ones truth, of being accepted unconditionally as a human being, in all their own raw vulnerability.

Once received, your mind and body visibly relax, you no longer have to pretend to be fine. All the energy utilised to maintain the facade of being able to cope is released.

You know that you will never be truly alone, that there will really be someone who cares and understands.

And if warmth and compassion can reside in one individual then it must reside in others.

That there is always hope. That despite how desperate the situation, if one looks hard enough, trust in humanity can be restored. It is never always going to be easy, but having made that human connection, there will always be hope.

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On Growth, Transience and Love

( NB I wrote this awhile back when I was going through what I liken to a spiritual growth ‘spurt’. Fortunately I was able to make some changes but there is still more to come!) 😊❤️

As I meander through life some days, like this morning, my mind seems set on reflection.
There was a time when I believed in the permanence of things. That is, people, objects, beliefs and such like. But as I have grown older I have come to believe that all is indeed transient.
What served me in the past no longer does so. From career to relationships, many of those activities that I was happily involved in have now mainly become burdens which seek to follow me despite my wishes to start projects afresh.

I have no desire for personal wealth or possessions.
No inclination to pay lip service to individuals whose only interaction is based on purely reinforcement of the ego.
Neither do I feel that I have time to waste within my precious time on this Earth fitting into society’s expectations of whom or what sort of person I should be.

Looking out from my window I see a vista that is very familiar to me. However I am aware there are also exquisite, minute changes happening every second that I observe. The tinted golden leaves and heavy branches moving majestically in the stiffening chill Autumn breeze.
For all of life is in flux, there are no solid consistent particles that build the world around us. That is the optical delusion caused by our coarse senses and proffered by the society within which I was born.

As to the future?
To spend the remainder of my life in love and intimacy.
Investing time with those precious individuals to whom life is also sacred. Those who are aware of the innate divinity of the world and universe around us. Those human souls who are still strong and wise enough to wear their hearts on their sleeves.
To further develop an intimacy and love of Nature.
In watching the ethereal and eternal sunrises and sunsets.
In sensual awareness of the subtle change of seasons. Amongst the flora and fauna of this exquisite tapestry of life with which I am greeted in every moment.
Being where the the stormy, tumultuous, steely waves meet the rocky shore. To have one’s breath whisked away by the high gusts of winds blasting over me. Showered in sea spray bringing with it that salty, musty aroma that only the ocean can muster.

And for me to become truly whom I was meant to be. It may be that crazy eyed, dishevelled eccentric guy who sits quietly outside cafe’s busily writing down his thoughts.
It may be the man in simple clothes who sits atop of hills or in valleys simply watching, silently. Or the one whom sits in his study, surrounded by a multitude of books and articles. Spending his days browsing through the volumes content with his space, along with the somehow comforting smell that accompanies grey and discoloured pages of the old manuscripts.

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.

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.

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.

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.