Motes in the Wind

Is it really only me?

Am I the only one who stops to stand and stare.

Sitting outside the cafe in the chill Autumn air, I watch the city life hum around me.

It’s almost as if no-one else is conscious, the pavements and roads teem with purposeful human activity. Again I find myself on the outside looking in.

So many people, so many stories. All apparently oblivious to each other as each individual seeks to fulfill their own worldly goals.

The suited businessman walking briskly whilst negotiating with a colleague on his mobile phone. Locked in to his work as a small cog is into a machine.

The young male adolescent in the hoodie on the street corner. His almost translucent skin, drawn eyes and scrawny frame hold testament to a life given to avoiding traumatic memories. A life of numbing his still raw hurt by the use of anything that even slightly dampens his pain.

The tired, drawn looking waitress busying herself with the neverending flow of serving and cleaning. Working her life away twelve hours a day to provide a still meagre material existence.

The thirty something female feigning lasciviousnesss outside a half seen doorway. She tries to catch the eye of any passing male willing to exchange money for sharing a fleeting moment of physical intimacy. Her eyes once warm and sensitive now as hard as her heart had become through years of being a passive recipient of what life had to offer.
I feel a heaviness in my heart as I watch these individuals go about their day. It is said that we are all on our own path, myself included. Certainly, I sincerely hope that everyone finds their peace but it is difficult to imagine when people live their lives in such a way.

There can be no judgement of them as I feel we all are, in some way, a product of our genetic predilections and our personal history. Like seeds cast to the wind, we grow where we find ourselves. Some souls will flourish amongst familial unconditional love and attention and some will starve.

The less fortunate may be subject to the opposite. Low self esteem and feelings of worthlessness can infiltrate ones being when raised in an emotional desert.

This often carries on into adult life, shaping personalities and whole lifetimes.
My sadness comes from knowing that this could have easily been so different.

Every human soul is valuable, everyone has a spiritual spark inside of them no matter how overlaid with pain and anguish.

I have to resign myself to only being able to do my small part amidst this world. I simply hope that whatsoever my actions in my day to day existence go a little way towards making the world a better place for others.

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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.

Born Again…….?

 

The life journey is full of twists and turns, some expected and some not at all so.
Many people see the world through a very black and white perspective, that is to say their thinking is linear and unquestioned by themselves. If one does this ( e.g not drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes ) then that will happen ( live a healthy life). If a person is a moral and loving individual then little or no harm will come to them.
That however has never been my experience
Beginning life from a relatively humble working class family, a son of a coal miner with average schooling, I have lived and learned a myriad of experiences, for example:

– Advaitic and kundalini type episodes ( I didn’t know what they were at the time)
– Seeing and communicating with spiritual manifestations
– A general heightened awareness of the energies around me.
There were also others which I will omit for the sake of space.

Also throughout my life I have been ‘diagnosed’ as having mental health issues. I would like to share my most recent experience as I feel it is rather anomalous by its character.
( NB I do not in anyway advocate that individuals neglect their medical practitioners advice re treatment for mental health issues as this can on occasions have very serious consequences ).

Over the last few decades I have been, on occasions, prescribed antidepressant medication because of my psychological responses to some of the more severe of life’s stresses. This includes the last few years, however recently due to stressful external circumstances it appeared that I was relapsing so my doctor made the decision to change my medication. This involved reducing my current ones to the bare minimum before starting my new prescription. As you may imagine, this was a little terrifying. I was already apparently unwell and now had to reduce my medication over a month. So I kind of braced myself to undergo a tumultuous and potentially paralysing emotional rocket ride.

Now here I am a few months later completely medication free 😊
Obviously this wasn’t the original plan but I found that as I reduced my tablets, my symptoms improved.
Not only that but I am generally less stressed, more grounded, able to feel my actual emotions (as opposed to my much muted previous ones) and more able to appreciate the more aesthetic aspects of life.
I now remember what it’s like to be my variation of ‘normal’.
Don’t get me wrong, life isn’t a bed of roses and there are still many stressful situations but I can deal with them more lucidly and objectively than previously.

Throughout my life I have found myself at odds with many aspects of Western Society namely:
– exploitation of the Earth’s flora and fauna
– the promotion of ego centred behaviour of individuals via the media
– the glorification of material possession

to name but a few.
Subsequently I believe that it’s no wonder myself and many others may suffer from ‘mental health’ issues.

As Jiddu Krishnamurti stated :
” It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society “.

A Bit About the World and Me…….

For some reason I seem to be a kind of ‘save the world’ type of person. There are probably many reasons for this i.e. I’m an INFP if you believe in the Myerrs Briggs analogies or perhaps I am really trying to save myself to take on a more analytic concept. Whatever the reason why doesn’t matter as I know my intention is heartfelt.
So I wake up every morning to yet again be confronted with society’s worst crimes, both against each other and the planet.
And then I have to figure out why, as is my nature.
In my career in mental health I have come across probably thousands of individuals with a huge variety of issues and they have taught me more about mankind than any book.

The steepest learning curve were to be found when I worked in secure units in forensic psychiatry. For those unfamiliar with the term, these are specialist units set up to deal with mentally disordered offenders who have committed crimes including murder and every other crime one can think of. These people have largely come from dysfunctional and abusive backgrounds and to be frank it is unsurprising that their lives took such a turn.
Although this is the extreme end of the spectrum, the problems albeit different by degree, are similar throughout human behaviour.

The average person in Western society seems to have very little understanding of their own and others inherent psychology.
Carl Jung stated
” We need more understanding of human nature, because the only real
danger that exists is man himself. He is the great danger, and we are
pitifully unaware of it. We know nothing of man, far too little. His psyche
should be studied, because we are the origin of all coming evil.
(Jung 1977 : 436).
He also frequently mentions the ‘shadow’ “which is a term he used to describe the unconscious which contain the more crude and baser elements of our psyche.

Though evidently man’s inhumanity to each other and other species is multifactorial, education would at least impart a possible degree of awareness as to regards ours and others actions in the world.
Perhaps a start would be to teach psychology at school along with the other sciences as it still seems to be percieved as a Cinderella subject. However nothing could be further from the truth.
In today’s society, more than ever, it would be highly beneficial for all to understand psychological phenomena like transference, projection, reaction formation etc. It would enable us as a society to see where destructive behaviours in ourselves and others emanate from.

Unfortunately numerous groups know how to manipulate human mentality.
Many people believe other races, cultures or even those of different ideologies as ‘less than human’
( as they may feel threatened in some way) and thus dispensible.
These groups can often whip up support by appealing to racist or nationalist prejudices. By doing this, in analytical terms, they are appealing to our injured selves and to its associated narcissistic rage. Again this would more than likely be unconscious in most individuals

Thus unless we as a society somehow address our cultural blindness to the ways of the human psyche, I fear the unconscious aspects of our minds will continue be enacted in the outside world in the form of interpersonal violence, wars, racism et al.

Otherness……..

Just around the corner, just out of sight, lies the otherworlds.
They’re always there of course, sometimes seemingly more so than others.
None of our five senses can incorporate them however, it’s our sixth and intuitive one that touches on otherness.
The slight movement in the dark shadows, the glimpse of a figure at the top of the stairs, knowing ancient eyes watching you in the forest and the brief catching of a long lost voice.
Our crude five senses try to rationalise but deep inside we know the truth.
For within our dreams we can become aware of the other realms that lurk not far.
Of monsters and magic, of dark and light, of graveyards and Edens, complementing and adding to our linear life experience.

It is the realm of dreams and visions, where the mythical land of supposed fantasy resides. Here be heroes and legendary beasts, kings, queens, knaves and coquettes.
All the masks that we may wear as we carouse life’s path.
In their persona’s we get a glimpse of ourselves and in themselves a glimpse of us. Mirrors reflecting mirrors, ever moving, ever evolving, swapping one role for another as befits our situation.

The otherworlds simply reflect our human transience, our brief existence on the stage of life, playing many a scene in a variety of caricatures until the end of the play.
For at the end, for all the energy and gusto, the dust of the performance will settle and will become a fleeting memory amongst other fleeting memories layed down in the archetypal psyche of humanity.

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.

Thoughts……..

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

I love this quote❤️
It’s quite simple in its sentiments but at the same time has far reaching implications when looked at in its broadest sense.
Although I don’t feel society is profoundly sick in its worse sense, it seems at the very least misguided. I know that many people have no issues with the way they live their lives and the societal environment within which they do so .
However myself and many other ‘sensitive’ / empathic individuals, from the conversations I have had, do indeed struggle.

We are after all acutely aware of the suffering of others, animals and even our planet.
We can pick up on subtle energies around us to the point of psychicism at times.
Our sensitivity heightens our perception and reaction to injustice, violence or abuse of any kind and generally and we are warm, caring and selfless as our predisposition could not allow us to be anything other.

This degree of sensitivity can effect us in many ways, not least of which our mental health.
The media constantly bombards society with high impact imagery in the form of soundbite adverts, movies, music and other information. Many people seem completely unaffected by this and in many cases seek it out and avidly share viewpoints on the gorier details of programmes or the news etc.
The promotion of the individual and the gathering of material wealth runs through the whole of western society, even seemingly at the expense of others in terms of one upmanship.
The reporting and treatment of others portrayed as outside our remit of concern ( that is those whom are of a different ethnicity / culture / country or social class) can be biased and punitive.
With many of our peers, friends and colleagues being of a not dissimilar mindset, this can leave us feeling isolated and unsupported.

Therefore it is no surprise that many of us succumb to mental health difficulties. In fact it would probably be more surprising if we didn’t!
Personally I suspect many people in todays society feel similar but possibly to a lesser degree.

Being empathic, for me is a spiritual gift. Whereas seemingly with the majority of the populace, spirituality plays little or no part.

” Modern society came into existence during the industrial revolution, when large portions of the population were driven from small towns into big cities in search of work and opportunity – instigating the birth of a mass society. While the development of a mass society generated benefits through the intensification of the division of labor, it also brought perilous problems. “This new form of existence…produced an individual who was unstable, insecure, and suggestible.” (Carl Jung, The Fight With the Shadow)

Perhaps the way the western world has subsequently developed is an artificial antidote to a factitious malady.
Maybe empathic / sensitive individuals have somehow remained unaffected by societys current burgeoning ideologies hence wishing for a simpler, more heartfelt existence.