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.

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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.

View from an Empath 

Sitting on a wooden bench outside my local public house I stretch my aching legs and decide rest up a while from my countryside walk. 

There is a faint breeze ushering in the early dusk bringing with it a chill tincture of the night ahead. The smell of freshly mown grass adds to the subtle atmosphere of near perfect sanguinity I begin to feel. Taking a small sip from the cold beer held tenderly in my hand and placing it down upon the table I begin to relax even further. 

As I light my ( occasional) cigarette I watch my exhaled smoke form a brief swirling pattern in the air before finally dissipating in the gentle wind. With that last out breath I feel as if I have also cast out any feelings of tension that may have remained leaving myself in a pleasantly grounded state of awareness and reflection. 

Pausing, my attention moves to taking in whomsoever is in my vicinity on this calm and tranquil evening. 
  – the somewhat overdressed, heavily made up lady with her male partner sitting at a table on the opposite side of the lawn. It feels that she is constantly undermined and criticised. She seems to no longer to have the self confidence to escape after years of negativity. She is veritably trapped, feeling she deserves nothing more than what she has. 

  – the older gentleman sitting by himself in the corner, a baseball cap covering his eyes as he nurses his glass of spirit and ice. An ex military man, mumbling a soliloquy of painful memories and regrets. Rheumy eyes gaze blearily out from under his cap as the waitress delivers another in a long line  of shorts. It may not numb the pain but his mind will be disabled enough to compromise his ability to dwell on the past until sleep or unconsciousness overcome him. 

  – the young couple sitting nervously opposite one another across another bench. A fledgling relationship, both a little anxious about saying or doing the wrong thing laugh uncomfortably in conversation. Both fidgeting restlessly but desperately seeking each other’s eye contact. 

  – the young mother doting on her two year old, making entreaties for him to eat. Her partner sits there disinterested, texting on his mobile phone. His demeanor suggests his belief of that he is an ‘alpha male’. His overt masculinity she once found attractive, however now all she feels is oppressed and disregarded. 

  – a young man laughing and joking loudly with his male peers, feigning confidence and social adeptness. His insecurity given away by his frequent glances to his peers to assess to what degree he is accepted and as to whether his manner is being well received. 

Feeling a little depleted energy wise, I move my awareness to the surrounding landscape beyond the beer garden. The leaves on the trees shimmering in the slight breeze, the cattle grazing and  lowing quietly on the outlying hills, the coarse caws from a family of rooks passing overhead and the subtle coo of a nearby wood pigeon help to energetically reconvene. 

As I walk away to resume my stroll in the countryside I cannot help but wonder why it is that humans are seemingly so complicated and frequently so unhappy at times. Surely if we were living in our ‘natural state’ then you would think that our behaviour would be more sentient as it appears with fellow species here on Earth. 

I endeavour to leave such thoughts behind however, not wanting them to detract from the essential essence of Nature’s presence.

My Cheatin’ Heart 

I know by now not to go by first impressions. 

My hearts compass however has frequently directed my attention unconsciously to the presence of another. 

It can only take the briefest of eye contact and a fierce flame of attraction erupts within me.

In that simple glance I know you. 

You are :

– Hiding deep emotional scars wrought on you in your youth

 – Desperately in need of closeness and an unequivocal love

 – A raging passion for becoming physically and emotionally lost in the soul of another 

 – Seeking someone with whom to  live your life so intensely that all that will remain in the end are intermingled embers and ashes of two souls. One indistinguishable from another. 
Your wounds are deep and irrevocable. 

You seek to soothe them in the balm of another’s unconditional love, no more, no less.

That love will ease the pain and the feelings of emptiness within you.

But I know the cost.

I would myself become lost within you.

I would truly feel and share your emotional burden.

I would give my all to vanquish any past, present and future sorrows. 

I would be your knight in immaculate armour. 
But I know that I would be paying the ultimate sacrifice of losing my heart and soul. 

And for all that I am, I could never truly heal your past hurts. 
Yet I see within you an incandescent beauty.

A youthfulness retained.

An energetic vibrancy for life.

An ocean of love with which to impart.

A single mindedness and uniqueness found rarely in another. 
I can still love you but you can never know.

Epiphany………..? 

I had previously written of how I had felt that this last month had me feeling like a battle worn knight in the middle of a battlefield. Life has recently thrown many metaphorical skirmishes my way in terms of physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual challenges. 
I have felt completely drained, exhausted from defending many aspects of my internal and external worlds from those adversaries who would seek to undermine any integrity that I may have established. 
As I had previously explained, fortunately I understand that my human, egoic interpretation of my experience is only that which is incorporated and deciphered through my human psyche and senses. This stands in opposition to my seemingly deeper sense of non duality.  

Yet again that metaphor feels appropriate. 
I stand alone on the battlefield of life. 

Exhausted from the ongoing battles which I have fought. Not to gain advantage,  but simply to maintain the physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual land that I identify as self. 

Wearily I look around the landscape searching for a safe haven in which to rest. 

Smiling wryly to myself I come to realise that even after all this time, I hadn’t understood that actually there is no such thing. For as long as I am seemingly contained in human form then my mortal struggles will persist. 

In the distance I can see the ruined remains of previously perceived havens. Those of relationships and of material security, all of which were always inevitably perished due to their natural transience. 

Bringing myself back to the present moment, I assess whatever resources that remain. 

Tiredness, fatigue and weariness weigh me down. I may just have enough in me to sustain one more assault. 
Out of nowhere comes an earth shattering explosion.    I am thrown into the air landing heavily upon the ground, shards of debris pierce my skin and embed themselves into my body. 

Surely this is finally the end. There could be no way that I, or anyone could continue having undergone such an attack. 

Yet here I stand. Looking down on my physical self lying sprawled in the dust. 

It was just a game after all.

 It has taken years of struggle and heartache, to the point that my human self could withstand no more to realise that I would never really be destroyed. As a human I presumed that defined my existence. 

But now I am aware that my perception of self was flawed. 

It took my metaphorical physical destruction in order to realise that my essence is eternal. That in reality, I always have been and always will be. 

I am now freed from my human burden of perceived mortality. 

The doors of my previously finite understanding of life have been thrown open leaving me to live my life unfettered.

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.

Spiritual Crisis……? 

The following is, as ever only my take on a certain aspect of life. However I have seen many posts and have received messages to my blog as to what this subject. It has been a concern of mine for a long time that generally Western Society does not effectively support people who undergo spiritual experiences.
I will not try and differentiate between mental illness and spiritual growth as that is beyond my remit and extremely complex. However it is worth bearing in mind that profound spiritual experiences have been a regular occurrence for people since time in creation. 
One can only really speak of our individual experience with any true objectivity. Of course most of us agree on similar themes as our human senses incorporate our world in a non dissimilar manner.

However it seems to me that certain people ( be them described as empathic, HSP or simply sensitive) are able to sense certain energies outside of the perceived norm.
It seems it can take many guises e.g being able to feel other peoples or places energy, being able to communicate with spirits and the ability to heal energetically to name a but a few. 

Along with these differing perceptions often comes a strong sense of spirituality. An awareness that there is more to the world than meets the eye.
This ‘ sensitivity ‘ leads can often lead some of us to experience a spiritual emergence or transformation. 

This may be completely by accident,  as a result of spiritual practice or by taking mind altering substances. 
For instance, a spiritual emergency is described as a crisis often resulting in intense emotions, unusual thoughts and behaviors, and perceptual changes. This crisis often involves a spiritual component—such as experiences of death and rebirth, unity with the universe, and encounters with powerful beings. Such crises bring about the potential for profound psychological and spiritual change (Grof & Grof, 1989), but often appear to be similar to psychotic disorders.
As I myself found that if this occurs in one’s life, there is often no-one to turn to for support or guidance. Certainly trying to discuss it with friends and family was met with dismissal or avoidance ( understandably). 

After some research I found that my experiences were not at all uncommon, however were still treated as mumbo jumbo by the medical field at large. 
Fortunately there has been some progress in recent years in that there has become a growing awareness amongst some professionals. It is still a little sporadic but seems to be slowly gaining ground. 
Therefore to conclude, if anyone you know seems to be experiencing something similar, at least offer a listening ear and support as it can be a very scary place to be. 

There is a charity called Spiritual Crisis Network who can offer advice / support if necessary. 
Sorry for the more ‘ informative ‘ type post but I feel some may find it useful.

❤ 

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