Spoiler: Dear Reader, though you might be interested in reading more on karma, reincarnation, matters of the soul and how we can help ourselves grow into better individuals – instead of merely growing older – it’s quite possible that the content of my articles might alienate you, most particularly if you happen to feel that, within the cultural and societal framework, as it exists today, your life is a satisfying one, fuller of genuine contentment than of stress, anxiety and upsets.
In truth, my writing is aimed at those of us who feel that, no matter how ‘normal and reasonable’ is our response to life’s challenges, big and small, and regardless of how ‘normal and reasonable’ we appear to others, there has to be another way to DO life.
Basically, it could be said that my approach to genuine spirituality is one that accepts the status quo dictated by societal mores but also encourages us to do more to do than complain about our lot, more than read about how to improve our lot, more than pray, chant and dance, more than meditate, too, as all of these activities can only alleviate the symptoms, not the root causes.
Interwoven with years of dialoguing on a daily basis with my mentor, Moriya, I gained familiarity with the philosophy of J.D. Krishnamurti, Paul Brunton, Alan Watts and Idries Shah. I explored the writings of Maurice Nicoll, John Blofeld, Reshad Feild and Alan Keigthley. I have also read a number of texts on Zen Buddhism, too many to name individually, but including some by D.T. Suzuki,and I have acquainted myself with books published more recently by Eckhart Tolle and Alain de Botton.
I quoted and referenced most of these writers in my early articles as, in those days of budding understanding, I was writing mostly a sort of analysis of their thinking against the backdrop of Moriya’s teachings. The overlapping discourses of all these wise thinkers now digested, I have come to form my own blended philosophy on matters of Karma and its integral, cosmic, relevance to our heart and soul. The bottom line being that very little, if anything, we propose to do that stops short of digging deep within the nucleus of our emotions, will yield any long standing personal growth.
Though such activities as taking a walk and enjoying the sunset, solving a crossword puzzle, cooking a meal and enjoying the process are healthy distractions and sharing loving moments with our partner, playing with our child and helping an elderly neighbor with the groceries may provide us with lovely, feel-good moments in which we think la vie est belle, life is great, I honestly do not believe anymore that such moments go any distance in helping us rethink our staple set of responses any time one of our many buttons is pushed ‘far enough’.
I honestly believe that nothing outside of a genuine appraisal of our automated response patterns, followed by a diligent awareness compounded by the hard slog of committed practice will – in the fullness of time – generate a tangible and stable difference in the way we feel about our lives.
It is only when we attempt to distance ourselves from our patterned response to dissatisfaction, our inability to truly forgive and to truly love unconditionally that we can begin to render obsolete some of the ‘natural’ but highly impractical actions and re-actions that trigger hotspots and flare ups with strangers, in our home, at work, and, more importantly, within our psyche.
And so, dear Reader, unless the words above resonated in you – or at the very least prick your curiosity – rather than read on, I would whole-heartedly suggest you take a walk and enjoy the sunset, solve a crossword puzzle, cook a meal and enjoy the process, share loving moments with your partner, play with your child and help your elderly neighbor with the groceries for, in truth, even a momentary feel-good moment a day is better than nothing, if it lowers our stress level and generates an opportunity for little doses of selfless kindness to sneak in.
Who Are These People?
When it comes to our reading preferences in the 21st century, clearly it is neither books about the triumph of the human spirit nor biographies nor books of poems that keep the print industry printing and beef up online publishing. A glance at the list of fiction best-sellers suggests that reading ‘thrillers’, crime a.k.a. murder, imagined, committed or solved, has become an international fascination. It seems to be on par with Romance, as a best-selling genre of fiction.
Another glance at the endless roll-out of block-buster films and series on the same topics suggests that viewing the process of dying brutally, often slowly, usually gripped by fear and horror holds an equal fascination. A quick search online search using general keywords like Horrifying Death will produce a trove of real deaths, very horrifying deaths in our streets and homes uploaded, no doubt, for our viewing pleasure.
In our culture, death is feared. It is said to be horrifying and oppressive. It is a topic of conversation to be avoided at all cost, even in hospitals, except in wards of palliative care. There it is mentioned in hushed tones. Yet, from cold cases to murders in real time, to autopsied chests and cranial cavities split open on morgue slabs and to the deconstruction/reconstruction of murders, each copyright scene is carefully crafted for impact. This suggests that the very graphic rendition of fear, death and suffering somehow provides us with endless hours of popular entertainment. That these murders may be committed out of love, revenge, profit or stupidity makes no difference either to the reader or to the viewer.
Our collective attraction to criminal and murderous energy as a form of ‘escape’ means that we ingest extreme doses of that dark energy, as we watch ‘fear, death and violent suffering’ made graphic, evening after evening on TV, DVD’s and on the big screen – not to mention the ‘real’ human fear, suffering and death delivered to our living rooms and computer screens by our favorite news programs. The sum total of global interest in this genre of entertainment and escape spells out clearly that, collectively, we must have become immune to the emotional terror felt by others and to the manner of their death. We must be suffering from empathy and/or compassion fatigue – as do our teenagers and our twenty/thirty something. On the whole they, too, seem to have an interest in scenes that depict violent and often ‘sick’ death scenes as are those in ‘shooter’ and horror films.
To top it all, some of us also take the dark energy of crime fiction to bed with us inside our Kindle and the pages of our paperbacks. Some of us prefer to take to bed biographies and autobiographies of real murderers. Either way – sweet dreams! or sweet pill-induced sleep!
Absolutely everything in the universe is made up of atoms and molecules, therefore matter and energy, the human body included. It is an accepted scientific fact that it is energy that enables us to move and to think. Beyond that, as thoughts carry intent, they generate energy. Words carry intent and they, too, generate energy. The mind is matter and matter yields energy. It is another accepted fact that any compressed energy will eventually explode.
In terms of mental health, when one’s energy is optimistic, it helps comfort others. The same applies to the pure energy that emanates from an open connection to Soul – it heals others. If one’s energy is laden, among others, with macabre thoughts and graphic images of sadistic torture picked up from regular doses of crime fiction and murder scenes, it seems evident that this energy is not likely to create any uplifting of the mind – not for the self, not for others.
Although having a collection of morbid snippets and violent images accompanied by the crying, the gagging and the rasping sounds made by the dying whose mind is filled with terror playing back in our thoughts, is not the only reason why there is so much angst and violence in our society, it goes some way to contributing to it.
The Law of Attraction works on the human psyche. Thoughts allowed to settle in the mind, and cultivated over a period of time, nourish a nucleus that, if left to grow, attracts to itself conditions that will spawn concrete outcomes of its own making.
Birds of the same feather flock together. Tarred with the same brush. Like attracts like and a number of similar sayings acknowledge something similar, that dark energy attracts dark energy and nowhere is that more obvious than in clans and groups that wreak gratuitous violence. The perpetrators run in packs. The idea that dark energy attracts dark energy is also evident among other groups who cluster in packs. Black may be their color of choice, zombie worship in one form or another might be their thing. Secret religious societies also ‘pack together’, bound by rituals, smoke and mirrors and incantations. Could it be that, although it is unsettling, even frightening, dark energy needs clusters of individuals to gain and maintain momentum?
Secret societies, even those not preoccupied by the after- world, guard their darkness with secret handshakes, but it is not uncommon for members of elitist societies to indulge illicit urges. The Code of Silence bundled in the oath of the initiation ceremony binds these individuals together and keeps debauchery, when it happens, hidden from outsiders. Members share in each other’s dark secrets. They feed that energy as much as they feed on it – and bring it home to ‘the wife and kids’.
Light energy, the energy of Soul, the energy that results from genuine and unritualized spirituality and religion might well be stronger than the energy of violence, angst and morbidity, for truly spiritual persons prefer to remove themselves from groups to exist alone with Soul as sole support, even as they live a productive life amongst us. Such people are humble. They favor wearing colors that are pale. Black is not on their palette. They don’t need to walk with a sign on their forehead that proclaims I am a spiritually evolved being. Such folk seek light and fresh air. They breathe in prana. These, along with a strong connection to their soul, replenish their energy. Such folk tread softly and they quietly heal as they go – always free of charge, for how could they barter coins in exchange for the gift Soul gives them freely? Escaping to an ashram, escaping into hour-long trances or escaping into a cave protected by the fearful respect of superstitious villagers and depending on them for food is not necessarily the sign of utmost spirituality.