The fun of it is there is always a first person story in the third person identity.
Over time, I’ve retrained my point of view, so everywhere I am seeing the “I” in the she, the he, the you and the it. In this way, I access with great pleasure the tremendous shock of the new where there was only the same old same old.
That old joke of the greeting between psychiatrists, “You’re okay, and how am I?” amuses because of the odd transposition of views. When I enter my doctor’s surgery, my greeting is, “How are you, Doctor?”
Walking outside anywhere, seeing and sensing sentient life, insects, birds, pets, cattle or the vegetable world, there is no harm in asking, “What is going through your mind? What am I to your view? The sun and the moon, the wind and rain, what are they to you now?”
These questions work well when addressed to a stone in the street, a river in the country, clouds in the sky, even an active volcano over the horizon.
The thought-thinking “I-node” becomes curiously calm and joyful, when I try to join with the conversations of the being of those who are “not-I”.
Out and about, I try in one way or another to shed a portion of the importance of my identity. Attention directed outside of myself and towards the otherness in others lets me see, in all things living and not alive, the bas-relief of the urge to survive and the factual evidence of survival.
As I approach each and every alive person in this peculiar unself-referential way, I sense the white heat of the Will to Live in them.
My own heart, also concerned with not being not-alive, relaxes and fills with a compassionate gentleness all over again.
Though they outnumber me, yet the myriad diverse multiplicity of others does not dwarf me, it completes me!
When I become attentive to and am aware of “The Gentleness of Being”, I feel that the huge and welcoming universe of Heart’s Love is brought forward into my view by the interaction of these two everyday accessible attributes – Gentleness and Being.
Whenever I hear someone’s story of their 360° round trip on these rivers of tears, I feel a mix of compassionate pain and frustration at their unnecessary journey.
My gut says, “It ain’t necessarily so!”, because it puts me in mind of those circular journeys of solitary despair I knew so well.
I am a soul filled with a joyful heart. I am blessed with this grace because my heart has beat to its own time, while I lived and breathed through suffering.
I must state my position.
Many years I spent with my heart uncomprehendingly engaged in a mood of gloom. I lived close to the edge of the world. I could only grieve for the beautiful security of how things were, because I had lost contact with that most natural of gifts that all sentient beings share – to love to live in the flow of the present moment.
This flow of the lived living moment is the dance of life we can watch on any street corner all the world over, where children play, yell, and enjoy their own company.
The will to live – that resource of legendary power – knows no past or future. If I live in the fullness of this present moment, I know nothing of any “threat” to my existence, because a threat can only exist in the context of the future-in-the-past.
Similarly, if all I am is joy-of-present, I shall have no care for the past.The reality available to innocent babies and to all young sentient living beings is reality both all-encompassing and intensely personal, exactly as the Universe is both personal and vast.
This reality is a self-awareness welded to and bonded with the will to live.
For the new-born, so for our grosser adult selves – we have an imperative to survive. Survival is the expression of our dependence on billions of iterations of our ancient genes in the moment-to-moment.
Mercifully, survival is maintained by autonomous life systems. The “test” – that all-out awful emergency – is rarely handed over to us that we shall be obliged to take full responsibility for our survival.
The continuum between life and death, the fulcrum of existence, is as a magnificence. A magnificence removed from the tick-tock of time, contained in and available to us in the Grace of Present Here-and-Now.
In my late teens, before I ‘dropped out’, I searched for and found a precious union. I cleaved to “haeceity”, to the THISNESS of things. It hardly matters here what association this had to mainstream thought, the important fact is that this understanding of the essential nature of reality remains with me still today.
This found communion with the simplicity of “What is” is my bedrock, my source of strength, healthy well-being, and healing. It is also my ever-available portal to the most sacred space in the heart containing the source of endless peace and love, present in us all and available to us all, from which we come and to which we all return.
The ability to approach and become contiguous with the uncomplicated bliss of “What is” literally saved my sanity and on occasion my life.
After this, in my lost years (20 to 25) I became troubled with abnormal mood fluctuations, and was dependent on pharmaceutical and hospital support. My withdrawal from society caused much anxiety and pain to my family and friends. My parents did all they could to help me, though at times they feared for my safe future.
Arguably there have been several early-life traumas which predisposed me to this. I have been privileged to revisit my Inner Child, and I spent invaluable hours – under direction of my Shamanic Healer here in Bournemouth where I live now – in precious, if at times painful, discovery of the selfless love of that little boy.
The small boy-child I was took it on his own advisement to loyally support me during my early years trauma. I see now I owe a sacred debt of gratitude for his compassionate and unconditional love which ultimately made possible my release from early trauma.
With the dominance of low mood during those years, I lost my former ability to connect to the flow of the present moment. It felt like a bitter-sweetness, a sorry addiction to sorrow, much like a drug. For extended periods of time, probably prolonged by tranquillisers, this was my emotional home.
Mental states at unnatural levels of modulation had determined that I ascribed meaning to both thoughts and situations which in “logical reality” hold no more significance than the superficiality of the fleeting moment.
Here is my understanding of something central to the way we can lose our firm hold on the balance of our mental health.
An enormous burden of energy is required to deal with the trivia of day-to-day living as if they are issues of crucial importance. We maintain a healthy working equilibrium most of the time without much conscious thought.
We can be well served if we can be made to see from an early age the value of living “in the moment”. With the knowledge of these practices (living mindfully) comes the ability to apply personal choice to the management of an individual’s state of mind.
If we have prior understanding about how much importance to give to our thought patterns, we may be equipped to make choices in good time, when we are still inclined to seek help.
The starting-point when a person begins to regard the trivia of day-to-day living and their accompanying thoughts as if they are issues of critical importance, could be a jumping-off point into spiral, nonlinear thinking and decision-making.
From this superposition of the minutia of trivial thoughts on the conscious mind it is not far to go to arrive in the insoluble confusion of the unknown.
Then comes Chaos – a total loss of the ability to assume responsibility for one’s thought and actions.
The problem that got to be crippling for me was that for a time I lost the objective ability to recognise superficiality for the extraordinary gift it is – the delightful sparkling flow of the fleeting moment.
This led to overwhelming feelings of banishment from the world of other people, who I observed as enjoying superficial speech and actions unperturbed by states of hyper self-consciousness.
I now believe that there is a common denominator underlying the pain and helplessness of mental health sufferers. It is a common factor also for those who have tried with all their might to reunite with their sense of belonging in the world.
Without co-ownership of self, and without some sort of recognition of the THISNESS of the existence we all share in common – from the state of being of the humble Lacewing to the imperturbaly powerful outpouring of electromagnetic radiation in the Cosmos – peace of mind, communion with one’s own heart can seem constantly unattainable.
It is a vital life-affirming truth that the only constant is transience.
We all rely on the unconditional acceptance of the flow of the fleeting moment for our conscious awareness to stabilise on a Single-point of unquestioned reference so that we can make moment-to-moment judgements and take necessary decisions at a most elementary level at the prompting of humdrum and fluctuating local circumstances.
Our innate condition is predicated on nothing more than our existence in physical form and our awareness in the Universe of objects and sentience. These are the fundamental reasons we are alive and we remain alive.
Life in us begins without our conscious volition, but we risk everything, the disturbance of our balance, even our sanity, if we continue in life as if life were external to us.
A life fully lived is lived in the passionate and impassioned understanding of life’s array of power and beauty.
Visions of beauty and power are instantly available to those who make the effort to recognise themselves as transient bearers of their portion of brilliance in the array.
Key to the recognition of their own beauty and power is the acceptance of the moment – the EveryNow – as life’s vessel and array.
I coined the word EveryNow in early 2016 to denote a cherished elevated state of being. The word has its roots in the understanding of the illusory nature of clinging to this or that, be it mood, perception, mode of thought, or time itself!
Mine is a story of 50 years of redemption and salvation. No other response than humility and continuous gratitude will do.
I devote much of my time and energy to show how immediate, powerful and freely available is the juicy goodness of the force that some call the life force, others, the will to live, and still more know by words like love, hope, peace, heart, spirit. Alas! So few take the trouble to step over the threshold of words and… love to live!