Thursday, 18 September 2014
Thoughts from the hermit cave
I've been spending a lot of time in my internal hermit's cave this week. I've installed a big ol' blackboard to scribble on and, if you're remotely interested, here's where I'm at at the whole advocacy/activism/spiritual health thing. As ever, it's an ongoing process but writing it down here helps me clarify and remember.
I've been thinking about healing and how we get to the core of it. As I wrote in my last overly long post, I see negativity as tangles in the flow of universal energy. This week I've been reading (finally) and enjoying The Untethered Soul. In this, Michael Singer tells of the Hindu concept of samskaras which, to put it very simply, are balls of trapped energy created by our reactions to things. They stay with us in our energy field and affect how we see things from that point on. They are in effect, the 'buttons' that get pushed, the sore points and maybe, eventually, actual disease. To heal them we need to step back into our core consciousness, away from the on-board computer of our mind, witness their activity without judgment and let them go with love. That is how we - to use my terminology - 'untangle' them. Obviously this is a theory I can get behind because it's the same as mine! I know. Hinduism is darn lucky to have me.
I think most of us have been aware of this truth for a long time. Maybe we dabbled in Buddhism and non-attachment at some point or maybe we just intuitively knew that "there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." No argument from me, that's for sure.
Still, I finished the book and found myself thinking that all the examples given within, and in so many other places, only apply to internal issues. I mean, of course this is the way to deal with our personal triggers. Of course we need to recognise our personal filters and work to clear them. But what about external matters?
I'm not talking about other people's issues. Again, that's a matter of individual choice. But I believe there comes a point when the actions of many individuals, over time, reach a tipping point and the result takes on its own form. It becomes an entity in itself. For example, let's take the issue of child trafficking. The individuals who perpetuate this particular evil have their own tangles and I could decide that I want to try to heal all of them but let's face it, they need to do it themselves or it won't work and I'm probably not going to be able to fit it in around my day job and the laundry. But...at this point Child Trafficking has taken on its own form. It exists on a societal, cultural, historical level within the collective consciousness. It has moved from being an intention within the minds of individuals to an actual entity. A samskara in and of itself. It is arguable that it is now a disease within the universal body and I'm not simply going to ignore that disease just because it's ugly and messy.
What if this might be something we can heal? Maybe. I don't know about you, but I'm willing to give it a punt.
So how do we do it? Can we employ the same methods of non-judgmental witnessing and releasing with love? Darned if I know, but it sounds like a good start given that any actual change may take anything from 30 seconds to 30,000 years.
Here's what else I'm thinking: if these tangles of stagnant, twisted energy - child trafficking, animal abuse, Female Genital Mutilation, slavery, mass deforestation ... - are in the collective consciousness then maybe the most effective 'untangler' is a healing collective.
And who makes up that collective? Well that's where it gets exciting...