Don’t be a slave to your rational mind

So often, I’ve had the impression that I’m going about my daily business with my head totally in the clouds, wrapped up in the thoughts and chimeras of the monkey, rational mind. I could be walking in the most stunning landscape and yet afterwards I can hardly recall what I saw, heard, felt, etc. It’s as if my sensitivity has been on low or mute for years now. The older I get i.e. the further from my childhood, the blunter my sensations. I’m disturbed to find that external visual/aural stimuli don’t touch me deeply enough to hold my focus. The rational mind is overpowering – like a self-proclaimed master dominating a serf (the whole self). I feel this is the outcome of conventional living, even though my life has been far from mainstream. Still, I’m bombarded by the standards, prejudices, social constructs, etc. of my society, which all urge me to be serious, curtail my instinctual drives, compete in the dog-eat-dog world, show how intellectually clever I am, be a good woman, etc.

My society hasn’t helped me to give prominence to my inner self. It has sectioned that off as something you do in your free time e.g. go to church on Sunday or take a yoga class after work. The inner is seen almost as a hobby, which we can choose to practise or not. This approach is totally upside down in my view point. The outer is the playing ground and the inner is where the work really goes on. For this reason, inner work is not an option; it is the engine for our life. What is optional is which practice we choose to follow. Whatever works best for you is fine – yoga, art, breathing, healing, painting, etc. And that practice might change over time as you yourself change. Unless a person is actively engaged in an inner practice, I would see him/her as being only half alive, or half awake. The puppet is dancing, but that’s only because its strings are being moved by the existential breeze; the puppeteer is having a nap backstage somewhere. Until puppet and puppeteer are in touch with each other, the dance of life will never be truly spectacular.

Sam Red, 27 April 2015

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