Despite her gratitude, each morning Joy woke up to a sense of incompleteness, which more often than not followed her throughout the day. Her spiritual practices helped her to gain some kind of perspective on this emotional and mental malaise. Yet, at the same time, Joy was convinced that meditation and contemplation had actually caused the unease to get stronger.
Some spiritual thinkers linked mental and emotional turmoil to the rational mind, saying it was its natural state of being. The lower mind, intrinsically connected with time and space, was always looking back or looking forwards, creating feelings of anxiety, fear, guilt, desire… Joy had found a partial liberation by her gradual recognition that she was not her rational mind, or rather, that her lower mind was only a part of who she was; a part that was pretending to be the whole; a part that was fooling the entire human race by keeping it imprisoned in the mental illusion of separateness, where greed and fear were the normal states of consciousness. Continue reading →
Much can be achieved if adults learn from the openness and spontaneity of children. Seeing life through a child’s eyes – marvelling at every new experience, living immersed in what’s happening in that moment, quickly regaining balance after emotional upsets – is a useful tool for jaded adults. Children can be as much teachers to adults as adults are to children. This recognition brings renewed respect for the dignity of children. Being child-like (as opposed to childish) can be a great release from the rational mind, especially if it’s coupled with the wisdom of “soul-consciousness”. People with “soul-consciousness” could be defined as humans with a heightened sense of love, altruism, compassion and interconnectedness. This outer expression is demonstrative of an inner evolution: the movement beyond the rational mind into the realm of the transrational.
Arguably the most well-known hero of non-violent action was Mahatma Gandhi; although there are plenty of other persons – nowadays and in the past – who have shown huge civil courage in the face of repression, violence and injustice. Even though some of us will, thankfully, never be confronted by the life-threatening and deeply traumatic circumstances faced and endured by human rights defenders and oppressed persons around the globe, even our more privileged lives can get tough, challenging and seemingly unjust at times. On those occasions, we can learn from forerunners like Gandhi, who have led by example and in so doing have paved the way for us to more easily follow.
Gandhi didn’t condone violent behaviour or injustice. However, whilst holding an attitude of non-judgement (as recommended also by the tantric path), he demonstrated his dissent using direct, non-violent action rooted in a deep love for all human beings and Life itself. Continue reading →