It’s another realm. Where we are, being together. There’s no gravity, there’s no matter at all and no good nor wrong. Unification resides. A force of nature stronger then thoughts of the mind and feelings of the body. Human thoughts and senses can act – best case scenario – as vehicles bringing unification about. They rarely do. Unconscious as we are of our destination.
The other realm is where our souls surface. It’s the place where I encounter my mum who’s left the material world a long time ago. She and me used to and still do date while burning a candle in a forgotten foreign church. I’m showing my daughters how to do it now. Burning a candle in a forgotten foreign church. A quick mind fix normally costing not more as one euro. Peaceful churches where time always seems to stand still, functioning as a portal leading into another realm. Let it be clear that I’m not a devout Christian. Not at all. Christianity just happened to be the-closest-to-my-bed spiritual option. Connecting with my mum is what I learned to be a spiritual experience, visiting the other realm to be close to her. It’s all got to do with wholeness and unification. Meanwhile I find the same peacefulness, entering the bamboo floored basement where I practice my daily yoga, starting with meditation. Yog meaning connection. Gratefully listening to sixty nine years old Anil preaching about Shiva and more ruthless truthfulness. It’s another example of a portal into the other realm. Somewhat later, by the courtesy of Anil, my body will get into a flow, bringing about instant peace of mind.
There’s quite some options to exit reality. Alcohol, drugs, even a compelling book or a real piece of music all serve well to distract from reality. To step out of it. Adrenaline kicks caused by bungy jumping, the trance like flow created by thirty sun salutations – others run a marathon – the focused attention watching a horse run or simply enjoying my own fantasies; it all overrules the mind to a large extend. Taking away the awareness and pressure of reality.
Next step. When does it become compulsive?
To have all consuming sex, to get into obsessions like shopping or eating frenzies, to escape into therapy, overly intense physical activity, speed driving or workaholism. It becomes compulsive when we need it so badly, we can’t do without. When the pressure of reality has become too big to handle and we let it be, we don’t resist, not knowing how to protect ourselves from it. Hence unconsciously we get into relieving tension. Somehow it’s like getting sick. Being the most natural way to break out of the daily stuff. The body needs a break and heals with or without assistance from outside exactly that what needs to be recovered. Followed by a recuperation time. The mind needs the same thing. Friday night we start drinking wine to ease the mind, wishfully calling it ‘to let go’ which we don’t. We merely sedate the mind. The next morning we get our recuperation time. Which is a mind thing. You think you can’t act. It’s the mind that can’t act. The body actually performs better during a hangover. The strange thing is that although we live in a world where almost everything evolves around the mind, we know surprisingly little about how to keep it sane and healthy.
Studies of the mind like psychology or psychiatry concentrate on taking away the symptoms of an unhealthy mind. Without taking the whole picture into account. Without advertising what a healthy mind is and what we can do to keep it healthy. Have you noticed the incredible increase of newspaper bulk landing your doormat during the last decennium? You cannot tell me this is healthy mind food. What is? The one liners or be it just words, printed on T-shirts, bags and shop windows nowadays, won’t do the trick. But they do make clear our need for clarity and awareness.
How do we keep the mind sane enough to not need compulsive behavior? An awkward idea and almost impossible to pursue, is to make all of our behavior conscious. Is it thàt difficult? Yes it is! Imagine if one would tell you to do the all consuming sex, to get into obsessions like shopping or eating frenzies, to escape into therapy, overly intense physical activity, speed driving or workaholism. You’d say: ‘of course I can’t do that’. But since you’ve proved yourself being very well able to get into those unconscious states of mind, you are more then able to get yourself into consciousness as well.
Being aware of your good and your bad efforts doesn’t mean resisting any of it! Step one is to consciously experience the flights your intense sports, work or shopping spurts are taking you onto. Step two is to consciously accepts these flights. Because it’s the destination you crave. The holiday of the mind. Check in! Your mind needs it. I say it again, do not resist. If you don’t like your mind holidays no more, please don’t try to change the flight number by running from alcoholism into yoga-ism and on and on into speed dating. The need for it, is like seed sprouting from your daily life. Cautiously start changing your daily life and the sprouts become different. Scaringly so! Because we’re unconsciously so scared to make real changes, we end up in a countless sequence of mind holidays.