Surrender to the void
It is shining
It is shining
– John Lennon (Tomorrow Never Knows)
I used to believe that each day I knew all there ever was to know. The next day, I would learn a few more things and marvel at how stupid I was the day before. That’s the way it is with life. Each day brings new possibilities, new hopes, new dreams and, of course, fresh concerns. Balancing the ‘yings’ and ‘yangs’ of our existence can leave us dumbfounded as we existentially grope around in our subconscious for our minds to hang our ‘sense of being’ and self-worth on.
For many, juggling the psychic apparatus of their various cognitive and psychological states is serious business, and good business for many institutions come circus barkers. It’s really something to meditate on. Nevertheless, I’ve never been much of a meditator.
In fact, I’m much too full of myself for the practice and balk at any idealistic isms that preach self-nullification. Perhaps it’s a defense mechanism, but for many years, I felt as if I was my own best friend. Alone with my thoughts which I could never really share, I’d entertain myself and find ways to make myself smile. I never heard voices in my head, though I would occasionally talk to myself.
That being said, I have read much about meditation. I’ve done the breathing and focus-defocus exercises always coming to the realization that I was trying much too hard and therefore becoming a burden to my efforts. It’s easy to distract yourself with your ‘self’ as your self can’t help but get in the way. It’s easy to miss the forest for the trees … when you are a tree. And perhaps that’s really the whole point of it … to accept yourself for who you really are.Honestly, if one was happy with oneself, why would one want to lose oneself in a crowd? If we are happy with who we are, then how could we not look in the mirror and smile? An exercise I do each day, sort of my own special daily affirmation, is too look in the bathroom mirror and feign a constipated expression. It always cracks me up, and for a few seconds each day the stress of all that was and all that is yet to be shatter from the moment and fall to the ground.
So how do you distract yourself from distraction? Some would say by training yourself to get lost in the moment. This is a far cry from suggesting we lose our minds. Even former vice-president Dan Quayle misquoted “What a waste it is to lose one’s mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is.” I would wholeheartedly agree, if I knew he knew what he was talking about. Unfortunately, he doesn’t … or rather didn’t, so the point is moot.
What I do know is that when we lower our guard, demand less and have fewer expectations we are more apt to really enjoy any given moment. I can’t vouch for living fully in each moment, because that sounds a bit too wide-eyed and pollyanish for my taste. Sorry, but it’s just not in my nature to prance or frolic. Still, I firmly believe that freeing yourself from the gravity of some moments seems doable.
Still, brazenly relieving yourself in the face of solemnity will most definitely ruffle the britches of the hand-writhing and hard-washing rank and file. Some will encourage we be all that we can be. Others will admonish us to lose all sense of independent existence. In both cases, these ‘powers that be’ surreptitiously suggest that we surrender ourselves, not so much to a void, but to their will. In marketing, this is known as the old ‘switch and bait’ ploy.
There are many who are seeking aspiritual state of mind. This is a mistake. It’s our minds that get in the way of the manifestation of a spiritual state. I’d suggest it’s easier to shoot for achieving a spiritual state of ‘spirit’. Now, defining spirituality is a matter for another post, but trust me I can definitely propose the following advice: raise your spirits and your mind will follow.