25 Jun 2011 8 Comments
in Poems Tags: Art, Creativity, inspiration, life, Mirror, Online Writing, Philosophy, Poetry, Reflection (physics), Refraction, Religion and Spirituality, self doubt, Self-esteem, Self-help, self-worth, spirituality, Thought, thoughts, Unconscious mind, Wisdom, writing, Zen, Zen Mirror
22 Jun 2011 2 Comments
in Poems, Zen Thoughts Tags: Art, Consciousness, Creativity, definitions of evil, Dream, evil, Happiness, inspiration, life, Mental Health, mind, Online Writing, peace, Philosophy, Philosophy of Mind, Poetry, Psychology, Religion and Spirituality, right and wrong, Self-help, Thought, thoughts, Unconscious mind, Wisdom, writing, Zen, Zen Mirror
Western thought divides night from day, beautiful from ugly and good from evil. Evil is assigned to the dark; to that which we reject in society and ourselves. We lock away in jail those we judge to be evil, and lock away in our unconscious those parts of ourselves we are ashamed of. But any process of growth must shine the light of awareness into every dark nook and cranny, every shadowed corner full of the pale shapes of our shame and inadequacy. Many people spend their life trying to cover this up, to strengthen the mask, but always their nemesis is there to undo with wrong all they do with right.
In the East of the past evil was more rationally looked at as faulty thinking. This compassionate view saw the criminal as someone whose path through life has not taught him the lessons he needed to be good. His role models were men who tried to survive in any way they could, and so such a man he also became. The desperate, the weak, the afraid will always lash out. In this way we are no different from the dog that has been mistreated and mistrained by its owner. Chained to a lonely corner without discipline, without exercise, without love, it barks and snaps at any and all who pass by.
This does not mean we should open the prisons, that we should allow the street thug to attack us with impunity. To apply what we have learned about evil on others would be like the man who cast the stone before first freeing himself of sin. We must look within to explore the dark depths of our own minds, to bring light to the evil, the faulty thinking in ourselves. This is the only path that leads to stability, to strength, to a way of life that takes from its follower any need to lash out to prove himself to others. To fix the world, we must fix ourselves.
15 Jun 2011 6 Comments
The Spiral winds inwards
Towards total focus,
The eye of the storm is moving
Fast or slowly,
Heavy or light,
Can you stay with it?
31 May 2011 3 Comments
in Poems Tags: Carl Jung, Consciousness, Creativity, feeling, feeling function, intuiting, intuition, intuitive function, mind, Online Writing, Perception, Personality, Personality type, Poetry, psychological types, Psychology, reflection, Self-help, sensation, sensing, sensing function, thinking, thinking function, Thought, typology, Unconscious mind, writing
Geese hooting at the moon over water,
The gentle lap of waves on the shore
Tilting scales on creaking chain,
Not a grain of sand is lost
Sparks that fly from the fireside,
Eyes that stray to the stars
Soil under feet,
Loamy taste of earth on fingers
27 May 2011 7 Comments
Another short fiction piece inspired by Stephanie at be kind rewrite. This weeks prompt: ‘I used to have dreams’. Enjoy!
I used to have dreams
I used to have dreams, thought Pete as he lazed the extra hour in bed. Springs that wound taught with anticipation for what’s to come. Nowadays life had caught up with his dreams, swamped and overwhelmed them with reality. Pete had always been a forest kind of guy. The trees, well they had never really interested him. Now passing his thirty-third year with his dreams more remote than ever, he had had to accept the trees were pretty important.
Give him the stage and he could talk the ears off anyone. Give him a pen and just watch it jerk over the page as if by magic, responding to all those dreams within, where they stewed until they could escape, each one’s passage to the ether marked by a spark of inspiration, a paroxysm of almost illegible script upon the page of his life. But life wasn’t just about wandering aimlessly through the countryside as a boy, playing at swordsmen with sticks. Or lying with his first sweetheart under the stars, as the long grass waved gentle susurrations above their interlocked bodies. Life was also about attention to detail and hard work at the things that mattered to you. Paying at sticks as a boy was a natural response to the passion that burned within. It was a passion that even lying in bed in the half light that penetrated his bedroom blind, he was determined to keep stoked. But as you grew up dreams had a tendency to drift if you didn’t do anything but dream.
That was the definition of a dreamer, Pete decided; someone like him who dreamed but didn’t do a damn thing about it. Who lay in bed on the morning of his thirty-third birthday, ignoring the quiet tear that traced its solemn way down his cheek, and pretended that he no longer needed to wind his inner spring. Things became more complicated as you grew up, he admitted and he’d been slow to cotton on to that. There were times when you had to examine each tree with painstaking care and skill, to see to the health of the whole forest. And when you climbed that hill at last and looked down at the wondrous wilderness of your own making, well that would make it all worthwhile.
Pete snorted. Enough theorizing, enough thinking, enough escaping from life. If I fail and my dreams never come true I won’t deserve to cry. Not unless I’ve done my best to make them happen. Pete threw back his blanket and rose. Today I will take a step, maybe just a small one, he swore to himself. This will be my year’s resolution. Everyday I will do something, anything, to take a step closer to my dreams. I will be ready. I will pounce on what life offers. And the rest? Well for the rest, he sighed, I can dream.
13 May 2011 5 Comments
11 May 2011 7 Comments
in Poems Tags: Anxiety, doubt, mental discipline, Mental Health, mind, peace, Philosophy, Philosophy of Mind, Poetry, Psychology, self doubt, Self-esteem, Self-help, Thought, Wisdom, worry, writing, Zen
On another matter completely…To those of you who read and enjoyed my post Rebirth, which was written for Elli’s competition, please follow the link below:
And vote by clicking on the number of stars you think it deserves. Many Thanks!
06 Mar 2011 4 Comments
Life is chaotic and almost by definition will be full of strife. This is because as human beings we have an in-built need to find meaning in life. This is the great strength and great failing of mankind. If we find a great cause our life will be enriched. If we find something larger than ourselves, we can live and die fulfilled and maybe even make a real difference. But the downside of giving life this structure, of using our minds to build an edifice of dreams and expectations, is that we will inevitably feel let down at some point when things do not go as we want. The other aspect of this is that our minds have been trained both by evolution and since childhood to look for problems to solve.
For example if we are lying in bed and are uncomfortable we will alter our position to feel better. But after a short while we will often take for granted that we are now lying comfortably and find something else we need to ‘fix’. Perhaps our toes are poking out of the blanket and are cold. This process can continue indefinitely. This leads to a seeking negativity mind-set, a mental feedback loop that is constantly trying to correct what we see as wrong with the world.
To a certain extent this can be improved by understanding that we are a small individual in a large and changeable world, and will rarely have everything exactly as we would wish. The control freak in us must learn to let go. But there are also more direct techniques that will help:
1. Never lose the gift of humour. No longer having a sense of humour is the first sign that you have lost your mental balance. In this condition important decisions should not be made.
2. Another useful technique is to reverse the normal tendency to look for problems. Instead look for things you have missed but which make your life better. For example I am currently enjoying the incredible power and utility of the Internet to communicate with people across the globe! This should not be taken for granted. This is the gift of perspective.
3. The last is to concentrate absolutely with what you are doing at the present moment. The effort required to do this is hard to sustain, but improves with practice and when achieved leads to a state where the passing of time is not noticed, for you are too absorbed in what you are doing to think about anything else. This is the gift of focus.
These ideas are not a prescription for enlightenment. They are not the one and only path to happiness. They are ideas that may help some people. They certainly helped me, and continue to do so, on a daily basis. When I feel down, or for some reason find myself in a negative mood I try to cultivate the mental discipline to apply the three techniques above in whatever order is most appropriate. Often for me it is – find something funny with the situation, look for something to be grateful about, and finally refocus on what needs to be done and do it with 100% concentration. Anything else is beyond your control.
29 Nov 2010 2 Comments
Self help: what is it exactly? On the face of it, it appears to be the ability to address the problems that plague you and your life without outside help. However, it also suggests the existence of an inner strength or power you are presumably unable to tap at present or are unaware of (and that is why you need to read the book, go to the talk or have the life-changing experience).
This has often been called ‘finding yourself’.
So it could be said that you are in fact seeking help from outside yourself, your current self that is. You are looking for a new self, which somehow you already are, but are told that to realise its potential you need to set out on a path of self-growth: from ‘here’ to the longed for ‘there’.
On this path you are not seeking to add anything but rather take away the illusions and misconceptions you label yourself with, and with new eyes discover what you really are. One way this has happened is by hitting rock bottom – a state of depression where nothing new or interesting is seen, and nothing can ever suprise you. A very dark place indeed. But one day a light will crack open the darkness and introduce you to a new world, one far bigger than the old one, with a fascination that is constantly renewed – enough to hold your interest for a lifetime. This release is what happens when the tiny self or ego that we take to be us is discovered to be only a subset of a wider and real you. This is the Self with a capital ‘S’.
So self-help, at a deeper level, is all about starting off as the little self and ending up as the big Self. It is about discovering who you really are and realising there was nothing wrong in the first place. It is about love. Along the way many skills will be learned and at times this may seem to be what self-help is all about. But actually every new skill mastered is only a easier way of seeing or reminding us that everything is perfectly fine.
That is not to say that we should underestimate the growth of the little self, and the value of all it can learn from the big Self. This is the real meaning of Self-help. It is the big Self helping the little self (you or I) and the little self learning to express or be a conduit for the big Self, which otherwise would be frustrated.
In the coming months I will aim to write about some of these skills and life tools that can help us along this challenging but deeply rewarding way.