Well, it has definitely happened. India has well and truly got under my skin, despite myself…
Since Chris left I’ve felt pretty introspective, as though I’m trying to process all the things that have happened to me over the last crazy five months. Something has definitely shifted. I’ve been fighting surrender for so long, clinging to my nay-saying western mindset. I’ve over-identified myself with my rational, intellectual mind, rather than feeling, trusting, intuiting. But gradully this has been softening and, in the last few days, there has been a revelatory release.
For so long faith has eluded me, and being confronted with it so blatantly in spiritual India has sparked a huge, messy battle inside me (you may well have picked up on this from my tortured blog entries!). Over the last few years I’ve been more and more drawn to the intangible, the unseen, energy. When I think about it I always have been in one way or another – call it typical piscean day-dreaming, but it’s always felt more real than that to me. Yet my mind screams at me if ever I take a tentative step forward towards those things. It shouts that anything that can’t be rationally explained can’t be entertained, and this conflict between mind and intuition has not made me a happy bunny.
I know the conflict is largely due to worrying what others think of me, and feeling I have to live up to the ‘intellectual’ label that I’ve given myself. But finally I feel I can let that label go, although it’s been a huge wrench, as it always is when you let anything fundamentally self-defining drop away. Yet the liberation is glorious – I realise I am not my negative thoughts. I can evict them as easily as I can evict a crick in my neck from a big stretch, which leaves space for me to become authentically, truthfully me. What a revelation!
Through my time in India (and in fact for the last few years), I’ve slowly been shifting the balance between mind and intuition, so that my rational mind is still of course very much there, but I am learning to control it better, so I am no longer its slave but rather can call upon it when I need its problem-solving skills. The battle is by no means won, but certainly I finally feel like I’m on the winning side!
I feel like, having been hovering on the threshold of realisation for so long, I’ve finally taken the leap of faith required to walk through the door, and as a result I have so much clarity and understanding all of a sudden. It’s as though some persistent final mental obstacle has been removed, and it’s had a long chain-reaction of knock-on effects, percolating through my mind and body like one of those incredible youtube clips you see where a gently nudged ping-pong ball sets off a mind-bogglingly complex sequence of events.
And this has of course slowly come about over many years of asana, pranayama, meditation, study, research, self-observation etc, all of which has massively intensified in India. I see now that, with any kind of inner journey, of course you’re going to come to know yourself better, learn to tap into your own innate intuitive intelligence rather than being at the mercy of superficial mind-prattle and become more sensitive to the different energies flowing around us. I see it as the sixth sense that animals possess, but that humans have become desensitized to through becoming disconnected from themselves and their environment. And rather than denying it any more, finally I’ve let go, surrendered, and allowed faith to soften the way towards my truth. And it feels so good… 🙂
Here’s a quote from Metaphoric Mind: A Celebration of Creative Consciousness by Bob Samples (1976), in relation to Albert Einstein’s thoughts on this subject of mind versus intuition, and how the natural balance that you see elsewhere in the natural world has been skewed for our species, tortured as we are by keeping our massive brains occupied:
‘Albert Einstein called the intuitive or metaphoric mind a sacred gift. He added that the rational mind was a faithful servant. It is paradoxical that in the context of modern life we have begun to worship the servant and defile the divine.’
Yet I think our massive brains will be our saviour. I optimistically think that, with our formidable brain-power, we’ll eventually find our way back to our true selves as a species, as soon as we recognise that this is essential for our survival. To me, it feels like this movement is accelerating as the developed world emerges on the far side of the industrial and technological revolutions feeling a bit dazed and confused about what life is all about, and realising with a sinking feeling that we’ve screwed the planet over big-time. So perhaps the next revolution will be one of self-awareness (the inner revolution?), enabling us to reconnect with our intuitive powers and sensitivity towards ourselves, each other and the world around us.
(Aside: I meant to blog about this morning’s final class at KPJAYI but have once again gone off on a big tangent – this must be what happens when intuition rules! At least, to me, what I write here feels like my truth, anyway. But my time at KPJAYI has certainly played a pivotal role in nurturing this wonderful shift, in ways I never expected but that which make so much sense to me now – but more on that another time. Right now I’m going to engage my rational mind to help me PACK, aaagh! Next post will be from Blighty!!)