We’ve heard the whole thing about ‘mind over body’. I can say from experience that this is a legitimate thing—the strength of the mind, the logic and rationality and sheer strength of it, kept elements of my body in check until I was alone and free to fall apart.
Has anyone heard of mind over spirit?
If I were to guess, I’d say it has the exact opposite of what you’d hope to accomplish with the former. My mind is loud. It’s verbose. Its default state of watching over all things as Supreme Organ has been cultivated and refined because I saw no other way to survive. I cannot get out of my own head. Thoughts crowd out all things.
This falls in the same lane as being unable to reach that liminal space with no foundation. It seems to me that it is all part and parcel—and it certainly feels overwhelming. You see, I haven’t written anything on Gone Witching because I have legitimately felt that I am not qualified. That my flail to seek answers among pagan paths was just another part of mind going FIND A REASON TO LIVE. Wouldn’t the belief in something other fill that space?
Can we be real for a second?
There is so much of the buddhist in me that I actually understand what “life is suffering” means. I mean, what it really means. I believe wholly in the concept of self-control, not other-control, and that the only constant in life is change. I believe in reincarnation, and the idea of karma.
But I have trouble praying—or chanting specifically to bodhisattvas or patrons. I have trouble settling into the concept that everything I do now will only reward (or damn) my next life, rather than this one. I believe in making your own change when it’s necessary, and in seeking that silent space in one’s self to get in touch with who and what and where you really are.
I believe them in ways I find remain strong, even if it may waver when my depression kicks in.
I believe that no amount of concept or stuff will fill that space within us.
But then there’s my brain, countering every belief with cold, hard truth as we see it on the surface: nothing but capitalism, money, getting ahead, struggle, medical hell…. Status, things, toys, who you are, what you are, where you’re from…
These things are like poison to the waters of belief.
It would be not only counter productive but also detrimental to give in too much to the Religion of Facts. To feel something is very different from verifying something. Facts can often be explained in ways easy to grok; feelings are colorful words meant to evoke a response but can’t be measured in mathematics (well, until modern science refines brain wave patterns).
My brain demands math. Which is bloody hilarious because I suck at math and have always been a writer.
Ultimately, I find that it’s the facts and doubts and sheer disbelief and skepticism clogging my brain that drowns out what footholds my spirit can find.
The answer? Well… I’ll let you know if I find it.
As for the moment, these things are in my planner to remember: meditation is practice and practice opens doors, every week is a victory in the game of life, and I can only control my responses and my choices. Everything will change. Everything will change.
What y planner can’t tell me: When a brain is running its gray wrinkly mouth, how does the spirit find purchase?
Tell you a truth not often spoken in public: sometimes, someone with suicide ideation isn’t after death or pain, but silence. A place where the brain finally shuts up and lets us breathe. That moment when FOX News, running for what seems like an eternity, finally shuts off and there’s this hush, this space before the next newscast starts.
The key, I think, aside from getting one’s material foundation in order, is to find that space where the spirit looks at the brain and says in a voice thundering with faith: Be. QUIET.
So. How do you do that?