Food for Thought

After a big hurdle, followed by a bruising fall, the overly sensitive man brews over the incident and slowly poisons himself with a memory turned rotten. We take too lightly the nutritional value of thoughts and emotions; the fact that they are literally subject to change when left stirring in our heads and hearts. They are assumed as creatures of figment, real yet unreal, devoid of the characteristic of genuine materiality. We cannot grasp them with our hands, only carry them within and assume their activity to be hidden, isolated and far too subtle for the notice of others. However naïve this may be in reality, however obvious the impact, outcome and effects of the motions of these floating phantoms, we cannot quite tell.

The idea of living in the moment, becoming present to the fleeting conveyor of time, has been thoroughly diluted in the past few decades. The new age movement has spread and stretched the potency of this idea to such degrees that people are likely more numb to the concept today than they were when it was altogether missing in literature, or left abstract through the lens of religions. In such a way ideas can lose their force and meaning by their misuse as packaged goods in the commercial marketplace of popular culture. Yet since inner ideas and their outer forms can live out separate lives, the kernel is granted the integrity to be left untainted in the face of an ever degenerating shell. It can, so to speak, abandon the shell in search of a new one which accords to its true nature and essence.

To be present in the moment, among its multitude of meanings, is in fact the psychological state of cleanliness. In the same way that we, by design, clear ourselves of the waste of consumed solids and fluids, thoughts and emotions must similarly be chaperoned to a psychological exit. Just as waste products circulate through organ after organ, resting finally at their last destination prior to departure, so do thoughts and emotions. The never-ending procession of random thoughts and associations, which enliven our mind’s eye with images and memories, are just that final psychological organ of release. It is even in some circles plainly referred to as ‘mental excretion’.

The products of this waterfall of associations can remain where they are, coming to a standstill, in which case our psychological flow becomes constricted like a clogged pipe or river. This is caused by the most obvious tendency modern man finds himself in the grips of: recollection of the past. As the psychological function of digestion, recollection is a natural and healthy process. Like everything else, however, it is also subject to deviation and degeneration. Emotional hangups connected to negative reactions of our behaviour in some moment or another is exactly that factor which warps the natural process into an unnatural one. By way of its influence, the memories of the past, or even the associations that are made purely out of imagination, remain where they are like ghosts that haunt a house or place, tormenting the general health of the locality. The waterfall of psychological digestion does not slow down, for it is designed to flow in the new and vacate the old. The result is a crowded and filthy mind, festering into neurosis, taking its host on a dazed and confused ride.

The natural state is one which permits the mind to flow ceaselessly, without holding on to thoughts as if they are commodities to be hoarded. The river is observed and when insights travel downstream, they are plucked and integrated into a man’s overall understanding of life. If not of genuine value or worth, they are simply discarded. Never does he fixate, trying to force his will onto the river, attempting to manipulate a natural process within his own psychology. If he does, discord or even disease is sure to come in some shape or form. A constipated mind and heart can, and will, lead to physical consequences which reflect the inner disharmony at work. The body will, and always does, reflect the state of one’s psychology. To tamper with it without proper understanding, or without guidance by one who is so endowed, is an awfully reckless, haphazard and naïve path.

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