I’m going to open this post about inner beauty and clarity, with the memory of watching a comedian perform a sketch. British writer, film actor, and political activist Eddie Izzard, assumes the role of an actor in a horror film. It is night. His character has heard scratching, something moving around in the darkness. He is curious. He is given two choices: to move towards a place of light and safety, or a place of darkness full of mortal danger. He chooses the latter, as if it’s the most natural thing in the world.
Watching Izzard, in trademark black stockings and high heels, mince across the stage into the jaws of death is hilarious, not least because we all recognise it. We’ve all done things we knew wouldn’t end well for us. Even if we didn’t know it, we probably felt it.
His sketch shines a light on the important but sometimes underestimated position our feelings occupy in our lives.
Sure, thoughts can be observed – we can see how one leads to another to create a chain, how they lead us from one mood to another; thoughts can be rejected or turned around. But there are times when thoughts aren’t clear, when thoughts and feelings get mixed together and there’s effectively unconsciousness. We can end up wallowing in this murk for hours or even days.
Like a hog in a mud bath (minus the benefits).
There seems to be a wordless, objectless vibration coursing beneath our conscious mind, like a subterranean river.
If that river is rough, dirty, and overflowing, it floods the mind.
Debris and dark chaos are nobody’s environment of choice. Action has to be taken: the river has to be returned to its crystalline purity before it drags our day into its wasteful gloom.
Feelings are the best indicator as to the condition of that subterranean river of consciousness, so watching them is an effective way to spot the state of it.
The Mother (of Pondicherry – Mira Alfassa) once advised a disciple who was trapped in an infatuation, to think of a beautiful flower. Now, infatuated or not, this is an effective method for removing troubling thoughts.
Visualising a flower, its fresh green stem, its scent, the shape of its petals and their hue, is an excellent remedy for poisoned or stale thoughts. For any anxiety, take the mind off for a moment, for a stroll among the flowers.
Avoid idolising thoughts
This is important. If we wallow in our thoughts, we start to believe them. At this point they solidify into beliefs. If we obsessively focus on these beliefs, we’re effectively worshipping them: they grow and become idols. But if they’re idols filled with pain, they can’t do us any good.
So if your mornings are attended by feelings of nervousness, dullness, or depression, or these feelings suddenly ripple through you during the day, know your subconscious river is running wild and dirty.
Don’t waste a minute before visualising those flowers – a beautiful bouquet of ornamentals, or a wild flower meadow in bloom under the summer sun, or a paddock bursting with cherry blossoms, or a single lily, rose, daffodil, or orchid. Whatever lights the wonder in you.
And then keep that feeling going. It won’t stop your life, and this is not to say you shouldn’t physically sort out your life business, but this method can help with that. It can help you feel better, and help you make better decisions – such as to not tip-toe off into the darkness after an unseen evil.
~ OM ~
Featured painting at the top of this article: ‘Freshly Cut Flowers’ by Valeriy Chuikov