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To My Children On Sanity

...And the possibility of peace

Anxiety is often the result of trying to hold something down, trying to suppress it. Imagine using both your hands and all your strength to keep something that you think is unacceptable in its box. The more you push down, the more it pushes up. Anxiety levels increase. Insanity approaches.

Try letting go, breaking the pattern causing the rising anxiety. Try doing the exact opposite of suppression. Try breathing in and, with that breath, inviting whatever is in Pandora’s Box into you. It is a complete reversal. You are opening up where originally you were clamped shut. It works.

The Buddhists do a very effective, almost miraculous, exercise: You breathe in “dark, heavy, hot” energy (the thing you are most afraid of). You breathe out “light, cool, white" energy through the crown of your head. What you are doing is processing stuff. Taking it in dark and sending it out light. Alchemy. This opens the channels and acts powerfully to allay the anxiety that comes from trying to stay closed. Ironically trying to stay closed -- stay safe -- makes you crazy. This is a natural and inevitable result of clamping down on what frightens us. We must do the opposite of what comes naturally. Clamping down feels like a reasonable survival tactic. In fact it is just the opposite. It commonly leads to a form of madness.

Blocked energy presents itself in your system for clearing, much like a fruit ripe to be plucked. It appears because it is time for it to be there. We don’t recognize it as such. We tend to panic and attempt to wrestle it to the ground and hold it there. See above. We use up a lot of our personal energy doing this. This is unfortunate because it is not the enemy, however frightening it may seem. Think of the numerous, archetypal tales of the dragon in the forest.

The appropriate thing to do is to welcome it. Congested, stuck energy requires welcoming in order to clear it and restore health. This gives back the parts of us that have gone into retreat during traumatic times in the past. When the energy block is cleared there is more of us present, more of our talents, more of our intelligence, more creativity and more emotional capacity to participate.

When ‘nasties’ rise up we need to react counter-intuitively, or seemingly so. Our mind tells us to resist for all we are worth. It is wrong, but we’ll never know that unless we challenge it by actually doing what seems to expose us. If we don’t do this, the mind becomes preoccupied with the demons within, imagining that every ounce of strength is needed to hold them down. The mind believes it is under attack. It takes on a siege mentality.

It is important to see the mind for what it is: a powerful instrument always useful when used appropriately but never the last word. Wisdom is the last word and where wisdom comes from is anyone’s guess. It doesn’t matter what theories you hold about its origins, what matters is that it can be relied on to release you from the jaws of incipient madness because it knows something that the mind cannot fathom. It’s reference is a larger one.

Wisdom works from the big picture. The mind is only a part of this big picture. So locate the epicenter of the anxiety within your body – to the best of your ability – and, instead of wrestling with it and holding it down – breathe in and relax your hold. See what happens. Your mind will tell you that to release this hold will result in almost instant annihilation. It will tell you, in a high-pitched voice, that you will surely be overcome. It tells you that this is much too big for you to handle. Ignore it.

The mind cannot be the authority on it’s own source. It’s basically out of line. The mind is the bucking bronco, You, the big YOU, and your wisdom, are the rider. It is up to you to tame the mind, to call it’s bluff, to not believe everything it tells you, to use it appropriately but with a certain healthy skepticism. It has power but YOU have the ultimate control. Not as a servant of the mind, but as its master.

But you can’t master the mind using the tactics of the mind. You have to be wise. This means you virtually do the opposite of what the mind is suggesting. You let go when the mind is screeching at you that you will surely die! This is how you housetrain this instrument – the mind, the bronco – that you have been given. If you don’t house train it, it will defecate all over your house The mind is really a conservative, it is a bit of a Nazi.

When important things come up to be processed it tells you it is time to be afraid. It tells you that your life, as you know it, is in danger. It tells you to clench up, clamp down, resist and contract. The mind is primitive in this way. Wisdom, or whatever you want to call it, has the ability to recognize what is really going on. Where the mind will be screeching and advocating a police- state of control, wisdom is suggesting you take a deep breath and relax.

The mind says this is a wicked gamble, too much of a crazy risk, and you will be annihilated. The mind speaks in these absolutes. The mind is a little like a school prefect high on power and planning a coup or.... something Trumpish. Wisdom is audacious, radical and liberating. Wisdom is about freedom and peace.

When you learn the way of wisdom you will not lose the knife-edge of the intellect. On the contrary you will be able to use the instrument of the mind appropriately and to its fullest capacity. Here are some other differences between the capricious capacities of the mind and the power of wisdom. Stop for a minute and listen to yourself. If the sound that you hear is cacophonous, deafening, clamorous. If it makes you clench your teeth. If it makes you react like you are facing a tiger on your path then you are listening to the mind.

Try this experiment for just one second. Stop everything, just for a moment. All the worries all the concerns, let them go. Just drop the noise. You can always pick it up later. Now, suddenly everything goes quiet. It is like dying. It is like giving up and letting go.

This is wisdom. It is the opposite of giving up. It is what it feels like to really live. It is the correct read on what is happening. Listen to it. It is calm, it is peaceful, it is unthreatened – remarkably powerful and unperturbed. You can always go back to the noise and the tension but try not to forget that this is what really lies behind the sound and the fury. This is the real seat of power, this is the departure point for any real advance. This is the place that all creativity comes from. This is who you are.

Whenever you want to, you can be that person -- the one you really are. The one you have never stopped being. That which persists long after all the noise of this world has died. Whenever you get tired of all the noise and all the betrayal and all the fear of the world of the mind -- the land where The Mind is king -- you can always come home to what is real...and rest there.

You have such a light. So many people benefit from your presence, so many people will do so in the future. You are brimming with brilliance. It is your responsibility to seek out what is real and base your life on it. The nightmare created by the mind is not a good reference point for this. What you are learning now is a valuable lesson.

When you follow the mind’s so-called attempts to keep you safe it takes you right into the dark and insanity. All of this is fine when you realize one thing, just one thing: It is not true. The mind’s nightmare flourishes on vague fears, suppositions and predictions of doom.

The mind specializes in jumping to conclusions based on old, stale data from the past. Information that is no longer relevant. The mind is a machine. It regurgitates stuff and behaves like an authority on the present when all it has for reference is what is past, what is done.

You are the hero of your own story, you have to find out what is actually true. It will surprise you. It has nothing to do with fear, nothing to do with smallness and everything to do with freedom and expansion and love.

On the pragmatic front, anxiety is difficult to deal with. There are several different energetic ways of dealing with the actual day-to-day experience of it. I would be happy to pass these methods on to you. I know that I am not the best example of someone who has overcome anxiety but I know this one thing: when I am finished playing in this particular reality warp, when I reach for wisdom, I know it is there. It never leaves us, it is who we are at our very core. We cannot escape it.

What is real is very often profoundly different to our experience of things. As souls you are going to have to recognize this, recognize yourself so that you can make a haven for yourself. A place where you can take shelter whenever the going gets rough....or seems to. Please save yourselves. Your brilliance needs a very particular kind of nurturance, the kind only you can provide.

Helping yourself become yourself is about using a higher form of intelligence to see things in a completely different way. It is like finding that you have been standing on your head all this time thinking everything was upside down. It is about standing on your feet and realizing you were never ever lost, that you are always and everywhere found and that you can bet your life on that.


If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel's heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence. 

George Eliot



I live in hazard and infinity. The cosmos stretches around me, meadow on meadow of galaxies, reach on reach of dark space, steppes of stars, oceanic darkness and light. There is no amenable god in it, no particular concern or particular mercy. Yet everywhere I see a living balance, a rippling of tension, an enormous yet mysterious simplicity, an endless breathing of light. And I comprehend that being is understanding that I must exist in hazard but that the whole is not in hazard. Seeing and knowing this is being conscious; accepting it is being human.

John Fowles, Aristos


“To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget.”

Arundhati Roy

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