Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Spiritual warrior.....what does this mean

I've just returned home from seeing the movie premiere of 'Spiritual Warriors'. I had seen the flyer some weeks and had mentally committed myself to go to see it. Today was a difficult day at work. I had an all day meeting which involved setting up the laptop in unfamiliar circumstances even though it was only another floor in the building where I work. To me it could have been another planet as I once again battled with cables and drop down boxes. My fog index when it came to understanding what people were saying before they came to the end of a sentence was in full strength and so my responses in return were slow and measured. One quality which is absolutely essential in a meeting like this is wakefulness. I thought I was doing well in the wakeful and listening stakes when I suddenly heard 'that's a very important point' and I realised that whatever had been said my brain was in some parallel universe. I had no idea what this very important point was. I hastily scribbled something down and will spend tomorrow trying to put together minutes which reflect the discussion and decisions of the meeting today. By the time the meeting ended I was completely exhausted.

To make matters worse there is a tube strike here in London. Only 3 tube lines are running. I heard horror stories of terribly crowded trains, people in bad mooods etc etc. When work ended my mind with its thoughts was saying 'you don't want to uptown to see that film tonight; you'll be so stressed when you get there that you won't be able to enjoy it; much better to go home and keep yourself nice and calm and relaxed'. Then there was my Soul that had resonated to the by-line on the flyer that was promoting the film. This by-line was 'It takes great courage to see the face of God'. This resonated so deeply with me and when the mind with its thoughts telling me all the reasons why going to see this film was not a good idea the Soul was quietly repeating the words of this by-line. This is the difference between messages that come from the mind and those that come from the soul. From the mind there is narrative, lots of reasons why something isn't a good idea, it's a constant internal chatter. The Soul has few words. This time the message from my soul wasn't authoritative like it was when it urged me to 'go to the centre' it was just quietly repeating the by-line from the flyer 'It takes great courage to see the face of God' I could not ignore the message from the soul even if the message from the mind made more sense and seemed as though it would have been better for me.

With a mixture of trepidation and determination I set off for the cinema. I am rarely found on a tube and never when there is a tube strike. I had all kinds of ruses planned for ensuring that I would get on one of these crowded and horrible trains that I had been told about. I had debated about shouting 'spiritual woman getting on' but I don't think it would have had as much impact as if I shouted 'pregnant woman getting on'. But both are similar in terms of having the potential to give birth to something new. I know that you can argue that everyone is spiritual and that is absolutely true but many are unconscious of this spirituality and need to be woken up. I walked to the bus stop because my usual tube stop was closed due to no trains running. I caught a bus to where I could get a tube that was running to a stop close to the cinema. Bracing myself to be trapped like a sardine in a can, imaging that I would be probably be stuck up really close to someone. I imagined that I would have have no choice but to smell the garlic that somebody had eaten the night. With mounting tension I walked onto the platform.

To my surprise it wasn't that crowded at all. There was a train due in 4 minutes. I couldn't believe it when a carriage with the doors to open stopped right in front of me. The carriage looked crowded when it was pulling up. I walked in and immediately saw one spare seat. I looked twice because people were standing on either side. Yes, there was a biggish suitcase which meant that it wasn't easy to get to the seat but that wasn't going to stop me. I clambered over the case and sat down. The guy when he saw that I had got to the seat made an effort to move the case but I said 'it's OK there's no need to move it'. He then said 'that seat was being kept for you'. I smiled but when I thought about it that is exactly how it was. I spent the rest of the train journey in a meditation of gratitude.

Everything in life is about interpretation. I interpreted that as help and guidance from the universe. It was the universe helping me to ensure that I kept my integrity and went to see the film like I said I would. To another though these happenings might be dismissed as 'co-incidence'. I used to have one friend who would say to me when I pointed out these synchronicities that they were only co-incidences and it was something I didn't try to persuade her otherwise of. I know though that for me when I interpret things like this as guidance from a benevolent universe that I have a freedom and ease with life. It stops being a struggle. I relax and let go into the ebb and flow of life. If there is a track record of integrity then it seems to become a way of life...strange as this may seem. I think it's because of neural pathways that are laid down in the brain. Each time I keep my word, have integrity and do what I say I will do the neural pattern in the brain gets stronger. Perhaps that's why habits are so difficult to break because there is a deep and familiar neural pathway laid down in the brain and kept in place by habit.

I don't think it was the film itself that was the reason why I had to keep my integrity. I saw in the process involved in going to the film the conflict between the thoughts in my mind and what a deeper part of me wanted to do. What is possible though when we push through the resistance and get to the other side is simply amazing. One thing I learned from the film was how important it is to speak to the right people when there is an experience that is out of the ordinary, whatever form that might take. It is best if possible not to speak to anyone and to let the experience deepen and develop with you being a Witness. The appropriate time to speak about such experiences is when you are not emotionally involved with whatever it is that has happened. When you are grounded and not thrown by other's reactions. There is an old but true saying 'those that speak don't know and those that know don't speak'. There is a reason for this. I speak now after many years of silence. Speaking to the wrong people, by wrong I mean those who don't understand the nature of the spiritual path can confuse and cause one to doubt the experience and its power. The only difference between the mystic and the person who is diagnosed as mentally ill is that they spoke to different people!

When I trained as a nurse for children and adults with learning difficulties I had to do a 2 month secondment in a psychiatric hospital with long stay patients. I spent some time with those who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. I found them to be deeply spiritual people. I remember one man who came to me one day and said 'nurse, Mary spoke to me last night'. I said 'who's Mary, Christy'. He said 'the Virgin Mary' and I said 'right, and what did she say'. He said 'that if I ever got married I'd be sorry'. OK I know that it isn't a profound spiritual insight but the connection is there. I believe many of the cases labelled schizoprenic are the result of energy rising in the body to the brain before the brain is ready to receive it. What many have called a spiritual emergency. I want to add that I'm not a psychiatrist and these are just thoughts of mine, to be considered not to be taken as truth.

I've just realised that I have written nothing about the title of this post...oh well I'll write about that in the next post....

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