‘Today, like every other day, we wake up empty
and frightened. Don’t open the door to the study
and begin reading. Take down the dulcimer.
Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.’ ― Jelalludin Rumi
Remember as children when we would create for the sake of creativity, joyfully immersing ourselves in art, music, dance, and play? Lost for hours with little thought to time, responsibility, or the world around us. Many of us have tried to replicate those moments throughout our lives, or even incorporated them into…
‘As above, so below’ is an aphorism that dates back to a mysterious text known as ‘The Emerald Tablet’. Often attributed to the mythic figure Hermes Trismegistus, the text is said to have been discovered in the cave tomb of Hermes by Alexander the Great. Historians though have suggested that its origins are more likely medieval Arabic and that its purpose was to outline Hermetic concepts and apply them to the study of alchemy.
‘As above so below’ is actually a paraphrase from the original text which reads:
“We’re all just walking each other home.” ― Ram Dass
The bodhisattva is a being in Buddhism who, upon becoming enlightened, forgoes transcendence to stay on earth and guide others out of samsara and into nirvana. It is the ultimate selfless act, instead of following one’s own journey into absolute bliss the bodhisattva makes the realization that unless we are all liberated then we all remain in delusion. It reminds me of the Emma Lazarus quote, ‘Until we are all free, we are none of us free’.
Some take this explanation of events literally, whereas some see its value more…
Society prefers to keep death and grief, in their true visceral form, out of view. We hold on to stoic visions of what grief should look like, one in which its true manifestations are kept behind closed doors, held for nights alone and experienced in solitude.
This withdrawal may work for some people, but it leaves many others in an existential hole with nothing and no one to hold onto.
Our collective fear of death has led us to repress the reality of what dying means, and the experience of being by the side of someone going through that transition.
‘One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star’.
― Friedrich Nietzsche
Most of us have experienced anxiety at some point in our lives, whether it be the crippling extremes of agoraphobia or the nerves before meeting new people at a social event. In fact, as we begin to emerge from this period of social isolation it has been reported that more of the adult population are experiencing anxiety than are not.
Anyone familiar with periods of anxiety will know how antithetical to joy the anxious mind can be. Weeks, months or…
We live in an age of unfettered choice. Every impulse and desire can be fulfilled if you have the money. We buy and buy, never quite fulfilling the spiritual hole. Yet before we have a moment to sit with our discomfort we are being sold another gadget or product which we subconsciously believe will put an end to the nagging disquiet that lurks just out of view.
We are told at every moment that we are not good enough and that a product or experience will make us better. We are sold sex, ecstasy, and power in every advertising break…
Bob Dylan: “If I want to find out anything I’m not going to read Time Magazine. I’m not gonna read Newsweek. I’m not gonna read any of these magazines, I mean, ’cause they just got too much to lose by printing the truth, you know that.”
Interviewer: “What kind of truths do they leave out?”
Bob Dylan: “On anything! Even on a world-wide basis. They’d just go off the stands in a day if they printed really the truth.”
Interviewer: “What is really the truth?”
Bob Dylan: “Really the truth is just a plain picture.”
I fell in love with Bukowski’s writing as a teenager. I burned through his novels, inspired by the unfiltered rawness of his prose, his ability to communicate so much with such little fluff. Depicting his experiences on skid row and his suburban American childhood, Bukowski’s novels didn’t feel ‘well researched’ or ‘beautifully written’ they felt uncompromisingly real. You felt like you had direct access to his mind, free from the normal filtration process that most authors subject themselves to. Bukowski unashamedly bore all: shadows, addictions, crimes and the multitude of human experiences that could be indulged in downtown LA.
I remember my first psychedelic experience. I was in my late twenties regularly experiencing bouts of depression, drinking most days and losing myself in anxiety and purposelessness.
In a safe and nurturing environment, I took a medium to high dose of magic mushrooms and I was transported through an atmosphere of intricate, metallic, bronze and copper mandalas. Whilst marvelling at the beauty and luminescence of colours unseen in normal waking consciousness, I was struck by the benevolent guidance of the experience.
Suddenly, I realised what ancient cultures probably understood God to mean, an overwhelmingly kind and accepting force, not the…
There’s a common consensus that society progresses. We face blips and setbacks, but it’s generally assumed that overall quality of life increases the further we move along our historical timeline.
Yet regarding mental health, this doesn’t seem to be the case. Rates of depression are higher than ever and children of younger and younger ages are reporting anxiety, depression and other forms of mental illness.
Some have been keen to explain this away in terms of the increased awareness we now have of mental illness and a greater willingness to medicalise. There may be some truth in those explanations. …