Meditation is practiced by many as a means to examine the Self, from the inside out, to gain insight into the means of obtaining personal growth. The darkest and brightest of our experiences and perceptions often leave shadows deeply cast within us, and without continued introspection, these structures can begin to affect our growth without our being actively aware of it. While a constant gardener often fights but the smallest of battles, even those most resolved can often find themselves facing such concrete repose within deeply forgotten corners of the Self that they have trouble creating movement in those areas.
Cleansing, detoxing, rejuvenating; these are all terms that are thought of as relating heavily to the physical—addressing the only biological function of our bodies—and not always seen as integral to emotional and mental clarity. Making the assumption that we are the balance of three perspectives—physical, emotional, mental—this article is an examination of approaches meant to take advantage of each’s influence and connection to the others, for a coalescence of kinetic and psychokinetic momentum meant to cleanse us holistically. As pattern-recognition tests build our mental clarity, an infrared sauna aids in the cleansing of our physical body, and a re-connection to nature may help to nourish us emotionally, we find many different prospects offered to us in Modern society—all with the promise of providing a better ‘us’.
Many of these are effective, and many aren’t; often the benefit may only be found after one’s own experiences. What does translate between lives and different experiences are the core dynamics of which our collective experiences are comprised? Such as a golf cart is hardly comparable to a space shuttle; both of these operate on a principal of force—delivered in these examples through combustion. People are similar in that many lives may seem many leagues apart, yet we all experience the world through our unique time spent focused through the mental, physical, and emotional lenses the human condition provides.
Cleansing the Self
Mental clarity can be regarded as the ability to focus on thought, without having the distraction of physical sensations or emotional ripples to stray one from their course. A clear mind is able to grasp a concept, explore it, pass it into emotional focus, reconnect afterward, and make decisions and memories based upon one’s previous and projected experiences. Imagine standing in a frozen, barren, snow-filled desert such as Antarctica—freezing to death, having your body screaming out at you to seek refuge from the storm in any way possible. Now imagine trying to solve a complex mathematics problem. Likely, it would be much more difficult for most to focus deeply enough on such a task whilst exposed to such physical stress.
Our experience of the world is forced into the physical realm in situations such as these and while one’s response is often as unique as their fingerprint, it’s a fairly common experience to feel the sense of frustration in trying to shift focus to the mental or emotional. It is during these times of intense focus on a singular perspective that we make broad assumptions on other levels of ourselves. Now, imagine holding a warm cup of tea in your hand—outstretched feebly into the tundra gust—and how intense your focus would be on the warmth offered by that cup. This example of dynamic range, meaning extremes of pleasure and pain, illustrates how we are attracted to that which helps us focus on the pleasant and remove ourselves from circumstances which bring negative experience. While we may escape the physical by retreating to the mental, we also escape the mental into different mental perceptions. We re-imagine memories; we re-play events; we adjust how memories affect us by imagining how we would handle identical circumstances—leaving any negative feelings about our previous experience marked to chance. This is common to everyone, this is done constantly, and this isn’t always a bad thing. Much of the way the human mind works has no doubt come from evolved fitness, meant to aid in our survival.
Taking account of the dynamics of our mental habits, it stands to reason that this constant shifting and rearranging of mental records will inevitably lead to some type of waste. This mental clutter can build itself into a nuisance which dulls our focus, disables us from focus, and overall contributes to the dampening of our overall mental clarity. The thoughts of days past, accounts of irrelevant experience, and even just the random misfirings of neurons—all play a role of distraction. When we aren’t as mentally able as we are capable we are also less capable in other areas of our self-balance as well. To frame an emotional experience mentally, one must have full access to mental function. These perspectives of our Self are as interrelated as the particles in a nucleus of atomic particles.
Charting A Course
Physical movement is one of the most focused upon perspectives of the human experience, being so powerfully focal that many often confuse fundamental biological signals with deeper emotional responses. While the rush of hormones during a romantic twist oft leave one spinning in ‘love’, the rigid fact is that any emotion that can fade isn’t an emotion at all. For those connected to their emotions on a plane of deeper awareness, it is understood that emotions do not fade. While the overloaded energy into other perspectives, such as the mental, may cause the swelling sense of being disconnected from these emotions—knowing they are there but not feeling them—we’ve simply to re-connect to them. They are not like the lowering flicker of a candle as it’s wick drowns in the weight of its self, they are as mountains in different regions of our inner Earth. We may be separated from them periodically, but only need to return to bask in their timeless shadow.
This confidence of return—knowing how to make ourselves feel a certain way—is a complexly human burden. For when one feels such joy that mental fear creeps up—making us fear the inevitability of change—the division of us as individuals can be most apparently seen in our individual abilities to find, and connect to, the confidence that should such joy be lost our path back to it is clear. In another way—if we can no longer feel the mountain of joy within ourselves, we can think of the path back to it. For those certain in their knowledge of such paths in life, little can be done to discourage them as they chart their courses through whatever tribulation they may face. Inner strength—true personal power—is deeply bound to the confidence that one possesses in finding their own ability to navigate to those mountains within themselves that empower them to face the most consumptive of struggles. For someone of such inner resolve may say to the many storms within a lifetime; “Carry me far from my home, for the adventure of my return shall only strengthen me.”
Circling back to the notion of clarity and tidiness within our Self, such statements of inner resolve and personal confidence are made much more difficult when we are unable to flow from one perspective to another in a symbiotic manner in which nature has provided for us. Mental stagnation will lead to physical and emotional stagnation, which will both lead to further mental stagnation; so forth and so on. Such perpetual cycles are often seen as fearsome and strike a sense of near-total disheartening in many. These vicious patterns can drive us into horribly unbalanced lives, influenced to do horribly-unbalanced acts. Such as Nature’s degree of indifference to the human condition, in particular, these cycles are just as capable of providing a perpetuating increase in quality of life as the are decrease.
Imagine running down a set of stairs; the longer you run the more momentum you gain, the faster you move, and the harder you are to stop. While the descent into the lower flights of stairs builds momentum, making it more and more difficult to stop, there is an exact amount of energy that will stop your descent, and even reverse it. Now, imagine you’re running up the same staircase; you build momentum, you build speed, and the faster you go along the harder it is for outside forces to stop you. All that is needed for such a reversal in direction is energy. In the case of our personal lives, this energy is often a combination of mental, physical, and emotional energy. The only difference of note in going up the stairs, compared to descending downward, is that gravity fights us as we move upward. While this may seem a conundrum to many, even disheartening to some—knowing that built into Nature itself is a system to toughen our progress upward—it is, in fact, a blessing. True personal growth is only gained through the constant destruction of these barriers within our Self, then the procession of repair and improvement. These processes are painful, often go against our every instinct, and can take lifetimes to undergo. This pain, often the largest barrier of personal growth, is like Nature’s gravity—it is a reminder that we are moving upwards.