Controversial opinion . . . but, if you want to start a meditation practice — then, literally the best thing you can do, is simply to meditate.
Don’t worry about downloading any app — or buying into any particular “programme” (paid or unpaid).
Don’t schedule it like a workout, or approach it like a fad diet.
Don’t watch a tutorial — or worry about “getting it right”.
Of course, there are many different styles of mediation to learn — and, in time, you can look into any of them. But, just to start, we can vastly overcomplicate these things.
I find it so ironic that renaissance artists were so often tasked with painting scenes from the bible — in essence, to glorify a religious message.
And yet, most of these artists were painting for patrons who were generally aristocrats, kings, dukes, princes, banking families, and other higher class families. Meaning that the scenes which were supposed to be created as stories for the appreciation of the every day viewer — actually tended to become much more richly decorated and extravagant affairs. A world away from the life that most people of that time knew.
Whereas, hundreds of years later…
Hokusai’s great wave is not just a depiction of the raging sea with Mount Fuji in the background.
In fact, one of the main reasons why a picture like this becomes so iconic, is because it allows for a multitude of interpretations, if we know how to see.
For example, when we look a little longer here, we could read this painting symbolically — with the towering great wave representing the awe inspiring force of Nature / Fate / God . . . and Mt. …
The vast majority of this world is Ocean — yet, most of it remains essentially unexplored. Meaning that we live our lives on the surface . . . surrounded by a great mystery.
And, equally, when we look to our own psyche . . . the same story could be told.
The vast majority of our life is made up of what happens in the unconscious. But, again, these personal depths also remain vastly unexplored and mysterious to us.
So, in that sense, the Ocean and the Psyche are inextricably linked. Allegories for each other.
And when we discover this…
Recently I’ve been struggling a lot with questions over whether art has any value at all.
And it is a shame because, it’s not just that overthinking things like this can ruin our enjoyment of things we love — but, more so, it can leave us unable to partake in them at all. Because, every time we go to start — there is a mental block there.
“Why am i doing this?” “What’s the point?” “What is it all worth?” “Am i just wasting my time?”
It is like trying to battle against our own mind. …
One of the key psychological drivers of conspiracy theories is our need to feel as if we have some sort of control in our world — which itself is a manifestation of fearing the unknown.
But, “fear” in this instance does not necessarily mean terror.
It’s not that people gravitate towards conspiracy theories because they are literally “scared”. Rather, this kind of fear of the unknown can be seen as a kind of discomfort.
There are events happening in this world that seem “not quite right” to our own understanding — and, so, we must find out exactly why. …
The more we study individual psychology, the more we will understand wider society too. Because society itself (no matter how large) is essentially a manifestation of the collective hopes, fears, virtues, and prejudices of it’s individual members.
This relates to the ancient Hermetic maxim of “As above — So Below”
However, I believe there are lots of different ways to gain a greater human psychology. Not simply through studying academically, or reading scientific data.
In fact, the single biggest key to becoming more psychologically aware is to simply live more mindfully. Paying close attention to the actions of those around…