I read a book recently by a psychiatrist, “Gerald G.” titled “ The Dark Night of The Soul.” The title may discourage sales due to the wildly published book’s articles on this topic. The attraction for me was his vocational choice. I am fascinated with psychiatrists who pursue a spiritual practice. His spiritual practice is very God centred and the basis of his book is on a couple of 16th-century monastic’s mystics.
‘ Usually, we do not have a clue that we are drawn to such things because of something deep in us senses the God-ness in them. All we know is that we desire good feelings and want to avoid unpleasantness. The more goodness we experience, the more we want. Thus we become conditioned. We live, in large part, on the basis of habit. To a certain extent, habits are healthy and natural processes. Habits generally lead us to take care of ourselves and our loved ones, to learn and to be creative, and accomplish good things, But there are also some drawbacks. First, some of our habits inevitably become choiceless. They turn into compulsion. Compulsions are not good for the soul.’ p. 59
My interests and spiritual practice is Buddhism and meditation mostly. However, this guys idea of God fascinated me. Also his idea of the soul I would agree with in terms of it’s not a separate entity but all of our being.
The themes in the book are clearly monotheistic. Yet it resonated with me because of the Buddhist themes. Let’s be honest “Mindfulness” is Buddhist and you can not live by compulsion when your mindful or present.
My point as we are heading into the new year. It’s a great time to consider our habits.
What habits are you mindlessly performing?
Maybe it’s time to take some steps in the right direction and understand ourselves better. I have gained a greater awareness of unpleasantness and its benefits this year. Also problems are always present and continually arise. What is the point of spending all our time obsessing over “Problems?” We all know most major problems we just injure. Smaller things can only be managed in terms of priority. Most importantly, we need to understand the difference between major and minor and stop concerning ourself with things out of our reach or control. Sadly, circumstances can make no sense at all and people often treat each other terribly.
What we all can do is take charge of our inner world. Our positive response to injustice and facing impossible odds makes a difference. Respond with a smile and take care of yourselves this coming year. Don’t get caught up in circumstances out of your control. Bring yourself back to your breath and never think meditation makes no difference.
I wish you all a happy New Year and I hope your day days are filled with joyful curiosity. 😁