Clear Headedness

All we want is a clear mind. By that I mean a mind without pain or bad emotions. All we want is to take a vacation from the difficulties of being human. The world today has created what it thinks is the equivalent of a technological approach to a completely un-technological reality: that is, human reality. We find ourselves defined by our diseases (clinical depression, borderline personality, passive-aggressive, introverted -what ever.) and, at the same moment, reduced to neurological changes and ill-defined synaptic interplays; to chem.-receivers and architectonic approaches to consciousness. We are told that such attributes as intelligence and love may be chemically based while also convincing ourselves that all the real troubles in the world are simply our own perceptions.

Solutions are, actually, the problem. We have been sold the idea that there is always a solution. TV dramas are mostly based on the premise of the “mistaken idea” where some character has a mistaken belief that, within the space of 30 or 60 minutes is removed leaving the former sufferer cured. But some experiences are beyond solution. Some people are depressed due to chemical imbalance and some are depressed because they have looked into the black heart of creation. This second type can be sedated but never truly “cured” because it is like trying to “cure” courage. People who have seen such things and still function at all are in some ways heroes. They should be honored, not cured. They bring the truth back to the village. They represent a mind that is truly clear because it has the truth without being brought to a socially acceptable norm. “Curing” everything is just another word for sterilization.

We must be very careful that we don’t confuse “clear” with “sterile”. In most meditations and quiescent regimens it is expected that there will be a labyrinth of confusion and fragmented imagery. This is the house not only of mirrors but of broken mirrors. There are a number of pseudo-disciplines which use the idea of the “clear” state as though it were a matter of winning a race or closing a deal. I’m sure there are many nice people dressed in stylish wool flowing garments who think that Yoga is about how close you can get to God if your spa is in the high country of Costa Rica. We also have a host of techno-laborers who think that as long as they dedicate their lives to acquiring more knowledge for humanity that their personal lives are fulfilled and meaningful. We have people who give so much to charity that the hollow spot in their hearts cannot be equated to the hollows of their pockets.

We see this everywhere in our games, movies, sports and even religious experiences. We are everywhere projecting this confident, slightly amused exterior with the ear plugs piping the brain numbing inner music which puts us squarely in the center of our own fantasy movie. But we also see the crack in the face mask and the sad midnights of cruising the internet so you can make an idle or even mean spirited jibe at someone else out there, also looking for a clear moment.

Stand still, breathe deeply, and wait for you medicine. It will come and it will be prescription.

Photographs by Debbie Shayne © 2010