A is for AWARENESS and AWAKENING

Day ONE: April  A-Z Blogging Challenge

The world has been pre-occupied with physical health from the beginning of civilisation and culture. Yet we take mental health for granted. While enormous time, money and energy are spent on perpetuating bodily health, beauty and youthfulness, scant regard is paid to mental and spiritual well-being. Perhaps we can blame  Rene Descartes, that 17th century philosopher who famously declared : cogito ergo sum I think therefore I am, for introducing in a big way, the mind-body dualism. Since then (putting it simplistically, though it contains a grain of truth) humanity has become firmly entrenched in the physical world and in the pursuit of material wealth, with an intelligent and rational mind being an ally and often the key to all success. In this outward, EXTERNAL seeking of well-being and wealth, the body assumed importance and the mind became a handy tool to achieve material goals. BUT in this process, something vital went missing.

While the mind, the conscious thinking and reasoning part of our being gained importance,  the  emotions, the soul, the heart, the intuition— these unseen aspects of our being were forced underground and were devalued and neglected. Being emotional became a sign of weakness; being imaginative was flirting with delusion and intuition had no voice in the onslaught of reason. These elements of consciousness that were not given their due receded to the background or even the underground; they became a part of our subconscious, unhappy wraiths of out true selves. But what goes underground does not disappear.  They started to subtly and surreptiously manifest as SYMPTOMS in the mind, as various kinds of mental disorders. They began to appear as addictions, as depression, as autism, as OCD, as ADHD, and numerous other illnesses with fancy names and fancier theories as to their cause and treatment.

Where do we begin to start redressing this problem that even today is not talked about much, except when a celebrity dies of it, (as the popular and successful Robin Williams was driven to take his own life), or some other fashion/film icon mentions it in public ( a la Deepika Padukone, the young Indian actress of mainstream cinema who spoke of it in the media recently) ? The problem is not just a medical one. It is a psychological, social and spiritual problem. It is symptomatic of the spiritual vacuum plaguing modern society.

So is there  hope for the silent (and not-so-silent) sufferers of mental disease whose numbers run into millions and are increasing day by day as the times we live in become more volatile, uncertain and subject to change?Hope lies in AWARENESS, both individual and collective. Hope stems from an AWAKENING of society to the acknowledgement and support for a malady that while affecting individuals, affects the collective health of our communities, nations and the world itself.

From tomorrow, I want to talk about the different ways mental illness can be dealt with both by oneself or for others, which finally paves the way to a deep and profound understanding of our inner personal selves. It also leads to the discovery of hidden gifts! Not all is as it looks like !

© Lakshmi S. Menon & VOICE’nVIEWS 

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A view from the ‘other side’

Statutory Warning: Be willing to stretch your minds to include the reality of DIMENSIONS beyond the physical one. Now read on . . . .

September 10th was declared as ‘World Suicide Prevention Day’ and people were blogging in support of this movement. I liked one blog that talked about depressive tendencies leading to suicide in creative people. Mental illness and creative talent seem to be inextricably linked. Robin Williams is on many people’s minds; his death made many realise that wealth and fame with million dollar homes and every material possession one could wish for cannot promise happiness — that elusive fairy of well-being that makes life worthwhile.

However the word ‘suicide’ triggered in me the memory of a meeting I once had with a healer and channeller who spoke about her own experience with suicide. I hesitated to post this with the other blogs that were all talking about various practical things related to suicide; because what Roshita (the said healer) spoke to us was about an experience from another dimension! But when something wants to write itself out, it keeps nagging and prodding and so here I am with what I heard from R.

To begin with, I was attending a channelling session for the first time in my life and I really didn’t know what to expect. When the young, petite girl casually dressed in jeans and jumper opened the door, I got my first shock. Where were the beads and scarves and henna hair ?! Before the channelling started, (material for another post), R. introduced herself and talked a bit of her experiences with the esoteric. In India, re-incarnation and karma are not alien concepts but part of life for most people except of course, the anchors and intellectuals you find on TV talk-shows! R. affirmed that after death we go to a different dimension where we face a ‘life-review’ and the soul enters into a state of ‘rest’ before the next round of birth-and-death, whose circumstances are decided by what the soul chooses to learn. Talk about fixing responsibility for all the **** that goes on in life! There are a group of evolved souls/ascended Beings who help in this ‘review’ and  assist the soul to decide where it wants to go next. Rather than the concept of punishment and retribution, it is about learning from unwise choices that lead to suffering for oneself and others. One is given the chance to rectify wrong choices and here is a scoop! The soul is always asked, “do you want to go back?” And if you are smart or tired of this endless cycle, you can choose to say, “NO”. The journey then continues in astral dimensions, where things are not as grey as they are on the earth dimension. However we are so caught up in dramas of attachment or revenge, ambition, desire and greed that most often, we choose to go back. Remember to say, “NO’ when asked this crucial question, R. exhorted us. But I’m digressing . . . . getting back to what R. revealed about suicides.

This experience apparently is her own. In a previous life, R, was exceedingly fond of her father and very attached to him. He however died suddenly and the young girl, in her grief and despair, took her own life. Her over-riding thought at the time of death was that she wanted to be born as his daughter again. So what happened next ? (I was very curious here because recently there had been a suicide in my extended family and I had heard tradition denouncing suicide as having no redemption and souls wandering around endlessly and so on.)

Roshita went on to say that after death all souls are brought to a waiting-area (imagine a huge airport- lounge) where they are assigned different ‘rooms’ / sections depending on what experiences they have had. Those who have taken their own life are bundled into a room where they have to simply WAIT it out ! Wait out what ? Well, the rest of their allotted life-span and herein lies the catch: Suicide is just a temporary relief; the soul remains in limbo for the rest of earth-time, waiting for conditions to ripen before being born again. It sounded a bit like how when we have missed a flight we have to wait at the airport for the next one. So R. in her previous ‘after-life’ had to wait out her current life-span and then wait some more for her ‘father’ to be born, grow and be old enough to be her dad again!

What then is to be learnt from this, dear reader (if you are still with me)? Suicide is NEVER the solution to any tough situation we might be facing. The lesson will come back in another form, in another life with a lot of time wasted in the meantime. As long as there is life, hope exists. Let us remember the mantra: this too will pass

BOAT at sea