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My own feeling is that there is a part of ourselves that remains ourselves whatever happens, that remains, if not unchanging, essentially the same, which is wise and kind and patient and reliable. It’s the part of me that knew my colleague wanted to oust me, the part of me that sniffs the air for the next thing that will interest and absorb me. It’s the part that can look upon the monkey mind, the elephant and the hapless deluded mahout, and be tolerant of and sympathetic to them all yet still remain separate. It is entirely conscious, although I am not consciously aware of it. We might call it soul, or spirit, or self.

Many of the things I’ve talked about in this series of posts are methods of better connecting with this essential part of ourselves, this bit that knows what’s going on and how to deal with it, which is always paying attention and always looking out for us. Meditation is one, therapy and counselling arguably also ways of finding and exploring the solutions that this part of us offers. It communicates with us in dreams and intuition, through “gut feeling” and “sleeping on it” and a host of other ways.

Quite often if I have a minor but tricky problem to deal with which does not, on considering it, have an obvious answer, I will almost consciously “offer” it to my self to deal with. “Look”, I say, “I don’t know how to solve this, can I leave it to you?” Then I stop thinking about it, and invariably within a day or two an excellent, fully formed, appropriately detailed answer will present itself, usually when I’m thinking about something else altogether. There’s usually quite a pleased feeling about this, as though that part of me has enjoyed being asked.

More tomorrow.