The Way to Use All Senses
Animals are very receptive to things that are about to happen. They can sense a fire many miles away or a bad storm approaching and, being the uncomplicated creatures they are, take appropriate and usually correct action. We, too, can train our minds to react to senses and react in the correct manner.
I am very receptive to feelings. I can sense a storm approaching (of the weather variety, I mean in this instance). I get the muzzy head, pressure on my body, a tightening in my lungs. I literally feel the calm before the storm. A short while back, I sent someone a postcard, a picture of Burnham-on-Crouch waterfront with very dark storm-clouds gathering and wrote on it: “I feel like the calm before the storm”. Although I didn’t know the full extent of my feelings at that time, he knew and, as always, he knew what it was I was feeling and why. He didn’t go to the point of explaining these feelings because, like me, he knows that, at this time, it is only sufficient that I recognise the feelings and pass on to him what I feel. I have no need to know what and why, and wouldn’t understand if I was told. That will come when I am able to understand better. After all, you wouldn’t dream of giving large meals to small children; they would be sick and the food would go to waste. Better, in the early years, to give small meals that can be managed and digested.
Some days I feel distant and get like tunnel vision, then I get sort of butterflies in the tummy. My mind race and it takes a lot of concentration and effort to stem this urgency. Usually I try to stand outside myself. I stopped panicking a long time ago. Panic breeds panic, so there is no point. The feeling starts at my shoulders and I find myself trying to shrug it off. Once I can find some space in my day, some peace if at all possible, I can go into a kind of trance. I completely clear my mind and drift like a boat on a calm sea. Then, after a while, I see odd flashes of pictures, scenes from my life, glimpses into other lives. I don’t know why this should be, but usually I get these feelings and pictures for only one person. It’s as if the part I am here to play is to watch for him, to guard his well-being, to feel the way. I cannot say who this person is, it would be wrong to do so, but he knows and that is sufficient. When I get these pictures or thoughts, I write them down the best I can and then let the person concerned have them. He always knows what they mean. There is only one thing I don’t seem to get right, that is the timing. These events have either happened, are happening, or will happen. He tells me this is quite normal, as it’s very hard to pinpoint time in these matters.
The strange thing is that I do not feel like this towards other people. I get funny feelings about other people, like whether or not I like them, whether or not they are true, but nothing so constant and persistent as for this person I refer to.
So it brings me to think I am very fortunate in being honoured to serve in this way and I take my responsibility very seriously. I can quite honestly say I would do absolutely anything for him, not unquestioningly, but I would do so all the same. I do believe I would lay down my life for him, that is how deep my feelings go. This is not love, but total devotion to a cause supported by this person. I know you have to be careful of feelings, they can distort your true vision of things. They can make you see what is not there, feel what is not there, But you cannot be close to someone, work with him, spend time with him, and not feel anything. I have many faults and one of them is that, when I give, I give everything. I have tried not to, because this has not been asked of me. I only wish he had, it would be easier for me. You must try, at all costs, not to become emotionally involved with a person. If you do, you alone must take the consequences of this action, especially if the emotion is one-sided.
So it brings me to the point where you must never allow your feelings to interfere with what you must do. If you have meditated and see some interfering person, even if you believe that person to be yourself, you must say so. Never think of your own standing. First and foremost, I am there to serve someone, and must put myself very much last.
Listening is another important thing. I do not listen enough. Not only to other people, but to myself. Yes, I am better at listening than I was a few years back, but training in these skills is a lifetimes work. Having come a short way along the Path, I now realise that you listen with your eyes and you listen with your mind as well as your ears. What we do not realise is that ears are not just for hearing, as eyes are not just for seeing, the art is to use your body how you want, not as you have been conditioned to believe. I can hear perfectly well with my eyes and if only a few more people used their senses to the full, we would all realise things much sooner.
So, as part of knowing ourselves, we must fully develop these senses, learn, or should I say re-learn, to exist, protect and defend ourselves like animals do.
Taken from the Dark Lily Journal No 3, Society of Dark Lily (London 1987).