It is said that each and every one of us goes through an existential crisis at one point in our life. The loss of a loved one, news of your own critical illness or reaching a personally significant age can all trigger that sense of finding a meaning to existence.
I personally think I have had several in my life time and it is suggested that existential crisis can be co-morbid with depression. Although I like to think that it is because I have always had a sense of more than just ‘self’.
I have a bad habit, if you want to call it that, of reading more than one book at a time. I currently have four on the go including Alan Watts – The Wisdom of Insecurity, Deepak Chopra – How to Know God, Patricia Wood – Lottery and Raise your Vibration by Kyle Gray. Inevitably I will not finish all of them, particularly Raise your Vibration, for the simple reason, if I understand the premise and appreciate the tenet, and in this case already implement most of them, then I see no reason for me to continue, I read to learn.
Three quarters of these books relate to spirituality in one form or another, as you can see, and this is where my assertion that I am having a mini existential crises has come from. Brought up in a Christian household, going to a private Christian school and indoctrinated in all ways to believe in a God as depicted in the bible, I have always had a sense of more than we are. Later in my life I threw all that out of the window and believed in nothing, call this the rebellious stage. Then as my life started to shift, back in 2014, so did my perception of me, as a human.
I had spent some time reading purely scientific books. Books such as In Search of Schrödinger’s Cat: Quantum Physics and Reality (Schrödinger’s Cat #1) by John Gribbin and Infinity and the Mind: The Science and Philosophy of the Infinite by Rudy Rucker. All of these books and new research within science, particularly within the quantum realms were eluding to more than our physical being. Many of us would agree, we are more than our mind, our thoughts and our physicality.
So where am I going with this? well, given that I cannot rely wholly on my mental state at the moment as a true predictor of what is actually happening in this mini-universe I exist in, I thought it about time that I started grounding myself in something other than reality. It is true to say that all of our experiences within this world are from a personal bias and we will never get away from that entirely. Your own mood projected onto a situation or your personal interpretation of a result from previous experience all colour how you perceive life. However this is only one element of our existence.
Without sounding like I am about to lecture you, I am simply stating that I cannot base my perception of how the world is, on my flawed thinking. How is it that the same world I inhabited yesterday was fabulous but today it’s rotten, limiting and depressing? the world did not change overnight but merely my attitude did. I cannot afford to be a slave to my anxiety. This is a wonderful concept but very difficult in practice. Only this morning I awoke shaking and agitated, I had no control over how I felt, it was a consequence of who knows what chemical imbalance in my brain. Overriding the physical manifestations of anxiety and depression, however they have been induced, is damned near impossible. The urge to reach for the Valium to calm my senses and make it go away is incredible. However, the main reason I have been meditating on a daily basis is to be able to find that quiet centre in that mental storm. It is there, if we look. The ability to sit by the roadside of frantic, manic and self sabotaging thoughts and watch them with passivity is the aim, and one which is going to take a whole load of practice. However, I am determined to achieve some sort of mental peace which can only be borne out of the philosophical knowledge that beyond my physicality I am a soul being encapsulated in an ego identity. This will take a shift in consciousness and a belief. The belief is not so hard for me to grasp now, whilst during my childhood it was a airy fairy concept of an omnipotent being, it is now an understanding of a unified Universe which is beginning to be demonstrated through mathematics and quantum physics.
I do still have my Valium for days where fears and agitation cannot be mastered. All of these emotions are merely ego, and once you start to side-line ego then these fears also start to dissipate and you enter what is known as ‘self referral’, that is to say, how you feel about you is not based upon something external to yourself such as others opinions, or your qualifications and title, or self-limiting beliefs, but a deep seated knowledge that we are all the same spirit and more than this body we dwell in. This is where I am aiming. Unfortunately every skill I have as an achiever in life, is of no use in this pursuit as they are all also based in ego, therefore it is going to be a long journey. In the meantime I continue with my meditation, I have my dream journal to write and the mirror technique of affirmations anchored with a mantra.