This is another personal, non-COVID, non-science post. So if you’ve come here for pandemic analysis, I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed.
As per my last “personal” post, I’ve been jiggling with my morning routine more and more. The biggest issue is that I find myself a (common law) married man with an infant, which has really complicated the well refined productive process I developed over the first five decades of my life, but which relied heavily on being alone.
Having to stay up late to manage a crying baby (as I did last night), to get up often to manage a needy dog, to maintain relationship commitments and meet expectations therein, has necessitated the backseating of mental self care. I haven’t read a book for pleasure in months, possibly years. I used to exercise with the dawn, now I squeeze in a workout when the baby is napping and/or when the spouse is unoccupied; it’s unpredictable. Through in the new wrench of unpredictable requests from the media for pandemic commentary, which always eats up those few moments of free time I do have, and scheduling self-maintenance becomes a real challenge.
This past week I have attempted to remedy that. I’ve been forcing myself to once again do a dawn workout, which means getting up a bit earlier (as I still have to complete my chores, which include walking the dog, emptying the dishwasher, making the morning tea for me and the missus, and sometimes doing a live TV hit). And I’ve been making time for two more important tasks that I’ve neglected of late: reading and meditating.
Don’t judge me, but I’m reading “Women In Black” by Nick Redfern. It’s a description of the paranormal phenomenon of weird women appearing at various points in history to freak people out.
And maybe because I’ve been reading this book about dark mysterious otherworldly women, a disturbing intrusion presented itself in today’s morning meditation.
I’ve been experimenting with new styles of meditation. Most of my experience has been in the focus style of meditation, that I took from decades of martial arts training. You know, think of one thing or nothing, like imagining a flickering candle and blocking out all other thoughts. It’s a fine way to develop mental discipline. And as a child, I stumbled upon my own homemade version of transcendental meditation, during which I would walk in circles and let my mind wander to where it was naturally drawn. This was a deliberate choice, by the way, not aimless daydreaming. I didn’t know what transcendental meditation was, but I knew that this practice was important to me, and I would block out tie during the day to pursue it.
Lately, I’ve been trying to enter and sustain the trance state. I find it quite challenging, as the many and subtle pains of the middle aged body, as well as the nagging responsibilities in the back of the mind (must be alert to the baby’s cries, must be aware of that meeting I have in an hour, etc.), present barriers to achieving genuine trance.
But I tend to have some success by following the technique that I call “compelled sensory.” This involves deliberately identifying things I can see, things I can feel, and things I can hear, until I am absorbed in that process, and my body is divorced from the whole affair. When I can slip into trance using that technique, it’s not uncommon that I hear voices.
It’s rare, though, that I can make out what those voices are saying. Today it was a clear female voice screeching at me, “Nirrti’s son! Nirrti’s son!”
Now, I knew who Nirrti is. She is an obscure Hindu goddess, usually personifying death and sorrow. She is tucked away way way back in my subconscious. Is it possible that my reading about dark and mysterious (entirely white and European) “women in black” dislodged by knowledge of Nirrti?
What I did not know is that Nirrti had sons. I had to look that up. Her sons are: Bhaya (fear), Mahabhaya (great danger), and Antaka (causing death).
What does this mean? A residue of my continued mourning for my recently passed father? A prophetic warning from the future?
The subconscious is a mysterious and sometimes terrifying thing. But I am enjoying this deep dive into its tepid pools. Stay tuned for more reports from its depths.