As I sit here writing this, it is my third night sleeping in a small shepherd’s hut in the Welsh countryside. It is near freezing outside so the fire is crackling away in the corner. Occasionally I can hear an owl hoot or a passing car in the distance.
The main noise is my clothes rustling and my pen on the paper.
Earlier in the day this was not the case! All I could I hear was this internal continuous dialogue regarding work and a family concern. There was no one to talk to about these issues, so this internal dialogue continued until I stopped it.
In our current society do we require constant stimulation so that we drown out this internal dialogue? What would happen if there were no more TV, internet and mobile phones?
Strangely by chance, in the previous few days I had listened to a Mysterious Universe podcast and read a book, The Magus of Java by Kostas Danaos. In both people had left civilisation and lived in the wild for a year.
In the podcast they interviewed a survivalist, Lee Trew from Bluegum Bush Craft. He spent a year in the Australian bush to by himself to practice his skills. The first three months were great but then things started to get interesting! He claimed a detox started, he became psychotic, had no control over his thoughts racing through his head, experienced grief, rage and felt was going insane.
During the final 3 months he “popped through the storm cloud and came in this amazingly quiet place.” He experienced incredible synchronicities, a connection to the land and animals. He said “the distinctions between inner and outer were beginning to breakdown.”
In the book, The Magus of Java, the author searches for a Chinese- Javanese acupuncturist/ martial artist named John Chang or Dynamo Jack, who featured in a documentary called Ring of Fire. The documentary shows John performing many amazing feats such as setting a newspaper on fire using just his hands and pushing a chop stick through a table.
Kostas manages to find John and becomes his apprentice. The apprentices’ training is divided into many stages. John Chang explains to Kostas how he completed his apprentices’ training. When it came to complete level 4, John had to leave his family and home for a year to live in the jungle on the Malaysia/ Borneo border.
“I did this to reach a state of total calm. I reverted to the primitive; this is most important. Your mind must be utterly still for yang and ying to come together.”
Could the drowning out of our internal dialogue by TV, etc. be preventing us from furthering our personal/spiritual development? There is an expression that states, ‘what is resisted, persists’.
What if when these people retreated to nature there was nothing to do but listen to their own thoughts?
While it may not be practical to leave civilisation for a year maybe we all need to take time out so that we can acknowledge our internal dialogue. Once this is acknowledged and released allow the beautiful internal silence to return.
Mark –The Alchemist’s Journey