A Blog about Sensory Processing Sensitivity from the Worldview of a High Sensing Male
Morpheus: Neo, sooner or later you're going to realize just as I did that there's a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.
From The Matrix
I recently watched an old video, of the British/American philosopher, Alan Watts talking about Moksha. He relayed a story about an Indian man, a prosperous businessman that left behind the business and his family to set out into the woods to seek Moksha. Watts described Moksha as, “…at the center of Hinduism is an experience called Moksha – liberation, in which through the dissipation of the illusion that each man and woman is a separate thing in the world consisting of nothing but a collection of separate things, you discover that you are, in a way, on one level an illusion, but on another level, you are what they call self, the one Self, which is all that there is.” In simpler terms, Watts described this concept of Moksha as forsaking what is known and pursuing what is not.
Moksha in Hinduism is a term which refers to various forms of emancipation, enlightenment, liberation, and release. It could also refer to self-enlightenment, self-realization or self-knowledge. It is a part of a quadruplet of stages that Hindus strive to achieve. One of these is Dharma, the striving for a virtuous, proper life. Another is Artha, the pursuit of material prosperity, used to support oneself and family during the middle stages of life. Then there is Kama, the pursuit of sensual pleasure which certainly makes sense in a material, sensual world, and finally striving to receive Moksha – liberation.All of these interweave throughout life, I’m not sure there is a firm chronology for each stage, but Moksha would be the crowning achievement.
Moksha is the final release and emancipation of self and the realization of the true self. It seems this realization of the earthbound ego, not being the true spiritual self, in order to obtain Moksha would require the abandonment of the ego-self on a path of self-development. As we find out who we truly are, reducing our negative attributes that limit our happiness would bring us an appreciation of the qualities of love, balance, and growth. Certainly, happiness comes from within and not from the outside.
It seems that many if not most HSPs are contemplative and spiritual creatures. Our intuition and empathy bring us insights into the connectivity we all share. Our ability to intuit information from the environment, helps us understand and interpret the world around us. It would seem natural that HSPs would follow a path of self-development and spiritual growth. A walk towards Moksha.
But, what would a practical path be for a modern, Western HSP man or woman to strive for with Moksha in mind? If the true self resides within, this would seem easier for most HSPs to explore. Yet, I see more and more HSPs lost and distressed over the external world and not being able to handle the overwhelm they bear. It is often recommended that anyone walking a spiritual path seek a meditative practice.
How does that compare with what HSPs naturally do introspectively? Lets first set a definition of meditation that is not solely about mindfulness, used often in Western terms. Meditation is a quieting exercise, an effort to quell the constant bombardment of incessant internal chatter – the monkey mind. It is not a practice of drilling down to the source of thought and mining it for truth. Rather it is a quieting of the mind so that truth can bubble up from within. I like many HSPs do the opposite. We drive down thoughts to a place where they are processed under our active, watchful minds. This is not meditation. This is rumination, a deep thinking cycle; that regurgitates thought over and over; often with no productive conclusion. It may be a good analytical practice, but it’s not a spiritual one.
It seldom leads to a place of peace or liberation. It can at times, produce insights, but it also can produce discomfort and turbulence. Yet, HSPs see this as a superpower or a curse. Most of us are never taught how to harness this power, and therefore we subsequently let our minds run amok, a mental firehose thrashing about in our minds, causing us to be overwhelmed and reclusive.
This is sad because I do believe our capacity to process all of this extrasensory information if handled properly can be beneficial not only to ourselves but to the world. So what should we do?
First, I think we should learn to manage our thoughts and all that overthinking. One way to do that is to learn a meditative practice, learning to calm the mind. Learning to slow down the mind perceptually to single thread thoughts for proper processing. This is like a quarterback in football slowing down the game in his mind to see the whole field at once in front of him -- watching the play unfold in slow motion.
Good decisions can be made when one can see all the options clearly.Slowing down perception to allow the mind to bring up from within the needed direction or thought. This is like bottom-up processing. We HSPs tend to do top-down processing, which overflows the system. We get overwhelmed easily, which is our kryptonite. Avoiding overwhelm is in some ways like the Hindu achievement of Moksha. Avoiding overwhelm is liberation, letting the true self (bottom-up) override the ego (top down), which allows clarity and insight in a calm, confident way. This will allow us to focus on what matters, letting the superfluous detritus of thought slide off and out of range.
Achieving this will help us, be grateful, learn to forgive, learn what love is. It will help us to learn what we as individuals need to be happy. By finding our spiritual path; we more easily connect with others. Giving freely of ourselves, finding our right livelihood and connecting with the tribe we belong to (not necessarily family). You can then be more calmly alone with your soul, understanding your ego’s role and not being a slave to it. Recognize that you are a creative spirit in a physical body. Your job is to learn and grow and create.
Stay on the path to your own personal Moksha. Don’t be static. Continue to advance through your own personal evolution, realizing that every experience, both good and bad is an opportunity to grow.
Morpheus: This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.
From The Matrix
Bill Allen lives in Bend, Oregon. He is a certified hypnotist and brain training coach at BrainPilots.com. He believes that male sensitivity is not so rare, but it can be confounding for most males living in a culture of masculine insensitivity which teaches boys and men to disconnect from their feelings and emotions. His intent is to use this blog to chronicle his personal journey and share with others.