We just experienced Hurricane Irene, first hand, in the New England. It was really something. Power outages, fallen limbs and trees, wrecked autos, downed wires and all the devastation that can cause.
Try not taking a shower for 5 days sometime – even 3 would be a stretch for most of us. Try not having refrigerator service or air conditioning in August. Try not having electric lights and not being able to flush your toilet. Now multiply that by 3 since most of these people had their children’s needs to tend to as well.
I found myself reflecting about the physical devastation that can happen in an instant. It occurred to me that it is the same force, the same energy that blows through us, continually, in our own individual minds. The energy that powers weather is the same energy powering the constant movement of our lungs, the same energy causing our heart to beat. This force of energy has been called, the breath of life, the life force; it is known as Ruach in the Hebrew language. In a flash (pun intended) I saw our emotional upsets as a microcosm of hurricanes.
Thoughts form, at times they pick up speed and swirl though our minds causing upset, even devastation at times. Eventually the whirlwind of thoughts calm down and we bounce back with great resiliency, perhaps even forgetting what caused the extreme dither. There might be people we rankled in our path, however. They may not be as resilient because now they are left with their own whirlwind of thought attempting to make sense out of what just happened.
Knowing something about how thought works to create our human experiences, thanks to Sydney Banks’s discovery of 3 Principles that so adequately explain what powers the human experience, I’ve seen the value in finding out how to be more aware of impending hurricanes of the mind. We can feel it gathering momentum if we quiet down long enough to pay attention. That is the alert signal for us, like a foghorn in the distance warning the community of some impending danger. Batten down the hatches, usher your children to the safety of a basement or a friend’s safe haven. We stand to learn from nature, as she provides physical lessons we can apply to our inner, personal world. We can batten down the hatch of our mouthpiece, knowing that in an upset, swirling state of mind, we will only create more upset by thinking it a second time. If we ignore the signal and speak what is on the top of our mind we’ll unnecessarily leave behind damage in our wake. We can provide safety for our loved ones by telling them gently that we are out of sorts, bad mood looming and we need to take some space until the bad mood passes. People understand this because we all experience bad moods from time to time. By looking more closely at the nature of thought, vis a vis, Mr. Banks’s discovery, we see that common sense resides at our core, and we can depend upon it, even in our most difficult moments if we quiet our thinking long enough to pay attention to common sense. It’s very still and quiet however, and it’s way down deep inside of us (so to speak) so it takes a very quiet mind to access it. That is where we recognize the people around us are our friends, they are not our enemies; there is a peaceful state of mind that resides within us if we take the time to access it.
Interestingly, the ancient Hebrew word ruach generally means wind, breath, mind, spirit, “the spirit, whose essence is divine.” In a living creature, ruach means breath.
For more information on the Three Principles behind life: