This time last year we would watch or listen to the News -now it’s no longer The News -it’s the Pandemic News! What else is going on the country or the world is largely not reported, unless of course it’s about clashes between high powered politicians. The way the psychology works is first the good (pandemic) news, then the bad, finishing up with an anecdotal ‘lets make you smile’ piece. And if you are a persistent news watcher -the weather forecast is an upbeat finish, storms, floods, and snows notwithstanding.
In the latest round of ‘messages to keep you safe’ the expectation of a return to normality is carefully downplayed by ‘events’ due to happen, which include social distancing measures, pubs with no beer opening, and gatherings of any kind limited. The success of the vaccine roll out also means they are likely to give it to you again in six months’ time as a ‘booster’. Why? The virus is mutating and here to stay until further notice.
Whatever your view of the lockdown measures, or for that matter, the health threat of Covid-19 and its variants, the need to ‘shut up shop and stay at home’ is having serious health damaging effects. ‘What if’ has become central to currency of thought and feeling. And fear of the unknown engenders negativity.
The parable sword of Damocles is an ancient moral parable popularized by the Roman philosopher Cicero, now commonly used as a catchall term to describe a looming danger. The tale in summary, centres on Dionysius II, a tyrannical king who ruled over the Sicilian city of Syracuse during the fourth and fifth centuries B.C. Though rich and powerful, Dionysius was supremely unhappy. His iron-fisted rule had made him many enemies, and he was tormented by fears of assassination—so much so he slept in a bedchamber surrounded by a moat and only trusted his daughters to shave his beard with a razor.
The king’s paranoia came to a head one day after a court flatterer named Damocles showered him with compliments saying how blissful his life must be. ‘Since this life delights you,’ Dionysius replied, ‘do you wish to taste it yourself and make a trial of my good fortune?’ When Damocles agreed, Dionysius seated him on a golden couch and ordered a host of servants wait on him, treated to succulent cuts of meat and lavished with scented perfumes and ointments. Damocles couldn’t believe his luck, but just as he was starting to enjoy the life of a king, he noticed Dionysius had also hung a razor-sharp sword from the ceiling. It was positioned over Damocles’ head, suspended only by a single strand of horsehair. From then on, the courtier’s fear for his life made it impossible for him to savour the opulence of the feast or enjoy the servants. With mounting feelings of impending doom, he asked to be excused, saying he no longer wished to be so fortunate.
Rightly so, many writers have been stressing the need to develop positive outlooks, usefully advising how you can switch off negative trains of thought and promote positive helpful thoughts. All good, but as you may have noticed yourself changing your way of thinking 24-7 is a bit like eating chocolate, initially you get a good feeling from doing it, but it doesn’t last. The determined try and try again, the not so successful put on weight from eating too much chocolate.
I was taking a walk on the beach at the weekend -there was a lot of socialising going on -between dogs. Us humans were carrying our ‘worlds’ around with us -some less introspective than others. The dogs were not taking a blind bit of notice, cavorting and carrying on, kicking up sand, chasing balls, getting wet in the sea. The owners on chasing, after pets who had slipped their leash, becoming over friendly with strangers, and rescuing them from ‘boy meets girl’ conflicts, were changed from inward looking people to outward looking ‘care for others’ kind of people.
There’s a how to do it clue here -let me explain.
Thought, however you want to describe its cause and effect, is a movement of energy. Before you think (if you can for the moment accept thoughts as singular entities) there is already a movement of energy which causes you to have thought. Can we identify that energy making movement? Yes we can. It’s bio-magnetic, interpenetrates every cell of your body and becomes a movement of force within which we feel with our emotional mind. Simply put -this is energy we have which generates our sense of feeling. Its emotional character stimulates thought. Ok… so we may be talking nanoseconds of difference here, but the point is this –the source of change is feeling not thought.
Have you ever wondered why young children can cry one minute and laugh the next? Or why you can scold an animal, one moment its tail is between its legs -the next looking to gain your approval? The reason why is because their instinctual minds are strongly governing their emotional reactions. For a variety of reasons (which I won’t go into here) as adults we tend to possess our feeling mind influences, which inextricably binds to our thinking mind and, by so doing, prevents us from clearly acknowledging causes of change.
Right now, as you are reading these words, millions of people are mentally and emotionally at variance with themselves. Outputs are widely different, some have periods of depression, others generate anger and physical violence, some aided by medications live in a ‘half awake’ world. Physically some may lose weight, lose their appetite, develop a reliance on stimulating or alcoholic drink. And some may be overweight pandering to the feel good factor of eating. Needless to say if the body labours too long without restoring its needful balance, something serious can go wrong.
Environment is everything. Individually we generate environments from within ourselves and by interacting ‘foreign’ environments. If you spend most of your day in the same place, and with the same people, your own feeling mind will become neutered by it. Yes -I did say neutered; loss of your sexual identity, or as you might more generally term it, self-awareness. What happens here is the feeling mind which has its roots in our instinctual behaviour, interacting with the sameness day on day, hour on hour, lacks stimulus -and the more it lacks, the less aware it becomes. Hence why so many people reach for stimulants of one kind or another to reassert themselves. Of course this problem is not peculiar to the pandemic -but the restrictions imposed make this problem much more widespread. If you don’t think you can change it -you retreat into the thinking mind, and like a kite pulled by a gust of wind, fly from your grasp and tumble about the atmosphere at the mercy of the air currents.
So, how do you fix this -prevent this from happening?
Very simply -and to be fair for those not so simple-minded it doesn’t only require a determination to change -you have to keep at it. CHANGE YOUR ATMOSPHERE!
Change of environment will stimulate the feeling emotional mind -it will generate an atmosphere of self-awareness you can take back to your home and/or your workplace. For some it can include interaction with other people with whom you are not connected with daily, but for most it means interaction with nature. The only requirement nature asks of you is -be present in both mind and body. The world of nature doesn’t have yesterday’s or tomorrow’s -it doesn’t have hours in the day. It is present constantly.
Get good at doing this and your thoughts will not stray into negative territory. Get good at this and others will be attracted to you, perhaps next week I can tell you the more of it.
Since I’ve been talking environment , here’s a poem I’ve written as an example of how nature can interact and benefit us.
In Fangorn Forest
Come; lay down your head on my brown roots,
cease the heavy stride, let anger dissipate.
The shroud about your form does not belong;
would leave, if you allow my shade to soothe,
the aromatic air transport -as my leaves
rustle and tap to the Green Man’s music.
What short and troubled lives you have.
What fantasies I hear you sing.
Man, you are so sad, so full of woe!
I’ve heard your feet pad against my earth
many-times before -and not once have I known
you understand the purpose of your Beings’ worth.
You are more like me than you will ever know.
Let every organ recalibrate and renew;
go naked underneath my Sun Star canopy.
Let not age concern you, as it does not me.
You are not the first biped to pass
me by, or spread the self about my bark
to drink the peace -yet I think you different
from most I’ve known; a link you have
that still might couple in the green
and undo that darkness common to your ties.
Come, lay down your head and let me share
the secret, that unburdens men and makes trees wise.
It’s with great pleasure that I can announce the publication of a new book on Astrology by my wife Pam, who is a professional Astrologer. The book ‘MAP of LIFE’ is available in bookshops and on Amazon
A flash of light in the universe and a new soul is born. See your map of life simply explained and unfold before you with this easy to understand guide to Astrology. This easy to understand guide shows you how a horoscope is put together. Examples of famous people give insight on how Astrology provides maps of life which can guide and advise the best course of actions. Pam’s spiritual approach gives a deeper understanding of natal charts, shows how to know yourself and others and encourages you to be your own astrologer. Know yourself, understand your strengths so you can overcome your weaknesses and live a happy life.
2 thoughts on “The Sword of Damocles”
Thankyou, Your observations are very balanced and either suggest or confirm a way of adressing this “whatever it is” situation.
Peace and blessings to you.
Thank you Lawrence, mental health is the big issue arising strongly in this pandemic -and has far reaching consequences.