Madness, Reading, and the Soul
Dreams last night popped with shocking images, some horrifying. They set me right and got me back on track. There’s nothing like a bit of shock and horror to shake up the soul. Oddly enough (or maybe not), I feel better. The week of doing depth therapy with traumatized patients, clearing the way through dark forests and troubling times, is settling ~ mind clearing. I think I’ll write, do hot yoga, great meals, and lots of love all weekend.
Soulful times generate soulful living. Reading is integral to my daily life, takes me into soul. There’s a place inside that can be nourished, satisfied, only through reading. I have to enter in visionary worlds that sometimes are horrifying, land me in a realm of madness as the protagonist encounters light and dark energies in daily life. It’s a time of conflict and pain, no resolution except by going through what needs to be gone through.
Reading visionary fiction is a lot like dreaming. In dreams, we can’t help, force or cajole, what’s going on or about to happen. I know there are people who try and control their dreams. The psyche does not take well to being controlled. There’s always kickback when we attempt to manipulate, conjure, what we want to happen. Old religions did this via prayer, thinking they knew what was best and wanted to force the hand of their god to comply. Healthily, sanely, we live in accord with life, letting events and dreams play themselves out as we consciously decide to find our way through tight spots.
Life is tough. Reading helps. Settling into an old chair, taking up a book we’re into and letting our mind go with the flow of the words and paragraphs and scenes – the story of a life and the mysteries and magic that take them by surprise – does something to us. It nurtures and strengthens our imagination. Stories make a difference in the quality of our life.
Madness is a private thing. It’s a matter of quality living. When we’re in touch with our private madness, we discover an imaginal world similar to the stories we’ve read. Feeling out of control, wanting to slow it up and shut it down, wishing things away only to make things worse is part and parcel of private madness. It’s our way of learning if we listen and give it a chance to speak.
So, give yourself some soul time. See if there might be a visionary novel that’s whispering your name. You’ll find that your unconscious mind guides you to just the right literary medicine. Trust your instincts, browse through your favorite online or brick-and-mortar book retailer, and pick up a copy of a story that just might touch your private madness and forever touch your soul.
Live Deeply…Read Daily”