When we think about life, what it means to be a human that is being and of our mental health, nature and well-being, I personally suggest that we need to approach it Holistically - that is via Mind, Body and Spirit. What Jordan Peterson refers to as the Trinity of Human Functioning.
There is much more to us than a conditioned mind operating through a mushy brain, rattling around in a skull that's encased in a biological body, fumbling our way through life simply taking the punches and the peaks as they roll in.
Available to us is an infinite number of potential life pathways that we can traverse, but we wont ever be able to perceive and walk them unless we get out of our own way and break free from repeating the same life cycles. Emotional turmoil like depression, anxiety, guilt, shame and excessive stress is not really a state of a being that we want to live, is it? Why are we really experiencing a Mental Health epidemic? Who is in the drivers seat? What is it within us that is getting in the way? I, like many others suggest it's our Ego.
I agree, certain cycles in our life can be very mundane and also very traumatic and full of turmoil, but these moments are also opportunities for us to build grit and resilience. When times are hard, as they inevitably will be at certain points in time-space, we need roll up the sleeves, put on the big peoples pants and eventually take full 100% responsibility for our life aka our Mind. It's survival of the fittest at is core but I'm not talking about physical bodily fitness right now. I'm talking about being your own Guru.
Start by asking yourself hard hitting questions to orientate yourself and find a meaningful sense of direction. Always ask questions, for questions are the answers.
What is wrong?
What is right?
What do I need?
Why do I need it?
What will it mean for me?
How do I achieve it?
Where do I start?
All this ultimately leads to the reason why I wrote “Exploring the Self” and founded the Art of Mental Alchemy. To help us explore our sense of self, show how we can transmute our cognition (thinking) and enable us to express an artistically perceived version of our 'self' through mental alchemy, creativity and a passion for learning and evolving.
In order to improve our lot we must look after our basic needs and understand what it is we need to do first in order to improve our mental health, our well-being and to make any sense of this situation we’re in called Life. We need to start by asking more questions and to ask them of our ‘Self’.
Who am I?
What am I?
Why am I here?
Why do I care?
What do I want?
Why do I want it?
What do I need?
Why do I need it?
Why stop there, lets push this a little further. In my book I start by asking my readers two of the biggest questions that can open the mind up to expanded thinking and perceiving.
Where does consciousness come from? And, What is the Source of All Creation?
You don’t need to be interested in spirituality or religion to contemplate these questions. Even a hardcore Atheist can inch their way closer to Source. I personally did it through Quantum Physics but at my core I’ve always been a Gnostic. It's in the blood.
What I've personally come to learn is that at the fundamental level of our biological being as humans, we are Consciousness, it is collective, and despite whether one believes this or not, some of our leading physicists and spiritualists certainly do, and I have great respect for those that dedicate their lives to the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom and take that further by sharing their learnt experience with us.
When you intentionally dive deep into contemplating and learning about the spiritual essence and particle elements of your being, you begin to discover some very interesting things. Answers to questions that only the seeker can conceptualise and come to understand. Seek and we shall find.
When I speak of responsibility in the subtitle of my book, this is essentially what I am pointing to. Taking responsibility for your own mind and being the seeker. You are the one that holds the key and it’s up to you to open the door to higher learning.
Physical health, mental health, fitness, relationships, career and life purpose can all be effectively changed by our own free will, first by turning inwards - through interoception - and discovering who we are, what we’re made of, how we perceive our reality and what we are truly capable of as a human being.
To make your journey a little easier I have started to collated a series of videos, books, links and online courses etc from my own pursuits that may be of interest to you, all found on my website. Depending on what your intellectual taste and interest is you may find something on there interesting.
And in closing this blog, I leave you with my own thoughts...
In order to understand the body one must understand the mind.
In order to understand the mind one must understand cognition.
In order to understand the relationship between ones self and their external environment one must understand their perceptions.
And in order to perceive life, one must understand the nature of consciousness.
Increase your understanding of these and you will inevitably evolve your ‘self’ and start changing your life in meaningful ways. It starts with you, and it starts with learning.
“Scientia potential est”
Knowledge is Power
Know Thy Self