Nobody Runs Like a Banshee
It is a well known and observable fact that screaming and flailing your arms like an energetic savage banshee whilst running is not an effective way to run.
It wastes energy. It breaks momentum. And it makes you dizzy. Makes people around you dizzy too. And frightened.
Not that anybody runs for travel anymore – we’ve tamed big metallic beasts who drool fumes and howl through fanged radios for transportation – but it doesn’t take too much imagination to see how screaming and throwing your arms wildly isn’t going to make you win the 100 meter sprint final in the Olympics. Usain Bolt your windows, the banshee is warming up.
Swinging your arms frenetically and yodelling as though you are being swarmed by a battalion of radioactive bats whilst running makes you tired and stops you from being able to run your best.
You dilute your energy and end up kinda running and kinda fighting the air.
Sure, if you just feel like running and screaming and getting dizzy then that’s fine, and even encouraged on full moons and other auspicious occasions, but if your intention is to run from here to there then arm-flailing and banshee behaviour is going get in the way of glory.
And this is all really obvious.
Nobody runs like a banshee,
that would be obscene,
but that’s how most people go through life.
Metaphysically on the Run
Okay, so most people don’t literally go through life running like persecuted banshees on the defensive.
Most people don’t run at all. At best, they speed-walk to catch the deli for a pastry before it closes.
So what’s with the weird arm-flailing running banshee analogy?!
I’m about to tell ya. And it applies to you so listen up, banshee brain.
Most people do not live in ease.
They fight reality and limit their success and experience of life in the process.
Something happens that makes them anxious or angry or resist life or want approval or control or attachment or aversion or any of these things that nerdy psychologists and cross-legged Zen masters ponder.
A feeling or thought or emotion enters their reality and they think that they need to fight it to protect their precious ego / story / identity.
It feels real, like it’s a threat to their lives, so they start violently swinging their arms and screaming to defend themselves, figuratively, of course, and running for fear that if they stop moving then their identity and whole world will melt.
(Maybe ‘fighting’ is too tangy a word. ‘Specially since the fighting is internal. You experience a feeling and you oppose it. Maybe ‘oppose’ or ‘resist’ are better terms. Or maybe they just sit better because people don’t like to think of themselves as the ‘fighting’ type. Ha!)
Taking the contents of consciousness seriously – taking life and things that happen too seriously – puts you metaphysically on the run from yourself.
And all that fighting not only creates more tension and magnifies the feelings that arise but, just like our little banshee, it stops you from being productive and getting things done because you end up fighting instead of living.
Unwrapping the Packaging of Thoughts, Feelings and Emotions
So opposing and fighting the contents of consciousness makes the struggle and tension feel more real.
Not to say that anxiety and resistance and those things aren’t real. They are.
But you don’t have to take them seriously,
and they don’t have to define who you are.
People argue and get freaked out and disturbed by the stupidest and most trivial things.
Even if you’re a nocturnal basement-dwelling Warcraft lord who rubs peanut butter all over yourself while listening to Elton John in the shadows – a bona fide sociopath – you’ve likely still had the experience of seeing somebody get freaked out about something that you know to be clearly pointless. Like rush-hour traffic or waiting in line for thirty seconds longer than usual for their BigMac.
You don’t have to take them seriously either.
Picture walking through a dark room and seeing a figure holding a big scary knife of machete proportions. Your breath jumps ship and the particles of your being run to your neurochemical fridge and grab a can of fizzy adrenaline. You turn on the light and find that the attacker is just the shadow of a tree and your heart catches its breath. You turn off the light and now the shadow no longer scares you.
The shadow is still there – the feelings that dance through your consciousness are still there – but you don’t have to take them seriously and work yourself up over them.
That’s the essence of living a life of ease – nothing gets to you anymore.
You don’t mind what happens anymore.
Not like Tupac. Not reckless numbness. It’s not that you don’t care.
But now you live in ease.
No more internal struggle.
So What Then? Infinite Syrup? And What About that Savage Banshee?
Life still goes on. Feelings and thoughts and emotions still arise, but you no longer look to them for who you are.
The banshee within dissolves because you realise that there is nothing to fight.
You allow life to flow.
You stop distorting your experience of life with layers of protective judgements and you let life flow.
You stop flailing your arms and tiring yourself out.
You stop screaming and suddenly you can hear the sound of the universe breathing.
You stop running and you’re free to stop and smell the adjectives.
Of course, you can always still carry on running and working to get places in life, but now you’re free to actually experience it and feel the wind against your face instead of living a distorted banshee version that’s filtered through a defensively closed mind.
Realising the triviality of the whole thing lets you let go of pointless effort and fighting and just Be. Just live. In Ease.
This is expanding your consciousness. You realise that nothing that ever happens or has happened to you – including thoughts and feelings and emotions – could ever hurt or change or take away from or add to the thick syrupy infinite perfection that is the essence of who you are.
How to do this – how you go about realising that the contents of consciousness are just empty appearances on the infinite syrup of your being – well, that’s not only a good question, it’s THE question.
And right now I don’t really have an answer.
Ease. Oneness. Immersion in life. Realisation. Flow. God. Syrup.
The question that, in essence, all spiritual traditions and practises seek to answer.
I could just bombard you with sugar-coated rhetoric and big words. That’s what most people do.
But I don’t know how to answer it.
I have had experiences of it. Some days taste like licking the universe’s face. Others taste like licking its bum. Ups and downs. But I do know that awareness of and being open to the possibility that you don’t need anything to be you and that the essence of who you are is changeless allows you to let go of wanting to believe the yuck. It makes it less real. And you realise how stupid it is to take life too seriously. Woomkajam!! Ease naturally flows into your life.
Consciously feeling what it feels like when the anxiety and anger and yuck comes up and being aware of it when it does and feeling the space around it will give you glimpses of how seriously you ordinarily take life and how playful life really is.
Be aware of the yuck tendencies and consciously inquire within as to whether the anxiety and resistance and yuck is who you are or just an appearance in the infinite perfection of your true nature.
The glimpses will come when you consciously pour your awareness into the yuck.
It lets you see how beautiful and yum it is to live a life of ease.
It lets you realise that you don’t need to be a savage banshee.
Let me know how it goes.
P.S. I’m putting together a monthly movie night at the treehouse that is my home in Cape Town. It’s called “The Reel Love” and it’s going to be magic. Popcorn and Secret Lemonade will be served. First one is on Sunday 31 January. Email / Facebook me for info.
P.S. 2. Syrupy magic happening here soon so make sure you’re subscribe free+quick
Links to this article from other sites
- Personal Development and well being carnival 17 Jan 2010 | KARTHIK RAJ G
- The SillyPutty Nature of Life | Unleash Reality
- Interview with Alex from Unleash Reality | Reach Our Dreams