I don’t normally do this, but I wanted to expand on this week’s “Everyday Mysticism” post.
Because I am influenced by Buddhist philosophy, a calm, steady mind is my ideal. Since I struggle with anxiety and depression, maintaining a certain degree of stability and calmness is a necessity. Your mileage may vary.
Psychology Today lists 5 states of mind that determine our moods: Rational, Anxious, Depressed, Angry, Fearful, and Rebellious. Believe it or not, we need every single one of these states of mind, often as a way to signal dangerous or unhealthy behaviors.
The problem, I think, is when we stick to one state of mind too long. Being stuck in rationality can blind you to the flights of fancy that lead to creativity, artistry, and imaginative action. I’m living proof that too much depression can suck big time. Same with anxiety, anger, fear, and rebelliousness.
A healthy mind can travel through these various states smoothly and easily, with each state reflecting the mind’s situation accurately. Anger at injustice can stir change. Depression at a bad job situation can signal it’s time to move on. And rebelling against an unjust or unhealthy person or situation is a sign that the mind is not ready yet to give up.
Because I suffer from clinical anxiety and depression, pursuing a rational, calm state of mind can be extremely healing and comforting to me. But the last thing I want when I’m say, writing an adventure story, is a Zen state of absolute calm.
Some of us have tamed our minds, experiencing the world through a steady mist of calm and peace. Others are still wild, passionate and adventurous, full of energy and ambition. Still others live in a state of meticulous order, rationality, and curiosity.
And you know what? It’s all good.
Our minds are amazing tools through which we experience and interact with the world. Thank the deities for the variety we have on this planet. Now, if only we can all just get along with each other!