PHENOMENONS occur, everywhere. One thing we’re probably not that savvy at, however, is detecting and responding appropriately to the phenomenon attached to the spiritual experience of both living life and living death. Life is hope and joy. Death is depression, hopelessness and desolation. We all cycle through ‘life and death’ throughout our lives.
The thing I’ve often struggled with, however, is predicting the times of spiritual death as they approach and finding ways of not to getting too despondent about them; they will occur after all.
This is the key. If only we can do the above—we’d be content.
We tend to ride the beautifully great waves—the exciting times—wonderfully well in life. Indeed we always want more of them, chock full of pleasure. But it’s not realistic. The boring, low and tougher times will also come. How we deal with them is crucial to our resilience.
As times of emotional, spiritual and even cognitive death come we can do one of two things: fight them off or allow them to just be. There are times for both responses, of course.
Sometimes we just need a break and to allow the cessation of one thing, perhaps broken with a nap or a pause of some kind to recharge the batteries, before the natural introduction of the next good thing. From a writing perspective, when the ideas dry up I know that a fleeting spiritual or cognitive death is imminent. Yet, I’ve experienced the flood of ideas after the dry time concludes enough times to know it always seems to return. I stress less now because of that.
Living the transitory spiritual death is akin to the poorness of spirit that Jesus spoke about in the Beattitudes. It accepts lack humbly, quietly and sincerely. Resources are not available and there’s no internal enragement opposing that situation. The soul sits Shiva with the spirit, the heart at an uncomfortable, resigned peace—one that confounds our understanding.
It’s a grand skill of life. Living and accepting both spiritual life and spiritual death—without complaint—come what may. That’s the ideal, anyway.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.