The summer is still hanging on even though it’s about to be fall. It has been the hottest September in 160 years here in Sweden. I absolutely loathe heatwaves. I miss rainy days, dark clouds, stormy weather, grey skies and fresh air. But I guess these are the last days of summer.
From “Holy Hell” (2016)
I watched a great documentary on Netflix yesterday – “Holy Hell”, about a charismatic spiritual teacher who formed a cult in California in the 80’s, called “Buddafield” and the filmmaker was documenting the events and lives of the members, with his camera, during his 22 years with the cult. I am very creeped out by most religious beliefs and spirituality that is based on a leader (a God or a teacher) and the submission of his followers. People might think I’m into religious spirituality because I’m writing so much about the inner core and how to embrace the inner world. But I’m not. I am so not into that at all.
“Ship of Fools” by Mia Makila. 2008
When you hear religious or spiritual people talk about being filled with light and energy from reaching some kind of spiritual ecstasy, they always describe an “out of body experience”, like the spirit has been liberated from the physical body. To me this is the opposite of what I want to experience. For a person who has been dealing with PTSD for two decades, and a dissasociative disorder, where you separate your mind from your body to survive traumatic experiences and memories, there is nothing holy or liberating about the out of body experience.
Once you start to protecting yourself with the dissasociative state, it is hard to go back to experiencing things with both body and mind connected. I still separate myself at times, even though I’m not going through another trauma. I separate during sex. In arguments. In situations where I don’t feel safe.
This is also visible in my art from a year that was particular hard for me – where I only created octopuses. An octopus doesn’t have a body, only a big head with tentacles dangling underneath:
From my old blog:
“It was so easy for me to separate my emotional experiences from my carnal existence. In some situations I could actually feel how I disappeared, how I drifted, far, far away from myself and abandoned my body – just as I felt abandoned by life and love.
When you are sexually, emotionally or physically humiliated and destroyed, you feel completely invisible. To not be seen, to be ignored, to not be listened to – even though you are pleading for your life, trying to connect with the abuser to stop the violence and humiliation,, you are completely extinguished as a human being, not only emotionally but in a way even physically. You feel invisible. Your body is still there, but it doesn’t matter. You are just an object, a meat blob. Like closing your eyes but still being able to see everything that is happening around you, everything that is happening – to you.”
The most significant thing for me now is to reconnect and experience life (and myself) with everything I am. It is the most spiritual thing I can imagine – to experience happiness, creativity and pleasure where I am deeply connected between mind, body and spirit.
It isn’t about finding a light in other people – or from a divine leader to be able fill the void inside your soul, it’s all about finding it within yourself and then do something wonderful with it – as a contribution to the external world. That is what spirituality is to me. A self-intimacy and self-compassion that turns into a balanced and warm energy that I want to share with other people. It is simply about taking responsibility for your own happiness and then sharing it with the world – or with somebody else who is your equal so you won’t lose that sense of inner balance and connection. The beautiful inside-the-body-experience.