Saturday, July 11, 2015

It happened one day

I have committed to memory a future date that I’ve determined will be the day of my demise.  It is not a suicide day, at all, but a goal to reach, a daring and lofty horizon beyond one-hundred, giving me forty more years.  If I make it to that day and am still ticking, I may have to sheepishly (if that emotion remains in my palette) ignore the majesty of my predictive reification and keep shuffling on.

I do not believe in magic or in the lasting effects of positive thinking (cognitive therapy with the emperor’s clothes off).  I don’t intend to change my lifestyle, exercise, eat better (I’m already a moderate health food nut) or act more cautiously – do anything specific toward my goal.  And, there is no quality of either hope or faith in the determination.  I don’t believe it is true; it just seems very likely now that it’s mine.

So what is going on?

Maybe it is magical thinking, of a sort.  How the idea happened, I don’t remember, but I know it came to me as a holistic creation rather than a cognition.  It featured a dual feeling of strength and happiness at the molecular level – deeper than gut level – a feeling that my life had changed from the inside.  When I remember it, there is an instant transformative sensation, as if some longevity power is happening now.  And yet it is so thin and transparent that it disappears most of the time, is forgotten and doesn’t undergird feeling or experience in a day.

This is not spiritual, but is it like religious feeling, without religious belief?

There is an inkling of holistic sense to this.  Psychosomatic (mindbody) psychology knows that pent-up, pressurized emotional pain makes us sick, damages the body.  Repression and denial are integral to this process, because feelings that are aired, at least to the mind, are not stored underground.  Years ago I ceased to be a represser and denier of at least accessible depths.  The resulting emotional news, over two decades, has sharpened my mind and what might be called my sensed philosophy.  From there, I’d say, came the unique declaration.

Once this came true, I felt both relief and challenge.  I’m no longer stumbling day to day, assuming the final pothole could open under my feet at any time.  On the other hand, I’ve never been ambitious, with far-reaching goals.  Now, I may have to think of the long run.

Another way to look at this is – What a chicken!  Shouldn’t there be enough value in each moment – life itself – without coloring it with a guaranteed long future (or afterlife)?  That’s the non-religious person’s belief.  But the non-religious dysthymic* person may like a bit of self-made magic – add some sugar to that tea.

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Comments are welcome, but I'd suggest you first read "Feeling-centered therapy" and "Ocean and boat" for a basic introduction to my kind of theory and therapy.