Yes, because I don’t have direct evidence of that fact. That’s not to say I don’t believe you - of course I do, and academically I endorse a position called panprotopsychism which argues that thoughts and physical reality both emerge from a neutral third substance. That implies that thoughts can shape physical reality in the same way that physical reality can shape thoughts. However, that’s not enough to convince my subconscious, which is hardwired to need to ‘see to believe’, thus why I went into science in the first place. The cure to my problem would be directly experiencing some incontrovertible phenomenon that my subconscious can’t resolve without accepting that absolute materialism is false.
You’re right, it’s important to define what we honestly want. For me, here are some of the big ticket items:
- To be comfortable in my body, which would mean healing my back, losing a fair bit of weight, gaining muscle, and also the strange part which is having physical features characteristic of my contheriotype (I am a contherian, meaning I spiritually identify as part animal continuously).
- To not have to face my own mortality, and that of those I love, without first knowing what happens when we die. This is the logic behind why I went into the biological sciences - my research is in the biology of ageing. I aimed to buy more time. I failed.
- To find something meaningful to do with my life that can also earn me a decent living. I’m divorced and have zero buffer, which at this point is 90% of the reason why I don’t quit grad school right now - I need the money.
@LaStrega You’re right that it’ll be necessary to improve my meditative skill, but the hurdle to overcome is this: if you could hear the inside of my mind, it’s so loud that it’s deafening. So many thoughts about everything you can think of just jumbled around in there. They are impossibly distracting. What do I do to get over that?
I used to do this regularly when I was doing my undergrad degree - the university I went to bordered a large forest that I would take walks in during lunchtime. There was this clearing I used to go to, that probably very few people knew about because it was off an unmarked trail, where I would go to collect my thoughts and feel more in tune with the subtle world. Alas, in grad school my lab is in the biggest city here, which I’ve come to call the ‘concrete jungle’ - there’s zero greenery and just concrete skyscraper after concrete skyscraper. I hate it. But I may take your suggestion and try to take a small detour on the way into the city to a place I know with a woods and lake.
I’ve ordered a brass engraved pendant with Marbas’ sigil for exactly this reason - to be able to wear his seal and connect with him through it any time I have a moment to myself, and to have him as an ongoing presence at all times in my life. I also mean it to act as a kind of stable portal, a doorway between this physical world and the spirit world Marbas inhabits.
But you’re right, I need to make time to have time, and I like the idea of enn chants during my morning getting ready routine - I’m definitely going to do this.
I didn’t actually know this term up until you using it, but I just looked it up, and that makes perfect sense. I found an article with an overview of what shadow work is and the techniques used to do it - is this essentially what you mean, and are there other resources you would recommend?
@anon37593562 I hadn’t thought of tai chi, but that’s a great idea! I will look up that book and give it a read. As for spine health, unfortunately good posture is not physically possible for me… my spine is physically rotated along its length by about 45 degrees. I do have several doctors, one of which prescribes heavy painkillers (tramadol, which is an opioid) that help immensely, but it’s not enough. Another of my doctors is an interventional anesthesiologist who is in the process of diagnosing which nerves my pain comes from so that he can kill them by RF ablation, and may try epidural injections too. My back is unfortunately really, really bad.
Yes, and if there was a surgery to fix my back, I would jump at the opportunity. The only surgery available here for my scoliosis is spinal fusion (they fuse your vertebrae into one big bone after repositioning them), which my surgeon openly admitted increases pain in about half of patients and is mostly cosmetic. The one other surgical procedure is called vertebral body tethering (VBT) which is much newer, but there are no surgeons here who know how to do it yet, and I can’t travel out of province because then I’d have to pay out of pocket which I can’t do. I’m just hoping VBT becomes available here eventually.
@sailing Thanks, I appreciate that. Yeah, I agree - I’ve got to just push through this and finish. I had a bad week last week after finding out that results I got from a 2-week experiment were bullshit/just artifact, but I’m thinking a little more clearly now and I have an idea about what went wrong. You sound like you’ve been to grad school too - what subject did you do?
I’m sorry about your back too, I know how much it sucks. My doctors say that I’ve got thoracolumbar scoliosis with both curves of the S-curve being around 45 degrees, and I’ve also got resulting disc compression with facet nerve impingement, plus muscle strain from my back muscles trying to stabilize my body when my spine fails to do so. The surgeon and one interventional anesthesiologist basically told me my options were bad and I’m stuck with opioid painkillers that I get from the pain clinic I go to. I have a new interventional anesthesiologist that’s experimenting with nerve blocks to find the nerves causing my pain so he can kill them by RF ablation, and if that doesn’t work out, we may try some epidurals.
Yes - on my to-do list is a possession rite with Marbas, who among other things is a healing spirit. I’ve ordered a sigil pendant with his sigil to use, and I’m also ordering storax incense (his preferred incense) and orange candles (his colour) for that. I’m a little nervous because possession is serious business and I’ve never done this before, but I put a lot of trust in Marbas, and I figure this is worth any risk if he can help.
@ErisKissedMeIntoFrog Sorry to hear about your back - you should look into a newer surgical technique called vertebral body tethering (VBT). There aren’t any surgeons where I am that do it, but maybe there are some near you.