Tinnitus of the mind

Thai Festival

I was chatting to colleagues in between lessons yesterday, and the topic of ghosts and paranormal experiences came up. I told them the story of when I heard dragons singing on the North China plains. It would be fair to describe their response as ‘sceptical’. It’s probably a good thing that I didn’t tell them about Hell’s General.

Last year, I was telling an old friend, someone I’ve known for nearly thirty years, that I want eventually to train as an acupuncturist. She immediately dismissed it as “witchcraft”. One of my colleagues yesterday spoke of “bullshit”. Once upon a time, I would have agreed, but my life has taken me far beyond the bubble of mainstream Western society’s obsession with materialism. Spirit possession is a living tradition in Asia, not to mention the Caribbean. Meditation causes physical and genetic change. Science is beginning to understand that acupuncture really works, and why.

It struck me this morning that Western culture is like a tinnitus of the mind. We overload our minds with the noise of pop culture and materialistic acquisition to such an extent that we can only perceive gross sensations. We have lost, almost deliberately, the mental sensitivity needed to perceive the subtler processes at work in our physical bodies, and in the world around us. Other cultures haven’t yet – though for most it may be a matter of time before Western culture overwhelms them.

Image credit: The Nine Emperor Gods by Nestor Lacle on Flickr. Used under a Creative Commons license.

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