Ever Onward: The Question of Cravings

Ever Onward

When desire crosses a certain threshold, becoming more immediate, pulling you by the collar to demand your attention, it takes on new dimensions. When things like this happen, we need new words. Desires become cravings.

Cravings often present us with either a sense of conflict–something to battle against and overcome;- or guilt–we shamefully submit to something that we feel powerless to resist.

foodaddiction

We can crave certain foods, relationships, the idea of what a certain lifestyle will provide us, and all sorts of experiences.

Cravings are visceral. Invariably, they imply a very physical component. We feel cravings in our bodies, though they often have roots in emotional longings. They remind us of the ebb and flow, and ultimate unity, of the physical and non-physical.

And the reminding doesn’t have to stop there. We can learn to utilize cravings as signposts, calling us to make distinctions around what is true and real for us.

The whole subject is near and dear to me at the time of this writing because I’ve been going through a cleansing fast and diet transition over the last couple of weeks (write what you know!) The experience got me thinking:

What are cravings exactly?

I concluded that cravings are the more pronounced or extreme aspects of our habits, and even beliefs.

Cravings are not necessarily addictions, however, addictions, by nature, necessarily contain cravings.

We’ve all heard the standard definition of addictions: you can tell you have one when it disrupts the other areas of your life. Addiction throws you into a great imbalance. So the first thing to determine is if your craving functions as part of a larger addiction.

According to Merriam-Webster a craving is: “an intense, urgent, or abnormal desire or longing.” This doesn’t necessarily convey a blanket “bad” connotation. The word “abnormal” probably comes closest. But we live in a world where great leaders, great love, great courage, are often abnormal.

Understanding that full blown addictions are a different topic, we’ll focus on a more benign and nuanced sitting-stillexploration of cravings by drilling it down this way: sitting with and getting into the message of your cravings  puts you in touch with an extremely personal, fundamental, and often challenging question.

If you start fighting a craving, and then turn your attention inward,  you’ll arrive at this question:

Do I really need to form a healthier habit, or am I fighting against something that is actually in my best interest?

In other words, what’s your better instinct? And what does a “healthier habit” even mean to you?

The question brings you smack up against the concern so many of us have in this age of information, which like anything can be a two-edged sword:

Do I listen to the advice of others (assuming they have qualified themselves), or myself?

In personal development and spiritual literature, we always hear that listening to your inner voice is the way to imagesgo…and it is, generally speaking. But there are a couple of kickers here.

First, you are not  an island, so sometimes the wisdom you need to hear comes through others.

Secondly, cravings can masquerade as, or morph, our innermost voice. Justification and excuses easily creep in. And this is where confronting cravings can be a spiritual exercise. It takes a degree of discipline and inner fine tuning to separate the wheat from the chaff.

And maybe, your craving is indeed of the positive, constructive variety–what others may scoff at as a futile obsession could be your call to greatness. History tells us that story again and again.

Confronting this inner reality brings you to a room inside yourself where you are called to sit quietly and discern what is in your highest good and the good of the all. And there’s one more kicker here. As many spiritual seekers know:

Things change.

Perhaps you turned a corner and overcame a habit, only to find out that after some time of living with the new habits, those too began to wear thin and reveal cracks. This is where we need to be easy on ourselves, remembering it’s an eternal adventure we’re on, and we’ll always be making new distinctions and evolving.

imagesmonkeybar

It’s all play.

We’re all just swinging across the monkey bars, making our way. Just keep swinging from one monkey bar to the next.

Keep going for what feels good and true and expansive and what you’re at peace with. The expression of that will grow, and yes, changes; you will be lead to constantly form new skin then shed it.

As for slicing through the lessons our cravings put us up against, there are a few things we can do. The first is something very familiar: practicing gratitude. The cravings, like emotions, are a communication signal, and therefore, contain a treasure of self-knowledge waiting there for you, if you choose to unlock it. That’s certainly grounds for a thank you!

Secondly: truly ask, what’s real, and what’s just your mind’s excuses? Commit in the beginning to delve into your craving’s message.

Related to that, a third action to take  is asking what this reveals about your current belief system, your assumptions, your personal and universal “rules.”

To consider the common scenario of  food cravings: it may not be so simple as to say “oh, I was craving something so my body must have needed it.”

It’s well known that parasites, yeasts, and all kinds of nasty stuff who use your warm body as a host feed off of certain sugars, bread products, processed foods, etc. Like any living organism, they’re designed to survive and thus affect your chemistry, making you think you want something, when it’s really for them. That’s why cleansing is a paramount first step in a diet change. archangel-michael-art

We can look to that as a metaphor: there are parasitic thought forms that “infest” us when we agree to certain beliefs or carry out business as usual for certain groups we may be a part of. So again, this is where we are called to strength, cleansing, a diligent personal path; being a spiritual warrior.

It’s something you must go alone.

Only you can determine how you have cleansed yourself, and what your desires and cravings mean. Some people feel that they can easily transcend the parasite question (physical or thought form), or that it’s too simplistic an argument.

Certainly, hearing such an idea and then worrying about being controlled by something outside of yourself just creates more fear, and trading one fear for another is probably not what you want.

To continue with the subject of food (literally and as a metaphor), some say they or others can eat any kind of food and transmute the content. Or that while food may help a lot, consciousness trumps it. There are certainly tuned-in people who eat fast food, as well as miserable people with pristine diets.

All of it brings us back to this: we are extremely dynamic and quantum beings. While the simplest answers may be the most useful, and the fundamentals of love and presence remain as our alpha and omega, our navigation of this life brings with it mysteries and complexities.

My own explorations of cravings left me both edified and humbled, helping_handsreminding me again how individuals make choices for reasons I can never sit in judgement of.

Let’s all commit to our own presence and learning as we attempt to handle the forces that influence us, offer help to those who seek it from us, and be gentle and forgiving to ourselves and each other as we all make our way across the monkey bars.

—–

—-

——JD3

Jared Domenico is, among other things, a musician, energy healer, and communicator. His Chakra Center column, Ever Onward, often utilizes topics that are atypical to spiritual seekers as springboards to discuss transmutation and growth, and to create re-framed perspectives, more understanding, and broadened points of reference. JaredDomenico.com, which started in Feb. 2013, is where you can find him online.

 

Ever Onward: The Divine Ridiculous

Ever Onward

“The fastest way to enlightenment is to lighten up.”

-Bashar

“What is important is to spread confusion, not eliminate it.”

-Salvador Dalí

~

I’m sitting in front of my computer, trying to start this article. I generally  know what I want to convey, I just do not know where to begin. It’s not that I lack the vision or ideas; I’ve found a topic near and dear to me; the writing should flow easily.

It’s also not procrastination out of fear or pain. I’m just…tired. Not feeling much of anything. The bed looks too tempting. What is this exactly? What’s missing?

It hits me:

I’m not in the right state.

And that’s exactly what I’m trying to write about. State. A particular state.

Addressing the topic of state in general terms (it’s a big cornerstone of human picture-is-unrelated-48potential wayshowers like Anthony Robbins), can be saved for other articles.

I want to talk about logic-bending, random, ridiculous humor, the states it provides, and what that can do for us.

It’s well-known that laughter in general is great for our health, as hi-lighted by this Chakra Center article. And it’s quite apparent that sense of humor is personal and runs a wide gamut. But there’s something distinct about the absurd ridiculousness to which I refer.

The classic setup-punchline takes our expectations in a specific setting and injects a surprise. Ridiculousness, on the other hand, transcends the order of the traditional setup-punchline, however sublime that structure may be when executed well. Ridiculousness is all surprise. “Regular life” itself, with all its attendant assumptions, is the setup. In ridiculousness, everything is punchline.

Humor based on social commentary picks apart artificial facades that people put up. It can provide a much-needed jester role in society, as long as it’s not done solely out of mean-spiritedness.

Lewd, base, vulgar humor plays on many people’s guilts, fears, discomforts, secrets, and/or, let’s face it, just plain immaturity. In its nobler forms (I realize the word choice) it can counterbalance limiting and questionable societal conditioning. However, it often just perpetuates a dense vibration.

Wash Triceratops.data

Ridiculousness distinguishes itself by shocking our sense of order. It induces a trance, a state, a laughing place where our minds are blown and freedom from all sorts of calcified and rigid ideas is offered. It can be a sword slicing through the Gordian Knot of  limiting assumptions that exist around us in our culture, and in our own beliefs.

Personally, I feel it’s no exaggeration to say that my adolescent experience with this, spent in a consistent state of hysterics (no drugs involved, just as a matter of fact) directly laid the groundwork for the intuitive leaps I’ve had to make as an energetic healer, and as an artist. I literally feel that my friends and I (unintentionally at the time) used this humor to create a buffer that repelled all sorts of social programming while growing up.

One style of ridiculousness relies on stream of consciousness, free associations. I used to love playing a certain game as a kid on sleepovers, pre-teen years. A friend would call out a word and you’d have to say something else in response, whatever came to your mind, immediately, no hesitation. It would go back and forth, a mental tennis match.

Pigeons. Apple sauce. Nudist colonies. Zimbabwe. West. Graveyard. Parmesan Cheese. Regret…”

Of course, it was hard to get far without cracking up. Funny enough, years later, I’d have to do the same thing during rehearsals as a member of an improv troupe. Such exercises help to create a group mind amongst the performers, a necessary element when you have to get on stage with your fellow cast mates and create unscripted scenes on the fly.

Here’s The Kids In The Hall demonstrating that stream of conscious thing, albeit structured and paced as a sketch:

Another facet of ridiculousness is where seemingly unrelated things are juxtaposed. This video takes a Public Service Announcements that used to end the old GI Joe cartoons and dubs in new dialogue:

And, whether intentionally or not, sometimes so much is thrown at the audience that our logical compass spins out of control entirely. We have no reference points. Asking why a particular thing happens at a particular time becomes futile:

The basic thrust of absurdity can veer off in different directions according to the energy and worldview of an individual. So in a different context, this type of thing can express as a nihilistic outlook where life is seen as utterly random and meaningless, leading to a sense of despair.

The humor and approach I’m speaking of offers a playful celebration, a way to re-arrange what’s been handed to us as the givens in life.

The state that this type of humor gets you into is very right-brained, flowing, web-like, non-linear. It can create a crack in the door of your mind, the door that attempts to draw up a boundary as to what “makes sense” or “works.” It can cultivate inspiration, and take us more deeply into the subconscious.

Artists and scientists alike will tell you that many of their greatest ideas and insights come at odd times, with intuitive leaps, often when they’re not even thinking directly about their work.

Furthermore, the hysterical state is commonly found in the rituals of cultures that live in communion with the Earth, helping access the subtle realms.

That eureka moment of the creative artist/scientist, or the wild ecstasy of the medicine man dancing into a trance Eurekaaround the fire, are both states that ridiculousness can help us activate in the moments we succumb to it, or cultivate in its aftermath.

Again, to relate to my own life, the constant exercises in ridiculousness I willingly and joyously subjected myself to while growing up (not just consuming, but creating ridiculousness through mock radio shows, joke songs, writings, and videos with friends) sometimes provided a prophetic element.

While we didn’t analyze it too much, my friends and I certainly took notice that what came through in our creations sometimes had an eerie side effect of psychic activity–intuiting things about other people and situations before they happened, and of course the telepathic group mind we experienced amongst ourselves.

salvador-dali

General absurdity in art grew as an early 20th century phenomenon (hola, señor Dalí) and its offshoot of ridiculous humor came to the fore in popular culture in more recent decades. This is no coincidence, as more people find dissatisfaction with the elements of modern life that are too rigid and ordered. We sense that sometimes it’s what we’re told to take seriously that is truly meaningless.

The tone expressed through absurdist art and now, random humor, reveals one of the instinctive ways people are trying to squirm out of the shackles, questioning what we’re supposed to accept.

This shared aesthetic of ridiculousness, especially understood and propagated by the younger generations, is what enabled a video like Gangam Style to become a worldwide phenomenon:

Elsewhere in pop culture, we now see ridiculousness even in commercials. The parties who green light the ad campaigns for large corporations have caught on that more and more people are speaking this language:

The fact that it’s in commercials doesn’t upset me. Anything will be used and exploited at some point; the bottom line is that the energy is still out there.

It could be one of the many things that will transform the beast of Taker culture, with its story of separateness and scarcity that’s hypnotized many, from within.

I just have to laugh.

~

2nd image from top credit: The Surrender by Joseph Griffith

—— JARD0267

Jared Domenico is, among other things, a musician, energy healer, and communicator. His Chakra Center column, Ever Onward, often utilizes topics that are atypical to spiritual seekers as springboards to discuss transmutation and growth, and to create re-framed perspectives, more understanding, and broadened points of reference. JaredDomenico.com, which started in Feb. 2013, is where you can find him online.