The emotional body as acupuncture to the fabric of myth.
This phrase is one I arrived at while I was writing my thesis in graduate school. I was attempting to describe what I felt like I was doing with making art. The sort of sensory provocation I was hoping to reach, and the conversation I wanted to talk about. Ten words. A short phrase, that seemed somehow coded or difficult to understand. A lot of people looked at me like I had been smoking something. Smoking something might have actually been a good idea, but instead-as I tend to do-I go to work on seeing how I can illustrate or show what I mean by the idea that an emotional body can have a purpose, within and beyond the bodies in which we live.
Pain, struggle or unease started this idea. These kinds of discomforting sensations are not the one and only grail of service to cutting through myth, but I use such as a site since they are the most often pushed away. The discomforted feelings or thoughts are the ones people tend to not be aware of. They are the bad guys, and so humans lock them up, compartmentalise these things, institutionalize, medicate, and other from themselves in someway. Not all people do this, but more often than not I see this as a tendency, and one that doesn’t have to be. Of course intense joy and pleasure can also be of service to severing or poking holes at the fabric of myth, but these things are lusted after. People seek and hunt down feel good feelings. And it makes sense. Feeling good helps us stay alive longer. The strange part about it to me is at some point I located joy and love and feeling good as the most dominant and prominent sensation available all the time. I saw it as a choice. But then there was the trickier, stickier sense that perhaps I had been using my mind to system override the pain. And when there would be some sort of mini-catalmlysmic event, a broken or bruised this thing or that, the pain I hadn’t felt sprang up in a big way. And the after-boom was quite soul crushing…as the access to the feeling good felt further and further away. After enough of these tremendous hurting incidents, I started to wonder if the continual joy stream was somewhat of another fabric wave function….similar to how waves on the surface of the ocean look a certain way, but there are also waves deep within the ocean. What about those waves?
I have learned a great deal about the emotional body as a concept from practicing yoga. It sounds a bit like the emotional body is separate from the whole body. It is not, however to talk about a specific part of the body, similar to how things are studied in science, I felt like these readings I had learned about the emotional body did that sort of thing as a means to depersonalize the information. When bringing the emotional body back into context with the whole of the body, I began to find emotional body as within the nervous system. And this nervous system something accessed and used in traditional chinese medicine to activate a healing response. By taking things apart and putting them back together with a different kind of understanding, the emotional body itself can be an acupuncture, something that services a healing function. With a little bit of pain, or any other very prominent emotion or noticeable feature sensation, can begin to poke holes also into myth.
Sometimes I think about myth as bullshit. Myth being a story, something that was made up. Something humans do to fill in the gaps. The unknown spaces that feel or seem like nothingness are prime spaces for making something up. What’s doing the making up? Some people will say the mind, the thoughts, some people will say the media, the input stream of data or search engine results, and others might say something about the body or the earth, and then there is always the everything and nothing probability factors. For the sake of this phrase “fabric of myth” it doesn’t matter what you or I believe in. Myth, in this instance becomes a fabric, a cover, a sheet, a veil, a skin, a surface. Myth becomes that which materializes out of the seeming nothingness. And fabric, has a tactile quality, something that can be touched. And if it can be touched, it can be sensed, felt. And that fits nicely right back into the body and acupuncture and senses.
What’s the impulse to punch holes or destroy myths? Stories, fables, these kinds of things are some of my favourite hobby time activities. Who doesn’t love a good book or movie? We can learn a great deal from them-or at least I always learn a lot from stories. Similar to art, many interpretations are available. I think of doing such a thing, punching holes in stories, as being a black hole to things that seem to happen over and over and over. Stuff people don’t seem to want in life-traumas, wars, mass shootings, suicide, rape, mental illness, brainwashing, corporate greed and poverty jailhousing- all the parts of life that seem to destroy life. Is there a way to suck them out a wormhole and into an alternate reality-expunge such things from this life. People say, oh but that’s not reality. Suffering is inevitable. Or why get rid of suffering when so much can be learned from it? or if things were good and enjoyable in life, would people be bored? Do humans really need conflict to remain actively engaged with their lives?
So destroying myths maybe doesn’t mean ridding the world of the bad guys of experience caring people would never want to bestow or witness, but it could imply an opportunity to create a new narrative. If people are going to go around continuing to make stuff up, to create realities and lives, then wouldn’t it be of some service to take a look at the possibility that whatever emotional experience is transpiring, may have a key within it. And this sense body of feeling, that cannot be seen, could very well be the most under-utilised tool we have available to ourselves in creating a life we want to see, touch, and feel. So that anytime there is pain, by going into the pain, and witnessing without judgment what that pain could be doing service to, is poking a hole in the fabric of a myth, a made up story, in that persons life. Something that was learned, and planted deeply into the the psyche-soma system that is their body, could very well be the pin-prick of an acupuncture needle to settle an ages old myth going on in the world. A hello, unignorable wake-up call, that the suffering from a made up story, the mental projections people are hurling at one another in fights, arguments, degrading words…that when examined and looked at with curiosity leads to the healing. The hole in the fabric allows a new aspect of narrative or story to come into the scene. The pain, allows for a different story to be authored. Perhaps one where people are paying attention more.
And this is the funny thing about paying attention to life. The days go by really fast. Idle time never exists. Because even when doing seemingly nothing, people become aware of how much is always going on, an utterly mind-boggling array of life impulses creating a fabric that exists whether or not we as humans exist. And that fabric is no myth at all. That fabric is life itself. Nature. And we, as humans, are that nature. We have only, in that moment of pain, forgotten.
So I have always to say to you
Your emotional body serves you as acupuncture to the fabric of myth.
And you are free to always go about writing your own life, and we are always free to go about creating our own world.