Column #7 Motherland magazine

Recently, I had a very powerful dream. I was wiping excrement from my eyes. It was somehow coming from inside them, leaking. The content of the dream was, in theory, disturbing. I’m surprised to write that I didn’t find it disturbing. No, it made me think. I started to think about what kind of internal world would have to exist in order for that to happen. I know, I know. This isn’t particularly nice to imagine. But it makes perfect sense. Whatever is going on inside will influence how I see things. It will change my vision. This I knew, in theory. It’s pretty obvious, in theory. When accompanied by that image, though, it resonated with me much more. If this happened to you, would you change what you were eating?

Probably, yes. I don’t need to go into the niceties of how faeces is made: suffice to say, you don’t eat it to make it. You ingest all kinds of other things that are edible first. This has got to hold true for thought-life and emotions too: what you feed on will come out, and I think it will come out in how you see the world.

So here’s what I’m asking myself: in any given situation, am I ingesting jealousy? Am I chewing on a pejorative feeling towards someone? Do I identify negative incidents that seem to confirm my grudges, and suck on them like sweeties? Or am I just munching away on anything and everything, distracted, like when I’m zoned out in front of the TV eating crisps?

I had a thought around a year ago of taking the time to imagine myself eating whatever good experiences I was having. Whether it was just the momentary enjoyment of noticing a tree in sunlight, or an edifying time with people close to me, I was going to try to picture myself eating the good substance of it. Like making the intangible tangible. It was as if deliberately ingesting those things would make a difference to what I would then produce. I did it for a while, and then forgot. This idea now seems like the perfect counterbalance to my horror-show dream. It feels like two very clear choices, with two very clear consequences, for an everyday existence.

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