Stephen Victor

Losing Our Minds and Coming to Our Senses

​Biologists tell us there are seven signs of life: moving, respiration, sensitivity, growth, reproduction, excretion and nutrition. Mystic Paul Richards suggests differently. Life is creativity, he says. No creativity—no life. There are gradations of life: more creativity—more life. He’s onto something more significant than we are wont to appreciate.

I’m not suggesting everyone sculpt, cook gourmet foods or write poetry but rather that we open ourselves to relationships with the Mystery’s muse forces beyond mind, body and imagination. In doing so our lives open to the Mystery’s Enchantment and our actions—from the nuanced to the overt—radiate something transcendent.

Life itself is Enchantment. It can’t be measured or sussed out rationally. It is instead experienced directly. Most of us deny Enchantment’s existence as we rarely allow ourselves to fully and directly experience our lives via our senses. Enchantment is not eschewing us nor does She limit Her visitations. Rather, it is our own unwitting bent on over-thinking our lives that precludes Her touch. Our penchant for thought is a form of collateral damage. A consequence of our personal histories. This can be changed. We can come to our senses.

I’m no one to talk. I jumped from the ship of my body as a child and roamed the ethers. Seemed more pleasant than consigning myself to feeling. My curiosity and interest in learning and understanding drew me to the refuge of my thinking mind and imagination. I can tell you that living at distance and living conceptually don’t render a good life.

I am only now beginning to know the lightness of Being which ensues from directly experiencing my sentience—the ups and the downs. I am only now knowing the life giving beauty of creativity. Only now perceiving Enchantment’s delight. Only now being disciplined enough to let go of dispiriting and disheartening habits of thought and action. Only now disciplining myself to creative ends.

How do we do this?

It’s giving ourselves over to magnificent music or getting lost in the myriad flavors and warmth of a meal, coffee or a glass of wine… It’s feeling the wind tousling our hair; basking in a lover’s touch, or feeling heartened in seeing the light in another’s eyes… It’s watching the way happy people move as they go about their day…, and seeing the angle of falling rain, and becoming entranced by the concentric circles forming in puddles…

Get out of the city. Go to the park. Nature is so compelling, so solicitous of our what’s real in us…

Reading is no substitute for direct sensory experience. At their best, words inspire and rouse us to come to our senses. Here are a few such words by poet William Stafford:
Got up on a cool morning. Leaned out a window.
No cloud, no wind. Air that flowers held
for awhile. Some dove somewhere.

Don’t believe me. Experience life for yourself.

Engage with Your Moment.