Tag Archives: mind

About Difficulties

Our mind deceives us cunningly. First, it seems to us that some challenges are beyond our strength and ability. Our thought is a nucleus of everything. Next, as a consequence of that thought, it is impossible to perform certain actions… In fact, even the most difficult human tasks are not so difficult as life without aspirations and ambitions that  leads to mental fatigue and irritability.

Migotka

 

We Should Strive for Harmony

“The language was silent, but the brain was working. This brain was looking for way. Shouldn’t I take revenge on that insolent, disrespectful girl!”
The revenge by Anton Chekhov

Language, words are unlimited potential. There is an infinite number of combinations to express content. But the lips are silent, and the head is working hard until it evaporates.

The human body is extremely flexible. It can make a boundless number of moves. But instead of moving, the muscles start to stiff from the jaw and neck, then stiffness affects the whole body.

The human mind is creative. It can create magical worlds without limitation. But unconsciously people choose to lead a bare existence.

And an unreserved number of actions you can take. But sleepiness, feeling dizzy, restlessness and  slowness of movement appear.

The lack of harmony between the word body, mind and deed is a basic limitation in life. Man as an imperfect being, always fails to reach this harmony. Thankfully, this unequalled idea is excellent, because man is a mortal creature. Obtaining  the perfect state of harmony would stop the stride and solidify the dullness. But when human does not try to strive for this harmony and prefers to live in the split, the problems arise.

 I think we would avoid serious troubles. If only we could find the right balance between words, deeds, body movement and thoughts. 

Migotka

Human or Machine

Use online translator, and you get a load of crap. This programmed machine can translate only to a small extent.
Leaving translations aside, let us look at everyday life. The human being can also act as a programmed machine. He does not use his inner wisdom. His true knowledge is being put to sleep. A man acting like an automaton succumbs to another automaton’s will. Consequently, we
achieve the explosive mixture.
Migotka

About Addiction

“Those who suffer from addiction usually have both decreased functioning in the prefrontal cortex (area of the brain) and overactivity in the cingulate gyrus (area of the brain).  On the one hand, the poor functioning of the prefrontal cortex affects perception and judgment, causes them not to think about the consequences of their own behavior.  On the other hand, there is a tendency to worry and think so much, that they are looking for immediate relief anyway they can.”
Healing the Mind:  The Nexus between Contemporary Psychology and Eastern Christian Practice by Erik Bohlin, M.A., LMHC

Addiction as Transmissible Disease

“You, Ilka, think so,” said the baron, “just because you do not know the life. You have recently told me that you are miserable; and yet you just have an outlook on life as sybarite that cannot distinguish copper from iron. How old are you? Seventeen? Beauty, it’s time to know the life! Life – it’s such a disgusting, nasty, sticky nonsense, such vulgar, aimless, unexplained staff that cannot resist a comparison even to a cesspit digged for being filled with any muck. It’s time to know! What do you want from life? You want it to smile, strew you flowers or gold coins? So? So do you want?”
Fon Zaynits blushed and put down his hand into his great hunting bag.
“If so, then you want impossible things! Life on Earth can only be an unbearable burden. If you want the unbearable things, piss off to the afterlife. Poison is always at your service… You child, that’s what you are! Silly you!”
A wicker bottle appeared out of the bag. Baron quickly raised it to his lips and greedily took a few sips.
“Life is disgusting!” He continued. “Its law is an abomination, an unwavering, constant position. It is given to a man as a punishment for his vulgarity… Sweet babe! If I were not so deeply aware of my vulgarity, I would have gone to the afterlife long ago. It would have been enough bullets… Suffer Arthur, I say to myself! You are worthy of these torments. Get, Arthur, your tribute! And you, girl, learn to philosophise by herself in such a way. It easier to live with such skill…”
Arthur took two sips.
“There is one element in the universe, reconciling slightly humans with their lives. This element, they say, is created by the devil, but… so be it! It removes thorns from my soul, for a limited period of time, of course. This element – in my bottle… Drink, Ilka! Took one sip! This is a good vodka…”
The Unnecessary Victory by Anton Chekhov

 

Passion Week and Boy’s Confession

In Passion Week

By Anton Chekhov

“Run, the church-bells are ringing! Be a good boy in church and don’t play! If you do, God will punish you!”

My mother slipped a few copper coins into my hand and then forgot all about me, as she ran into the kitchen with an iron that was growing cold. I knew I should not be allowed to eat or drink after confession, so before leaving home I choked down a crust of bread and drank two glasses of water. Spring was at its height. The street was a sea of brown mud through which ruts were already in process of being worn; the housetops and sidewalks were dry, and the tender young green of springtime was pushing up through last year’s dry grass under the fence rows. Muddy rivulets were babbling and murmuring down the gutters in which the sun did not disdain to lave its rays. Chips, bits of straw, and nutshells were floating swiftly down with the current, twisting and turning and catching on the dirty foam flakes. Whither, whither were they drifting? Would they not be swept from the gutter into the river, from the river into the sea, and from the sea into the mighty ocean? I tried to picture to myself the long and terrible journey before them, but my imagination failed even before reaching the river.

A cab drove by. The cabman was clucking to his horse and slapping the reins, unaware of two street-urchins hanging from the springs of his little carriage. I wanted to join these boys, but straightway remembered that I was on my way to confession, whereupon the boys appeared to me to be very wicked sinners indeed.

“God will ask them on the Last Judgment Day why they played tricks on a poor cabman,” I thought. “They will begin to make excuses, but the devil will grab them and throw them into eternal fire. But if they obey their fathers and mothers and give pennies and bread to the beggars, God will have mercy on them and will let them into Paradise.”

The church porch was sunny and dry. Not a soul was there; I opened the church door irresolutely and entered the building. There, in the dim light more fraught with melancholy and gloom for me than ever before, I became overwhelmed by the consciousness of my wickedness and sin. The first object that met my sight was a huge crucifixion with the Virgin and St. John the Baptist on either side of the cross. The lustres and shutters were hung with mourning black, the icon lamps were glimmering faintly, and the sun seemed to be purposely avoiding the church windows. The Mother of God and the favourite Disciple were depicted in profile silently gazing at that unutterable agony upon the cross, oblivious of my presence. I felt that I was a stranger to them, paltry and vile; that I could not help them by word or deed; that I was a horrid, worthless boy, fit only to chatter and be naughty and rough. I called to mind all my acquaintances, and they all seemed to me to be trivial and silly and wicked, incapable of consoling one atom the terrible grief before me. The murky twilight deepened, the Mother of God and John the Baptist seemed very lonely.

Behind the lectern where the candles were sold stood the old soldier Prokofi, now churchwarden’s assistant.

His eyebrows were raised and he was stroking his beard and whispering to an old woman.

“The service will begin directly after vespers this evening. There will be prayers after matins to-morrow at eight o’clock. Do you hear me? At eight o’clock.”

Between two large pillars near the rood-screen the penitents were standing in line waiting their turn for confession. Among them was Mitka, a ragged little brat with an ugly, shaven head, protruding ears, and small, wicked eyes. He was the son of Nastasia the washerwoman, and was a bully and a thief who filched apples from the fruit-stalls and had more than once made away with my knuckle-bones. He was now staring crossly at me and seemed to be exulting in the fact that he was going to confession before me. My heart swelled with rage and I tried not to look at him. From the bottom of my soul I was furious that this boy’s sins were about to be forgiven.

In front of him stood a richly dressed lady with a white plume in her hat. Clearly she was deeply agitated and tensely expectant, and one of her cheeks was burning with a feverish flush.

I waited five minutes, ten minutes–then a well-dressed young man with a long, thin neck came out from behind the screen. He had on high rubber goloshes, and I at once began dreaming of the day when I should buy a pair of goloshes like his for myself. I decided that I would certainly do so. And now came the lady’s turn. She shuddered and went behind the screen.

Through a crack I could see her approach the altar, prostrate herself, rise, and bow her head expectantly without looking at the priest. The priest’s back was turned toward the screen, and all I could see of him was his broad shoulders, his curly grey hair, and the chain around his neck from which a cross was suspended. Sighing, without looking at the lady, he began nodding his head and whispering rapidly, now raising, now lowering his voice. The lady listened meekly, guiltily almost, with downcast eyes, and answered him in a few words.

“What can be her sin?” I wondered, looking reverently at her beautiful, gentle face. “Forgive her, God, and make her happy!”

But now the priest was covering her head with the stole.

“I, Thy unworthy servant,” his voice rang out, “by the power vouchsafed me, forgive this woman and absolve her from sin–”

The lady prostrated herself once more, kissed the cross, and retired. Both her cheeks were flushed now, but her face was calm, and unclouded, and joyous.

“She is happy now,” I thought, my eye wandering from her to the priest pronouncing the absolution. “But how happy he must be who is able to forgive sin!”

It was Mitka’s turn next, and my heart suddenly boiled over with hatred for the little thief. I wanted to go behind the screen ahead of him, I wanted to be first. Mitka noticed the movement, and hit me on the head with a candle. I paid him back in his own coin, and for a moment sounds of panting and the breaking of candles were heard in the church. We were forcibly parted, and my enemy nervously and stiffly approached the altar and bowed to the ground, but what happened after that I was unable to see. All I could think of was that I was going next, after Mitka, and at that thought the objects around me danced and swam before my eyes. Mitka’s protruding ears grew larger than ever and melted into the back of his neck, the priest swayed, and the floor rocked under my feet.

The priest’s voice rang out:

“I, Thy unworthy servant–”

I found myself moving toward the screen. My feet seemed to be treading on air. I felt as if I were floating. I reached the altar, which was higher than my head. The weary, dispassionate face of the priest flashed for a moment across my vision, but after that I saw only his blue-lined sleeves and one corner of the stole. I felt his near presence, smelled the odour of his cassock, and heard his stern voice, and the cheek that was turned toward him began to burn. I lost much of what he said from excitement, but I answered him earnestly, in a voice that sounded to me as if it were not my own. I thought of the lonely Mother of God, and the Disciple, and the crucifixion, and my mother, and wanted to cry and ask for forgiveness.

“What is your name?” asked the priest, laying the stole over my head.

How relieved I now felt, and how light of heart! My sins were gone, I was sanctified. I could enter into Paradise. It seemed to me that I exhaled the same odour as the priest’s cassock, and I sniffed my sleeve as I came out from behind the screen and went to the deacon to register. The dim half-light of the church no longer struck me as gloomy, and I could now look calmly and without anger at Mitka.

“What is your name?” asked the deacon.

“Fedia.”

“Fedia, what?”

“I don’t know.”

“What is your daddy’s name?”

“Ivan.”

“And his other name?”

I was silent.

“How old are you?”

“Nine years old.”

On reaching home I went straight to bed to avoid seeing my family at supper. Shutting my eyes, I lay thinking of how glorious it would be to be martyred by Herod or some one; to live in a desert feeding bears like the hermit Seraphim; to pass one’s life in a cell with nothing to eat but wafers; to give away all one possessed to the poor; to make a pilgrimage to Kief. I could hear them laying the table in the dining-room; supper would soon be ready! There would be pickles and cabbage pasties and baked fish–oh, how hungry I was! I now felt willing to endure any torture whatsoever, to live in the desert without my mother, feeding bears out of my own hands, if only I could have just one little cabbage pasty first!

“Purify my heart, O God!” I prayed, pulling the bedclothes up over my head. “O guardian angels, save me from sin!”

Next morning, Thursday, I woke with a heart as serene and joyful as a spring day. I walked gaily and manfully to church, conscious that I was now a communicant and that I was wearing a beautiful and expensive shirt made from a silk dress left me by my grandmamma. Everything in church spoke of joy and happiness and springtime. The Mother of God and John the Baptist looked less sad than they had the evening before, and the faces of the communicants were radiant with anticipation. The past, it seemed, was all forgiven and forgotten. Mitka was there, washed and dressed in his Sunday best. I looked cheerfully at his protruding ears, and, to show that I bore him no malice, I said:

“You look fine to-day. If your hair didn’t stick up so and you weren’t so poorly dressed one might almost think your mother was a lady instead of a washer-woman. Come and play knuckle-bones with me on Easter Day!”

Mitka looked suspiciously at me and secretly threatened me with his fist.

The lady of yesterday was radiantly beautiful. She wore a light-blue dress fastened with a large, flashing brooch shaped like a horseshoe.

I stood and admired her, thinking that when I grew to be a man I should certainly marry a woman like her, but, remembering suddenly that to think of marriage was shameful, I stopped, and moved toward the choir where the deacon was already reading the prayers that concluded the service.

And what is taking place within adults’ minds during confessions?

Migotka

About Laziness

The effects of laziness are terrible.

“(…) however wretched he was, he did not want to change his position. . . . A heavy nightmarish lethargy gradually gained possession of him and fettered his limbs.”
Typhus by Anton Chekhov

The concept of laziness is understood superficially, however. The human condition overwhelmed by lethargy and laziness is more complex. There are many reasons of this indisposition: lack of believing in yourself, misunderstanding  about your importance in life, the choice of the unfathomable objectives; and ultimately: anxiety, dejection and depression.

Migotka

About Love and Hatred

“Hatred it seems can no more be forgotten than love. . . .”
Zinotchka by Anton Chekhov

“The Principle of Polarity embodies the truth that everything is dual; everything has two poles; everything has its pair of opposites, all of which were old Hermetic axioms. It explains the old paradoxes, that have perplexed so many, which have been stated as follows: Thesis and antithesis are identical in nature, but different in degree; opposites are the same, differing only in degree; the pairs of opposites may be reconciled; extremes meet; everything is and isn’t, at the same time; all truths are but half-truths; every truth is half-false; there are two sides to everything, etc., etc., etc. It explains that in everything there are two poles, or opposite aspects, and that opposites are really only the two extremes of the same thing, with many varying degrees between them. (…) Let us take a radical and extreme example – that of Love and Hate, two mental states apparently totally different. And yet there are degrees of Hate and degrees of Love, and a middle point in which we use the terms Like or Dislike, which shade into each other so gradually that sometimes we are at a loss to know whether we like or dislike or neither. And all are simply degrees of the same thing, as  will see if you will but think a moment. And, more than this (and considered of more importance by the Hermetists), it is possible to change the vibrations of Hate to the vibrations of Love, in one’s own mind, and in the minds of others. Many of you, who read these lines, have had personal experiences of the involuntary rapid transition from Love to Hate, and the reverse, in your own case and that of others. And you will therefore realize the possibility of this being accomplished by the use of the Will, by means of the Hermetic formulas. (…) In short, the Art of Polarization becomes a phase of Mental Alchemy known and practiced by the ancient and modern Hermetic Masters. An understanding of the Principle will enable one to change his own Polarity, as well as that of others, if he will devote the time and study necessary to master the art.”
The Kybalion

“Love can become a fertile ground for the emergence of hate. When the intensity and intimacy of love turns sour, hate may be generated. In these circumstances, hate serves as a channel of communication when other paths are blocked, and it functions to preserve the powerful closeness of the relationship, in which both connection and separation are impossible. Consider the following testimony of a man convicted of killing his wife (cited in the book, In the Name of Love): ‘You don’t always kill a woman or feel jealousy about a woman or shout at a woman because you hate her. No. Because you love her, that’s love.’ No doubt, love can be extremely dangerous, and people have committed the most horrific crimes in the name of love (…)”
Hating the One You Love – “I Hate You, but I Love You” by Aaron Ben-Zeév