I’ve always been interested in the idea that heaven and hell symbolise particular psychological states rather than places we go after death. That those stuck in compulsions of greed, hatred, judgement and envy are occupying a hellish mind state where as those who work to cultivate compassion and kindness appear to exist in a heavenly realm.
I’ve certainly experienced the vast difference. Those days that you step outside and the world seems to be hard, dangerous and bleak or the times when everything appears bright, cheerful and your interactions are filled with joy. It’s obvious that the way we perceive the world in those times is a projection of our own inner state. That’s not to say that we aren’t all at some point touched by tragedy, heart-ache and illness, I’m not trying to diminish the difficulty in just existing sometimes but it is also interesting to see the different ways we integrate grief and sorrow in the long term.
I feel like a lot of us become overwhelmed by news media and can begin to have a skewed view of reality based on the quantity of negative information we receive. In my twenties I decided to significantly reduce my consumption of any news on the basis that if I wasn’t doing anything to change it then my awareness of suffering causes nothing but unnecessary sorrow and helplessness. We need people in the world who are willing to sacrifice everything for a cause, people like Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela are crucial figureheads for movements and no doubt accelerate the rate of change with their existence. Equally though not everyone needs to take on that role, it must be your calling. For everyone else I believe the key factor is being a compassionate force in your immediate circle, I like the way Jack Kornfield describes it ‘tend to the garden you can touch’. We could all worry that we’re not doing enough on a global level but are we being present and kind with the lady at the checkout in the supermarket, or the taxi driver, or our partners. I believe that must be the foundation for any positive change.
The older I get the more I realise that we all occupy different realities, our ways of seeing the world based on brain chemistry, upbringing and experience create brain states that mean we experience the world very differently. The idea of a material world that we all perceive in the same way is no longer scientifically accurate.
I think this is one of the great lessons of a long-term relationship. If we believe that we experience the world in the same way, then another’s behaviour can seem illogical, strange or selfish, but if we can try to understand their perceptions through conversation we are sometimes able to empathise with and understand their behaviour.
Ultimately, I believe that honest self-reflection and non-judgement of ourselves and others are key in beginning to experience peaceful mind states. I am in no way there but I have seen glimpses of it and I know that in the moments I have opened up to it the world takes on a beautiful, magical quality, which can be hard to see amongst our daily struggles.
These earrings have three layers. The feather at the bottom represents truth, inspired by the ancient Egyptian symbology. The middle symbol represents the world and our perception. The crescent moon at the top represents the heavenly realm.
- These pieces are handmade to order. As a result of each piece of jewellery being specifically made to your specifications, the normal processing time is 3-5 working days before dispatch.
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Wherever possible Eco Recycled Sterling Silver will be used in the production of our jewellery.