Amethyst

I’m a bit of a shameless obsessive about having amethyst around.

The crown chakra connects you to the Universe and reminds you of your eternal connection to the grander, wider web of it all. When you are connected, you are with faith that things will be fine. Of course in the rational sense, this is meaningless as things will be fine normally, yet this connection to the divine existence is far more important than we first might expect.

It’s a sense of clear headedness and absence of the material that tethers us to the earth. With this, we can see our courses more clearly in the light of the Whole. The distractions of the tawdry are meaningless to us when we can access the higher part of ourselves and hold those things that tether us in contempt. When you are able to be free of what you fear to lose, you are one with the immortal because you have no fear only trust in the existence of nature.

What has this got to do with amethyst? In the spiritual sense, it cleanses, heals and protects – guiding you to the light of Saint Germain and the violet flame within his temple. It enhances intuition, your spiritual readiness and meditation ability. It calms you, from your rational mind to irrational wandering spirit and protects from the charred and sickly energies that stick to you like tar. I never believed in it myself before I started sleeping next to a large rock of the purple stuff, each night’s dreams becoming less and less terrifying. Each visit from the man in the hat and the long legged shadow that paralysed me to the spot became rarer and rarer. I’m not saying that this naturally occurring mineral is some godly thing that can cure sleep paralysis based on my singular experience and lack of totally hard evidence; I’m saying it doesn’t hurt to reflect on it.

This is another short post.

The message is clear here, for me and it’s more of a notice, a piece of direct advice to hit up Etsy and find a local seller of minerals.

I recommend:

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/MoonChildCrystalss?ref=simple-shop-header-name&listing_id=999070535

Try it for yourself, no harm I suppose if it doesn’t work, right?

Z3N0

Candles in the Dark

When you hold out a flame for someone the best you can to get them through the dark, what do you do when you stumble and they’ve left you behind? How are you supposed to feel, when one rock of two leaning against each other disappears, leaving you to metaphorically tumble down the mountain on your own? I don’t know what other analogy to use to describe it, this weird realisation that you’re not as integral to person as they are to you. Do we wait as we flounder? Wait for them and hope that they’ll reach out as you’ve right to reach out before? Or is it in vain?

If in vain, we are just left with this feeling of not rejection but isolation. Isolation in our own perception of how things are compared to how things really are. It leaves me to wonder and ask, are feelings of attraction and admiration mirages? Intangible things that deceive and delude, leaving us alone in the cold desert with only our own thoughts. It makes the whole process and exploration of finding some sort of happiness with another individual seem inherently toxic when we think about it in the stoic sense. It’s almost as if that desire for happiness over takes actual happiness.

Seeing things as they are, people as they are and not who we think they are to us – or we are to them – is, in my experience, a painful awakening. Like a beating heart in your hand turning to sand and spilling away. But in the end, it was always going to wasn’t it? A friendship, an affection, an attachment – all shifting sands.

Like candles in the dark, these things are brief and are prone to fading out.

How many candles have you cried over? None? Well, then, why shed tears over such things?

What have we to gain over such actions when we know the temporary nature of things?

Why am I upset? Ask yourself. Is it the effort you put into it? The money you’ve spent? The time?

What would you have done instead of spending those things? We can learn something from everything and everything has purpose, as I’ve said before.

“The recurrent cycles of the universe are the same, up and down, from eternity to eternity. And either the mind of the Whole has a specific impulse for each individual case – if so, you should welcome the result – or it had a single original impulse, from which all else follows in consequence: and why should you be anxious about that? The Whole is either a god – then all is well: or if purposeless – some sort of random arrangement of atoms or molecules – you should not be without purpose yourself. In a moment the earth will cover us all. Then the earth too will change, and then further successive changes to infinity. One reflecting on these waves of change and transformation, and the speed of their flow, will hold all mortal things in contempt.” – Meditations 9.28

It’s all in motion like blood around the body and it never stops and if it does then there will be nothing but the void until two tiny atoms crash into each other for the second big bang. Do we shed tears each time we exhale or inhale? Each time old cells die and others are born, and one hair falls from a follicle only to be replaced again, do we wallow in despair?

No. Fuck that.

Z3N0

The Snap

Yesterday I had a nap – not really a nap, more like lying on my back staring into space not exactly thinking about anything – to let my day melt. Throughout my work, I pick up stowaway energy, become fixed on minutia, and allowed the immaterial to stick like gum on a shoe to my conscious. I felt myself in conflict with my own calm. It was a strange panic to be in a form of fuzziness, a fuzziness I didn’t realize that had existed before.

It creeps up on you, this heavy clammy feeling. It’s like unwashed sweat after a run that sticks to you and you only really notice it when you pause and think.

A friend messaged me to tell me they were worried about me, that I seemed different and aggravated. I had no idea what he was talking about. I do now and it took me to follow his advice to see. The advice: meet a buddy, have some drinks and unwind. I didn’t do the first due to COVID but the latter I did. Strangely, in that moment after my beer and moment to unwind there was a snap.

It was a snap in my own mind. I woke up, my head was clear suddenly. It was like hitting the refresh button on a crashed webpage without even realizing it was crashed. It opened up my mind to the power of peace. Peace within, taking a moment to meditate on the reality of things, despite not sensing anything wrong.

Maintenance perhaps? We all need a moment to check in with ourselves like an spiritual and philosophical MOT. That’s what it is, isn’t it? An awakening of the true mind, a true self in to see reality for what it is. And in this reality, I was fuzzy, focussed on the wrong things, experiencing a rather passive expression of anger and irritation without even realizing it.

I need to share this video, of Mooji’s thoughts on the subject, of the realisation of observation, observing this strangeness of the self.

Please subscribe and like this video to support his channel

Sometimes, a little pause, a little moment to see the self enables you to see others and the Whole as it truly is not what we perceive it to be behind a haze.

“I have withdrawn from affairs as well as from society, and from my own affairs in particular: I am acting on behalf of later generations.” – Letters from a Stoic VIII

Act on behalf of the future, the future of you and the future of the Whole. Take a breath in this moment, find your centre even if you never thought you’d needed to find it before. You will find a strange new peace, a shower of light washing away the fuzz stuck to your skin; a lightness of the mind and soul as you embrace the world with wider, clearer eyes.

It’s an instant snap when you find it. As if Thanos clicked his fingers to allow you to see and embrace your power as a human being and expression of Universe rather than turn to dust (then reappear five years later following the valiant sacrifice of Iron Man, of course).

Growing Roots

I was in a conversation today about feeling uprooted and disconnected from one’s kin and lost like driftwood. I can empathise with the feeling, finding a place to grow my roots seems to be a recurring theme. Yet is it as complex as we think it is? In the spiritual sense, it’s very easy to grow roots and ground ourselves to the Earth and the Whole.

Very simply, breathe and follow the breath until it is your only focus.

Close your eyes and close your mind to it’s own noise.

Keep your bare feet in contact with the floor beneath you and imagine roots sprouting from them and pushing down and down and down.

Reach the centre of the planet and wrap your roots around the core.

Isn’t that all we need to feel connected when the self evident truth of that we are, is not enough? We are all stardust of the same stock, after all. But it takes time to accept that and clarity to see it. Even in the genealogical sense, we can’t escape our roots as much as we try so why try? You can’t change the place of your birth after the fact so why examine the how’s and why’s of unmovable facts.

In the end, perhaps the feeling of drifting and restlessness is born from the heights to which we grow. When we scrape the sky, the earth below feels insignificant and we forget that we need it to exist. We cannot live without the dirt, that unavoidable stuff that binds us all together in nature. Can we fight our nature? No.

Roots are a part of us as they are a part of any plant on this planet. We need space to grow them out, time to do so, fertile ground and a will to do it. But that’s easier said than done isn’t it in shifting sands?

How do we find this perspective, this downward view to search for grounding? Of course, my favourite Roman emperor has the answer as usual.

“Rational beings collectively have the same relation as the various limbs of an organic unity – they were created for a single cooperative purpose. The notion of this will strike you more forcefully if you keep saying to yourself: ‘I am a limb of the composite body of rational beings.’ If though by the change of one letter from ‘l’ to ‘r’ [melos to meros], you call yourself simple a part rather than a limb, you do not yet love your fellow men from your heart: doing good does not yet delight you as an end in itself; you are still doing it as a mere duty, not yet as a kindness to yourself.” – Meditations 7.13

As limbs are a part of the body, so are trees a part of the forest; as the tendons are the roots to these limbs. What connects you to others and the world around you is not a state of mind but a constant fact for you to remind yourself of. A constant love for you to remind yourself of.

A constant fact for me to remind myself of. A constant love for me to remind myself of.

Stop Fighting

Recently I’ve stopped fighting things that affect me directly. This may seem backwards but when a thing happens that is by its nature insulting or hurtful to me personally, what is that but my own judgement? It’s all hot hair against my skin, ones and zeroes on a screen eliciting chemical reactions in my brain. That’s all it is. It’s a meta cognition of melancholy to be aware of the feeling and stand in front of it to get on with things in a way that’s not destructive to the self. Self harming is probably a better word, emotional self harm that I’ve spoken about before.

Yet when it concerns others and the rights of others, my own integrity demands a response. Is that in line with what being a stoic is, or a hero complex? Or surely it is the recognition of ones own kin and to support our community to be better and a calmer, more accepting place, is the duty of care I have as a human being. It’s a discourse not a fight for the holistic heart of humanity not a demonization of who is wrong and uplifting of who is right.

For example:

“I still can’t believe people are happy to put poison into themselves for ‘Convid’.” – X

“Okay.” – Z

What was said was directed at me and my choice to take the vaccine when it is offered to me. What does it matter the opinion of someone else who can’t and won’t empathise? Who can’t and won’t try to understand that the carefully curated Facebook echo chamber is not the pinnacle of truth – even then, what truth is not perspective?

Marcus Aurelius talks a lot about teaching or tolerating and for a while I thought that in my actions I was, yet was I? Are passive aggressive put downs really tolerance or just another way of fighting? Honestly, I’m guilty of hubris when it comes to this journey but what’s the point of learning if mistakes are not made? What’s the point of having a blog about philosophy if it’s not packed full of prepositions?

Today another event caused me to think. I am an avid role player and twice has mine and another player’s characters grown close and incensed me to either write stories for these characters or more recently buy art. Then for both, this is, in my eyes, relegated, cast aside for ease putting my character in the awkward position and me as a role-player in conflict with others. What right do I have to be upset about the actions of puppetry? Literal puppetry? It’s all fictional and the actions are literally judgements imposed on blank slates, a literal metaphor in motion. Yet I felt this pang of rejection, of sadness, like the company of my character for this other player, my company was not worth their time. Why did I feel this way? I suppose it’s like actors becoming upset when they feel that their character is side-lined in a show like Grey’s Anatomy or Game of Thrones. I suppose I could stand up for the integrity of this fiction, take a moral stance and fight. No. Why fight that? Why fight for something so chemical? I think I’ve got a real friendship with the other role-player, I care about them, what purpose would it be to allow the insignificant to cloud the judgement – a judgement to be removed?

Stop fighting the actions of the others thinking they will change or make a difference because fighting gets us no where.

The Doctor: Ah. And when this war is over, when — when you have the homeland free from humans, what do you think it’s going to be like? Do you know? Have you thought about it? Have you given it any consideration? Because you’re very close to getting what you want. What’s it going to be like? Paint me a picture. Are you going to live in houses? Do you want people to go to work? What’ll be holidays? Oh! Will there be music? Do you think people will be allowed to play violins? Who will make the violins? Well? Oh, You don’t actually know, do you? Because, just like every other tantruming child in history, Bonnie, you don’t actually know what you want. So, let me ask you a question about this brave new world of yours. When you’ve killed all the bad guys, and it’s all perfect and just and fair, when you have finally got it exactly the way you want it, what are you going to do with the people like you? The troublemakers. How are you going to protect your glorious revolution from the next one?

Bonnie: We’ll win.

Doctor: Oh, will you? Well maybe — maybe you will win. But nobody wins for long. The wheel just keepts turning. So, come on. Break the cycle.

Bonnie: Then why are you still talking?

The Doctor: Because I’m trying to get you to see. And I’m almost there.

Bonnie: Do you know what I see, Doctor? A box. A box with everything I need. A 50% chance.

Kate: For us, too.

[The Doctor sighs.]

The Doctor: And we’re off! Fingers on buzzers! Are you feeling lucky? Are you ready to play the game? Who’s going to be quickest? Who’s going to be the luckiest?

Kate: This is not a game!

The Doctor: No, it’s not a game, sweetheart, and I mean that most sincerely.

Bonnie: Why are you doing this?

Kate: Yes, I’d like to know that too. You set this up — why?

The Doctor: Because it’s not a game, Kate. This is a scale model of war. Every war ever fought right there in front of you. Because it’s always the same. When you fire that first shot, no matter how right you feel, you have no idea who’s going to die. You don’t know who’s children are going to scream and burn. How many hearts will be broken! How many lives shattered! How much blood will spill until everybody does what they’re always going to have to do from the very beginning — sit down and talk!” – Doctor Who, Season 9, Episode 7 “The Zygon Invasion”

He’s my favourite Doctor, Peter Capaldi. Always will be. Even in the most unexpected places, in the places considered unphilosophical, we find wisdom. From the Jedi to The Doctor. Where does fighting get us? Where does it end other than where we should have started?

Z3N0

The Void Within

Something is missing in my life. Maybe I’ve spoken about it before but it’s a feeling that comes and goes like the rain. It’s a feeling of emptiness. It’s a heavy vacuum within me like a black hole that pulls downward from the base of my heart to the pit of my stomach. It’s a cold feeling and it travels to my brain around where I imagine my third eye to be and sits there like a feeling of dread.

What is this dread?

It’s loneliness.

Yet I have friends?

What is this loneliness other than the gnawing broodiness coming on. A need for a deeper connection within myself like a primal directive to find a home and tribe of my own. Had I not evolved from these baser needs? Surely as a civilized man in the 21st Century, it is unnatural to have this almost biological lachrymose. So, remove the judgement. I’ve done that yet my body persists and the chemicals in my mind still demand satisfaction. It’s like a drug, a high on being loved and giving love.

I once purchased an in depth horoscope analysis to dissect my nature as a Taurus. As pathetic as that was in the rational mind, it was accurate and representative of a time before I began to grow into who I am now. Yet some things stuck. The first being that I rejected my mother emotionally but embraced my father and in doing so, vulnerability and feelings of love are seen as hostile actors. They’re seen as deep needs but also threats. Leading to, without a sense of balance, in fighting between masculine and feminine energies with both sabotaging and craving deeper human connections on an emotional and sexual level. The latter of that was something I overindulged in to try and to fill that vacuum (take that how you will) but it was never satisfied because surface isn’t enough. The surface of a still lake looks pretty but the true wonders lie within its waters.

It’s not very stoic though, is it? A lonely heart. I’ve been in love twice before. Both times being poor turnouts and I’ve been hurt before too. Yet we grow and go, don’t we?

What can we do in the face of this kind of void? A growing emptiness that only the right thing can fill. But then, would we be so distracted on the idea of perfection that we miss it entirely? That’s the curse isn’t it? With Tinder and Bumble, we look for the perfect match but sometimes miss what exists in our present moment. We forget the things that are really important, high on our own quests and desires that unbalance us to be able to find true balance, a true harmony with the yin and yang with our twin-flames.

Supposedly, when it comes to twin-flame romances, it may take lifetimes to meet each other and throughout lifetimes coming close and then missing the mark only to reunite in another meat sleeve centuries down the line, our past lives forgotten, our souls washed clean of the muck. Yet that’s not particularly encouraging is it? To be subjected to a life of mediocrity with the hopes that the next one will be better? Is it not the more stoic thing, the more rational thing, and more balanced thing, to find harmony in the present rather than wait for it to be thrust upon us through the window of death?

Yet we relapse into this void, this ache.

“It is such a quiet thing, to fall. But far more terrible is to admit it.” – Darth Kreia, Knights of the Old Republic 2

Is loving and desiring to love, against our nature? Or is it so intrinsically human that to deny the ache for meaning in the arms of another is the thing against our nature. Is this all we need? As people? Or is the answer rooted in the inadequacy of the self?

“Without stirring abroad one can know the whole world; without looking out of the window one can see the way of heaven. The further one goes the less one knows. Therefore the sage knows without having to stir, identifies without having to see, accomplishes without having to act.” – Tao Te Ching XLVII

As the harmony within settles and the balance of my chi takes hold, is there anything else but certainty in the okayness of it all? It will be okay: for me, for you, for us. Can you look in the mirror – truly look – and find your way? I’m smiling now, but I can’t tell if it’s a happy smile or one of simply amusement at the universe and my place in it. How fickle it all is, how fleeting and how much more fun it would be to share it with someone. All of us clinging to the surface of this rock, smiling at it’s irreverence. We are together in that, at least.

Z3N0

No Bad Decisions

There are no bad decisions, there I said it.

That may seem easy to say and reductive in the long view of a heinous and hateful history that all humans share and that we all either suffer from or have privilege from. Yet in the end, on the personal level, the lessons we take from the mistakes we make are the ones that teach us the best. With that logic, if all mistakes are lessons and all lessons are inherently in service of growth, there are no true mistakes.

If we trust in Universe, The Way, God, then we trust that all things happen for a reason. Even if we trust in none of those things, trust in the self and the nature of things. By doing that, we feel no ill will towards ourselves or others. It’s a stoic philosophy, not spiritual or intangible, it just is the way. When we reach this conclusion, even in the face of great pain and loss, everything becomes lighter and warmer.

“With each object of experience consider its origin, its constituents, what it is changing into, what it will be when changed – and that no harm will come to it.” – Meditations 11.17

See through the hurt and ask yourself, what have you learned? What have you learned about yourself and what have you learned about the object that leaves its mark on you? What mark is this, even? Scars are lessons, even the unseen ones and a reminder that we heal and move on. A friend said to me on Thursday, “grow and go“.

So what in the grand scheme of history, am I saying that the atrocities of the past and present are inherently good? No, those things are unjust and manifestations of wanton vice. What did we learn from them? Aside from learning about better ways to kill each other, what did we learn? Too many lessons for me to count here, but we grow as a people, united as kin. On the macro and micro, we grow. Even in the darkest of nights, there is dawn on the horizon and that will never change, not until the Sun swallows the Earth and by then, perhaps we would have transcended to the stars to a new form of being.

“You should meditate often on the connection of all things in the universe and their relationship to each other. In a way all things are interwoven and therefore have a family feeling for each other: one thing follows another in due order through the tension of movement, the common spirit inspiring them, and the unity of all being.” – Meditations 6.38

Another way of thinking about it is this: locked yourself out of the house? Call the locksmith. If it ever happens again, you will know who to trust to get the job done. Miss an opportunity to ask out the person you are in love with? You have learned never put anything off again, never procrastinate. Like me, have you eaten something without checking the ingredients for allergens? You will suffer sure, but you will not be so careless again and you will handle it better next time at least.

Love all of your decisions. Amor fati.

Love all of their decisions as opportunities to be better, to learn to be better and not be like your enemy. Amor fati.

Love circumstance, you will learn to find strength in yourself and what you have. Amor fati.

“A stone thrown in the air: nothing bad for it on the way down or good for it on the way up.” – Meditations 9.17

Z3N0

Quick Quote Post: 5

This is becoming a weekly thing, finding myself reflecting on a single piece of wisdom rather than coming up with something actually original to say. Yet I think it’s a good thing, a refreshing thing, to have a focus. My focus today has been BBC Bitesize Cardiology because, of course, I’m hooked now on the topic. I’m not going to mention The Falcon and Winter Soldier or the fact that I’ve had five coffees and two energy drinks today because that doesn’t seem very learned. But we follow the patterns, don’t we? People tend to like things because they are good, it doesn’t mean they aren’t any less well natured because they are not inherently stoic in their content. What’s wrong with a little indulgence? A can of something, pizza and Disney+ isn’t an unworthy night in. I’m retreating from the world, retiring inwards after a week of work.

“A single example of extravagance or greed does a lot of harm – an intimate who leads a pampered life gradually makes one soft and flabby; a wealthy neighbour provokes cravings in one; a companion with a malicious nature tends to rub off some of his rust even on someone of an innocent and open-hearted nature – what then do you imagine the effect on a person’s character is when the assault comes from the world at large? You must inevitably either hate or imitate the world. But the right thing is to shun both courses: you should neither become like the bad because they are many, nor be an enemy of the many because they are unlike you. Retire into yourself as much as you can. Associate with people who are likely to improve you. Welcome those whom you are capable of improving. The process is a mutual one: men learn as they teach.”Letters from a Stoic VII

How many people have we all encountered this week? How many of us could do with a little retreat over the weekend to recharge and wipe off the rust of another. Call a true friend over this time, call them and discuss something easy, something you can learn from, something you can appreciate and take comfort in. I have a friend who inspires me. They find themselves in retreat and I respect that – as do I find myself now in retreat. Passive activism of the self: shake off the dirt and energy of the week and its people, see it for what it is in its nature and return with a smile on Monday.

Gosh, perhaps maybe delete your news app just for this 48-hours. Delete your social media, if you can bring yourself to do it. Feel the weight of the world’s vices lift from your shoulders while you can before returning to the fold as the social being you are, as we are. I’m maintaining you can be a social being without social media, but not everyone has that luxury to switch it off anymore. I’m not judging, I’m just suggesting; a suggestion from one person on the path to another.

Z3N0

The Anxious Mind

I have an anxious mind.

This may sound strange coming from someone who claims to be a stoic but it’s a reality I face, it’s something I manage. It’s a restlessness of what if’s and maybe’s in a simmering soup of existential dread, occasionally bubbling over if I allow it to. My life is a gif on a loop of me sat watching a stew bubble in on a camping stove while the winds rage around me. In this scene, my face is expressionless, my posture relaxed but my eyes are always on the pan. The lid is made of a material comprising of philosophy and medication and meditation.

Occasionally it will whistle and hiss phrases and buzzwords such as: “the reason they don’t reply is because they’re sick of you”, “don’t even bother, you’re ideas are stupid”, “they’re looking at you”, “you look fat today“.

In reflection do you know what all of those phrases and buzzwords are? Hot air making noise. Just hot air. Like a fart and like my father says, we should never trust a fart because the moment we do: it will be shit. Lovely imagery to remember, but that’s all it is.

The answers these common buzzwords and phrases are as follows: no it’s because they’re busy, people have lives; you’re ideas are not stupid, if you don’t bother that is stupid; they’re not looking at you and if they are, say hello; you’re not fat but let’s be honest you could do with getting into shape – you’re quite skinny.

“Erase the impressions on your mind by constantly saying to yourself: ‘It is in my power now to keep this soul of mine free from any vice or passion, or any other disturbance at all: but seeing all things for what they are, I can treat them on their merits.’ Remember this power which nature gives you.” – Meditations 8.29

Marcus Aurelius is right, it is in our power to keep the mind free from this disturbance. If we need a little medication, meditation or a qualified professional to help us keep it free of such disturbance, there is no shame in that. The anxious mind, by it’s very nature is volatile and doesn’t trust itself until we are able to take it from the heat of our own overactive thoughts.

The anxious mind needs a friend. The anxious mind, paradoxically, doesn’t treat friends well. The anxious mind treats friends with suspicion and disdain. It questions why they are there and questions why they are not there. Both questions are meaningless. Both questions do nothing other than foster worry and resentment against a strawman argument.

“Grapes unripe, ripened, raisined: all changes, not into non-existence, but into not-yet existence.” – Meditations 11.35

Maybe one day those words will ring true: the people may be looking at you because you have mustard on your shirt. Your idea may be stupid because living life like Sporticus from LazyTown in a blimp is not a good idea and you should not bother with that – refer to The Hindenburg Disaster. And the truth may become because of a cloying habit of you needing to check the validity of a relationship because of the anxious mind, they will become sick of it and say that they do not have time to nurture the kind of support you need. Yet, with support and the right tools, who cares if they do? What will you care? You’ll be in your blimp eating apples, and fighting Robbie Rotten, and saving small puppet children from a life of sloth and gluttony.

The anxious mind is a hostile one but only if you leave it unattended. One day, it will simmer down but maybe it won’t. It’s hot air all the same.

Z3N0

Heart in Hand

I never dissected a heart in school and my only experience with heart was when it was diced and pan fried with garlic, onion and white wine. It was a very strange experience, slicing into this lump of muscle and exposing the valves and ventricles, poke at the tendons with a spike. When watching Grey’s Anatomy the character Cristina Yang talks about the amazing feeling she gets when she holds a heart and cuts into it. She talks about the perfectness of the organ, the key to human existence and object of mystery to the great poets and romantics. I’m seven seasons in and I must have heard about the wonders of the cardiovascular system a hundred times. Yet today at 10:30am, I stared at this organ and felt something strange.

The only other time I’ve had this feeling that I can remember is when I was sitting in a religious studies class and sat passively enjoying the discussion. Something in me told me that I had to research teacher training courses, master’s degrees and all sorts of avenues because something in me said I must. It was like a switch that said: you love this. I still do love the discussion and I make a point of it everyday rather publicly.

Yet today I held a heart in my hand.

It may have been a lamb heart, a lamb with some serious post mortem clotting and some fatty build up in the aorta. Still, it felt right. Almost a cosmic wink in my direction. Here I was, holding a heart after spending years looking for heart within myself and within others and I was just casually holding one, feeling the fibres with a scientific curiosity. It felt very right, and while I did struggle at first to achieve clean cuts with the right-handed specialized scissors, I could see myself finding time to practise this skill. I can see myself badgering colleagues to do it again, to teach me to perfect it and then to sow it back up again like a child with a Fisher-Price doctor playset.

In these moments, as rare as they have been, I watch branching timelines stemming from a single moment. A single revelation. Like somewhere out there in the multiverse and across the infinite ocean of parallel-timelines, all this potential has already been made manifest. In these moments, I love life. I love the infinite possibility of it all.

It’s not just the heart though is it? It’s what it represents to us all. This heart in my hand – how many hearts have I held in my hand and been so careless before? Has it taken to this moment when it’s made manifest for me to realize the delicate nature of our hearts – not in the physical sense but emotional sense. I’ve felt mine break more times than I care to admit and I think I’ve discard and disregarded to many. No more.

So I go into the future, researching medical school in Scotland or the USA and weighing up my debts. But I also go forth with the promise to treat every heart in the chests of fellow humans with the same gentleness and understanding as I provided to the dead lamb. Was it a spiritual moment? I think it was, as I felt this strange desire from outside of me that said: you need to do more, you need to know more, you need to feel more. A friend of mine would call this divine intervention and perhaps it was something else. Perhaps it was a hint of my purpose. A nudge towards my service.

What is your service? What nudges have you felt?

Or perhaps it was nothing at all and these moments allow us to take pause and cherish what we have, what we don’t have and what we know and what we don’t know. A little active passiveness never hurt the soul, after all.

Still, I look good in a lab coat whether it be divine intervention or not.