Creative Commons License photo credit: h.koppdelaney

About a month ago I set out by myself for a property in a very isolated part of the country. The closest neighbor is at least 5km away and there is nothing but forest and wild animals including vocal packs of dingoes. Essentially I went into the wild. It was a twelve-hour drive from where I live in Sydney just to get there. I didn’t have any sort of plan of what I was going to do there or even why I was going except that I had been going flat out for the previous 15 or so months and I felt like it was time for some isolation in nature to recharge.

Before I left I had a vague idea about experiencing a day and night wondering in the bush. The aim being to let go of whatever it is that I felt within myself that should it be let go of would be a great weight off my psychic shoulders. A big next step in just letting go. Also, I can remember when I was very young being terrified of being alone. I cannot precisely remember why but I do know I was haunted by nightmares at a very young age and I had (and still have) a vivid imagination.

So it struck me that being out in the bush at night alone, in what quite literally is the middle of nowhere may lead to just letting go of that tight wound spring that is hyper vigilance and yes, fear. I resolved that if there are a pack of dingoes, giant man eating pigs or spirits of the Australian land out there then so be it. If something happened to cross my path and wish me harm then I would fight to my utmost ability to survive. I am neither small, nor weak and have trained and taught martial arts in a competitive full-contact environment. But until the reality of a confrontation occurred I resolved to let go and be one with the night and the forest. It was to be a confrontation with fear. I was going to force myself to face fear, naked and alone. I hoped to come to know it intimately, to know it for what it is and let it go. Like a muscle held under tension for too long that eventually and spontaneously gives up, relaxes and lets go.

After safely making it back home I realized my time in the wild was in one way good and of course in another it was painful. Ascetically painful. That was the point I guess. I certainly feel I acquired some new knowledge along with the experience but I am still formulating exactly and definitively what it is I learned. Realizations and perspective gaining about my life and my current state of being came aplenty. Being there alone was like a constant mindfulness meditation especially at night when the silence was so overpowering that aural hallucinations happened regularly.

With no one else present there was no other person responsible for how I felt beyond myself. It became obvious that I am the progenitor of my state of being. It became intensely clear that however you are inside will be projected outside onto your relationships, situations and generally how you take and handle what occurs in your daily life.

This means that you can sink all the energy you have into fixing the outside – getting the car you’ve always wanted, the house in the right suburb, the position with the great salary, the holidays to exotic locations – but if what is inside is lacking then it is all dust and ashes. In the words of Solomon it is vanity and a striving after the wind. However, if you work on your inner state of being even if you are poverty stricken or struck down by sickness such things have no hold over you.

Soon after arriving I realized that the only real thing to be in fear of out there in the wild was my own imagination. Worry really is the thing we do about stuff that doesn’t exist. The reality was if anything came along to do me harm I would fight, win or die. How many times does one need to think that before one knows it is so and one doesn’t worry any more?

This realization didn’t stop fear in its tracks but it was a start towards letting it go. As I’ve mentioned like almost everything in life the outer world is a reflection of our inner world. In fact I think the inner world overlays the outer world and twists it to conform. That is until you let go of the preconceptions, the imaginings, and just experience what is real.

For example if you don’t love yourself unconditionally it is going to be impossible to truly love others or anything without the twisting of it by conditions. How we feel towards others and other things is so conditional and from an egocentric standpoint. If I perceive your behavior and you as favorable to myself then I will feel favorable towards you (someone smiles and another smiles back), the opposite for unfavorable and if you are a stranger I feel nothing because you have not impacted upon myself in some way.

There are terribly egocentric workings behind our feelings. So conditional, narrow minded in the extreme and so very subject to flighty whims of change. Unconditional love on the other hand just is. You, like I, wish to be happy and free from suffering. Therefore we are one and as I love myself I love you. This unconditional love and compassion is boundless, unchanging, and the more you give the more you have. I also noticed that physiologically it is energizing to the body, relaxing, tranquil and damn well feels good.

To read the second part of my thoughts and experiences while I was alone in the wilds check out – Emtions Affect Your DNA.

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