Deep within us is space — call it spiritual space, empty space, metaphorical space, psychic space. We can intuit it, know it, ignore it, run from it, embrace it, and fill it. There are as many ways to live in our internal space as there are unique human beings with colorful personalities, needs, desires and pasts.
Knowing our internal psychic space was referred to by Gaston Batchelard as phenomenology — a phenomenologist is someone who “makes the effort needed to seize upon the germ of essential, sure, immediate well-being it (a dwelling) encloses”, my parethenthesis.
Our internal space may and often metaphorically does contain different rooms. Rooms that are empty, rooms that are very full. In some rooms there may be boxes unopened, in others dressers stuffed with old things. We contain inner space that can oddly be like an attic or basement – or places that contain cabinets of curiosities. Some spaces are dark, some bright and airy, there are corners, cracks, peeling wallpaper and leaks in our internal walls.
We might have left in a rush — onto something new, shinier and more bright. Maybe we shoved things under the furniture or allowed piles of papers to build into skyscrapers, gathering dust balls as big as tumbleweeds. If we haven’t taken a look in awhile, we forget, we move on so to speak, although the space stays as it was left, and carries more and more nagging psychic weight as time goes on.
As we turn the light of awareness on, what we see inside depends on how we left things. What we see is what we have to work with — pyschospiritually, psychosomatically, phenomenologically. We begin where we are and proceed on this path of conscious clarity with kindness.
As an experiment, because after all life is a series of them, try turning on the light of conscious awareness towards an area of your body. Rest your awareness there as if you were patiently waiting for your eyes to get used to the dark, as eventually they will. The longer we stay somewhere, the more we know it. We can travel internally like this. Allow your mind to be as child-like and innocent as possible and metaphorically take a look around. As if your body had different rooms, explore each one, one at a time. Unpack boxes, open the windows and breathe in some fresh air, bring in a bag and fill it with the old musty things that you no longer need to carry around.
This internal space is ours and ours alone. What we do in it, and with it is up to us, we have choice. Clear it out, let go of what is no longer needed, open the windows, and welcome all guests as Rumi says in The Guest House:
” This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all!”.
Welcome the guests, be with them, give them some space and let them leave.
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