What was the meaning of the quote I posted on Wednesday?

Since I took the sentence out of context and it was significant for me because it spoke to my personal situation at that moment…  Let me first provide a link to the works of Eckhart Tolle.  The friends who suggested I read his work several years ago told me:  “Either it speaks/makes sense to you or it does not.”

I sincerely hope that you find some meaning there, as I have.

“Life isn’t as serious as my mind makes it out to be.”

This stuck a chord, because I was ‘taking myself far too seriously’.   I had chosen to respond to a situation through my shame filter.  In fact, I had chosen to enter the:                SLOUGH OF DESPOND

You may say…”What the…?”

Allow me to share a wee bit of literary history.  In the 17th century, a writer named John Bunyan (not the American folk hero, Paul) wrote a book called The Pilgrim’s Progress.  It is an allegory, describing the journey of a character named Christian, who encounters characters named Evangelist, Hypocrisy, Pliable, Obstinate and Help, among others.  I think you can get the idea.

It’s not my cup of tea, but apparently it spoke loudly to the 19th century writers, Louisa May Alcott and Emily Bronte.  It was in their works that I first encountered the Slough, when I was a girl.  The expression spoke to me as well.  The Free Dictionary defines the Slough of Despond as:  “Depression, a mental state characterized by a pessimistic sense of inadequacy and a despondent lack of activity.”

“The name of the slough was “Despond. Here, therefore, [I] wallowed for a time… because of the burden that was on [my] back, [I] began to sink in the mire.”  (from The Pilgrims Progress, The First Stage)

So there I sat, in the 21st century, wallowing in the Slough.  I suppose one could say that the writings of Eckhart Tolle and the support of some good friends took the place of the character Help and pulled me from the Slough.

I am no longer sinking, but doing a lot of thinking.  I hope perhaps this digression was at least slightly entertaining.

And wasn’t that a gorgeous display of radishes and beets in the photo I posted?  Taken at the Brattleboro VT Farmers Market last October.

2 thoughts on “Meaning…

  1. I loved the quote. My swami taught me also to not believe everything my mind thinks. It can be just a lot of static coming over the line. Not the same thing, but close. Humor is really the way to go when we can get there. You must have been ready to let go and be gone. j

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