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Revolt of the Skull Attic Exile!

February 29, 2012

The mind has a body, of course, but the body has a mind of its own.

When I posted “How To Go Back To Sleep,” recently, I was guilty of leap-frogging over “floating the Triplex” and, instead, immediately started you off with “how to roll down your Midway.”

I know, I know, this terminology is a wee but obscure, but give me a second. Nothing in this is really at all difficult; and I’m trying to lay a pearl beyond price in the palm of your hand, okay? Bear with me.

What I wrote remains true. Midway will help you outwit insomnia, but it serves best, in its largest context, as the second of the two easy brain-games out of  Mind/Body For Dummies.

So today I’m going to recall how childhood’s normal mind/body got stolen from you. Then, tomorrow and on Friday, we will cover a childishly simple means by which you can re-achieve, immediately and without mysticism, the feels-good psychosomatic healing which is what sages mean by your “mind/body unity.”

No brag, just fact.

You Lost It In High School

Growing life feels good. Every day, without any effort on their part, children become stronger, taller and more mature. It is almost all they have ever known of biological destiny; and this constant experience of ceaseless and happy maturation goes on, unearned yet inherently optimistic and enriching. The wind is always beneath their wings.

The tapering off of growth in the late teens and early twenties signals but does not account for the disappearance of innocent mind/body wholeness. Instead, more bewildering and final, all of adulthood arrives. The oldest story.

Family relatives no longer marvel at how big you’re becoming. The easy-going neighborhood friendships get left behind. New people stop smiling down at you because now you’re tall enough to meet eye-to-eye. Passing strangers, flat-faced or grinning hungrily, look over your body and think about you and sex. Pimples; body hair; the first orgasm. Playtime is over.

As a child, you always had secrets, fears and dreams, but these arose spontaneously and from the whole self as naturally as how you always blurted out the first words that came into your head. By junior high and high school, however, you are drowning in mirrors.

Adolescent self-consciousness plunges you — raw, hormonal and unprepared — into seesawing social status, emotional games, a future to win, physical dangers, the need to belong and intense sexual self-consciousness. You are playing now, not for toys, but for other kids’ bodies.

Do you remember what you did?

You created a little person — the real you — who kneels in your skull and looks out through your eyes. You shattered the mind/body and withdrew yourself from full possession of a hairy, grown-up body which, since it was now sexually accessible to others, no longer entirely belonged to you anymore.

Out of fear of not being loveable, you proudly did all that was left to do for the now-deposed and humiliated former emperor of a once-infinite kingdom of childhood. You split yourself up and created two adults where before there only used to be one whole kid.

Most adolescents who are lucky enough to come from close-knit families will experience their distancing from childhood as a gradual ironic separation between how we must live and what we really feel. The catastrophe of the few comes when this physic split happens suddenly and in a child’s panic.

Did you, too, end up a skull exile haunting your own life after moving upstairs into the bone attic? Whatever happened to that perfectly good body you abandoned in high school?

Tomorrow: Exile’s Return! — the skull attic exile recaptures his lost kingdom of mind/body by playing brain-games in the dark with his eyes closed.

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