‘The mind may think, but the body speaks’. Lorna Marshall.
I’ve had a series of conversations with someone recently about the blessings and cursings of the mind. Though wonderful in many ways to be a ‘thinker’, both of us agreed that without exorcise, the mind achieves no balance.
An exorcism is characterised by the act of driving out an evil spirit from the body. Lucky for us, gone are the days that desire and sex are considered evil, but still the act is a very necessary one. Beyond making babies, dancing passionately with another releases sweat, releases hormones, releases breath and gives our bodies a chance to voice and practice, to ‘drive out’, the frustrations of the mind. We act out what our mind would have no chance resolving on its own.
An exorcism does not of course have to be performed through sex. But to provide balance to us thinkers, I believe something needs to be physically done. Dancing, running, swimming, yoga; getting out into the world, into nature, to cafes and bars for tea, drinks and conversations with friends; or going out to see a film that is so mind-less your brain gets to take a break. These acts exercise our bodies and therefore exorcise our minds.
The necessity of exorcising the mind is a thought and practice I teach many of my acting students and implore many of my artist friends to do. Many of these wonder-full souls often wrestle with the widely held idea that to be a creative person you need to know darkness (those devils and demons the word exorcism would have us think about), that artists are tortured souls, that their depth of pain is what helps them write music, poetry, act, paint or dance. But I don’t believe this at all. I believe that to be creative you need only have a depth of feeling, a sensitivity to the world and that this sensitivity can be found and expressed in joy as much as sorrow, anger, pain and grief.
Expression in the key word here and teamed with a healthy exorcism one’s thoughts find connection, a place and a purpose beyond the inner walls of our skulls.
I think of it a little like a scary movie, one who’s producers know that their audiences minds and imaginations will always create something far scarier than they can. So they rarely, if ever, actually show you the monster. Similarly if you don’t ‘drive out’ the demon or delights of the mind, give it form in the outside world, it’s pains can’t be managed nor ever confronted and its joys can’t be played with and delighted in.
Wonder. Meant …that exorcising can be fun.
Wonder. Meant …that the mind and body can be great lovers.