The space in our house or home is an external mirror of the inner realm. It’s symbolic of the harmony or disorder of the mind and the way we function in the world. Many homes are cluttered with unnecessary trinkets that signify a condition of mind that’s become habitually dependent on the past to substantiate the present. Possessions that form part of the background scenery gathering dust create barriers within the psychic structure of the property. This gives the place a tired energy and people often feel exhausted after visiting, perhaps not quite knowing why. It’s always cathartic to have a house clearance so as to introduce a fresh perspective on the immediate environment. Then problem areas in the life can be perceived from a place of greater detachment and clarity.
The house, at another level, symbolises the body. It derives from the word ‘temple’, the original dwelling place of the spirit of Man. To function harmoniously the body, like the physical house, must be kept in good order to provide a comfortable living space in which to enjoy life. Anyone who has a fireplace in their home will know that the chimney needs sweeping periodically to ensure the flue is kept free-flowing. The chimney is a symbol of the subconscious and is where the past (or soot) becomes solidified, creating an impenetrable barrier which needs eliminating to ensure maximum efficiency. I’ve never met a chimney sweep who wasn’t a natural philosopher or, at the very least, had a deep understanding of human nature. I think it’s because they provide a service like no other in coming into people’s homes and entering the personal space at a level usually reserved for intimate friends and loved ones.
The body needs ‘sweeping’ regularly to eliminate the residue of past and grime that would impair the efficiency of the flow of life. One way to do this is by directing the attention inwards and to consciously go around the body, pausing on specific areas such as the hands, knees or shoulders. The inner focus on the sensation within the body functions like the physical vacuum cleaner – except that this is a conscious purification of dead cells which, if left unattended, would form a layer of lifeless matter. Another aid to becoming more conscious around the home is to ensure that everything is cleared up and in its place for the next morning before going to bed. This is a subconscious preparation for the moment of death should you not wake up the next morning. It wouldn’t do to have the place looking a mess for the relatives and loved ones to deal with! The idea is to have one’s affairs in order as much as possible so as not be concerned by feeling there’s anything to be taken care of when the time comes. This extends to getting it straight with loved ones. Then there’s no need to look back because it’s all been said and done – and I can go on untroubled, back into the mystery once more.