It has been said in many circles that our thoughts have spiritual weight. As one who struggles with Bipolar II, I had some difficulty with this idea. I worried that perhaps the thoughts from when I was in a depressive phase of my illness equated to engaging in some sort of spiritual dirty deeds. It was after some consideration, however, I realized that they were no more harmful then physical illness.
As the wise Galina Krasskrova indicates in her article on the subject of miasma, our mental states can contribute to spiritual pollution. When we are in a state of psychological distress, spiritual signs of that illness will become apparent. Amongst the symptoms of this state is miasma. It could be described in this instance the spiritual equivalent of the virus that gives you pneumonia. Unlike a virus, however, it can be generated by the unhealthful thoughts of the individual in question and when left unattended to serve to exacerbate the unhealthy condition.
Spirit workers (for the lack of a better term that encompasses persons who engage the spirit realm on a regular basis) are regularly advised to maintain mental discipline. This is not only because it makes it easier to engage in the spiritual work they do. One can pick up miasma as they encounter and work with thought forms that are closely tied to it. Again, Ms. Krasskrova gives a very good description of the effects of miasma on a person who is afflicted by this contagion. While her personal experiences do not set down the standard of how an individual reacts to miasma, it gives one the beginnings of an idea of how to identify the pattern of responses miasma generates.
In some cases, miasma can be avoided. By refusing to entertain thoughts that would breed it, we can avoid it to a significant extent. Regular spiritual cleansing helps to repel miasma's influence much like regular hand washing and healthy habits helps keep a person healthy. As much as we can limit our exposure to miasma from others, it is something that one will encounter through out the course of time. Sometimes the miasma is self produced (ie a by product of illness, anxiety, or negative patterns of thought) and sometimes the miasma is environmentally based.
It is possible to limit how much miasma one produces by maintaining their healthy mental and spiritual state. When encountering environmentally based miasma, a somewhat different approach must be taken to manage it. Sometimes, it is possible to outright avoid it. If one knows, for example, that a given location is the site of a massacre, one can avoid that location and the spiritual pollution attached to it. At other times, one must go into a place that is miasmic out of necessity or encounter people who are strongly miasmic.
In these instances, it is good to maintain one's spiritual protections because it helps to rebuff a measure of the negative things that are drawn to miasma. It is also wise to make sure that one is spiritually 'clean' prior to entering said location or company, thereby preventing like from calling to like. If one is afflicted with miasma, it becomes easier to acquire yet more miasma. Envision it like a person with glue on their hands handling something with glue on it. Miasma will 'stick' to miasma and accumulate.
If it is possible, one should limit the time they spend around people, places, or things that are heavily miasmic. This lowers the opportunity for one to acquire yet more miasma. When it is not possible to limit exposure to miasma, regular spiritual cleansing will help to control the amount of miasma one has in their life. Even when a person is in a state where they are regularly producing miasma, spiritual cleansing is beneficial. It helps to control the amount of miasma one has on their person, thereby lowering the potential acquisition of additional miasma and the attendant problems that come with having a high concentration of miasma.
In some cases, a high concentration of miasma can bring physical symptoms (unexplainable fatigue, low appetite, and an increase in body aches is my personal symptoms of high miasma, yours may be different) and it can bring mental symptoms as well (irritability, difficulty concentrating, and apathy are my symptoms here). It can also bring difficulties with unwelcome spiritual beings that like to feed off of such states. These spiritual beings will frequently increase the amount of miasma one is suffering from, much like how anaerobic yeast create alcohol which makes the environment more hospitable to them.
In my next post, I'll talk about spiritual cleansing.