I wake up at 2 am after having tossed and turned for a good 3 hours dreaming that I was in a boardroom meeting trying to explain the intangible concept of stress and how what we were doing was stressful. I woke at the moment in my dream when I realised I wasn’t being understood.
Maybe I didn’t understand it either.
Sleep is something we all need. In large healthy dollops. The way we live has cut down sleep into worthless chunks. When our lives haven’t eaten into our sleep, we have let our minds do it. We have let our minds do it because our minds have been put in an environment, both internal and external, in which it has no choice but to.
To clarify, when I say mind, I mean our internal processor. The one that receives requests, analyses, organises, prioritises, works out logical answers and decides on a response.
Our way of life bombards the mind with a million requests. Not everything that the mind needs to pay attention to, but nonetheless the senses are transmitting to it a million stimuli that it needs to sort through. Social media is bombarding us with information that is constantly distracting us from the tasks at hand, let alone distracting us from our divine purpose. Maybe that divine purpose is to live human lives. Our lives are so fast paced that we don’t have the time to be human: from fundamental physical requirements like eating, pooping or exercising to the fundamental mental requirements, the intangible aspects of our be-ing which I am trying to touch in this piece of writing.
What the mind receives, the mind interprets and the mind responds to. The mind quite often responds as an emotion. An emotion is a beautiful concoction of chemicals and energy, both physical and mental in nature. An emotional response seems to have little logic in it but I am not certain of this. Emotions can become further input to the mind especially if the emotion is received as being negative. One never questions when one smiles or laughs in response to something. But if one were to get angry or hurt, this emotion itself becomes fodder for the mind as it tries to process it and respond to that which is its own creation. Thereby creating a situation in which it is getting into a loop and creating a conflict with itself.
Our lives have very little time for emotions. Our speaking very clearly demonstrates this. “Stop being so emotional about it”
We live the lives of machines, expected to work at a certain pace every day and meet a certain output demand. We are expected to be functional every day at the same time be it sun or rain. We are expected to function as always whether our hearts are broken or not. Our heartbreak is not even seen.
But lets take a step back from there. What is heart? I write not of the 4 chambered organ that beats in our chest, but of the part of us that dances. Not the salsa or the waltz, but the dance of our nature. The part that shakes our bodies in laughter; makes us crawl into a ball in sorrow; makes us walk away determinately in anger; makes us pace in worry and makes us run or cower in fear. Whether this dance is necessary at all is another question altogether, but while our mind (albeit unwillingly) is creating and playing the music of emotion to which we dance, it is time we start to listen.
The expectations imposed on us are societal but more importantly they are self imposed too. The mind has been programmed to believe that it must function in a certain way and that it is the sovereign. Emotions have been so far removed from it that it doesn’t even recognise them as its own creation anymore. Its connection to the heart is severed. Whenever emotions rise, especially those that are not pleasurable, they are pushed into the background for processing at a later time along with all the seemingly less important things that are calling for the mind’s attention. Over time there is only an accumulation of things on hold. Some are forgotten and seem to get erased from memory, but some leave a trace and others remain in memory, popping up every now and then to ask the mind for attention. This accumulation causes the mind to become less sharp, dull, confused. Its process of reception, interpretation and response starts to become warped. It starts to block its senses because it is being overloaded, it starts to interpret that which it receives in a corrupt manner, its responses start to become incongruous and disproportionate and this becomes further fodder for the mind to digest, for in its be-ing it knows that it is dysfunctional.
So many of us are functioning in this dysfunctional state that even our reference points are inaccurate. The heart feels it, the mind knows it deep down, but its insanity is still questioned. We are all mad. We live mad lives that are not human, the mind and heart don’t speak and we are dysfunctional human beings that don’t know how to dance. Our music isn’t being heard and when we do dance it is ugly and violent. We have stopped receiving beauty or receive it only partially, for our mind’s don’t have the time to process it. With such a warped view on life, we are becoming violent beings that kill each other with no remorse. Some of us lay in bed at night tossing and turning unable to sleep because the mind is like an overworked maid trying to clean up a home that is being used a garbage dump and a factory.
So what can one do about this?
If we have seen in it for what it really is; if we have really seen the problem, the answer lies within it. But are we really capable of seeing it? Do we have the energy to?