In an altered state, people do different things. Some dance, some speak, some paint, and some ruminate. I write. Our mind is a web of synapses that trigger at random. These ‘murmurings’ could be signals from the subconscious, fears and dreams surfacing, or just plain misfires. Working out exactly what these are can take a combination of belief and awareness. The mind has funny ways. Here’s what mine did. 

Patterned Wallpaper

Photo by Armando Castillejos on Unsplash

Being head fucked constantly is a matter of perspective. It’s odd how the only way to overcome fear is through clarity and the only route to clarity is experience and to experience something you need to overcome fear so it’s not that odd really. The mind has funny ways, it can tire you out but only if you let it. And I’m starting to see the importance of a balance, of acknowledging enough to act on it without getting drawn into a self-indulgent whirlpool of thoughts. There is a clear demarcation between impulse and action. It is the prerogative or the disposition of the anxious to act on impulse. In fact, anxiety itself could be the fear of impulse, the fear of instantly acting on a whim.

Being in love with something and facing the absolute fear of losing it are equally powerful emotional sides of the same experience. The choice of which side to nurture is in your control and you’re best advised to pick the former. Everyone has choices. It’s the option you pick that ends up forming the tapestry of your life. And much like a tapestry or anything of beauty, flaws must exist with perfection, for perfection is made immortal by the presence of flaws, not their absence. While I’m constantly stressed out by ‘what if ‘and ‘what now’, the realization of what should now have been obvious is not lost on me. The ‘fear of being myself’ is tiring, perhaps borne out of the sense of frequent loss, perceived loss. The flipside, however, is the gratitude for the chance to experience the things you fear losing, things you were grateful to have. That gratitude and desire to experience can be liberating. It can be distressing too but that’s where an understanding of the self can play its part.

The navigation of every nook and cranny of your brain is not a goal and it is barely a notion. You can develop mastery over your approach and the choices you make, but never over all the chaos itself. Thinking from a place of ego is fraught with distress, an acute sense of self need not be sacrificed if you forsake pride. The very foundation of pride, after all, is narrative. And no narrative is realized without consumption. It must be told to subsist, reinforce itself through conversations, actualize itself through the devotion of its followers.

Self-deprecation, aggrandization, indulgence, or motivation are not that different. Each of these narratives can be real only if you let it be. You have to decide which one dominates. The author does not control the story, it’s in the perception of the story that his wiles transcend their existence as ‘tools of the trade’. Everyone has their own journey and it is important to recognize that. ‘Winning’ cannot be based on the notion of bettering someone else’s journey, it isn’t winning by virtue of being an imitation, a rendition, temporarily powerful or weak, of what already exists.

Learning new things, encountering fresh perspectives, and discovering the ways of being are integral parts of human life. There’s just so much to experience, But, where’s the rationale? Where do you stop? What is your anchor? My anchor is the belief that, left to your own devices, our state of mind is calm, aware, generous, and affectionate. Perhaps those are things that I am, perhaps they are things I wish to be. These musings are not the subject of this dialogue. The discomfort is.

A negative or positive mindset is firstly a matter of perception and secondly of disposition. Do you focus on the macro or the micro? In Auschwitz, for instance, efficiency would evoke very different connotations to what it does today. You have a choice to make. A decision about where you would like to be, and once that decision is made, a filter to work with. A lot of the distress you feel is the contrast between what you are like and what you (think you) should be like. That gap, that perceived difference, is what we find upsetting. What I am starting to see is that it’s not the consistency of circumstance that’s the goal, it’s the consistency of approach. People have different mindsets, different points of view. The comfort needs to be found in yourself.

It is funny how the fear is rarely of dying, but of living – living to the fullest, to the levels deep enough to hurt but light enough to waken. The fear isn’t of losing control, it’s of the reluctance to acknowledge control. It is in this surrender of your agency that primal systems get distressed. Our imagination is a personal landscape and requires tending to. It must be nurtured, acknowledged, and replenished. Sometimes, I feel like I don’t get enough of that, the stimulation of that level of debate. But small breaks change that. I like how experiences are accentuated by virtue of being punctuated.

It is important to stop thinking of life in terms of destinations, the purpose is what defines the journey. I feel odd sometimes, feel like this knowledge is commonplace or like everyone already knows all this, but that is a construct. Enlightenment or awareness, as we must call it, is a subject for the observed and not the observer. The notion of the ‘other’ might give us impressions but never insight. Much against my remonstrations, I have an insatiable thirst for philosophical inquiry. The reluctance to acknowledge this thirst is an antagonizer. For some reason, and perhaps this happens over time, we start, or I’ve started to fit into a template. It’s this need to stereotype, which is such a basic cog of human perception, that can act as both empowerer and crippler. The way to transcend this subversion is to acknowledge the vastness both within and without. We are but designed to ache for it, the experience.

Being able to articulate an imagination is all we have to offer for a larger consciousness. You cannot fully marvel at art without realizing how it feels to create art. Each of us sees things differently to the other, adding texture to this experience either by way of art i.e. the creation of something new or the addition of something to what already exists i.e perspective. The first realization is to acknowledge that what we’re observing is the manifestation of the internal environment. Assuming that being aware of your own space, your values, and what you think will make a difference is indulgent, so it’s an appreciation of what’s to come, of what you are creating constantly – that acceptance of specificity, neutrality and everything else in between – of embracing the desire of joint discovery that truly satiates the soul.