A Point of True

The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the subjective truth.

Tag: stream of consciousness

Dilated Reflections

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.

What are you made of?

It’s Wednesday. You’ve finished two days at your job. Conversations, work and the general humdrum rhythm of everyday life keep you occupied. Occasionally in moments of involuntary isolation, on a commute, in the washroom or within the first few minutes of reaching home, a thought crosses your mind.

Concrete landscape

Beyond building blocks and space

‘What am I doing with my life?’

 What you are doing at this point is reviewing the quality of your narrative, wondering if this would really make for a great story. If you have ever used a search engine, you know that the answer you want is almost entirely dependent on the question you ask. That, dear reader, is the point of this piece.

There must be more to this.

 What do I mean by ‘more’? How much ‘more’ and of what? What is ‘this’ anyway?

Our constant search for meaning can be frustrating, but it is what has kept this species moving along, this inherent drive to discover, create and exceed. To sate this need, we use relationships, science, religion work and anything else that might ease our need for understanding. We swap behaviours (“my resolution is…”), appearances (“a complete makeover sounds great!”), and schools of thought (“I used to be an atheist, but now I’m agnostic”).

Preoccupation and to some extent philosophical enquiry, however, are just ways to navigate the mire. And before you can traverse a journey, it may be important to ask what you’re working with. Perhaps the more pertinent question to ask is ‘what am I made of?’

 Flesh and bones or heart and soul, what exactly am I made of?

 Our sentience, power of agency and imagination differentiate us from other beings. You are not a self-fulfilling prophecy or a narrative seeking to reach a fruitful end. You are a person. A unique entity, made unique by conditioning, practice, memories, and imagination. Your senses are constantly at work analyzing your physical environment and your social context to create a picture of the world as you see it, your ‘reality’. Yes, physical limitations can change the way you explore aspects of your life, as can financial, social and emotional constraints, but that only adds to the uniqueness.

‘Nothing is impossible’, they said.

The social web has reduced fifteen minutes of fame to a microsecond spent on a small screen flying beneath an unsuspecting thumb, a phenomenon that hasn’t just warped our perception of success but magnified our capacity for comparison. This also instills in us some interesting conundrums. A moderately accurate understanding of ability is combined with a burning need to transcend our context.

If you’re still with me, pay close attention. Validation does not determine your relevance. Ambition does. A desire to understand yourself does. The intrinsic curiosity for life does. Know that not having an answer still means that you asked the question. Meaning isn’t linear, it’s the process of discovery. Being constantly connected has meant that our minds are in overdrive, having us fret over falling behind in a race we never signed up for, that we aren’t even running. There’s no need to run. Think about where you are just now, sat at home unwinding, traveling to meet a friend or taking a break at work. Take a moment and remember the last joke you told or heard or the last story that made you think. And now, take a deep breath, and ask yourself, ‘what am I made of?’

Leave an answer in the comments. I’d love to have a chat.


A recurring dream. One of being buried alive. Distress. Anxiety. Sleepless nights. The fear of being back to a place where helplessness was the norm and strength the basic catalyst of average. Exhaustion.

Nervous breakdowns can be difficult. Any breakdown can. One held within, so visceral, however, can take its toll. The toll becomes addictive. Withdrawal symptoms from grief, when happiness is the end.

Smashed in the face by a cricket ball. 22 yards down from a trundler, a thousand miles away from being in the present. Lost in thought, the body pays a price. Fast forward two weeks.

Slight shifts in perception. Helplessness turned on its head is empowerment. The feeling of mattering so little moves to the feeling of being able to do anything you can, without judgment, without consequence. The end becomes the means. Happiness is a state of mind.

Smash it to all parts. A hundred off 50 balls. Never before. Never before had even 10 been crossed with such limited anxiousness.

A recurring vision. One of being free. Devoid of psychological poverty, away from the depravity of self-assessment, rigid and unforgiving.

You’re not confined. Only constrained. The world may not be your oyster. But it is your world.

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