The Enigma Of The Subconscious

It’s a rather absurd notion to me in some respects to be told to address your “inner subconscious”. Logically it is as impossible as biting your own elbow.  The subconscious is a non-entity that exists outside of “being”. To address it means to kill it because in reaching it, it is no longer “sub” but very much “in” your consciousness.  Stop and think about that for a moment, you can destroy something that doesn’t exist in the first place simply by trying to get in touch with it, yet the mere thought of getting in touch with it is absurd to begin with because it doesn’t exist!

Yet, although it isn’t something that “exists” the irony is that it is also something you do not want to lose.  It is pretty much the gate keeper of your sanity, your moral compass and your imagination.  Even if were to consciously try and do away with your subconscious in some misguided notion of “unifying” your outer and inner selves or with malicious intent to make absolutely every aspect of your life rational, up front and incapable of change from unknown forces within, it is impossible in either case.  Because for every subconscious element you “connect with” and thus destroy, another one is lurking nearby which is still keeping things humming “behind the curtain”. It is an infinite process of replication and we, as non-omnipotent beings, are completely incapable of addressing and thus erasing every single element of our subconscious no matter how hard we try. 

So like it or not, no matter how hard you try, you will forever be subject to the mysteries of your subconscious for better or worse.

Extolling the Innocence of Children

You often hear people carry on about the innocence of children’s minds and how grand it would be if upon reaching adulthood our minds remained untainted by the harshness of reality.  It is often perceived that the greater the life experience, the more reality dulls the sharpness of the intuition we had as children, which seems counterintuitive.  Should not the sum total of life experience enhance our intuition? 

Children are also seen as being more open hearted.  I’m not discounting that, in many cases that is probably quite true.  However it also opens them up to the possibility to be led rather than to be leaders themselves.  It is very easy to manipulate someone who follows you blindly.  So whilst we certainly don’t want to be close hearted as adults, I think trying to emulate the openness of children should be done to a rational extent.

Certainly we all love children and everything they stand for, but I think rather than look at adulthood as a path downwards we ought to look at it as an evolutionary process.  Our emotional and intellectual capacity should be enhanced by our experiences not degraded by it.  It’s easy to coast downhill, it takes fortitude to make the push upwards.

Recognizing a Messiah Today

Were a self proclaimed “messiah” to appear amongst us today, would we notice?  It seems like it is high time for one.  Actually rather past due actually.  After all, over the past century we have murdered one another on an unprecedented scale.  When not at war we’ve managed to neglect our families in the all consuming quest to accumulate, not spiritual enlightenment, but material possessions.  Yes it’s a overly generalized statement, but there is certainly a significant dose of truth in it.

Most of us recognize the signs of decay around us and within us.  Yet do we seek a solution or simply go with the flow?  If among us a single individual were to step away from the crowd and proclaim to have the capacity to wipe the slate clean so to speak and free us from all torment if only we believe in him (or her) what would you do?  I think the majority would toss a coin at his/her feet and keep walking.  Money is the “go away” reflex most of us employ when faced with an uncomfortable proposition.  

To the messiah it would never be a question of whether or not we were worth saving (yet again of course if you believe in the first coming).  The question would be are we even open to the concept of salvation or do we naïvely believe that we have risen above the need? 

Even with all the technology of today we can still not override our expiration date.  We can still not match or better what the church has promised for centuries, provided such amenities are even of interest to you of course.

Even if we paused, looked up from our electronic devices, and for a split second took heed to what the messiah was saying to us would we toss the cell phone in the nearest bin at once and follow a “new path”?  It seems far more plausible that the messiah would walk the streets alone and should he/she still see fit to go through with self-sacrifice it seems likely that it would be little more than a five second mention on the local news.

 

Passing By The Window

I came across an anecdote attributed to Chinese philosophers which said in part that those we encounter in life are like people passing by a window.  No matter how short their own individual lives on earth are, all have equal merit in your particular life story because all have shared the exact same space in your “window” of experience. 

I can certainly agree with the notion that everyone has an opportunity to be memorable to someone else in some way.  Yet as unintended consequence of interpretation one might also say that the underlying coldness inherent in you being “inside” and everyone else being “outside” speaks volumes to the majority of relations in our modern world. 

Artists – Your Century Will Come!

Have you ever noticed when archaeologists uncover artwork it is always a “stunning example from this period”?  They never seem to say, “well it’s a bit amateurish”.  Even stick figures in caves are “marvels of prehistoric culture”.  Come to think of it I don’t think I’ve ever seen doodles from kids.  Surely I wasn’t the only child that went through reams and reams of paper fingerprinting?  Even back in cave days the little ones dipped their fingers in clay and swirled it around a bit.  Yet everything you ever see in a museum always seems to be from a “master craftsman” of one sort or another. 

I think it gives hope to starving artists like myself.  Whilst I may be like Van Gogh and never sell a thing in my lifetime, I can hold onto reasonable odds that in a couple of centuries hence my stuff will be on display in a museum after they’ve dug up my hard drive in some junkyard.  They’ll ponder over my intent, my colour choice etc.  Maybe someone will even do a thesis on primitive art in the early 21st century.  My day will come, fame is at hand, I just know it.   

Could you live in a numberless world?

Legend has it that in the days of yore life was so chaotic when people began to move into urban areas that huge town clocks were erected in public squares to bring order into people’s lives with that incessant gong every hour on the hour.  Yes indeed, it was numbers that pulled us all into line.  So have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a numberless world?

1.  You would have no clock to wake you up at a precise time in the morning.  Not to mention the fact you wouldn’t know what day it was anyway since your calendar would have no numbers.
2.  You wouldn’t be able to order a coffee at the local café let alone pay for it because you wouldn’t be able to tell them how many you wanted and they wouldn’t be able to tell you how much it cost.
3.  You wouldn’t be able to find your way to work because the buildings would be unnumbered, as would the exits on the highway.
4.  In your panic to find your office you wouldn’t know if you were speeding or not because your speedometer would have no numbers.  Even if a policeman were to pull you over he would have no proof of your speed and therefore could not write you a ticket.
4.  If by some stroke of luck you did stumble upon your workplace, you wouldn’t be able to get to your floor due to a numberless elevator. 
5.  If you worked on the ground floor, you still couldn’t work in any sort of spreadsheets, could not dial a number on the telephone and wouldn’t be paid anyway no matter what your profession since payment would have to be in numbered bills or an amount on a cheque.

The beginning of a surrealist novel, don’t you think? 

 

Create wonder by shifting perspective

Whenever you’re feeling bored with your surroundings, take a moment to shift your perspective.  When sitting at your desk imagine the view of an ant upon the floor looking upwards.  A seemingly impossible vertical climb whose topmost point is probably not even within the ant’s perception.  Yet with no hesitation, he will climb it. 

When stuck in traffic instead of looking forward through your windshield, look up.  There is likely a bird in the sky.  You’re but a speck on the ground to it.  It has a view you’re unlikely to ever have in your lifetime, even in an airplane – a 180 degree view.  If there is no bird in the sky, there are likely trees or even tall buildings around.  These are the landing pads for birds on the go -avian rest stops if you will.

And that’s just mentioning the outer world.  The possibilities when looking within with the help of imagination are boundless.   

Pinholes in the sky

When I was a child, I used to think the stars were pinholes in the night sky through which those in Heaven looked down upon us.  Now that I live in a bustling city, it is rare if ever I am able to detect the pinholes in the sky.  I can well see how easily those “in society” suffer from melancholy. 

The lights of Heaven give us comfort – not only with remembrance of loved ones whose spirits have passed on, but also hope that there is a light at the end of our own personal tunnel.  Without them we rely on an inner compass that we cannot clearly see with our naked eyes as easily as the stars.  Therefore, not everyone is up to the challenge and many become lost when they cannot read their inner maps and find their way.  As the Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai once said of a lonely soul who traveled to the biggest city he could find in order to die – the death of his loneliness was found in the loneliness of his death.