Sleeping While Awake

So much depends on how well we digest the experience of life. If we take the analogy of food, it is not only important to choose our fare by the quality of the substance, but also to take account of how well our system assimilates and digests it. For this reason there are those dietitians who stress the importance of proper food combinations, ensuring that the hodgepodge of items in our mouth do not conflict with each other in the valley of the stomach. There are ayurvedic methods as well which point to the need of relaxation and attention when in the process of tasting, chewing and pacing as one enjoys their meal. As a whole this serves as an exact analogy to what is required of us as we consume the events of this life, one moment at a time.

There are laws at work which serve to keep us distracted from the moment, always looking towards the next. The habit of hurry, for example, is said to cause us to be slower than if we took the time to mosey around with careful, gentle steps. It is amusing to realize that pressing for a result, anxious and impatient to arriving for some destination, is often what causes the whole journey to go off course and off track. It is this whisper of advice which trails aside us at every step, goading us to understand in the most subtle of ways, that a rough and crude manner of being can only serve to feed and support the obstacles which stand in our way. For it is a form of violence that we carry with us when our eyes fail to watch our feet.

Today, like any other, is filled with events which bring us to speak and interact with others and complete tasks with or without their influence or help. In every moment lies an opportunity to be fully present to all of the little details which comprise the nutritional value of this experience. It is these little details — like the shadow of your friend against the wall, the tone and pace of her words, how she fixates her eyes in one moment and then squints in the next, her tense or relaxed frame — which activates the sluggish digestive tract of your psychology to fully absorb and assimilate the reality which is unfolding before you.

If a man finds himself unimpressed, bored and indifferent to the need to make an effort in being alive, then what befalls him is equivalent to constipation. The value of life falls to the lowest denominator and the life force which brings about potential development, growth, learning and understanding, diminishes to a dismal degree. A man will likely age faster as nature, in all her perfection, sends those who are ‘sleeping while awake’ to an early grave. It is the analogy of physical exercise which highlights the need here to keep on guard with one’s capacity to concentrate on the nuanced shades of our senses and ensure they are striving, like Sisyphus, to always roll that boulder of attention up the hill of reality.

A man has to understand what he is missing in order to value the need to make an effort. Otherwise it is simply a theoretical idea which serves to lure him off his knees for no apparent reason other than to approach some abstract ideal. There has to be in us an intelligence which suffers when the quality of our thoughts, emotions and actions reach the plateau of mediocrity and cause us, year by year, to remain the same. If something aches and pains at the sight of a condition which has a remedy, however tedious or troubling, a man will go towards it as he would any other bitter medicine. Yet in this era, like no other before it, the comforts, satisfactions and pleasures are so integrated into our life that we find ourselves often unmotivated to even care to try.

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