Want to be great? Want to be a marvellous success? Be willing to be an utter failure, and realize that neither is you. You are powerful beyond measure. Fearing making mistakes is also fearing miracles.
So my question, can we live an idle life?
Patient yes, but not idle.
I think it’s unhealthy to be idle.
I don’t think it’s in our nature to do so. Why wouldn’t it be, if life is more or less meant to be vegetative? If we are just meant to survive, reproduce and expire?
Well, the body needs to be active to stay healthy as well as the mind, heart and soul. I agree. Humanities struggle to understand the advent of life is meaningful. Why am I here? Where did I come from? We intuit that if we can understand this then we will know what to do with our lives, that somehow we will be able to recover or unearth an order that was already there. Even science is heavily dependent on the notion that there is an objective reality that has observable traits and behaviors that we can learn from. In a way, we are all trying to practice our own form of science. We fear oblivion because it at first seems very hard to find and feel confident about sources of meaning in our world. So we grasp at straws, loose threads of a tapestry that we don’t clearly see, and if it seems to have any pull at all, any persistent value or meaning, we hang on for dear life.
So what is human society other than a collection of such threads? Notions that we cling to as supposed proof of endurance, persistence, survivability… Meaning? We aren’t misguided in trying to seek these things. It’s innate and a necessary drive for our wellbeing and that of our world as well. This is why it isn’t even unique to our species.
A recent study shows and illustrates something that people have been reporting subjectively for a long time. Caring for the young has been proven to reverse some of the symptoms of aging. Becoming a parent or grandparent can move us to re-engage with this tapestry of meaning, and it has very real, physical effects.
I feel that we struggle so much because our focus is misdirected. Maybe it’s a side effect of being such clever monkeys. We seem to think just because we can. Perhaps because it feels good. We do a fair number of not necessarily useful things simply because they feel good, and do they strengthen our sense of meaning? Alcoholism can be said to be self-medication motivated by a failure to find or keep a sense of meaning in life.
Or maybe you just need a bit of calm. Why would we need calm?
A hectic day…a glass of wine takes the edge off. That wouldn’t be alcoholism.
Every machine needs rest. We are not machines, and even at rest our minds don’t slow down let alone shut down, but we’ve hit upon something. At rest our consciousness falls back into its root state, and in that state among other things we get in touch not with our thoughts about self (people tend to report not thinking about much while at rest). We instead in that state have an opportunity to reconnect with our experience of self, to feel ourself, feel like ourself, and figure out if everything is really ok. This is why some people become workaholics. All work and no play dosen’t make for a dull person, they make for a numb person. When at rest, the feeling comes back to our self, just like when at rest the feeling can come back to an overworked limb.
I’ve noticed recently how so many people report not being able to sleep. Is this related? It is related. Not connecting with self perhaps? Not connecting and being afraid to connect, because it would confront us with the fact that all is not well.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.