Wednesday 1 November 2017

Subtle sensitivities, stories, and the sense of reality.

Paying attention is the shaping of attention. It's like driving a car. You learn, do the test, get the license, and then obey the rules of the road. Driving the mind, the body, emotions is not dissimilar. Only problem is that formal stuff drives out the sense of reality, and replaces it with artificial urgency.

Formal education, formal religion, formal economy, formal language in particular, all have a way of impressing a sense of reality on a mind that's easily led by felt importance. I have always been utterly annoyed when someone expects me to stand still and listen. Perhaps I was born a rebel, perhaps with special sensitivities. And I have also always been polite: I have stood still and listened, even when I knew the fruitlessness of it. I prefer a conversation, a reasonable one, with urgencies that are reckoned with, not imposed.

My own body has its imperatives, which are mostly under self-control. I would prefer to be wild, and throw off these stupid constraints, but then, I would be imprisoned, punished and lose what I have.

So having given up on wildness and reasonability, I turn to sensitive subtleties.

I think these are what give us a sense of truth which then blows up like a balloon, and we refuse to pop it, at any cost.

Let me suggest a few examples:

the first time you ate a meal that impressed you
the first action you took that meant freedom
the last thing you have done to give you pleasure
the last thing you've done for which you would ask forgiveness
the next thing you would do, no matter the cost
the next person you would want to hug
the next person you would hug
the people that come to mind that you miss
the last time you were still, and noticed nature
music that you wish to hear, now

There are infinitely more. Intensities of subtleties of which you are hardly aware, but they make your living story what it is.

Think of what occupies the minds of political leaders, and how far these thoughts are from realizing their own subtle sensitivities. Like bullets and bandits, they simply smash a way into general experience, without respect, without recognition.

Whose story is the important one, why, how, and how is it to be told, and who will listen?

I think these answers are the stuff of heaven.

They really aren't difficult answers, but their utterances seem to be a long time coming.

When I chat with the next person who's there, in front of me, I experience a new reality, and I am glad of it. That sense of reality is a good one. There are many examples of the opposite. Human cruelty is its own devil. Human love is more normal than one would think. It takes little more than a touch.

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