Consciousness + Life

Paul Gauguin collides with The Mall of America

How does consciousness integrate with a human life? It’s a big problem because the consciousness and the life don’t always mesh. That’s why things feel a little off most of the time. Mostly, it’s either too hot or too cold. Too loud or too quiet. Too much or little.

And then throw other humans into the mix: you put two or more of these bipeds together, and you’re going to have bigger problems. Other humans are either too loud, too quiet, too hot, too cold, or they’re jackasses. On top of which it’s still too hot, cold, busy, boring, and everyone wants your money.

Every now and then, though, like an athlete in the zone, it’s all lined up: life and consciousness unify. But mostly, it’s all a little off. What to do about this fundamental disconnect? It’s been under discussion for a long, long time.

Suggestions emerge from all the known sources, as well as hidden-in-plain-sight surfaces you’d never think to look, such as the side of a box of long-stemmed matches at the Mall of America. Be the flame, not the moth.

And pearls of wisdom from all the civilizations:

Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted. — Aldous Huxley

Solvitur Ambulando: The solution comes through walking. — Latin proverb.

Small spirits seek relief. Large spirits seek expansion. — Anonymous

One of the best suggestions I ever heard, back in the old cult, was as clear and shocking as cold water: stop all thought. That’s it. Simple. Shocking in the best sense. It’s a portable transformation widget. Stop all thought. In a millisecond, for however many seconds you maintain the dam containing endless cascading mentation, you’re more clear-headed and more alive.

I shut my eyes in order to see. — Paul Gauguin

Not that thought is the problem here. The problem is the paradox of mindless mental activity; habit is the problem. That’s why Gauguin closed his eyes in order to see. When he opened them again, the world was new again. Well, not the world. His eyes, his brain was able to see the world anew. The same with stopping all thought. Fully conscious without thinking, you imbue the phrase “an open mind” with a breath of creation. And thereby increase the likelihood of union, consciousness + life.

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