Monday, August 8, 2011

Mental Puzzles and Present-ness

On this blog I have written much about large trends and movements in society itself, but not as much about very present, human-scale issues. Turning one's focus back to the here and now is exactly what this entry is about. You'll hear the wise talk about being present, that is: not fixating on the past and not fretting about the unknown future. That is the goal of the following method, but also being spatially present, as well. If there is something happening, or you believe it to be happening, right now but not in your immediate situation, then it is something to be avoided along with the past and future. If somewhere a deal for ten thousand shares in Google is taking place, but not where you are, it would be best your thoughts turned away from it.

Imagine your mental landscape as a maze. The dead-ends are the fears, delusions, obsessions, and insecurities which can derail and dominate our energies. In the middle are your values, ethical and aesthetic. We might cite our values when in a dead-end in some intellectual grooming to excuse our choices, but not until we dig our way out from the maze's depths can we be our mental identity.

Our journey for a healthy mental state doesn't end there. We can only be the maze center for a moment before we reflect, therefore we must choose quickly to re-focus our attention outward. In our model of the mental landscape the maze is two dimensional and can be seen superimposed upon our bodies. When we are focused internally the orientation is a plane that doesn't intersect the sense organs; imagine the maze starting in your frontal lobes and slanted down through the torso. When we get to, and become, the maze's center we can reorient the mental landscape to intersect the eyes, the skin, let it drift down to touch the nose and tongue, and experience the here and now. Sometimes we don't like where we are, but if that opinion is to mean something we have to live it.