Words- sometimes, they really flummox me.
Take mindful for example.
When first encountered the word seems to suggest the state of being in ones head…you know, as in full of mind. While this may appear to be a better alternative to being full of shit, it actually is arguably not.
In the vernacular of the generation, to be “all up in my head” or to allow someone “to get into ones head” is synonoumus to to a mindfuck.
Which surprisngly isn’t a good thing.
My dad would use the term mind, as a verb in the sense of ” Mind you don’t knock over that beer with all your hand talking”
To “mind the children” would describe the responsibility of keeping an eye on them or out for them, which lines up with the dictionary defintion : “Conscious or aware of something.”
Yet its the seccond meaning of the word is one that appears more frequently in our currrent language: “Focusing one’s awareness on the present moment”
Everyone is talking about the state of “mindfulness” and this us where I remain flummoxed.
How can I step outside of my head if being mindful requires me to be full of mind?
Now you might recognize the practice of my overthinking here….(is that mindful?)
Recently, plant based psychedelics in the form of mushrooms, ayahuasca, peyote, et al, have been more publicly touted as treatments for ADHD, PTSD, Alcoholism, Anxiety, amongst other neurally diveregent experiences.
Almost universally, the feedback described a trip that results in some form of Egoic Dissociation
People describe the trip as revealing and enlightening in that it provided a perspective that allowed the tripper to see their role in some grander scheme of things.
They speak of the awareness of themselves as only a small part of a much bigger system, simultaneously providing the humility of the awareness of ones own insignificance as well as the power of being a part of a much bigger force.
One indivual I spoke with saw himself as a piston within an engine, when he became aware of this, he felt momentarily bummed and decided to leave the confines of the cylinder he was relegated to and in so doing the engine ceased operating – he was but a cog, but without him the entire machine was renedered impotent.
It made me think….even more.
Perhaps the notion of mindfulness is exactly the intersection between our stunning, seemingly limitless capacities and the fragility of our humanity.
Perhaps when we practice mindfulness we find ourselves driving to that intersection.
A place where awareness, and acceptance trumps fear and controlling.
Even with this revelation I was still flummoxed as to why a word which was outwardly confounding, was penetrating our current conversations so profusely.
So I shifted to look for a clue from another angle. Perspectice from the other side often leads me to understanding, if nothing else, more holistcally
I thought about the antonmym …Mindless.
Ah …now that’s something that’s really easy to get my head around!
Mindless leads me to the place of the prusuit of the exterior solving issues for the interior.
Mindless work, sex, partying, driving etc, all seem to be a way to bring the body away from that which distrubs it – if only temporarily. Not that there’s anything wrong with a little steppin out on the endless demands of our hyper speed existence, it’s just that it is so seductive as an alternative to the messiness of life that we often choose to reside in shallow mindlessness as a painfree alternative to fully experiencing rollercoaster of the exisitence we are graced with.
Our head down scrolling, or actions executed under the veil of spin doctor blame throwing, all to often lulls us from from that intersection tp a place where we are not quite sure why we do what we do other than “that’s just the norm of the herd“
Can mindfullness restore our concisousness?
If mindlessness releases us from the awareness of our actions then it’s opposite, mindfullness must actually be a state of heightened awarness of the moment in which we are.
Case in point “flummoxed”
I had no idea what the word meant…until it drew my attention to it and I directed my actions to the understanding of it….which in the smallest of ways moment of mindfullness, despite being in the middle of a kaleidoscope http://www.makingabetterpast.com/2023/01/01/reset-day-one/
Perhaps the introduction of mindfullness into our conversations, will be the antitdote for a society in which responsibilty for our actions, at home, in relationships and in business will finally resurface, so that we can actually get to work on fixing what we broke.
Hmmm, I need to think about that. 😉