Monday, October 09, 2006

Mon. Oct 9 : Awareness and Unawareness

One of the annoying things about living in Berkeley in the seventies was the therapists and spiritualists crowd. They were, well hell, we were always going around doing weird things like this:

How are you?


You’re just saying, fine. I think the way you are holding yourself shows that really you are angry.

No, actually, I’m having a nice day.

Well, that’s what you think, but underneath it all I sense a lot of unconscious anger.

This could go on and on, until finally, the formerly “fine” person would explode at being harassed and then voila!, the proof, that person had been “unconsciously angry” all along.

That being said: we are unconscious a lot and people do a lot of things without thinking or knowing what they are doing. The most obvious, once you start to look, is which shoe you put on first. We have a leg we stand on more and that leg goes second into pants and that foot goes second into shoes.

But there are habits of holding our breath when we are “trying” something a little out of our league. Or holding our breath when we are rushing something. And if we are rushing a lot of things a lot of the time, we could be, unconsciously, holding our breath a lot of the time.

We can unconsciously get in our car to drive a few blocks, especially the folks in this small town of Sonoma, where everything is within an uncrowded mile on two of everything else. Get in our car without really being aware, without noticing that we are missing the blue sky, or the feel of our feet as we walk, or the balancing and leg powered speed of a bicycle.

We can unconsciously shut ourselves inside all day, even though we could be getting out for a break now and then, or for a nice walk, or putter in the garden. Some people have a creature that is more natural than adults have become and these creatures: dogs on their leash, babies in their strollers, drag the big people out of the indoors.

We can unconsciously turn on the television, or the radio if we are in a car.

Reading, man, that’s one with me, pick up a book or a newspaper, and I’m eating words, and all awareness of my breathing or my arms and legs or my orientation to gravity, bye bye being aware of now.

So what’s this mean?

Are we bad if we are unconscious?

Nah, it just means that we are unconscious if we are unconscious. And if we were strolling down the street, unconscious of our walking because we were transfixed with the clouds, that would be one thing. But to roar across town in our cars, yapping away on a cell phone, or thinking with worry about what we are going to say when we get wherever we are going, that’s another, rather sadder state of being unaware. To me.

And the sad thing is the only thing: our lives. This is what we are missing. Our lives.

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