Some wise person commented that when the fringe becomes the norm then we need to look for the next fringe. Or something of that nature…and those who know me know I love the fringe. But I also like to challenge thinking. Make up my own mind. (That will come from 30 plus years of studying and applying the work of Buckminster Fuller.)
Mindfullness…now mainstream…which is great. Seriously. Being brought into the corporate cultures around the world. A blessed relief to the quest for the eternal busy as the badge of passing some mythical test of worthiness.
Meditation practice, also great. Sitting in silence and bringing our super charged mind to a quiet set point is a magnificent and needed practice.
But what of the polar opposite of mindfullness. What of mindlessness? Also known as day dreaming? Absolutely totally free floating…away with the fairies…lost in some thread of nothing, for no reason…. at all? Gazing out a window, lost to any connection to time and space? Not trying to come back to the breath, or the point of focus, the mantra…not trying to come back at all….?
My personal addiction is the inbetween space from sleep to awake..what I call float time…semi awake, semi asleep…drifting between worlds. Totally delicious. Totally without purpose. Almost always one of the best ways to start a great day.
Or reading a novel…for no purpose other than pleasure…and in the pleasure, sometimes…stumbling upon a vein of brilliance that will change my path. Some random link from some random comment in some random book and my mind goes out into the ether, making the most marvelous connections. Or watching some mindless TV show. Not really watching. The TV show the sometimes required excuse to disappear.
Mindlessness…daydreaming…in schools we make this wrong. We punish the child who is found window gazing instead of attending to the class. Yet out that window may be the most brilliant connection possible.
For me the practice of mindfullness is a concentrated practice. It is a focus. A bringing in.
The practice of mindlessness is the practice of distribution…of throwing out the net. Of opening ourselves to the vastness of the field.
In a world that is directed almost exclusively by reason and the quest for the reasonable (another form of focus and concentration)…mindlessness allows connection with the unreasonable. We are literally throwing our mind out into the field as a net, making connections without a design, without a plan, and without purpose.
As a long distance runner (as in running continuously for a whole day)…what happens quickly is a disappearance. My body is running, and some part of me is present. But for the most part, I have disappeared into mindlessness. There is no time, no space, no where to go, nothing to do. There is no focus…that focus is almost always physical only. In times of stress this disappearance is like the cool drink in a desert. I want to let go of focus. I want to let go of direction and purpose. I want to drift somewhere where there is no world to save or fires to fight.
It is the disappearance that is so wonderful. The same disappearance we go to in deep sleep.
Just as we are suffering an epidemic of sleep deprivation, I sense we are suffering an epidemic of mindlessness deprivation.
Our purpose and goal driven world, built on a practice of reason, measurement, and evidence based examination, is missing the counter balance or timelessness, mindlessness, purposelessness. We need more daydreaming.
I want to collide with your mind out in the field. Randomly. These are the moments I treasure the most…the random collisions that come when I am in a free fall state of mind.
My advise…for no reason at all…take some time today to gaze out the window. To look upon the ocean. Or the mountains. Disappear whilst awake. And rather than tell yourself this is the biggest waste of time, the biggest loss of productivity…simply enjoy it.
Become a master daydreamer. Hell yes to that!