Saturday, May 18, 2013

All the Reasons You Don't

Most of us sleep away our lives.

Some do so literally, some figuratively.

We dabble. We dally. We perseverate. We second guess. We question. We reason.

We never resolve.

Some do these actively with vigor, thus providing the sensation of forward motion.

Yet in moments of waking they realize that the sensation was nothing more than a blissful dream or nightmare.

Perhaps sleep is the wrong verb. Perhaps a better verb word would be masturbate? Hmm...

Let's try that out.

Most of us masturbate away our lives.

Some do so literally, some figuratively.

We seek stimulation. We exhaust it. We seek new stimulation. We exhaust it.

Hmm... that's not quite it either.

Maybe it's a combination of both verbs?

Most of us masturbate and sleep away our lives.

Some do so literally, some figuratively.

We seek stimulation. We find it. We stimulate. We sleep.

We repeat the pattern, over and again.

For some, it's dinner, television and bed.

For others it's a night out seeking the perfect momentary partner, and then...

Stimulation comes in bottles; it comes in pills.

It comes in cups; it comes in mugs.

Stimulation performs on stages; it plays on screens.

Every once in a while, we find the perfect stimulant, a combination that leads to an experience we want to repeat.

It might be the perfect mix of coffee, cream and sugar.

It might an amazing performance in a hall that is acoustically perfect.

It might a keen awareness resulting from chemically enhanced senses.

The experience might be so wonderful that you give up everything trying to recreate it.


I guess it's so you can sleep.

Seek, stimulate, sleep.

Seek, stimulate, sleep.

If you take me too literally, you're probably thinking, "What the heck is he talking about now?"

I know I'd be thinking that.

Nonetheless, I think there something in what I'm saying that makes sense.

I believe that we all start as creators and designers, builders and implementors, performers and players. Yet something happens along the way. We abandon these primary reasons for being and become something else: consumers.

We become buyers and collectors. Watchers and critics. Users and abusers. We lose all those things that form our likeness to god.

We could find them. It'd be easy... if only we knew they were missing.

Happy Saturday,


  1. Tef,
    This post was rattling around in the back of my head all weekend, and then this morning in the shower a couple of thoughts popped up. One is about consuming on the one hand, and building/creating/playing on the other. Methinks there's a space in between that's neither consuming nor producing - just still and at peace. The other thought is that the reason we universally seek out stimulation & experience is to cover up a dull but persistent ache that comes from a lack of that peace, and a faulty model of where we fit in this world. When we feel fundamentally & irreversibly inadequate, and fatally judged when our producing falls short (of others' standards), then sleeping, escaping and lying low seem to be the safer alternative.

  2. Sree,
    You're on to something that I think is quite important. However, I would think about it slightly differently.

    Peace (or level thereof) doesn't fall between production and consumption. It's a vector that runs orthogonally to the other.

    In neuroscience, one measures arousal level (level of neural activity) and valance (highly positive to highly negative). One can be highly aroused with a positive valance (gleeful), highly aroused with a negative valance (enraged), not aroused with a positive valance (peaceful), and not aroused with a negative valance (depressed).

    Similarly, one can be highly productive with positive valance or with a negative valance. The valance would be independent of the activity or level of activity.

    Once can be at peace while traversing a gnarly downhill on a mountain bike or angst ridden while traversing a well-groomed golf course. One can be at peace while authoring reams of text and anxious while reading it.

    I believe that the level of peacefulness operates independently the level of consumption or production.


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