One of the most beautiful and simple things we can do in this life, is to simply observe. Observe to the fullest extent of our capacity. Our surroundings, our inner and outer selves; but most importantly, ourselves. Whatever experience we have, we must realize that how we perceive it, that perception is happening from within. In no other way can one Experience (something). Perhaps Socrates was considering something similar to this when he said that a life without self-examination is a life not worth living. But that’s a little too deep for where I’m headed right now.
I’ve been doing a bit of observation on my own lately, and I’ve found some interesting social trends popping up. I don’t think it’s anything new now, but something that might have been started in the 70s with the growth of commercialism, television, and perhaps the inception of mental health disorders and a rising divorce rate. I’ll never forget a quote from Miles Davis when he was asked if he had a distaste for white people, and he said in his raspy voice “I just don’t like American women.. they’re too much like television.” Setting all jokes aside, he said this before I was born, and after having lived in a multi-national setting for quite some time, I’m finding that most developed nations have adopted what I believe he was referring to.
I’m not specifically saying that I feel all women act like television, but rather that through consumerism, competitive individualism, and perhaps corporate globalization; society has learned to adopt such sophisticated mannerisms or behaviors so well, that there is absolutely no room or consideration for how actually one feels. This is what brings me to the topic of Ignorance.
I don’t mean stupid, but rather a willful action of ignoring situations or actions because it’s simply easier. Of course in certain cases we are betting off ignoring things. Especially when they involve other actions that don’t impose a physical, emotional, psychological or spiritual threat to us or those around us. However, there are indeed times that situations invite one’s attention, and how one deals with these moments, play in a role in self-development, psychological and emotional well being, as well as the types of relationships one is able to maintain with others.
I find that today it is common place for people to literally not respond to questions that involve even the slightest bit of self-reflection. I also find that once the action of ignorance takes place, another subject is brought up, to make it seem as if nothing ever happened. At first, I found this quite confusing, and of course I would just leave it. But then I started seeing these types of behaviors among various people from many different countries. I also noticed other similarities as well. There’s often a form oral or visual stimulation occupying their attention. Communication topics are short lived and circle around shared similar past experiences. There is rarely any clear language that confirms commitment, and finally, these people often present themselves as very happy people, all the time.
Now to the Narcissistic side. If we consider our thoughts, whatever they may be, and we ask ourselves, “Do I only want to think of the thoughts that make me feel good, and never think of the things that make me feel uncomfortable?” What is the answer? I originally assumed that most of us would suggest that we sometimes think about the things that don’t necessarily make us feel good. I mean, how else would we know how to avoid bad future situations without contemplating them? Sometimes it’s not easy, however an analogy comes to mind. If I find myself having a pattern of relationships that all start out great, and then end in the same way, and then I find myself unhappy because I’m lonely, which would then that means I should desire to change this pattern. And when I look into this situation, I will likely discover right away that because I was apart of that pattern, then I ought to place some of the attention as to why the pattern exists in the first palce; and here we are. In order to better myself in this situation, I need a little bit of self-examination. Narcissism seems to be quite sneaky. It not only hides in our instagram and facebook, or on the cosmetic shelf, but as well as in our own minds. Where we might tend to avoid any if not all forms of discomfort.
As I have mentioned many times before on this blog, just being honest with ourselves can open many doors, and close others. I just personally have a hard time imagining that self-examination isn’t respecting the sacredness of life. On that note, and in the words of Alan Watts “You can go on living life in as many forms as you want for all of eternity. You can be depressed, anxious, sad, whatever. But, if you decide one day that you are are tired of living it that way, you are free to change.