Experiencing & Connecting with Reality Part 1 (2016)
When you strip away everything man made, what remains is and always will be nature. Nature, in the form of animals, forests, mountains, planets, stars, the list could go on. Nature is synonymous to the Universe. (Due to the amount that could be written about this topic alone, this will be broken up into a series of articles)
The world that we live in and the Earth that we live on are two different places and this has been the case for many years; people have become so disconnected to nature where the main focus of attention is solely on our phones, headphones, television, you get the idea. You only have to walk down the street to see people walking whilst placing their full attention on their phones whilst listening to their music without much regard for where they are going. It is only when they bump into something or someone, do they then snap back into their surroundings. It is all to do with the faculty of attention; one of our greatest faculties, which is often misused and placed on things that are not relevant to our environment.
Most car accidents happen because the driver was probably thinking about something else as opposed to having his eyes on the road. For instance, it is quite common for drive only for someone walking down the street to catch our eye; as you see this person, your head turns. In more ways than one, but in this context, physically, where the head goes, the body follows. The car then steers towards the direction your head is turned and you find yourself either about to hit oncoming traffic as you have left your side of the road, or are driving towards this person. Only when you realise what is happening, do you then quickly steer back onto your side of the road. Unfortunately, sometimes it is too late. Other times, it could be somebody else’s awareness that fails them so that they steer into you instead. Another example is perhaps having a dispute with someone in the car, which has distracted our attention. So you see that already, simple and perhaps innocent shifts in our attention could have serious consequences to us and our surroundings.
It is very common for to have experienced a journey from A to B, but not remembered a thing about it. You may have done the same journey many times or performed a task so many times to the point where you go onto autopilot and forget about the entire experience as a whole, which is part of the habituation hypothesis. This is often why time appears to pass more quickly the older we become. As a result, a child may have genuinely felt the slow passage of 10 years whereas an adult who is fixed in a routine will go onto autopilot and have then looked back in realisation that 10 years have passed so quickly.
It is not just a lack of awareness in a physical sense, it is also our thoughts. Nowadays, people as a whole have become so thought-oriented that much of the attention is placed on analytical faculties. What does that even mean? Thinking is a bad thing? Not at all. In fact, overthinking, something everybody is guilty of, is absolutely detrimental to an individual. Generally speaking, most people think about past events, dwelling on what they could have done, should have done, what should have happened and what actually happened, constantly replaying those memories. People also think in the conditional tense also; what should happen and what could happen. Whilst these thoughts and considerations are important to a certain degree, too much of it occupies your current attention to the point where it distracts and removes you from your surroundings. Worrying is simply the misuse of imagination. These thoughts can then have a huge effect on how you feel. It ought to be the other way round where you concentrate on your feelings, i.e. your senses and sensitivities, which will in turn, modify and moderate your thoughts. Stay tuned for part 2.