The Art of Not DoingCategories Cliché-yey, existence
All the books which analyse humanity and its behaviours seldom offers answers. But in its analysis there is a momentary glimpse of something which seems to transform you every so slightly. But for me, all of these books do point straight back to meditation. Meditation is not the word, its the act of self study, and self observation. The truth has not really changed, its always been us, but most of us don’t choose to dig through it. The weird thing is that in idleness we are faced with this truth which normally comes as a form of anxiety. Forgive me if I am talking about something which has somewhat become a cliché, but I think its worth looking into deeper than you would a cliché. Its in idleness that something new seems to happen, something which you’ve not experienced before. Its normally when someone retires, or loses a loved one and they faced with themselves that insights seem to start pouring in. I guess it could be a form of loneliness. I guess any form of idleness, you would experience a form of loneliness.
The activity of daily life just seems to put a veil over an empty object, but like the magicians curtain, once you remove the veil and the smoke cleares you find that there is something there. The things you saw were just an impression of things, but the impression seems to be enough for us to keep driving towards it. Keeping busy is a way of distracting yourself from the knowledge that you are the magician and you know that there is nothing there behind the curtain in the first place. You’ve created the show, you’ve made the props, you’ve put yourself in this show, but we’ve somehow forgotten that. We seem to have forgotten that the show is just a play, its made up and its momentary.
On a very practical level, we seem to be faced with a form of anxiety when we are given time to ourselfs, when we become aimless. Employment and the daily life just seems to give us something which gives the impression of progress, which seems to be enough to stop us from asking the questions which we asked when we were children. Somehow, those questions seem to come back to you when you get older, and when you are faced with idleness. Questions like, why are we here? And how the universe can be infinite and for us to take this space in its infinity. These curiosities which we run away from seem to rush back to us when we are in idleness, but these questions also seem to give us a form of rest which ‘things’ doesn’t seem to.
Older people are the folks we ignore in society, they are seldom talked about in popular culture. Like discarded leafs, we just wait for the rain water to take it away into the gutter. But the irony is that, as we get older, and as we get more useless to everyone else, and we get the time to remain in idleness is when a lot of us have the space to expand, and flourish. Its this time when we become in reality, the most useful for humanity.
I wonder what would happen if all the able bodied people took a break from employment for just a year, what kind of changes we would see. Because in that space where we are faced with idleness, we begin to wander and when we wander we open ourselfs to experiences which actually challenge us. There is so much talk about pushing past your comfort zone, to ‘put yourself out there’ but we can all do this just by sitting alone in any space by yourself. In that space there seems to be a kind of growth which goes beyond something you can write down in a resume. When you are retired, you start to paint, you start to write, you start to play. Somehow these goals which come from within seems to be more much fulfilling than the goals which seems to be come from without. Why do we run away from idleness which can bring us so much? Because idleness won’t type out your insurance claim forms, idleness won’t deliver your amazon parcels, idleness won’t write any code. The nature of idleness is inactivity. But its in inactivity that inspiration is. Its in inactivity that the right action is. Its in inactivity that you are. Its in inactivity that the universe is. The content is action, where it resides is inaction.