Today’s ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide To’ was born out of question put to ROMBi founder, Penny Georgiou via Quora; ‘What do you do when you don't want to do anything?’. Something we are all too familiar with?
Penny responded as follows:
For us humans, at least from my experience and from awareness of the struggles of people who speak about their impasses - especially within education, exploring and clarifying how one can best respond to lethargy/limbo is a very valuable exercise.
When we have an order from someone else that tells us what to do and when - often right now! - whether justly or otherwise, it may be unpleasant but it relieves us of the burdens of subjective freedom, which include inklings of unknown possibilities that call for our considering, exploring and clarifying our desire, acting with its direction and discovering what happens. (experiment)
Figures of authority (those we love) and tyrannical figures (those we fear) serve this function of relief from impulses, from desire, from not knowing how to begin to really allow oneself to be or to become anything other than what one already recognises - (reaction, repetition, stagnation)
This could be why many follow leaders - whether in families, friendship groups, communities, businesses, countries, and ‘tribes’ whose imperatives are simplistic and brutal. They bring respite from our innate faculties of contemplation, which we tend to fall into using to condemn when we don't yet know how to begin to explore and assume them creatively.
So, we seek relief from these burdens in our not knowing where to begin to do otherwise. And we cannot begin to awaken to knowing a little more, and it really is always just a little more, until life experience itself awakens in us new possibilities - sometimes in emergencies, sometimes in epiphanies and moments of wonder - where we experience something new, we act instantly; …and before we have time to stall the process with second-guessing, we are on the other side of having become someone that we didn't know could have been party to such an experience, or that such things could even really be - in real life…
It sometimes takes decades before we can integrate these creative discoveries in a coherent way into how we - uniquely - understand our world, beyond the mass of confusion of warring opinions transmitted on the ‘chatternet’.
Sometimes, emergencies are terrible moments and many examples of these are condemned, dramatized, amplified, reported on and spoken about ad nauseum. Dystopian artefacts and news items abound with them and so we don't know how to discern with any coherence - at least in terms of our part in them - the difference between ‘creative’ experiences and those that seem to be the cause of terrible devastations.
In relieving us of the burdens of freedom, reacting exclusively to orders from others, be it following or opposing, robs us of its privileges, including the potential for discovering the mysteries of what can really be possible for us - each in terms that are most relevant within our own unique point of life experience. (vivacious revelations)
We often lose ourselves in feelings in ways that are painful, or that we don't like, We don't understand or even know how to begin to think of their place in our experience. First, in our innocence as children, our feelings are everything and, as experience proceeds and this doesn't seem to work out very well, we come to distrust and suppress them. We can move beyond this impasse.
The best idea that I have come across - one that is simple, precise and clear, and holds up coherently - is that we can read how we are feeling as an -in-real-time-moment-to-moment - authentic tracker of how the thought (stream) we are in is upholding or condemning our desire. Our desire being our inner life in its motion towards awareness, realisation and outward expression, including our gesture to those we love. It is our condemnation that distorts this motion into the detriment that we call malice, not the accidents or exasperations of desire itself as its waves break on the shores of our awareness.
So, when you don't feel like doing anything at all…
If, as a first step, you could ease up on reading it as something wrong, trust your process and see how life, in its infinite, unpredictable magnitude surprises you with something fresh to interest you fairly soon. It could be a little as a few minutes…until you are off on another trail…
It seems to be only our chronic perspective of criticism that keeps us in limbo…
There is much to explore but I trust that this can offer a starting point in this nebulous zone.
Penny’s Quora account is filled with useful answers to a range of life’s questions and her bio includes a list of useful links. View Penny's Quora here!
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