The mind is a curious place and I’m stuck often wondering how in the world we all seem to function. Considering the vast capacity of our minds to wander from one end to another, from one topic to another, from one time to another etc. etc. it is indeed a great wonder that we all haven’t already gone somewhat insane or a little cracked already! :p But then again, I think we all are a little ‘zany’ or ‘whacky’ and that helps keep us a little more sane?
So what has been going on inside my head lately? I remember having somewhat of an epiphany but nowhere near as clear and crystallized as a REAL epiphany. How about we call is a quasi-epiphany? I was sitting in church and I wish I could remember what the sermon was about but it must have had something to do with God’s love and grace or His saving power because that’s when the quasi-epiphany struck me. I’ve had friends who jokingly or seriously, depending on your perception of them, have said that they marvel at how they haven’t already lost their minds or gone crazy. Usually, this outburst or comment is followed by jovial laughter and ribbing and remarks such as ‘but you’re already crazy’ and ‘you’re already wahhh’ etc. etc. I think in my case, it was that Sunday morning in church when it hit me…I could have very well ended up mentally unbalanced. Or forever stuck in my own private fantasy land where I’m the hero, have superpowers, save the world and all-in-all am considered a highly special person. Somewhere deep down inside, the make-believe world is so much more inviting and comforting than reality. I have found myself, many a times, wondering how in the world time has flown so quickly only to be greeted with the fact that I’ve been standing still in one place for the past hour or so, lost in my own head, lost in my own make-believe world, oblivious to actual time in the real world. When I wake myself up from my ‘sleep’, it does unsettles you to realize that not too long back, it felt like you were in some different reality all together and how easily you got yourself lost in it. It’s like that Chinese thinker, Zhuangzi, who said that once he dreamt he was a butterfly but couldn’t help but wonder if in fact, he was a butterfly who dreamt that he was a man. So many movies have dealt with similar themes of an altered reality or false reality and perception i.e. The Matrix, The 13th Floor, Inception, Shutter Island etc. etc. The concept is old but the unsettling effect can never be. I feel there must be a countless number of people who just ‘opt’ out of life and the world because sometimes the world in their own minds is kinder and better than what lies ahead of them. People may read this and scoff but it does happen and there are people who experience this sensation and can’t help but wonder and wish that an alternate reality existed and preferably it should be the one they’ve created in their own minds. So question – Why have I not completely lost myself already? Answer – I give credit to the Big Man Upstairs for that. Everyone needs their anchors in life. I have my family but more importantly, there is the Big Man Upstairs and for some unknown reason, I keep coming back to Him sometimes kicking and screaming. When I feel like I’m slipping away there comes a voice from somewhere that tells me to wake and snap out of it and like a powerful lens, things snap back into focus with clarity. It often feels like a veil has been lifted and suddenly you’ve got 20/20 vision. That clarity doesn’t always happen but the ‘lifting of the veil’ or the feeling that the ‘curtain of sleep’ has been drawn does occur.
I am not quite sure what inspired me to start typing about this whole issue of the mind and multiple perceptions and realities. But I guess knowing that the mind is at once both fragile and frighteningly powerful, kind of served as the inspiration. I’m watching a series right now and though fictitious, it deals with a lot of issues which can cause doubt and a distortion of one’s beliefs because we are so susceptible to suggestion and ideas. Yet at the same time, much like the series time and time again states, much of what can be done, does lie in your own hands – even the simple act of faith is completely your choice. That is strangely comforting to know we choose to do what we can do with our lives and hope and pray that there are others who choose to help us along as well. Hmmmm….
So regarding this post’s title, what has been going on inside my head? Firstly, my head right now is full of questions – will I pass the mains, will I complete my MPhil. with good marks, will I master Mandarin, will I find a good house, will I be able to keep my pets, will I be able to do and be all that I want to do and be etc. etc. Like I said, my head is full of QUESTIONS!!!!! The saddest part is? I don’t even know the answer to any of them! Other times, I feel like it’ll all be ok and fall into place. Therefore, along with questions, there is also the resolve to tackle them. These questions are accompanied by the thought of BOOKS – books that need to be read, books that need to be returned, books that need to be photocopied and books that I wish I could own. Somewhere with books, thoughts of HOME keeping popping up – how much I miss home, how much I miss my family, how much I wish I could spend more time with my mum and dad and really soak up those precious moments of being together, how much I wish I could establish a good base to push off from at home etc. etc. With home, books and questions, my head takes time to dwell on FAITH and GOD – how I wish to strengthen my faith, how I wish to walk closer with God and how I feel disappointed with myself for not being more devoted etc. etc. But then my heart strings tug and my mind becomes filled with worries over ACADEMICS – can I really do this MPhil, can I really offer something new in a dissertation, can I even compile a dissertation, can I study different disciplines or is this it for me, is there really an age bar to learning etc. etc. Sure enough, as if all the previous mentioned issue weren’t enough, LOVE factors in to the whole scheme of things – will I find love, is he/she out there for me, will it work, who will it be etc. etc. Then when all the worries of your own world come tumbling down, your mind becomes filled with DREAMS – what is my dream, will I fulfill it, can i push these boundaries and reshape them, why does everything have to be constrained by convention, can’t I do it differently, can’t things work differently, am I killing my original dream and child-like wonder for something, am I really on the right path?
I don’t think what goes on inside my head is any different from others. Perhaps certain items might be prioritized differently or there maybe other pending issues and concerns. But it’s crazy how the mind works, isn’t it? How it can be your greatest source of strength and inspiration or your biggest weakness and cause of your downfall…