“We come. We go. And in between we try to understand”. – Rod Steiger.
A simple statement, yet so meaningful. I don’t think I understand what it really means. Maybe the actual meaning behind it is too deep for my teeny tiny mind, which can handle only about a million thoughts at a time, to conceive.
It’s not an overstatement! Mind is the most powerful organ in our amazing body. It’s so powerful that we are able use only a tiny bit of it, and we don’t fully understand it’s capabilities. People who use a fraction of it, just a a bit more than ordinary men, are regarded as “genius”. Don’t believe me, not just yet! Ask Einstein. Ah, he’s not with us anymore! Believe me then. 😉
So back to the famous quote. It can mean very differently, when put in different contexts. In the most basic context, we come to this world as a child, we leave as an “old child”, and in between – the short time that we live in this world – we try to understand ourselves; why we do what we do, our friends and the society that we live in. If we understand everything, I bet life would be quite boring and maybe unworthy of living for some. We don’t really need to understand everything in order to believe it. As the saying goes “For I do not seek to understand in order to believe, but I believe in order to understand. For I believe this: unless I believe, I will not understand”. Somethings are to be believed, without having to think too deep and to understand the logic behind. Having said that, ‘belief and logic’ is not the topic for today.
Let’s see what is on my mind right now. How interesting would it be to write down, every day, every action in your day-to-day life and flip through it after several years. It would make you smile in reminiscence and even laugh about the stupid things you did, which might not have seemed that stupid at the time :). I actually started doing it few times, but never got past few days of doing it. Basically it’s kind of the same thing that we do in contemplation once in a while. Yes! Everyone does contemplate. When we are faced with challenging situations in life, come to a barrier, or when we arrive at a junction in life, splitting to many roads, when we stop and think about which one to take, we do look behind and think about the past actions that led us here. That’s a good thing!
Even the smallest action we take, that we don’t give much of a conscious thought, I believe we do think before we decide, without even realizing that we do. Plato said, “When the mind is thinking it’s talking to itself”. Exactly! It talks to itself, and does manipulate or affect our actions/decisions. Most of the things that we say or talk about, we don’t really do them, do we? That’s human nature. Likewise, every thought, is not put in to action. So many thoughts go through our mind at any given time.
The subconscious part of the brain is the most powerful – so powerful that we cant even imagine how capable it is. Imagine when you first learnt to ride a bicycle or drive a car. At first, you wouldn’t be able to have a conversation with anyone else, while riding/driving because your total focus on driving is a bit too much for the conscious mind to have a conversation at the same time. But after few weeks, when you’ve got familiar with this activity, the subconscious mind learns it and takes over. After that, wouldn’t be a problem for you to have a conversation, talk on the mobile phone (that’s illegal), or even watch movies while driving as your conscious mind will be available for such activities.
Having said that, subconscious mind is responsible for so many other basic functions in our body including breathing, keeping balance when we walk and heartbeat, to mention a few. If you had to do even one of these basic functions consciously, you wouldn’t be doing much of anything else. It’s responsible for sudden actions we take without thinking. It is also the where dreamworld is ;). If you can implant a conscious thought in to the subconscious, you can magnify it so high and make it so powerful. But, you have to be very careful about what you put in there, because once it’s in there, it affects you, without your slightest intervention.
And back to the part about trying to understand. Trying to understand is not a problem at all. But, we can’t! Yet, we do try. I guess, that’s again part of being human. I find it really nice to sit in a quiet place, listening to some country music, and let my mind do the talking. Its mostly our present situations that put us in states of contemplation. Thinking about why we did what we did, how we got here, what we are meant to do, and what the best action could be. Thats what gets us moving. Thats how we decide our future actions. That’s living. Thats what makes the journey interesting, making it worthwhile.
So the quote does make real sense. It doesn’t necessarily mean that we spend every moment of our life, literally thinking. And it’s not necessarily important to understand everything thats happening in our lives or the reasons behind every action. Rene Cote says, “It has taken me all my life to understand that it is not necessary to understand everything”. I agree!!
Right now, I’m sitting in Raanbaa restaurant drinking an apple juice and eating a beef pizza. It’s delicious ;). I don’t come here too often, but guess I like this environment now. For the last hour, I was thinking about this quote. I still can’t seem to understand what it really means. Good quotes are ones that goes real deep, are so very meaningful and really simple to read. This is one of those quotes.
Finally, find some lone time to think. It’s good for ya! Contemplation as well. And again, don’t take life “TOO seriously”. Enjoy, have fun and live it to the fullest. Be serious when you need to, when you have to! Enjoyment and seriousness means differently for different people. However it means to you, be cool and have fun.
“Don’t worry about life, you’re not going to survive it anyway.”