There I was, again engaged in conversation with yet another neuroscientist explaining just exactly what his area of research is, how intrinsic the exploration is in order to explain something that to must of us is fairly obvious. Standing there, feeling torn between my two selves: the enthusiastic listener, intrigued whenever someone is conveying their passion for what they do, and the life embracing dreamer who does not want everything to be explained in minute detail. Who loves the mystery of life, the bits that we cannot pinpoint, the intuition, the kismet, the flow and the otherworldly drive that is such a natural part of our every day lives, if only we choose to listen.
I smiled politely, nodded my head, sipped my drink. Thought of the next clever question to ask that would prove that yes, I am still listening. But the question I really yearned to ask in that moment was why? Why do we need to know all this? How is it important that we know exactly what happens in the brain when we see movement that we like? And is life long enough for us to constantly be zooming in, and not out?
Torn, because I don't want to sound like a science denying creationist. I too have benefitted from science's many brilliant discoveries. But just as with smartphones and sophisticated apps intended to make our lives easier, I want to turn around and say no, thank you, I know how to live my life without all those added extras. My sleep was fine before the inventions of sleep apps, and it will continue to be fine even when I choose not to have a gadget measure my deep vs. light sleep.
Where is the world that celebrates beauty for the sake of beauty? Where words are magical and presented in front of an audience in awe? The moment we feel that we have to break that awe down into small processes, measurable and up for analysis, that's the moment where I will retract, into my cabin in the woods of the mind, where nothing else than distilled life, life in its essence, is allowed.
In the madness that is the online world, with its many media, opinions, tweets, posts, shares and what have you, it's easy to feel like you're the only one who is harboring these thoughts and emotions. But, I subtly know that somewhere, this is the bottomline. All that searching for the perfect life and the perfect experience, it's really about searching for what we already have from the moment we are created. A sense of awe. A moment of admiration. A few minutes of goosebumps because the music is just that beautiful. A flutter in the heart from the gaze that you've dreamed of. The chill from an exquisitely well
In those moments, we live, we are complete. And in those moments, there's nothing that is bigger or more important. And that is this thing we call life.