"The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits." G.K. Chesterton

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Waking up each day: "A Rebirth"

A thought I have had since the time I had been working nights in a large studio. Our brain has a way of reconstructing reality each day analogous to a rebirth, and so a waking day (interval) could be seen this way as a "life". In the morning certain planning and anticipatory procedures take place. The entire day is punctured by certain routines which could be considered as equivalent to "rites of passage".

Having worked nights, and seeing some fellow workmen/women returning to work in the morning, I became aware of how our perceptions of "any given moment" differed. This become obvious not only from the general behavior patterns, but also from interactions and conversations with them. The morning arrivees would generally tend to interact with each other, as would the bunch of those who stayed overnight. This observation verifies an extension of the analogy, since youth generally "sticks" together, as do the more mature folk.

Anyway, the thought I had today was this. If we permit the analogy of each morning being a kind of "re-birth", and consider "the by now non controversial thesis" that life experiences (childhood in particular) determine to a degree how we live out the rest our lives, then we could make an equally uncontroversial hypothesis that our experiences from the earlier part of the day (the few hours after waking in particular) will to a degree influence how the rest of the day plays out for us. For example, I'm sure that most of you had an experience in the past where some annoying or frustrating experience ruined the rest of your day.

Also, and this is the interesting bit, I have observed that older people, including myself as I age, tend to gradually fall into a more rigorous and fixed morning routine. This routine set also tends to grow over time. Now if we consider the above hypothesis, then it should be expected that such limitation of early morning experiences inadvertently limits the way the rest of the day will be "lived out". The self imposed narrowing of the morning experiences narrows down our outlook and hence experiences and set of behaviors for the rest of the day.

That's not to say that this is a bad thing. It seems that this way we self determine how each day plays out - I guess in some sense this is an emphasis of our uniqueness - we fall into our unique and self determined patterns of behavior and being in general (this includes how we "take in" the World i.e. our word constructs). It may also be interpreted as a way that our body settles to a more efficient way of functioning i.e. it follows patterns that have proven to work in the past.

On the other hand, in an epistemic sense this observation transcends those behavioral patterns (it becomes aware of them), and it may be useful to anyone who feels their life has entered an uncomfortable infinite loop, and they would wish to free themselves from it. What would be the best strategy to break out? - Diversify your "daily childhood"!

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