Sunday, June 27, 2010

Beyond Sense-Making

I recently came across the term "meaning junkie" via a facebook post by one of these many Very-Intellectual friends whose discovery of this term had recently shook up her world.

... could we be addicted to assigning meaning?

I've been reflecting on this possibility over the past few weeks. I've been catching myself in moments where I might be acting from a space of putting in a lot of effort to extract meaning from something which perhaps could be left alone.

There was a time when I'd written up little reminders for myself on multicolored 3x5 cards and taped them up in places I'd be seeing constantly. My favorite was yellow and contained these three quotes:

The journey itself is going to change you, so you don't have to worry about memorizing the route we took to accomplish that change. - Ishmael, Daniel Quinn

Memory's images, once they are fixed in words, are erased, Polo said. Perhaps I am afraid of losing Venice all at once, if I speak of it. Or perhaps, speaking of other cities, I have already lost it, little by little. - Invisible Cities, Italo Calvino

Wisdom tells me I am nothing. Love tells me I am everything. And between the two my life flows. - Nisagardatta

Today I realized that all three of these quotes are about checking the addiction to making sense of everything. Why? Because when we are caught up in the perspective many of us live in, that it is our task and responsibility to create order, then we tend to lose sight of the beauties which may not fit into our order, and we may limit our appreciation of What-Is by creating a lot of "what should be"...

My *work* is effectively about making sense where there was none previously. I actually study finding sense in seeming chaos, am writing my PhD dissertation on such things, derive great joy from related challenges... At the same time, when I'm not *working*, I do believe that I am better-served when I can *choose* the times I want to engage in sense-making and when not. I have heard this described as the freedom to use the mind as a tool, rather than to be controlled by the mind.

How to do this? How to quiet the mind? Meditation.

. . .

Meditation to break the addiction to sense-making.