There is something far greater than death and that is to be ignored. Sometimes, I think of all the faces I’ve come across and all the faces I’ve forgotten, and how terrible it is to come and go. Imagine meeting someone one day and completely turning a blind eye to their existence the other day. Sadly, this is how we all lead our lives. We only tend to remember the moments that make us feel something and we become oblivion to other times of our lives as life treads on. We all devour only those moments that make us feel like we’re all worth a little more than we were the night before.
In this befitted world of ours, there’re a lot of melodramatic sagas which put on display the mindless people, as I’d call them or the nincompoops, as the world would call them. All of us have moments when we lose track of the present, traipsing off into another world. To a mind focused on the here and now, absent mindedness may seem a negative that holds you back from worldly success. Children are reprimanded for daydreaming and taught the virtues of staying focused. But who says that to be absent minded is to lack in focus?! The absence of mind shall just mean that the mind is meandering through fascinating labyrinths that are invisible to the open eye. Or, that it is focused on something else that is not of this world- an elusive element that we seek to chase, understand, grasp and perhaps bring back into this world as poetry, writing, sketching, a unique thought, a new dance form or a great discovery! It points to a mindlessness that allows us to soak up experiences and knowledge that too much mindfulness of the present reality cannot give us.
Scientists, poets, philosophers and creative people are most notorious for their absent minded ways. Several anecdotes revolve around Albert Einstein and Sir Isaac Newton due to their scattered, oblivious ways. There are multifarious distractions and mind-boggling technology today, so quite cognitively the ‘absent-mindedness’ strikes in novel ways these days. Forgetting where you kept your car keys; having that panicky moment when you think you misplaced your cellphone before you realize you’re talking on it; forgetting why you walked into a room or why you opened the refrigerator or forgetting why you called someone as soon as someone takes the call – are commonplaces to be in.
In The Last Samurai, Nobutada, son of the leader of the Samurai rebellion tells Tom Cruise, “Forgive me, too many minds…” and counsels him that to be a Samurai, he must seek a stillness of the mind “No mind, no mind…” he advises.
When the mind phases out and floats away, it takes away with it any sense of ego. “I” ceases to exist and you float in mindlessness like an empty cauldron ready for new, unique experiences. We no longer see the world so lucidly, though we see more clearly facts and truths hidden from us earlier. Sufis say that in order to reach God in this life, we need to die before we die. Rumi says that in order to open the doors of heaven on earth, we need to melt down ego.
Meditation and sexual climax, when all thoughts shut for a while, are two extreme paths to mindlessness. Osho says, in this mindlessness you become divine. When you become mindless, you unite with the universal flow allowing the right brain to take over. There, at that level, you cannot separate the dancer from dance, artist from sketches and so on. You’re in a unique position where you absorb, understand, discover, become One and create.
Conclusively, there seem to be no fallacy in hanging around mindlessly. Far from considering it a negative, it should be the desirable state that everyone can, or even should aspire to!