Cleansing Our Perception



JASON SILVA: So one of the things

that happens when we grow older, with our nodding

resignation into nothingness, is that we

enter a kind of consciousness known

as "the been there's and done that's" of the adult mind.

It's that notion when nothing excites or overwhelms anymore,

because you've seen it all before.

What a tragedy this is, right?

I mean, come on!

I mean we all remember nostalgically

the intensity of experiencing something for the first time,

seeing the world through the eyes of child-- wonder

struck, entranced by awe.

Succumbing to astonishment, giving in to astonishment,

mouth gaped wide, I mean damn to see something

for the first time.

But then what happens then, you assimilate, you model it

in your brain, you store it in your library

of been there's and done that's and you no longer engage,

right-- sensorily with stimuli.

It's called hedonic adaptation.

Familiarity breeds boredom.

It's so depressing, right?

And so what do we do?

I think this is where mindful self-inquiry comes in.

This is where meditation-- this is where breathing exercises,

and yoga comes in.

This is where boarding a craft that flies you across the world

can be therapeutic like to injecting you

with a little bit of life by stimulating

you, and jet-lagging you, and placing you

with an entirely different wallpaper of the mind.

That's why travel revitalizes.

It's why people self-medicate.

Sometimes tweaking our perception, sometimes

that marijuana joint, can be the magnifying lens or the pane

of glass that doesn't distort reality,

but confers our phenomenon-- a certain feeling of distance

as David Lancet says.

Perhaps that's why a museum takes an ordinary item

and puts it on the wall, decontextualizes it, and brings

our attention back to it.

We get to enter the archetypical space

where the specific stands in for all of it's kind--

stands in for the reversal, right?

We like to enter a modality of consciousness known

as Plato's Realm of Ideas.

I mean, that's where you live in the present.

That's when anxiety about the future and melancholy

for the past get drowned out by the ever present rapture

of the now.

And we are free!

And in that moment we are Adam and Eve

in the Garden of Eden before eating

from the Tree of Knowledge-- knowing no death,

knowing only now and the bliss of now.

If only we could get back there.

I support whatever works-- as long

as you don't hurt anybody else.