Sleep-walking is an activity where an individual, usually in the middle of the night, gets up, walks around, talks, even interacts while seemingly awake but actually is asleep. It is a strange experience for both the sleep-walker and the observer.
Incidents of sleep-walking may be described by the observer but tend to not be available in the memory or wakeful experience of the sleep-walker. It’s a bit scary, but for the most part harmless. It is understood that the sleep-walking individual is in a “hypnotic-like state”. If fully awakened he will be surprised by his circumstance and deny the activities ascribed to him, as he has no memory of them.
I think the style in which people move through their lives, automatic and without conscious attention is quite similar. People are pulled along by an habitual system and a lack of questioning acceptance.
It is as if they are sleep-walking through their lives. In this way they are not wholly conscious of their behaviors, the effect of their behaviors and actions, or the foundation of their habitual reactions. When they are questioned they respond similarly to the sleep-walking person in the middle of the night, denying they did the event ascribed to them.
In order to awake from this daytime sleep-walking state, a person needs to increase his awareness and attention to all situations in a mindful present moment fashion.
You cannot change your behavior until you are conscious of it. First there needs to be an understanding that you are indeed sleep-walking. This requires a detached perspective and a willingness to observe the whole of the situation.
Consider how you may not be fully conscious of your actions, and what you may need to do to wake up and fully respond in the moment to your life and situation.
The best way to see if you may be in this kind of state is to notice the responses and behavior of those around you with whom you feel close, whom you trust. If there is a bit of information or a snag between what you think and what you hear them saying, try to see if you can get into the present moment to get a full picture of what they are trying to communicate. This can be painful. This can be enlightening.
The idea is to awake to the full experience of living responsibly and ethically.
One of the things that impedes this is a group-mind. This is the experience that you need to agree with the group perspective and not question whether it is a full and true representation of what is happening. Often the group-mind has a set of true or real experiences that are interpreted in a way such that it supports a paradigm of thought but not necessarily a true representation of the situation or problem.
Group-mind requires agreement. But mindfulness allows for understanding of the group-mind perspective while perceiving all the elements in the situation, so that a true understanding can result.
Group-mind requires daytime sleep-walking.
Mindfulness, perceiving fully in the present moment and then acting from that perspective is a way of staying awake and living in a responsive, mindful, ethical, fully connecting, and joyous way.
It reminds me of the line in the movie Moonstruck – snap out of it!
Life is full of so much stimuli and so many different paradigms that are inconsistent with each other, it seems like an onerous task to remain mindful – but in reality it is less difficult to simply be open to all the possibilities and calmly, with neutrality, lovingkindness, and compassion be open to perceiving the paradigms and shifting your perspective.
This mindfulness in the present moment is rejuvenating, freeing, and empowering. Holding on to past habitual reaction patterns is limiting, stagnating, and constricting, and a bit like sleep-walking through life – which feels better to you?
See you tomorrow.