A friend linked to the following article today: How it Feels to be Blind in Your Mind.
It’s quite a long article (particularly for a Facebook post!) but it’s a fascinating glimpse into the experience of someone who doesn’t experience, or store, visual images. He doesn’t dream in images, doesn’t remember musical refrains, can’t visualise himself sitting on a beach or hear a tune in his mind. Apparently upwards of 2% of humans might have this ‘aphantasia’.
I’d recommend anyone read it, because it’s a great insight into a particular way of being. In addition, it’s funny and absorbing, particularly when you realise the author himself only just realised that the vast majority of the world can do this thing he can’t. It’s easy to get set in your ways of thinking – to think that aspects of life and experience are ubiquitous and just ‘part of being human’. But then I realise there are plenty of people out there who talk like me, look like me, have a vast wealth of shared history with me, but who experience and react to the world in a radically different way.
Take a look at the article, I hope you enjoy it and get the same sense of wonder and fascination as I did.
Happy Christmas all 🙂 I just thought I’d post briefly to offer you a link to something charming for Christmas: celebrated author of the fantastic Neil Gaiman reads aloud ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Dickens, from Dickens very own annotated copy!
There’s a Soundcloud of the recording (an hour long) at OnBeing, and you can also get it direct from New York Public Library audio podcast on iTunes.
I hope you are all having a peaceful, loving Christmas, even if it is just in your own heart.
Merry Christmas x
Sometimes it seems quite hard to find good articles on the web. Some stuff is just ‘click-bait’ – articles with titles that appear really interesting (e.g. “This new thing is shocking America!”) – and others are thin, or just repetitions of stuff pulled from other sites without much in the way of attribution.
Today I’d like to link to one article that is worth your time.
Mark Manson’s ‘Screw Finding Your Passion’.
I’ve had a thought in the back of my mind for quite some time recently. What do I want to *do* with my life? It’s not a unique concern. Plenty of people fret about the same thing, when they have the time. I’ve even felt this way before, when I realised I’d picked the completely wrong subject to study at university.
But at the moment there’s a tendency to frame the answer to this question in terms of finding your passion. There’s this floating illusion that if you can get a job doing the thing you’re ‘passionate‘ about, then everything will be better, somehow. But how on earth does one work out what one’s passion even is? If I’m down about life and yourself anyway, realising I can’t even work out this ‘simple’ thing just leads to mentally flagellating myself for not being able to identify what the hell this magical ‘passion‘ that everyone else has is.
The thrust of Mark Manson’s article is basically that not only do we already know what our ‘passion’ is, we are already doing it. We just lack the perspective, space, self-awareness or whatever to actually see it. If we stopped ignoring the things that we enjoy, then we’ll see what things gives us the most satisfaction and enjoyment.
I don’t think he’s very explicit about it, but reading his article also makes me realise a very important point. Since when did our passion have to be our job? Since when is it so important that we make our full-time-9-5-pays-the-rent job our passion? What’s wrong with simply pursuing it outside work, or as a part-time job or a voluntary job, whilst we stack shelves or whatever to pay the bills? If we stopped thinking activities are only worthwhile when they makes us successful or rich, we might find it easier to identify what makes us happy/passionate in the first place.
I like his words a lot. He really cuts through the bullshit. Go over to his site and take a look and see what you think, it might strike a chord for you too.