Thursday 29 Sep 2016

Dead Spots
M Alan Roberts

Traveling along the highway, one can see the lush flora of spring bursting to life. Everything is so green at this time of year -- before the drought sets in again and starves the landscape of sustaining waters. It seems that the trees have never been more loaded with leaves; they are rounded and heavy -- like those from childhood storybooks. The grass is in a very similar state -- as well as the blooming flowers, and weeds. There are certain spots in this abundant scenery that stand out in bleakness. They are apparently void of all vivacity. No plant life. No developing bounty. Just red Georgian clay -- barren dead spots.

This natural splendor, with its deadened areas, is much like the human mind. Surrounded by energy and hope, there are instances of a null existence -- places where nothing can seemingly survive. The dead spots of the mind are created by various forces. Whenever traumatic events transpire, small regions of our otherwise-lush brainscapes are damaged -- stripped of feeling and the outward ability to recover. They make us less than we were before. They take away our happiness, in part.

The cruel words of a close friend, the recognition of time wasted, the remembrances of personal evils, the loss of your mother -- these are all happenings that form dead spots in our minds. Like an unseen hole that you step in, they make you extend suddenly and uncomfortably, sometimes to the point where you fall down and have trouble getting back up. If we allow ourselves to linger in our dead spots for too long, we lose the ability to ever get out. We can no longer see the vibrant growth that still surrounds them.

As a result of stagnating in dead spots, many people develop defensive mechanisms that are non-affective at best. Reaching for another cigarette, eating fat-laden foods, slamming another shot, or vacuuming another line of coke up their noses -- their attempts to escape the lifelessness always fail. You can't bring a dead spot back to life. Impossible to reanimate, these cold formations in our minds must be dealt with in an entirely different manner. Our lacking techniques for coping create the origin of the vast majority of human sufferings.

So, what the hell can we do?

The answer is singular: we have to have a plan for circumventing our dead spots -- before we find ourselves wallowing in one, or more, of them. Dead spots can work together in teams and multiply your misery. The people who suffer the most are those who are under attack from a relentless barrage of them. When these people somehow manage to break the powerful grasp of one tormenting rival, they see that they have many more waiting to stifle their joy. And many people just give up in time -- unable to battle any longer.

It takes resilience and forethought to rise above dead spot attacks, especially when they travel in packs. It also takes deliberate, calm action. When you find yourself sinking in quicksand, you only struggle violently if your intention is to perish. If you wish to survive, then you must gather your wits, recognize the danger of the situation, force a relaxation response, spread yourself out and gently perform a subtle counterattack. It is the same with saving yourself from the pitfalls that exist within your mind.

Taking the time to develop your focus, paying attention to your breath, challenging your own beliefs, and acting with integrity in every situation are the ways to negate the destructive powers of your dead spots. An enemy anticipated is far less menacing. You have to fortify the boundaries of your thoughts with positivity and compassion -- towards yourself and others. In time, with consistent effort given, you can significantly decrease the instances where dead spots surface. You can purify the inside of your brain and begin living a more pristine life -- one free of so much suffering.

As you drive along the roads, take a second to glance out and appreciate the dazzle of nature. See the long stretches of green -- and anticipate the spots where life has been dampened. When a dead spot enters your vision path, simply divert your eyes from it and continue to witness the allure that surrounds it instead. There is always more beauty than disfigurement to experience- unless your core is misguided.

M Alan Roberts is a radical thinker. He has a gimlet eye for injustice, much as did Frederich Engels, a century and a half before. Still, Roberts finds a way to write effective SEO copy. This suggests both sides of his brain, his mind, work equally well.

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