Reflections on Idleness

I study myself more than any other subject. I wish to learn anything that teaches me how to live and die well.

Adam Senex

I am currently away with Julie and the pups in the Cotswold’s for 4 days.

For me this means becoming relatively idle -being this idle is having the positive effect of forcing me to see the need in my life for both mental and physical activity.

Idleness rather than calming my mind has the effect of my mind becoming turbulent and untethered. Without purpose my mind is chaotic – without order or fitness as with my body without exercise. My mind needs the exercise and order afforded by my writing. This would be the case even if I never shared my work with any other person. I need to write in order to order my mind. My writing is for my mind as my exercise regime is for my body.

The real question is why has this not always been so obvious to me?

It has taken retirement into full time writing to open my eyes to my need to strive and expand physically and mentally. And an awareness that this has to be achieved against the constant bombardment of trivialities and distractions. It takes constant self-regulation to avoid slipping forever into the physical and mental entropy that awaits our idle bodies and minds and that is frequented by so many human beings and is considered normal in modern capitalist society. So much easier to control a society full of predictable thinkers aye?

It seems like I am separating my body from my mind. I am not! Rather than separate body from mind I will use body-mind as the unified whole. As more often than not and when we have not split them this is the case. The bigger picture! One is rarely, if ever present without the other and to think separation is poor thinking and poor practice.

It is no coincidence that here on the third day of relative idleness I am going to the gym to exercise and have felt the urge to pickup my pen and write this blog! Body-mind in action.

My intention is always to strive to include mind and character improvement in my physical pursuits and my body in my more cerebral activity through emotions and feelings mainly. Tuning in to my body’s reactions more whilst reading and writing is my plan.

I am guessing this link is why yoga and Thai chi are becoming more popular. At least I hope they are performed with this awareness. But I also think it is a trend and people are sheep in human clothing more often than not and follow the herd. But we live in hope.

Catch you next time – Adam x

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