Tabula rasa

23 Aug

It’s a theory that human beings are born without built-in mental content.  That our minds are empty, devoid of any sort of information, and that our knowledge comes from experience and perception.  Now before a debate erupts, may I just say that I do think it’s a theory and to my mind one that may not hold as much water as it does in some circles?  I am a geneticist’s daughter and I am more liable to believe that we have instinctive and genetic knowledge that is passed down in some form of genetic memory.  But hey, I’m not here to speculate.

The writing challenge today is to try to think about nothing for as long as I can and describe what happens in a short post.

So I tried.  To think about nothing.

Thinking about nothing was nearly impossible.  I was on my way home and I was looking out the window.  I probably lasted 10 seconds.  It was gray and relatively miserable, so I started thinking about whether it was going to rain.  Then I started thinking about what the weather was going to be like on Thursday when I go to London for training.  Then I started wondering if I had any smart jeans ready for the smart-corporate casual look I wanted to go for (jeans, button-down shirt and jacket?).  Then I started wondering about dinner.  And then I had a face-slap-Homer moment and mentally went, “D’oh!!!”  I was supposed to NOT think about anything!

According to Squidoo article I read by Lisa Kleinweber, “once we hit about 30, we’ve trained ourselves to think, think, think so much that we can’t get our minds to stop doing it.”  I agree with that completely.  Sometimes when I ask Alan what he’s thinking and he says “Nothing” I get frustrated because I can’t understand the concept.  But in some ways, I envy people who have the ability to NOT think.  I think one gets a moments of unadulterated peace when one thinks about nothing, worries about nothing, and plans nothing.

Of course as a responsible adult (I am probably just masquerading as an adult–I biologically am but most times, I think I’m very juvenile!), not thinking anything is impossible.  We can’t live our lives not thinking.  We don’t have the luxury of just sitting there and…vegetating.

But sometimes it’s good to indulge, and just sit there and not think (…for however long possible?).


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