Somehow, inspiration is easily crushed. The human brain, for some reason, has a tendency to not let the euphoric feeling of inspiration last, and the crude pull of reality steps in. But here’s the thing. Often, reality, and when I say that, I refer to the scenario imagined by your mind based on your experiences as a human, in all probability, comes out as a negative push. Should I think about applying for that job? No, my grades are too low. Should I tell that girl that I am attracted to her and would love to spend an evening with her by the riverside, lying on the grass, staring at the sky? No, she’ll think I am insane. I feel like humming the tune of that song that has been stuck in my head, singing it at the top of my voice and doing a little dance with it. Should I? No, people will stare and think I have lost it.
This is a common experience for all of us, isn’t it? Not doing things, or doing things, based on a perception we have built up in our head over ages. Our experiences, our interactions, what we read, what we watch, what we hear, what we see, everything around us culminates into that moment of truth when you take decisions. The banality, or at the other hand of the spectrum, the importance of the decision, doesn’t matter. The simple choices of life too, are influenced by this. Now, the point I am trying to make is best put in one of the most profound lines by Rudyard Kypling in his masterful work, If–
“If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;”
The thing about life is that it is unpredictable. All your intuitions, knowledge, wisdom etc. can fail in the crucial of times, and equally be valid at the same time. In each of the scenarios I mentioned at the beginning of this piece, the polar opposite results were possible with equal probability. Unfortunately, the human brain, on occasions more often not, tends to favour the probability of things going wrong. Let me explain. The brain operates on logic, reasoning and syllogism-like thinking. If something has the potential to make us either happy or sad, our mind would logically opt to not do it, and give proof to the adage “prevention is better than cure” i.e. the mind works in a way to prevent us from being hurt or saddened, rather than risk the possibility of letting that happen. However, in the process, the mind, and by definition, we ourselves, shut off numerous experiences, which could have possibly made us happy. We as human beings want certainty, and not probability. We will do something only if it is beneficial to us. By beneficial, I do not wish to restrict the definition. Anything that inspires a positive emotion in us maybe. Makes us happy, makes us joyous, makes us feel satisfied, brings a smile to our face, makes us jump in the air, makes us…feel good. Here’s the problem. You feel with your heart. Yes, even you science nerds who dismiss emotions and feelings as nothing but a reaction inspired by chemicals acting in our body, emotions, experiences etc. are felt. The logical fallacy in our lives is that we think before we feel. The heart feels, not thinks. The mind thinks, not feels.
At the outset, the status quo seems to be perfect. Feel, but think about it as well. Think, but feel about it as well. Fall in love, but maybe not with a murderer. Take up that high-paying job, but maybe not if you hate the field of work. I suppose, it is the best of both worlds. But in that pursuit, we are missing out on the extremes of each side. Pure, cold, thinking. Pure, uninhibited, unhindered-by-thought feeling. How many times have you done something purely instinctively, based on that gut feeling, or just because you felt like it? Hug that person standing on the road with a sad look on their face. Make conversation with that interesting looking person with the same cup of coffee as yours. How many times have you divorced feeling from a decision and simply made a choice only on thinking and rationality, devoid of all feelings? Take the shorter route because you need to be on time, despite the longer route having a view you like. Point out the mistake made by a friend bluntly because it is a major blunder.
If you’re like me, or any average human being (I like to believe I am both, average, and a human being), these decisions are either rare, or unchartered territory for you. The brain has an uncanny ability to exhibit its superiority. Evolution has made us into beings who strongly depend on the powerful brain, the same, complex organ, whose power and sheer capabilities set us apart from all other species on earth. Think about this for a minute. How frequently do you subject an emotion or a feeling to the processes of intellectual rigour? The frequency is so high; it is almost second nature for us to think our feelings through. The opposite on the other hand, is a less frequent occurrence i.e. subjecting our thoughts to the test of feeling. It does happen, in extreme situations, but rarely overall.
Ergo, the point I am trying to make is that maybe it is time for us to let our heart think and let our minds feel. The ends of each spectrum, feeling and thinking, have undiscovered wonders waiting, and it is high time we access them. Unshackling the shackles and flying has for long been a fantasy that all of us have burned into our neurons. Ever thought why is it just a fantasy? It is worth a try isn’t it? I am no one to judge or to tell anyone how to do things, but perhaps, it is my mind taking over my heart here, so I’ll just stop and say this. Do what your heart says, it knows what it wants, and you deserve every bit of it.