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Leftover Thoughts: Is Their Life on Earth or Are we All Just Life-Like?

Sep 1, 2008
I had a dream last night. I dreamt of a classroom of second graders and I was asking them what they want to be when they grow up. One child raised his hand and said he wanted to be an astronaut. A little girl shouted that she wanted to be a musician. And then a little boy got up from his chair and stepped into the center of the room. He looked at me, his eyes wide. "When I grow up, I want to be human." My dream prompted me to write this article.

Is Being Human An Afterthought?

Is being human raking the leaves and emptying the trash? Is it being polite, laughing things off, settling for second choices, and taking up jogging? Is one born and "poof" they are human? Let me take a deep breath, kiss my dog on the nose and peer into the human reflection.

Once upon a time there were no forgotten moments. Respect was present in all surroundings and humankind moved easily beyond facts and arguments and crowds of inhibited thinking. There was a plentitude of liveliness that seemed to be encoded into every single human being. A fine sense of atmosphere and a cheerful sense of humor pervaded, no one had to conclude anything to anyone and the customary playfulness of one's character was entertainment enough.

Once upon a time there was no desire to imagine a "super" self. Simplicity possessed an inherent wisdom and there was no need to constantly make a point. Exploring ideas was high on one's list but independence in thought was highly respected. The boundaries of comprehension were not stretched and reading a newspaper stretched out in a lounge chair was relaxing.

Have we become a scowling planet searching for human afterthoughts? Have human beings become shopping adventurers who turn on the ignition of their car and pray for the supreme bargain experience? Have we taken our eyes off of our own humanness and lost them in gargantuan malls and gridlocked highways? Are we attracted to what is in the margins of life instead of to life itself? Do we bump up and down in cabs gawking at raved about hot-spots? Are we herded through life by our flawed eccentrics? Do we spend our life forlornly wondering what is going on in someone's mind instead of just asking them? What have we become? What has become of our human credentials?

The battle to strike back against selfishness and greed is bewitched by the enchantment of materialism. To go after what spins our eyes is part of the human experience. Of course we are all capable of being human but are we all capable of making the time to be so? I don't think we should underestimate the wonderful power of being human. I just think that its time to bring back respect for all living things. I believe we need to stop at the things we think we know and wonder about them. We need to reflect on personal thinking, decipher it, give insight to it and then we need to rummage through the attic of our mind.

You see, in the attic of our mind we can sift through our thoughts. It is here that we can organize our views and find stashed away emotions on love, romance, sadness, elation and apathy. In the attic of our mind are our stashed away thoughts and emotions and insights that we have forgotten were there. Here we can understand ideas flowing through our head in a nonjudgmental setting. In the attic of one's mind one can make guesses, perceive life, feel validated and be free to feel love and acceptance.

Remember the attic of your mind is a nonjudgmental place that holds the clues to your identity. It is a place of reflection. While rummaging through your put aside perspectives and jam-packed thoughts take the phones off the hook, lock the world up in your cell, put your favorite television shows on hold and unplug your lap tops. This is not a time to be contacted by others but to make contact with your self.

I heard some rustling around in the attic of my mind not too long ago. It was some stashed away thoughts I hadn't thought of for years but thoughts that I guess I couldn't seem to get rid of.

The following are seven ways to rummage through the attic of your mind:

1) Dismantle the apparatus of logic. Pull the pieces of your past from the cartons you've stored them in. Those cardboard boxes are bulging with emotional souvenirs. Put them aside for a moment. They are a time capsule discovered and you will be coming back to them when you are able to utilize their reminding spirit.

2) In the attic of your mind you can stretch out in a lounge chair and read the newspaper of your life. It is a place of car-less days and old dinner conversations. Relate to the reflection of your human experience for reflection is present in the ordinariness of our everyday lives.

3) A coy grin tucks at your face. You are cupping your ear to the voice of laughter. It is loud and clear in the attic of your mind. It is reminding you of your jump-in-the car spontaneity and how you craved to race the wind. Digging your heels deeper into your reflection you meet the gaze of your smoldering eyes. At this point you are discovering the clues to your thoughts and are surrounded by reflection.

4) Open those cardboard boxes you put aside in step number one. The responsibility of thought has been lifted. You have escaped the demands of life. You are being touched by your mystical inheritance, your feelings. But this is only half the story.

5) Let yourself go back to a time when you witnessed your wants and needs. There was a kind of connectedness, a sense of presence, a type of understanding when you had the courage to feel what you were feeling. When was the last time you allowed yourself to feel human? When was the last time you stepped out of the margins of life? When was the last time you felt peace?

6) To feel human is a fascinating journey. But to embark on a journey so fascinating you must stop reading from someone else's script. In the attic of your mind visualize being human. There are tour dates, songs and videos. There are sound clips. Think about the notion of human nature. Remember, you are in the attic of your mind. It is a hospitable environment for acceptance and recognition.

7) When you are rummaging through the attic of your mind you realize you are not a term paper. You are a sketch and a scribble. You are scattered plotlines. You are a genius at work and the work of a genius. Looking around the attic of your mind you realize you are human and therefore don't always keep your feelings in logically hidden places.

What I have found in the attic of my mind:

1) I am a little on the manic side, but I am lovable.

2) I listen softly to life.

3) I thunder with emotion but I am guardedly reserved.

4) I enjoy clever fun.

5) I like to read fortune cookies.

6) I believe there is a world and time beyond this one.

7) I am still in search of paradise.

Too swiftly we move past the things we think we know and move on to things that we don't know. This provides us only with an introductory view of our human qualities but doesn't help us search ourselves for signs of life. People who are rooted in the immediate lead a life that is just a little beyond their television set.

Author's note:

In the attic of my mind time doesn't stand still. I always leave the light on so I can pull out insight that I didn't know was there, find my way back to my put aside perspectives, rummage through my jam-packed thoughts and stay close to the feelings that make me human. I believe that not many people understand humankind. In the average, everyday person, being human is an afterthought. Yes. Once upon a time the world was human. This is one woman's quiet reflection.
About the Author
Dana Dorfman's real-time interactive writing transcends the existence of paper and ink. The adrenaline rush of her words articulates moments so effectively the reader becomes an "experiencer." We don't read her pages, we leave our footprints in them. "Felt experience" enhances lives by learning to feel contentment in present moments. For more, visit: Dana Dorfman .
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