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confusion
downward spiral
brain activity
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decisive action
external factors
grime
indecision
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The Value Of Confusion
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The Value Of Confusion

Clear, incisive thinking is invigorating and leads to decisive action which can move mountains. When it happens, that feeling of invincibility carries us forward and we claim it for our modus operandi forever and a day. Never again to plumb the depths of muddled thinking and indecision! Never again to struggle with the construction of a plan! Never again to forget the shopping list!

The energy surrounding clear thought feeds on itself as, tireless, as we move from task to task, hitting the target with every aim. The very air around us is rarefied. But the next day!

The next day: primordial broth. Unable to put shoes on correct feet, we realise we have fallen from the plateau of perfection and understand what it is to be a fallen angel.

It always seems to be the sequence. Just before the mire of confusion, we step from heights of possibility. It's as if the memory of a state of grace, while we plumb the depths, will help us through whatever subliminal work is being done. However, with confusion comes amnesia - who can remember great achievements through the grime of being useless? Oh! sad, downward spiral that it is!

Apparently an intermittent part of the human condition, it can sometimes be attributed to external factors. Sticky phases in life can produce new issues in which, while 'feeling around in the dark', the search for new solutions can be confusing. That, however, is not the deep confusion under scrutiny here - after all, life's challenges can bring out unsuspected potential through ingenuity. Deep confusion saps the energy and obliterates the light, there is nothing ingenius about it. In fact it is often interpreted as depression, which it isn't.

So why does it happen? It is not exactly cyclical but I have experienced it - as have others I know - a few times in my life. The human mind is as mysterious and deep as the deepest ocean, so who knows? Scientists can tell of the physiological expressions of the state - brain activity, blood circulation, heart rate but as to the WHY? of it, some parallels which reflect the pattern are useful pointers.

My feeling regarding my own experiences are that the state is transformational. It is a metamorphic process of moving from one level of awareness to another (call it mental or spiritual). Blind, disoriented and unguided we feel lost. A familiar scenario to many, which illustrates the sense of this, is where, during periods of study, the grasp of facts comes easily and is enjoyable until suddenly, 'hitting a brick wall', the subject becomes a chore when a particular principle cannot be understood. The 'head banging' continues until the whole thing falls into place, unbidden. The student, jubilant, finds he/she has leapt in understanding from one pinnacle to another and vast avenues open for exploration.

When learning to talk, toddlers amass a few words and make good progress before 'closing down' for a while - to the consternation of doting parents - and refuse to speak. This shut down can be a matter of days, weeks or even months, when there is a sudden explosion of language which has clearly been taken in, to ferment, or find its place or whatever it does. Similarly for adults learning a new language. There is a moment when, overwhelmed by the size of it all, the mind refuses to take in any more words and the mouth becomes unable to shape those already known. A bleak period of discouragement is usually followed by a rapid expansion in vocabulary and fluency.

But I saved the best example for last! It is the most remarkable, nothing short of miraculous. The butterfly is a universal symbol for transformation - and so deserving of worship! Once a caterpillar cocoons there is no identifiable process of gestation. How it gets to be a butterfly remains a mystery. The best we can say is caterpillar - soup - butterfly: so apt a parallel for the confused states I've experienced and grown from.

Additional encouragement for 'getting through' it, is the word itself - 'confusion'. Break it down and its composite parts are 'con' (Latin for 'with') and 'fusion' (joining) - therefore 'with-fusion' or 'joining with' - God? the universe? Self? Next time you lose your way, take heart! know that you are never closer to yourself than in this - a holy, productive state!

Sadly, though, while you're there, you probably won't remember.


Street Talk

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