When you become bored or fatigued – more specifically mentally fatigued – you descend into a kind of torpor, perhaps a bit like a balloon that has been punctured in such a way that the air, or inner pressure, leaks away gradually but surely and then leaves you feeling deflated, purposeless, lifeless.
You become easy prey to negative thoughts, feelings and perceptions, which can in turn lead to stress, anxiety, depression and ultimately a total loss of any sense of meaning in your life.
“Meaning” is what life is all about. Without “meaning” life becomes unreal, seemingly pointless and futile.
This is principally due to the narrowing of consciousness that invariably accompanies negative thoughts and feelings, the tunnel vision that’s experienced when you allow yourself to become preoccupied with being in a state of boredom or worry.
When you become mentally run down, perhaps as a result of overwork or lack of mental stimulus, nothing seems to be worthwhile or interesting. It’s as if you’re experiencing life “second hand”, as if only a small part of your consciousness is actually present, and that the real “you” is somewhere else far away.
A feeling of ennui, of “why bother”, “what’s the point anyway” takes over and it seems as if all that you really want to do is sit and vegetate in front of the TV.
Some people spend the most part of their lives in a state something similar to this.
The thought of attempting to do something useful and constructive seems to be somehow almost impossible.
Not only because this lower form of consciousness would make any effort appear to be very hard, but also because in this reduced state of consciousness it seems that you can’t think of anything remotely interesting, useful and constructive to do anyway.
In this frame of mind, you are experiencing life as your lower self.
Who Are You?
There Is More Than One “You”
Of course one individual can experience different “moods”. You can be happy and excited one day, and bored or anxious the next. However the “you” that is happy and excited and feeling mentally expansive is a profoundly different “you” to the one who is bored and depressed and seeing life as a meaningless farce.
Obviously you could say that both of these selves are the same person, and of course in a sense they are, but the point to note is that you tend to alternate between them and view yourself and life in general through the very different prism of whichever “self” is currently in occupation.
The “higher” self is naturally and inevitably linked with a strong sense of meaning and purpose in life.
When you fall in love, or succeed in fulfilling some difficult and strongly desired goal your “inner pressure” rises and you experience an intense feeling of being, of being truly alive guess what happens? You get a sense of boundless possibilities and opportunities and feel that you’re equal to anything that comes your way, which – in these moments – is exactly what you are.
What Is The Higher Self?
So who or what is this “higher” self?
The countless billions of cells that make up your body exist independently of “you”. There is not one cell or atom in your entire biological make-up that does not die off and be renewed – partially at least – every 7 or 8 years.
Where are “you” when these essential but purely biological processes take place?
On the purely conscious level, you have no awareness of cellular changes taking place in your body, or of your heart continuing to beat while you sleep, or of a broken leg gradually healing in a cast.
Some “higher” power or version of yourself oversees and controls all of these processes.
And the higher self does not only control all aspects of bodily function, it is also the self that imparts meaning and purpose into your life and the sheer intensity of living that true meaning and purpose brings.
However when you become tired, bored, depressed or fearful, the higher self becomes hidden. Because of your negative feelings and outlook you lose touch with the higher self and forget or doubt that it exists and everything seems to become futile or perhaps in some way threatening.
But when – through meaningful and purposeful activity – you come into contact with your higher self, it instantly becomes apparent that the sense and feeling of negativity had been an illusion.
In moments of inspiration, creativity and purposeful and intense excitement the negative sense of boredom, futility, of defeat, is fully understood for what it was, a delusion and a pointless and somehow ridiculous waste of time and mental energy.
You are seeing and experiencing yourself and life through the prism of your higher self.
Finding Meaning And Purpose Through Action
“I felt like a child on Christmas morning” is an excellent way of verbally encapsulating the sense of intensity, of heightened awareness and sheer excitement of being alive that comes when you are truly “in the zone”.
From the adult perspective it may seem a bit overstated but the principle remains fundamentally the same.
When you’re engaged in some meaningful and purposeful activity that aligns with your core values, especially for which you have some natural affinity and ability, you feel as if you’re somehow fulfilling your destiny, that you’re on the right track.
Everything becomes much more real and true, much more meaningful.
One of the most important questions in life is how to bring meaning and purpose into your day to day life and activities, how to maximize and maintain your contact with your higher self so as to experience as much positivity and intensity of being as you can.
The answer to that question is to be found in action, whether mental or physical or both. When you’re feeling down, you have a choice as to whether you’re going to sit and brood over it or whether you decide that you’re going to rise above it.
If you decide to take the latter, positive course then you must learn how to call on your hidden reserves of mental energy and creative imagination, in other words, call on your higher self.
You could think of it like this: imagine a room full of military commanders and generals all arguing about how to deal with some event or situation.
Who Is In Control?
There’s no clear consensus, and no clear direction is emerging from the argument.
Then the commander in chief walks in and the argument subsides and is replaced by quiet expectation. The commander in chief then issues the final order and so direction, i.e. meaning and purpose, is found.
The squabbling generals could be thought of as the lower self, and the commander in chief as the higher self.
To begin to access your own “commander in chief”, you must first remove your focus from whatever negative thoughts or feelings are in your mind, whether it’s boredom, anxiety or whatever.
Do this by inducing physical and then mental relaxation, by getting comfortable, closing your eyes, regulating your breathing and then imagining yourself in some calm and tranquil situation.
Then, after a few minutes, start to think about doing something. Banal and over-simplistic as it may seem, action is nevertheless an effective route map out of negativity and into a much stronger frame of mind.
It Takes Conscious Effort
Do this by making a conscious effort to focus on something that you want to do or have been meaning to do.
It could be something as mundane as some boring job or task, however if you mentally focus your concentration on what you’re doing, you’ll find yourself coming out of yourself and clicking neatly into a much more positive and constructive gear.
In this way, you start to come into contact with the lower reaches of your higher self.
And of course you can build and expand on this through a process of:
a) vigilance, i.e. continual monitoring of your own conscious thought processes for signs of negativity and self-defeatism
b) persistence, i.e. always being prepared to make the mental effort to overcome that delusional negativity by invoking the realization of your will to experience a more purposeful and intense state of being.
Guest post by Kenneth McRae on www.adaringadventure.com.