Often times, although we may live in relative comfort, with virtually everything required for an easy, stress-free life, we still feel imprisoned….imprisoned by the civility with which our lives are loaded.
Being civil is the direct result of living within a civilisation that stresses the importance of conforming….anybody who doesn’t conform, is automatically deemed unfit to be part of this civilisation.
But these beliefs have somehow become habitual, ingrained even, causing us to find it hard to be conscious of how we should interpret the world. Almost like a pair of really comfortable carpet slippers, or a pair of spectacles, which we have worn so long, and are so part of our person, that we forget we even have them on.
To be able to break out of this false tradition, we need to be able to ask ourselves many questions. We need to be strong enough to question things, rather than accept everything we are told. Then, if we find something not quite making sense, we can decide not to accept that statement.
But this is easier said than done. Why? Because we humans are a forgetful race and because we are a habitual race. Aristotle hit the nail on the head when he said that we are all creatures of habit.
Therein lies the thing….some habits can lead us to do silly things if we don’t correct them. And correcting bad habits is relatively easy, if you know how to go about it.
Which brings us nicely back to the idea hinted at in the title of this article.
We have our own experiences and the resulting tests from the world’s neuroscientists to prove that the psyche is as malleable as putty, and can be altered just as easily, if we wish it so.
In ancient Greece, as well as in the even older Vedantic culture of India, students were required to recite, memorize and write down phrases from popular scriptures, and repeat them often.
With the Greeks, these phrases would be written down in notebooks called enchiridia….these were carried at all times as a kind of insurance against allowing the bad habits to become ingrained.
These notes that the students carried were a form of daily journal, that allowed them to note down daily thoughts, good or bad, and then keep a log of them, using the whole lot at the end of a week, to visually determine what had been going on in their minds.
As one Greek philosopher rightly said, if you want to improve your temper, count the days you were not angry!
This is just one example of how I believe keeping a journal can heal us, whatever hang-ups we may have, I strongly believe if we write them down, then monitor them, over time, we can learn to control them, play them down and ultimately heal ourselves…armed not with drugs, narcotics or medicines of any kind, but just pen or pencil and a notebook!
Ok, so it’s nothing to do with photography…but hell, isn’t life more important than photography…hmm?