Sometimes you have to stop listening to hear.
Today I found myself playing 8 distinct songs at once. Listening to a particular song in the sea of noise is actually quite easy. But when I tried to hear all at once, I couldn’t. As I tried to listen to each song individually, yet together, the more focused I became. And the more I failed. Soon songs, my hearing, became periodic and stuttered. Sure, I could hear a few songs together easily. But when I tried to pickup the fourth and fifth… Either I lost one of them or things became disjunct. I became bound by time and the limitations of my focus.
To hear them all, I had to take a mental step back and stop trying to focus on /listening/ to everything. To experience and understand it, I had to become unfocused, only then could I hear clarity. Only then could I hear and listen to everything. Yet, all I had to do is hear. The only thing that changed was my mindset.
Intense emotion I find suffers from a similar problem. Anger, perhaps the easiest example. I am unable to see everything else going on. I can’t think. My thoughts constrained to a few paths. My senses squelched (Aside, I heard recently from a doctor that the last estimate he heard was there are over 84 senses. 5 is baloney. For example, think about your sense of dizziness, or orientation. Am I upside down or upright? Or Hungry? etc…). I’m only feeling, focused on the emotion, the feeling of anger. Unable to think or snap out of it. Isn’t depression the same? Isn’t happiness?
And while yes, that is the definition of focus. What would feeling/emotion be without focus? A thought in passing you are never able to experience?
In away, this is what meditation is all about. The more I tried to focus on a song, the more difficult it would become to keep track of it. But, if I stopped trying to listen and just listened, just heard. I could hear everything. I could hear the saxophone, harpsichord, piano, rubber bass even voices, all at the same time.
I suspect, for many here, depression is a elongation of a focus. What to do about it? I don’t know. Just a thought.