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Sunday Soul – Absentiae
Year 11 – Playlist 2/52 – For the week of April 27th 2014
Where do you go when you’re not here? Do you really just space out? I’ve walked half way across San Francisco before I realized I wasn’t even there. I’d crossed streets, turned corners, and suddenly realized I was half way to somewhere. Like magic I simply returned to my body. Was I dreaming? Was I deep in thought? Where did I go?
The Sutras of Yoga were created for warriors so that they could prepare for meditation. Meditation itself is prescribed as essential for 12 minutes per day in order to be happy. And yet according to Matthew Killingsworth of Harvard University, those of us who “daydream” our days away are statistically more likely to be “depressed” than people who are otherwise present. So what is this? What’s going on in my brain when I am absent from the present tense and my physical body?
To be clear, I’m not speaking to the collective isolation produced by our beloved gadgets – while nomophobia is very real, I don’t mean separated, split attentions, or preoccupied thinking. I’m talking about the actual act of what I like to call time travel. When I’m waiting for an airplane to board, and my phone is safely in my pocket, and suddenly 75 minutes have passed and my mouth is dry. Where did I go? Did you miss me?
As it turns out our brains have more than one system at work all of the time. The basic elements of consciousness are managed by our more rudimentary systems. We see, we breathe, our hearts beat, and we thrive. But unbeknownst to some of us, there is a secondary system operating behind the scenes where our dreams, creativity, and ongoing problem solving centers are thriving all the time. In effect, when we are “spaced out” we are calling our consciousness over to focus on more complex tasks which our minds have been chewing on for a while.
Albert Einstein was so inept socially and physically that his mind was almost completely devoted to his secondary mental system. People considered him an idiot and he failed out of school. Yet when his thinking emerged, Mr. Einstein was lauded as one of the greatest, most brilliant thinkers of the 20th century. Fact is more than one third of all creative ideas, mathematic eureka’s and other conclusions are drawn, found, and born in this very nearly subconscious state.
Ram Das, for all of his trippyness, says to “be here now” and he means it man. But what exactly does he mean? According to the Neuroscience Department at Georgetown University chronic mindfulness can lead to all sorts of neurological disorders and deep unhappiness. Their only advice is “balance” and to watch our minds, and understand what they are telling us.
So which is it? Are those of us who are in absentia while the practical details of our lives pass over our eyes bound to become depressed? Are those of us who are seeking to be “present” by learning to put ourselves into a meditative state likely one day to awaken some inner vision of creative inspiration? And what’s so good about being completely occupied with the consciousness of this moment anyway? For me, when I dance, when I’m gone, when I’m really and truly here, when I meditate, when I listen with my heart, or sometimes when I’m just walking across town I can not tell the difference between presence and absentiae.
The good news is that I don’t mind. I love the time travel of my thoughts and dreams as much as I love the presence of being really here with you. I trust my heart, and I trust my mind, and I hope that you do to. That’s all for this week. I love you, and I’ll see you next Sunday.
Here is the track listing for Sunday Soul: Absentiae
1. I Ain’t Got Nobody – Alternate Take – Louis Armstrong
2. Woman of the Ghetto – Akshin Alizadeh Instrumental Mix – Marlena Shaw
3. Ce Soir – Je Sens que tout peut m’arriver – Adrienne Ste-Claire
4. So Good To Me – Chris Malinchak
5. Beatnik Euphoria – Thanos T
6. Walk Away – Orthy Remix – S&M Music Company
7. Make Me Stronger – Dubtribe Sound System
8. A Lil Bit Of Truth – Akshin Alizadeh
9. Falling Up – Carl Craig Remaster – Theo Parish
10. Same Mistakes – Extended Version – Sunshine Jones
11. Masquerade – Dave Pad’s Hypnotic Remix – Ilves & Magova
12. Moosebeats – 2 Billion Beats Remix – Audiotonic
13. Be A Vise Man – Peter Visti
14. I’m Coming Home – Dino Lenny
15. Teens – Tape Mix – Volta Cab
16. Johnny & Mary – Todd Terje & Bryan Ferry
17. Sunday Soul – Program ID
18. Did I Remember – Billie Holiday
19. Sunday Soul – Program ID
Year 11 – Playlist 2|52
Total Running Time: 01 Hours 34 Minutes
May the stars above you shimmer and shine, guiding your heart always, all of the time. May they guide you sweetly, all the way home. And may all your sundays have soul.