The Slow Percolation of Reality

Reality can be slow to percolate. We may have a complacent and idealized view but slowly, drip by drip, reality can seep in. When the UK had the Brexit vote, there were many who cheered and celebrated, there were almost as many who thought “oh fuck”, but now the consequences of that “decision” are filtering through. It is painful, messy and drawn out. It hangs like a cloud over Europe and it will not shift.

Consequence is one aspect of reality.

If we are complacent and arrogant it can be a very long time before we acknowledge the causal relationship between our actions and the consequences. I have a very rough theory, no rather a trend. It says; the more intelligent you are the slower it is that reality percolates. It is not a perfect trend, maybe a guideline. This is partly because intellect can invent a whole bunch of alternate scenarios in regard of what is transpiring, it may even do this deliberately so as to stop the actual reality getting through. There must be any other explanation than the reality.

To give other examples. Two people could be involved in a somewhat co-dependent relationship where arguments and manipulation are common. One day the argument goes to another level and one of the “partners” walks out. The other thinks; “he (or she) will come back begging before long”. There is precedent. However, time goes by and this doesn’t happen. The waiting party tries to inject some manipulations as a hurry-up. There is no response. Soon it begins to dawn that no matter how many more manipulations are attempted, it is done, finito, caput. It can be a very long time before the reality of the situation percolates and the consequences of behaviour are acknowledged. People can take their unreal justifications to the grave.

The wider the significance of consequence, the longer the reality takes to percolate through.

A couple could be relatively happily married with children. One of them is away on a business trip and one night the opportunity of a drunken shag presents. It seems harmless enough. But the person shagged decides to intervene in the lives of the “happily” married couple and starts texting body-part pictures to the ‘phone of the shagger. The wife (or husband) of the shagger gets suspicious and sees these. All hell breaks loose. The reality of the situation shatters the imagined bliss. The shagger might imagine that a repair is possible, but it isn’t, things will never be the same. The children grow up in a broken home in which there is animosity between the parents. One of the children gets mentally ill and is in and out of psychiatric hospitals for their rest of their lives. I could expand this scenario, but won’t, you can if you like.

The time taken for reality to percolate is proportional to the initial levels of complacency.  

The more one believes that something could not possibly happen, it is so off the radar, when it does it remains utterly inconceivable for a very long time. The fortress of denial is so sturdy that not a single iota of the reality can percolate through its mighty walls. That could not possibly happen, ergo it didn’t, even if it did.

Until you can acknowledge reality it is impossible for you to respond to it.

You are over due on the rent on your cottage. The landlord has taken you to the county court and you have a letter from the bailiffs saying that they will be around to evict you next week. You have a week to find some alternate accommodation. “That is not really happening, everything will be OK”. When the bailiffs turn up and chuck you out on the street with all your belongings it is more than a little too late to deal with the reality of the situation. The moment has passed.

The only way to offset this tendency to not be real, is to try to be a bit more real. That way reality may percolate a little quicker. But first you have to be prepared to face reality. The consequences of not facing reality are often more wide-ranging than facing it.

Are You Awake?

This is a very good question and during daylight hours most would answer yes. But is this “awake” a relative term?

I have, according to family legend, always been a creature of the dawn. The time around dawn is my favourite time of day. It is when I am most alert, and I love the general quietness on the mental plane. Most are still dozing or coming groggily to. For me there is no slow transition between duvet, via coffee, to alert. Sleep ends, a switch is flicked, and I am awake. If I was able to and from a strategic perspective, I would have any meetings soon after dawn. Many complain about zero dark thirty, not me….

Have you ever had a “what the fuck just happened” moment? Or has something slowly, ponderously, started to dawn on you? Eventually you start to realize something which you have not considered or had been resisting. In slow motion, the penny starts to drop. Ever so slowly it makes its way under gravity towards the floor. This probably means that you are not quite as awake as you might deem yourself to be. There is a saying; be alert, Britain needs lerts.

Many people are very complacent about many aspects of their lives. They think they have it sorted, under control and sussed. So, they do not pay attention. There is a dream-like coterie. It will all pan out as it is supposed to. And when something a little non-ordinary comes along, they miss it. They don’t see it. By definition anything unexpected surprises and the unexpected is pretty big for many. Consciousness and awareness can be more than a little foggy. This state of distraction and dissipation is made worse by mobile ‘phones and other gadgets. People are not present. Hence, they do not notice. By not living in the moment fully, there is a lack of awareness and situational awareness.

As an exercise:

Make a mental note of your level of awareness, be aware of when it is sluggish and then try to fight back the fog. Over a period of a couple of weeks see if you can determine the time of day at which you are most alert.  

Quirks of Fate

This is a subject of much interest to me. Quirks of Fate happen when you “think” life is heading along in one particular direction and the something happens which changes the direction of life significantly if not entirely. The world seems to pivot around only a few moments, maybe minutes or hours. After that nothing is the same. These can be caused by a telephone conversation, a series of emails, a letter, a condom falling off, a car crash, a lottery win, or a cancer diagnosis. There are many other examples, we have the eponymous straw that broke the camel’s back, etc. These Quirks of Fate can lead to a major upheaval.  In most cases we do not see them coming, in others were we not so complacent we might have. Many think they have more control over their lives than they actually do; it is a common assumption.

When they happen, we can find them very hard to believe, we may even be in denial for a long time. In extreme cases our entire world is turned upside-down. And when this happens we can feel more than a little lost. “Shit happens” is a saying in common parlance but not everyone has this kind of relaxed attitude. The more we subscribe to the notion of permanence and continuity, the bigger the shock a Quirk of Fate is. We might be going one way and the universe says; “sorry sonny-Jim, that is not the correct way. This one is, so now off you trot…”. I don’t know how common these happenstances are. Some might be anticipated, if you live at 1 Water Meadow Lane, it stands to reason that a flood could be on the cards. The more fluid you are the less trauma a Quirk of Fate brings. If you push your luck sooner or later your bluff is called.

The Quirks of Fate can be triggered by the tiniest of things, something is brewing and then Bang!!

At these pivots one door in life is closed or slammed shut and either at the same time, or soon afterwards, another opens. What lies ahead may be very different. I have had at least half a dozen of these.

Having cued this up.

As an exercise:

Have I ever experienced a Quirk of Fate?

Am I in control of my life or does the universe like to take the piss from time to time?