June 25, 2013•604 words
Update: I have since followed up with another post describing the dangers of willful blindness. The post below is officially deprecated.
There was a video on TED called “The Dangers of Willful Blindness”. I didn’t watch it. I have a condition called willful blindness. It is a mental disorder that alters the prioritization algorithm in my mind, and overrides the default priority weight given to thoughts and events. If for example there be 10 thoughts to be considered, 4 of them being murky attention grabbing whores, I would rather my mind be focused on the 6 other good-hearted, less pressing issues that are perhaps not so much in weight. If you take the absolute value of the weight of a positive or negative thought, you’ll find that most times, negative thoughts are heavier. A happy thought is as light as a hummingbird, fluttering nimbly and beautifully before you, and no sooner does it appear than it’s already gone. A negative thought, however, is a riotous rhinoceros which stampedes your mind, hitting the edges and causing sharp pain. To be willfully blind then, changes the chemical reactions that occur in your brain, similar to a drug.
Focusing on the rhinoceros in your mind makes life feel heavy. You are constantly worried and stressed, and every time you try to be happy, you think of all the reasons you shouldn’t be. But the willfully blind man takes no such treatment from his very own mind. He has stood up against the incessant thudding and stomping in his brain. He has realized that in either and every way, his death is as certain as his birth, and if he must go at it either way, that he would rather traverse his time with giddy and delight, than to go limping about the days until a day he falls in a grave. And so the willfully blind man has made a most daring compromise with the gods; that you shall trade perhaps a longer life for that of an invariably lengthed life, but where all the days can be as warm as an August pool. The model blindful man, having a cancerous disease, would rather be ignorant of his condition, than to be involved in a life long fight pregnant with the worries of his state and surviving only on numbing medications and tiring hospital trips. This blindful man would rather go about his days, though considerably numbered, with frolly and joy, than to live a longer life of trolly and foy.
Willful blindness is not only used for recreation. All who create, whether it be through the form of cooking, writing, sketching, constructing; all who create know that their best work is done when they are wholly infatuated with the task at hand, whence not any thought could take them away. To be in the zone. And to be in that zone, you must be nearsighted, and shut out all of the external. Only then will your work have 100% of you. The willfully blind man uses this productivity enhancing drug when he wishes to filter, if only temporarily, the ever-pressing issues that constantly froggle his mind and prevent him from being engulfed by his work.
Like any other chemical, willful blindness should not be dependent on, but should rather be another tool in your survival kit. If ever you find yourself outnumbered and outpoured by sad and dulling thoughts, then drink the tea of willful blindness, and regain your enthusiasm and soul by raging in this age of worry. Regain your creativity by installing your own reality distortion field. Regain what makes you human by choosing.