Sensitivity of my Zen

Last night Amy commented on my post “Square peg in a pussy world.” Initially, I agreed with the validity of her point and mused that perhaps in the heat of such an emotionally profuse post, I had blundered over word choice. It wouldn’t exactly be the first time… Some of my posts tend to be intense. They are like a personal dirge and the words fly from my fingers in a fierce, unrehearsed manner. Many times, during proofreading, these ill-fitted words escape reconnaissance. Amy wrote:

“I’m the most insensitive and Zen guy on the face of the planet”

An odd pairing of adjectives, that! Describing someone as “Zen” (in contemporary slang) seems to imply that he doesn’t overreact to things, but I don’t associate insensitivity with “Zen.”

Though after further consideration–it implies a kind of focus, honesty, and getting down to brass tacks that *appears* insensitive to the politically correct crowd. You know, the people who believe it’s possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

Yes, it occurred to me that in fact “insensitive” and “Zen” do seem mutually incompatible streams of consciousness. Perhaps I dove into that sentence thoughtlessly. Blogging is free-form lunacy. There is no editorial board to keep you in check. That’s what readers are for. As I said, in some of my “dirge” modes, I tend to write and pound on the keyboard like a harried and mad concert pianist. The words fly…and they aren’t always precisely chosen. Maybe Amy was on to something.

But then, throughout the day (I was home from work to take care of last-minute Christmas crap), I experienced a similar sense of Amy’s “further consideration.” Indeed, I did choose the words I intended. I experienced a similar evolution of thought in regards to the juxtaposition of Zen and insensitivity.

Amy’s comment was directed at something I wrote describing my journey home on public transportation after a rather troubling day. I wrote, “I’m the most insensitive and Zen guy on the face of the planet” when describing the personal frame of mind I experienced on the ride home. In order to focus and resolve a level of mindfulness necessary to “pause” my mind, all lucid cognitive systems must be funneled down into a state of hibernation. Affect idles. Naturally expected behavior is sequestered due to true squandering of energy it represents. Superfluity devours mindfulness. I am describing the Zen arrow; it is the contrary element, the antagonist, of the archetypal dramatic, self-righteous pose assumed by most people when engaging stress and disruption. The predominant Drama Queen reaction (which incidentally is not restricted to females) is an essential element of the 21st Century persona. People swing from extreme to extreme. Along the way, they are riddled with imploding and exploding emotions and nothing is ever placid or linear. The impression given by the dramatic personality is of extreme sensitivity. We equate emotion with sensitivity. However, when emotions are constantly strong and expressed in a continuous hum of elevated noise, how can a person be sensitive when in fact, the threshold has been raised so high that “desensitization” is the result of feeling too much, continuously. True experience is numbed. However, allowing emotions and sensations to coat your being in an even and measured dose are what lead to true sensitivity. This is the essence of my thought. It’s the appearance of insensitivity to the hyper-emotional whose perceptions cloud their own expectations as definers of the outside world. If we were to put their expectations into words, it would be “someone who doesn’t experience the rabid outward emotions I do must not be very sensitive.”

Only by willing and habituating myself into a state of insensitivity do I in fact become very sensitive. If only those on the outside understood this.