The Man Machine
I sometimes wonder about the relationship between things we do and thoughts/emotions about things we do. How much energy is consumed by processing “around” our action and how much goes into the action itself? The obvious answer is; way too much is spent around and way too little into. I guess most of us know that, but I’d like more clarity than just “too much” and “too little”. They say that when action is taken without excessive elaboration and post action-analysis a huge amount of energy is suddenly available. I believe that, and getting there will probably be the only way to get a solid answer to my question. First hand experience is like always the best measure.
Sometimes I wish I was a machine that just did one action after another. Someone that just ticked off the boxes in the todo-list slowly but relentlessly, no hurry but no side tracking. No “maybe if”-s, no “I should have”-s, just press play and the music starts playing. Wouldn’t that be great? I guess I’m hesitant after all, but not sure why. I’m thinking one reason could be confusing action with appreciating action. Like, if I become the man machine, by default I will “feel” like a machine. That is, I will feel nothing and be totally senseless. But that must be a big mistake. When I try to remember how spending a lot of energy “around” action have been gratifying and felt good, I cannot pick one instance where it has. I don’t count the excitement that comes with looking forward to something fun or thrilling. That is not to waste energy in this sense because it’s not about “how should I do this” or “wouldn’t it be better if”. It’s just looking forward to doing exactly what will be done. Come to think of it, most of the thought before and after is either worrying, hesitation or regret. To make it less depressing we could call it planning, analysing and evaluating. In that perspective it’s exactly what youre supposed to do. But is it really, and if so, why am I supposed to do that? Is it because I thereby learn how to behave correctly and make the right decisions? Then, who is setting the standards for correct and right, and what will happen if I succeed or fail? Where does all this anxiety come from that makes us wobble and freeze in our tracks?
Insted of being a soulless, mindless “machine”, acting like one seems rather subversive and potentially dangerous. Most of all, it gives me a faint scent of what freedom smells like. All the worrying about doing it “right” might not be mine to have in the first place. Maybe I worry so the other, who- or whatever it is, can sleep good knowing I will watch my step carefully? What would happen to society as we know it if we all turned into Man Machines, relentlessly going about doing things and enjoying it?