Information overload is a term that is often used to signify the relentless exposure to data that modern human beings are subjected to. It is a simple equation; unless one is possessing of a preternatural genius capable of absorbing and processing anything and everything that is thrown your way, most input that is received is superfluous and incapable of impacting us on any kind of deeper level. If the words or the music or the images that we see or hear, boast of any kind of inherent meaning, then it stands to reason that time is required for them to achieve their intended mission. For them to bring the subtle and the hidden to the fore, it requires expenditure of time and effort on behalf of the subject; unlike a butterfly flitting from petal to petal, genuine imbibing and syncretizing demands concerted, undivulging focus. It does not matter if the process involved herein gets you labeled an obsessive-compulsive freak, for this obsessive-compulsive process is the only way of getting to know yourself as an individual and to bring emotions to a ripeness; a ripeness which once achieved leaves no room for ambiguity as to the veracity of said emotions. They are there now, a part of your constitution for the rest of your existence here on earth, and impervious to cynical attacks from outside.
It is a curious feeling of fulfillment and a long-suppressed exhalation of relief, for then and only then, when you have come to identify with an emotion as being essentially inseparable from you, can you make honest exhortations before the world on the subject. This honesty is unmistakable for the passion that it carries, and can’t be faked through diligent study or artifice. It is my firm belief that a man’s ironclad convictions have a way of manifesting themselves in some unarticulated way in the innards of sensibly-attuned fellow humans. Call it a language of the soul, tuned to a natural center, and capable of resonating within diverse hearts; we sense this in the music we listen to, in the rhythm and meter of a certain line of prose or poem, and in the specific conjunction of image and sound as seen in the movies. What is the soul, you ask? Just spiritual mumbo jumbo, you say. I call the soul the agent of that unconscious sensation of being lifted, felt most keenly in the thorax or the upper chest; probably an acute release of pleasure hormone, but reducing everything to crude biology deprives life of its magic and meaning, don’t you think?
I hear from friends that they need to be occupied with new things on a constant basis; books, music, movies, nature, experiences. I admire and envy them in their pursuits, but try as I may, I can never be like them. I’m too distracted and would probably have been diagnosed with ADD if I was born in Western land. But over time, I have come to appreciate that this constant yearning should not be the mandated state of things. No doubt there is knowledge to be gained from other minds, but cast your thoughts back to the earliest explorers in the realm of human consciousness, or even to something as recent as perhaps five hundred years ago. Great works of art and thought were wrought then from incomparably lesser exposure to material than what we have access to today. These minds and their senses necessarily focused on a smaller sphere of interests, but with an infinitely more concentrated gaze than what is in evidence today. Tunnel-vision is intensive internal actuation to be sure, but it is also influenced by external, impinging factors. Our ancestors were aided by an amiable confluence of both aspects, and the results are before us to be seen.
What am I getting at? Only that if you are in concert with your real emotions and if you find something in the external world that stimulates those emotions and brings them to a boil, capture that object for as long as you have to, or as long as it can elicit those emotions. Observe the link between emotion and object, freeze-frame it for eternity, because there will be an irrefutable truth connecting the two. Once you own this truth, there is no other, it is yours forever, and you can proceed to act according to its dictates.