I have had the pleasure to read few blog posts where Murakami’s novels have been rightfully related to “Mindfulness”. The first incredible comparison I have had the pleasure to observe seemed to be with the novel “What we talk about when we talk about running”. This is a novel I have read about two years ago and which keeps my mind wondering about the real power of our inner selves and resilience.
Can any human being develop this power?
The answer is probably Yes and I strongly believe this must be achieved together with good practice. Something I deeply understood reading this book is the following:
Pain is part of our daily life (well…hopefully not daily but you know…it comes with different intensities) and this is the real contribution to our inner selves. Simply, leaving the usual comfort zone is an act of pain itself and it flows through an inevitable reaction of the brain who says something like:
“hey, you! Where are you going now? Let’s go back to our comfy couch…I don’t like all this darkness..”
Logical reaction is fear so pain, psychological pain. This happens anytime we are not in control of our mind and we get lost, in the middle of nowhere with a sense of unhappiness and lack of satisfaction. This is suffering though…whenever we choose not to be mindful and grant our mind this chance of being the puppeteer.
Eventually, I have decided to read a second novel: “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle”. A novel published in 1994-1995.
The great Japanese writer narrates with meticulous and almost suffocating details, a singular story that takes place between the protagonist of the novel and a deep water well, located in the garden of a large house of the neighborhood. Toru Okada (name of the protagonist) is a man in his thirties who lost the awareness of himself because of a series of events related to the disappearance of his cat before and to his wife then. After a series of events and encounters, he understands that he has only one way to discover that oneself and the path he clearly feels to have lost: losing himself.
The place he chooses to achieve this purpose, is indeed inside a deep and abandoned water well. One day, after an insightful meeting, he finally decides to spend few days in there, ending up with losing the way to get out and living in a state of trance due to complete absence of water and food. However, over the next hours an unreal atmosphere surrounds the protagonist.
The main principle the story has conveyed, is a sense of in-utility around the frequent practice of following again and again the same, identical path while we already have the certainty we cannot find the way over there.
We must find the courage and the awareness to follow unknown ways to allow oneself the opportunity to get lost, although for a moment. The next achieved level will then permit ourselves reaching a higher level of awareness, in conditions that could normally return acquired and automated reactions.
“In a place far away from anyone or anywhere, I drifted off for a moment.”
From The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Haruki Murakami, 1995
The magic outcome of this process, is the creation of a shiny light that attracts everything and everyone like a gigantic magnet. The most important thing is to do it gradually, proceeding step by step, like a child who learns to walk for the first time. We should get used to the idea of not knowing what we do and simply learning by doing it, after having crossed its borders and touched the surface of unconsciousness which seemed like being buried forever.