Sometimes, we've agreed to be part of a collective perception.
Several days later Murray asked me about a tourist attraction known as the most photographed barn in America. We drove twenty-two miles into the country around Farmington. There were meadows and apple orchards. White fences trailed through the rolling fields. Soon the signs started appearing. THE MOST PHOTOGRAPHED BARN IN AMERICA. We counted five signs before we reached the site. . . . We walked along a cow-path to the slightly elevated spot set aside for viewing and photographing. All the people had cameras; some had tripods, telephoto lenses, filter kits. A man in a booth sold postcards and slides - pictures of the barn taken from the elevated spot. We stood near a grove of trees and watched the photographers. Murray maintained a prolonged silence, occasionally scrawling some notes in a little book.
"No one sees the barn," he said finally.
A long silence followed.
"Once you've seen the signs about the barn, it becomes impossible to see the barn."
He fell silent once more. People with cameras left the elevated site, replaced at once by others.
"We're not here to capture an image. We're here to maintain one. Can you feel it, Jack? An accumulation of nameless energies."
There was an extended silence. The man in the booth sold postcards and slides.
"Being here is a kind of spiritual surrender. We see only what the others see. The thousands who were here in the past, those who will come in the future. We've agreed to be part of a collective perception. This literally colors our vision. A religious experience in a way, like all tourism."
Another silence ensued.
"They are taking pictures of taking pictures," he said.
It seems that there is a very specific area in the brain which could be called poetic memory and which records what has charmed us, what has moved us, what gives our life its beauty.
Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity... It is, in short, the subject of the history of the Grail. Only a predestined being has the ability to ask another: what is your torment? And he doesn't have it when he enters life. He has to go through years of dark night.
Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.
Almost everyone in the world is self-absorbed within themselves. They regard themselves as the most important beings. People rarely speak bad about themselves. They are the heroes in their own story no matter how much entanglement of lies and bullshit is needed to achieve a gratifying and satisfying version of the tale.
By observing their actions, you could trace back their thought pattern, intentions, interest, and vision. Stop for a moment and analyze the action. Stop caring about what they say, what they think about how the world should be, how everyone can execute their best, or why the world is so messed up. They speak whatever hell it takes to sound amazing. Listen to their actions. Listen only and only to their actions.
We all have forests on our minds. Forests unexplored, unending. Each one of us gets lost in the forest, every night, alone.