The Weekly Sillimanian
February 28, 2008
We are all living with intricate unsettled questions. These could not necessarily be caused by dementia, of course, but simply these are problems we all bear every day. Ever-present and ever-persistent, they create distortion and deterioration in our intellectual faculties that yield nothing more but ache in our innermost being. As humans, almost perfectly capable of intellectual thinking and speech which make us distinct and ahead of the lesser animals, we cannot depart from these moments of individualistic turmoil.
Blaming this undesired condition on things so obviously nurtured by our very own doings is frankly unconvincing. Whether it is the feeling of being so forlorn because of unrequited love, feeling guilty for situations we didn’t actually create, or simply being unreasonable in all matters of this problematic life, everything boils down to the definiteness of our decisions.
At this point in our lives, when an undesired problem is at its highest corrupting condition, the tendency to create solutions out of thin air is inevitable even in the middle of chaos; whether it is chaos in class requirements, chaos in everyday performances, or chaos in emotional-psychological fixations. And one of the many solutions that result from harried, premature decision making is to bring the whole thing to an abrupt end. In simple terms, to immediately cut off one’s lifeline. Suicide, that is. Often it is successful, sometimes it’s a failure. The number of attempts has undeniably been increasing annually, but fortunately more and more diversions are formulated to alter one’s focus and lead it out of the macabre—let it be the comfort of reading a tome by Haruki Murakami, the obligatory intake of an antidepressant, or the vigorous involvement in any sports. But the most uncomplicated, purest form of diversion is sleep. The closing of the lids, the subtle sensation of having our delicate lashes touch the bases of our eyes, and then the gradual development of evading the harshness of reality; sleep is indeed an act of breaking away.
And one of the unique branches of the science of sleeping is to carry out this practice not only at the right time and at the right place but anytime and anywhere. It is called selective narcolepsy. Characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness, the term is derived from Greek which means to be “seized by somnolence (the state of being drowsy).” Many fear this would affect one’s social and academic performance but the implications of this are often misunderstood by many. Some even identify narcoleptic symptoms as embarrassing since social isolation may result. But even though in the medical field it’s principally a sleeping disorder, to some it is the most exhilarating experience one would attain. It is sleep in the most enigmatic form.
Supposedly, sleep is the body’s respite. It is the normal intermittent suspension of consciousness during which the energy of the body is restored. Triggered by a complex group of hormones that are superiorly active and responding to the body itself and to the environment, 80 percent of sleep is actually dreamless and is known as non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. It is in the other 10 percent that we encounter beings called Them. Through selective narcolepsy, especially in the rapid eye movement, we see Them whenever we want to see Them. Never mind this entire scientific spill; the achievement here is that we get to meet Them.
By undergoing selective narcoleptic, by decisively choosing to sleep when stress or whatnot hit the ceiling, we essentially sleep with Them. We envision Them as the flawless beings of comfort and safety, the surreal yet mimetic companions of security not found in the realms of reality. These dream beings embody the perfect concept of a supporter, an ally, an exceptional someone. They are believable. They are sought-after partners of affection. Therefore, we can sleep when we want to meet Them.
It is also in sleep where we discover a paradise—an unmapped wonder world where everlasting joy and overflowing pleasure are the reward for those who think deserve the spree. While magnifying its transitory beauty, which is caught in the illustriousness of our imagination and having none of any pragmatism of pain, we highly value Them. When we sleep with Them, we only shed light on perfection and we disregard the flaws.
Suddenly, we wake up. The sunlight, eternally present to highlight the truth hiding within the dark recesses of our humanity, will seek out the lies that we lustfully aspire to and illuminate them in order to eliminate them. It is inescapable that we must wake up but then we can always sleep back again. And if the instance of waking comes and I will bear witness to another veracity of disorder and hurting, I would rather go back to sleep once more, suspended in a mutual cycle of false love, imaginary peace, and bogus order in the company of Them. I will bear the cycle of sleeping and waking, lying and accepting. For only with Them I will feel my worth.
Sigh. Sob. Heave. Sleep.