My Dad is a Sleepwalker, as is my mother and as are all of my siblings. In fact the majority of humans roaming the world are indeed doing it with their eyes closed. I will have to guess that my parents are Sleepwalkers because their parents were also Sleepwalkers. One of the most important roles of a parent is to teach their siblings about life. Lessons in life are sadly lacking in our modern school curriculum, heaping even more pressure on our parents to provide the knowledge in this vitally important area. As my parents were Sleepwalkers they also raised me to be a Sleepwalker too.
Most of the human population walk around with their eyes closed.
A Sleepwalker doesn’t spend much time thinking about life and this is because the Sleepwalker believes they don’t have the time to spend on luxuries such as thinking. By the mere definition of the word, you cannot think if you are wandering around fast asleep, so Sleepwalkers bring you up without thinking. They pick you up and hug you when you cry, they laugh when you laugh, they shout at you when you do something wrong and they pat you on the back when you do something right. The Sleepwalker rulebook of life is deliberately made simple and easy to follow. The Sleepwalker rulebook of life is filled with a sense of certainty and stability.
It is up to each and every one of us to find our own sense of meaning and purpose.
My parents always seemed to be miserable and I now believe this misery was brought on by the fact that they had four children. Although neither of my parents would regret having either one of us, they could not deny that bringing four children into the world applied certain pressures to their lives. They created a hand to mouth life and one that fitted the bill perfectly. The wonderful colours of a valley on a misty morning, the smells of a dew filled wood and the sounds of the waves crashing onto the sandy beach were all lost in minds full of pound signs and screaming kids. They didn’t have time to appreciate those things and they took them for granted. They took life for granted. We are given so much and yet Sleepwalkers appreciate so little – time moves so quickly.
Sleepwalkers do not realise the opportunity a life time with a human spirit has given them.
I don’t have any memories of my parents hugging or kissing and instead I have memories of them arguing and fighting. I just remember listening to the moans and groans and as such I did exactly the same. Sleepwalkers focus on everything that is bad in the world. It is as though the human spirit is like a magnet and all the negativity of the radio, TV, magazine and Internet seeps into the soul of a Sleepwalker and sticks there. It is like a virus spreading through the stimuli of sound and vision. The brain has a certain capacity for retention of information, and if you fill it up with enough bad thoughts and negative connotations then how does any of the worlds good stuff get in there? Your experiences of life reflect what you pay attention too, and the most unfortunate thing about the life of the Sleepwalker is they don’t even notice that their energy is being driven by all of this negativity. In fact without it they would feel lost and soulless. They suck the joy out of everything worth living for.
Sleepwalkers focus on everything that is bad in the world.
One of the most daunting challenges a child faces is what value they will bring to the world when they become an adult. From a very early age I felt a responsibility to contribute financially to the household. I was a Sleepwalker raised by Sleepwalkers and I had a very strong connection to the work ethic. My father was never home and spent his time traveling around the world, sleeping in hotel rooms and working 12-hrs per day so he could pay the bills. The only piece of advice I remember receiving from my father, when it came to finding a job, was to get a job working on motorway maintenance gang because the money was good. The Sleepwalkers philosophy is enveloped in a great big cash sign. Their motto is to work hard so you can earn plenty of money. The problem is that they work so hard that they never have any time to do anything positive with the money that they earn. What is the point of spending more time in work if the output means you have less time to enjoy the fruits of your labour?
Sleepwalkers are too busy creating money, following The Sleepwalkers rule book and ignoring their true instincts.
The only benefit I believe I got from school was the interpersonal skills I developed whilst interacting with other children. The school was over run by Sleepwalkers. The teachers and the children were all walking around in a daze. The teachers blindly followed the rules of the curriculum and the children were continually being force fed societies way of the world. I never learned about my sense of purpose or my sense of meaning. I never learned about life and nobody ever helped me understand why I was on this earth? Everything revolved around competition. You sat exams and the people with the best scores were rewarded and those with the worse scores chastised. There was a huge emphasis on sport, competing and winning and this transferred itself into the playground, with the sport stars gaining popularity while the geeks just had their dinner money stolen. Emphasis on the creative side of oneself was reserved for nerds and strange children. If you drew, sang or played a musical instrument you were either gay or female.
By this time I was lost and I was walking through the school halls with my eyes closed like everyone else.
So I entered school with my eyes closed and when I left they were sealed shut. I found myself a job, received my first pay packet and started to contribute to the household. In the meantime I would spend what money I had left losing myself in drink and drugs. The more money I spent the more money I needed to earn. I realised that if I worked harder I would be promoted higher and higher thus earning more and more money. At last I believed I had a sense of meaning and purpose. I needed to gain as many promotions as I could so I could buy more and more material things, and fuel the bad habits that I had adopted like so many of the rest of the world. This was it…surely? I just worked hard all week and then drink myself into oblivion on weekends?
90% of our behaviour is habitual.
I left home and got myself a mortgage. I was terrified when I got my first mortgage because I was lending £65,000. I asked everyone around me for advice, and despite everyone having their own mortgage; they could not give me any. The rules of the Sleepwalker simply read: go to school, get educated, find a job, earn money and buy a house. I followed the rules and found myself £65,000 in debt at the age of 21. The house was a shell and it needed a spirit so I bought the very best objects I could find. I started to run out of money so I got myself a credit card. Everyone had them, and soon I had even more debt. I had a lot of wonderful objects to show for all of this debt but I never saw the value because I was always at work. I worked harder and harder to earn more money to pay off my debt, but then I would spend more money than I earned. I couldn’t see the wood for the debt but everyone around me assured me it was fine – after all they were all acting the same:
Following the code of the Sleepwalker.
In the working environment, everyone was competing with each other to become the very best at what they did. Teamwork was pushed aside in preference to individual achievement. Teams were not rewarded but a few top dogs were and you knew you needed to be a top dog. You wanted Pedigree Chum and not the rubbish served out of tins from the bottom shelf in Spar. The idea that a team could work more efficiently, make the company more money, and therefore allow everyone to wallow in the success that would inevitably follow was ludicrous.
The Musketeer motto one for all and all for one was a joke.
I met a woman, fell in love, got married in a church, sang prayers to a God I did not believe existed and brought a child into the world. My wife gave up her job to care for our son and our income dropped. Surrounded by debt I worked harder and harder and spent more time in work. I saw my wife and son less and less but I told myself that it was all part of life. I needed to spend so much time in work to pay off the debt. Fellow Sleepwalkers in my business kept retiring and my attendance at funerals started to increase. Death and I were starting to get on scarily friendly terms.
Why were all these good people dying no sooner as they had retired?
They were dying because they were part of an existential vacuum. Sleepwalkers rush blindly through their lives blissfully unaware of what is going on around them. Like squirrels collecting nuts for the long hard winter we collect money for no other apparent reason other than that is the way life is. We follow the Sleepwalker rulebook to the tee. Oh, what a good little Sleepwalker I am. I have learned so much and yet I feel so little. I am empty and hollow. Despite having four children in their lives when my parents finally retire everything is going to seem so empty. The emptiness will be painful and it is this pain that will start to slowly take shape in the mind. The mind will start to ask questions and the answers will slowly force those rusty eyelids open. For many Sleepwalkers, the light that meets them is too strong and the spirit cannot often take it hence their demise. Without meaning and without purpose what do we do when the children have fled the nest and there is no more money to earn?
With our eyes now adjusting to the light of life where do we go and what do we see?
Where did all the time go? Where is my legacy? What mark have I left on this earth? I had children…so what? I had a house and after 40-years I have paid the mortgage off…so what? I had a good job in the sense that it made me a lot of money…so what? Why didn’t anyone tell me that I could do anything that I wanted to do? Why didn’t anyone tell me to trust my instincts and my gut and discard the Sleepwalker rulebook of life? Why was I miserable so often? I didn’t realise that misery was a choice?
I didn’t realise I could choose to be happy?
Memories of the times when I was happy start to filter through. Those happy moments were produced when I briefly traversed my life purpose. They were brilliant but so fleeting. But I couldn’t follow that life. I had made different choices. I was chained to the way that life is? I had no choice – RIGHT?
TELL ME I HAD NO CHOICE?
Oh no…my children! What have I done? Everything that I have told them is a lie? Is it too late to wake them up and prise open their lids?
Oh no…my children!
The third and final article in this series can be found here – The DaydreamersPhotos courtesy of Scooter, Amberstrocel, Strevo, Tai Grey (cc@ flickr)