Staying awake, keeping conscious at the computer table
Yes, at the computer table – what are you doing lying like a beached whale on the sofa with your laptop on your belly, warmed by electricity?
There’s a will-protecting, computer-sleep prevention exercise you can do during the (annoying) 2-3 minutes your computer is booting up.
Imagine your intentions for this particular session. What do you intend to do and how long will you spend doing it?
Imagine it. Decide it. Commit in your will to your decisions.
Look away from the pc when you are doing this, close your eyes if it suits you; but don’t stare at the starting up screen.
You can be specific; finalise that article, send some tweets, respond to an email…
And you can choose more open-ended activities – do some web research into travel to France
But try to allocate time to the tasks.
Take command of the process.
You can imagine, even picture the tasks to be done, the clearer the better.
This is a kind of reverse version of Rudolf Steiner’s exercise “TheRuckschau”. We vision our intended actions forwards in time, and use the boot up time to consciously orient ourselves towards the time ahead.
This is sn attempt to avoid wandering, going off on tangents,sometimes called WILFing – “what was I looking for”? where our attention involuntarily wanders off, clicking links, and essentially becoming reactive: our own proactive will begin to sleep as we simply drift on the enticements of others’ online will output.
At the end of our computer time we can then undertake a more traditional “Ruckschau” where, as the pc shuts down, we look away and,for a few minutes, review our time in reverse order, picturing what we have achieved, how close it was to our original pictured and intended activities. If we “wilfed” we correct or adjust our picture and resolve to stay more awake next time – gently done, no emotional self-criticism.
So, there’s a danger that we sleep in a way when we use a PC – our will activity becomes reactive and a function, not of chosen need, but often by simply reacting to the most recent text or interesting link dumped in front of us.
Our behaviour becomes a function if the flow of technology delivered content, not content we have imagined and created ourselves.
The first part of the exercise is a kind of gentle ritual in strengthening consciousness, and opening up the process in a healthy way, the second part is a healthy closing of the process.