29 October 2006

Doing Nothing

I have decided to do nothing.

At first glance, this may seem like a rather straightforward decision to make and an easily achievable goal. After all, you would think that doing nothing merely involves the sustained and protracted absence of doing something.

You would be both wrong and a naive simpleton. The reality is infinitely more complex than it would first appear.

To truly do nothing is to embrace a philosophical position rooted largely in the fundamental concept of nihilism.

Consider for a moment the widely held perception of doing nothing. To most, this would involve, perhaps, sitting in an armchair staring at the wall.

You are, of course, not 'doing nothing'. You are doing something. You are sitting in an armchair staring at the wall.

Say we remove the armchair from this equation and instead lay on the floor with our eyes closed. You are no longer sitting in an armchair. You are no longer staring at the wall.

Are you doing nothing?

No. You are lying on the floor. And you are also keeping your eyes closed.

We can see that this is not going to work on a conscious level.

What about the suspension of conscious thought? Would a temporary cessation of higher brain functionality result in the subject adopting, to all intents and purposes, a state of mental and spiritual inactivity, and accordingly achieving the much sought after state of 'doing nothing'?

Of course it bloody wouldn't. Our brain keeps our lungs operating, our heart pumps blood around our body. Random thoughts and ideas scatter through our synapses, snapping and crackling like a bowl of rice-based breakfast cereal.

It is, in essence, extremely difficult to do 'nothing'.

Having given the matter some thought, I had come to the initial, potentially naive, conclusion that the only way we can truly do nothing is to be dead. To cease to exist.

However, by ceasing to exist, we no longer have the capacity to make a free choice. So, therefore, it is not a measured and considered determination on our part to do nothing, but rather an unconditional mandate. Death equals nothing. It does not equal 'doing nothing'.

Truly, doing nothing is not as easy as it appears to the uninitiated.

I'm going to start small. I'm not doing the washing up.

2 comments:

Andy said...

Next can we have a mathematical discussion of the cardinal value "Four Fiths of Fuck All"?

Dan said...

Now there's an idea...