by Joseph Prever
The only options are boredom or exhaustion. Not that you are going to end up permanently bored or permanently exhausted; only that, unless you are committed to constant exhaustion, you will be bored at one point or another. The only way to make sure that boredom never arrives is to occupy yourself from the moment you gasp yourself awake to the moment you slump facefirst into your pillow. That sounds awful!
One solution is having a smartphone with games on it. I don’t recommend it. Dwelling on things unworthy of your attention makes you smaller, even if you do it while you’re pooping. Candy Crush is unworthy of your attention. It would be more worthwhile to focus on the poop exiting your body, to contemplate it the way a man sitting zazen contemplates the breath exiting his nose.
What is worthy of your attention? Nearly everything else. That is why I recommend the following games. Instead of making use of your fingertip on a capacitive touch screen to manipulate pixels, these games make use of your ikonopoeietic and imaginatosensory apparatuses on the universe to manipulate, or possibly to have, experiences.
Guess the Feeling
This is a game that is good to play on walks.
- Look at a thing.
- Use your tactile imagination, located near the tip of the primary somatosensory area of your parietal lobe, to make present to your fingertips the texture of the thing you are looking at.
- Touch the thing and see if you were right.
You get points if you are right. You get more points if you are wrong.
I Touch Everything
This is an extrapolation of “Guess the Feeling.” It involves less confirmation, but is more purely creative.
- Look at a thing that is too far away too touch and/or too big to grasp with one hand.
- Using your tactile imagination again, but thrusting your focus this time towards its junction with your cerebellum, imagine that your hand is large enough to grasp the thing.
- Grab the thing, in your mind, as if it were a miniature version of itself, or as if your hand were a large version of itself, or as if size were meaningless.
Rejoice in the accuracy with which you can produce a sensation which no human being has ever had: for example, of plucking a full-grown oak, or gently stroking a mountainside.
I Am You
This game involves a partner, but your partner is passive and need not be notified that he is playing.
- Identify your partner. Your partner can be a human or an animal.
- Size up your partner. This can be skipped, but it is an aid to verisimilitude. Note his height, weight, clumsiness, effervescence, etc.
- Working upwards from the brain stem, place yourself behind your partner’s eyes. Experience everything he experiences.
If you forget yourself so completely that you lose control of your bladder, you win the game.