Recently, my friend and I engaged in a most interesting conversation and, as is more often the case, the circumstance of the time of this occurrence prevented me from pondering upon it any further. However, now, with ample time on my hands, I find myself frequently going back to that fateful night.
It was in the middle of an examination period, and so naturally deep, thoughtful discussions are bound to happen, that my friend realised that sleep was an antagonistic friend, for it is irreplaceable yet harmful. The question soon arose as to the gender of sleep, and how we shall understand it were it to be personified. At the time, the conversation seemed to be stemming from an overdose of educational content and a deficiency of sleep, yet soon I came to realise that the conversation in fact made a lot of sense.
Upon careful observation of the happenings around me, it has come to my attention that we have an innate need to personify. We love to humanise things as much as possible, for reasons which I couldn’t possibly claim to understand, having received no understanding in the elusive field of psychology. Despite that, I have come up with certain theories regarding our desperation for personification; theories which I will leave for another time.
My interested is more piqued by the act of personification as opposed to the reason for it. Though the differences are subtle, there is a clear distinction between the different ways we personify inanimate objects all around us. Some objects are personified by conferring upon them the concept of gender; others are personified by being made good or evil. So why is there this difference of breathing life into things which were so graciously created with no thought of their own?
I do not know the answer, as I do not know the answer to the great many mysteries which plague not only our conscious but also our subconscious minds. However, claiming my position amongst the society of scientific and free thinking people, I chose to venture guesses, which, too, I feel unfit to be mentioned here. Not much remains to be discussed here, for the vagueness of the topic at hand makes discussion nearly impossible. But what is impossible if not possible with a little resistance?
And so, let’s get back to the original discussion at hand, the personification of sleep. I was uncomfortable with the personification of sleep, which I myself learnt while discussion the very same with my friend the other day. This came as something of a surprise to me as I am usually at the centre of the cultural norm that is personification. Of course as a minor poet, personification has come to be second nature to me, and so when I found resistance in my path of personification of sleep, I sat down to think. Needless to say the results were worth discussing.
After much thought, I concluded that we personify objects or phenomena which we don’t understand to bring them to a level where we share something with them, so as to understand them better. It’s a fairly simple logic. Sleep happens to be one of the most elusive subjects in our daily routine. We give little consideration to sleep; we rarely chose to discover anything about sleep, for it is of little importance to find out what sleep is about, and much more important to get sleep.
Trudging through piles of high stacked thought, I came to the racy conclusion which offered a gleaming doorway out of the gloom that is ignorance. An instance is all it takes to make a significant difference, be it an instance of action, or an instance of hesitation. The point of this seemingly random piece of advice is that when we personify things to make them more comprehensible, we don’t do so consciously, at least those of us who aren’t poets don’t.
In this case, sleep doesn’t receive any more importance than any of the other hundred thousand objects littering the surface of the planet and beyond. Sleep is just another phenomenon which we personify in an attempt to understand why it affects us so. Some of us classify it as evil, some as good, some as friend, some as foe, some as waste, and some as treasure. And then there are others, like me, who chose not to classify it at all, but just wish to engage in the action without consideration for whether sleep is in fact a living entity plotting against us.
However, it is not for lack of interest or imagine or curiosity that we chose not to classify sleep. I, for one, am increasingly curious about everything that I set my eyes upon. No, my reason for refusing to personify sleep is one which is, in all probability, even more senseless than this post. I refuse to personify sleep because I refuse to bring something as elusive and powerful as sleep to the level of trifle human beings. I believe that there is a certain regal appeal to sleep, one which supersedes anything that humans are worthy of associating with.
There are of course many more interesting phenomena just like sleep, which are much beyond the grasp of humans (and no, the allusion to a mythical all powerful deity is not being made), and there is no reason not to write a post about each one of them. That, of course, does not mean that I am about to write one on every elusive, fanciful and wonderful object which meets the eye. This post on sleep is something along the lines of a guideline to understanding the rest of these phenomena.
At the end of this long post, one thing is apparent: there was absolutely no reason to write this post. I gained nothing out of it, I am sure my readers gained nothing out of it, so why is this post in existence? Why am I still writing it instead of putting a stop to what is clearly a ridiculous waste of time?
No idea. Perhaps this is one of the things someone should write about.