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Reflections from an Upstairs Window on 70 Oxford Street

Thursday 19th October 2023

I am observing the multitude of people on Oxford Street. It strikes me as strange that each person has their own unique backstory and life. Each person has a different worldview, and yet we pass and collide with each other as if we were inhabiting one objective space. We all wear lenses through which we see the world.

It appears to me like a game, people inhabiting their own game levels, making their way past obstacles to the final chapter. What are the lessons? What are the goals? Many don't realise it is a game, the force of the mind (and its malleability by external forces) makes it very easy to assume that this existence is just a chance happening which we can do very little to influence or change.

But change starts within. Change starts by seeing this game, and observing its mechanisms from the outside. Change comes from not saying 'this is how things are and must be,' but from taking responsibility for one's world-view and observing internally, feeling, noticing, and shifting the lens. We are asleep. How many will wake up? How many want to?

I never really look at people. I guess that is my filter. I observe myself, perhaps too much, too critically, but do I ever really look at others?

I will observe now. Immediately, I notice that I don't want to be seen. Why? I am afraid of meeting their gaze. I feel like I know too much, and my very connection with others is unsettling. Perhaps it is. Perhaps that is no bad thing. Perhaps people do not want to be unsettled. Seeing others emphasises my otherness. I feel different.

If I focus on any one person too long, I feel - ? How to put this. I want to say that I 'feel' their thoughts, their emotions, but this sounds too strange. If I compare how I feel when I look at the back of a traffic light, compared to human faces, there is a stark difference. I feel mental content - I don't know how else to put it.

It's hard to look and not to feel. A sharp pain arises in my throat. What am I not saying?

Perhaps I am an empath, an 'overly' sensitive person. I see a baby and it makes me smile. Is it because the baby is happy, or am I happy to see it? And why do I say 'it' and not 'he' or 'she', they are a person after all - just a more 'readable' one...


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