Survivor’s Guilt, a Shift in Perspective and the Overrated Mind

This entry is part 27 of 34 in the series Latin America Series
10-21-2010 – Oaxaca, Mexico

I’m sitting at a courner side resaurant with outdoor seating in Oaxaca, Mexico. I am constantly appraoched/accosted by vendors and beggars. The more haggardly beggars and child vendors especially install a survivor’s guilt in me about my comparatively rich lifestyle. I put my hat on and the frequency drops by half.


For the past few evenings as I’ve been falling asleep my imagination has been going wild. The imagagry that comes to me is unlike anything I experienced before. Animals, people, or places. There wasn’t any rhyme or reason to them, they simply appeared. One image would turn into another by shere association. Cats chase mice, mouse traps, trbuchets, medeival castles, etc.

This kind of mental behavior is normal for me, but this was different in kind. Back in my former life I would often try to fall asleep, but sleep would be obstructed by my imagination of the analytical and conceptual nature. It’s hard for me at this point to even remember what kinds of streams of thought I would have. I’ve been removed from the environment that influenced it for so long now. It was often computer related. Systems architecture for a project at work, or one of the many unfinished ones at home.

What’s my point? I’m falling asleep faster, and I’m thinking a whole lot less.

“The brain is the most overrated organ. Anything worth knowing has to enter you through another opening. Excuse the disgusting analogy…”, from Woody Allen’s Manhattan (I think?).

That line resonated with me a long time ago, but for the first time I’m beginning to understand it more deeply and more importantly live by it more frequently.

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  • rafael

    Looking for a book to read? I suggest “Old Man on a Bike”

  • ea1958

    Hi Atlas,
    I have to bug out ’cause I get too many emails, but I will keep checking your site. I am a Floridian, living most of the time in the state of Guanajuato Mexico. I moto on a Suzuki en125hu, but want a TU250X (it’s an economy thing). In 1988 I went down the Gringo trail as far as Coihaique, Chile. You are in for a treat!
    Though I haven’t tried it yet, my most recent interest is in the Ayahuasca experience, common in Peru.
    I have enjoyed your videos, especially the lesson on the Aerostitch suit. Thank you.
    Bien viaje!

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