"All the World's a Stage We Pass Through" R. Ayana

Friday 17 March 2006

Watching the Wheels Go Round

Watching the Wheels Go Round



A rat race is not a competition. Many believe it’s a race that can have winners and losers. Others see a sardonic pun on the nature of the human species. It can also be a metaphor of the spinning globe of the Earth itself – or of the cycle of reincarnation. All these interpretations are partial reflections of a multifaceted truth (like all statements in any language) regarding the vortex of existence. 

         A rat race is, of course, a treadmill. Even if two rats ‘race’ on a single wheel, neither wins or loses. They go nowhere and see nothing beyond their next step. All they achieve is (an) exercise – until they step off the wheel. 

         The human/rat race lives in a delicious illusion of progress; the same drives, hopes, fears, addictions and personalities are clothed in an endless series of fashions and faces, a gene pool which maintains itself and acts as a brake on true change – or mutation. 

         While running on The Wheel you can only keep your eyes ahead on imagined destiny or destination, creating a tunnel vision that excludes everything else, a vortex that appears to move past while you spin the Wheel. Getting off the wheel can be tricky once momentum has built up.

         Attempting to stop suddenly can throw you for a loop. A rat can spin out or be violently thrown off the Wheel - after providing it with propulsion. Noticing no connexion between its trained reflexive activity and the turning Wheel, a rat may even believe that something other than itself is responsible for all this. 

         To get off the wheel it’ a good idea to first note where you are and recognise what’s happening before gently slowing to a complete stop. This can be difficult when other rats (or domesticated primates) are running in the same Wheel – or rut. 
         Each rat has to do it for themselves. And they all have to do it together. 

image: - author (fair use ok)

- R. Ayana

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