I don’t know how many have the memory of when they were a child, of three, four, five years old. The innocence of such a period of life.
Making friends with other children was the most simple and spontaneous thing.
What was enough was just a simple: “My name is …., and your name?” and after the brief introduction we come to invent every kind of game and play. In such a determined moment, that child was our best friend, never mind if we would meet him later, in the future. That was irrelevant.
As children, we didn’t fear to be judged or touched in some emotional way. We were spontaneous and natural. At least, more natural than today.
Indeed, through further education, the indoctrination about “this is good” and “this is bad” our personal tastes, our morality, the subjective vision of ourselves and life have been mechanically and unconsciously formed.
Some defensive barriers between ourselves and the world had been formed; illusory barriers that, mostly, we did not choose, but passively and (once more) unconsciously accepted. A point of view based on the duality of “me” and the “others” has been crystalized.
Such barriers had acquired the form of “mental compartments” where we have placed and labelled all the distinctions, all the possible differences, all the diversities of class, town, nation, opinion, ideology, religion, politics, and so on and so forth.
Each label has a subjective judgment: “friend, enemy, love this, hate this, be aware, pay attention….” until the moment when we become unable to sit at the table with someone without lifting these barriers.
We feed and strengthen the barriers, entrenching ourselves in an unstoppable flow of words: we begin to speak about politics, sports, our job, our tastes, or anything else. We take refuge behind the wall (to quote Pink Floyd), so as not to be seen as we are and, also to not communicate what we really feel in that moment, although for most people, that statement will seem absurd.
So, we limit ourselves, closed behind walls, a prison that from the outside make us appear in accordance with the image that we have been able to build with gestures and words.
Yes, masks. Roles. An image built to protect and hide ourselves from the assumed external attacks.
So, our relationships as adults becomes not more relation of bodies and hearts, but relations of minds, mental and behavioural schemes.
Or, better said, meetings between machines. Superficial meetings which don’t leave any trace of true experienced emotions, fully experienced moments, or a real contact with another.
What remains after such a meeting? Just the bitter taste of a missed occasion.