Want to know where your heart is? Watch where your mind goes when you daydream.
I approve of this meme, which goes around among friends and friends of friends on the Internet. After all, it is reasonably close to Jesus’ observation that “Where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” But it also is practical, so you have a harder time deceiving yourself.
This time, when I say “you”, I don’t mean “I”. I may still be able to deceive myself, because I don’t daydream, at least not in the usual sense.
I have come to understand that for neurotypicals, daydreams are involuntary and spontaneous. For me, creating and maintaining a daydream requires concentration, and lots of it.
If a daydream is something I initiate of my own free will, consciously,then it is probably not telling me much that I didn’t know already.
A better measure might be what I repeatedly think about throughout the day. Or even what I dream about in the night. Curiously, these two are not even remotely similar most of the time.
When my mind reboots after having concluded a train of thought (or resigned from it), it will typically soon go back to one of a few things:
-Strategies for the computer game I am playing that week.
-A novel in progress (the progress stops when I stop thinking about it).
-A topic to write about in one of my journals.
Actually that is pretty much it, since I write about almost anything.
Neither of these take up all that much time, however, since I am usually either at work, or sleeping, or in front of my computer. The notable irregular here is that I don’t think about work when I am not there, while I may think about the other two while I am out walking or sitting on the bus. Thus, my heart is at least not at work, for better or for worse.
My dreams, in contrast, are usually utterly alien. Â I am in a different place, with different people, often a different name and a different family and work and friends, and sometimes different laws of nature. Â It is exceedingly rare, if it has happened at all, that I wake up from a dream about doing my job, or playing a computer game, or writing.
The only thing I can remember that I both dream about and think about is sex, and that is not something I am unaware of. Â There is usually a reason why I am reminded of it, and I notice immediately. Â I don’t think it is important to get into details about this, since it does not noticeably impact my relationship to actual humans. But I do think about it from time to time, and I do dream about it from time to time.
I doubt my heart is in it though, anymore than it is in food when you starve. Those dreams will likely disappear with my body. Or so I fervently hope.
Still, I probably do have a heart. I just don’t know where I’ve hidden it.