Being stuck in sameness can happen in all manner of different areas in life, usually without us ever noticing. It happens when you are constantly and only exposed to the same kind of thing, whether that is food or ideas. So, being stuck in sameness has two properties, whatever specific area of life is in question. It is a state of experiencing one thing, and one thing only, continuously. Like having fried Ho Fan noodles with bean curd for every meal, as far back as you can remember. It is like never having eaten anything else. Crazy, right? In the realm of food, may be, but what about other areas?
How we know what something is
We can only really know what something is, in relation to something else. We need counterpoints in all walks of life, whether cultural, scientific, philosophical, political or artistic. But, this is in a sense an endless process, for there is always something more and different out there. Yet, the infinite varieties of a thing need not bother us, if the goal is to avoid being stuck in sameness. We only need to notice the possibility of being stuck in order to break free.
Start by simply noticing if there is a lot of sameness in an area of your life, whatever that may be. If all your friends are champagne socialists, notice it. If all the books you read are crime fiction, notice it. Perhaps, you encounter the same difficulties in every new job you take, notice that. May be all your romantic relationships start and end the same way, notice that.
Notice how the same patterns come up, again and again, in each area.
If you know it in one place
“But, how will I notice, if I don’t know anything else?” you might ask. “How can I compare a thing, if I know nothing else to compare it to?” Very true, indeed. Luckily, the human mind is capable of making connections across all manner of strange and unconnected fields. All, we need is a principle and an experience of it, somewhere!
So, as long as you have experienced what it means to have variety and contrast in one field, whatever that may be. You then have what you need to notice sameness in any other field. All you need to do is simply bring your attention to it. To ask the question and open an enquiry.
Beyond being stuck in sameness
Remember too that sameness is not necessarily a problem. For example, much of my day follows a similar routine, and the books I read have certain broad themes to them, amidst their variety. But, that is only to be expected. For, we are each a particular ‘vibration’ in the universe with our own unique pattern, and our individual lives will reflect that.
So, sameness is a problem, only IF it is a problem. Only, if you feel like you are stuck in an unhealthy or joyless state. If it is a problem will then depend on what’s going on for you in your life. That is something for you to notice and to explore. And, even if there is nothing particularly challenging going on in your life, simply being awake to the possibility of sameness can open you up to a richer experience of life.
Harsha is a 1:1 coach and independent thinker based in London. He empowers people to find more clarity, confidence and focus in their lives — to cut through the noise, in a world so full of it. Harsha’s new book, Machine Ego: Tragedy of the Modern Mind, is now available in paperback and Kindle through Amazon.