Project 128/ Padded cell

Project 128/ Padded cell

The cell with its simple structure is designed to contain all the information to create life. It lives in a dynamic between its inner and outer world. Our cell membranes are the filters that determine when to allow things come in or repel them. The cell’s internal structures are always ready to fight anything that could represent a danger. After thousands of years the simple cell has diversified into many varieties, each specialized  with specific tools of how to react against bad bacteria, virus, mutations or changes in the environments.

These diversified cells work together as a group; they align to create bones, tissues, organs, and ultimately our bodies. We have evolved from primates to homo sapiens. We have created culture as a method to survive and stay together, to eat, to have shelter, to hate and love.

We call “ourselves” to be what is contained within the limits of our skin and anything outside of this we refer to as the “world”. Just like the cell we determine when to let things come in and when to fight them. We needed to evolve with the best tools to interact with the world and react as fast as possible to danger. From the first moment of life we learn to use our body and minds in a perfect synchronization to build our database of good and bad.

There is a tiger in front of you, you can SEE its teeth. Maybe it’s hungry.

You can HEAR the growl. That makes you feel scared.

You can SMELL the dry blood on the fur, so you keep your distance. To TOUCH it is unthinkable.

You react to preserve  yourself and your community. You run or you fight.

 

We are creatures of senses. They are our tools to survive.

Where does that sensation of fear live? People say that we keep genetic memories based on what happened to our ancestors. When we feel cold, we put clothes on, when we hear a storm we look for shelter, and so on. We keep fear inside of every cell always ready to fight or flee. But what happens when the tigers are gone? What happens when the fear is invisible? When the trigger has no texture? When the only thing you’re sure of is that you can feel something is wrong.   

Even if our fears have no physical manifestation, our mind is going to try to create a logic after analyzing all the information coming from our senses. But when this information is weak, our mind gets into a crisis. It resets itself over and over trying to create a meaning  for the feeling of fear. Unable to react it does the best it can, looking always for more possibilities we start to worry. And because it doesn't make sense, we worry about worrying. We worry we are not worrying enough. We worry to prevent bad things from happening. And this becomes suffering for our bodies and minds.  

Anxiety is the “feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome (Oxford Dictionary)”. When the trigger is a tiger we react. It’s a healthy reaction. However, when the trigger only exists in the mind, anxiety could become overwhelming.

This is a journey of two anxious organisms, Rodrigo Munoz and Rinat Sherzer who realized they are not the only ones trying to make sense of the tiger living inside their minds.