Photo by Balaji Srinivasan
Virabhadra was born of rage. He had lots of arms. He was cutting off heads, poisoning sacred oils, breaking stuff, poking people with sticks, holding a flaming lotus, shooting arrows all at the same time.
Does this sound familiar to you? You’re probably not quite as destructive as Virabhadra was, but you likely have only two arms. Have you wished for more? Have you heard others (or yourself) say something like “I only have two hands!” Would you say this is more often during times when you are closer to or further from the emotion of ‘rageful’?
I myself have wished for additional arms now and again. I’d love to be able to chop, grate and peel at the same time. I long for additional arms when the time comes to match and fold socks. It would be convenient to have at least one extra hand while wrapping a present. How on earth are we expected to wash the dog with only two hands? And god help you if you have to wash a cat.
While it would be irrefutably easier to have a third, and possibly fourth, hand while changing diapers, there are few tasks where our wish aligns with only a single task. Many times we entertain these multi-limbed fantasies because our minds are already attempting the multi-task mambo. With few exceptions, our minds really like to be in one place, managing one concept at once. This has become a strange and foreign concept. We prefer to fantasize about the possibilities of accomplishing many tasks simultaneously. Like scaling a fish, changing our contact lenses, and hamstring curls.
It is just as silly to consider walking the dog while earnestly learning French on your iDevice as your toenail polish dries. Texting and driving? Or perhaps eating in the shower? To save time? If you can seriously tell me you love nothing more than eating a Reuben in the shower, by all means, live it up. But just because these multitasking scenarios are more plausible than the insane scene I painted above doesn’t mean they make any more sense to your brain.
Reasonable multitasking scenarios:
Next time a loved one calls, try focusing in on the conversation. Stop everything else. Sit. (ok, enjoy the breeze). Virabhadra could take a lesson from you and your two arms.