September 3, 2011

Things I Learned in the Shower

So our common understanding of the mind and what it is and its relationship to the brain and our consciousness is totally fucked. If you didn’t know that, you know it now. I came to this understanding last year, what I figured out kinda blew my mind. You may not understand what I’m talking about, and I’m not really gonna explain THAT, but you basically just need to know that WE do NOT understand WHAT the mind IS. And because of that our use of it is totally handicapped. Aka fucked. Particularly because of our consciousness. And I think I’m about to shed some light on that. Thanks, in part, to a 40 minute shower.

The mind is like a ball. The mind is like a steel ball spinning inside another steel ball. Spinning freely. At times. Now regardless of whether you are dumb or smart, the mind is awesome. It’s awesomeness really doesn’t have much to do with intelligence. It is mostly effected by awareness. Awareness allows us to use the mind like a tool. And the more awareness we have, the more dexterous we are with that tool. But never mind that, let’s get back to the mind being awesome. When the mind is most awesome is when it is most free. It can do amazing things. Many a world changing idea came from a very free mind. A ball spinning and spinning to its heart’s desire. But what is it spinning in?

The mind is spinning inside our consciousness. I’m not equating consciousness with awareness but they do relate. The mind is spinning inside our consciousness and our consciousness is more of a part of us than the mind is. The consciousness is more personal. You could almost think of it as…the consciousness is an extension of us and the mind is an extension of EVERYTHING in our awareness, and it all meets in our head. We think or act like it’s all trapped in there, mixed up, and it’s all 100% our own, but it’s not. It’s very layered, and when we talk about awareness, we’re essentially talking about how many of those layers you are conscious of and then can even control or influence. With your very own consciousness. 
Your consciousness has a lot of affect on “your” mind. So much pull. So much weight. Sometimes that’s a good thing. A lot of times it is not. The mind is a ball spinning around inside your consciousness. And when you let the ball spin freely, amazing things can happen. The problem is we rarely do that. 
If you let your mind wander, it is like a wanderer taking a walk down a wondering path. A nice, evening, evening stroll. The minute you become aware (self-conscious) of what your mind is “thinking,” it is like flipping on a spotlight on that thoughtful, walking pedestrian. What do you think is going to happen? This is where we’re fucked. Cuz it varies so much from person to person. Depending on all the factors that made you who you are.
For some of us, when that spotlight goes on, the wanderer stops wandering. Naturally. “Wtf is this big light?” When that happens, depending on so many things, the thought (wanderer) will either resume or be stopped all together for ANY NUMBER OF REASONS. And then even if the thought does continue, it may NOT continue as freely as it was before. If that spotlight is still brightly on it, then it may continue very cautiously/slowly. Again, “Wtf?” If the light dims, the wandering thought may continue on its merry way like nothing ever happened. THAT is VERY ideal.

Because, the thing is, when we let these wandering thoughts wander without interference, they can go and Take US to some interesting places. Some places such as newfound knowledge. Some places such as greater awareness of any number of things. Or people. Some places such as INSPIRATION. Some places such as a completely new idea. Or perspective. These are REALLY good places. Places we all should go to much more often on our own two feet. But we don’t. And the reason we don’t? Our consciousness. More specifically, our self-consciousness.

When the mind is spinning in your brain, spinning like a ball inside another ball, and it starts rolling around one particular track of thought, it starts off slowly. The longer it is allowed to go on uninhibited, the more speed it picks up: speed usually leads to awesomeness. Speed leads to the wanderer walking down the wondering path quicker, which is better because he might find something fantastic at the end of the road. A veritable pot of gold. But that doesn’t usually happen because the spotlight goes on. But in the “the mind is a ball inside a ball” analogy, it’s more like the consciousness (outer ball) acts like a magnet whenever you become self-conscious, stopping or interrupting that rolling thought in its circular tracks. (Yes I’m using two analogies that parallel on the same thing, in order to highlight different aspects of it visually. Hopefully you can see that. The mind itself is like a ball inside a ball. The thought itself is like a wanderer that the ball is…conjuring I guess.)

Now, when that outer ball (the consciousness) becomes aware of what is going on inside of it, it USUALLY affects the flow of the mind in some way. Sometimes a lot, sometimes a little, it really depends on the person AND what that thought is. It’s just like the characters on REAL WORLD. Yes we’re supposed to believe that this is how those people would behave “naturally” if there weren’t cameras on them. But most likely they are being affected consciously or subconsciously, for better or worse by the cameras' presence, by that new layer of consciousness. How much depends entirely on that person AND how much that new presence is Felt by them.
It’s the same exact thing with that rolling ball when your fears, doubts, insecurities, skepticisms, issues, biases, inhibitions, and built in defense system come On-Line. “Self-consciousness___ARMED.” Odds are one of those things is going to impede the flow of thought in some way. One minute the ball is spinning an interesting hypothetical tale inside what you call your mind, the next minute you’re like “wait, why am I thinking that?” And boom, the thought gets derailed. It happens a hundred times a day to each of us, and maybe you didn’t know it before, but know now that it’s a small tragedy. We need to let our thoughts go. WHEN THEYRE POSITIVE. We need to Let them go on, even if they seem silly, let them go. Let them go on if they’re positive in anyway. Or at least if they’re not hurting anybody! This is a huge part of creativity.

It is also a huge part of self-awareness. Among a dozen other things. Stop interrupting your own thoughts! Free your mind! But not in any fuckin philosophical way! Just let it be free to do it’s own fucking thing and wander around a little bit! Geeez!

We have lost this as a skill! We have lost this as a valuable commodity for ALL of us. The ability to let our mind do its own thing just for a few minutes at a time. Really!! It doesn’t need to be much longer than that. You can cover a lot of ground in thought in a few minutes. I think most trains of thought don’t survive longer than a minute and half before they get blasted off the tracks. Sadly, on average, I think the negative ones live longer, are allowed to spin around and around, over and over and over again, unchecked and get repeated a lot more. The more true this is for you, the more fucked you are. No doubt.

The end.

That’s the point of all this. I just wanted to tell you what I thought but also put that visual in your head. Because, in case you don’t know, when you are able to visualize something abstract, it gives you the power to manipulate it more easily. Or be more aware of it. And possibly change it.

Be aware of what’s going on in your heads friends. One of my favorite words, METACOGNITION: thinking about thinking. I know it can be confusing at first, I know it can seem like stop and go driving, every time you stop and think about what you were just thinking and then think about whether or not you are ABLE to let that ball roll on its merry little way, but the stop and go driving is already happening! It’s already happening, all the time, but if you can become aware of it, eventually you’ll be able to control it quite easily and once you’ve controlled it for long enough…you won’t have to control it any more. You can let go. It’ll become second nature. Which was probably first nature, but your first nature got fucked up by…abusive parents, poor self-image, emotional neglect, whatever! So now you know, and that’s how you go in and retrain your mind. Roll on.

Rolllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll onnn.

Right now I am thinking that huge differences in our individual personalities may be directly related to how long we let our thoughts drift on their own, on average. In other words, I may be so different/creative compared to some people simply because I let my thoughts wander farther out away from me, i.e. more often and for longer periods of time. Or more “effectively.” Hmmm! That all just came to me. I’m gonna have to think about that one myself. Wouldn’t that be interesting though? Cuz that could almost be tested. If you taught people this SKILL, you could observe the difference it made on their behavior and lives. What if what we call daydreaming is the cure for all creative blockage?


Regardless, give your self permission to “daydream,” to wonder, to imagine, to say “what if?” to think aimlessly for extended periods of time, to remember, and I guarantee you’ll enjoy where it takes you much
more often than not.


All right. Now Here’s a bonus DROP of a deep thought. I don’t really need to throw this in, but….it fits, and I’m curious to hear what people might think, and I’m thrilled to have accidentally written up something that can serve as the foundation for this one THOUGHT. This I already knew. This I realized late last year. It’s something I’ve never heard or read anywhere. I was just thinking and thinking and thinking and I figured this out/stumbled upon it and it pretty much blew me away. And I’ve yet to commit it to writing. I believe what I am about to say to be true, not because of any kind of fanciful theory combined with faith, but because reason and deduction from personal experiences dictates it to be true. If I were writing a piece on this alone, I would probably explain it a little differently, put it in a slightly different context/analogy, but it connects enough to everything above that I think I can drop it on ya and you’ll understand what I mean. Hopefully.

What I have been describing for a couple pages now: that ball spinning around freely inside your head; letting the mind do what it does, which is not very mental, because it is not thinking, it is more like flowing. Letting your "thoughts" flow. This ability is huge. And could easily change your life over night. I’m sure it does everyday somewhere in the world. This ability is an art. But it is not just an art, as far as

I can tell, it is THE Art.

It is the only art. The original art.

The art through which everything we call art comes to be. Our consciousness, our unique personality is the filter/the lens/the “mind” through which THE Art comes into our world.

Basically there is only one art and everything we call art is just us channeling The Art into reality. EVERY OTHER ART is just an offshoot, shooting out of our patchwork life. And we are the instruments, life is the canvas. We have Sooooo many different kinds and variations of art because each of us is a completely unique composition of experiences. When we pull The Art through that composition of experiences, it comes out different looking every time. Just as one clown might pull a bouquet of daisies from his sleeve and another will pull out a dead bird. But what we are all doing, at the very beginning, when we first had the idea to put something up our sleeves, is the same. We are tapping into, or allowing the same thing to take place up in our heads, whatever you want to call it. It only becomes different because we are different. And the more different we are, the more original the art is when it is manifested into our silly, self-important world.


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