Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Random thoughts on consciousness

He ain't heavy, he's my day job. Time has weight. Boredom makes it heavier. Inattention makes it heavier. Withdrawal or the blahs make it heavier, until we’re locked onto a moving sidewalk that snails along while the rest of the world skips past us with a spring in their step and a smile on their face. The world never moves so slowly as it does when we carry the weight of the world on our shoulders; and the more we resent the weight of it, the heavier it gets, the slower we move, and the more arid the world looks.

I think I think; therefore I think I am. We are all at least two people -- the one who does and the one who watches the one who does. It's only when the two of them are integrated that we experience joy, ecstasy, excitement. It's always when one is disconnected that we feel drained, distant, and disaffected. Think of your body as a robot and your mind as the operator. We can put the robot on automatic pilot; when we do, the pilot isn’t even aware of what the body is doing, because when the autopilot is engaged, we aren’t. And when we try to take control, the robot resists, because we’re not following the program. The trick is to make sure the autopilot doesn't become the sole way we navigate through the world. It's like a three-legged race. Both the robot and the operator have to adjust a little so that they can run together.

Monkey Mind Trumps Brain. The lowest rung on my ladder of selves is the Monkey Mind, that part of my personality which is happy with junk food, eye candy, and instant gratification of everything from lust to weariness. This is the self who sits in front of the TV watching old movies, lies in bed taking a pass-out nap, or devours a pint of Hagen-Dasz in a single sitting. And because he’s the lowest rung, I can’t go anywhere else on the ladder without stepping on him first, or trying to leap over him, both of which give him an opportunity to grab my ankles and say “You want to write something? Sorry; I want to see what’s on HBO.” Or “You want to go to a movie? I want to nap.” Or “You want to go to the gym? Blow it off till tomorrow, you can always do it tomorrow.” Throwing him something to play with, just to make him happy? He'll want more. And yet, if you can get to that step above him, he's completely powerless. He only has power when my foot touches his rung on my personality ladder. Like exercising, the more you bypass him, the easier it gets. But like a bad habit, he's always waiting there with a smile and saying "Just this once."

No comments: