Brain Pain

B

I’m writing a new book in the form of a journal, it’s the only format that will keep me engaged long enough to complete the damned thing. So for the rest of the year, I will put a journal entry on the blog every week or two. Here is the first:-

The head brain is continually anxious. It seems to me that thought is the mind’s attempt to resolve the anxieties. Since it is primarily concerned with survival, the mind is always looking for the advantage, and the result is thinking. So beneath thought is desire – and all desires spring from the one desire to exist.

The endless stream of thoughts destroys any chance of inner peace, and I get the mental image of a pile of tangled spaghetti. I find it useful to sit and observe my thoughts for ten or fifteen minutes, with no effort to stop them since this would just be another desire and would create more thoughts. It’s quite a subtle skill really since it requires the ability to accept things just as they are.

I also like to try and sneak a view of the desires that are driving the thoughts, but again this is not so easy. It is very difficult to see our desires, and even more difficult to be honest about them. Even so, it is possible to sometimes see the back end of a desire disappearing into the bush where it hides until once again it feels it can emerge without being seen.

To get underneath thought is to find oneself in an oasis of calm. Typically it doesn’t last for very long since the mind is very prone to agitations of all kinds. In any case, we identify very deeply with our thinking and are prone to believe that the voice in our head is us, when of course it isn’t, it is just an inner monologue that has no more right to say “me” than your left foot.

The endless monologue goes on because the mind is in pain, and we associate ever so strongly with pain. If you have toothache your world is likely to become that pain until it is resolved. While fixing a toothache is fairly straightforward, fixing mental anguish is not. However, understanding that the whole inner dialogue is driven by pain, and specifically, the instinctual fear of non-existence, does help. In any case, to deal with this inner anxiety is a long process – there are no quick fixes.

By MB

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... fame has this great drawback, that to attain it we must conduct our lives to suit other men, avoiding what the masses avoid and seeking what the masses seek. - Spinoza

It doesn’t matter how much you love your new trick, at some point in the future you will come to hate it.

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