There is something quite distressing about getting a head cold and being hyper-aware of my mind "slowing-down".

One kind of unconscious/semiconscious belief I operate on is that if you aren't "thinking" (e.g working out a scenario in your head, consuming some kind of media, having a conversation, basically working on any kind of mental computation) you might as well be dead. I don't want to be dead. I want to be always in-thought.

A few weeks ago I was doing some menial task at work, thinking about thinking (as one does). I posed a question to myself, what would it be like to take a break from thinking for an hour? two hours? just go zombie-monk mode for a little bit. I surprised myself with my reaction, responding immediately "that sounds fucking horrible"


@Elmkast Transcendence from meditation apparently is like that. At least, what I'm getting from SSC's book reviews about meditation says that it's like turning the volume (both loudness and number of thoughts) down on the inner monologue. It sounds fascinating and horrid at the same time to me, though I know many others crave it.

@kureshii @Elmkast I’m a deep thinker and what scares me is that I get so deep that I might as well not be alive because I’m not present. Meditation gave me the control to experience life.

@kureshii @Elmkast If you’ll allow me to make the sale: Think of the experience of stubbing your big toe. You hit it, you realize it, you know what’s coming and then, boom, your whole existence is the experience of pain in your toe with no distraction whatsoever. Now imagine have the same level of clarity of experience from eating a strawberry. There is nothing but the sweetness, the texture, the coolness. And you can choose to do this whenever you want.

@octesian @kureshii To really focus on the experience of eating a strawberry is great and all but it is a cognitive experience, a kind of deep thinking!

@Elmkast @kureshii if experiencing is thinking then what is non-thinking besides unconsciousness? Or more specifically what do you think meditation is doing that meets your criteria for non-thinking.

@octesian @kureshii Ok it probably all boils down to effort. I have never found meditation effortless and if it was it would probably be pointless.

"What is non-thinking besides unconsciousness?" Well that's a good way to describe the way I see most people going about their lives. Being semi-unconscious and going on autopilot. Effortless!

@Elmkast @kureshii One day, in the spring, I saw a goose sitting on her eggs. And she just sat there almost lifeless. Completely unbothered by idleness. It reminded me of the philosophical question of, “can we ever know the inner life of [animal]”. I thought to myself, “I don’t care to know the inner life of a goose.” But, similar to your observation, I wonder if some people’s inner life actually is that of a goose.

@Elmkast @kureshii Also, the very fact that you know you’re bad at it makes you of above average skill.

@octesian @Elmkast I've heard about the intense-experience ability too. It's interesting to hear others describe it, but it's not high on my list of things to experience. Maybe I'm not being mindful enough of my lived experience ...

@Elmkast @octesian I've heard meditation described as having control of thought, i.e. not just "turning down the volume" of thought, but being aware that there is a knob and actually having control of it.

While I'm not the kind who likes to have TV/radio in the background in my daily life, I know people like that And I have the same craving for always-on internal monologue. Maybe when it starts interfering with daily living, I'll start a meditation routine.

@Elmkast @octesian Conscious thinking is incredibly hard work! At least, that's the impression I get from teaching; few of my students take to it naturally.

It becomes natural habit if you've been doing it from young, but that requires precocious curiosity and mental tenacity I think.

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