Many people suffer from depression and sorrow. Many take pharmaceutical antidepressants and regularly go to clinics to receive therapy. Most, when they were much younger, did not have such issues; in youth, they were filled with wondrous curiosity and inner, refreshing vitality. Many, as they age, become jaded and unhappy, bored with the same-old-things and with the gray monotony of it all.
A large part of the problem lies in wrong education. Most, throughout their education, were not encouraged to be keenly aware of their own minds… to be aware of the essence of thought and thinking and to explore beyond the realm that thought and thinking manifest as. Most, from society as it currently is structured, were taught to cherish and exclusively dwell in (and “as”) the process of thinking; it was taught that the more thinking and the more reaction… the better. Few were encouraged, in their youth, to question everything and to be free from mere standard ways/procedures. These days, almost all of us are immured within the walls of thought/thinking. Many exclusively dwell in (and “as”) thought/thinking… and very few value going beyond that very circumscribed domain. Most have put all of their eggs into that one basket; in that, they dwell. (Ironically, though most everyone exists as “thinking,” few are in a direct, intimate relationship with such thinking, such that they can go beyond it; they see “thinking” as what some alleged independent center is “using from some sort of internal distance.”) Some delude themselves, by others’ methodologies, into practicing going beyond thinking (which is, in reality, an extension of thinking and, each time, a self-imposed hoax); a concocted silence that is part of a perpetuation of backward and spurious ways is not any kind of legitimate silence at all, though many believe that it is.
As one has said so many times before, thinking is always symbolic, always second-hand, limited, and merely representational. Yet so many cling to thinking and unquestionably exist almost exclusively as what it is. Even when most of us look at things, we are looking with (and through) the screen of thinking; such thinking involves labeling, categorizing, classifying, identifying, and pigeonholing. When many look at things, they are mostly looking with the memory bank (i.e., through retained knowledge). Such a memory bank is from the past and is always old, always of stored data. Many look with (and from) the stored (old) past… and they inevitably get bored while they feel stale and full of the mundane. With this situation, antidepressants and clinical so-called experts can only help so much. The selfish “I” is created via concocted psychological distance and learned walls of demarcation; this distance and these very walls are an incarceration that ensures that suffering will continue.
A mind of constant thinking is a mind of sorrow. A mind of deep awareness, however, can often perceive without merely using (and being) the storehouse of old and stuffy memory. To perceive without relying on the storehouse of dead memory and to perceive without depending upon the stale patterns of remembrance is a living art. There is no method or blueprint-oriented practice to this art. It does not involve old patterns that you can absorb to improve yourself with over time. It does not involve intentionally sitting crosslegged for long periods of time, mesmerized by some kind of self-fabricated so-called silence. Being aware (without method) throughout each and every day, being “thinking” when it is necessary but often effortlessly going beyond it, the wise mind sagaciously realizes that profound bliss is not a mere remembrance. Profound joy is not labeling everything and then looking at everything through (and “as”) dead labels. To perceive without the burden of the past is real living. Real living is not the past perpetually relabeling things (with endless symbols) into, and through, the present and future. The mind that goes beyond “perception through mere symbolism and fragmented mental constructs” is a liberated, whole, caring, free mind… full of joy.
I believe I recognize that family — and their neighborhood!
They make great neighbors! 🙂
All that stored memory contains gold, if one opens to possibilities and applies memory as contrast, as stepping stone, as fodder for engaging the unknown.
Yes, i’ve often said that memory and thinking is a very useful tool. 🙂 However, it is only a tool; it need not be the essence that we exclusively live in. It’s a stepping stone to the unknown only to a very limited point. Too many continue to cling to it beyond that point and see very little. Thinking cannot ever (at any point) engage the unknown by its own self-projections.
I think you’d be interested Dr Ginger Campbell’s interview with Rodrigo Quian Quicoga on memory and perception: I certainly learned something new, and it made me read your blog with extra attention. Thanks! http://brainsciencepodcast.com/bsp/2018/141-quiroga-memory
Thank you, Rachel! 🙂 I listened to the interview; it was very interesting. In my career, i worked with savants and they were like polar opposites of what Rodrigo Quicoga felt the ordinary brain functioned as. One fellow would, if you showed him an inverted scientific book randomly opened at any point for a fraction of a second, be able to say (by memory) each and every sentence of both pages (word for word). However, there was no (or little) meaning or association there. In college, reading about how they severed the corpus callosum, in the human brain, creating two entirely separate fields of consciousness, really influenced me dramatically.
Of course, one realizes, when suggesting about “going beyond thinking,” that there must remain all kinds of background neural events taking place; however, too many people crudely go through needless (repetitious) conscious reactions that are not really necessary. We can perceive more holistically, but not if we merely get caught in looking for meaning in fragmentary, ordinary ways.
Schools, for sure, need to focus more on thinking and questioning beyond rote memory. Some alternative schools are doing that. What the public schools are doing is truly sad and immensely deplorable.
Thanks again for the interview! 🙂
I can well believe that the physical structure of a savant’s brain would be vastly different from the neurotypical brain, if there is such a thing. It strikes me that we are used to talking about thinking in purely metaphorical terms, and that new research forces us to think in radically new ways. Rumination is a toxic activity, and you’ve tackled that from a fresh perspective in your post. Thanks Tom!
Tom, now that’s some kind of deep thinking my friend! 🙂
Well, maybe! 🙂 We need to go beyond deep thinking into another — terribly neglected — field! 🙂
Indeed, very true words.
Summed up for me in your quote “To perceive without the burden of the past is real living.”
I really like it!
Thank you, Mr. No Thing! 🙂 Awareness is real living and it must take place all day long, each and every day, not just when one sits cross-legged as instructed by some charlatan or at a preplanned time using some silly method that one has absorbed; this is beyond instruction, beyond preplanned motive.
I read your profile. I, too, am a vegetarian who spends a lot of time not caring about time whatsoever. Your mention of man’s psychic abilities interests me some. My mother could see into the future at times; I, too, sometimes have that ability. If you have time, please read a past posting of mine where i write about it:
Stay caring and perceptive. 🙂
Nice piece of writing
Thanks much, amorify! 🙂
I especially like the sentence: To perceive without the burden of the past is real living. I think I should embroider it and put it over my bed. It’s a good advice from a very intelligent person, Thomas. Thanks for sharing, have a nice day, regards Mitza
Most people wouldn’t care about it as a saying… since most, unfortunately, operate from (and “as”) the stale past.
(Marla, my wife, embroiders a lot too, with an embroidery machine, and she embroiders a lot of funny things onto my white boxer underwear pairs). 🙂
Hehe, that‘s something for your next post:)
No way! 🙂 For Christmas, one of the ones she embroidered on an underwear was of a Wiener Dog (we have a Dachshund) dressed in a Christmas outfit with the wording of “Walking in a Wiener Wonderland.”) 🙂
Hahahaha excellent! Thanks, I needed that laugh.
This was very much needed
Yes indeed, vikram! Thank you! 🙂
Woww beautiful capture Tom! So lucky! 🙂
wow, I really liked this post. Great Job.
Love this. Especially the thinking vs. awareness. Lots to think about here.
Read Lost Connections
This was a good read . I am someone who is suffering from bipolar disorder and depression I read as much as I can to gain more insight because I do not believe that medication is the answer. I’ve turned to writing as an outlet ( http://thisisnotastoryblog.wordpress.com/ ) in hopes that I could bring awareness. I invite you to check out my blog because it is a look directly inside the mind there is more to it than the external. Some depression source is unknown treatment is hard to determine because in most cases it goes unnoticed. I didn’t even think depression was a thing until it happened to me
Hi! This was amazing and i really love the way its written
I write poems my self..i had been through a dark phase lately and have written a poem on the same and i would love it if you could check my page out!
Lots of love
I liked how you mentioned childhood and how certain life events cause children to lose their vitality and curiosity just to turn into another depressed adult. This unfortunately happens more then people realize and that’s where the phrase “Grow up!” Comes from.
Speaking of childhood and how certain events affect children…I know more than I care to know about this topic…https://www.nearariver.com/sad-child-near-a-river-bj-rae-encouraging-words-eagle/…BJ Rae, author of Near a River, http://www.nearariver.com.