Many of us think, at times, pictorially (via mental pictures) and emotionally. And to a large extent, many of us think via internal words and sentences (i.e., verbally). This verbiage is called “inner speech,” and it allegedly involves one talking to oneself. Is there a separate self or separate “center” that is truly separate from this inner speech? One does not think so. Regarding inner speech, the perceiver is the perceived; fabricating (mentally) a separate observer is a waste of energy and causes needless separation. Too many of us look at things — such as fear and such as nature — via mere separation. (We were taught to perceive things, internally and externally, via separation.) (By the way, not having the illusion of a separate, central self does not negate eternity/the eternal; on the contrary, it invites it.)
We think, internally, in a multitude of ways; most of us are constantly chattering, internally, about something. This inner chattering largely consists of words and sequences of words. Words are symbolic and are always fragmentary, always limited. (One often speaks internally with a virtual copy of one’s own voice.) Stillness — which allows for wholeness — is imperative. But one cannot “make” stillness occur. True stillness is not merely an effect brought about by some mechanistic, calculated cause. True stillness comes with holistic perception beyond mere cause and effect reactions. This is why you cannot decide to meditate. You cannot say you will meditate for 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening. This is why “practicing” mindfulness is ludicrous. True meditation occurs naturally; it is uninvited and is not the mere result of some premeditated cause or desire. (You cannot “know” that you are meditating, by the way.)
The watery pool of the holistic, reflective mind (in stillness) will mirror the truth. An agitated mind, full of clatter and turmoil, reflects nothing.
“True stillness comes with holistic perception beyond mere cause and effect reactions”. You nailed it Tom… for me holistic perception comes when I am walking in the woods. During this time I am totally engaged with my surroundings, totally in the present – there is no I because there is no separation…is what triggers it different for everyone? I don’t know but this is an intriguing question – oh and that photograph – my gosh – how many have I seen of the monarch – the poster child for extinction? I don’t know but your picture is the most beautiful of all – a feast for hungry eyes – Thanks!!!
Yes, Sara, being in the woods has a calming effect and one then often can transcend oneself and be more connected to everything. But we can’t always be in the woods. In fact, i am rather terrified of the woods in our area these days, as there is so many Lyme Disease ticks there… and i have enough arthritis the way it is. I stay on paths or on the periphery. But, anyway, don’t depend on woods. Mindfulness can be all day (and night) long.
Thank you much about the Monarch pic. 🙂 I like it a lot too and noticed, myself, how splendid it looked. I wish that they were not declining in numbers like they are, so dreadfully fast; but human beings are lousy earth-caretakers. I recently heard an ad on the radio, for farmers, and it mentioned how they dream about better insecticides that will kill even more insects even better.
You know Tom, I wonder whether we can truly step away from that inner speech, our voices resonated through constantly thinking, imagining, and composing a conversation within us that is sometimes hard to turn off. We are so conditioned to keep our “on” button stuck in the “on” position. It’s hard to turn off those inner conversations. 🗣
I think stillness leads to meditation (for me anyway) that culminates into a perspective that involves connecting and heightening our senses, when we step away from the environment that keeps the inner chatter going non-stop. Now, as a disclaimer, I am not well-versed in the psychology of it all. I just know that there are some personal disciplines that work for me when I am all worked up and need to step away and regurgitate the ball of confusion my mind constantly churns. But of course, I can’t do that on a schedule as you noted. I just know when my spirit says to stop, and step away from the vehicle, that’s when I know it’s time to regroup, regardless of the time of day. ⏰
As always, I appreciate your thought-provoking reflections on a topic that can be side-tracked by the inner chatter of self-proclaimed “experts” and “life coaches.” 🙏🏼
Yes, Kym, we are conditioned to keep our “on” button in the “on” position. So we end up with the inner chatter all day long. One of the reasons, besides having been educated wrongly, has to do with the fear of being alone… with the fear of being empty. We try to escape from this emptiness by indulging in all kinds of escapes and entertainments. And, of course, we endlessly talk to ourselves, with inner self-talk, to further avoid it. But it, the emptiness, is always there, waiting around the corner. So we continue to escape; yet it is always there, again waiting around the corner. Very few of us face it, remain with it, and then even become appreciative of it. Emptiness is not the awful thing that most of us have made it out to be. (In nothing, the whole is contained, and it is eternal and endless.)
Yes, the self-proclaimed “experts” and “life coaches”; be highly suspicious of all of these so-called experts, including me. Often ponder for yourself — beyond mere hope, belief, and motives — and perceive without depending on anybody (or on any prior teachings). Thanks much for your input! 🙂
You are a delightful and welcomed breath of fresh air Tom. 🙌🏼 I appreciate how you break down the fine points of this discussion in our endlessness to talk to ourselves nonstop. [In nothing, the whole is contained, and it is eternal and endless.]<I love this my friend! 😊 I'm glad I paused for your "good read and epiphany!" 🤗 🥰 🤗 Have a FANtabulous day Tom! 🌞
Much appreciated, Kym! Stay safe and have a wonderful week! 🙂
Your photograph is amazing. It almost doesn’t look real. And your words shed light on my experiences running. Thanks! 🌷
Thank you, Nancy. I am very fond of that Monarch photograph too.
And so glad that you, in a tangible way, relate to what i wrote. Keep running (and make sure, Nancy, to wear very good quality running shoes; you don’t want arthritis in the future). 🙂
What a beautiful picture! And I love these wise words: “The watery pool of the holistic, reflective mind (in stillness) will mirror the truth. An agitated mind, full of clatter and turmoil, reflects nothing.”
Yes, thanks about the picture, Harini! 😊 I too am rather fond of it.
And thanks about the words i wrote. Now go beyond the words and perceive beyond verbal symbols, stored images, and learned patterns. 😉
I’ll try 😊
Feel like those words mean something to me beyond words… a reflection of something.
I think that’s one of the best pictures you’ve shared with us, Tom! Gorgeous. I’m trying to make a character in a novel I’m writing more interesting by including more inner speech. Some of it is said out loud; the rest is within her head. They are not separate, but I think many people think their inner and outer selves are separate.
Thanks, Siobhan, about the picture. I too am fond of it.
Best of luck with your novel. 😊
The inner self/the outer self… True wisdom transcends the illusory fabrication of self and selves.
My favorite time of the day is that spent by myself in nature. I do not say “I am going to enjoy myself now and think deep thoughts” … it is just a pure pleasure for me. I’ve missed some walks lately due to house/contractor issues, errands and miscellaneous thing … yes I walked but not in my go-to spot. I hate when that nature pleasure is interrupted by humans. Although I don’t say this in my blog posts, I prefer to be alone as I walk along – of course, to state such a thing would make me a rude person. The other day I dodged someone, only to have them turn up like a bad penny a few minutes later. I said “I have to go … really I do” in my politest voice. I did not want to hear her endless stories about politics, the pandemic, etc. Nature is my escape from everything … the news of the world especially.
Now I’ll climb down off my soapbox and tell you how beautiful this Monarch butterfly is. Of all the butterflies, even the Swallowtails that I also like, I think the Monarch is perfect. You captured it beautifully here Tom. I searched all Summer for a Monarch for a post I’m going to write near year end about my walking miles mirroring the mileage a Monarch butterfly makes in its migration. I’ll use an old photo instead. So, this Summer I saw no Monarchs until last week, a hanger-on flitted past me enroute for warmer climes. I did not have the camera handy but I’ll remember that image in my mind until next Summer when they’re back.
Don’t be concerned — and you don’t seem to be — about “deep thoughts,” Linda. There are no truly deep thoughts anyway; they are all superficial. 😊 Yes, being alone with nature is magical… or just being alone often. My next posting will be dealing with aloneness… and how most of us were conditioned to run away from it and escape from it. Ha, that person you mention showing up like a bad penny; now that is funny! 😎
Yes, Monarchs are fewer in numbers anymore. There are only 10% left after 20 years of manmade extinction. Human beings are not good earth caretakers. I love how Monarchs, and other of the big butterflies, glide (at times) through the air, seemingly enjoying the effortless soaring, just like some birds do! I also love how they dance (with great precision and skill) with each other on low-wind days. I have a wonderful 3d hologram (in true color), by Yvese Gentet, of male and female Monarchs.
The Monarchs are beautiful, flitting by us or when you see them clinging together en masse in Mexico on one tree. I like to stay to myself at the Park and am resentful of intrusions to be honest. I like to walk with the older guy who is near 80. Just as you do now, Arnie lived on the edge of the woods growing up, so developed a lifelong appreciation for nature as a youngster. Living alone is not for everyone – I do get that. I don’t like a lot of commotion around me. Speaking of alone, you have a sad anniversary coming up on Thursday. I suspect you will touch on it in your post. I am behind in Reader again after spending six hours catching up on Sunday.
Gorgeous pic! Interesting write up.