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  Thursday October 30th, 2014    

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  (ARCHIVES)Back to Current
Think before you think? (10/03/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns


     
"Psychologists have found that 95% or more of it (mental noise) is totally repetitive. Perhaps 10% of those thought processes, at most, are actually needed to deal with life." I ask myself quizzically, "What about daydreams and pondering?"

"...the great scientists have all said that their best insights came at a time of mental stillness: they had been doing a lot of thinking and couldn't arrive at a solution, and then the mind stopped, and out of that stillness, out of that aware presence, came the answer."

The opening statements come from spiritual counselor Eckhart Tolle, who, at 29, had been a research scholar and doctoral candidate at Cambridge University in England, as he realized that he loathed his present existence. Upon experiencing a profound "spiritual transformation," Tolle came to a deep sense of peace, resulting, he reflects, in "an abiding presence, an unchanging deep stillness."

Let go of my ego? He discovered that humans waste precious time by continuously seeking more of "I" to feed the ego. Lecturing worldwide, he points out that "a world of thought" becomes our dwelling place, the mental noise a continuance moving away from the moment to an imagined future. But I wonder, how many of us have the luxury of drifting along on cloud nine, no plans, no scrutinizing a situation, and not a clue what's cooking for supper?

Why do I drag my mind through such murky waters? Sometimes a light of truth brightens my day - other times, words structured by others render confusion. What's wrong with idle woolgathering once in awhile anyway? Tolle's premise is that "the present moment is all there ever is in one's life." Does this give credibility to the employee who whines, "I don't get paid to think?"

There can be peace in a silenced mind. Haven't we all tossed and turned in bed because the energetic mind wouldn't be still - thinking, thinking? The late Anne Morrow Lindbergh was quoted as saying, "Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after." There are some special moments to be cherished, recalled.

Many of Tolle's observations are ironically "thought provoking." "There is so much more intelligence beyond the world of thought, in the realm where intuition, creativity, and sudden realizations come from." "...creativity doesn't come from the human mind." "...the human mind may give it form, but the deep inspiration for it...always comes out of that state of alert presence, not the mind, not thought." Somebody should inform Webster of new definitions.

A writer often "goes way back in time" to compose. What is stored in memory is priceless. At least that's what I think about the subject. I've visited Lah Lah Land a time or two, and I can say I don't especially like the scenery.

Concerning thought processes, we can't be held responsible for what we dream...can we? Dr. Carlos Schenck researches and treats sleep-depriving disorders, through Minneapolis "Sleep Disorder Center." Their research dispels misconceptions from way back, outlining what has been labeled "sleep walking."

About three to five times a night, we all dream pretty mundane dreams. But did you know that there is a parasomnia that compels some to leap out of bed mid-dream, and battle imaginary foes, proving that someone can be intensely dreaming and intensely active at the same time? (Talk about living in the moment!)

Some active dreamers, who must fight or flee, have, unknowingly, tried to strangle their bed partner, get in the car and drive somewhere, cuss and swear (completely out of character), and eat cigarettes with peanut butter. Seeking treatment, they were often dismissed with, "don't worry about it."

The good news is that, now that it's been discovered that such activities are brain stem problems, the "dream marauders" can be effectively treated with medication, many freed from the curse of things that go thump in the night.

I think I prefer my world of nostalgia and pipe dreams. Rest easy. 

 

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