Funny How Life Goes in Cycles — Or, The Monologue Game

July 22, 2007

Well, here I am, writing at the computer. Typing away.

Okay, let me get started. I’ve been reading ‘one of those books’ that I have a tendency to do. The thoroughly unscientific kind. The kind that if I saw someone else reading, I would huff in disapproval. But so it is. To err is human. The be a hypocrite, even more so.

The book I’m currently reading is called The Intention Experiment, and it’s by Journalist Lynne McTaggart. She’s the same lady that wrote The Field, a book I went about reading, er, I want to say, three summers ago or so. Anyway, the entire premise of both books is that we don’t know nearly enough about the universe, and the more we find out, the more we realize how weird things get.

You know, quantum entanglement, the Observer Effect, Zero Point energy, yadda yadda yadda. The stuff that’s become standard fare for New Age movies like What the Bleep Do We Know and The Secret. Stuff that I wouldn’t usually shake a stick at. At least, not in public.

Truth be told, in reality, I’m a big psi-fanatic. I would love for all that stuff, like telekinesis, telepathy, etc to be true. That’s half the reason I’m so into Transhumanism. With technology, soon enough all that stuff will be true. But beside that, these folks do make some valid points: quantum physics is pretty crazy, and we really don’t know that much about the universe, at least in any real objective sense.

But that’s not what I’m here to talk to you about today! That was just to wet your appetite and get you thinking that maybe I’m a little off my rocker. But wait, there’s more! [I could totally be a used car salesman].

In The Intention Experiment, there’s a whole section about how to get ‘fired up’ to intend things into existence [okay, I told you it was hippie dippie. But just wait a little longer, I swear it gets more down to earth]. One of the exercises for this involves being more ‘mindful.’ Now, that’s a word up there on the list of giant modern cliches. But it has it’s value. One of the exercises involves not only paying attention to what you’re doing, but also mentally making a note of it. If you’re opening a door, say to yourself [preferably mentally, because otherwise you won’t only be crazy, but the rest of the world will know it too!], “I’m opening the door. I’m turning the knob. I’m walking through the doorway.” Perhaps now the beginning of this post makes a little more sense.

Anyway, that’s something that I started thinking about back in January of this year [wow, was it THAT long ago], when I planned on talking about taking control of your internal monologue. The idea was that thoughts will arise whether we want them to or not [that’s just the nature of the beast], but what we can do is direct them. So, basically, you become your own personal guide, telling yourself to do that one thing that you really don’t want to do. Like, say, homework. Or asking that girl out. Okay, well, let’s stick with the homework.

Now I see another use for the internal monologue: relaxation and concentration. Let me tell you, nothing is more relaxing than taking note of everything you’re doing. You wouldn’t think so. I mean, it seems like that would really blow. That’s why stories about people [well, by people, I really mean hard-core meditators {which usually means Buddhist monks}] that can remain completely aware during deep sleep. I look forward to blacking out during sleep. And these Mo Fo’s go out of there way to pay attention during that stage [supposedly prepares you for the stage right before death when you have to choose what you’re next life is going to be like. Might be worth it in order to come back as, say, a fuzzy dog instead of a dung beetle.]!

But this little exercise gives me a glimpse of why it ain’t so bad. When you stop the chatter [well, the automatic chatter, anyway], the burden lifts. All the mental noise clears up and you just have emptiness in your noggin’. And let me tell you, that’s a sound to be heard! Just having things go on, without any real sense of doing them: it’s great!

At the same time, it’s a sort of game, as you have to make sure that you’re paying attention at all times. Which is hard. Meditation type hard. But it’s fun too. Keeping constant check on yourself. And somehow the internal monologue doesn’t really get in the way. In fact, it feels like it enhances it.

Now, all these observations are after just an evenings worth of trying this out. Maybe after doing it for a while, I’ll get sick of the little commentator in my head, playing out the scenes like I’m in a movie. Or maybe it’ll somehow become transverbal, to the point that I still notice with as much attention as possible, but I don’t literally need the words.

And now, to drone on a little longer, this also makes me wonder about our overstimulated society. I’m just as guilty as everyone else, even though I hem and haw when others do it: I like to smother my thinking mind with material 24/7 as to not have to think for myself. Music in the car. A podcast while I eat. Random rush of thoughts while the computer loads up. I justify it as ‘multitasking.’ I want to get more stuff done, so I do more stuff at once. But I wonder if I’m not just trying to fill up my noggin’ with attention so that the stream of thoughts will go away. Which I can do just as easily by just playing this little monologue game. And much more cost effectively, too.

Hm, well, this post wrote itself. That hasn’t happened in a while. Makes me happy. Now I’m going to go off and read more about the human animal. [Seriously, though. Check out this book, The Naked Ape, at your local library. Totally an awesome read!]


[Pushes “Publish” button.]


One Response to “Funny How Life Goes in Cycles — Or, The Monologue Game”

  1. said

    If this post wrote itself, tell it to learn the difference between “its” and “it’s”

    eg, “But it has it’s value.”

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