A. B Curtiss
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
I Keep Asking Myself What is Life Really About Anyway
Here are a bunch of thoughts which constantly go through my mind. Especially when I’m in a group of people whose company I’m supposed to be enjoying. "What is life really about, what's the point, are people all just acting?" These thoughts are super sticky. Hard to get rid of them.
They seem like they are reasonable thoughts but now I’m beginning to wonder if they are just negativity too, disguised as philosophical ponderings, though they do feel pretty awful so that’s probably the first clue. They come in demanding answers and leave me feeling distant from others. I end up watching life as if I am some cold alien observer, and when it happens in front of people I feel panicky. I recall your advice was to get interested in what people are saying, but I am still left with that yucky removed feeling.
That yucky, removed feeling is the first clue that you are into trouble--a trouble called self-focus. Self-focus is the same trouble all us human beings share to one extent or the other. If you understand that the brain and its product, the mind, is a defense mechanism, then you can see how, if it is left to wander and think by itself, it can easily end up in fearful thinking.
All that stuff about what is life all about seems philosophical, but it is simply fearful thinking. The way you find out what life is all about is when you actively engage in life, with others, and with things that other people are interested in. Panic always results from self-focus which always turns into fearful thinking. Self focus is the very opposite of self-understanding.
Self-focus is really the key to everything. If we do not choose to direct our minds, our minds can overwhelm us with all sorts of varieties of negative thinking. In the absence of any conscious direction on our part, the mind can direct itself right into a sticky mental mess. It is the sticky mental mess that always wonders what life is all about.
The poet Goethe was clearly referring to this same idea when he wrote, “Where a man has a passion for meditation without the capacity for thinking, a particular idea fixes itself fast, and soon creates a mental disease.” Understanding the role of self-focus can insure that we know how to avoid that. We just have to put our intellectual understanding of what self-focus is into a daily practice of avoiding self-focus and quickly getting out of it when we find ourselves in it.
A. B Curtiss
A. B Curtiss