Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The mental snowball

Sometimes for fun and sometimes torture, I pay close attention to my thoughts.

Often when we feel icky we will attribute that feeling as "coming out of nowhere" or wondering why we all of a sudden feel a certain way. I have noticed through this quirky observation just how quickly we can manifest the most bizarre sequence of thoughts without noticing the middle, often just the beginning or the end result. So, for fun and as I stated, sometimes torture, here is what roughly ten seconds of thought can look like:

The other day a friend was telling me about doing some yard work and was explaining to me this rather elaborate assortment of nuts, seeds and plants he had found in these various parts of the yard. These goodies had been slowly accumulated by a resident squirrel who had recently disappeared and thought to be prey to another animal. End of story.

My thought process:

Awww...poor squirrel, driven by his biological instinct to hoard, spent all of his life storing these goodies for the future just to be eaten. Well, I guess if he hadn't been eaten he would have been well prepared. Smart squirrel. (should have been end of story but no..)

Mmmm..come to think of it, humans are a lot like that, we spend all our time slaving and accumulating stuff we probably don't need or perhaps will never use. Where is the joy and meaning in that, it's really kind of pathetic how we often do it unnecessarily. Mmm...that kind of reminds me of Tolstoy's "The Death of Ivan Ilyich, or About Schmidt which is sort of a modern day version of Tolstoy's story. What is success anyway? Who defines it and why do we let others define it for us? I should read Man's Search for Meaning again, I think it had the answers. Man, what is the meaning of it all anyway?...

This went on sadly much longer, however I think it is good practice to see where we can go from point A to point B and maybe we could dissect and revise our thoughts. Either that or slap them around with a little reality. It seems that somewhere along our process we get attached to a certain thought and we think it is our reality and we don't often spend the time trying to figure out just how we got there, we just sort of blindly accept it.

My revision:

I wish I was a squirrel, then I wouldn' t have to deal with all these thoughts.

re-blog from previous writing as this is how today went


  1. Unfortunately, we are not squirrels, and we do think about these sort of things every day. I guess what's important is how to learn to think better and try to find the positive things from whatever we're thinking about ... hmm, does that make sense?

  2. I love this post, I like the idea of slapping them around with a little reality.


  3. And the sad part is, for all of our supposed brains, I don't think I know any better than the squirrel why I (want to) hoard.

  4. Every Spring I find peanuts or such in my flower beds, flower pots, in the grass, pretty much every where I look. The thing about squirrels is that mother nature tells them to store nuts away just in case she decides to make it a really bad winter. Squirrel do this, they hide them very well. Problem is squirrels, and it's because they are squirrelly, can't always remember where they hid said nuts.

    I do agree that we as human tend to get into ruts and I like your idea to "slap them around with a little reality."


  5. You guys are all so awesome! I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts, it often gives me lots to think about. In a good way! It's very inspiring.