Sunday, November 11, 2012

My Lost Thoughts Have Simply Become Piles Of Intellectual Dust-Bunnies

I saw a cute saying while in New England recently. It went like this: “Have you ever stopped to think, and forgotten to start up again?”
It made me really smile as I read it. Since then I’ve seen quite a few signs/placards of that same saying.
But as I continued to stroll around that New England day – people watching and enjoying the history that has been lovingly cared for – I found my mind toying with the idea behind that saying. As I was thinking, I became aware of the flitty-ness of my mind: I had some really good points to make in this post, but watching a little girl trying to control her feisty Jack Russell terrier, and – poof! – gone was one of those great ideas.  Had I forgotten to “…start up again?”  No. That “great” idea of mine was just a flitting thought of which I have thousands a day. No single thought is more profound or more mundane than any other. They are just flitting thoughts that float from somewhere, pass through my consciousness, and disappear into nowhere at the appearance of the next flitting thought. The only thing that stops a thought from simply being flitting is my grabbing that thought and keeping it at the center of my attention at the expense of the next queued-up flitting thought – which might also be profound. Which might be from the Holy Spirit!
I get up from my chair in the office and walk into the kitchen. I stop. “Why am I in here?” So I go back to my chair, get up again, and walk again into the kitchen. Quite often that works, and I remember what I was going to do. Sometimes, even that doesn’t work. Another lost thought.
Perhaps all my great, but lost, thoughts have ended up as piles of intellectual dust-bunnies next to all my lost socks.
However catchy and cute that saying is, I am seriously reminded of the non-existent world my flitty mind has created. This has been very true this week of the election. I have found myself very attuned to all the hype, excuses, rationalizations, explanations, angst, and smugness that have found their way in all the news talk shows. Obama won because…. Romney lost because…. Obama wouldn’t have won if only …. Romney could’ve won if only …. As I listened I found myself right in the thick of it: “No! No! You’ve got it wrong. That’s not why he [won/lost]. What’s the matter with you? That earlier commentator got it right [Loose translation: I agree with him/her] – Why can’t you see that? [Loose translation: I don’t agree with you].
Walking the dog this morning, I found myself having a discussion with Bill O’Reilly of Fox News. I was getting angry and incensed. What the hell was really going on? We were about to leave to enjoy a beautiful autumn day in our new Toyota Prius, my dog is totally fascinated with some new-to-him scent, and I am virtually (but silently!) shouting at Bill O’Reilly with words of unbelievable wisdom.
Is that absurd or is that utterly absurd?
Just be glad that I am no longer drinking. If I was, I’d be on the phone trying to reach Bill O. Sometimes I think if someone could actually witness the thoughts that flit through my mind, they’d call 911 and have the little men in white coats on me like ants at a picnic, replete with a bottle of magical Thorazine and little rubber duckies to keep me company.
And I ACTUALLY LISTEN to this steel-trap mind of mine! Not only do I listen, I actually believe its perception of reality to be factual and true and my job is to convince all who’ll listen of these utterly absurd “facts.”
Thank God for AA and its firm belief that I cannot take myself seriously. That’s why there’s always so much laughter in an AA meeting. When I hear people overly exaggerating about themselves (or about others) it’s truly funny – and it’s always very truly TRUE about me. So I laugh – through them at me. And it heals me. And it centers me. And I hear the voice of my Higher Power speaking to me. And it transforms me.
Most of all I am brought back to the reality that gives me some peace: I am not my thoughts. My perceptions are a self-created dream, like everyone else’s perceptions. As difficult as that is for me to comprehend sometimes, it still remains the only way I sense a little bit of actual, peaceful reality in the midst of the capricious flitty-ness of my mind.
Again, this message is really for me. Thanks for listening, and – as always – feel free to forward this message to your friends, family, and those accompanying you on your spiritual journey.
#2 November, 2012
Copyright, 2012

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