20 January 2012

We're strangers in our own brains

There's surprisingly little going on in our heads, even when they seem full of every thought, worry, and stray wisp of consciousness that we can muster.  Our stream of consciousness never really dries up, and even when we want it to be still so that we can stop and focus and think, it largely just does what it will.  

That stream of consciousness is a lot like a summer blockbuster, a lot of explosions and interactions and ramblings, but little substance.  

One of my siblings asked me about this when I was visiting for the holidays, and it inspired me to go back and see if I could conjure something up. I'm going to start a list of posts this week on some of the basics of mindfulness.  The Stoics have a great deal to say about mindfulness, and, really, all great religious and spiritual traditions focus on mindfulness, but the basic practices of Buddhism probably tell us the most.   

Seeing what's around us is a lot more difficult than it seems, with our egos and expectations and prejudices constantly jumping in the way of what's in front of our eyes.  Reading posts on the internet don't really do anything to help us with this, as Socrates observed long long long ago, reading something often just convinces us that we know something, when we have really just read it.  To get started on knowing, rather than just having read, we need to do.

Here's a nice video to get to just that, it takes about an hour, and you'll want to watch it somewhere quiet and where you're not being pestered.  Enjoy:

No comments:

Post a Comment