Friday, January 16, 2009

Mind over matter - will the real ‘Me’ please stand up ?

The idea brings to my mind a variety of popular images from my childhood or rather - from my geekhood!
One of them is the image of the crazy scientist:
Scientist stares at a ball with a crazy demented look, strange eerie sounds surround him and the balls lifts into the air by itself.

Another more domestic image is from popular culture:
“Another cup of tea, dear ?” From the other side of the table, I point at the teapot with my finger and the pot lifts up and floats through the air without anyone touching it. I curl my finger a little, the pot dips and pours and then I bring it back to where it came from. All by the power of my mind.

Mind over matter, pure will and volition causing objects to move, things to happen.
This is the stuff of science fiction and fantasy.

But when I think of it I’ve experienced similar things.

I remember the wonder of first playing with a computer: I would give a command and it did it. The power of it was thrilling, but even more I felt that there was an intelligence in the machine, it ‘knew’ what to do, and it could read the text commands in my program. Wow! (Guess this reveals me as a true Geek).

A similar thrill first grabbed me driving a car. I bought a car fairly late in life and was used to cycling or walking everywhere by my own efforts. Driving my first car, I felt the strange sensation of control and power. I would simply push the accelerator and this great heavy metal machine moved, it did all the hard work, it carried me UP the hills and did all the tough work for me. I just had to give the commands (push the accelerator) and off it went.

As a very young child I remember being fascinated with being alive. I simply had to think ‘walk’ and I would walk. I just had to think ‘lift hand’ and my hand would lift.
Actually it wasn’t even ‘thinking’, there was no need for words. If I wanted to get up and turn on the kettle I only had have the intent to do so, and then decide to move my body and to actually do it.
When I thought about this whole process a bit more I realized there was more to it.
Sure, there was the intent, but I still had to decide and then, having made the decision, I had to DO it. What had looked like simple intent, or simple action unraveled as three stages of the one process.
And behind all those three stages there must be someone, a person, someone I called ‘I’ who did all those things, who did the ‘intending, deciding, doing’.

That got me thinking about who was the real ‘I’ ? If I could talk about myself like an object, “I did this and I did that”, then that meant, the it was not the real ‘me’. Because the real ‘me’ must be the one doing the talking, doing the thinking, the one standing behind the whole process and looking at it.

As soon as I can step back and label that process, the real ‘me’ must be deeper in. An ever retreating ever deeper well ?

At this point I usually gave up. I’ve really not gotten much further in 49 years.

- science is observation AND experience. Experience, feeling and observation by all possible means of perception. Only then comes theory and abstraction. – However, at times, theory and abstraction clouds experience and observation - Hyco

I started out with mind over matter:
What is really surprising is that we live and use mind over matter every day, with every breath we take. Thoughts, feelings, ideas, and the world changes, our bodies move.

My legs move, my fingers type. All I need to do is ‘intend’ and decide, and act… and those things are all one fluid movement, I do it automatically and forget the wonder of it.

Every man made object was once just an idea, without physical form.

Mind over matter.

Every movement of my body - mind over matter.

The thoughts of mind, the words I type here, were once just a pre-verbal urge, an idea, without words, just a shape and a ‘something’.
Then I tried to capture it in words, to give it a shape and a form.
As I wrote this article I compared the wordless image of it with the words on the computer. Was it really what I wanted to say ?
Yes, some of it was, other bits were not. So I go back over it and try or a better fit. Cut a bit here, trim a few words there. Move this paragraph up there, yes, that’s more what I have in mind. But I won’t know what that is until I give it form, until I act. [note to self: elaborate on the pre-verbal form of language, see your language learning writings, a future article!]

And so it is with the purpose of my life, I act, I move, I compare my inner compass, the wordless, something where I KNOW deep within myself, with the things my life is writing on the world out there…. Hm…. A bit of a cut here, a bit of trim there…. That’s better, getting there now. Oooops that part was a bit too far from the blueprint….Better not do that again.

Mind over matter research research here.


Recently I’ve come to think of another step, going deeper into the question who is the real ‘me’ ?
I think it is beyond thought.
I has to be beyond thinking, because thinking simply gives ever deeper more nested loops, wheels within ever smaller wheels in a fractal like pattern [add reference to fractals here even show a picture or spiral-like fractal patterns].

But there IS something I cannot step back from, something I cannot escape from, or abstract myself from: It is ‘Feeling’. I mean core feelings, not shallow whims of the moment.
On the mind levels, I can always distance myself, always step back, ever deeper but I feel like I’m not going anywhere other than into an eternal loop.

But when I truly FEEL something I just feel it. In fact it feels like this IS ‘me’. I feel therefore I AM.
There are feelings INSIDE ME, which I cannot escape from, they stay there no matter what I do. I might mentally decide to ignore them, but they remain. I can run from them, using drugs, alcohol, and a hundred other distractions, but deep inside myself I KNOW I’m running, and I know what I feel.
I might be afraid to face what is there inside me, to face those feelings.
But the feeling remains.
I cannot erase it with a thought alone.

Yes I can change the feeling, but I cannot change it without facing it, fully and squarely and most importantly I cannot change those feelings without FEELING them. Once I feel them, once I become who they are, who in fact I truly am, then they change, in THEIR own way, in their own time.

Let me give an example: @@@ add example from own life here.


There are examples in history, of people who felt they simply had to do and be what they did. It didn’t always work out the best way for them, some of them died, others suffered greatly, but they still had to do it.
Not doing it was would have been worse for them.
Romeo and Juliet, St Joan of Arc, …@@@ add more examples here.
There is no simple pattern



I’m starting to think that maybe, just maybe, many of our modern illnesses come from the conflict between the real core feelings of who we are, what we want to be and do, and what we make OURSELVES do [add reference: Dr Sarno and Co. on mind body illnesses, how he has treated them, how people came to him].

There is a temptation to blame the outside world, society, parents, life, god, whatever… for not letting us be who we are.
But we are dealing here with intelligence, deep core intelligent feelings. That deepest, most honourable part of me knows what I am able to do, and he will see whether I’m really trying.
In my core I KNOW the truth.
No if’s, no but’s I KNOW.
What is more, really trying and doing my best, in the most honourable way is all that deepest part of me asks. The deepest part of me is not some impersonal demented tyrant, it is the most human part of me.
He/she will not be fooled by stupid or weak excuses, nor will she be harsh when in all faith I have done my best.
In the end the Universe is personal, loving.
In the end we only see and experience what we allow ourselves, what we believe.

I still remember the surprise I got one day, when I found out that I could not simply decide, erase and re-draw my life to be whatever I wanted in my mind. The surprise was that no matter what I told myself or what reason told me, there were certain things I REALLY wanted, they were part of ME.
I could not chop them out and erase them like code from a computer program. They were hardwired into ME, they were part of ME. Oh sure, I had pushed the aside, and buried them, and kept them out of directly conscious awareness and all the usual tricks of denial – but in the end, I had to admit: this is what I wanted. All my rational arguments fell way like leaves in the wind. I knew what I wanted, this was ME.
Please understand I’m not talking about things that were totally beyond my control (such as being a ballet dancer, or a world heavy weight boxer/ruby player or whatever), I’m talking about things within my life which I could decide and DO. Things such as: having a family, having a girlfriend at all (as much as that is ever within any man’s control ha ha ha :-P ), being in a relationship, accepting responsibility for my talents and gifts in life etc….

In fact I had run into something really solid: I had run smack bang into my purpose for being born, for being in a physical body. This surprised me, I had assumed my real deeper ME, was just a nebulous something, I could mold at will. I don't know why is surprised me, after all, my physical body is tall and skinny and suited to academic, artistic pursuits. My physical body has a certain shape character style and is suited for some things and not others. So it makes sense that the core of me, the invisible non-physical part also has a shape and character and is suited to some things more than others. Hm... kind of obvious once I see, but not at the time it wasn't.

I know that there are a million beliefs about life and death and the purpose of life, so here I’ll just add my little bit and make it a million and one.
Actually it’s very simple: at the very deepest level of who the real ‘me’ is, there is the purpose and the things I came here to do. I have a choice, more or less. Nothing is simplistically and stupidly simple, but things are ‘right’ and fair deep down.

I see it a bit like the example of getting up to make a cup of tea. The basic idea is to make a cup of tea. HOW I make it, when I make it, with what ingredients, what type of pot, - all those things are up to me, and outside the basic idea of “make a cuppa tea love!” (pardon the Australian slang). I might even change my mind, or friends might drop in and I make three cups of tea. Whatever.

Similarly, I have the basic purpose of my life. How and when and what I do about it, is like the cup of tea, very much up to me.

I’ve wasted a lot of time, wasted it working for things I didn’t really want, or other people told me had to want and get. I’ve wasted a lot of time running away from myself and not wanting to know, because it was all ‘too hard’. And I’ve wasted a lot of energy on regretting decisions I made, and then found out that was even more of a total waste of time and energy.
And I’ve actually done a little bit of what I came here for.
Writing this article is one of those things… 

Tengra Ngiam.

PS: “Omnia Mutantur, nihil interit” – everything changes, nothing is wasted.

Research site here.

PPS: later thoughts: 19Jan09 Monday Melbourne: the idea that the deep core of ME has a shape comes to me in other ways as well:

I had learned fairly early in life that I could argue whatever side I wanted and that to any choice there were as many arguments one way as the other way, - thus reason and logic didn't provide the answers, something much deeper had to [refer to the Sophists of ancient Greece as a good example].

Something much deeper made me listen to and accept one side against another, and that 'something' was deeper than reason and logic. These deeper things were such things as: fear, courage, desire, dislike, honour, guilt, anger, spite, love, joy....and in the final analysis: it was the core of WHO I AM. Simple.

We don't argue whether Vanilla is better than strawberry flavour, it's a matter of taste ! Well I found that much of life in it's final analysis was a matter of taste. Why this job, this field of study, this country to immigrate to ? Because of what I like and what I like and want are in a strange way connected to who I AM, and the shape and nature of ME.

For example, I've argued all my life that being single was a really a 'better' way, and that NOT having kids was what I really wanted. But deep inside it wasn't really true. There has always been a deep desire to share my life with another. I've always known that too. But I also know that anything can be underpinned with reasons, and logic and arguments, and seem "justified".

But in the end, it was a simply a matter of taste, Vanilla or Strawberry. Take your pick.

This is not to say it does NOT matter, it is simply to say: it matters, but the reasons are not reasonable reasons, they are in the end CORE reasons.

Disclaimer: To understand the above, you will need to use your sympathetic intuition, because if you are not sympathetic nor using your intuition, then none of this will really make any sense. In other words if your deeper intent is to nitpick, you'll always find a good reason to do so.

I'm here talking about subtle matters, questions of whether to get a job to feed yourself and your family are a different order or magnitude.

- commonsense, that's all.

No comments:

Post a Comment