Our thinking processes are in one sense creative: we can compose music, understand math and solve daily problems. But in another sense, our thought patterns are extraordinarily repetitive.

Patterns of pleasure seeking, or of anger or pain, can and often do persist for decades. Emotional thoughts and feelings about particular individuals or life situations haunt us for years. Indeed our thoughts about ourselves—or abilities, our looks, our status—are often the most repetitive of all.

If thinking is our way of representing the world, we seem stuck in some pretty awful dead ends.

I cannot apply a new method to change myself, for this method itself becomes part of the inner machine, and I’m back to where I started.

The only way “out” seems to be to ask ourselves inwardly, with the greatest possible intensity, why mechanical habits of thinking and feeling persist. Through the lens of this non-verbal question, looking at ourselves as the days go by, perhaps we can learn about our thought processes and what sustains them as well as quietens them.

Without this commitment, we are stuck with a broken instrument that endlessly repeats the same messages.



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