Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Thinking and Non-Thinking and amazing Video to watch


On a recent posting at a forum for Feldenkrais practitioners, someone presented a link to a rather amazing U tube video. At first you don't know what the hell is happening: this person is kind of buzzing around and doing "weird" things, touching this, waving her hands through water, flapping of hands, touching things with her face, tasting things, smelling, rocking back and forth, scrapping this and that, creating sounds and rhythms and patterns.

Kind of like the things those of us who used to get stoned found infinitely amusing. To watch water whirling in a sink, or a leaf blowing in the wind, a cloud floating by, a traffic light change, to make a little sound of this rubbing against that, and of course: music in bright and full brilliance.

Okay, the world of immediate experience.

Cool, and sweet, the world behind and before "thoughts," if thoughts are defined as "thinking," which is a tenuous proposition, to say the least.

Then the person, silentmiaow, has a narration of typed and spoken (maybe a machine is doing the "talking") words that explain that she (I think she's a she) has her own way of thinking and in her world, letting herself interact fully with the world physically in an immediate and non-socialized way is a kind of thinking.

And she's quite pissed at being categorized as a non-person because she won't get with talking language. She thinks people should learn her language and much as she should learn theirs.

That makes sense to me.

The language of being a baby, or being stoned, or being "autistic," or being "in a trance," or being "primitive," or being a "mystic," is a quiet language, a here and now language deeper than and free of words, a far more powerful language than the yapping kind. Ask anyone who's had good sex, and a nice dance or ski run.

This is one of the wonders of a good Feldenkrais lesson: people come back to their senses, they follow real movement and real sensation in the real moment.

However when silentmiaow calls her activities "thinking," I'm not so sure. Exploration, yes. Satisfying interaction with reality, yet. But "thinking," maybe not.

And, and, and this is important: what most people call "thinking," is not thinking either. Words are not thoughts. They are symbols that can hold and point to thoughts and usually don't.

Observe most cell-phone or regular phone conversations, or party conversations, or, if we are honest: most conversations: blowing of chatter from one void to the other. Gurdjieff compares talking to the shit of the top brain, where breathing out is poop for the middle level and the real poop is the exhaling of the body level.

Or, if we observe our mental chatter in meditation, or while driving a car (if we don’t' drown it out with the radio and music) or even taking a walk in nature: blah, blah, blah. And no real thinking going on.

One of the reasons I left, many years ago, the therapist crowd in Berkeley to join the building crowd and then the landscaping crowd, is that if you build a deck, you can see you've done something, same with a garden. So much of "therapy" back then, before Jay Haley came along, and then Byron Katie, was just getting words to pretend that they were understanding, and they weren't.

Of course, in a good Feldenkrais lesson, you under stand how to stand better at the end, and the understanding is not verbal and the lesson may well have had nothing to do with standing, and yet something in you has "learned" something.

Does thinking have to do with learning?

Is thinking for helping facilitate learning?

Is learning the result of good thinking?

Is thinking promoted by having something to learn?

For example: you want to stop eating ice cream, but you crave it. Could thinking be something like noticing that ice cream is fat plus sweet and what healthy ways could you make that for yourself.

Eggadds, is "resistance" coming up at the thought of doing something other than a habit we say we want to stop?

Ah, so thinking and learning may well have something to do with going out of old territory, getting out of the ruts, leaving the compulsive patterns behind.

This is a good start for today. Too many words and we'll think we have the answer, when the question seems sweet to me: what is really thinking?

Oh, and back to silentmiaow: to me a life in an apartment and with no connection to nature, doesn't seem worth living, whether as a "talking" person who yammers on the phone and watches TV all day, or an "autistic" person, who waves ribbons around all day.

What I want to know is:

How could this life be bigger and more full?

That seems an important question to me, once she gets over the furor at non-thinking people passing themselves off as thinking people, and wasting their time judging her. She wastes her time judging them. And around the game goes.

Time for The Work, anyone?

Ciao for now:


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