Challenges are simply challenges and choices are simply choices. They cannot possibly be good or bad. Whether they are good or bad depends on how we view it afterwards.
I’ve heard that self talk goes away when one is enlightened. I’ve noticed that it goes away when I’m watching TV or a movie. What is going on there?
Well, science has another word for the processes I have been describing, and they are discovering more and more about how it happens, why it does and why it might not happen despite people wanting to experience it.
The core element, which of course sounds crazy to conventional thinking, is you will not experience that flow state if your heart is not in it, if you are not personally and emotionally invested in it. If you are non-rationally engaged with it, the sense of effort vanishes. I say non-rationally, not because I am trying to encourage disordered or irresponsible thought. In truth, if you allow natural thought, your processes will be much more integral, naturally organically ordered, much less static.
Cognitive dissonance, internal contradiction, the reason self talk goes away in enlightenment, is because you achieve full immersion in your consciousness which has been described as unity with the world around you. In a sense, it is unity with the world around you, because what you know of the world around you is in your head. You just stop generating the internal contradiction.
Cognitive dissonance is a great teacher. The greatest teacher is also ones worst enemy. The person you are most comfortable with will be the person who teaches you the very least.
So an easy way to experience natural thought is to temporarily distract yourself from your meta awareness, your thinking about what you think about. This can be achieved by immersion in a good story on TV. Recently, I have encouraged my wife to just dive deeply into her Star Trek episodes, because her supposedly responsible thinking has begun distressing her so much.
Is this like spacing out or daydreaming? No, not spacing out. Spacing out has insufficient ability to hold your attention, to distract you from your habitual thinking.
Suspension of disbelief? It does involve suspension of disbelief, yes. Abstaining from the obsessive assessment we have been conditioned to do.
I ponder suspension of both prejudice and preference. Both prejudice and preference are disbelief. This is why when someone’s preferences are thwarted they seem so confused, disbelieving. They feel their so called place, which they believe is the same as sense of self, is threatened. Rather than a sense of self, you can have the sensation of self, a deeper, richer more vivid and adaptable experience. This allows fluid direction of attention and range of cognitive association.
So you have to be able to emotionally invest in the activity. It has to be able to hold your interest, not hold your attention. Anything you’re afraid of can hold your attention. It has to hold your interest. People who are well immersed in some sort of music practice display improved fluid intelligence, as well as do video game enthusiasts though very many “Realistic” people will emphatically declare both of these to be an irresponsible waste of time.
Perhaps the “activity” has to be able to surround and envelope “you.” Making itself irresistible and necessary. It is not just “addiction” though. It is insistence. Necessity.
But what do the artists say? They HAD to do that piece of art. The artists identify with their art. They often describe their art as being the same as their soul. It isn’t addiction. You are right. Addiction is defensive thought ritual coupled with a biochemical/sensory dependency. The object of the addictive ritual is false, empty, even for the addict. They have become fixated on it because of either emotional hormonal reinforcement, or because of chemical piggybacking like associating drinking beer with allowing yourself to feel friendship. You condition yourself to that false association.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.