The wise have one foot in insanity, and the sane have one foot in the grave.
Habit is a very subtle phenomenon, so I will use my experience for a contrast.
The body mind of a normal human being prefers minimal energy expenditure for a set reward. It doesn’t like to do more than it has to to meet any of its needs, and the normal body mind has its sense of well being set by that steady state. They call this mental and physical neutral state, homeostasis. To the degree that you are pushed off this balance, you will feel distressed, fearful, confused and insecure.
There is another side of this. Your body mind comes to identify not only its own personal neutral state, but a neutral state for the environment as well, and it reacts to changes in the environment as if they were changes in the body. But with everything else being in healthy order, no sense of distress is generated by sensory stimuli.
Now what people consider their thoughts are usually just circuits of internal and external habit with experience giving the illusion of depth and are not actually active cognition. Normally, this habit state is positive and allows conservation of energy so that radical changes in the environment can be met with vigour and flexibility. Then of course returning to the resting state. But this habit state people fall into becomes cemented in the mind. The senses dulled and the cognitive faculties dusty and even difficult to retrieve. So it’s a problem in the modern era.
That is what many people feel when they are unhappy in a job or a marriage? The dullness? Yes. Habituation leading to a sense of disconnection. When humans become sense objects then that is exactly what they are to your subconscious, objects, and you wind up feeling alone.
Ready for the contrast (the autistic state)? I will speak from personal experience here. Consider growing up in a way where everything was loud, overstated, and moved with a rhythm you just can’t ever get a feeling for. Where your senses are flooded with details that shift with no rhyme or reason, and the information presented to you by those who are supposed to be your kind is all dependant on descriptions that make no sense when looked at by your own senses. You are expected to respond to people in a normal way, but they have excluded large portions of their own behaviour and personal presentation. So their communications seem largely irrelevant, but remains a threat as the person will have an intense emotional reaction if you fail to validate their behaviour, and their emotional outbursts will be an intense spike in your distress. Your own internal processes stay on overdrive, and you never settle into a rest state of thinking short of extreme exhaustion of the faculties which can happen at any time while awake or asleep.
Contradictory, like a person screaming angrily that they’re happy? Yes. Though the range is wide and subtle, and the shades of human expression and experience are daunting, let alone needing to process my own sensory input.
Ok. Could I develop a habitual life? No. Nothing to categorize as expected.
Normal human beings settle into habit as an “everything is all right” state. The environment and their own brains work together to settle them into a well adapted state to the supports that seem evident to their senses. For me, a slap in the face can be more calming than soothing music except for the fact that my inner (or what would normally be called subconscious) awareness is always operating on hyper drive. So the slap in the face would trigger a series of experience recalls and thoughts about why you did it, and elicit a powerful response that I would then have to control, or engage in what would be considered a psychotic outburst.
Like the urge to hit back? Actually, it wouldn’t be that well defined, and all of my behavioural patterns are muddled by a series of compound links. Usually, I just wind up sort of catatonic as my brain screams through my nervous system that I am in danger.
Now the process by which you assess shades of response… This doesn’t work in me. So as a matter of personal training I choose the neutral response. The alternatives having no rational base that seems at all constructive, and I am capable of logical thinking so habit is denied me.
Is habitual the same thing as consistent? Yes. My consistency is not “natural.” For me, any consistent behaviour is the product of ongoing deliberation. As I have a great deal of mental and emotional energy, I apply it to that as it otherwise would not serve a constructive purpose. This is why I can talk on philosophical topics so fluidly and with such depth. While eating, I have to occupy portions of my mind with something. There is always those questions some call the imponderables, and they are always good for tying up my aimless mind, at least for a time.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.