It is funny; the older I get, the more I realize that there is very little difference between walking, digesting food, or the talking and the thinking I seem to do. We don’t think about our legs when we walk, they do their thing, and somehow we also stay in balance without us interfering in this automated process. Our food gets digested all alone, and our heart beats without us ever telling what rhythm to keep. It seems that the thinking bit in us has almost nothing to do with how we function; the body our mind seems to float in doesn’t need our consciousness; that’s why you have sleepwalkers and drunken drivers.
But that thing that thinks in us, our mind, you could say, is clearly a part of our physical body and not some mystical soul floating around, unattached to this earth. It might feel like it is; many people believe that we have a soul that is separate from our body, but with the right hit to your head and your personality might change, or you forget who you are. It is clear that who and what we are comes from processes in the brain and the chemicals that are there or that we feed it.
If our body walks without our interference, who are we to say that our brain is not thinking without “our” interference. Are our thoughts not as detached from our feeling of independence and uniqueness as our heartbeat is? Are we not walking behind our thoughts instead of actively producing these thoughts.
Would a so-called sane person start a war or shoot little children dead? Are the thoughts we have now not grown out of the mental food we have eaten in the past? Is it not comparable to the real food we have eaten for years and the influence that has had on our physical health?
We might inherit a character and some traits, but after that, it is important to know what we eat; we don’t start our life with war and child murder in our mind, at least; this conclusion is what my diet has taught me.
We are unknown to ourselves, we knowers: and with good reason. We have never looked for ourselves, – so how are we ever supposed to find ourselves? How right is the saying: ‘Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also’;! our treasure is where the hives of our knowledge are. As born winged-insects and intellectual honey-gatherers we are constantly making for them, concerned at heart with only one thing – to ‘bring something home’. As far as the rest of life is concerned, the so-called ‘experiences’, – who of us ever has enough seriousness for them? or enough time? I fear we have never really been ‘with it’ in such matters: our heart is simply not in it – and not even our ear! On the contrary, like somebody divinely absent-minded and sunk in his own thoughts who, the twelve strokes of midday having just boomed into his ears, wakes with a start and wonders ‘What hour struck?’, sometimes we, too, afterwards rub our ears and ask, astonished, taken aback, ‘What did we actually experience then?’ or even, ‘Who are we, in fact?’ and afterwards, as I said, we count all twelve reverberating strokes of our experience, of our life, of our being – oh! and lose count …