A minute or two after I popped the words – What gets you thinking? – into the title box of this post, while I was quickly browsing William Burroughs quotes and had just read this one:
“A paranoid is someone who knows a little of what’s going on. A psychotic is a guy who’s just found out what’s going on.”― William S. Burroughs
My partner walked into the room to share something which had just got him thinking. What he shared was one of those things which once you start thinking about them can lead you to the places in William Burroughs’ quote above and/or to the thought that:
“I am getting so far out one day I won’t come back at all.”― William S. Burroughs
If you do manage to get so far out with your thinking that it changes your perception of the world and reality (which perhaps you thought you knew but now you’re not so sure as it all looks and sounds different), and then suddenly come back from all the way out there, you might feel like an alien visiting this planet and:
“After one look at this planet any visitor from outer space would say ‘I want to see the manager.”― William S. Burroughs
Except, since you’ve lived here, you know that it is a futile request and that there is no manager. Sure there are lots of people who claim to be and insanely want to be the manager of Earth, of humans and the humaniverse.
“Is Control controlled by its need to control? Answer: yes.”― William S. Burroughs
And there are those who think that they are the ‘real’ managers (the secret behind the scenes puppetmasters)…
“I know this one pusher walks around humming a tune and everybody he passes takes it up. He is so grey and spectral and anonymous they don’t see him and think it is their own mind humming the tune.”― William S. Burroughs
and sometimes we pretend that they are our managers because it’s a relief to have someone else in charge to blame.
“Last night I woke up with someone squeezing my hand. It was my other hand.”― William S. Burroughs
There are different types of thinking. So the question – What gets you thinking? – should have an accompanying question about what type of thinking is occurring.
There’s the going around in circles type of thinking, which includes the confirming your bias thinking, and the I don’t want to think about this which is why I’m always thinking about this thinking.
There’s the end of the world is nigh type of thinking, which is a close relative of the hell is other people type of thinking, and the what’s the point in thinking thinking.
“Thou shalt not be such a shit, you don’t know you are one.”― William S. Burroughs
There’s the thinking yourself out of a hole, a tight spot, a rut type of thinking, which works well with the thinking yourself into a hole, a tight spot, a rut thinking (which is not the same as the thinking in circles thinking even if they seem similar) as you can reverse engineer the thinking (both ways).
There are so many types of thinking that there are thinkers who think about thinking and list, categorise, describe, and study them to make thinking easier for everyone else, but they often end up making thinking more complicated and confusing.
“Language is a virus from outer space”― William S. Burroughs
It might appear as though I am one of those, but my making a list thinking is about as functional as my ability to remember to take the list with me when I actually need it.
If you don’t believe me (and questioning thinking is a fun type of thinking, mostly when you’re using it on others rather than using it on yourself, or when others are using it on you and doing it without thinking about the answers they get to their questioning thinking thinking) you’re welcome to accompany me on a trip to the shops, especially the supermarket or DIY store – please wear comfortable shoes and bring your own transport to make your escape when you can’t stand anymore of my dithering thinking.
“There are no innocent bystanders … what are they doing there in the first place?”― William S. Burroughs
One of my favourite types of thinking is the thinking but not thinking, where you are thinking but it’s contemplative.
It’s a bit like taking a relaxing walk through the archives of your mind (I like to imagine that the archives of my mind look like one of those impressive libraries with floor to very high ceilings shelving, moveable ladders, and a spiral staircase to get to that special rare books section, where everything is arranged neatly, but my mental archives are more like a tiny cramped secondhand bookstore filled to bursting with dusty tomes, where people – mostly me – keep dumping books and… I’ll tidy that up later but I never do), perhaps guided by someone else who has just given you something to hmmmm think about and it changes how you see the same old same old – things may magically rearrange themselves.
“Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.”― William S. Burroughs
If you’ve made it this far – How and Why?
Perhaps you’re one of those people who finds my posts to be – thought-provoking – and you like having your thoughts provoked. In case you’re wondering, people regularly tell me that my posts are thought-provoking, and it seems to be a compliment.
I’m one of those people who likes having my thoughts provoked – I didn’t at first or maybe at second… but I grew up in an environment where it happened all the time.
“The first and most important thing an individual can do is to become an individual again, decontrol himself, train himself as to what is going on and win back as much independent ground for himself as possible”― William S. Burroughs
I’ve adapted myself to it and it has adapted itself to me. We’ve been through a lot together, gotten to know each other better, learned to work with each other rather than against.
Yes, I am talking about thinking as though it was a person. It is to me. Perhaps because I’m an only child who spent much of my time alone, and lonely. Thinking offered to be my friend.
It has been a very good friend. It has also been an enemy. It has been a friend while it was being an enemy – there are different types of thinking (yes, that again!).
Sometimes while being a friend, ally and protector… it made me a target of the thinking of others.
“There is nothing more provocative than minding your own business.”― William S. Burroughs
Especially when others are being told by their own thinking that other others are thinking bad thoughts about them.
People who think that your thoughts are as absessed (that’s a typo… I think I’ll leave it as is – do you know why?) with them as their thoughts are obsessed with themselves will be certain that you’re thinking about them – if you tell them you weren’t, they’ll be even more upset and won’t believe you anyway – and will also be certain that you couldn’t possibly be thinking anything good about them.
“Every man has inside himself a parasitic being who is acting not at all to his advantage.”― William S. Burroughs
Why did I use that quote there?
Because in my experience of my own self-hate and the self-hate of others… self-hate is a parasite. One of those parasites which gains control of your brain, and makes you say and do things you wouldn’t do or say if you were in control.
I can give you examples of real parasites which do that – there’s one which makes those infected with it seek out water so that it can get out and infect others.
“When you cut into the present, the future leaks out”― William S. Burroughs
Does that make you go – Yuck!
It makes me go – Yuck!
Something else which made me go – Yuck! Which got me thinking about many things, including my – Yuck! – reaction, was an article I read the other day about something I wasn’t really interested in at the time of clicking on the article.
It was one of those ‘news’ items which isn’t really News, but which many online News sites have.
The basics of it were – a woman (who had enough ‘power’ and was in enough of a ‘powerful position’ to have a news item written about her and her opinion) was criticising a recent successful TV show, The Bodyguard (which I haven’t watched), for having too many strong and powerful female characters. This woman felt it was unrealistic (it’s a TV show!!!) and was hurting the #MeToo and female equality movements.
The bit where I went – Yuck! was when it was explained that this woman was a TV show writer for a different/rival channel (however the news item was written by and for the channel which created the TV show she was criticising… so, were her words taken out of context, was she made into a baddie, was my – Yuck! manipulated out of me? And other questions which get me thinking).
“The face of ‘evil’ is always the face of total need.”― William S. Burroughs
I could have gone – Yuck! about her opinion, but it was just one person’s perspective and it was worth considering – she could be right, she could be wrong, she could be both right and wrong.
Awhile ago I read an interesting article about how what we see on TV and in film affects what we accept and don’t accept in real life. It’s a form of subliminal programming.
There’s a film which kind of says the same thing – Tomorrowland – and which warns people about buying into the negative view of humans and the world propagated by the Media (have you ever wondered why news sites are so negative? They usually blame it on us – the readers – according to them we prefer feel-bad stories to feel-good stories, and they need to make money… but is that true or has it become true because they’ve said it enough times?)
“The junk merchant doesn’t sell his product to the consumer, he sells the consumer to his product. He does not improve and simplify his merchandise. He degrades and simplifies the client.”― William S. Burroughs
Sometimes to get the change you want, you have to make believe that it is already happening, has happened – create the new normal, and then watch it become the new normal.
What do you think?