William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

An Attentive Child

The less I think, the better I feel — physically, mentally, every which way. Once I recognized the connection between what goes on in my head and my general well being, the thinking process grew quiet, and the intervals between thoughts became greater. Sometimes, I hardly think at all, and wouldn’t notice it, except that when I finally do think, it’s like waking from a vivid dream. I don’t mean to suggest thinking is useless. I must think if I’m going to build a bridge. I’m thinking now. Otherwise this wouldn’t be written. But so much of my thinking was repetitive and redundant, I simply had to ask myself why I was thinking at all. It wasn’t unusual, for instance, to think the same tired things several times a day, or to repeat them for several years. Maybe you’ve had this experience, where suddenly you realize you’ve been party to a long conversation which never advances and to which you’re not really listening — because if you were, you’d stop then and there, change the subject, or set about doing something inspired and worthwhile. In other words, you’d become an attentive child, absorbing and being absorbed by the marvelous, miraculous world around you. It beats worry. Whether you realize it or not, every thought you think comes with its own little price tag, its own little action and result attached. Thinking amplifies pain. It exaggerates problems and disagreements. It pumps up the ego and makes you feel important in ways you aren’t, and blinds you to ways you are. Thinking, by its very nature, never resolves itself. It only wears you out. Most dangerous of all, it affects others, it affects the environment, and it affects those you think you love, but treat otherwise. And of course love has nothing to do with thinking. If it depended on that, it would be a feeble thing indeed.


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Categories: Daybook

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