The thought machine—
That’s what I call it. The thought machine is the stations of our mind. This is where survival mode comes from flight or fight, eat, drink, breathe, seek shelter, and sleep.
This is the oldest part of the thought machine, which only thinks about basis function. There is no fear or concern here. There is no worry in this station. All is simple in this part—it’s like wash, rinse, and repeat.
Then there is the mid-station—the mammal brain is what I was told. This is the irrational mind. This is where memory lives. This is where opinion comes from. This is where we calculate and often miscalculate the math to theories that are pertinent to our lives.
This is where expectation comes from. This is where the attachment to outcome lives. There is no plan or strategy here in this station. This is the place where instant gratification is a sought after commodity. We feel here. We worry here. This is where we store the arrows to shoot down our dreams here. This is where we seek outside sources to scratch the internal itches that we can’t seem to reach.
This station in the thought machine is a bit more difficult. Overthinking lives here. Second guessing lives just down the hall and the two go out together as often as possible.
Procrastination is here too. So is pride and ego. False sense of self lives here and rooms with insecurity. Low self-esteem has a place here too and often invites friends over to stay for as long as they like.
They do late night parties called insomnia and talk until dawn, which is a bitch, because they keep everyone awake while talking about the uncontrollable stuff, like people, places, and things, and things that happened, which were beyond our control—but yet, guilt and shame (also residents here) go on all night at these insomnia parties about blame and the accountabilities of our broken heart.
Then there is the rational mind. This is the frontal lobe. This is the mature section of the thought machine. Whereas the mid-mind is like the kiddie table at the party; the frontal lobe is the rational mind, or for this explanation—this is the adult’s table
Plan lives here. Goals live here. Strategy comes from here too. There is no anxiety or anticipation. There is no connection to outcome. There is only instruction and direction; however, since this section of the thought machine owns the tenement so close to mid-brain—the plans often find themselves entangled with emotion, and intercepted, which blurs the boundaries and hazes the diagrams of the plans we create.
This is a simple explanation to a much more elaborate machine. Nonetheless, this is the thought machine. This is where we pause when we should proceed. This is where we give in to one of two sides of our thinking.
I think of old movies where operators connected phone calls by plugging lines into specific circuits.
I think of the control room in the thought machine and how there is this room with buttons and switches and lights that flash or blink on and off.
I think of an overly complicated system and nervous little person in the control booth, just trying to keep shit together so the alarm doesn’t trip and all roads lead back to the war-room in the mid-mind thinking.
This is where all else fails, nothing ever works—paranoia is Marshall Law, strike first, protect yourself at all times, and the rejection committee does nothing more than count and anticipate the casual catastrophes and collateral damage, which total in the sum of our tragic aftermaths of a self-created war.
I tell you, the war-room is a dangerous place to be in. No one sleeps when this place is on high alert.
Vanity is the worry room. This is the core; this is the part of the thought machine that is worried most. God forbid anyone crosses the line here. This is us. Our vanity is us, undressed and at our truest self, which is why we try so hard to protect this station; however, there are times when we betray ourselves because the war-room is split, and in a panic of what to do, we self-sabotage, we give in to the wrong things, and worse, we cause our own failures while sending in the troops to come back from a war that never needed to happen..
This is the mid-mind thought machine. This is overthinking in its natural habitat. Meanwhile, next door, the frontal lobe has plans to succeed. The rational mind sees much more clearly. However, the rational mind is quiet. There are no late night parties here and since we seldom listen to the quiet argument; we tend to listen to the louder side because the squeaky wheel gets the grease.
I think of this room when I relax and disconnect. I breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth. I breathe in deeply and exhale fully, as if to breathe in the smell of something I enjoy, like the sea of the mountain air. When I exhale, I blow outward as if to blow out the candles and rid myself of the useless sediments that poison my thought machine.
I envision my rational mind disconnecting the wires that were plugged into the alarm circuits. I picture them being plugged into new circuits, which create a new pathway of thinking. I think of the control room and the war-room and take away the draining energies, which could benefit me in other parts of the thinking stations.
Emotion is not bad and neither is memory. However, when the thought machine turns irrational, nothing seems clear. The alarm can go off at any minute. Vanity and image, identity and ego—they just want to rest. So instead of investing in more troops and more battles, I allow myself to invest in better choices by thinking with the rational brain. There is no fear here. There is no worry. There is only plan and strategy to achieve my goals.
I see this as a comic book or cartoon. I simplify it this way because this helps me realize not everything is so damned tragic. The predicament is in my head and often times; my head creates problems that do not exist.
Therefore, in going forward, which part of the thought machine will I listen to: The part that wants to achieve and get things done, or the part that lives in fear and equates failure to rejection?
I am always welcome to nurture either station of the thought machine. The question is which one is more beneficial and which side of my thinking will lead me to where I want to be?
By the way, there is a way to quiet the thought machine.
It’s called replacing thought with action.
The thought machine is just like a kid trying to outsmart or manipulate an adult. But since the child is at a disadvantage—the kid screams. Meanwhile, the adult needs to plan. The adult needs to say, “Shhh. Don’t worry. We got this. Just watch and see.”
Find a way to reassure yourself
Do not look
externally because those fixes are short-lived
the answer is within you\
Trust me on this one.