It’s very odd being in a retreat for…..I can’t tell how long I’ve been here, though I’ve grown a beard. All I know is I’m iglooed here in my cell writing my dissertation for my master’s while simultaneously writing the comedy version on the same subject for a book (out next year). I may call it, “Existence-the Pros and Cons.” I’ve complained most of my life and in my show “Losing It’, that we the human race are not given an instruction manual as to how to run ‘us’. This is why I’m now researching how the mind works and can we run ‘it’ rather than ‘it’ running us?
Today, I read in one of my books, which I can hardly comprehend that there is no actual ‘me’ or ‘self’. Bad news for those of us who have lived mostly for ourselves to now find out we don’t exist. What am I going to do with all the shoes I’ve bought me? Turns out that cosy, congruent sense of ‘me’ is basically a potpourri of life-long habits, old re-runs (your memories) somatic senses, motor, visual and auditory add-ons, a whole bucket-full of hormones for mood enhancers and billions of cable-like neurons, electrically zapping from brain locale to locale everything working around the clock to keep us existing. There’s even certain lobes in the brain that are responsible for making you think there’s a ‘you’ just so you don’t find yourself walking down chaos street with no map and end up banging into the furniture or worse walking off the edge of the world. To put it bluntly everything including you is virtual reality. Think of the “Wizard of Oz” ok? You’re being run by the guy behind the curtain.
It gets more distressing. You know that voice in our heads we all call thought? We all have our very own inner voice that nags, assesses, theorizes, judges, comments, criticizes (some of the worst reviews I’ve ever received have been from my own mind). I was under the impression my thoughts were giving me some vital piece of information nope, they’re more like background musak full of warnings and scenarios of things that might go wrong so you don’t get eaten by a wild bison. Some of your brain is left over from 4 million years ago; it doesn’t realize things have changed. It feels any threat is threat. So if you forgot to return an email it feels the same degree of fear from danger as if you’re about to be made into lunch. This is why more and more of us are joining the mentally ill club.
Your thoughts, which you thought were running the show, are actually as relevant to your existence as a zillionth of a grain of sand on top of an ocean liner the size of Pennsylvania. What’s running you is the million, trillion gigabyte- powered engine room not your stupid inner monologue about why you forgot to buy yogurt.
On another note, I don’t know if I mentioned that I cannot get internet here. This morning I just happened to get a connection for a fleeting moment and this came up on my iPhone, “Dear Ruby as another week slips by, here are 10 things which caught my attention and may have escaped yours. Number 1. Peter Kay tops a new super league of comedians after his return to stand-up last year his tour earned him £20.34m. I am so glad I don’t exist otherwise I would be upset.