Soliton (saintbryan) wrote,
Soliton
saintbryan

Thinking like a Tool

Sometimes I find myself questioning the usefulness of a relationship, or the purpose of doing some activity or another. Or I'll be walking somewhere and my mind will start to think about all the things I should get done today and then I will get impatient. Sometimes during my day a restless knot in my stomach will grow, and anything that I happen to be doing seems to feel 'not good enough,' and my mind will yearn for something useful or productive to occupy itself on.

I was noticing these things today. I was walking to a film screening on campus and I was 30 minutes late. I imagined that being late was destroying my reasons for going in the first place, and I found myself thinking "what's the use?" Also today, I was thinking about a new friend who has turned out to be very different than I had previously expected, and finding that I had no more "plan" for the relationship, I found my mind asking "ok, then what's the use?"

It's come to my attention that we often try to think of everything in terms of equipment. We tend to think of things as tools. We tend to try to discover the purpose for every thing, person, or situation that we encounter. "What purpose does life have?" is, you know, a super important question to our culture. I don't think this way of thinking is bad, but I do think it's easy to get hypnotised by this way of thinking and to believe that it is always the best way of thinking. After all, it's very useful, am i rite? That is, it appears to justify itself with it's own narrative. Like a religion. Everything from specks of dust to air to emotions and life forms and people can be evaluated in terms of their perceived usefulness to what you happen to think is important. Anything can become a tool to your mind, the world can become a machine.

I've noticed that my logical desires and plans are as limited in scope as my thinking brain, which is pretty fucking ignorant about the totality of what's actually happening at any given moment. The things that my thinking, planning, pragmatic mind considers to be valuable and worthy are just as limited. And so when I can't think of a reason or purpose or use to some thing, person or event, I tend to believe it has no value. This kind of appraising the world means you don't value what you don't understand, even if it's something (like an uncomfortable experience) that has necessarily appeared in your life as a direct result of your thoughts and actions. I think this is why we often ignore the things that we need to learn from the most.

Appeal to the Merchant:
life is made of gold
life is everywhere alive
appraise life thusly
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