When thought makes a judgement about something, if the judgment is in the positive (in other words I am moving closer to the goal) then it ‘feels’ good. When I say that it ‘feels’ good, I mean that there is a little release of energy or something. It is the same feeling as when one achieves something that one has been trying to do for a while. It is like a release … a release from struggle. Its like when you are looking for a misplaced wallet and then you find it … there is a release of concern and that release of concern causes a positive feeling … that’s what I mean when I say that it ‘feels’ good. Its more like just a release from being concerned about something.
I am concerned that Peter respects me. I wish he respected me more. I often think about how I could become better and more respected. That is one of the goals of my thought… in other words, as I think about stuff on a day to day level, I make lots of little judgements which try and see if I am moving closer to being respected.
This is where the trap happens. I imagine painting a great painting, a beautiful painting with deep colours and I run into Peter, who sees the painting and says “wow, I didn’t know you could paint so well”. I imagine all this … it didn’t really happen … but as I imagine it KAPOW a positive feeling is released as I imagine Peter being impressed. As I imagine it, what is occurring in my thought is just lots and lots of little judgements, trying to see if I am getting closer to being respected. When my thought examines Peter saying “wow, what a great painting”, it is judging to see if that is a sign that I am becoming more respected. And it is. So it ‘feels’ good. Even though the whole scenario is imagined … it is no different to the real thing. THat’s the crucial point. Actually, it *is* the real thing.
That’s the trap, see. Because now thought thinks it has moved closer to the goal (it has to have if it made a positive judgement). But actually, no such thing has happened. It was all imagined. But that imagining wasn’t fanciful, or self indulgent, that’s actually just the way thought works. If I want to get to work on time, I have to imagine walking to the station, imagine how long it takes for the actual trip, then there’s walking to work from the other end, and a coffee to be grabbed too. That imagining is just the mechanism of thought … making little judgements all along the way… seeing in the future to make sure that everything stacks up.
So thought thinks it has taken a step towards being more respected. But it hasn’t. It was an illusion. It is no closer to it. And as it tries to think through other things, other scenarios, other goals that relate to the self, it constantly thinks it is moving, thinks it is getting there, but it is not. It is all an illusion. Its totally pointless. It will never get there.
There’s a fundamental incompatibility between thought and thinking about the self. There is no point in having goals for the self, because they will never be reached. They will never be reached because the steps made are false, and so they go in all sorts of different directions. It’s like a random walk through the bush. Every several metres you take a random turn in an other direction.
I’m not sure how I can express that in code.
See, if the goal is something concrete and physical then there is no problem because the outside *real* physical world acts like a peg in the ground. The judgements will always be relative to the (proverbial) peg in the ground. If the goal is internal, concerning the self, then there is no distinction between what is thought what is real.