Morning Meditations #64: The Labile Moods of an Illusory Self

This is the first morning in ages that I have officially woken up on the wrong side of the bed. Pissed off, agitated, and generally mad about nothing in particular about covers my feelings in an accurate way. A closer examination of my sleep revealed that I’d had a dream about a friend stepping on a sharp thing and bleeding, although I don’t believe this to be the catalyst for my angry-waking. I got about seven hours of sleep after going to bed later than I wanted, which also leads me to admit that I woke up about an hour and a half late. Then when I take an even further step back to look at weekend habits, my sleep had been jacked up starting on Friday night with the podcast production. The mirror of behavior reveals an exciting weekend of overstimulation by day and abnormal sleep habits at night. No wonder Monday morning discomfort is up in my face; I have been a mindless ape on cruise control for enjoyment.

MM 64
MM draft and FB on the big screen.

This has been exacerbated by my ailing network PC beginning its process of death. I noticed a couple of weeks ago upon boot up that my processor report begun saying 3 cores active, when it used to say 4 cores active. Not the coolest thing I have ever contemplated. The newest symptom over the last few days has been surprise restarts. This is my nice way of describing crashes which skip a blue screen and simply restart my computer mid movie, YouTube, or any other function where the computer is just operating while I watch.

What to do in these situations? (1) My beautiful lady-friend (we’ve yet to discuss labels) suggested I meditate over the whole mess, which I knew I would have to do, but found it more than nice to have a little affirmation from someone so special to me. (2) Write about it this morning in my MM post, which I am doing right now. Here is my report.

I chose to use a Mindfulness meditation for thirty minutes. This morning’s attempt started with a lot of chatter in my mind about my frustrations and anxieties. How I haven’t gotten my grad school application turned in yet, I haven’t earned a dime in several months (a Primus line from “My Name Is Mud” to which I am now listening), I’ve had issues writing, and my workouts have been waning. I believe that these are all the most bothersome ones. The fact that all of these can seemingly be remedied by a self which has not been able to remedy them is why I call them frustrations and anxieties. If these were something from my external environment I suppose I could look to blame someone or something, but as they are completely internalized, blaming myself would be the only logical blame option, and because of my hard determinism, there are only systems creating a sense of self in which to assign this blame. For all of those that are wondering what the fuck I am talking about this is what I mean.

Even though I don’t think that we have free will or a soul, disappointment in one’s self effects a hard determinist the same way as a person who believes a soul is the genesis for all thought. Scientific evidence ushers to us a picture of human behavior as a set of physical rules culminating in the illusion of a “self,” but the perceived self is still just as annoyed and sad that its goals are not being met and just as guilty for not being as powerful for loved ones. This illusory self still feels the urge of shame and the fear of vulnerability, as well as suffering from moods.

After the meditation my mood had indeed changed. Now, I sat with myself after clearing out the anger to be faced with another of my most common monsters, sadness. I wasn’t sad about anything in particular, although my mind did come up with some stuff to be sad about once I my mind had identified the emotion and delivered it to consciousness. So, I sat on the edge of my bed not really fighting any tears, but knowing I also sat on the edge of an emotional thunderstorm. No storm ever found me.

Once the threat of a sever neuronal weather system had passed, I wandered into the living room to begin typing this MM. Wondering if the PC would crash mid-sentence. It has not. I must also admit, now that this post’s draft is done and I feel the conclusion coming near, my mood has changed considerably. There was a dentist appointment break about two hundred words ago giving me an opportunity to socialize with the teeth pros at their office, which may have more to do with my mood’s improved state than anything that I have done. Either way, I have seemed to come through the morning happier and somewhat “in the zone”. I hope that a smoothy, some academic editing for a homie, and additional compositional writing will solidify a happy end to the day, and a satisfying yet early night.

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