I am the Monkey-mind

It seems to me that I am conscious and rational, and that I make decisions. The illusion is so perfect, it is hard to see how anyone ever sees through it. You want to believe, and can rationalise almost any evidence against, after the fact.

So, I became aware of the emotional being underneath this conscious self, and still thought I could make the decisions. I just have to cajole it a bit. I am, after all, the adult. Rather than telling it what to do, so that it goes in a huff, I would persuade it, show it why, and it would come round.

It’s like riding an elephant, except I don’t know if I am the Mahout, fully in control most of the time except when the elephant gets Really Annoyed and stops responding to the reins, or just riding along. Like a child in Mummy’s car, with a toy steering-wheel, imagining I was driving the car.

Or the elephant is God. Sometimes it deigns to explain things to me, and sometimes it just expects me to work things out, and does nothing about it when I fail, because I will work it out eventually. Forty years later I begin to work it out, and it welcomes me; because it could not give me any clues, just will me to succeed. It was doing its best to look after me.

I am still planning and scheming. It will do what I want, I know it will, there must be some magic reins or steering wheel that actually work, I have the brains and the intelligence and the silver tongue and the command of language and the persuasiveness and the sane ideas of what it ought to want so that I can get it to DO MY WILLLLL

Possibly, it is in control and gets me to think something through occasionally. That could be my purpose. Here am I “thinking”, all the time, much of it just rehashed stuff from before and irrelevant stuff about all those bits of the world I know about but will never see or affect, or imagining future heavens or hells which have not the slightest chance of coming to be or connection to reality, and then it wants some Slow Thinking done, and it gets me to do it. Or that is all subconscious too, and the words in my mind are just the echoes of it.

I am the monkey-mind! I am as much use as a pet monkey?

Which part, conscious or subconscious, is the Writer? I like to hope it is both of us.

Monkey mind

I want to be cherished. I have to cherish myself.

I was thinking, I despise myself. But no: it is just that angry thoughts about myself cross my conscious mind from time to time. There is no “I” that despises, just occasional thoughts, anger in the brain manifesting as angry words in the conscious mind; there is no “I” that is despised, just some of my actions and thoughts. There is “I”, a physical animal, body including brain, which is one being, the despiser and the despised.

I want to be valued. I have to value myself.

Having someone who valued me would relieve me of the task of valuing myself at the cost of dependence on that other. Mutual interdependence is no bad thing, and it is good having wee top-ups of reassurance- or even appreciation!- now and then; and I can practise valuing myself. Notice the self-talk, and turn it round.

So I have to be valuable. Fortunately, I am valuable!

I would have liked to be any way but this; I valued other ways of being and not this. As I get to know how I really am, I see it is beautiful. More and more, I tell myself that, noticing other self-talk and turning it round. Cogito ergo sum does not mean that everything which crosses my mind is worthwhile.

I love putting things into words to provoke, persuade or entertain. I was chatting to the bus driver in the coffee shop. She was full of questions. What do I do. I told her of writing and being published, including my photographs. The first time I went into a supermarket dressed female I went in a ball gown with hooped underskirt. More questions.

-You’re full of questions! Tell me a story as good as the ones I have told you.

She is 46. She married aged 24, and has been married 22 years. She has a daughter who has graduated and is now working at the infants school, and a son who is an apprentice. She has been on the buses for eight years, and before that had several jobs. She made scotch eggs at —‘s for a time. She was a silver service waitress. So I told her I did that just once, when there was no-one else on. There was a couple eating together, and he won lots of brownie points with her. She looked on him with Love in her eyes, as he responded with infinite patience as I cocked it up.

That job

That job would be perfect for me. It is what I have done for years, it has its irritations but I can make something of it, achieve something worthwhile, probably please the funders, take pleasure in it. The salary is reasonable, and the location is good: living nearby I could get to convenient groups of healers, spiritual people, do a bit of stand-up. And they invited me to apply. I applied for a job with them in June, so when they advertised they emailed me to let me know: Dear Clare, attaching my application letter and CV from last time.

And- looking at it, I broke down in tears. I could not face it. I did a fair bit of avoidance activity, and put it off several days. Then I sat down to the application on Thursday, saying what I have done, what I can do, why I am good for them.

What got me to do the application was a law of attraction thing:

Specifically, “I am worthy”. “I am not worthy” has been holding me back. I am not good enough, I will be found out, I will be laughed at, I will be judged, where is it me doing the judging, and in anticipation, and far more harshly than other people would.

“Chatter” in the head is a concept from the common understanding of Buddhism, the Monkey mind. There was a debate on facebook whether “Abundance” here leads to greed: I consider it does not: a state of abundance has no threat, and it is from fear of threat that I snatch at things, fearing not getting what I need.

I am Worthy of Abundance. This does not lead to a “me, first” attitude, doing down others, necessarily: I am one worthy spiritual being among others. It prompts me properly to look after myself. I have taken so much in about my wrongness, so much false shame, and it does no good to me or anyone else.