We humans have been gifted with the greatest gift of all, the gift of imagination. We can imagine how life will manifest in the future and we can even change how we feel and think about the past. We can use new information to enhance our understanding of our reality and we can even choose to run away from it all with various props, or even worse we can just sleep-walk through it all. We can pretend that none of it is real. Sometimes we have illusions so strong, that we mistake them for reality. A simple example of this is to believe that we can’t drive a car until we learn to drive a car. What happens when we learn to drive is that our internal map of the outside world changes, we acquire new knowledge that lead us to believe that we can drive. A bad example of this is with drinking, our internal map of reality changes to the point that our inhibitions are no longer relevant and we engage in behavior that we regret. This is how powerful imagination is, and it is very unwise to underestimate the power of imagination. We have the power to decide how we view our own reality and we can choose how we experience it. We need to be in control of our imagination or else, someone else will do that for us, and they often try to, and they more often than not succeed in controlling out imagination.
When we give the power to control our imagination to someone, we give them power to shape our reality. When someone else is shaping our reality for us, we are in deep trouble because we no longer have control over ourselves or our actions. We are lost and are only reacting to our kidnapped imagination. This is the monkey fearing the picture of a snake, when there is no snake. This is the secret of the Nazi propaganda machine, they kidnapped the German people’s imagination and told them repeatedly that they were under attack and that they need to fight or perish. We tell stories to children to captures their imagination and guide them into the right path, children’s stories are designed to steer the child’s imagination to what we consider healthy conclusions, stealing is bad, friendship is good and so on. When the marketers at Mc Donald’s have the power to shape our reality they will have us believe that we not only need, we crave to eat Big Macs every day to be truly happy, or else our lives are devoid of value, empty. We want to belong don’t we? Well, McDonald’s can give us the feeling of belonging, at least for the duration of the meal.
We call ourselves the thinking monkeys, because our brains are hardwired to think about things. If we let them, our brains will spend every waking moment of everyday and most sleeping moments thinking. Dreaming is just another form of thinking and as we forget most of our dreams, we forget most of our thoughts. If we don’t discipline our brains, they will think until we go totally mad, then they will think some more. Just like a cat instinctively cleans its fur, man grinds his mental gears. When our brains run amok, thought madness kicks in. The boundaries separating the mind from reality crumble and reality in all its glory, it is oh so glorious, will have triumphed. The mind crumbles under the sheer amount of reality (unfiltered information) that it no longer can cope with and the mind breaks down. There is no longer any distinction between reality and imagination. The electrical currents in the brain that once were organized are now in chaos. This is undesirable to us for obvious reasons. We need to consciously and consistently give our brains breaks from thinking, from processing information, if we want to keep our brains in good healthy shape. Just like our leg muscles need breaks from walking and running, so our brains need breaks from thinking. Some people meditate, some do drugs (alcohol or/and nicotine), flip on the TV, check the latest social media update, play a game, have a beer and so on. Our minds need breaks from reality and if we don’t provide the breaks, the monkey will find breaks for us. Now we can start to understand the mental addiction to cigarettes.