I’ve been thinking a lot about how I think lately. So far I have determined that I have at five distinct thoughts, or thought patterns, simultaneously happening at all times. These are not “voices” per se, but rather distinct yet interactive ideas or streams of consciousness. To be honest, this balancing act can be a bit jarring – especially when there are two or more contradictory and emphatic thoughts at the same time. In an effort to better describe and understand my own thought processes, I’ve started naming the patterns. They are, in order of usual proximity to the external world:
1) The Actor – the Actor is the external voice, the one I project to the outside world. It is simultaneously the mask and the stage. Rather than being distinct in and of itself it is more often than not the combination of one or more of the other voices and the surrounding environment.
2) The Idea Guy- the Idea guy is where I spend a good chunk of my time. It is a constant torrent of possibilities, diverse interconnections and ideas. This pattern at first appears to be a relatively logical chain of thoughts, but is more like a maze that leads to dead ends and absurdities. The Idea Guy works with The Poet constantly and is the main well from which the Actor draws:
“We ritualize all our spaces, creating stages upon which we act. We where the appropriate mask for the stage we attempt to set-up, but we want to be the directors at the same time, trying to use our masks and role to influence the masks and roles of those who enter our consecrated space. The thing is that everyone is doing this and the spaces interact. We’re waiting for Godot, but when he shows up he’s not who we expected. He’s Hamlet in Singing in the rain, he’s Tartuffe confessing his sins to facilitate future ones…”
3) The Professor- this is the voice I attacked yesterday. The critic, the know-it-all, the self-limiting voice of fear and unnecessary limitations. It is the choke chain for my behaviors and thoughts. This pattern doesn’t play well with others and is constantly undermining:
“You really shouldn’t be putting this in writing. People will think you’re nuts. Why would you share this anyway? What would your mother think? You are such an idiot. You’re embarrassing yourself and everyone else as well….”
4) The Poet – the Poet is my favorite voice and the place I like to spend my time. It is hard to put the thoughts of the Poet in words. They are impressions, expressions, metaphors, and raw emotion. The Poet is by far the most powerful of my thought patterns but unfocused and flighty – often as much a distraction to human interaction as help, but the core of all my artistic and creative work. The Poet only interacts with the Idea Guy regularly, but has the power and occasional want to overpower everything else:
“Wow! Feel the way the light just hit the fold in her shirt, like caressing a satin mountain, miniscule landscape body informed heated by human core. Whoa – feel that smell like gold and black on butter….”
5) The Analyst- the Analyst is always on. It is the dispassionate observer. The Analyst never interacts with the Actor directly. In fact the Analyst rarely interacts directly with any of the other voices, but rather asks questions of the actions and thoughts of the others:
“Why did you think that? Where did that come from? What can we learn from that? “
* The Anarchist - the anarchist is the force of chaos who makes frequent and random cameos into the mix above. There is no way to explain the Anarchist in words- it is beautifully subversive, yet decisively counterproductive and creative at the same time.
Eric in a Word: Unobtainium
Book of the Day:The Cheiko Poems - Takamura Kotaro
Song of the Day: Svefn-g-englar- Sigur Ros