The double edged sword. Humans created language, and language resulted in thinking and human culture. By thinking I mean creating an internal narrative using words and/or images. Internal planning, reviewing, lecturing, explaining, justifying, reciting and then doing any and all of that over and over again ad infinitum. Thinking is our great blessing and curse, a key element in every aspect of human culture, needed for everything from the glories of art to the miseries of drug abuse and human trafficking. It's a curse because we can't control it. We can't stop thinking or even discipline it except momentarily. Our inability to control thinking is the root of all human misery. The spiritual quest is the only solution to the curse of thinking. The first step of the spiritual quest is overcoming the curse of thinking by practicing meditation. I have to get quiet inside before I can begin the real work of realizing human potential.
Consciousness separates us. Whether we like it or not thinking separates humanity as we know it from the rest of the world, from nature. We humans left nature behind when we invented agriculture and stopped being nomads. We can't go back. We love to immerse ourselves in nature, but we do it in controlled settings like parks, or we venture into what's left of the real wilds well equipped with the latest wilderness survival gear. Our technology has become part of us and it will never go away, no matter how much the luddites among us think they wish it would. Anyone who thinks that way is not thinking it through. The only thing that displaces technology is newer better technology.
The role of thinking in these stories. Leela creatively rewrites what I write consciously. I am not an artist of any kind, even though my words may make it sound that way. The artist of these stories is the artist of my life: Leela. The more I surrender the harder it is for me to tell us apart. But it's clear to me I could never do this on my own. She and I work back and forth. I'll write something, and I can be more or less off target, but I'm always off target. Leela works with me to get to the truth using muscle testing. Sometimes I get it quickly. Other times it's a long exhausting process. In both cases Leela shows me how far off base my original fluency drill was. Her improvements are often unintuitive. Her style is not the way I'm used to writing. Short hemingwayesque sentences. That's not my style. I'm often conflicted about them. I have to read her text a few times before I get it. Leela is endlessly patient with her devoted student.