Thursday, April 2, 2009

Xenophilic Xylograph 4/02/09

You can't bury your anger, but what you can do, is bury the thoughts that cause the anger.

DB - The Vagabond
Hey, good buddy.
I'm a great believer in the power of thought. It's a subject I seem to preach all the time and try to practice. Why is thought so important? Because it precedes everything. A good attitude is essential to a happy life. But even a good attitude is gained primarily by the way we think. It's the same with emotions, especially strong ones. And notice how much our behavior is managed by the way we think.

One of the most interesting things to me about thought is that while we may notice ourselves feeling and doing, we don't often notice ourselves thinking. However, if thought is the motivation for what we feel and do, isn't it obviously important to know what it is that we are thinking? I have a quote somewhere from someone which reads "Think before you think," The astonishing thing to me is that we actually have a choice about what and how we think.

You can improve your life by the way you think. Positive thinkers have been telling us that for a long time and in many ways. But I have approached that from a different draw bridge: the theatre, acting. There are a bunch of slogans to describe what acting is: "Acting is doing something." "Acting is reacting." "Acting is behaving." "Acting is living in the moment." Etc. Now I tend to tell young actors that acting is Natural Law, and, of course, they don't understand.

I was doing a long role in a two character play and when it wasn't developing well I had to sit down with the script and determine why not. The character made a lot of personal changes during the play. I began making a list of what he was probably thinking at certain places in the script. I hit upon some thought patterns that were very close to my own. In rehearsal I found myself thinking those thoughts and not about doing a play. The scenes in which I did that were progressing very well. Then I realized it wasn't because I knew what the character was thinking, it was because I was thinking what the character was thinking. So I went back to the script and defined what his thoughts would be in all the other places. In doing those scenes I chose to think what the character was thinking and the results were amazing. I learned a great lesson about acting. But an even greater lesson was that we can really choose what to think. Not opinion, not conclusions, not frame of reference, but actual thinking, a dialogue of the mind.

Why should we do that? The human mind is like a garden or a farm. If we know what we want to have grow in it, we have to plant the proper seeds. And if thought is the precedent to everything, then the seeds we plant will bring us the life we want. It's Natural Law.

May you have joy to spare today.


Char said...

Well said!

Anonymous said...

DB If I had done all that thinking for the character and for myself I would have ended up with a split personality and perhaps insane. Enjoy your retirement my friend.

Linda S. Socha said...

Great Post DB and thought provoking as usual

You have been tagged at Psyche Connections for your 25 Influences. I look forward to reading anything you write!

Mark and Elayne said...

Wonderful as always :)

Beth said...

Very interesting, D. Because it is a process, it does make sense that our way of thinking can be changed and even improved!

Hugs, Beth

judith ellis said...

Does being precede essence? Is being essence? What about thinking in relations to instincts? How quick does the brain register emotion, for example, fear or surprise? In nano seconds before it is thought? Our histories and memories evoke such emotions. We have sense memories. What about nature? The tree is alive, but does it think? Is the heart beat indicative of life or a thinking being? Of course, you can't have the former without the latter in mind and body on the earth.

I too am a proponent of thinking. But it it also very possible that we can think too much. This also can be counterproductive to living, experiencing. A great many books have been written by many philosophers who have simply thought themselves into oblivion without experiencing life, rendering lifeless words of the mind. I guess thinking and experiencing would be ideal. This is the point of intersection that I forever seek; it is the forever becoming.

"As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he."

--Proverbs 23:7

Renee Descartes' interpretation:

"I think there I am."

Great, post, DB. Thank you. It provokes many thoughts. I love your writing.

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Positive thinking is what Bucko is all about :o)

Joyce said...

My son says I'm a negative thinker. I prefer to describe myself as I agree that we can decide (through the power of thought) what kind of person we want to be, or what kind of day we want to have etc. and for the most part it will work for us. Of course, there is always fate that may interfere.
Hugs, Joyce

Linda S. Socha said...

Judith.....via DB's blog
To read what you write and how you write it...where ever I find it...with a hello to DB ...always...ALLWAYS ...enriches my day. I am glad you are around and about the neighborhood