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THINKING OF NOTHING by Joe


By beanerywriters(11,675)

Posted Sunday, November 04, 2007
View All Blog Posts submitted by beanerywriters


---written by Joe Stierheim

Years ago I had a friend who was a nuclear physicist. As a scientist, he had no use for such things as metaphysics. The psychic, ESP and all aspects of the occult were, to him, figments of the imagination or worse, wishful thinking. In any case, they were a waste of time in his estimation.

And yet my friend medicated, though he didn’t call it that.

He worked at various times in nuclear energy and artificial intelligence. In both those fields he was under considerable mental pressure. To relieve the pressure, he would sit at his desk, close his eyes and attempt to think of…nothing.

“Do you know how hard it is to think of nothing?" he once asked me.

I did know, having tried, mostly unsuccessfully, a number of types of meditation. Clearing the mind and thinking of nothing is difficult, indeed, yet my friend did it, and apparently effectively. He credited it with allowing him to solve problems that had baffled him for varying lengths of time.

Another thing he used for the same purpose was taking walks. The facility at which he worked was located in a rural area, where it was possible for him to walk along country roads and through wooded areas on his lunch hour. If he had a problem that continued to baffle him over a period of time, he’d say “I guess I haven’t been taking enough walks lately."

I believe both of my friend’s methods of solving problems by temporarily closing his mind to them were forms of meditation. They were processes involving clearing his mind of clutter that had gathered there and making room for new information to come in---a “fresh approach" so to speak. But isn’t that meditation?

I once took classes in painting and design. One of the professors suggested to the class that if they ran into a problem in a project, they should try stopping work and go outside and run around the house a few times, then return to the project.

I tried it. It worked. I think that method of quieting and distracting the mind is also a form of medication.

Whether it’s sitting quietly at a desk, taking a walk or running around the house, a person can remove himself from non-productive concentration on something and free his mind so that new thoughts and new information can come in.

But come from where?

My friend, the nuclear physicist, would, I’m sure, insist that any and all information and all creativity are manufactured by and in his own mind. That may be. Or there may be an exterior source. What that source is, I don’t know, but I’m aware that often it’s much more profitable for a person to think of nothing before he attempts to think of something.




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Posted to ProBlogs.com on Sunday, November 04, 2007
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