Something I learnt from a 10 day Vipassana meditation retreat, and the struggles I had with silencing my own mind, is that it made me question where my thoughts even came from. We often assume we are in control of our thinking, but it is actually more emergent, thinking seems to take its own course. That has helped me, at times, to be more accepting of my thoughts and more receptive to whatever emerges. At other times I will regress and imprison myself with my thoughts.

With regard to our world and its fallible inhabitants, I find comfort in the sage advice of Kurt Vonnegut "I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different." - Looking at the absurdities of our interpretations and responses to world events, and laughing at it all, helps with ones sanity.

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As usual, Brian, you offer an insightful and nuanced perspective, which I find so refreshing.

I think the idea that many of our negative thoughts come from prior negative emotions is actually much more profound than it seems, because as you pointed out, it helps remind us to question the validity of those thoughts.

As for the progress discussion ,(do I dare get started?) The idea of ceaseless progress has always perplexed me. I mean, progress to where and to what end? It almost seems like this consolatory thing we use to buttress ourselves against the woes of whatever situation we’re going to progress past/through. But then again, as they say, you can’t stop progress... and if I dare suggested we did, then what would we do instead? What would we be our go to cliche? What would we use to justify the bad things we do in the name of ceaselessly moving forward to god knows where?

It might sound like I’m against progress but, I’m not, I’m just not sure if it’s as good as it’s often touted to be.

Thanks Brian, this one really made me think.

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