Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Hungry Minds

Somewhere I read of Buddhist hungry ghosts, ghosts condemned to be hungry all the time but unable to get any satisfaction from eating.  Many human minds seem to be endlessly curious and hungry to read new or more, to learn new facts, get the news and the fake news, too.  I myself seem to be that sort of creature, always seeking additional food for my mind.  


When I think about it, it seems that most of my friends have some sort of mental or emotional hunger but some are hungry for sports information, others for stories of romance or the latest stock market information.  I have had experiences on campus where an expert in this or that holds me in low esteem because I know so little about his area of expertise and care so little to gain knowledge about what the records show about the great battle or the dastardly deed.  Meanwhile, I care little for him and his dense attitude of indifference toward what turns me on.


Some subjects and some forms of writing or video seem to have a wide range of appeal.  I was surprised to read that human gossip is fundamental in all cultures for its power in establishing and modifying one's reputation.  A man I know and admire introduced me to the concept of motivational interviewing, which seems to be an advanced form of talks I had with my mother as a kid.  Many psychologists, therapists and counselors know that people can give up smoking or lose weight or be better marital partners if they "try" harder to do so along the lines of effort which will lead to their goals.  However, the helper and the person work to figure a set of guidelines that have a high chance of leading to improvement and a low chance of being intolerable or unsustainable. So, if I am going to be a better fan of championship spelling bees, I might go through a motivational interview aimed at helping me face internal factors likely to up my interest and make better use of them.


On an everyday basis, how you can be so interested in the water polo scores but not in my great finds in textiles?  I think you need to increase your motivation to pay attention to my cloth and not be so hot about goals and passes and team rankings.  I have a very good life and your pitiful existence could be as fine as mine is, if you would just do what I tell you and be like me.

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