Drew T. Noll © 2023, all rights reserved

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Welcome to the Mental Broadcasting System of your own Mind

What am I supposed to do when I get trapped in a negative mental loop? Does this happen to anyone else? When I start to roll down that train-track, most often, it is a long and bumpy ride. One thought leads to the next and then whole conversations ensue between my imaginary self and my imaginary source of negative irritation.

When I try to change the channel, I eventually find myself channel surfing until I arrive, once again, at the accursed conversation running in the background of my consciousness. “I say this… He said that… I say this… She says that… I smash things in frustration… He runs away, apologizing for behaving badly… I feel vindicated… She says that… I realize that I am wasting my precious time being occupied by my most trusted (evil) advisor… and then I slam the door with a loud crash, only to quickly open the peephole in the door to see if the conversation is still there…

Sometimes I just want to turn off the whole broadcasting system but when I try, I feel free and great, but empty too. The purpose of life is not to remove myself and be all-holy on a mountain-top, but to engage in life in a controlled way. This can be the hardest thing to do and is also the place where my most trusted advisor lurks. You remember the guy from ‘Standing Room Only?’ Same guy…

In Hebrew, this is called a Yitzer, which is very close to Yotzer or creation. I think I learned this from Reb Gavriel’s ‘Parsha-of-the-Week.’ This is the source of all that we do. It is the source of whether we take the right path or the wrong one. Why should I always trust that guy anyways? Just because he tells me what I want to hear? What makes me want to hear it anyways? I know that it is not good for me and can lead me down the wrong path when I listen, but still, I listen, “Should I get up on time? Should I eat that last piece of cake? Should I open the peep-hole and see if the conversation in my head is still there?”

Maybe the Advisor is there because without him, I wouldn’t have the chance to grow. Maybe, in order to be the ultimate giver that I was ultimately gifted to be by Hashem, I need to be able to fall, as well as climb to higher ground. That must be the reason that I am even here in the first place, to listen, or not to listen and then to do, or not to do…

I figure that cable is over-rated. We broadcast, inside our own heads, around the clock with the best programming there is and it is all free! Now if I can just figure out how to plug the peep-hole...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Eonverye Taht can Raed tihs Rsaie yuor Hnad

fi yuo cna raed tihs, yuo hvae a sgtrane mnid too!

Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can.

I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, is taht it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! Now I jsut need to prcatcie wtih Hbeerw...

Sahbat Slahom!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Patriarchs in Spandex

Breaking down the qualities of a human being to their most simplistic, core elements, we arrive at just a few types of elemental characteristics or archetypes. From these, because I can’t even figure out the first thing about how my wife operates, I am going to elucidate and elasticize on only three character archetypes, the males... the Patriarchs.

The first of these archetypes is infectiously bold, yet endearingly humble. He is a skilled musician of the human psyche and can charm anyone into choosing, not only the right path but, the path of valor. He knows exactly what is transpiring behind the walls that we have built because he sees right through them. He is the most awake of the three archetypes and lives to teach truth. This archetype’s most endearing quality is his self sacrifice and his ultimate faith in the unlikely eventuality that we are going to be alright, once we learn to appreciate that the world is the ultimate gift, and cherish every moment that we have.

The second archetype is a loner that hides from us in plain site and quietly teaches us at the same time. This archetype exists in a state of reaction to a young injury and by reaching out quietly to the world he eventually becomes closer to himself. He is in pain, yet trusts that the pain has a purpose that is ultimately going to free him. In plain sight, he calls out to link us all together with the truth of the universe—the second archetype awaits with ultimate patience for the answers to be revealed, all the time knowing that the answers are within him, and as well, within us.

The third is the darkest of the three. This archetype comes out at night and is without fear. He is a shadow...a dream. His strength is his mind and his will. His weakness is his blind-spot, behind him. He lives in the subconscious places in the world and lurks just out of sight, waiting for us to turn our backs on the truth. He is the father of all of our brothers and his blessings can sound like curses, but are actually truths that have been pealed down to their subconscious states. At night, the darkness closes in on us and if we aren’t careful, the third archetype can roll over us with this truth—the vast truth of the ever expanding universe.

When I started this blog, I was thinking about what kind of characters were embodied by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. These are the Patriarchal Archetypes and their characteristics are reflected in us all. I started to run through famous people to see which ones were close and came up with a very strange list. In the end, since I tend to live in a cartoon-world sometimes, I focused on just that. Who is the perfect Abraham? Superman is other-worldly in his knowledge. He is able to leap tall buildings with a single bound. He is always there when we need him and always there, holding us up as we take our first baby steps into the future. Superman is the Sun, the morning, the light. Superman is Abraham—in spandex.

I struggled over Isaac and then jumped right to Jacob, an instant match for Batman... the Dark Night battling the angel of death in the dark of night. Jacob is frail, stoic, and influential by day, and Israel is larger than life, known but unseen, a nation builder by night, that spawns both the hope and the uncertainty of future generations. Jacob believes in the good in the world and wants it to grow and fill everything, just like Batman when he takes upon himself the burden of darkness in order to force the light to rest comfortably in the minds of the simple folk, the children of the day. Batman is Jacob—in spandex.

Then I came back to Isaac. I thought who is constantly waiting for us to either fail or succeed? Who is waiting and listening. Who is learning about himself, even as we learn about ourselves? I can only think of one Superhero that has this adolescent similitude and yet knows to trust in the way of the universe. Spiderman sits by the police radio, waiting to swing in and help us understand our twisted inner-selves clashing in a mad effort to claim definition. We want to believe, but we also want to rule and Spiderman helps us to see the truth that we are only children, pretending not to be playing in the garden. Spiderman is Isaac—in spandex.

Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird... it’s a plane... no, it’s Hashem!!!

Shavua tov le kulam!