Saturday, 1 June 2013

Introverts: Know When to Stop 'Over-Thinking'; Know When to Start Doing:

The forebrain is the part of the brain that describes things, names them, compartmentalizes them, analyzes them. In short, the part of the brain prone to "overthinking" Berserker Basics

The Active mind/body spectrum is as follows:
Active Mind <-----> Active Body

Introverts by their nature tend towards having an active mind: thinking.  Most of the time this is beneficial to both them and society: it allows them to make scientific and technological advances which make life more pleasant.  Yet this tendency towards thinking can also get out of control and result in 'over-thinking', which then turns into physical inertia bordering on impotency.  Once the introvert has moved to the 'over-thinking' end of the 'active mind <--> active body' spectrum it begins to become pathological and damages their life.  Social Anxieties, Schizoidal behaviour, all exhibit attributes of people who tend towards having an 'over-active mind' and an 'under-active body'.

'The Thinker', Auguste Rodin

There are a number of unpleasant side-effects that occur from over-thinking:
- Worrying.  Over-thinking lets the mind consider all sorts of possibilties about what might or might not happen in a given situation. i.e. 'what might go wrong'.  This leads to what PUA/Gamers call 'approach anxiety' and is something that is not suffered/experienced by those who have an 'active body' rather than an 'active mind'.
- Crippling self-consciousness.  The sort when someone finds it hard to enter into a room of strange people, or walk down the street, or to work without casting their gaze down to avoid eye contact.  Such people are too busy scrutinising their own thoughts that they appear 'odd' to others, which the 'over-thinker' then pick up on, making them feel even more self-conscious.
- Stuck in the past.  Because 'over-thinkers' think rather than do, they end up with a lack of new input into their lives because they shy away from new activities/pursuits.  They would prefer to 'think about it' and 'mull it over' (procrastinate) instead of just getting on and doing it.  The result of this lack of input into their lives is that they end up being stuck in the past, or stuck in a rut.  For modern day examples of this just check out the lives of the SWPL-stereotype: they love nostalgia, anything post-modern, anything retro, or 'old skool', and never acquire or make anything new or original.

Intellectualism has emasculated the SWPLs. They have too much intellect. - Ryu

The 'over-thinker' leaves original thought and action to other people, to people who 'do'.  At best the thinker may speculate on 'what if' scenarios that occur in either the past or future; but they will never consider doing anything personally.  It's always 'someone else' other than the 'over-thinker' who engages in the 'physical/action' part of the equation.  This perfectly illustrates the problem with the 'over-thinker': they are detached from the 'active body' end of the spectrum and exist purely in the realm of analysis or even worse meta-analysis (doubly detached from the people who 'do').

Chester Belloc, a blogger who featured at In Mala Fide's site last year, had this to say about the perils of 'over-thinking':

"[W]hen I look back on years 18-28 it was, with few exceptions, a waste land. I didn't have Ferd's 'Advice for Young Men' so my social life drifted into drinking beer and eating pizza with a bunch of beta duds whom I don't even talk to anymore. I could have constructed a better social life for myself, but I was too busy brooding and obsessing over everything from religion to politics. Every young man should do some serious thinking, but a bit of common-sense advice at the beginning would have saved me a lot of wasted time that I could have spent living my twenties to the fullest."

If you don't want to read Ferdinand Bardamu's 'Advice for Young Men', then I'd recommend checking out the Havamal[LINK] because, amongst other things, it looks favourably on wisdom, wise-men and thinking, yet also advises against over-thinking:
A foolish man
is all night awake,
pondering over everything;
he than grows tired;
and when morning comes,
all is lament as before.
Havamal, stanza 23, Thorpe translation [LINK]

What's the alternative to over-thinking then?  What's the remedy for someone who thinks too much and needs to shift toward the middle of the spectrum and become active once more?  Emotion.  Quite simply giving yourself over to it more than you presently do.  (I can't stress that enough: you must 'give yourself over' to the emotion so that you can experience the fullness of it, directly.)  The root word of motion (movement) and emotion are the same.  And motion is action, so the solution is quite clear: feel more and think less.  More employed amygdala[LINK] and less over-used neo-cortex[LINK].

You shouldn't aim to feel any old emotions.  You should aim to feel more of the 'stronger' emotions that society has labelled as 'bad' and condemmed to the waste bin: anger, rage, overwhelming joy, hatred or love (both of these emotions originate from the same parts of the brain[LINK] - thus to be capable of feeling love one must also be capable of feeling hate), anything strong.  'Over-thinkers' do experience emotions, but they are weaker emotions like sadness, doubt, anxiety etc: Emotions that cripple.  These weaker emotions are the ones that often correlate with 'over-thinking'.

Without strong emotions chicks wouldn't be able to break out of their shells.  Without strong emotions peasants wouldn't be able to overthrow their oppressors.  Without strong emotions apathetic malcontents wouldn't be able to get out of their rut.  Strong emotions are the key to overcoming an over-bearing situation.

To become acquanted with strong emotions you must first give yourself over to them within a safe and controlled environment (such as listening to Metallica or Beethoven while in a trance state in your house, or sparring with trusted friends at the boxing gym).  Then when you are familiar with the emotions, you are free to summon them, conjure them up, or rouse them, whenever they are needed.  Emotional impoverishment is spiritual impoverishment.

When one 'does' instead of 'thinks' then one becomes obivious, blind, to everything that occurs around them.  It's what athletes call 'being in the zone'[LINK].  'Being in the zone' is the antipode of 'over-thinking'.

The end goal of becoming acquanted with strong emotions is that you end up feeling and acting more and thinking less (in certain situations, not all the time of course).  This will then precipitate a positive domino effect on your psyche over time:

More action --> more blood flowing around your body --> more muscle movement --> more testosterone production --> less depression --> a calmer, more contented temperament --> more confidence to express yourself --> greater self-satisafaction --> happier life

All in all, both thinking is good, and action is good, one just needs to remember to keep a balance, and not let a particular side have dominance over the other.  If one side gains dominance over the other then the men will inevitably suffer from it.  As Havamal reminds us, a man who 'over-thinks', and knows all, is seldom glad:
Moderately wise
should each one be,
but never over-wise;
for a wise man’s heart
is seldom glad,
if he is all-wise who owns it.
Havamal, stanza 55, Thorpe transaltion[LINK]


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