The idea of Lessing is nothing new. Various traditions spanning human history have tackled the problem of a More-ish mind, finding numerous ways to help one reach their full potential in life by Lessening the tension in their mind.
Meditation, for example, addresses this issue in its own way. By following instructions; i.e., focussing on such things as breathing, a burning candle, or the sound of a mantra, it allows one to shift their focus from the tense chatter of a More-ish mind, commonly known as ‘Monkey Mind’ in meditation lingo, thereby regaining clarity and control. Once a mind is clear from the overwhelming noise, the less tense person can use this energy to better affect their day-to-day dealings, thereby enabling a happier, healthier life all around.
The goal of ‘Lessing’ in The Mindless Life 2.0 is similar to the goal of mediation in general, just approaching it from a different angle to cater for an odd mindset, or the 1 out of 10 minds. Called the New Version or Level 2 way, or simply the 2.0 way of being Mindless, this approach goes against the norms, applying a small but powerful tweak to the core psyche so that an odd mind won’t get so caught up, or create further complications in their life. Just like I had.
Also, who knows… the general mindset might benefit in some way, shape or form from a stronger understanding of the highly sensitive world. Besides, we all cross paths daily, so why not improve our relationships with one another by knowing thy neighbour in a new light?
The Mechanics of a ‘More-ish Mind’
“The drumming beats of a mind keep me confined!”
(Aka our monkey mind.)
A More-ish Mind is basically a mind demanding more of this and more of that. It’s the result of being shaped under an environment serving an ever-increasing dose of stimulation from both physical and psychological fuels as we all become accustomed to ‘More’ of everything we can get our greedy hands on.
Technically, a More-ish Mind is a fragmented machine that seeks to escape reality for whatever reasons, only to find itself unhappy or dissatisfied because it doesn’t get its own way— being deprived of the stimulation it craves, or by still being overloaded by life. The resulting pressure increases fragmentation, ultimately encouraging extreme character shifts to occur in the hope for a contrast, if that makes sense. Typically, each interchange from one mood or persona to the next takes place in seconds, minutes or hours depending on what’s being served at the time, along with how up and down one is during this point in their life.
A More-ish Mind is born out of a mind that is used to receiving a certain flow of stimulation or satisfaction before getting disrupted or exhausted. As I have observed in myself, my mind goes from a line of good thinking which creates a pleasant state that it likes to hold onto, to then being stuck on bad thinking when it either runs out of fuel or fails to register any more of the good stuff, which leads to a pitfall of stress and anxiety. Therefore, my mind can’t register any more ‘good’ from either the exhaustion or a change in the environment, and so it perceives a brief state of monotony before negative pressure quickly builds up as a result of wanting the initial desirable state to return.
Setting aside the specific story or drama (the surface reason I get stuck on bad thinking), this process is what takes place on the backend of my mind. It’s also known as Condensed/Pressurised Thinking, or the overthinker who can’t escape the loud drumming.
A good way to envision the problems of a More-ish Mind can be to liken it to watching sports. As you sit watching the player or team of your favourite sport (football/tennis/basketball) maneuver the ball you go from one extreme feeling to the other, from anxiety to elation.
For instance, when the opponent is on a roll you get anxious for your player or team because you’ve made them a part of your identity by receiving so much good emotion from them in the past. On the same token, if they lose, then so do you which registers as a weakened state of identity from bad emotion taking over.
Luckily, though, in the next minute your side gains the advantage and you re-elevate, feeling ecstatic at their success. This contrast made you feel strong and worthy instead.
So it all comes down to this…
I find anxiety to the left of the field and elation to the right of the field (from a spectator position). Wow! That’s a lot of emotion going on. So mid-way thru or by the time the game reaches its first or second break, you’ve already jolted up and down, watching side to side, and now have a sore neck to deal with on top.
When applied to your mind in daily life, this is a never-ending back and forth of emotional energy, which can cause you to lose sight of yourself and the world around you. If you aren’t careful you can lose hours or even days when fixated on the exchange of energy (the ball) shifting from negative to positive (one player to the other) while life essentially passes you by. At some point you need to step back from it all (the cherished game or whatever it is consuming your life), recognise that you aren’t part of the match, and that your life exists outside the stadium. Instead, you may want to leave this space for the super-general minded folks who are far better equipped to handle the ups and downs that this type of lifestyle has on offer.
Removing oneself from this endless tournament (and torment) between up and down living is what Lessing is all about. I’ll be completely honest with you. It’s very challenging, but only at first, until the rewards start turning up.
Now that we’ve learnt about More, let’s explore Less:
The Mechanics of a ‘Less-ish Mind’
“As I observe these jolts or stronger emotional waves that come with the controversial things, including both envied and resented people I identify with or against, I notice that my mind and body start to behave and act in a way they never have before.”
(This is also known as entering the new Level 2 way or a stronger version of ‘Lessing’.)
Ok, so I’ve had enough of it all. Something inside me clicks and I start seeing my circular programs of escapes and demands (highs and lows) in action and rotation more often, and I prioritise ‘watching them’ over the conventional ‘fixing them’ lifelong method. Fortunately, this is the first serious shakeup to my system as something beyond Spacetime intervenes. My observation eventually steadies the mental pace, allowing greater spacing between each intense thought as I go from heavy drumming beats to a new humming in the green so to speak.
Imagine you are having a conversation with someone about politics, and it quickly escalates to a debate (though most of us won’t have any problem imagining this scenario). They keep resisting your ideas while presenting things you disagree with. Now, there are two ways to handle this:
As a More-ish Mind with a number of identities and narratives to project and protect, you will always find counterarguments that make your ideas seem right, regardless of their true value. Therefore, the aim is to not let them make you look weak when responding to someone else’s thoughts up in your face. You need to win at any cost, and so you find ways to attack their opinions while defending and strengthening your own position. Even if winning isn’t possible, you are determined to stick to your guns and go down with the ship if that is what it takes to protect the all-powerful narrative or ‘way’ that is ingrained within you.
Fortunately, an ‘Updated/Optimised Mind’ recognises the primal need for one-upmanship, thereby enabling you to avoid the pitfall of an ever-escalating, unwinnable debate that will only drain all parties involved. Now, rather than trying to prove yourself at the expense of others you can simply agree to disagree, or even better, consider how they arrived at their opinion or conclusion in order to evolve your way of thinking. In short, instead of losing yourself to the Egosystem of competition based emotion, you could take a step back and find a more subtle approach to deliver a stronger meaning in the long run, and without stepping into the ring if you will. Otherwise, you can simply avoid a toxic scenario by choosing to not engage in the compensation that continues to drive a More-ish Mind in circles.
No matter what you choose, the most important thing is that you see the reaction of your hard-wiring that drives you to dominate every situation you find yourself in. Sure, you can try to ignore it all and suppress any new light from entering the scene, thereby carrying the weight of outdated generational influence for as long as you can. But I assure you that, from this point on, you’ll never be able to unsee this mess again, which will create an internal stir! And if you can rollback and pretend that these draining processes don’t apply to you, then you simply never saw any of it properly in the first place. Either that or you are already well-equipped to handle the processes that a More-ish Mind demands.