Just Stop The Music and Think!

About 2 years ago I found that I can pass the time on the road in two different ways. The usual way would be to turn the radio on and listen to some random music or news. The unusual way would be to just turn the radio off and sit there in the “quiet of it all”.

I’ll focus on the unusual way.

At the time I spent too much time driving and became annoyed with all the radio shows so I just turned the damn thing off out of irritation from time to time. Eventually I noticed something- driving quietly my mind took the following path:

  1. For the first 20 minuets my thoughts jumped from here to there randomly at a high pace.
  2. After some time I would begin to sing or whistle unconsciously in some vague attempt to fill the silence.
  3. Eventually my thoughts would settle down. I would still jump from here to there and back again but at a slower pace and unlike stage 1 the thoughts turned out to hold much more depth and value.

Each time I was patient enough to reach stage 3 I was surprised at what came up my mind. It was like ideas I could have developed given enough time to analyse the matter just came up as if cooked somewhere in the back of my mind. Once they were out there they seemed very familiar but still I wasn’t really sure how I came up with them out of the blue.

Some half cooked unfounded theory I came up with (not while driving) for this strange process is that the 1st part is kind of a “dump temporary files” process if we use the computer analog, the 2nd part is my mind showing annoyance at being below it’s accustomed level of stimulation. The 3rd part is the one I find the hardest to explain. You could say it’s the result of some background thought processes but intuitively those seem like they should not be analytic in nature. Maybe I’ll get some better notion the next time I have a long drive.

In any case the fact I’m used to a high level of stimulation seems to mean the level of thought is in some sense forced to be shallow.

This might just be how my strange brain works but give it a try! Just be aware the 1st and 2nd stages are kind of annoying.

Just turn off the music and think.