Sunday, August 12, 2012

Self-talk, once Adaptive, has become a Liability

     "we developed this ego a couple of hundred thousand years ago probably. And why did we develop the ego? It was probably useful when life was a lot simpler: we were living in a cave or something, and we had very simple communication. Out of that communication came language. Out of language came this self-talking ability we have. It was probably useful when you and I were deciding who is going to plant the seeds and who is going to plow the soil or who is going to go out and kill the gazelle and who is going to take care of cooking it. Very useful. But today, in today’s world things have really changed. ... 500 years ago we had 5,000 thoughts a day, now we have 55,000 thoughts a day [Peter Baldwin told me]. It really has turned into an evolutionary disadvantage. I mean most of our stress, our unhappiness, our anger, our fixation are driven by this self-referential narrative. It is no longer useful and we're no longer capable of handling it, with the very limited capacity we have of handling seven plus or minus two things at a time in short term memory. We're no longer capable of dealing with this incredibly complicated world (using self-talk)."      Gary Weber
BG 260: Enlightenment is Capable of Endless Enlargement 

Photo: Don Hanna

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