Dangerous Addiction

philosopher

It started out innocently enough. I began to think at parties now and then to loosen up. Inevitably though, one thought led to another, and soon I was more than just a social thinker.

I began to think alone – “to relax,” I told myself – but I knew it wasn’t true. Thinking became more and more important to me, and finally I was thinking all the time.

I began to think on the job. I knew that thinking and employment don’t mix, but I couldn’t stop myself.

I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I could read Thoreau and Kafka.

I would return to the office dizzied and confused, asking, “What is it exactly we are doing here?”

Things weren’t going so great at home either. One evening I had turned off the TV and asked my wife about the meaning of life. She just glared at me and then stalked out and spent that night at her mother’s.

I soon had a reputation as a heavy thinker. One day the boss called me in. He said, “Archon, I like you, and it hurts me to say this, but your thinking has become a real problem. If you don’t stop thinking here at work, you’ll have to find another job.” This gave me a lot to think about.

I came home early after my conversation with the boss. “Honey,” I confessed, “I’ve been thinking…”

“I know you’ve been thinking,” she said, “and I want a divorce!”

“But Honey, surely it’s not that serious.”

“It is serious,” she said, lower lip aquiver. “You think as much as college professors, and college professors don’t make any money, so if you keep on thinking we won’t have any money!”

“That’s a faulty syllogism,” I said impatiently, and she began to cry.

I’d had enough. “I’m going to the library!” I snarled as I stomped out the door.

I headed for the library, in the mood for some Nietzsche. I roared into the parking lot with NPR on the radio and ran up to the big glass doors…. they didn’t open. The library was closed.

To this day, I believe that a Higher Power was looking out for me that night.

As I sank to the ground clawing at the unfeeling glass, whimpering for Zarathustra, a poster caught my eye. “Friend, is heavy thinking ruining your life?” it asked. You probably recognize that line. It comes from the standard Thinker’s Anonymous poster.

Which is why I am what I am today: a recovering thinker. I never miss a TA meeting. At each meeting we watch a non-educational video; last week it was “Porky’s.” Then we share experiences about how we avoided thinking since the last meeting.

I still have my job, and things are a lot better at home. Life just seemed… easier, somehow, as soon as I stopped thinking.

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To that I say, “What the hell, one little thought can’t hurt you.” Careful brother, one little thought can lead to another.

 

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23 thoughts on “Dangerous Addiction

  1. 1jaded1 says:

    One thought is one too many…a million thoughts aren’t enough. I hope you keep thinking.

    Like

  2. Dan Antion says:

    I say you should fall off the wagon. The world has too many recovering thinkers, as it is. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. cyranny says:

    Great post… Reminded me of 1984. Big Brother sure doesn’t want you to think too much… And I’m not even talking about thinking outside the box 😉

    Like

    • Archon's Den says:

      I finally got around to reading 1984, late in 1983. I’ve only seen snippets of the movie.
      The idea of ‘thought control’ scares/irks me. I can’t imagine what it must have been like to be a peasant during the Middle Ages, especially during the Inquisition or the 30 Years War. 😯 😦

      Like

  4. Sightsnbytes says:

    A penny for your thoughts…oh ya, forgot, our genius government did away with pennies. No Wonder nobody seems to be thinking these days!

    Like

    • Archon's Den says:

      Is that what the problem is? I hadn’t thought about that. I’d be willing to accept Loonies, or even Toonies. 😉
      Corner Brook is in the local paper again today. Some 18-yr.-old high school boy sharing nude photos of some girl. 😦

      Like

      • Sightsnbytes says:

        I was just telling my son about this. My warning: If some girl you know sends you pictures of her titties, her butt or her vagina, look at it (he’s male, he will definitely take a look) and then delete it. and then let us know of course (which he won’t do).

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  5. My last boss actually once told his secretary, “Don’t think!” She was highly insulted, especially since only a day or two prior to that he complained that she needed to think before doing whatever project it was she was doing because she was doing it wrong. She and I laughed about it a lot and would often tell each other not to think. I find that not thinking at work is a whole lot less stressful.

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    • Archon's Den says:

      Damned if you do, and damned if you don’t. Some places succeed, not because of management, but in spite of it. You begin to wonder, ‘Where could I hide the body?’
      The wife was never chastised for thinking at work, but one manager objected because she laughed too loud. “What would a client think if they heard you laughing like that?”
      “That we enjoy working here and have fun!”
      He was not amused. “Keep it down!” 😦 😯

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Another spot on piece, Archon! I love the following, “Life just seemed… easier, somehow, as soon as I stopped thinking.” You know the old saying, “Ignorance is bliss”? Well, it certainly is. Although you had me laughing out loud, I started thinking. Yes, I should probably join Thinkers Anonymous as well. However, there is truth in jest. Employment and thinking cannot co-exist. Porky’s is hard to turn down though… 😉

    Like

  7. Jim Wheeler says:

    There is additional help available for people in the TA process. Take courses in Confirmation Bias. In Confirmation Bias 101, you learn that if you simply join an organization that is passionate, you can quickly learn to exclude information that runs counter to that passion. It’s like riding a bicycle; once you learn how, it just feels natural. Before you know it, you’ll be attending rallies and painting signs with your new friends.

    Like

    • Archon's Den says:

      Did all my new friends vote for Trump? 😯
      I’ve met quite a few who have taken that course, and even a couple who are so good at it, that they must have been the instructors. 😦

      Like

  8. I liked the concept of this post. It is ironic because drug addiction actually does stem from obsessive thinking. Thinking causes a lot of tension if it is compulsive or distorted. I actually believe needless thinking does cause suffering. I actually did go to a 12 step program for thinking too much…and heroin. I found mindfulness helps. I dont think Zarathustra would appreciate you using him as a higher power. He would want you to think of someone who could handle their shit and strive to be them.

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    • Archon's Den says:

      Addiction (any kind) is complex, which is why it’s difficult to cure. Obsession is as dangerous as mindless obedience.
      My post did not describe Zarathustra as a deity, rather merely as an enlightened entity, whose thoughts and opinions, in books inside the locked Library, would support a lost thinker in time of need. 🙂
      BTW; thanx for purchasing a ticket for my midway ride, and following.

      Like

  9. Just Me says:

    May I ask a question? 🙂 Oops, I just did….ok, next question.

    What was your gateway thought?

    Like

    • Archon's Den says:

      That I could steal it, download it and present it as my own. I found it very amusing, and I’m always more than willing to serve my readers some humor.
      Behind it, I saw a real solution to a valid problem. I am irritated mostly by unthinking religious believers, here in North America mainly the ‘Good Christians’, who refuse to think about anything that, in any way, contradicts their blind beliefs.
      To paraphrase them, if God expected unthinking faith, He wouldn’t have given us working brains to think with. 😯

      Liked by 2 people

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