Don’t say, “I am angry.” Does the zoo-goer say, “I am a rhinoceros.”? Or the meteorologist, “I am a nimbus.”? Or the cancer patient, “I am cancer.”? Say instead, “I feel angry.” Or: “I am aware of anger.” When we label ourselves, we box ourselves. Here’s an example of double boxing: “Hello. My name is Keith Ashford. And I am an alcoholic.” Bill Wilson, the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous got sober by taking LSD. That’s so far out of the box that AA declines to talk about it. Krishnamurti said, “As soon as you know the name of the bird, you never see that bird again.”
Timothy Leary’s advice to the Sixties counterculture—turn on, tune in, drop out—was actually a love note to Augustus Owsley Stanley. But what if your mission is to under-stimulate yourself? To turn off, tune out, drop in. To embrace a simple life. Where would you start?