What we think about defines and characterizes us. Proverbially, from the Old Testament: “As you think, so you are.” And, famously, from Descartes: “I think, therefore I am.” Which begs the question: Who are we when we’re not thinking?
If nothing is an option, do that. But furlough the head. Do it with your whole heart, as if you had 90 seconds to live—alert, aware, not thinking. This is a profound and dynamic state. Laozi: “When nothing is done, nothing remains undone.”
Some Jungian analysts believe that the first 45 minutes after awakening are uniquely generative and creatively potent. The mind is still, savouring its experience of liminal space, and ego’s defence systems are down. The question “What’s next?” does not occur.
If I am not thinking about how I am doing, I’m doing well.
If my attention to the task is unalloyed and undivided, if it is total, I am not thinking about what I am doing.