Nothing “Is” A Thing, Or How You Can Benefit From Turning Things Into Processes

Nothing “is” anything.

What?

There is no such thing as a thing.

Come back when the drugs wear off.

Things don’t exist; all is process and flow.

What are you, some kind of nihilistic Postmodernist?

The exact opposite.

Explain.

What do you feel right now?

I am confused.

You ARE confused? Or do you currently experience confusion?

Both.

But they ARE not the same.

Keep up the semantic games and I’m going to be angry.

Will you BE angry? Or will you experience anger?

OK, now I AM angry.

You not ARE angry. You FEEL anger.

Why does this matter?

Words function as labels or containers to “pour” thoughts and meanings into. How we employ words changes our experience.

Give me an example.

Which do you prefer to confront: a problem or a challenge?

< Goes inside and considers this > A challenge because it seems to inspire. A problem seems more permanent.

Now, what is easier to change: being angry or feeling angry?

< Goes inside and considers this > Feeling angry.

Do you understand why yet?

BEING angry seems… solid. Locked in. But feelings seem to change on their own, by their very nature.

That’s a good start, because feelings are processes, not things.

Feelings are things! I can feel anger!

For how long?

Usually not all that long.

Let’s take another example. Are you in a relationship?

Yes.

Can you feel things about your relationship?

Certainly.

Can you think about your relationship and experience feelings about those thoughts?

I do that all the time.

What if we consider that your relationship is not a “thing,” but instead consider it as two people who RELATE?

I… that’s…

Can you experience feelings ABOUT relating?

It’s harder. I can’t pin it down to think about it, because it seems like it’s undefined.

Can you think ABOUT relating, and experience feelings ABOUT those thoughts?

< Goes inside and evaluates this >  Not really. It seems too undefined, like it doesn’t exist.

Are you sure that it does exist as a thing?

Not as sure as I was before.

Can you enjoy the moment while you relate?

Yes, but somehow I don’t think I would realize it at the time.

You would just enjoy being in the moment?

Yes, I think so.

How would your experience with your significant other change if you related to them instead of were in a relationship with them?

I wouldn’t overanalyze or have so many meta-thoughts. Less fear and anxiety. Less angst.

The mind can easily think about things or nouns. It has difficulty thinking about flows or verbs.

I can think about verbs. I can think about running.

Only when you reduce it to a specific example or “snapshot,” which turns the verb into a thing/noun. A pure flow cannot be analyzed, only experienced in the moment.

That’s… hard to know.

Exactly.

Again, why does this matter?

 What would happen if you turned all the “things” in your mind back into processes or flows?

I wouldn’t think about them.

What would that mean?

Well, I couldn’t feel bad about anything.

Because?

Because I couldn’t feel anything about anything, because there wouldn’t be a “thing” to feel about.

Would that be an improvement?

Are you kidding? It would remove anxiety and depression because those are feelings about mental “things.”

Well done. More in the next session.

 

 

 

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