I saw The Thomas Crown Affair when I was enrolled in the MBA program at the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad, India.
This was the Faye Dunaway and Steve McQueen version, and I loved the movie. The romantic tension between the stars was electric and there were many entertaining plot twists. And then there was a song that became one of my favorites. I still love The Windmills of your Mind. Here it is by Noel Harrison.
“Like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel” is a perfect description of ‘mental chatter’ or MC. This is the demon that runs your life. Often, it ruins your life.
In my program, Creativity and Personal Mastery, one of the foundation exercises is observing your mental chatter, the internal monologue you have going on in your head ALL the time. This puts some distance between you and your mental chatter. You become the ‘observer’ of your mental chatter.
Recently, a perspicacious reader of my blog asked, “But isn’t this my mind telling me to watch my mind?”
Bang on! He nailed it.
This is the ‘wheel within a wheel’ or the ‘circle in a spiral’ of the song I referenced.
Yes, watching your ‘mental chatter’ is indeed more mental chatter by itself. So think of it as a first step. A baby step.
Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi gives the example of a campfire that is not burning well. So you pick up a stick from the fire and stir it till it blazes furiously. Then, before it burns out, you consign the stick you picked up to the fire and it, too, is consumed.
The mind is a powerful tool. It will carry you far on your spiritual journey. But, at some point, you have to transcend it.
I hope you reach that stage soon.