Why do our egos constantly babble in our heads?

I don’t know that anyone has ever answered this question. I have never seen one.

My guess is that by the time we have learned to talk, we already have discursive mind. I speculate that this is the wild untamed state of mind, much like a wild stallion. No one wonders why a stallion behaves the way he does. A trainer accepts this as the natural state of the stallion and then proceeds to train it.

I will go one step farther to say that the issue is not the babbling of the ego, but that our attention is collapsed to a state where we are semiconscious of the outside world and semiconscious of discursive thoughts. This collapsed state in like confining the stallion to a stall, when it desires to frolic. The semiconscious state is like knowing you need to train the stallion, but have too many other things to do.

When you take the time to meditate, it is like getting down to the business of training the stallion. At first you become acutely aware of the discursiveness of the ego, the stallion kicking at the stall door.

Over time one’s attention expands to reveal a spaciousness in which one’s thoughts and feelings reside. This is like putting the stallion in a pasture. When one is aware of this spaciousness, thoughts and feelings are small in comparison. The stallion can roam free, yet the pasture is peaceful.

In time, the stallion begins to wear himself out. The mind becomes quieter. You will start to get gaps in your thinking. You didn’t do anything to the stallion, instead you trained your attention to become more expansive and the ego becomes quiet.

©2016 Stephen L. Martin

Painting: Vegetarian Vampires by Remedios Varo

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