Why does the mind seem to gravitate towards conflict?

A place for anything that doesn't fit into the existing forums

Why does the mind seem to gravitate towards conflict?

Postby Admiral Akmir » Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:39 am

Why is it that my default state of mind seems to be to seek conflict in my own thoughts? Someone made a comment last night that really hurt me, and I've been replaying it over and over again, and with each iteration it becomes more deranged, and my response more aggressive. Finally, this afternoon, I had had enough, and pulled myself out of it. The thought remains, but I will no longer be a part of it. It doesn't feel good to be angry all the time, but there does seem to be a desire for it. Something keeps me in that thought, recalling it over and over again. It's an itch that can never be scratched enough, I know this, because I've found myself revisiting conflicts that are decades old. If twenty years isn't enough, then no amount of time will be. Where does this desire come from? It feels like there is some voice that wants desperately to be heard and listened to.
User avatar
Admiral Akmir
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:07 am

Re: Why does the mind seem to gravitate towards conflict?

Postby rachMiel » Sun Dec 24, 2017 1:16 am

I know exactly what you mean. Conflict is addictive. Not only psychologically, but physically I would wager: Conflict is arousing, it gets the blood and endorphins flowing.

We are taught to find, create, nurture conflict from the earliest age up. Be better than, beat, win, never be satisfied with yourself or the world but always strive to improve things, earn more, do more, have more friends, get stronger, smarter, sexier. It's endless.

Arguably even the way we think is grounded in conflict. I/subject think about others/objects. This approach to life posits that I and others are separated, at odds, essentially different, in competition, in a struggle for survival of the fittest, etc.

We humans love our conflict. Back when I was in fiction writing groups, one of the first questions we were asked during the critiquing of our stories was: What's the main conflict driving the characters and plot? Without a good juicy conflict, the stories usually came off boring. And ya know what they say: Life mirrors art.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...
User avatar
rachMiel
 
Posts: 2463
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:46 pm
Location: Pittsford

Re: Why does the mind seem to gravitate towards conflict?

Postby NuanceOfSuchness » Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:53 am

Admiral Akmir wrote: It's an itch that can never be scratched enough.


Amidst your tale of woe, that gave me a good laugh!

rachMiel's reply resonated with me quite symphonically. It is a Pavlovian reaction to the fetters of past sense-based experiences. These seemingly weighty thought reactions appear to have mass and velocity, when all they're really doing is reverberating back and forth from your conditioned state to your current relating experience that's happening now, or the 'now' that you illustrated. Interestingly, the same type of energy attracts the same type of energy. This seems to be the case inside of the mind too. To quote an example from your post: "and with each iteration it becomes more deranged".
User avatar
NuanceOfSuchness
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:35 pm

Re: Why does the mind seem to gravitate towards conflict?

Postby eputkonen » Sat Jan 20, 2018 3:05 am

Admiral Akmir wrote:Why is it that my default state of mind seems to be to seek conflict in my own thoughts? Someone made a comment last night that really hurt me, and I've been replaying it over and over again, and with each iteration it becomes more deranged, and my response more aggressive. Finally, this afternoon, I had had enough, and pulled myself out of it. The thought remains, but I will no longer be a part of it. It doesn't feel good to be angry all the time, but there does seem to be a desire for it. Something keeps me in that thought, recalling it over and over again. It's an itch that can never be scratched enough, I know this, because I've found myself revisiting conflicts that are decades old. If twenty years isn't enough, then no amount of time will be. Where does this desire come from? It feels like there is some voice that wants desperately to be heard and listened to.


That is the ego...the ego (the "me") is maintained and strengthened through conflict. As long as the "me" is believed, you will feel inflated or deflated based on what others say. Either way, it strengthens the sense of "me". Attaching to what had happened and replaying it is just another mechanism for the ego to maintain and strengthen itself.

Who/what you really can not be in conflict with the world, what-is, etc. Who/what you really are is now...and finds nothing gained or lost in the past or future.
Namaste,

~ Eric Putkonen
@EngagedNondual on Twitter
Blog at http://www.EngagedNonduality.com - Insights into Nondualism and Living Awake & Engaged
User avatar
eputkonen
 
Posts: 459
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 4:53 pm
Location: Mound, MN


Return to General Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest