Tim Grimes, Stop Thinking So Much, It Really Is an Option |482|

Alex

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#1
Tim Grimes, Stop Thinking So Much, It Really Is an Option |482|
by Alex Tsakiris | Jan 21 | Spirituality
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Tim Grimes advice about not thinking is deeply spiritual and profoundly practical.

Listen Now:


Click here for Tim Grimes Radical Counselor website
Click here for Forum Discussion

Audio Clip: [00:00:00] You’re it , you’re it , you’re it! Quitsies , any quitsies , you’re it , quitsies, no any quitsies no startsies you can’t do that, can too ,standard, double standards no erasies, cannot, triple standard, no earasies, Oh..
Alex Tsakiris:[00:00:13] Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels know all about not being too serious. That of course is a clip from Dumb and Dumber. Today’s guest is awesome. He’s taking the idea of not being serious, and not thinking too much, and brought it to next level spirituality.
Audio Clip: [00:00:37] And that’s the truth I’m a mystic and I believe in nothing because when you have an experience like this, even if it’s just for a split second, it just, you don’t look at things the same way ever again. And there’s all and I’m you know, now years later, I’ve just encountered teachers and teachings talking about this from different angles again and again saying the same thing in different words. We get lost in our head, and we get really serious about our spiritual journey. So this is what happened to me in my, my 20s basically, like after I had this experience, and then I had other, you know, quote unquote, mystical things that happened to me or whatever little strange experiences but you know, I lived, I went to Zen centers, I lived at a Zen center, you know, I got really into different self improvement teachings, all these things, you know, wasn’t till I was almost 30 before I realized, I’m so full of shit. So what I would say is this, you can do these exercises and they’ll make you feel better no matter what. But when I do them, what they’re coming out of is like, alright, like now, like this is, let’s see, like Gods here. So like physiological, oh you’ll feel better and masturbate, have fun with that. It’s like the law of attraction people. How do I get a bigger house? How do I make more money? I don’t know. Shut up, stop thinking. Like I love you, you know, shut up and stop thinking.
Alex Tsakiris:[00:02:07] Stick around for my interview with Tim Grimes. Welcome to Skeptiko, where we explore controversial science and spirituality, with leading researchers, thinkers and their critics. I’m your host, Alex Tsakiris and today we welcome Tim Grimes to Skeptiko. Tim is the author of a best selling book, it was the number one in its category. When I first found it on Amazon, the title is The Joy of Not Thinking, a radical approach to happiness. You know it was still number one when I went back and bought a copy for everybody in my family and sent it to them. And I honestly cannot tell you the last time that I did that with a book, if ever, but it’s it’s just short, succinct and it’s amazing and it’s great to have you here with us, Tim, thanks so much for joining me.
 
#2
Nice one Alex. Enjoyed the show.

Gave this a try...

I tend to be quite a serious person, and always in my head as such, though I am pretty childish and silly when I felt like it. Was doing dishes and decided to just do the dishes. This was instead of thinking about some problem and doing the dishes at the same time. Then a housemate came in and instead of thinking all sorts of crap in my head about the conversation and about me and about him, I just let it flow and didn't take it all so seriously. It definitely felt better, easier, more natural, and I felt better subtly too.

I found it similar to a flow state but a little bit different in that I didn't need to have some complex activity that engaged all of my being. I was doing something simple.

I'll see where I can go with this. Seems useful at the moment.
 
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Alex

Administrator
#3
Nice one Alex. Enjoyed the show.

Gave this a try...

I tend to be quite a serious person, and always in my head as such, though I am pretty childish and silly when I felt like it. Was doing dishes and decided to just do the dishes. This was instead of thinking about some problem and doing the dishes at the same time. Then a housemate came in and instead of thinking all sorts of crap in my head about the conversation and about me and about him, I just let it flow and didn't take it all so seriously. It definitely felt better, easier, more natural, and I felt better subtly too.

I found it similar to a flow state but a little bit different in that I didn't need to have some complex activity that engaged all of my being. I was doing something simple.

I'll see where I can go with this. Seems useful at the moment.
haha... very zen... carry wood... do dishes :)
 
#4
The problem with this philosophy, is that it really doesn't satisfy that urge - shared by most people here - to make sense of the world. It seems to me that it is more of a self-help strategy.

David
 
#5
Wonderful program, Alex! I have been wanting to get a copy of Raymond Moody's new book, Making Sense of Nonsense. He wanted to become a comedian before he got involved in NDEs & medicine. Tim & Raymond would probably really hit off if I understand even a little of what Ray's new book hits on. I had an odd experience w/ being playful that kind of back-fired; my wife & I were casually talking to the servers at this wings restaurant in Cebu, Philippines & the cook came out of the back & started listening. At one point, he asked me if I understood what my wife & the others had been saying in Bisaya, & I said, "What? I don't understand you." Everyone laughed out loud. Well, you should have seen the over-cooked, dinky wings I got! Plenty of sauce, though.
 
#6
The problem with this philosophy, is that it really doesn't satisfy that urge - shared by most people here - to make sense of the world. It seems to me that it is more of a self-help strategy.

David
I kind of agree with you on this observation, David. For me, thinking is not some kind of nagging problem, but really my optimal state of contentment. Surely, I wouldn't call it the "optimal state of ecstatic happiness," as such moments are fleeting, few, and far between. I like thinking. Maybe some people enjoy being blithering idiots. Certainly, I can enjoy being a silly fool as well. Perhaps I am biased because I grew up being told that I think way too much. My response was always, "How much thinking did it take to determine what was the right amount compared to the wrong amount, and how did you think to determine that?"

Regardless, I can see that Tim Grimes is a cool guy, and I enjoyed this interview. Also, I am happy he kind of slaughtered that "law of attraction" bullshit. As a corollary, I agree with him in his assessment of people who are asking about how to get that bigger house and bad ass car. His answer: stop thinking. It could be that this want for "more, more, more" in terms of material possessions is the path to perpetual misery. For me, thinking towards those kind of ends is not genuine thinking. For me, real thinking is not tied up in greed or envy. Rather, real contemplation and vivisection of difficult questions is the meaning of prayer.

That being said, I have experienced something similar to what Tim describes on the beach, under the tree.

There was a time that I was under extreme financial duress. I had lost my job during the 2008 financial crisis, then my home. I was working odd jobs and renting rooms, or trying to live out of my car when the places I lived at became too stressful. To complicate matters, I was and am married, so my wife had to go through all that with me.

I was living in a terrible, filthy environment, renting a room. Somebody else in the house could not live without a filthy mess everywhere. I mean, piles of garbage! Her room was so filthy that she could not sleep in it, and the rest of the house had to be the same way or "she didn't feel comfortable." I did my best to clean up the kitchen, twice, but that was brought back to filth the next day. My wife did her best to clean up the front room, and she ended up with three contractor sized garbage bags of "Coke Zero" cans. I am talking about piles of garbage everywhere. Her room was so filthy, that she had to sleep in her mother's bed, who owned the house and allowed this behavior to continue. Ironically, her mother was a "recreational therapist" whose job was to tell permanently incarcerated individuals how to find joy in life.

One night, I couldn't take it anymore. This was the last rung of hell in the line of all the other shitholes I lived in since losing my house. So I got in my car and left to a Walmart Parking lot. I had nowhere else to go. I know that there are a lot of people in this world paying for "enlightenment" through yoga and so forth. I have advice for them: sleep with your wife in a 1996 Honda Del Sol, in a Walmart parking lot for a few weeks, and not only will you become enlightened, but you will learn yoga as well.

Getting back to my point of Tim’s observation under the tree at the beach, I had a particularly bad couple of days and I did not know where my life was going at all. I was out of money and nearly out of gas for my car. I told my wife, "We aren't going to stress out, hon, let's go to the park."

We drove to the park in the middle of the city. It was a large, open field with many trees. I brought a blanket, and lied down next to her. We were desperate for sleep. I looked up, watched the wind hitting the trees, and suddenly, I felt completely free. Nothing mattered at all, besides the corrupt drug dealers in the park, and people that could potentially try to murder or steal from us. Somehow, the wind in he trees, the swaying of the leaves, made me feel absolutely free of any worries, and yet, I didn't know how I was going to live the next day.
 
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#7
It is hard for someone who is naturally a thinker and a serious one at that to listen to anyone trying to tell him to be less such. I'm always thinking. It is probably why I have attention deficit disorder. I have trouble letting the thoughts of others especially women merge into my train of thought, thus quickly appearing to them to be stupid.
But thoughts matter I say. Getting to the bottom of a problem is important in the achievement of a successful solution to it. The most important problem I seek to solve in my mind now and for at least the last ten years is the truth regarding the leading of a biological/Spiritual life and the possibly resulting consequent/subsequent afterlife of that.
 
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#8
Not much time is left before podcast #500 is aired - an anniversary of a kind, dare I say!

Would the 500th podcast be somehow special - such as a reflection on the long history, and future perspectives, of the Skeptiko podcast and forum, like the podcast #200 once was?
 
#9
The most important problem I seek to solve in my mind now and for at least the last ten years is the truth regarding the leading of a biological/Spiritual life and the possibly resulting consequent/subsequent afterlife of that.
I have had (and still continue to have) this same obsession.

I "think" Tim is right.

Thanks, Alex.
 

Alex

Administrator
#10
Not much time is left before podcast #500 is aired - an anniversary of a kind, dare I say!

Would the 500th podcast be somehow special - such as a reflection on the long history, and future perspectives, of the Skeptiko podcast and forum, like the podcast #200 once was?
really? I was just going to let it pass quietly Into the Night
 
#11
Gotta thank Alex for the introduction to Tim Grimes. After listening to the episode I bought and read the book last night (it's very short) and it's been something of a revelation for me. I now realize that, for as long as I can remember, I've been subtly beating myself up for not being A Serious Person. I've always been terminally goofy, naturally doing in private the kinds of things he recommends for "getting out of your head". Although I never considered it before, there's a tangible payoff for that activity that seems obvious in retrospect. Although I realize I shouldn't need to self-justify my own natural behavior, I do feel a weight has been lifted...perhaps because it never rose to my awareness until now.

I also love his pragmatic and simplistic approach to spirituality. It seems there's a trend towards that in our society--boiling spiritual practice down to its bare essence (Tolle, Singer, Byron Katie, etc.), and I tend to think that trend a healthy one. Still, I feel that if you want true mastery, attain siddhis (e.g. this), and attain persistent state of enlightenment (whatever that means to you), you're going to have to get extremely technical and probably dedicate your life to a specific proven practice. OTOH, if you're just trying to be more effective and generally feel better, thinking less might be all you need to do.
 
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