It’s not a zombie state. You’re not non-functional, or comatose.

It’s not stupidity. Not the absence of sense.

It doesn’t imply a disengagement. It’s actually quite the opposite of disengagement.

Not-thinking is what Buddhists call the natural state. We civilized people haven’t risen above it; we’ve fled from it.

Consider not-thinking as the zone. We’ve all experienced it. It’s the place we go when we’re immersed in a creative pursuit. The discursive mind settles, time disappears, and we’re simply present. In the flow. You’ve been there. You know.

Even writing, paradoxically, can be a non-thinking process, as any writer can attest who has ever had the words coming through them faster than they can type.

It’s elusive, but so is the ivory-billed woodpecker, once believed extinct. My old friend Ricky swears he saw one in a Kentucky woods one summer, and I don’t doubt he did.


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