(Sigh.) My feet look stupid. Bam! There, you just did it. You had a thought. You just got a message in your head. No big deal. We get messages all the time. How can one person handle that much input? How do we survive it? Easy. We survive by filtering. Air duct repair newsletter? I don’t have to open that. Forwarded message. Oh, cheap prescriptions. No thanks bro. Or we take cues from the packaging based on what we just know about stuff. Oh, awkward language, unlikely story, I’ve heard it a few times, about a prince that wants to give me money. This is not something I need to give my credit card number to. Or we know the people that it comes from. Ah, that’s my friend Jane. She tends to go right to catastrophe. So whatever she’s about to say is probably about half as bad as it sounds. Hmm. I’ll just see if they leave a message. Ugh, junk mail. We absolutely couldn’t survive without filtering the messages that we get. Think if we had no filter. “Wait, what? A special offer just for me? Whoa! I can’t believe it! Someone in the company knows my name! Look at these benefits! This must be a great offer. Sign me up!” But no. We know it’s not a good deal. It’s a generic offer for a credit card which at twenty percent interest is just kind of like getting robbed. But we dodge that whole mess because we filter out the message. We filter all our messages in all the places we get them except here. When we get messages delivered here, like we do all day: “Nobody likes my ideas.” “I’m just not really good at that. I’m not really good at anything.” “I’ve made all the wrong choices.” We don’t filter. We think “it’s all me”. If we did that with every external message we got, if we trusted and believed it, we’d shut down. We’d be at the mercy of anyone who wants to sell us anything, extort money from us, or give us a bogus picture of us and our relationships. So let’s not do that inside. But our inside might not be as inside as we think it is. According to Roger Nelson & Co our collective brains can begin to spike random number generators hours before massive events like 911 even begin. Michael Persinger’s research indicates that we may be smearing each other with our thoughts across the Earth’s electromagnetic field. And two and a half centuries ago Emanuel Swedenborg was plugged in enough to recite the nuances of the Stockholm fire 250 miles away as it happened. He said that our brains are like a radio antenna pulling input from more places than you would ever believe. Take what you want to, but maybe our brains aren’t like a computer synthesizing our thoughts and feelings based on our own data with our own motives. They’re an inbox. [“I’m ugly.”] [“I’m pathetic.”] This is not a joke. Some of the brain spam that we get is just annoying, but some of it is vicious. And it’s hard to figure out. We can’t see who’s giving the messages we get. We can’t go to their website and figure out their mission statement. But we can learn to filter. We can develop a basic intelligence about the packaging that ideas come in, and how we react. I can just leave you with these thoughts: Worry about the future, worry about the way things will turn out for you, anything that destroys hope; or anger, fear, jealousy, any kind of self-hatred — in my experience, if an idea comes into your head charged with that stuff, it’s like the plastic window on an envelope. It’s like a generic greeting or your name misspelled. It’s how you can tell, man. It’s junk mail.