Please note (as if anybody besides me will ever read this)… At least until I’ve explored this topic to my satisfaction, everything I write in this blog is (more or less) striving towards a deeper understanding of this “icy couch” notion that I’ve been trying to get my head around for over a decade, thanks in large part to insightful books by Hubert Benoit and CJ Beck.
What is a geek? Over the past couple of decades, it’s a word that’s become generically associated with people that are good at working with computers (aka information technology). Actually that’s the best possible connotation of the word. Other meanings (depending on one’s point of view) are somewhat less flattering.
A quick Google search yields two definitions for “geek”:
- An unfashionable or socially inept person.
- A person with an eccentric devotion to a particular interest: “a computer geek”.
Big surprise, I work in information technology. When my clients call me “their computer geek”, I wear it like a badge of pride. This is not resting on the icy couch. Most things involving positive feelings of pride are warm and fuzzy… the very opposite of icy couch.
Here comes some icy couch… I’m so socially “awkward” (“inept” is a bit of an overstatement in my particular case) it’s amazing I even have any clients. It seems the very thing that makes me good at my profession also turns out to be a fairly serious character flaw. Yeah, how’s this for a professional tagline: “If you can tolerate being around me, I can most definitely help you with your IT needs”. Not a warm and fuzzy thought to have about one’s
self. In fact, it’s cold and hard like (drumroll please) an icy couch.
Icy couch is not morbid or fatalistic. It’s not grim or negative, at all. It is simply accepting that the human mind generates an endless stream of both comfortable and unconformable thoughts (emotions, feelings, whatever you call them). Most contemporary western mindsets try to minimize (if not, completely eliminate) the unconformable aspect. Maybe it’s just human nature. I, personally, have spent several insight-less decades trying my best to ignore anything that takes me outside of my psychological comfort-zone.
I consider it most fortunate to have become aware of the benefits of being able to restfully “stay with” thoughts that would otherwise leave my mind very agitated and upset.
This is a good place to stop. Maybe in the next post I’ll pick up with what I mean by “stay with”.
UPDATE – 8/12/2013: The third post on blog this was going to be about the notion of ‘stay with’. In the mean time The Simpsons Tapped Out game blissfully ruined my life. I will be posting a lot more on what I call ‘Geek/Zen’.