The other week, an intuitive friend of mine was talking about the simplicity of people's minds, using as an example the minds of the people surrounding her at the time. She found the mind of one person in the small group who were talking to be a simple and direct mind, easy to understand and to "get into". She found me to be full of layers.
I've been mulling over this ever since.
It's so different to my own experience of my mind.
To me, yes, like everyone else who was there (and like everyone on the planet), my mind was formed as a result not only of my genes for intelligence (or stupidity), but also as a result of the different life-experiences I've had to deal with over the last half-century or so, some of which were pretty rough. And everyone who hasn't lived in a glass bubble full of soft cushions all their lives will have been through some rough stuff.
She obviously feels differently, but my experience of my mind is that it is fairly direct. I no longer have things out of my past that I'm afraid of - there's stuff there that I still don't like because I didn't enjoy it at the relevant time, but nothing that I'd now disown or refuse to talk about. After all this time, I have no one I'm desperate to impress - I don't really care whether I impress people or not - and no one I'd particularly want to appear glamorous for.
Even if I were in love again, I'd rather people knew me for whom I really am, not for some fiction that I might want them to think I am. And I'm not in love, so it really isn't an issue. At all. I'm quite happy just to be me.
So I have no need to do the layering thing in my mind. I react simply and immediately. What's on my mind will be what I talk about at the time. I hesitate to say "what you see is what you get" because that is such a cliche, but I think I can affirm to everyone who visits this blog and to all my friends whether on the net or not, that if I'm talking about something it's what I'm thinking about, and that there are no "hidden depths", nothing I conceal.
After all, what is the point? Concealment only makes your own life complicated, as you try to remember who you have told what, and how far you've decided to let one person or another in. The last time I added to the blog I was thinking about tomato soup - I still had the taste of it in my mouth - and about using computer games as a field of inner battle, which I last did a year or two ago. So I blogged about it. After all, it was there in my mind, up-front, waiting to be seen.
Some of that stuff might, arguably, be regarded as fairly intimate, but what the hell. Amongst other things, a blog is a way of mapping your own internal world so that if anything happens to you, your friends and children will have at least some permanent record of what is happening in your inner world.
Yep, I started this blog for my daughter. Yes, my daughter, who scorns computers in general and the internet in particular as something dorky, daggy, and for old, rusty, uncool people like her mother.
I suppose what I'm doing in this particular post is voicing my surprise and bafflement at the experience one of my friends has of my mind, that she finds it complicated and full of layers. I find it simple and direct, with my brain hard-wired to my tongue and my keyboard-fingers. And especially since I had a mini-stroke or something some time ago, I find my mind even more simple, as I have little left-over intellectual capacity to even begin to build or maintain layers of reality or subtlety of thought.
But given that I do carry some degree of brain damage, perhaps my self-perception is damaged, and she is indeed right - I could be far more complex and elaborate than I give myself credit for.
But I seriously, seriously doubt it.