On top of the emotional-mammalian and instinctive-reptilian brain that we share with other animal, we humans have developed extra thinking features. With our logical brain, we can refer to and analyze, events in the past, contemplate the reality of the present and predict possible future events.
Most of us are “Thinking Addicts”, spending a lot of our mind processing resources, on analyzing the past and trying to plan or predict the future. We do that by retrieving memories from the past and replaying them and by bringing up in our mind hypothetical scenarios that may happen in the future.
Various thoughts “sneak” into our ‘conscience mind’ without much control. Some of the thoughts that cross our mind may be important for us. So important that our survival may depend on them. But many times, these thoughts are a kind of noise, gossip or farfetched imaginary scenarios that are unrealistic. Most of the debates going on in our mind never materializes and does not become reality.
Nostalgia and trauma are in some cases, edited events from the past. Sometimes we humans, may edit (distort) in our mind events from the past so that they better fit our concept of the present or so that the editing may give a desired hypothetical result in the future.
Our thoughts may mislead us, create illusions and may distance us from reality. We may become prisoners of our mind.
When we strongly connect the debate that is going on in our mind to reality and when we identify with our thoughts rather than observe them, we may distance ourselves from understanding the reality we are in.