“You can never be aware of being aware.” ~ Alan Watts
You must have heard the term meta data.
Wiki uncle says that ‘data about data’ is known as meta data. This might include details like time of data creation, author, file size, etc.
As an example, the above image is of trees, with the cloudy sky beyond. That is data. Meta data is creator (Pranav), time clicked (8.30 am) and size (3.3 MB).
The time of the last phone call you made and to whom is meta data, whereas what you discussed in the call is data.
Applying this concept to another domain – if I think about strolling idly in a cool mountain village, somewhere far from this 43C Hyderabad heat, that would be data.
But if I am suddenly pulled out of my reverie and realize that I was daydreaming, then this realization would be meta data, or a meta-thought, right? (Actually it is, and called as meta-cognition.)
Doesn’t this mean that awareness, meditation or mindfulness are the same as meta-thought? And even if there is a gap in thoughts, how would I know in that instant? Wouldn’t I have to meta-think to know that I wasn’t thinking?
So much meta-thinking is making me sweat. Time to get back to thinking about that cool mountain village. 🙂
- Wikipedia articles: metadata, metacognition
- Brain Pickings article on Alan Watts: An antidote to the age of anxiety