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CHUCK LORRE PRODUCTIONS, #89

I don't know about you, but my fundamental character flaws are so deeply embedded in my consciousness, it actually feels as if they're entwined with the strands of my DNA. Lately I like to imagine that as a child I was a sort of brand new, meat-based computer that had an operating system installed with big, whopping design problems. The result is that when my scanning mechanisms bring in data from my environment, I invariably process that data in ways that do not reflect reality. Example: I walk into a room that contains people. They are speaking amongst themselves and laughing. My immediate computational response is summed up by a voice in my head which says, "They're laughing at me. Why are they laughing at me? I hate them." Or: I see, hear or read about someone who has achieved great success in my field. My organic computer processes this info and spits out, "Danger! Danger! Survival is threatened!" Are these fundamental character flaws? You betcha! Taken to an extreme this sort of thinking can cause a lot of suffering -- and not just to me. In my rare moments of mental and emotional clarity I've come to realize that this is an unavoidable part of who I am. The trick now is to overcome or at least soften my flaws before I'm sent back to the factory as damaged goods. Example: When I wrongly think I'm the center of the universe and my problems take precedence over the problems of others, I pause and say to myself, "Error. You are useless, ugly and unworthy of being loved." At which point I say, "Why should I listen to you? A broken computer can't repair a broken computer." At which point I put myself into sleep mode before the whole system crashes.

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1st Aired: 23 Oct 2001

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