UNDERSTANDING MIND MASTURBATION
Mind masturbation. Some people think it’s a swear word, but others know it as a psychological condition that is especially damaging to the stock trader, the strategic thinker, those working in a leadership role, at work, and really, to all of us. As always we have multiple definitions.
Definition #1: Intellectual activity that serves no practical purpose.
The act of engaging in intelligent and interesting conversation purely for the enjoyment of your own greatness and individuality. Subjects range from the obscure cultural movements in preindustrial societies to modern day discussions. Either delivered through grand monologues or subtle conversation orientation, it links large words and random references resulting in nothing actually being communicated.
The act of engaging in useless yet intellectually stimulating conversation, usually as an excuse to avoid taking constructive action in your life.
Definition #2: Non-productive nor practical thinking
“Mental masturbation is casually bandied about as a pejorative.”1. But what, precisely, does it mean?
* Presumably when you mentally masturbate, your thinking is not productive or practical. Just as certain prudish people would have us abstain from the unproductive ways of onanism, those who would censor mental masturbation believe thoughts should make something. Like semen, thoughts should be put to use. Thinking is a practice in and of itself and hence is inherently practical. Thinking is a kind of doing such as, say, running. Its an activity, unless we say that running is physical masturbation as its not practical. After all, youre not running to get anywhere such as the bookstore. The runner might retort that his running makes him more physically fit which, in turn, makes him happier and healthier. In that sense, running is a practical activity.”
So, is mind masturbation a type of thinking, a precursor to a productive thought, or merely a circular discussion with no end point?
Definition #3: The Evans Group LLC Logic
There are four stages to our consulting logic:
1) It is likely that in the old days when women sat home thinking about the kind of sex they would really want that they mentally masturbated.
2) If pulling someone on along, tricking, conniving and manipulating them, and enjoying it, it is a form of mental masturbation. Its also called playing their banjo, or the slim, slow slide to have them do it my way.
3) Circular conversations take place between two types of groups:
a) Like personalities or interests (a church group, or help group) that get together to decide something and end up in a massive circle of babble, arguing over small things, often not even part of the discussion, changing subjects so that no deciding something” ever occurs. I call these bibble babble talk tanks.
b) Company meetings, talk tanks, discussions to solve a problem, but business based. Please read the rest of the definition of a. and find how a diverse group of people working together on a specific project or detail can end up in a circle of pain, discussing everything, deciding nothing. Typically, when an activist member of the talk tank, or group company meeting, takes action to bring the group back in line they are considered the bully or the guy that won’t let the conversation flow. Much depends here on who is moderating the discussion and if they are pulling it along and leading it, or if it is free flowing. Free flowing is both controlled and uncontrolled chaos theory dialogue.
4) Recognition, admittance, agreement OR denial argument for free flowing, or shock at being called a masturbator define Mind Masturbation.
As a consultant we run many think tanks, and/or work on complex procedural issues. In any group we deal with there is a conscious or subconscious saboteur (a person determined to undermine the concept). These people consultants can recognize and work with to not manipulate, or simply ask to leave the group. Mind masturbators can be individuals, or due to poor leadership/moderation, the group itself.
Watch yourself as a person, a stock trader, a homemaker, businessperson or employee. Put a silent witness on your shoulder to watch you. If you ask questions out of the norm of the dialogue, and they serve no smart change in direction, or if you shift the subject entirely (all in non-social settings) and begin talking about “the value of physical therapy” within a discussion on “What/Who is a Good Leader” you have just witnessed Mind Masturbation.
It starts with one, and slowly feeds, and soon the conversation includes “physical therapy.” Someone then mentions “modern medicine” and the subject is diverted again into a masturbatory dialogue. You might feel good being in the circle, but by being in it you are not part of any solution, and/or participating in the real dialogue. Most importantly the entire dialogues perspective is changed.
Disease means lack of ease. Mind masturbation is a disease. The person is consciously babbling away on another subject with no parallels, as they are more comfortable, or subconsciously babbling away on every subject, because they do not know how to have a structured dialogue.
Relate it to internal mind masturbation also, as we are perfectly conditioned to think in circles, never hit what we should think about, stay in denial, or live out of fear or greed. Regular masturbation is certainly healthier for you than mind masturbation. And perhaps in our studies of real conditions we will stop
shock at hearing real worlds. There is nothing dirty or deviant about masturbation. It’s been done since the beginning of time.
Physical masturbation affects only the person; mind masturbation can affect a group, and a decision process.
Chip Evans, Ph.D.
1. DANIEL COFFEEN