I use these wind-up, plastic, chattering teeth to illustrate how our mind seems to work. Bright red plastic gums and tall, shiny white teeth. You wind them up and they chatter and chomp around your table.
Everyone knows the feeling of a mind going on and on and on, wound up, chattering about everything and nothing until it runs out of juice. It puts on a dramatic show but when you look closely it’s just a hunk of plastic, all wound up.
The chattering teeth convey a certain disrespect that I think is hilarious and immensely helpful. It’s never a problem that we think a lot, that we get wound up, or that our mind works the way it does. Things only begin to feel problematic for us when we take it seriously. When we confuse ourselves—who we truly are—with that piece of cheap, chattering plastic.
The chattering teeth are a little mechanical device doing what it was designed to do.
So is your mind.