They are the clouds of discontent, but above them lies a higher delight.
Men will hardly ever fail to indulge in the tendency to romanticize their personal forms of perception. Whatever it is they [cannot help but] do — be it criticize, judge, wiseacre, daydream or grow indignant — their minds will certainly find a way to replace the truth with polished propaganda. And it is of no fault of their own but to act in such a way, for these habits are like criminals that thieve at night and cover their tracks impeccably well from the daylight watchmen. Men are hardly aware of this mechanism of falsity, inborn as it is from the dawn of their personalities. It is a form of buffered reality where the waking mind is unconscious of the dominoes that fall each and every day in the exact same way, without fail.
No anecdote exists for hypnotic blunders such as this except to not play the game at all. The mind moves forward with the flow of time, but there are muscles, rarely if ever practiced, that allow it to be paused. Many things may run automatic when left to be as they are, yet quite a few of these human functions can be brought to a halt should a man deem it useful or necessary. Surely he must eat, and so he must move and act outwardly in such a way as to make a living and blend into the flow of economy and social dramas. Yet his inward mind need not flow carelessly in one direction, filled incessantly with the particles of the past, present and future.
How paradoxical is it to suggest that the most intelligent function of the mind is the potential power to bring itself to a standstill. Yet a man who observes himself will find nothing more mechanical, unconscious and seemingly wasteful than the effortless energy exerted on random associations and slothful daydreams. Every process in the universe burns a type of fuel or material in order to run its course. So it is with the mind and its work. Mechanical thinking, running night and day, is like holes in a tank, wastefully leaking what could otherwise be applied for something right and good. Whether a man loses a little or a lot will depend on what it is he wants and wishes to do with any at all.