Humans are very good at many things. And one of them is…
The trouble with thinking is we tend to believe everything that goes on ‘upstairs’ and we take it all seriously. In fact we take it so seriously we imagine it is us thinking.
That one identification is probably the greatest cause of suffering, war and angst humanity suffers from.
And here is the thing…
IT IS NOT THE TRUTH!
Most psychologists, spiritual teachers and searchers, and a huge swathe of people who pursue ‘awareness’ understand that much of what we think has actually been put there, consciously or unconsciously, during our most formative years as impressionable and innocent children.
We have hundreds of hours of other people’s voices, like tape loops, running through our minds, day in day out. It is enough to drive you crazy, and for some it does.
Add to that the fact that most thinking happens ‘below the surface’ of consciousness and doesn’t make it to conscious thought and it becomes an almost nightmare scenario in the making if those thoughts happen to be destructive, hateful, vengeful or negative.
What I’m pointing to here is the suggestion that our thinking cannot be relied upon as the measure of truth. It is not a reliable witness, because it has too much investment.
So if our mind is not reliable, what can we do to find truth and freedom?
Do not trust everything you think. Practice awareness of all thoughts. Particularly the ones that scream the most. The ones that really have an agenda of righteousness about them, those ones that assert themselves as beyond question are the really dangerous ones. Not the one’s that don’t matter, but the big self protecting justified ones that promote themselves as ‘obvious,’ they are the ones we need to watch.
Discernment on the path, developing the meditative approach, and watching just how hot and passionate the thoughts get when they think they are cornered, they are the ways to create some space between you and your thoughts.
And remember, you cannot possibly stop them coming and going. If you are doing any sort of practice that says you can, or should, try and stop your thoughts, stop it now.
YOU CANNOT STOP YOUR THOUGHTS.
To try is like standing in front of a train and holding it back. It is pointless.
Better view thoughts, your thoughts, as waves that rise and fall in the ocean of your awareness. They come and go of their own accord. Some are helpful and beneficial, some are turbulent and chaotic, and some are even dangerous.
But each returns from whence it came.
So please, exercise great caution when doing this seemingly innocent practice of thinking, it is not so innocent as it appears. Most of the world’s problems are caused by thinking…consider that for a moment..
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