Thinking on Thoughts
If we could just observe a thought as if it was the opinion of someone else, we could learn the art of knowing who we ARE through the conditionings of what we have learned.
It is that simple, but the idea that “my thought is mine, “ is destroying the opportunity.
“I wanted” to write something today. “I” did not know what to write. Most of the times “I” don’t. The thoughts are merely flowing. It would be a lie to say: “These are MY thoughts.” This awareness allows for what some call “creativity.” When “I” am not, there is… creativity.
It is not “I” being inspired, but merely catching the thoughts and putting them in writing.
Many times “I” get surprised that “I” could write “religiously” in 2 blogs. “I” wouldn’t be able to, if “I” thought that it was “I.”
Am “I” some sort of medium or channel? Everyone is. It is just that we don’t realize it.
We are “ONE.” Right? We like that “concept.”
That ONE is expressed in many ways through many people. That oneness is expressed through many individualities to go back to the source, ONE. That journey is what makes up Life.
A thought is what connects us with everything, to that changing oneness at any given time. It is only a connector but most believe that to be “I.”
OBSERVE the thought in a non-judgmental way, so it goes through “you.” That is all. Reject it or show favoritism to it, and it will stick around.
Both ways (rejection or favoritism) help to build our ego. We will build a personality framed by ideas of what is “good or bad.”
What is the source of that discrimination?
A 3-year-old child does not know what “good” or “bad” means. He learns though the conditioning of his parents. If he touches his genital, he may see disapproval from his parents, he may feel the rejection coming from them, their conditioning. That is the starting point.
In “Spirituality” for the masses, thoughts are separated as “good/bad, wasteful, neutral, etc.”
All that labeling is meant to give the seeker a way to “choose” what he should think.
It cannot happen.
Despite the efforts of the seeker, thoughts will come in unfiltered. However, the individual may impose a thought in top of the natural one, to make himself believe that he is “changing his thinking.”
That is an illusion.
In a world conditioned to DO things to “change the world,” we cannot DO a thing to change “our” thoughts from the root. Have we observed that?
As we ARE so our thoughts shall BE.
However, we do not know who we ARE, for we are busy DOING changes to look like someone else: The guru, the saint, the angel, the artist, the star, the rich and famous, etc. That is what we call to be “creative,” to copy someone who is accepted, deemed to be worthwhile, “successful.”
Every time we hold on to a particular thought, we become defined by it. It is that definition which will confine us, through the security and comfort of beliefs systems and ideas to preserve that thought.
Living through thoughts we forget what is “real.”
Are you connected with “social media”? through “virtual communities”?
That is the world of the mind and ideas. Because I write a note or post a picture to others, I believe that I am connected, that I have a relation with others.
That is not so. It is only superficial.
It is like watching the Ocean through a camera and being able to hear the sounds of Nature through a CD. There is no presence. No reality.
However, our minds have been trained to believe that this is the “real” thing. It is less satisfying and fulfilling, but for the mind; there is no difference.
It is when we go beyond the mind, when “reality” has a different shape.
Beyond the mind is “no-mind.”
That is meditation. That is to feel life rather than to verbalize it with another thought…
Meaning behind “Living in the now.”
It is amazing how the “keywords” are more important than the experience itself.
“You have to live in the now.” “Women want a sexual partner who has presence, who is fully present in the act.”
Those phrases sound amazingly good. Knowledgeable stuff. Best seller material, but…. what is presence and what living in the now mean?
Do you know? Do you practice it?
There is no definition. There is no practice.
Do we need steps or methods to get there?
How can we explain something which defies our language?
Through a common Life scenario.
When we drive a car, as we become familiar with its operation, things become “second nature,” that is “automatic.”
We are driving for some time and our thoughts will appear and process some incident of the past or fantasize about something in the future, or even create a story out of some current Life episode. Have you noticed that?
If we haven’t noticed that, we are not ready to live in the “now.” We don’t know what that is, even if we repeat the latest definitions and use the more hip-hop terminology. At that point, we need to read “best sellers” on how to practice “presence,” and how to live in the “now.”
We need definitions, we need “how-to’s” and ideas to make this practice permanent in our everyday life.
However, a time will come when we notice our fantasizing, our dream world or tele-transportation into a remote past… then we are AWARE. No more “best seller” material needed.
When the mind is full of thoughts, we are not living in the “now.” When we drive the car in the “now,” we are automatically alert, even though it is the same avenue that we drive every day to work. Thanks to our mind, we can remember the familiar sight. But, thanks to our mind, we will snooze into unconsciousness due to the familiarity of the sight. It is the same old thing. No need to be alert.
When the mind is empty of thoughts, we are alert, aware, conscious. When we add content thanks to the conditioned mind; that pristine moment is not. Then, we do things in “automatic mode,” thoughts take over and we forget what we did 10 seconds ago.
After hearing this “revealing” explanation, some will say: “From now on, I will practice to empty my mind of thoughts, so I can live in the now.”
Please don’t put yourself in that stressful situation. Observe that there is no practice whatsoever. AWARENESS is not a practice. Emptiness of thoughts is not a practice. As our consciousness and state of BEING are in a tranquil state, the necessary space to separate ourselves from the mind will appear, then we could observe the mind.
Ahnanda is not saying “my mind,” but just the mind.
At that point, we will become AWARE on how we have obeyed the dictates of the conditioned mind for so long, thinking that THAT was ME.
No wonder, the greatest teaching of all time to remember is “Know thyself.”
Paradoxically, it is not a “Best seller.” 🙂
Question: How to eradicate physical attraction?
Can you Please share your view point and a solution to the following spiritual problem:
I want to get rid of physical attraction from its root COMPLETELY. When we get attracted towards a good looking body, we feel full of thoughts like, wow what a good body, I wish I had him/her, I wish i could make him/her mine, followed by some sexual and normal usual fantasies. There is a huge feeling of discontentment with this kind of feeling, because end of the day, you don’t have him/her!!How to get rid of these two things? Physical attraction leading to discontentment!
Can dedicating yourself completely to meditation and the process of awakening/self realization help in this matter!
Thank you for your question.
For centuries, there has been misinformation about what is “spiritual.” The belief that a human being needs to act like a spirit or an angel to be “good” has been turning followers into masochists. This belief is so ingrained, that we will not realize how much harm we are inflicting to ourselves for the sake of following some man made, mind conditioned ideal.
You may think that Yogananda didn’t feel physical attraction or Buddha or Jesus or whoever, therefore “I “must DO it to be as “elevated” as they are.
That way of DOING spirituality is pure self-violence.
There is a process for everything in Life. It may be true, that the above beings did not feel physical attraction at some point in their lives, however; I can assure you that it wasn’t always like that.
Not to feel attraction is the result of allowing the process of feeling attraction.
Your mind and its conditioning believes that once you find the method to eradicate attraction, you will be “better off.”
That is an illusion.
Ahnanda knows that to feel physical attraction, is a gift of living Life through the manifestation of a human experience. OBSERVE what it does to you, how it takes you away from “you.” That magnet is not depending on you and your “choices”. It happens.
Rather than tasting the moment, you want to get rid of it because your mind interferes with the recurrent thought of possessing that which attracts you. As a little baby who cannot have what he wants, the mind will cry: “If I cannot have it, let me destroy what makes me desire another.”
That sort of destructive and violent mind is the one creating that sort of “spirituality.”
You feel attracted towards a good-looking body? Enjoy the experience. You want to possess that body?
Tell that person that. Tell that person that you only want her/his body.
Perhaps your mind may learn that there is more than a body to a person. Can I get the body and not the whole person? Why get the whole cow when I can milk it instead? After all Life is about ME… and that is why LOVE cannot be known at that point of our journeys.
Many have gone through that “spiritual” route. Our society allows that. Pay for your desires. There are all sorts of bodies to select from.
Do you want to try that? That is the opportunity to satiate your fantasies. One “solution” is there. What is stopping you?
If you really want something, you ought to accept the consequences as well for whatever they are. Are you ready for that? One way or another, you will gain an experience in Life. Remember: Ultimately, WE DO what WE ARE for that brings full satisfaction.
Physical attraction does not lead to discontentment. The possessiveness in your mind does. Do you want the solution for that? Possess as much as you can. There will be learning in that experience.
You ask if dedicating yourself completely to meditation and the process of self-realization will help in this matter.
Definitely No. First go into your demons, into your possessive mind and your idealistic perceptions. Don’t run away into “nice” ideals.
Self-realization happens to you. It is not something that “you” DO or pursue for that to happen. So, enjoy Life while that happens! 🙂
Oh yes… As we know, Love is the solution… So you have 2 solutions to your “spiritual” question. 🙂
Deconditioning our mind
When we observe our thoughts, we may find a new world.
Our world is our thoughts.
You may be swimming in the Ocean, floating, relax and then a thought comes up: “A shark may be close by.” That moment of relaxation is gone. We believed “our” thought and flew away from the Ocean. Did we think this? Did we purposely spoil our moment of peace?
Have you seen a “real” shark? How the association came by?
That is one of the first aspects to know about the mind: It is a repository for stuff we call “knowledge.”
Did you watch the movie “Shark”? That is “knowledge.” The mind will keep that information and it will throw it back at us through association when a similar experience arrives.
If we did not have the movie “Shark” in our heads, we wouldn’t be able to react in fear of sharks unless we had such a first-hand experience. That is one characteristic of thoughts, they come through association. If we are unaware of that, we may call that thought as “mine” as if it was created by “me.” We will obey that thought, for we believe it is “Me.” – I, Me, Mine- a fantastic trio.
Our imagination (another type of thought) is made from the same elements of “knowledge.”
Imagine something wild. Something new that you have never seen before.
You will not be able to. Even if you imagine pink holy hogs, flying around with bat wings looking to eat ham for breakfast… All of those elements in that story line are not “new.” Those are part of that “knowledge” kept in the mind.
Human conditioning has the same path. It is that “knowledge” making us see things from a particular perspective which we believe to be “right, true, valid,” etc.
Many times, we catch “thoughts.” We are not isolated from Life. Nowadays, sorrow is a common emotion, a vibe expanded through thoughts. We catch the vibe. A thought appears through the recognition of it, from our “bank of knowledge.” We IDENTIFY with it, we call that thought, that vibe as MINE.
An unaware individual will start weaving a story to support that vibe of sorrow and then… sadness will appear. “I am” sad is the conclusion of that “I-ness.”
What is the “solution” to conquer those sad thoughts?
Some will use drugs. Others, liquor and escapism from themselves. Others will swear by meditation and medication….
Are you sure that those are “your” thoughts?
The vehicles of thoughts are passing by the street of our empty mind. We label that street as “mine.”
When there is no identification, we can OBSERVE. When we observe, we could be AWARE. Through that awareness, thoughts may appear and disappear… There is nothing to hold them back.
Thoughts are clouds in the sky of our minds. Some will cover the light of the Sun, but they will move away. Even in the darkest and cloudiest day, there will be change. The key is to be AWARE that the sky is not “I.”
This information is only “knowledge.” There is nothing to put into “practice.” Just to be AWARE, awake, conscious. 🙂
The gist of “Spirituality”: Awareness and Surrender
Spirituality is related with the word “spirit” and that word is open to many meanings. How can we talk about “spirit” without the experience? Could a blind person speak about light?
Obviously, whatever he says about light will be far from what is, although he could speak scientifically about wavelengths and color spectrums. There is no experience. Nevertheless, even if we are not blind, whatever we say about light cannot be the “truth” but merely a description of it, of our own experience with “light”. The same principle applies when trying to make sense of “holy books” or “spiritual best sellers,” words cannot convey ‘truth’ only a partial description.
The other day I was talking with friends about “spirituality.” (i.e. Making the human experience “better”) Someone “discovered” (heard from others) that the problem of human suffering was related with ego.
“Get rid of the ego and you are free,” she said.
Bravo! That is the solution that most everyone knows. Why is not working? Why “knowing” the solution is not bringing the expected fruits? Oh! You need to “practice,” to follow the “right” method.
That is the next belief in the chain. What are you going to practice? An idea of what someone told you to be “right”?
Most are not AWARE of ego. Most only have concepts about it. Thus, how is it possible for ego to be dissolved, to SURRENDER it?
That is a key question.
Intellectual understanding of a concept does not change the individual. That is why “spirituality” as it is “now” is pure hogwash; nevertheless, “inspirational.” Any concepts that we bring in, will not accomplish the goal of “creating better human beings.” It will be all “pretty” talk; collectively we have become used to this.
Spiritual people ask the question: Who Am I? Any conceptual answer will not bring the experience of knowing ourselves. Because there is no AWARENESS, we could go on with some belief or with some dishonest phrase: We consistently say “I,” without knowing who that “I” is. We embrace another label such as “soul” or any other “spiritual” term, then we are “happy” with, for we believe to have the “right” answer.
When we are AWARE, we could perceive that we are not the body. Breathing happens. I am not DOING it. The heart pumps blood, I am not DOING it, thus; how can I say that “I am the body?”
When we are AWARE we could perceive that we are not the mind. Thoughts come and go without “my” control. They just appear and I want for them to go away, but I cannot DO that.
When we are AWARE we could see that any concept that I have not experienced, it is just conditioned information, “knowledge” coming from the mind.
Soul, Spirit, etc. are such learned concepts. I want to believe to be those, although I don’t know if I have experienced what the label entails, so I can be “spiritual” but I am faking it. If you have experienced to be a soul or spirit, please do me a favor: Change the label... Pick any other label, for your experience will be different from that of others.
When we are AWARE we recognize that “I will not be able to find who I am” for “I am always changing.” Paradoxically, I am the body, I am the mind, I am the soul, the spirit, I am ALL of those things that we believe to be, so why label to separate?
Paradoxically, the question “Who Am I?” is most important to formulate as long as I am not looking for an answer. Can the mind “understand that”?
Probably not. That is why, get out of the mind if you would like to experience you own wordless reality. That is part of deconditioning.
If you observe your own mind, you will be AWARE of it and then you will understand what the word ego, the “I” means, without using a dictionary definition.
Please be AWARE of this: We cannot live in the “NOW” as long as our mind IS. The mind is past or future only. To say: “I want my mind to be in the Now” is an ignorant remark for lack of awareness.
If you are in the NOW, you are in No-Mind.
Don’t believe me. Try it at home… BE AWARE of all of these things, so SURRENDERING happens.
If you believe that “I will surrender,” even though this phrase may be grammatically correct, in “spirituality” that phrase is completely senseless.
I am glad you asked. That is for you to find out. Your own journey.
Until March 20th! 🙂
Enjoying the thought
Let us say that John is having a deeply “spiritual” moment with his wife Teresa. He is having sex with her.
During that time of enjoyment, his mind starts to send/catch thoughts.
John’s mind has a thought of a man that he saw before. He was a well built, good looking man in John’s view.
That thought, threw John off completely from the sexual experience with his wife. John was very concerned about “that” incident.
John labeled the thought as being “homosexual.” He even freaked out by the thought that he could have “homosexual tendencies”. From that point on, John created his own hell.
No? It never happened to you?
It may. 🙂
The understanding of the experience explained above, could send light into the meaning of mature/aware “spirituality”.
Observe how the thought appeared. John thought that he actually created the thought. Great awareness, John!
This thought created a sense of guilt, lack of comfort.
It is not “right” to think that. John sees himself as “straight” (another label to create duality).
There is a rejection about the idea of homosexuality. This idea brings all the taboos, hang ups, beliefs, conditionings in John.
Observe that the sacred moment of John’s enjoyment with his wife, became a moment of disturbance. John was worried about this.
John wanted to “fix” this “problem” right away!
He had an inner conflict. He was ready to reject anything homosexual. He was ready to fight for his “cause” of being a “moral” man, that is; a “Godly man”. John was ready to defend his “righteousness”.
All of that, just to cover a rejected thought.
When we are living in the mind, a thought is everything.
Let us see Life from another perspective. In this perspective, thoughts do not matter at all. They are just the outcome of our conditioning.
In this perspective, what matters is the feeling. Thoughts could arrive, they could be weird, but they are welcome.
Do you want to resist? Do you want to put the mental conditioning up front?
That will be our tendency.
Let that go. The feeling is all that matters.
Have you ever wondered if the thought about a man, while having sex with your wife will make you into homosexual?
Apparently John believed so. His mental hell was in motion.
Observe how words, labels, ideas will make Life into a “problem”.
Observe how enjoyment becomes an ideal when the moment is not accepted, acknowledged as it is. We want to “fix” our thoughts by covering those with another thought, a “good” thought, but deep inside we know that we are just covering things to align with our conditioning.
A thought will come back as long as we reject it. If it is not rejected, it just goes away. It came to you; it goes from you.
“Empty” of beliefs, mental baggage about what should be, that may be a mentally sound individual.
The feeling of enjoyment is purely a sensation. We will kill the moment by identifying with a thought.
Awareness cannot be taught
Carmen is a new parent. She said to me: “No one is teaching me how to be a parent… this information should be pushed into the school system and beyond.”
Even though she has “good intentions” behind her statement; observe that she is already caught up with the system: The information on how to be a parent is pushed from another source, to be “right.”
Carmen was praising all the books that she read which “helped her” practically.
Carmen read a book about “a prosperous attitude towards money, so money could flow in life, by getting rid of different beliefs that she was inculcated when she was a kid,” However, my friend could not use that information into her parenting situation.
Carmen lacked Life experience. She has theory in her mind, a very good paragraph of “wisdom,” but she is unable to apply it in different aspects of her Life.
Most human beings have developed many traumas when children. Parents did the best they knew; but that wasn’t enough. Hang ups, taboos, beliefs and so on were transmitted from their parents. Therefore, that is what will be transmitted to their kids. It is unconscious. Why? Because we are not aware.
Many times a child will be rebellious towards his parents. He will not go along with their “ideas,” unfortunately; that child does not realize that to reject his parent’s ideas will only make that trauma stronger. There is no experience of that, no awareness.
Then the “traditional good idea” comes. “If I knew how to be a parent, I will help others to do the same.”
That is very shallow. This is not just information that we pass along like in the “office world” when we get ready to take a test to be a “certified” parent.
Your awareness is needed. If you are aware of the baggage inside you, you will start with you. Look at your issues. Then, your “true self” will be displayed for your kids; not the behavior which you learned in a book, which is not truly you. Just because you know information, it doesn’t mean that you ARE that.
I am not saying that we should wait until we solve our internal issues to become a parent either. This is not a “black or white” “solution.” Just be aware that as you ARE, you will be matched by Life with a partner and that is what is “right” for you. That experience will teach you something, and then your consciousness will move on until… you are able to see yourself as you ARE: Then the process of dissolution of ego starts.
“But how do I help others?”
By allowing them to go through their own process in Life. That is free of judgments.
Let me be clear: The thought of helping others or teaching others, is just self-gratification. Life puts the teacher when the student is ready; BUT neither the teacher nor the student know about those labels, so they are free from the cage that those labels imply. It is that freedom what makes the internal change.