Thought is highly creative. Our thought becomes reality, at some level. Where we place our thoughts is what can occur, at some level, until we think differently when as a result we get different outcomes. This can be a hard one to get, until we notice how on “good” days when we’re thinking positively lots of nice things happen, and when our mind darkens we get a stream of negative things happening. The key to this is often in the feeling. Where we feel good, we get good results, and vice versa.
In Indian philosophy there’s an interesting concept, maya, illusion, where we live our lives until we become enlightened, part the 60,000 veils, know the Self and become liberated from the ego. In this tradition, the ego is the limited or illusory self, not who we are. Not surprisingly, when we feel really good, full of love, at One with life, contented and at peace, we say that this is who we are, not the miserable self we can be at other times. Yet this can be our opposite polarity in the world of duality, and it is only when we transcend this and know Oneness that we are no longer buffeted back and forwards by the world of opposites. We become anchored in contentment.
Much of the time we live in the world of opposites, good and evil, right and wrong, superior and inferior, better and worse, successful and a failure, happy and miserable, lively and dull, and so on. This is part of the pattern of limited thinking when we don’t know the nature of who we are. This, we need to find out. It can be done.
In dealing with our limited thinking, where we get stuck in a negative spiral for example, it is important to use mindfulness, to become aware that that is what we are doing and that it is not who we are. The great power of mindfulness is that it provides us with a tool to step back from the machinations of the ego, to be present, centre ourselves, and be the witness of our thoughts rather than caught up in them Then, when you are feeling calmer, less perturbed and at peace, you can choose again. Then you can affirm your vision, re-connect with purpose, and focus on what you really care to think.
This is invaluable practice. Yet it comes with one big caution, one many people don’t care to attend to. We still need to do our journeying, we still need to get familiar with what generates those negative states, and especially identify the core, root thoughts, the really prevalent beliefs we hold about ourselves, other people and life itself. Then we know what we’re really dealing with, and need to be the witness of and let go of. Till then we are shadow boxing and missing the fundamental limitations that keep tripping us up. This includes knowing our shadow self, one we suppress or deny and project on to others. Then we can really let go and be who we are. Then we can know real peace of mind and connect with who we really are.
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