Does to be engaged in thinking always = illusion?

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Does to be engaged in thinking always = illusion?

Postby EternalPrize » Sat Sep 05, 2015 3:00 am

Is awakening to realize the illusory nature of thought, and to only use it responsibly? I am struggling with trying to force my organism to see "through" its thoughts, as if somehow it could go above and beyond them, and be resting outside of them rather than inside. Can only learn to think and continuously think, and have it merely be symbols?

I ask because I've really been struggling lately. Struggling with anxiety my organism just has. Struggling with the thought patterns and behavior that my organism just has. I can't yet ground myself. These patterns feel like only an external need will calm them. An external need that is not material, but recognition in a basic human way I was lacking as a little version of me. It's so destructive, so destructive... The slightest things can destroy lives when children are involved.

I feel like sometimes these needs can't be advaita'd away. The organism needs the wounds and the scabs to heal, before the true flowering of self-awareness can be opened up. And it's so damn hard to have the power to genuinely see through it, to be awakened, and to have a material-cognitive-etc-personality which is shattered.
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Re: Does to be engaged in thinking always = illusion?

Postby dijmart » Sat Sep 05, 2015 6:36 am

Ultimately, the body-mind, thoughts/emotions are illusory. You are prior to them, the watcher, perceiver of all that is. Thought is useful when used as a tool, but when thought is using you then you're unconscious...and the "little me" continues. This doesn't mean a sticky thought won't still grab you, take you for a ride here and there, it happens but becomes more rare. Perhaps, it stops completely at some point? I'm not there yet...I still get sticky thoughts, but they don't last long when they come. They're seen for what they are and dissolve.

Also, concerning anxiety...thought creates anxiety, if the anxiety is not dealt with it becomes part of the pain body. When the pain body arises it feeds on negative thinking. It becomes a feedback loop between thought and emotion. If you can stop or see through the thoughts before the emotion comes or stop the pain body energy before it rises to the mind, then you've stopped the feedback loop or cycle of anxiety.
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Re: Does to be engaged in thinking always = illusion?

Postby DavidB » Sun Sep 06, 2015 4:55 pm

No, thinking is not illusion. Identification with thinking is illusion.
“Wisdom is knowing I am nothing, Love is knowing I am everything, and between the two my life moves.” ― Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
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Re: Does to be engaged in thinking always = illusion?

Postby Sighclone » Mon Sep 07, 2015 5:28 pm

EP -

Egos can have disorders. Sometimes those disorders are so severe that the subtle Presence of All-that-is, of Pure Awareness cannot surface to full consciousness. Adyashanti talks about this repeatedly, and has sent clients to psychologists, encouraged continued medication etc. It is OK to treat egoic disorders at the level at which they exist with medication and with talk therapy. Yes, it is always helpful to have a therapist who is familiar with advaita, and I have an extensive list I can send you that I believe includes some in Denver/Boulder (if you are still there.) Send me a private em if you are interested. I took the time to read your initial lengthy post, placed here 5 years ago. There is some irony in that I also lived in Denver from age 22-31, single, seeking etc. (By the way, your intelligence and literary skills are very evident.)

The successful treating of significant egoic disorders can only bring a person to a state where the ego causes less suffering. In my opinion, it can only bring an individual to a state where the ego is relatively weak. Conventional therapies cannot bring about awakening, but they can reduce egoic suffering to a level where the subtle energies of ego-transcending Grace can arise and become more radiant. So I encourage you to find a helpful talk therapist, possibly one who can provide temporary medication.

I'm guessing that your judgments about yourself (mostly negative in 2010) continue to be believed. One way to address the judgments using nondual techniques/philosopy is to recall the need for "acceptance." (I specifically did not use another term "surrender," only because "surrender" suggests that a fact cannot change. We can surrender to a thought-storm, but we should not surrender to a belief.) First, accept the facts that exist today, then address the judgments. For example - "I have never been kissed, I have never been in a relationship." (These are from 2010.) So start with the essential facts (no more than 15) of your life today -- just write them down, being very careful to list them all, without judging, and without rating them. For example "I feel crummy all the time" is a fact. "I am a worthless s**t" is a judgment -- I'll talk about them later. (By the way, here is a fact for you: "I believe my judgments about "who I am" and those beliefs affect my well-being." -- that fact should be pretty easy to accept!!) It might be helpful to list the facts in groups (physical, educational, experiential, etc.) It's also OK to refer to yourself as "me" and "I" rather than "The body-mind" etc. This is because you are dealing with an egoic disorder and the ego is all about "I" and "me" even if filled with dysfunctional, conditioned components.

So build a list of facts about EP. Then review it, item by item, and make sure you are accepting each one. By the way, accepting a fact about "yourself" (your egoic separate inside self) that exists today does not mean that 1) the same list will be true tomorrow and 2) any particular fact will always be on the list for some future "present moment" when you build it again and 3) that accepting a truth today means that it cannot be changed so that it is "not true" in the future.

Then make a list of judgments that you, at some level, believe. Review your earlier posts to see if they have changed, by the way. (And then review that fact I mentioned above about the impact of these judgments and accept it...way easy if not fun.) Then apply Byron Katie's "the work" technique to each judgment (Is it true? Can I be absolutely certain it is true? How do I react when I believe this? Who would I be without this belief? ... and the Turnaround.) Check her website or book "Loving What Is" for more details. You are a bright guy (at least I think you are male, it doesn't matter) and this cognitive technique is very effective. The Sedona Method is similar and also effective.

Accept facts fully. Believe very few judgments. I have qualified this last remark about beliefs because 1) I believe people generally benefit by awakening 2) I believe that loving kindness is good, 3) I believe suffering can be reduced by both psychotherapy and advaita and 4) I believe the Broncos will win the Superbowl. ;-)

Then create a plan to change the facts that you want to change. The plan should have SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound - But the time-bound piece should not be unrealistic.) And they should not be overly ambitious. And the first one should be easy so you can build some confidence. Perhaps one or two at a time. Keep a list and a diary on this. Once you start becoming your own best friend, you have an abundance of skills which will enable you to transform your life. And advaita will creep back in without any effort from you at all. And synchronicities will appear, and other cool stuff....

Namaste,

Andy
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There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce
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Re: Does to be engaged in thinking always = illusion?

Postby EternalPrize » Thu Sep 10, 2015 6:53 pm

Thank you, Andy. I was gone for labor day so I apologize the long delay in getting back to you. I definitely resonate with a lot of what you posted. I wrote a response in PM, but I think I accidentally just closed it, which is unfortunate since I put a lot of work into challenging various energies I was connected with into words.

I will get back to it soon. I will say I have developed a lot in the past few years, but old structures are still falling alway as I set up a healthy base upon which to (hopefully) rebuild.
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Re: Does to be engaged in thinking always = illusion?

Postby Sighclone » Thu Sep 10, 2015 7:40 pm

All good, EP - I wish you well.

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce
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Re: Does to be engaged in thinking always = illusion?

Postby EternalPrize » Sat Sep 12, 2015 9:08 pm

The times that I feel somewhat awake in the aware sense, I just ask, why do we need a story? The *need* for a story really is what makes everything go wrong. Because in order to have a story, we use the mind - which is conditioned, trained to provide a certain context, whatever. And it's like a codependent relationship where one person hurts us more or as much as they help us, but we need them. The mind is out of our control, but by needing it in that way, we chain ourself to whatever it gives us.

And at least in my pain, since so much of it revolves around childhood trauma, this "story" is everything I know, not just about "myself." Moving a spoon from the counter to the kitchen sink, the mind generates concepts. And these concepts are like getting punched in the face for me. Not a fun way to live.
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Re: Does to be engaged in thinking always = illusion?

Postby Sighclone » Sat Sep 12, 2015 9:37 pm

Knowing and believing that the mind is the culprit is part of the recovery and transformation. Understanding that the proximate and historical causes are buried in our early childhood is also helpful. But, in my opinion, what is needed now is the non-invasive "surgery" of a steady meditation practice and a good and compassionate but not enabling counselor. PMs coming...

Andy
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Re: Does to be engaged in thinking always = illusion?

Postby Onceler » Sun Sep 13, 2015 3:00 pm

EternalPrize wrote:Is awakening to realize the illusory nature of thought, and to only use it responsibly? I am struggling with trying to force my organism to see "through" its thoughts, as if somehow it could go above and beyond them, and be resting outside of them rather than inside. Can only learn to think and continuously think, and have it merely be symbols?

I ask because I've really been struggling lately. Struggling with anxiety my organism just has. Struggling with the thought patterns and behavior that my organism just has. I can't yet ground myself. These patterns feel like only an external need will calm them. An external need that is not material, but recognition in a basic human way I was lacking as a little version of me. It's so destructive, so destructive... The slightest things can destroy lives when children are involved.

I feel like sometimes these needs can't be advaita'd away. The organism needs the wounds and the scabs to heal, before the true flowering of self-awareness can be opened up. And it's so damn hard to have the power to genuinely see through it, to be awakened, and to have a material-cognitive-etc-personality which is shattered.


In my view, anxiety distorts thinking, distorts everything. I was terribly anxious all my life with intermittent panic attacks and a steady diet of guilt and shame, just to amp everything up. Removing the 'fear of life' as John Sherman suggests, has renewed natural human processes like thinking, rather than seeing them as faulty or somehow wrong. This has mostly gone away over the last four years leaving my thinking rather clear and my life straightforward.

If interested, check out Sherman's self-inquiry technique, called 'the looking'. This is not a practice, nor belief system, but rather a simple act which has had a remarkable affect on my life.....ending the spiritual search and bringing my life to the foreground in an immersive, natural manner. The looking isn't an instant, magic bullet, but rather takes time to do its work at a deep level. Check it out if interested at justonelook.org.
Be present, be pleasant.
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