I feel as though this journey wasn't the right path

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Learis
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I feel as though this journey wasn't the right path

Post by Learis » Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:30 am

The whole message that I have gotten from eckhart is that your thoughts are bad, and that it's bad to think too much. But what is wrong with thinking nice thoughts? What happened to the old quote "some of the greatest thinkers out there", and that ancient Greek (Roman???) statue of the Thinking Man.

I'll accept my thoughts.

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kiki
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Re: I feel as though this journey wasn't the right path

Post by kiki » Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:29 pm

Then you got the wrong message. It's not that thinking is "bad"; it's quite useful in many situations, and your life circumstances can certainly be enhanced via thinking. The "problem" with thoughts is being identified with them as "you" and becoming entangled in the mind and not seeing/realizing what you are beyond your thoughts. When thoughts aren't needed can you simply "be"? In other words, can you find the "off button" to thinking? Who/what are you in reality, beyond the thinking mind?
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rachMiel
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Re: I feel as though this journey wasn't the right path

Post by rachMiel » Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:04 pm

kiki wrote:Who/what are you in reality, beyond the thinking mind?
And who/what can answer this question? Thought? Intuition? Awareness? Something else entirely?

If you stay with these questions for a while, Learis, and bring all your abilities to bear on finding answers ... thinking, feeling, observing, contemplating, meditating, discussing, etc. ... you might just be more drawn to this path. (Or not, but it's worth a try, yes?) :-)
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

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Webwanderer
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Re: I feel as though this journey wasn't the right path

Post by Webwanderer » Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:35 pm

Kiki's post was spot on and very well written. Spend some time with it and let it become clear. I would add this: Thinking in general is neutral. There is no inherent bad or good to it. It just leads in different experiential directions. The nature of thinking can span the range from inspiring to debilitating. Whether such thinking is considered bad or good depends on the personal relationship one has with that thinking and judgments applied to it.

This description however, just applies to the belief that thinking can be bad. What matters most is what Kiki wrote on identification with thought in general. Thought itself is merely content within consciousness which creates the quality of experiences we have.

The reality is that our judgment on the nature of our thoughts is a prime contributor to our identification with it.

WW

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eputkonen
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Re: I feel as though this journey wasn't the right path

Post by eputkonen » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:37 pm

Thought is not necessarily bad as it is useful at times, but thought is also a distraction from the present moment. Some may live much of their lives in their heads, and really not aware or with what is going on in the here and now. Also, thought is responsible for our suffering - worry, guilt, problems, fear, etc...and general dis-satisfaction.

Most people do not realize how much thought interferes. For example, when I was studying Tai Chi Chuan and Aikido and sparring...I was the most vulnerable and got hit the most when I was thinking. Thinking gets in the way from being aware and working with what is...which often is more kinesthetic than mental. You can act appropriately more quickly when you are not thinking.

Really, the message is to put thought in its right place...instead of being ruled by thought, thought becomes a helpful servant. But you might be surprised by how little thought is needed...and at the same time how amazing the now is and the degree it can be experienced when not thinking.
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snowheight
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Re: I feel as though this journey wasn't the right path

Post by snowheight » Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:04 am

One passage of the book that I remember being a specific source of a particular realization was ET's comment that as it is, 90% of most human thinking is "repetitive, useless, dysfunctional, negative, harmful". But here's the thing .. what he's getting at only becomes clear if the thinking we investigate is our own. Since Tolle referred to thinking as a disease, I would have to admit that Learis has a point. But Tolle wrote that in a particular context. The negativity is only a symptom of the disease, the cause of which is, as kiki put it, is the identification with the process of thinking and it's products, all intimately related to and intertwined with our emotions.

This distinction between ourselves, on one hand, and what we think and feel, on the other, seems so simple. But even people who not only understand it, accept it as valid, and also accept that it points to something worth attending to .. even some of them will admit openly and honestly to a sense of identity still entangled with the content of their minds. And some of them are actively seeking the end of this.

For as long as a human being has any shred of a sense of identity with anything temporal, anything of the senses, an underlying feeling of existential dread will never be far away. Sometimes it might be palpable in the form of anxiety or worse, but even if that's not the case, even during the good times, it will always be lurking in their subconscious. While the mechanics of this are quite obvious, what we are is not a machine, and what is realized is beyond any direct explanation as it can't be captured by information.

So. What to do? ET gives us the answer to that, but, regardless of whether or not we trust him, this answer demands self-honesty and action,. The existential truth is always here and now. Hiding in plain sight, for those who would look. But even if we act, even if we search, there is no guarantee that we will find, as the terrain the search traverses is ultimately pathless, and beyond any map.
Stop talking. Hear every sound as background. Look straight ahead and focus. Take one deep breath. This is you. This is Now.

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