De-energising thought forms (Guilt & OCD)

Here you may share how the words Eckhart Tolle have affected your life.
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Post by eseward » Tue May 08, 2007 4:03 am

Webwanderer wrote:There must be a couple of dozen terms that refer to that Essential Being that is fundamental to all that is. There is something for everyone and I like to spread them around. :)
I like these terms as well, WW, and translate them as you've described. Thanks. :)

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Post by Nebula » Fri May 11, 2007 2:25 pm

Thanks JD again, and all the other posters, for some really insightful, well explained, and helpful posts!
Also thanks Agnieszka for the response, I can really relate to what you're saying.
I had another question regarding de-energising guilt thought forms in particular, JD you say that
As well as de-energizing the thought-forms of guilt, which leaves a vacuum which, as I said, will soon be filled by more of the same, it's necessary to deliberately create positive thought-forms in their place - the consciously created thought-forms I mentioned above.
Above you gave the example of :
There are two kinds of thought-forms - those formed by conscious thought (if I decide to build an image of the Taj Mahal in my mind, for example) and those formed by unconscious desire (more precisely, the desire may be conscious, but the creation of the thought-form is not).
So are you suggesting that when you feel guilty, you begin to consciously and wilfully think of other things? That feels like avoidance to me.
I'm still doing pretty well at not engaging with the thoughts too much, but unfortunately the guilt has "morphed" into a new manifestation now.
Thanks
"If it is the quality of your consciousness at this moment that determines the future, then what is it that determines the quality of your consciousness? Your degree of presence"

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Post by eseward » Fri May 11, 2007 2:35 pm

As well as de-energizing the thought-forms of guilt, which leaves a vacuum which, as I said, will soon be filled by more of the same, it's necessary to deliberately create positive thought-forms in their place - the consciously created thought-forms I mentioned above.
Just a note to say this is not my experience or my method. In fact, I consider it my job to leave the vacuum alone and empty, refusing to fill it with anything. Left empty of "personal solutions" or ideas, the vacuum will soon enough be filled with something from beyond our usual sense of self, something remarkable.

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Post by Nebula » Fri May 11, 2007 4:42 pm

eseward wrote: Exactly. I do this by referring to that machine as "It" (which is the false self/ego-self/conditioned mind/etc).
Agnieszka wrote:Try to let yourself to feel guilty and remind yourself that it's a psychological structure, a conglomerate you created, not real you. Don't fight it, try to just let it be.
Exactly. It isn't you, it represents errored conclusions accepted along the way, which we agree with and identified with, and which now operate in an automated way within us.

I think it's important to remember that the distortions that these conclusions make in the way our world looks is not obvious until we have successfully disidentified with the original distorting conclusions. Only then does the world look the way it really it (which is actually very non-threatening and is actually all good).
Thanks for the response eseward, I found the "it says" useful, but now i'm a little confused as to whether i should be "filling the void" with positive thoughts, or leaving it alones as you suggested! :?
"If it is the quality of your consciousness at this moment that determines the future, then what is it that determines the quality of your consciousness? Your degree of presence"

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Post by JD » Fri May 11, 2007 4:56 pm

julia_whirly wrote: So are you suggesting that when you feel guilty, you begin to consciously and wilfully think of other things? That feels like avoidance to me.
And so it would be. That's absolutely not what I'm suggesting.

De-energizing thought-forms is one thing. Deliberately creating thought-forms of a different frequency is another.

I'm not suggesting that if you experience a thought-form of guilt you should immediately block it out by creating though-forms about all the good things you've done.

That would be resistance, which would only strengthen the thought-form of guilt.

Once the guilt has arisen, you should just allow it to be there without getting involved in a stream of mental self-recriminations about how awful "you" are.

What I meant is that when you're not being plagued by thought-forms of guilt, it might be a good idea to sit down and deliberately create some positive thoughts about yourself.

I've noticed whenever ET disapproves of something but is too polite to say so, he always gives himself away by prefacing his remarks with the phrase:

"There is nothing wrong with...".

"There is nothing wrong with... workshops..."

"There is nothing wrong with... materializing success"

"There is nothing wrong with... affirmations...", etc, etc, etc...

Of course, no one in Eckhart's seminar said there that there was anything wrong with affirmations, workshops, materializing success, etc - and that's the big giveaway.

I see from your name that you're not English. Nothing wrong with that! :D

Now, one of the things that ET often assures us that there's nothing wrong with is affirmations (not wanting to offend his fellow-teachers, I imagine).

But it's a rare seminar when he can pass up the chance to chuckle at the idea of people sticking little "I love myself" post-it notes on the bathroom mirror. :D

He points out, quite correctly, that by buying into the notion of this "self" that you love, or hate, you're simply perpetuating the problem.

He also observes that everything on the level of thought contains its opposite, so that love is sure to turn into hate, eventually.

Why then, set out to create positive thought-forms?

Isn't that just the same as taping affirmations to the bathroom mirror?

No.

There's a massive difference between blindly pasting affirmations on the mirror in the belief that this will lead to peace and self-acceptance, and deliberately creating thought-forms of a certain frequency for a specific and temporary purpose.

By deliberately creating positive thought-forms to counteract guilt, you're not saying: "Okay, this guilty me is the real me, so I'm going to fill it with some nice thoughts instead".

Not at all.

What you're saying (or should be saying) is this: "I know that this thinking mind is not in any sense the real me, but for the time being I still need it to function in daily life, so I'm going to make it more positive and a less hospitable environment for thought-forms of guilt.

That's all.

Ultimately, of course, you'll have less and less need for conceptual thought.

The point of this practise is simply to change the vibratory keynote of your mind in order to hasten that process.

You're not buying in to anything at all.
I'm still doing pretty well at not engaging with the thoughts too much, but unfortunately the guilt has "morphed" into a new manifestation now.
That's exactly the point. Your mind vibrates on the frequency of guilt and so attracts other thought-forms of a compatible nature.

Change the rate of vibration and you'll no longer attract the thought-forms that torment you.

Then, you can begin to quieten down the incessant clamour of your mind. :D
eseward wrote:
As well as de-energizing the thought-forms of guilt, which leaves a vacuum which, as I said, will soon be filled by more of the same, it's necessary to deliberately create positive thought-forms in their place - the consciously created thought-forms I mentioned above.
Just a note to say this is not my experience or my method. In fact, I consider it my job to leave the vacuum alone and empty, refusing to fill it with anything. Left empty of "personal solutions" or ideas, the vacuum will soon enough be filled with something from beyond our usual sense of self, something remarkable.
I agree absolutely. The time comes when there's no advantage to having any thought.

However, julia's dealing not with a " vacuum - alone and empty", but with a mind that's all too active and intrusive.

I found these techniques a useful temporary measure to improve the signal-to-noise ratio of my thinking mind and create a little space around my thoughts.

Deliberately creating thoughts of love (which is the true opposite of fear), for example, was a great help to me before I reached a state of mental quiet.

When I got there, like you, I didn't mess with the vacuum either.

Presence is probably the one vacuum that nature doesn't "abhor". :D

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Post by Nebula » Sun May 13, 2007 12:36 am

JD wrote: However, julia's dealing not with a " vacuum - alone and empty", but with a mind that's all too active and intrusive.

I found these techniques a useful temporary measure to improve the signal-to-noise ratio of my thinking mind and create a little space around my thoughts.

Deliberately creating thoughts of love (which is the true opposite of fear), for example, was a great help to me before I reached a state of mental quiet.

When I got there, like you, I didn't mess with the vacuum either.

Presence is probably the one vacuum that nature doesn't "abhor". :D
Thanks for the reply, I know this is going to sound stupid, but how do I deliberately create thoughts of love?
I have found the advice re disidentifying with the thoughts very useful. I'm still regularly sucked into repetitive and tormenting thought patterns, but i'm getting better at observing it, and distancing myself from it.
Fear is basically the root of all this.
"If it is the quality of your consciousness at this moment that determines the future, then what is it that determines the quality of your consciousness? Your degree of presence"

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Post by eseward » Sun May 13, 2007 12:38 am

julia_whirly wrote:i'm getting better at observing it, and distancing myself from it.
Good for you, Julia. :D

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Post by Nebula » Sun May 13, 2007 1:03 am

eseward wrote:
julia_whirly wrote:i'm getting better at observing it, and distancing myself from it.
Good for you, Julia. :D
Thanks :oops:
I feel like expressing thanks every time I write here, i'm amazed at how helpful people are here.
"If it is the quality of your consciousness at this moment that determines the future, then what is it that determines the quality of your consciousness? Your degree of presence"

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Post by Webwanderer » Sun May 13, 2007 3:05 am

julia_whirly wrote:
Thanks for the reply, I know this is going to sound stupid, but how do I deliberately create thoughts of love?
Begin with gratitude, the genuine appreciation of a thousand little experiences of your daily life. Really, test this out. Can you dwell in a sense of gratitude for a gentle breeze, or beautiful flower without a corresponding sense of love? Spread this sense of gratitude throughout your life. Find opportunities for gratitude and Love will be your companion.

Adopt an attitude of acceptance for life in general, for no particular reason; and feel that same gratitude for your ability to forgive, yourself and others, as well as your very efforts to forgive even when you fail. Forgiveness is the path to freedom from our judgments of life’ wrongs, and every time we loose a tie of judgment that binds us to ego identity is indeed cause for gratitude.

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Post by JD » Sun May 13, 2007 6:52 pm

julia_whirly wrote: Thanks for the reply, I know this is going to sound stupid, but how do I deliberately create thoughts of love?
Nothing stupid about it - it can be very difficult when you're not used to it.

I can't add much to Webwanderer's excellent tips except to tell you how my ex used to do this. She found that if she used anyone she knew in a love meditation, in no time at all she was lost in thought.

What finally worked for her was visualizing a puppy with a bandaged paw. It was in pain and looking up at her with pleading eyes. She healed its paw and its expression changed to one of love and gratitude.

Aaaaaaaaaaaah! :)

Above all, remember that this is not an intellectual exercise. The puppy visualization may seem soppy, but the aim is to create real emotion - love and compassion - so whatever works for you is the best thing to do.
I have found the advice re disidentifying with the thoughts very useful. I'm still regularly sucked into repetitive and tormenting thought patterns, but i'm getting better at observing it, and distancing myself from it.
That's great!

I still get sucked into the thought-stream occasionally (I defy anyone to maintain a state of presence during a 10 minute conversation with the guys on my ISP's "tech support" desk). :D

The difference is that it happens for seconds now, instead of minutes or hours. Then I realize what's happening and return to a state of presence.

ET describes the process of becoming present very well. He says that at the beginning of this work, the old repetitive thoughts occupy the foreground of your consciousness and the spaces of stillness between them are few.

Eventually, a reversal occurs. The thoughts recede into the background and the spaces of stillness increase until they become the foreground of your awareness.
Fear is basically the root of all this.
Absolutely right.

As a psychologist, you'll be familiar with the concept of systematic desensitization as a treatment for phobias.
http://www.guidetopsychology.com/sysden.htm

One method that has been consistently proven to be effective in the treatment of anxiety and phobias is systematic desensitization.

In this procedure, events which cause anxiety are recalled in imagination, and then a relaxation technique is used to dissipate the anxiety.

With sufficient repetition through practice, the imagined event loses its anxiety-provoking power.

At the end of training, when you actually face the real event, you will find that it too, just like the imagined event, has lost its power to make you anxious.
The problem with this approach is that a thought-form related to a phobia will often morph into something else if it ceases to produce the desired effect, as you yourself have experienced.

A patient may be cured of a fear of spiders, say, only to find that the fear re-emerges in another form.

This is because systematic desensitization tries to work by "de-sensitizing" the patient to the object of his fear (in effect, de-energizing the thought-form - in this case, a spider).

This may meet with a degree of success, but it won't help him when the fear resurfaces in another guise.

By using the technique discussed earlier in this thread and experiencing the fear as a sensation in the physical body, that is, as pure energy, you de-sensitize yourself to fear itself.

The Protean shifts of form no longer work for the thought-forms of fear. You're no longer menaced by the underlying energy that they represent.

That's real progress.

So I'd recommend a three-pronged approach:

1) The deliberate creation of loving thought-forms.

2) Experiencing the fear directly as a sensation in the physical body.

3) Using reason to counteract feelings of guilt. By that, I mean realising that there can be nothing for you to feel guilty about as the concept of "guilt" necessarily implies that you had some choice about how you behaved, which is simply not the case when you're acting out thought-forms unconsciously.

In the past I did many things that I wish I hadn't done, but I feel no guilt about them at all. I was lost in the dream of thought, acting unconsciously and had no choice.

If I behaved that way now I'd certainly have something to feel guilty about, but not then, as I really had no choice. :)

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Post by eseward » Sun May 13, 2007 7:01 pm

JD wrote:In the past I did many things that I wish I hadn't done, but I feel no guilt about them at all. I was lost in the dream of thought, acting unconsciously and had no choice.
Exactly, under a hypnotic spell. Now awake, the spell broken, your actions are naturally different.

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Post by A Name is a Label » Fri May 18, 2007 4:51 pm

I too suffer from "OCD" thinking patterns: doubting one thing, doubting another thing, doubting the doubt that I may have, in fact, doubted something :roll:

As the original poster stated, it's not easy to deal with; However, I've found hope in Eckhart's teaching, and I recommend it to anyone who suffers from anxiety or snoballing thinking patterns.

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Re:

Post by surprise » Fri Apr 16, 2010 12:59 pm

JD wrote:
julia_whirly wrote:
Some Buddhists see everything as the "Buddha-mind".

If they feel guilt, they'll say: "Oh, look. There's guilt in the Buddha-mind today!".

They never personalize the thought-form, never identify with it.

I've found this to be an excellent strategy. It soon becomes second-nature.

You are NOT the thought-forms of guilt in your mind.

You're a vast, wise cosmic being who's become temporarily entangled with some problematic thought-forms, that's all.

Try to remember that.

I really do not know how excellent that would be as a strategy for me...but seems to be interesting & would try it out...Great post

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Re: De-energising thought forms (Guilt & OCD)

Post by Ives » Fri Apr 16, 2010 2:32 pm

How great to read this thread again after all these years!
Thanks guys.

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Re: De-energising thought forms (Guilt & OCD)

Post by heidi » Fri Apr 16, 2010 2:37 pm

Hi Ives - Nice to "see" you here on the forum again. :)
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