After a while a question arose 'who are you'1) You can eat more cake. This will once more charge up the thought-form, which will be even stronger the next time it surfaces. That's how cycles of addiction are formed.
2) You can fight against the temptation and refuse to eat any more cake. The energy produced by your struggle will also feed the thought-form and make it more powerful.
The third possibility is to react to the thought-form with complete indifference. Just allow it to be there but don't feed it by having an orgy of chocolate cake eating, or by struggling to do the opposite. Ignore it, welcome it, do anything but engage with it on its own level (thoughts of, chocolate cake - should I, shouldn't I?).
Of course, this strategy presupposes that you're sufficiently conscious to recognize the thought-form for what it is (rather than being totally identified with it, in which case your choices are restricted to the first two options, neither of which is helpful).
If you can succeed in maintaining an attitude of indifference, the thought-form will receive no energy and be considerably weaker and easier to resist with each subsequent appearance, until it eventually becomes de-energized and ceases to be a problem.
I said 'me, these thoughts'
and then 'but who is watching these thoughts'
And then I realised that there was a great stillness there, beyond the thoughts, at first almost like a vast wall. But then I entered it and after a while I was more the vast stillness and the thoughts were not me at all. I realised that this unchanging stillness has been observing my entire life.
A number of ETs teachings are a little clearer now. Though I can not often be quite as still as that night, I now know what it means to be the silent watcher of the thoughts and can do this a little more easilly now.
Since then I have had really interesting unravellings (it felt like unravelling) of body tensions, especially down the spine. They seem to come back somewhat, but maybe not as bad each time (early days yet I suppose, so I am not sure how permanent the unravelling is or how often I will have to repeat the exercise before it dissapates). Anxiety does return but I think has been easier to dissapate (time will tell). So I hope this is progress.
So I thank JD for his chocolate cake analogy. I thought it deserved a fresh topic since it was, for me, a clear explanation of how to dissolve negative thought forms.
Another thing that helped be understand better being the impartial observer was this quote from an Australian psychiatrist (Ainslie Meares) who used meditation. The below quote clarified the difference between meditation that requires effort, and the much more pleasant kind of meditation that does not require any effort. ET also alludes to this.
After reading this I realise that I was making a few mistakes. I was trying too hard to dissapate the thought forms or energy - focusing too harshly on them, holding them too tight or whatever. I don't think it was helping that much. Sometimes I do find it useful to hold my attention on negative thought forms, but as calmly as possible, preferably from a sense of stillness, and letting them shift and flow.The key to our management of stress lies in those moments when our brain runs quietly in a way that restores harmony of function.... First, there are many different forms of meditation in which the brain functions in quite different ways. I have abundant evidence to show that the form of meditation which I am about to describe is much more effective than other forms in restoring the harmonious brain function that relieves stress.
In classical meditation as in yoga, in Zen Buddhist meditation, and in the meditation as practised by the early Christian mystics, the thought processes of the mind are helped by will power concentrating on some object or spiritual concept. The mind is active, striving to attain and maintain this ideal. In the meditation that I would advise you to practise there is no striving, no activity of brain function, just quietness, a stillness of effortless tranquility.
This is not the tranquility of drowsy somnolence. The mind is clear but still. At first, until the meditator has learned the art of letting his mind run in this way, there will be moments of stillness, but these are soon interrupted by the intrusion of thoughts. Do not try to dispel the thoughts by actively driving them from the mind. Just let them be and they will fizzle out, cease, and stillness will come again. Then thoughts will recur. And again, if they are let alone, the stillness that we want, will become longer and longer.
At the start this process will come and go, very much like the natural rhythms that are all about us, night and day, the tides, our very heartbeat. There may be a tendency for the beginner to get cross with himself with the recurring thoughts. This, of course, brings the meditative process to a halt.
Another error, which may befall the beginner, is a tendency to examine the situation. 'How am I going? Am I doing it properly?' Of course, any enquiry of this nature involves activity of the mind, which is exactly what we are trying to avoid. At the start it is best just to let ourselves experience a sense of being. Just being. Not even being in the room. Not even being alive. Just being. This state of mental activity, or rather inactivity, is a step towards the real stillness of mind experienced in full meditation.... We are seeking a form of relaxation which arises in the brain itself....
In classical meditation the meditator is taught to be constantly aware of his breathing. The breath goes in and out, in and out. The awareness of it means that there is continuing activity of the mind. which means that this process produces a type of meditation quite different from that which I advocate. There is another point. The awareness of our breathing gives the mind something to do, and so reduces the intrusion of thoughts. This makes meditation easier. So those learning to meditate easily fall into the habit of stilling their thoughts in this way. But if we are meditating with awareness of our breathing, our brain never achieves the quiet stillness which is so effective in restoring harmonious function and so relieving stress....
These same principles apply to the technique of visualization.... The main problem that leads people into visualizing is that the inexperienced see it as something practical as opposed to the rather mystical idea of stillness. Visualization is an easy technique as it gives the meditator something to do. This overcomes the initial difficulty of the meditator learning to let his mind run in stillness, but it leads to an inferior type of meditation.
It does not require long periods of meditation to obtain relief from stress. Ten minutes twice a day has produced dramatic relief in some hundreds of people who have consulted me professionally....
As we learn to meditate in this way, it soon becomes a pleasant experience. It is something to which we look forward. This comes with the ease that there is about it. There is no making ourselves relax, no making ourselves meditate. It is all very simple and natural. That is why we soon come to like doing it. Then we come to feel less stressed, and our motivation for our meditation is further increased.
Besides, there are many fringe benefits! The effects of successful meditation flow into our everyday life. Although we may initially have been meditating to control stress or some psychosomatic illness, there are many side-effects, and they are all positive, and all good. They include inner peace, better interpersonal relationships, clearer thinking, increased work capacity - even tycoons agree on this, better sexual relationships due to less tension, absence of disturbing dreams, and smoother physical reactions often shown in better performance in sport.
Another quote I have found useful is this one. It is long, so I will only give the link.
http://isaacshapiro.de/librarypages/lib ... eness.html
To paraphrase 'has holding on to negativity ever worked? has resisting
negativity ever worked?' try something different.
This is similar to the chocolate cake analogy.