Thinking Thoughts

Your thoughts create your reality! You are NOT your thoughts!Have you ever thought about these two statements together? I have and it is only when I did that I realised how inter-connected they were. I realised that although at the surface level they sound contradictory, you cannot really understand and abide by one or the other but have to abide by both to obtain the benefits of the teaching behind the statements.

Considering that our thoughts are the most private thing we own, is it really fair to claim that we are not our thoughts? Our thoughts are our internal reality seen and heard only by us; they are our way of witnessing, perceiving and interpreting the world we live in. We go into a thinking mood and analyse what we see, hear, touch, smell and feel in order to make sense of our world. It is our way of understanding what is happening in the outer world, the world without!

Such reasoning implies that there is a world within and a world without and that our thoughts are real to the extent that we are aware of them, yet they do not exist outside of our awareness. They are not physical objects! There is nowhere else where the thought that is appearing to each one of us at this moment is actually occurring except in our minds. Our thoughts are happening only in our imagination and are not solid, like trees or rocks that exist outside of us in some tangible way. Is it really accurate then to claim that our reality is built out of our thoughts?

“Reality is built out of thought and our every thought begins to create reality” – Edgar Cayce. The world without like our circumstances, events, lifestyles influences the world within and consequently our world without. The world within – our thoughts – determines how we interact with the world without. We also create our world without through our interactions with others and the environment; interactions that will eventually determine our thought pattern and our world within. Sounds like a vicious circle, right? We use our internal process to create an understandable reality that simply confirms and reinforces our thoughts and beliefs, hence the inter-connectedness of the sayings “Your thoughts create your reality” and “You are not your thoughts”. You are not your thoughts because thoughts do not offer any permanence in the form of objects and yet we use our thoughts, our thinking/reasoning to create our reality!

“Change your thinking, change your life” – Les Brown. Eckhart Tolle states that we “attract and manifest whatever corresponds to our inner state.” It is however important to remember that a thought, negative or positive is harmless and/or worthless, unless you believe and act on it! It is not the thought but your attachment and reaction to it that causes you suffering or joy.

“Rule your mind or it will rule you” – Buddha. In Michael A. Singer’s book “The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself”, he likens our thoughts to an inner roommate that speaks incessantly, giving the pros and cons of ideas, blaming us when our ideas/thoughts fail to achieve our goals, taking credit when they do and generally simply over-emphasising the importance of the thoughts that occur in our minds. This inner roommate never stops chattering until we learn to either, accept and live with them just as they are or decline to participate in their conversation. Singer invites us to consider whether we would still be friends with, and identify with that inner roommate (our thoughts) if they were a real, physical being; if they manifested as a real roommate? Would you continue having a conversation with them? Listen to them talk you into and out of things? Believe every word they say and even carry out their instructions? Or would you simply ignore them for the sake of your sanity and for fear of being judged to be crazy by virtue of association? After all, what “normal” person would want to be seen having a conversation with someone who never stops talking; someone who gives you advice and immediately contradicts his/her advice? Someone who, when you fail, blames you for following through with the advice they gave? Yes, someone who never stops talking! Someone you and others can’t even see! That is that inner roommate Singer is talking about. Would you live with such a roommate? If no, then why encourage the chatter in your mind, the thoughts/“roommate” in your mind? Why create that world within that you simply cannot keep up with in the world without? (Singer, M, 2007).

Don’t get me wrong, you need to do some thinking in order to plan your day and/or future but do you need to do that 24/7?

Our thoughts do not exist outside our minds and we do not become our thoughts until we believe and act on them.

I’ll leave you with this quote from Shunryu Suzuki: “Leave your front door and your back door open! Allow your thoughts to come and go; just don’t serve them tea”!

Rosaline Nain Chia 21/3/2016