content='index,follow' name='robots'/> Plain Talk and Ordinary Wisdom: Thinking Just Happens

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Thinking Just Happens

This post was hard to write, and yet important, as I wanted to be sure I was writing it clearly. I’m still processing this myself so please be patient with my explanations. This quote, “Strictly speaking, you don’t think: Thinking happens to you.” struck me as I read it in Eckhart Tolle’s book, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose (Oprah's Book Club, Selection 61)(Paperback). It was something that jumped out at me and got my attention. He says:

“The statement “I think” implies volition. It implies that you have a say in the matter, that there is choice involved on your part. For most people, this is not yet the case.”

But, in fact, Tolle says: ““I think” is just as false a statement as “I digest” or “I circulate my blood.” Digestion happens, circulation happens, thinking happens.”

This was a different idea that I had to consider. The choice comes when you’re conscious of your thoughts and if they have purpose, not just fear or judgment – something that the ego would use for its empowerment.

In my last post, Developing Awareness – What’s Going On Behind the Eyeballs?, I give some ideas on how to develop awareness to awaken to our true lives releasing the grip of the ego and our thoughts play an important role in that. It’s a different perspective to consider that our thoughts are processing automatically because they seem so personal. This is because I had identified with my thoughts as being who I am.

When we identify with thoughts that is when we have made a choice to respond, react or judge instead of just observing them and letting them go. Identifying with our thoughts does not mean defining them it means giving them our identity. We then own whatever our thoughts present to us when we don’t distinguish them. Letting them go detaches you from the outcome and the influence of the ego. I had heard and read many times that “you are not your thoughts” but I really didn’t understand what that meant until now.

I always felt responsible for the thoughts that I had and felt they were a reflection of me. I’m only responsible for them if I identify with them. That is the key. They are just there and they come from our conditioning in the past and influences going on in our environment but I should in no way feel responsible for the thoughts themselves. This sheds a whole new light on my approach to developing my own awareness.

As I learn, I will be paying closer attention to the thoughts that pass through and I’ll forget sometimes, more at first, until I become more proficient at observing rather than identifying. What about you? Have you ever noticed your thoughts and considered them operating just as your heart and blood circulation? Why do we add “I” to thinking? It’s something worth considering in order to be a part in the awakening of humanity and put us back on track to saving us and our planet.

***Oprah Winfrey is having a free 10-week teleclass on Eckhart Tolle’s book A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose (Oprah's Book Club, Selection 61)(Paperback) that started last Monday, March 3rd. You can still get in on it if you’re interested in reading this book and participating in this class.

From the kitchen table - Pat
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Kelly@SHE-POWER said...

Just looking at your thoughts can be a head trip, can't it Pat?

My first life changing book was Louise Hay's "You Can Heal Your Life", which I read when I was 20. Since then I have endeavored to observe my thoughts and decide if they are ME or not, but it's a long and winding journey.

I have struggled with anxiety on and off since I was a teenager, so the more strung out I am, it can be difficult to even grab hold of all the racing thoughts, let alone observe them.

For me, the difference has come with meditation and regular grounding exercises to stay present. I've also become a big fan of Abraham Hicks and their suggestion that our emotions are the key more than our thoughts. I'm really looking forward to this new Eckhart Tolle book. I haven't seen it here in Australia; I'll have to ask at the book shop.

:) Kelly

Pat said...

Kelly - thank you for your response. I love hearing your take on this as it was difficult to write as I was and still processing it. Yes, I agree, looking at our thoughts can be a head trip. Like you, I've traveled on this spiritual path almost my whole life but I find this latest teaching from Eckhart Tolle to be powerful. I believe it's truly a book of the times for which the world is ready to hear. I hope you get a chance to get a copy soon.

Being the observer of my thoughts and emotions doesn't come easy and it comes from years of conditioning.

With the help of many teachers, you're right, you learn that getting quiet and meditating keeps us grounded and increases our awareness of the present moment.