Tuesday, November 10, 2009

THE DELUSION REGARDING “POSITIVE THOUGHTS INSTEAD OF NEGATIVE THOUGHTS,” Part Three

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FROM A SITE VISITOR: Thoughts of love would have to be positive thoughts, right?

F.: Is it possible, at the point on the “path” where you are currently, that less effort should be given to thinking and that more effort should be given to listening and to hearing only? Again, thoughts are the product of the “mind,” and the content of the “mind” is all false. Any thoughts about what persons call “love,” therefore, are necessarily false. If you think you “love” a person, then at some future point you can come to think that you hate that person. If a person claims to love you, then at some future point that person can profess to hate you.

The “thought” of “love” is, therefore, dualistic and—again—necessarily false; on the other hand, if You understand the Oneness, then You can also understand that You Are Love, and with that understanding in place, there is no possibility that You can believe at some later point that “you are hate.” Now, to continue:

[At the end of the 9 November 2009 post]: Yesterday, it was noted that there can even be measurable, negative consequences, relatively speaking, for those who are dedicated to working at “having only positive thoughts.”

What an impossible—and guaranteed frustrating—undertaking it is to set as a goal the development of an unwavering ability to have only “positive thoughts.” And how those efforts will always “backfire” and will result in the exact opposite of what is always sought or intended! That will be explained tomorrow.

A man who had been undergoing treatment for depression was showing considerable progress, responding quite effectively to the holistic plan being used by his therapist. Then, a regression was noted, a deterioration that worsened noticeably over the period of a week, two weeks, and three weeks.

After four weeks of continued disintegration, he was asked again if any new stressors had come into his life or if any new, frustrating challenges were being dealt with or if he had begun doing anything differently during the prior month.

“Nothing.” It took a steady line of probing until he finally flashed on one change: “Ah, okay, there is something new I started last month. I found a man who told me that the real cure for my depression was positive thinking, so I decided to work with him also.

“He has me keep a log of my thoughts all day and then we meet several times a week to go over how I’m doing.” He was asked, “So how are you doing?” The answer, anger rising: “Not worth a damn. If a negative thought comes up, I write a quick note about it in the pocket pad he gave me, then I immediately think of something positive to replace it.

When we meet, he has me go through my notes and discuss my positive to negative ratios and he scores my progress…or lack of progress." “So maybe that has become a ‘frustrating challenge’ for you?” he was asked. “Absolutely not! How could there possibly be anything wrong with trying to think positive thoughts?!”

Thus the pointer that there can be “measurable, negative consequences, relatively speaking, for those who are dedicated to working at ‘having only positive thoughts’.” The man was assigned an impossible task. If he were awake at all, he would see that trying all day long, every day to complete an impossible task—and then being called out for not accomplishing his impossible task—would be tremendously frustrating.

And when one is already having problems dealing with frustrations and expectations and responsibilities and depression, he would see—if he were awake at all—the toll that his failed efforts to avoid having even a single negative thought is having on his psyche.

Why is the pointer offered here that “mind” / thoughts and stillness can never coexist? Consider this exchange that happened in the loft:

Visitor: “…the mind is consciousness in motion and consciousness is the conditioned (saguna) aspect of the Self.”
Maharaj: “Quite right….”

The real solution is pointed to in that exchange: the constant motion (of positive or negative thoughts) is a result of conditioning (and programming). Are you seeing what must be purged if the endless motion of "the mind" is to end?

Consciousness is energy, and energy will not be still; however, in the absence of the combination of a nervous system and manifested consciousness, there is no awareness of movement so there are no positive or negative thoughts. Both are impossibilities if in touch with Reality.

Maharaj: "Awareness becomes consciousness when it has an object. The object changes all the time. In consciousness there is movement; awareness by itself is motionless and timeless...."

Consider Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj’s advice when asked about being in touch with Reality and thus being free of the fluctuations of the “mind”:

You can do nothing to bring it about but you can avoid creating obstacles. Watch your mind, how it comes into being, how it operates. As you watch your mind, you discover your self as the watcher. When you stand motionless, only watching, you discover your self as the light behind the watcher. Go back to that source and abide there.

and

The body appears in your mind, your mind is the content of your consciousness; you are the motionless witness of the river of consciousness which changes eternally without changing you in any way. Your own changelessness is so obvious that you do not notice it. Have a good look at yourself and all these misapprehensions and misconceptions will dissolve.

and

Having realised..., I became free from all desire and fear. The main change was in the mind; it became motionless and silent....

and

By themselves both the body and the witness are motionless, but when brought together in the mind, both appear to move.

and

What we call thoughts are just ripples in the mind. When the mind is quiet it reflects reality. When it is motionless through and through, it dissolves and only reality remains.

How, then, to be in touch with Reality so that the "mind"—and thoughts, whether negative or positive—can end and bring with it an end to the mind-chatter that robs persons of the peace and of their ability to enjoy the chaos-less, motionless quiet?

If associated with “the mind,” there can never be an end to the motion, to the movement, to an endless stream of thoughts; furthermore, since thoughts are generated within the relative, and since the relative is dualistic, then, of course, there will always be an array of both negative and positive thoughts if not Realized fully.

To move beyond the “mind”—and thus beyond the instability and the duality of constantly occurring negative and positive thoughts—then another Realization must happen, and that involves personality (a.k.a., roles, personas, false identities, ego-states, etc.)

Consider the commonality in three words used often by Maharaj: motion, commotion, and emotion. All negative thoughts (and positive thoughts, too) are the product of ego-states. The Pure Consciousness witnesses impartially, watches feelings (not emotions) rise and fall, and thereby enjoys freedom from thoughts. There is no motion.

Only ego-states can emote and thus be in constant motion, and every ego-state has an agenda that produces desires and fears. An agenda will generate thoughts about the agenda and about how to accomplish one’s agenda and about how to achieve one’s desires and about how to avoid one’s fears. Consider how many thoughts, how much mind-motion, all of that will generate!

Thoughts generated by ego-states with agendas will generate positive thoughts when the ego-state is seemingly getting what it desires and will generate negative thoughts when not getting what it desires or when trying to deal with what it fears. Abiding as the relative and as false ego-states with agendas, mind-motion will be the rule, not the exception.

Additionally, mind-motion will always bring about emotions, emotional intoxication, and commotion. It is freedom from belief in ego-states as real identities that is the prerequisite for freedom from the constant fluctuations of thoughts, including the self-centered, selfish positive ones and the frustrating negative ones. More on that tomorrow. Please enter the silence of contemplation. (To be continued)

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