Thoughts are just thoughts

One of first things that opened my mind to a different view of reality was the concept of illusion. In The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz calls it mitote, fog or smoke.

When I was I child, I learned to see the world through the eyes of my parents, my teachers, and society as a whole. I learned to label everything, Mom, Dad, Bird, Tree, House… I learned where to put my attention, how to behave, what was wrong and right,  and even how to feel. I internalized their ideas and they became mine. And thus my ego was born. When I looked at a tree, I would think tree and forget what it looked like before I even knew that word. When I broke the rules, I would feel guilty not remembering I was without guilt before I knew there were rules. The pure being I once was became clouded by a fog of concepts. I could not see myself or the world as they really are. And as everyone is conditioned differently, everyone experiences the world differently. Once I got this, the story of the Tower of Babel got a whole new dimension.

The word oak tree does not even come close to describing an oak tree in all its being. It does not tell me anything about the sheer majesty of its being, what its bark feels like, sap running trough its veins, what its leaves look like up close, the many different shades of green absorbing light, how they move in the wind or the sound of their soft rustling. Nor can the word ‘I’ describe who I truly am. I am not Norea, it is what I’m called. I am not a daughter, a mother, a wive, these are only the roles I have taken upon myself in this life. I am not good or bad, right or wrong, strong or weak, smart or stupid, these are the concepts my ego uses to describe me. The truth is I simply am, as is the oak tree. Different forms of energy. As clouds and rain are different manifestations of water. 

It took me some time to really understand language is only a means of communication, it has no meaning in and of itself. Words are just words and thoughts are just thoughts. They make up a world in a box, a personal drama, an illusion of the mind. The smoke in-between that keeps us from knowing what we are, Don Miguel Ruiz says. It is words and thoughts that keep me from seeing who I really am.  I.  The stillness between my thoughts. Pure being without words. I am.

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  3. What I find to be the hardest is quieting that voice in my head that is constantly telling me what I am seeing and doing. It’s like a televison voice over announcer. Often I have multiple voices yammering at each other. Once will be describing what is going on… another is making judgements about what is going on… a third is answering the first two. I would give anything to get these voices to just shut up for 5 minutes. This is my path. This is my goal.

    hello aan onze vriend in Nederland!

  4. Grant, speak to your inner consciousness and ask what will resolve matters. Given your location, I might suggest that cannabis can help. There’s no way to make it stop by mere suppression but the inner journey may be valuable once you are prepared for it.

  5. Nice assumption Michael, but incorrect. I don’t live in the Netherlands. I was just being friendly to Norea by giving a greeting in Dutch. I live in Iowa where Marijuana grows wild but is not worth smoking. Regardless, I do not smoke anyway.

    What, exactly, is my inner consciousness? I understand the concept of the parasite consisting of the judge, the victim, and the book of law. Is that similar to inner consciousness?

  6. Sorry for making a wrong assumption then. You’re right that ditch weed is not worth smoking, it will likely just give you a headache.

    As to the nature of your inner consciousness, any definition that I provide is descriptive only of my own perceptions, and may not apply to yours. Some prefer to address the inner consciousness as God but by whatever name or description, it is within all of us. If you have been brought up in a certain tradition you would be more likely to visualize in a certain way. If you find your perceptions unpleasant, as seeing your own inner self as a parasite will suggest an inner struggle of some kind, I reiterate that you have the power to change them through inward communication and outward resolution. If you find yourself on trial, find your paraclete, the part which defends you.

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    Grant,
    We all have voices in our head and that’s ok. Try not to resist them. Rather accept their presence. Don’t judge them, and don’t judge yourself because of it. The voices (or your ego as I call it) crave attention. They feed on attention. Just let them be. Instead, try to focus more and more on your breath or the tingling feeling in your hands. I recently found a mindfulness session with Jon Kabat Zin at Google on youtube which really helped me. The session lasts for an hour, but after that I not only felt very centered, I also had a deeper understanding of what it means to be still. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nwwKbM_vJc&feature=related
    Eckhart Tolle’s New Earth might be helpful too, as it is designed to create awareness and in that way stripping your ego of power.

    Inner consciousness is the essence of you. It is the part of you that existed before you were born and will live on after you die. It is the Life that entered your body at the moment of conception and will leave it when you exhale your last breath. It is your soul. It is your connection to God or the Universe or Consciousness, whichever term you prefer.
    Dr Jill Bolte Taylor calls it right brain. Maybe listening to her 20 minute presentation Stroke of Insight will give you a deeper understanding of who you really are.

    Hartelijk dank voor je groet in het Nederlands. It is being appreciated. Be well, Norea

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    Michael,
    Hi. I wouldn’t recommend any drugs. I’m more inclined to stear away from anything that either affects my mind or numbs my feelings. I truly believe there are no shortcuts on this journey. I can only be healed from the inside, only being fully aware (instead of numbing them) of my fears and pains will make them subside eventually.

  9. Norea,
    I appreciate your perspective, mine is different. Cannabis is not a drug, but a medicine and a food for the body and spirit. Not everyone will appreciate this, but it is not a shortcut, it is a way and a tool, and the tree of life. Cannabis does not numb the senses, it enhances them.

  10. The four agreements are the heart of what I am using to rebuild my dream to be a dream of love and heaven instead of fear and hell. Here are some additional things that I use…

    1) Be skeptical. Don’t believe what others say. Don’t believe what you say. Remember that most of your knowledge was feed to you by the dream of your parents and the dream of the world.

    2) It is about Truth verses Lies. Good and Evil are irrelevant. Good is a product of truth and Evil is a product of lies so to preoccupy oneself with the concepts of Good and Evil is to miss the point. There is no agent of Evil operating outside of yourself. The same is true about Good.

    3) That voice in your head can be quieted. It is going to take some work. Try meditation if you don’t already do it. Try yoga also. But do these things everyday.

    4) Ritual gives you extra faith (or intent). Faith is what holds together your dream. Right now it is probably a nightmare but the energy, or faith, or intent needed to tear down that dream is being used to hold it together. You need to chip away at the agreements that you have made for your current. If you need extra faith, do ritual. Prayers are very good for this. Do them everyday.

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    Michael,
    I would just be cautious recommending it. Cannabis can be used in a lot of ways, not all enhance the quality of life.

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    Grant,
    While reading about your path, I was reminded of mine. We both come from a world in which right and wrong were very clear, in which you had to abide to God’s law and so many other manmade laws. They are so ingrained, that they are difficult to let go. Making new laws creates safety. I’ve learned one can be the prisoner of one’s own laws. I’ve learned that unless I let them go completely I could not be really free (of my past). Nowadays, I try new habits like I would try on new hats. Just seeing which one fits me best. I don’t need to impose new laws, all I need is to be and feel. Being aware allows me to choose what is best for me. I may not choose what’s best right away or always, but everytime I do, I diminish the power of ego and reinforce who I really am. Thank you for sharing!

  13. Aloha!

    I enjoyed the reading and comments – beautiful writing Norea! – a very deep subject. Jiddu Krishnamurti and Jon Kabat-Zinn have wonderful words of wisdom to share about all of this on you tube.

    I’ve been practicing Mindfulness Meditation for a month and a half now, it’s been awesome and a daily must for me. UCSD has a whole lot of free material and audio guides on the subject as well.

    Wishing you all the best!

    Richard Hammond
    Author of “Uncomfortably Numb”
    http://www.thenumbbook.com

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    Hi Rich,

    glad it resonated with you. And thank you for commenting, I always appreciate it when people take the time and energy to give feedback.
    When I look at the date, I see I wrote this piece over 6 years ago. I have been practicing mindfulness for a long time now, at first I didn’t even know it had a name. I am a big fan of Jon Kabat-Zinn and am now curious about Jiddu Krishnamurti. Thank you for introducing me.
    If you are interested in the power of mindfulness, you may want to read my latest posts, which are on the topic of releasing. Not exactly an easy topic, but a rich and powerful one.
    All the best,
    Hermien aka Norea

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