Have you ever thought about what your thoughts really are?
Consider for a moment even as you’re reading this the voices and images that are naturally appearing in your mind as your brain processes this sentence.
Close your eyes for 10 seconds. Imagine you’re in a dark movie theatre and just watch these mental events forming and unforming. Some are voices questioning what you’re doing, others are telling you what you should pay attention to, or yet others are just a string of different images shifting and changing (You can also be guided through this practice).
Even after looking at them are hearing them in your mind right now, are you any closer to understanding what thoughts are?
The truth is not a single scientist can tell you for certain what a thought is, but somehow we become highly identified with them.
We say, “I am a teacher,” or “I am a good person” or “I am a failure” or “I make the best chocolate chip cookies” or “I am an addict” or “I am a depressed person” or “I am unworthy, unlovable and defective.” The stories go on and on.
From the time we are born we collect these stories to define who we are and what we can achieve in this life. When the thoughts are judgments, can we say for certainty that they’re true? The answer is almost always, no. But the thoughts lead to feelings or the reinforcement of feelings that were already there. Inevitably they feel true.
What it comes down to is we are not our thoughts, not even the ones that say we are.
How do I know this?
If we were our thoughts then we wouldn’t be able to observe them. So that begs the question, who is observing the thoughts? Is that me? Who am I?
This may seem a little esoteric, but follow this for a minute. Truly, who is underneath the thoughts? It’s some form of awareness. The thoughts arise within this awareness. Isn’t that who you are at the essence, spacious awareness?
Take a moment to close your eyes, feel into that space if you can.
This is the same spacious awareness that is underneath my thoughts and the thoughts of the 7 billion people on this planet.
See if you can sense into that interconnection for a moment, the experience that underneath all the stories and identifications, underneath all the thoughts, we are all born from the same essence. We all share the same fundamental mind. If you can catch a glimpse of this experience, this is what you might say is The Now Effect.
A day will come where we can celebrate the differences we have as human beings on this planet and at the same time recognize the fundamental connection we all share.
Enjoy it, this is your home.
As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction creates a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.
Thoughts image available from Shutterstock.
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Last reviewed: 18 Feb 2014