Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Practicalities.. Burn After Reading II

A review from Part I of this series:

Thought is real.  The content of thought is not.

So what does that mean, and what does it have to do with freedom or liberation?  

Thoughts are real events which actually occur.  There's no doubt that they appear, and even if the source or form can't be pinpointed, they are a phenomenon with presence.  They happen, and only one at a time.  There's no such thing as multitasking when it comes to thought. 

Try it.

Think about picking up that object in front of you while simultaneously thinking about the object itself.  While a switching back and forth may happen quickly, the thoughts are never simultaneous.  There's a distinct switch between the two, and EXPERIENTIALLY, there's a whole lot of difference in each of those types.

The first thought involves a mechanical action on the part of the brain and body.  It's a functional thought in that it can directly lead to a "how to", to performing an immediate physical action.  The second thought is a reflection or mental commentary wholly unnecessary to the action itself.  It's useless except for entertainment value, and what's more, the commentary likely includes judgments as to whether you "like" the object, or "dislike" it.

How much of the process of sustaining physical life is related to commentary?  


But what percentage of "your" thought fits into that second category?  

Running mental commentary can be a mild form of entertainment.  Continuous and involuntary, it's the source of even more thought which then judges previous commentary.  A perpetual spiral, this cycle is always looping, never controlled, and often leads, sooner or later, to "undesirable" concepts, ideas, and beliefs.  Worry, anxiety, ugly, or bothersome thoughts appear, given enough time.  Worse, for some brains the timespan is short, or even nil.

But is the content of the commentary tangible, real, or true?  Is it even linked to reality in any way, shape, or form?  Let's look:

Go back to the object and pick it up.  Notice how swift and clean the action is, and how a manipulation of physical reality took place.  Perceptual feedback occurred.  Perceptual reality, taken in through the body's senses, was altered.

Now comment on the object and check to see whether physical reality changes in the slightest.  What happens to the object itself, or to the action of handling it?  It remains as it was.  Now, reverse the content of the commentary.  Change the mental description.  Does it have any bearing on what appears in reality?

There are two very distinct aspects of reality here.  More importantly, one has absolutely no direct affect on the other.  They are wholly separate even when thought appears to refer to reality.


This next step is to be experienced, never just imagined.  One of the first mistakes a seeker makes is to mentally walk through an exercise as thought it's a good facsimile of reality.  Relying on thought to see through thought is redundant and useless.  It can NEVER produce the same result as experience.  If you still think, after reading this post, that thought will suffice, you've missed the entire frigging point.


Should I repeat that?  Because missing it misses everything.


Take this exercise to your next mental commentary on any situation.  When a comment appears, immediately check it to see whether it is simply narrating and judging already present reality, or directly leading to a physical task, a mechanical action with which the body manipulates reality.  This is to be EXPERIENCED.

Then answer this question.  Does the commentary have ANY basis in what's tangible, what physically affects the world, in reality?

Most importantly.... What does that mean about the nature of thought?

photo credit:  rafinerija on deviantart

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thanks for the thoughts...