Thoughts on Thinking

"When somebody persuades me that I am wrong, I change my mind. What do you do?" John Maynard Keynes

"If you're unhappy with your life, change your thinking." Charles Fillmore

"The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it." Eckhart Tolle

"People are not disturbed by things, but by the view they take of them." Epictetus

"The unexamined life is not worth living." Socrates

"Consciousness is a terrible thing to waste." PunditGeorge

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Spring Cleaning

The old German word lent refers to the swing season of spring when life reaffirms itself following dormancy during winter. There is an almost instinctive drive to clean up, re-order, toss out, etc. in many arenas. Two words are often used for this process: Sacrifice and Fasting. To sacrifice is to give up something of value to appease whatever forces are in play to ensure continued benevolence. Fasting is at first a self-denial of sustenance, but also a period for the body to eliminate unhealthy substances.

The mischief is in the perspective – even if one cheerfully “sacrifices” deserts the sheer concept of sacrifice places the emphasis on the desire and value of the desert (or whatever delight is to be surrendered.) The absence of the desired is strengthened, which conflicts with the desire (which is one reason why dieting tends to fail.)

Fasting has a long history of helping bring clarity to thinking and, when this is occurring, it happens naturally and on it’s own. That is, when one is joyful in thought (a.k.a. prayer, meditation, appreciation, devotion) it is quite likely that the demands of the body for food, water, etc., will reduce. The converse is, however, untrue – “I fast, therefore I am holy.” There seems to be a tendency for evolved spiritual folks to eat mostly (if not exclusively) plants. The vibrational level of their experience doesn’t resonate with animal flesh as food. It’s neither right nor wrong, just what it is.

The practice of sacrifice and fasting can help mightily with joyful living. Sacrifice something you don’t wish to have part of your life. If that is an odd thought, then ponder the belief that equates “sacrifice” only with something of value or desired. Why not “sacrifice” illness? Or “not enough money,” or “unhappy ______ (fill in the blank.)” When one is aware of what is not wanted, it means that the concept of what is wanted is more clear. So, give thought to what is desired.

Same for fasting. To really be effective, move the “fasting” to thinking. No need to deny the body food and drink or go hungry or, well, you get the idea. Mentally fast negative and disturbing thoughts. If you’re scratching your head with that, consider Complaint Free living, as an example. Moving thinking and conversation from complaining (emphasizing deficiencies) to a new perspective on facts, takes the same effort as the old style fasting, but has beaucoup payoff.

Regardless of how one interprets and practices “sacrifice and fasting” the effect is still to produce more of what is given attention. Think about the lack/suffering and there will be more lack and suffering. Think about abundance and delight and there will be more prosperity and delight. Those who resonate with those lofty concepts will have that experience. Those who don’t get it, can’t get it. At least for now.

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