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

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Aha! Eureka!

This blog emphasizes thoughts that go bump in the night – those aha! and eureka! moments of mental clarity.  Such thoughts solve problems, begin new ways of doing things, and herald a better situation for the thinker.  Such moments indicate a shift in perspective – a new and fresh approach to thinking about a circumstance, situation, relationship and so on.  The “charge” resulting from an aha! moment is the literal sensation of a quantum leap to a higher frequency. 

Thinking is the most natural of human processes.  It is impossible to NOT think.  It is possible, however, to become unaware of how one thinks.  And this is where the Eureka! moments come into play.  Humans have the ability to habituate – to render certain processes and actions into habits – which means that a person can do something without awareness.  That frees up a lot of consciousness for the 3-D experience.  Thinking can become a habit.  A thought, repeated over time, embeds itself into personal experience.  That can be desirable.  It can also be otherwise.

When someone considers changing their mind, this is what’s occurring.  A held thought, or pattern of thinking, is no longer serving and can be replaced with a different thought, to create a new pattern.  It’s the process Charles Fillmore spoke when he taught “If you’re unhappy with your life, change your thinking.”  Any unhappiness (dis-satisfaction, dis-ease, etc.) is due to a thinking pattern.  The thinking has to change before anything else improves.  Emmet Fox noted the frustration many have when attempting to change circumstances without changing their thinking – it can’t be done.

An example of what a “change” in thinking means is to examine two teachings, both about the same thing:

            Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.  Buddhism.

            This is the sum of duty; do naught onto others what you would not have them do unto you.  Hinduism.

            What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellowman.  Judaism.

These very ancient teachings guide relationships between people.  In effect, don’t inflict harm on another; if it hurts you, it’ll hurt someone else.  Consider the point of attention – that which is hateful/hurtful/undesired.  Choices and decisions are made after noting a degree of pain/suffering/undesirable.  It’s a system that worked very well.

Yet there is another way of thinking about the relationships between people:

            All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye so to them. 

The New Testament update of the old teaching is subtle, yet profound.  This teaching shifts the point of attention away from hateful/hurtful/undesirable and towards desirable.  It alters the initiative - the former being reactive to others, the latter being active regardless of others.  It’s a paradigm shift.  As with any change, not everyone is able to do it, as was evident with the turmoil created when Jesus amended the old teaching.  Yet if you are able to discern the difference between the two approaches, then you’ll better understand any Aha! moment.

Does a change in thinking result in a better experience?  The proof of the pudding is in the eating, as is said.  One cannot know until it is done, otherwise the established/habituated thought or belief continues to rule.

Readers of this blog have likely bumped into some reference to Complaint-Free – a idea racing around to literally stop complaining.  Complaint free simply means to become aware of how one interprets something.  Complaining personalizes undesirable observations – the waiter deliberately brought me cold soup!  Such personalizing obstructs solving a “problem” or finding an effective way of handling a situation.  More on this here.

The point is that anyone who has made any attempt at reducing complaining (a.k.a. gossip) will be forever more sensitive to complaints and complaining, especially by others.  That’s the pudding delivering its proof.

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