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

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Ignore It!

Ignore it and it’ll go away.”

So we’ve been told.  Well, it’s a lie!  Simply ignoring something will NOT make it go away.  And Thank Goodness.  Allow me to elaborate.

I like to think that the moon is there even if I am not looking at it.”  Thus said Albert Einstein when contemplating the mysteries of quantum physics, especially the curious phenomena that measurement/observation influences outcomes or maybe even determines existence.  Of course the moon existed when Einstein did not look at it (or even think about it.)  The Universe is a very big place.  The moon would remain and, more importantly, be there at such time Einstein brought it back to mind.

There is, however, truth in “Ignore it, and it’ll go away.”  The object of attention might not vanish, but once ignored it will no longer be a part of your experience.  So, in that sense, it has gone away.   That’s what the adage promotes:  If you wish to be free of something, think about something else.  Simple.  But hard to apply if you believe that the disagreeable object/condition must change before you can be satisfied.  There may be the thought that if you move your mental gaze away from the rascal or condition, it might get away with it.  Whatever “it” is.

Which comes around to the basic question:  Do you want to be happy?  It’s a yes or no question.  There are no qualifiers.  It is a surprisingly difficult question for many to answer.  And, “yes, but...” is not an answer.

Some people are able to ignore something (give their attention to another subject) and some are unable (and continue to give their attention, obsess on the subject.)  It’s impossible to “get rid” of something.  It’s a very, very, big universe – every thought, ever thought, exists.  It is not possible to give something attention (energy) and expect it to cease existing or change its nature.  In the realm of our potential, it is possible to re-focus our attention (energy) onto a subject of desire (or at least an improvement).  If your desire is to be happy (and all those attending synonyms -  wellbeing, healthy, prosperous, interested, etc.,) then it is of no importance whether the disagreeable object of attention remains or not – it’s no longer a part of your experience.

You know what it’s like. There have been occasions when you were royally ticked off at someone and kept him/her in your mind over night, during the day, all the time feeling miserable (or angry, or scared, or any number of variations of fear.)  Then there was that moment when, suddenly, you realized that your attentions were on someone/something else and you were feeling much better.  Quickly you “had” to shift your thought back to the disagreeable person, and immediately you felt worse.

You thus proved that you do feel better when you are thinking of something agreeable (or at least less disturbing.)  Do you want to feel better?

But, George, if I take my gaze off of the@#!@#$%!! then he/she will get away with it!


Is it your “job” to bring “justice” to others?  (Hint:  NO!)  Can you “make” someone act right by keeping a close “eye” on him/her?  (Hint:  NO!)  For a nifty exercise, flip the two where you are the center of attention of someone wanting “justice” for you, and for you to “act right.”  I doubt that you enjoy having someone scheme to bring you justice, or plot to find a way to force you to act right.  Yeah, it’s true, we’re back to the Golden Rule.
Every thought, ever thought, still exists

If you want to be happy, or least feel better, ignore the what-ever-it-is, and allow yourself to see, view, think, taste, and enjoy some other thought.  You’ll immediately attract similar thoughts (every thought ever thought exists) and it will take more and more effort to return your attention to the previously disagreeable situation.

The disagreeable situation didn’t disappear or go away.  He/she/it is still there – waiting for someone’s attention of a similar vibration.  And visa verse.  Throwing your attention after a disturbing shiny object doesn’t mean that your previously optimistic point of view crashed and burned.  It’s still there.  Waiting for you.   Just like Einstein’s moon.

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