Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Thought Control

There once was a voice inside my head that did all the talking. Now, there's a new voice and it keeps saying, "Shut up! Shut up!"



Anonymous said...

I don't know if it is good idea to do so. You might end up suppressing yourself and others.
Altho I remember saying to myself bullshit everytime I listen to Ken Wilber. Or Eckhart Tolle. Or even Alan Watts. Joke only ;>)

Sophia said...

It's no joke, really. I experience something similar sometimes when I watch, read, listen to or even write spiritual subjects. It's my old self back there fighting for survival. It says, "This isn't real! You're living in fantasy!" I've just learned to ignore it, now.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you are right. However, except for Alan Watts, I find many spirituality writers misleading. I get the feeling many of them are into self-aggrandizement. Except for Watts, who obviously was trying to be entertaining and funny.
Perhaps this is the result of self-suppression.

Anonymous said...

But whoever mentioned that comedians are devoid of egos.

Sophia said...

You're right. There are those out there who seek to have followers. I've learned that when choosing a spiritual teacher, I must choose wisely. It has to be someone I trust completely. It goes beyond just liking someone or liking their ideas. Trust is the most important factor in my choice of who my spiritual teacher is. And, I've had several years to decide. I've also learned that I am my own spiritual teacher. As such, I take what I want from others as lessons. I can choose what is meaningful to me and what is not.

Anonymous said...

I think even chatter has its purpose. If you suppress it you may end up being bored and becoming addicted to meditation. I don't know, I see danger in suppression or thought control.
Meditation should be like normal driving. It must be relax and very aware. Not too concentrated.

Anonymous said...

Obviously if you give yourself up as a spiritual or enlightenment teacher, you expect people to listen to you and follow you. Otherwise what's the use of being a teacher.
Or you end up being a coach, which is not so prestigious, perhaps.
I don't know. Let me think about it for a while.
Well, at least one can teach meditation or techniques. And if it doesn't work, money back.

Anonymous said...

About being your own teacher, maybe there is nothing wrong with it. After all you're the one who really know yourself. And unless you had too much religious and spiritual indoctrination, you may know exactly what makes you tick, how to fall or fall apart and how to put yourself together again.
Sometimes it's the religious and spiritual conditioning that actually leads us even further away and endarkens us.

Brian said...

I know how you feel! The constant chatter is tiresome. It can make you just as physically exhausted as any kind of exercise or physical labour. Whenever I get all stressed and start overanalyzing, I have a crash afterwards that leaves me with zero energy.

So I agree, "Shut up!"

rudi said...

Mmm, ego and super-ego chasing each other ... whilst You are the peace, the silence, in the midst of all this.

Chuang Tzu (yes, the butterfly philosopher) put it well, I think:

When we understand,
we are at the centre of the circle.

And there we sit
while Yes and No chase each other
around the circumference.

Anonymous said...

Of course, I know exactly what you mean. I often use the same strategy to stop too much thinking. Altho I have a different mantra: I don't care. Usually most of my stupid thinking is triggered by what I imagine people think or say about me. And this "stop-word" does the job for me very effectively everytime.
I got this from an old friend, who was probably my real guru for a while. By the way this guy has probably never read a book on religion, philosophy, psychology and spirituality all his life.

Sophia said...

Anonymous, from what I've seen of meditation, it allows one to grow. During the hours we don't meditate, we have thousands of thoughts running through our brains. We forget and identify with those thoughts. During meditation, we reconnect with who we are by quieting our thought. Really, there is no disconnection in the first place, it's just that during meditation we become more aware.

I would never say that I am a spiritual teacher. I would like to say that I am a friend. I have much to learn, but hopefully as I grow people can learn with me. Someday when I am older, perhaps a young person would like to know about my experiences, and through these experiences they can learn lessons that I have learned.

It all really boils down to this. We are all teachers and students. We each have something to learn from everyone else, just as we have something to teach.

Sophia said...

Brian, sometimes I consciously just listen to my thoughts. Especially when I'm getting ready to fall asleep in the bed. I think thoughts but I let myself watch them. When I become more aware of them by watching them, it is easier for me to quiet them for short moments of time. During these moments, I experience peace.

While the peace is nice, I only want to experience quiet moments some times, not all the time, because this way I am allowing myself time to be happy. If I had quiet mind all the time, I would not be able to think happy thoughts. I know there are those that say it's better to have quiet mind all the time, but I think it's nice to have happiness. When bad things happen, that is when I try to practice quiet mind. I don't want to silence happiness, I only want to silence negativity.

What I aim to do is to stop identifying with my thoughts. I can still have thoughts while ceasing to identify with them.

I sometimes wonder when thought control becomes an unnatural process. I wonder if trying too hard is just as bad if not worse than thinking thoughts. Maybe someday I'll experience quiet moments naturally. That, I think, comes with patience and time.

Sophia said...

Anonymous, some of my nonsense mind chatter is also caused by what I imagine people are thinking or saying about me. It's too much self-consciousness. We need to work towards Self-consciousness. :)

Sophia said...

Very well said, Rudi! If I told my therapist these things, she'd probably say I had multiple personalities. :) Those in the medical profession wouldn't understand, or at least most of them wouldn't.

Anonymous said...

Yes, this is one way to look at it. Personally I tend not to dissociate from my thoughts. I tend to identify with the contents of my brain instead of my brain, with the folishness instead of the wise, with the sins instead of the perfect, with the sinner instead of the Savior, with the imagination instead of the soul, with the confusion instead of the order, etc.
I guess there is a tendency is many of us to disown what we think is less than perfect. And we think we are separate from all this and that every moment or everyday we are becoming better and more perfect until we finally become enlightened. And maybe this is what self-aggrandizement is all about. I'm not sure. Well, at least this is what I call religion.
Just thinking.

Sophia said...

Anonymous, I think accepting our many imperfections as divine is part of the journey. We can't exclude those imperfections, because everything is of the Source, even the imperfect.

Desiree said...

Self-consciousness. Loved the word play!

Joe said...

Hi Sophia,
This is the classic issue behind many types of meditation. Watching the monkey mind over a period of time naturally quiets it down. As long as there is a reaction, including actively shutting it out, it is going to keep going, only outside of your conscious awareness.
The normal method is to sit and simply watch the thoughts arise and disappear using the analogy of clouds floating by while laying on your back in the park.
Thoughts of all kinds are nothing more than this. You are under no obligation to react to them. After a period of non reaction, they settle down of their own accord.

Sophia said...

Desiree, there are some of those into spirituality who are really good at word play. For instance, check out George Breed over at Cosmocracy. I have a link to his blog in my blogroll. He's just awesome!

Sophia said...

Hi Joe, glad to see you. :) I saw that I was able to click on your name, but it says you do not have a profile available. Have you started keeping a blog? Maybe you wanted to keep it private. If not, let me know of the address so I can visit!

Your analogy of the clouds reminds me of bubbles. Each thought is a bubble in a bubble bath. After watching those bubbles long enough, they all slowly start to pop, one by one until there are no bubbles left. *POP* :)

I guess the trick is to stop identifying with the thoughts, to actually watch them and treat them as objects. I almost called them "separate" objects, but then I remembered that nothing is separate.