Over at Tom Stine’s blog, the discussion about thoughts continues. To a client he said “You will discover, if you are open to it, that much of what goes through your head, your thoughts and thinking, look suspiciously like the behaviors of a drug addict or alcoholic.”
Thats very true. The mind is a habit machine and so it likes to regurgitate. We condition it with habits, stories and conditioning to function in the world. But along the way we pick up some junk, some errors in the program. Bugs, if you will.
Unless we stop and run a little bug-checking, our programs produce errors. Errors that programmers might call buffer overrun. Feedback loops that cycle over and over on themselves, eating up memory and processor time but providing no function. In life we call this suffering.
On consideration, I would say there is 2 ways we get errors.
Firstly, beliefs that have no reality. We pick up various incorrect assumptions along the way. Even though they don’t stand the test of life, we keep reminding ourselves of them because we believe it. To keep them apparently real, we have to remind ourselves about them over and over. Keep telling the story or it will fail. If we stop investing in them, the air is taken out and they go flat. We don’t have to actually change the belief, just stop and look at it. When its seen through, it ends. Many thoughts are like that.
Secondly is the flip side of the coin. Resistance. What we resist persists. It requires constant energy to keep resisting what we don’t want to see. Much like the illusion, all we have to do is stop for a moment. Then its seen through and allowed. It turns out that what we have resisted is much less scary than it seemed. Hardly worth all the energy we’ve put into avoiding it.
The two are often closely intertwined. Beliefs that arise in fear, like boogey-men. Resistance that creates beliefs out of avoidance.
In the east, they call this the wheel of karma. The repeaters that come back over and over again. Resisting what is or holding what isn’t. Just stop and allow and the wheel gradually slows, then stops.
To rephrase Dale Carnegie: Remember, happiness doesn’t depend upon what you do or what you have, it depends solely upon who you really are. (thanks Shilpan)