Poor old Descartes...he definitely put de cart before de horse :-). Apologies for the use of the bad joke here, but I could not resist. I have been thinking about thinking, and want to talk about it a bit here, since it appears that it has been a shockingly long time since I posted a blog entry. Life has been busy, busy, busy.
Anyway....I have been particularly ruminating about what I like to call "sticky thoughts". You know...the ones that, no matter how much you WISH you could just stop having them already, find a way to lose them yesterday, you truly don't want them, you know you are better than the kind of person who thinks them...well, they just won't quit buzzing and replaying.
Such thoughts are exhausting. Doing battle with them saps my energy, diminishes me and make me ineffectual. They lower my vibration. I KNOW this to be true from my own experience. In the era of Descartes, his philosophy was needed for the evolution of human consciousness-I believe he was trying to say that humans could no longer be content to follow as sheep, blindly obeying edicts laid down by church or state. One had to think for oneself, establish a clear and direct relationship to one's ego and thereby take responsibility for one's own destiny, put one's own stamp on the course of one's life. He was correct....then.
The problem is, humanity took this and ran with it so long and so far, that somewhere along the way...the mind started to believe that it was the Master, we the slave. The cart began to pull the horse. We began to revere and hero-worship the mind over the Self. We started to believe that we ARE the thoughts we think.
In the practice of the Kundalini Yoga I love, a seminal focus is how we take back our power from this lower mind. It gives me many and varied tools- challenging asana, pranyama, meditations. But I was pondering this morning the fact that these are still only tools-and the mind is so crafty that it can even find ways to use these same tools to "retain the kingdom" if I am not vigilant. All of a sudden, I get bored with practice, or I don't "feel" the great lift I once did every time, or I don't like the recording of the mantra, or the meditation is interminable, or the room is too hot, or I get impatient with how long it seems to be taking to transform my life (it can be a million things!).....and the mind says "Aha! See? I told you the only thing you could depend on was me! I never let you down. I am always here for you." Of course, its a lie. As I know, when I see how I suffer when I do my incessant mental cartwheels!
So: no matter what practices we employ to try to re-train our 'horse', ultimately none of them will work until we have totally had enough of the mind's bullshit. Only then can we make an unwavering commitment to The Eternal Observer....the Awareness behind the thoughts, the Space between them. Our first true birthday is celebrated when we stop glorifying the mind and allowing ourselves to be entranced by its patterned recordings. Unfortunately, this does not seem to happen until we have been made well and truly miserable and isolated by our sticky thoughts, whatever they are for each of us....feelings of inadequacy, shame, envy, anger, pride: the full gamut of human challenges.
NOW the tools (some of my big ones- nature, mantra, meditation, KY practice-for you, whatever brings you to that place of inner quiet) have a chance to REALLY work
Additionally, however, it appears that this is a lifetime commitment and practice. The mind ain't going to give up its hold on us so easily....after all, it has been in charge a very long time! This is the ongoing mission of the Spiritual Warrior.
The first step: experience the misery of "living in the head" and acknowledge the longing to live from the heart instead. Second, a profound recognition of Who we really are (not our thoughts, not our bodies, not the roles we play). Third, to remember in every situation, every day....we are either on the battlefield or in training to be there!
I pray we retain both the desire and the courage to fight the good fight. I suspect the spoils of this war are rich beyond comprehension: the revelation of the Divine Self... inside the personal self and everyone else. There can be nothing more beautiful than living with, and in, this vision and it is that for which we each truly long. We just don't always know it.
Here is a wonderful video for you to enjoy : an excellent dramatization of "sticky thoughts" and how they can just run roughshod over us. Have you had enough? I know I have!
I am a field of awareness. Any thing beyond that is identification with form...