The Truth About Thoughts

The simple truth about living with a human mind is that if you believe your stressful thoughts, the ones that come from the egoic mind, you will suffer. Yet, ignoring thoughts is easier said than done because we are programmed from birth to pay attention to and believe our thoughts. A stressful thought or a romantic thought about food pops into your head and faster than the speed of light, the mind produces reams of proof supporting the illusion about food or the painful distillation of life.

The truth about egoic thoughts is that you don’t need them! While egoic thoughts are fear-based, negative, and untrue, thoughts from the functional mind are actually helpful. They enable you to balance your checkbook, formulate a strategic plan, and keep your appointments. Although you need your functional mind, you can move happily and elegantly through life without the so-called help of your egoic thoughts.

Because you are programmed to believe that you are your mind, professing that you don’t need your egoic thoughts is tantamount to heresy! Consequently, the only way to convince yourself that you don’t need it is to live without it and see what happens.

Start by paying attention to your thoughts. What are the thoughts that keep you riveted? Soon, you will see that most of the thoughts that arise in your consciousness are circular, repetitive, and stress provoking. They keep you contracted and distracted, carefully omitting the only guidance that could help to alleviate your suffering: stop paying attention to and believing your stressful thoughts. If you saw the truth about thoughts and committed yourself to ignoring them, the ego would be out of a job. Naturally, that’s the last thing it wants.

When you pay attention your thoughts, you will notice that they are busily creating stories, judging, evaluating, analyzing, and characterizing based on one criteria: how does this situation impact me? Is it good for me or do I need to take action to protect myself? How can I manipulate life and people to get what I want? How can I maximize my pleasure and minimize my pain?

If you see yourself as a “me,” as a mere body subject to illness, injury, and death, naturally you will live in fear. The sage, Nisargadatta Maharaj said, “Don’t you see that all your problems are your body’s problems–food, clothing, shelter, family, friends, name, fame, security, survival–all these lose their meaning the moment you realize that you may not be a mere body.”

The “me” or ego is not even a “thing,” per say. It’s the belief that you are a separate body/mind that needs protecting. From this belief it follows that if you don’t take care of this body and make sure it has what it needs to survive and be happy, other mind/bodies will move in and snatch up all of the planet’s limited resources. You won’t get what you need and you will be annihilated.”

The belief that you are separate stirs up fears and keeps you feeling vulnerable and off balance. This is the ego in problem generator mode. Because life never fulfills all of your desires by delivering all pleasure and no pain, when life doesn’t conform to your preferences, the ego leads you to believe that you have problems. Then, it comes to the rescue by formulating plans to solve those problems and keep you safe. Whenever you notice that you feel on edge, stressed, or afraid, you can bet that you bought into one of the ego’s problematic thoughts.

Yet living without the egoic mind’s guidance moves you into a different world where stress and contraction are transformed into peace, easefulness, and boundless freedom. You connect with life directly through your senses rather than through the veil of thoughts and feelings. In this way you experience the being that is looking out from your eyes and melt back into the spaciousness of your true self. From this place, essence, you realize that there is something much wiser moving inside you that has been guiding your life all along. When you surrender to this truly wise guidance and stop paying attention to your egoic thoughts, your life becomes a heaven on earth.