I have always been fascinated by the idea that one could wake up. For years I’d thought that being awake meant I would have balanced emotions, be happy all the time and understand the meaning of the universe. Each teacher I met along the way seemed to offer some piece to the picture I was trying to complete. I was told to follow my intuition, breathe, express my unconscious emotions, draw my inner child and more. However a million therapies and years later I am basically still the same old me.
Recently a dear friend and I were discussing the subject of illness and wellness.”Have you ever wondered who needs curing?” he asked me. His question was intriguing and provocative and made me think more about my quest for happiness and I began to wonder “WHO is searching?” and how do I found out who this WHO is? My friend suggested I observe my thoughts and consider what each thought was actually doing. Did I create my own thoughts or were they innocent?
We all have millions upon millions of thoughts every day. Some useful, like the ones that get us from A to B and some ridiculous.
So what makes a thought important? A thought which you put energy into, a thought which contains something that attracts you, which you have a weakness for. That’s the thought you want to observe. That thought is like the screaming billboard on the side of the road saying, “pick me!” So what is your most difficult thought? Whatever it is, this one thought and our identification with it creates an endless loop. One thought because it relates to an idea we have of ourselves – our identity leads to more thoughts with new thoughts clustering around the original thought like sharks in a feeding frenzy. In fact there can be so much blood in the water that it can be challenging to root out the core reason for the thought in the first place. Understanding that a thoughts sole purpose is to help identify and orientate in the creation can alleviate confusion.
As children we learn the names for things to communicate and move through our environment. We are educated and taught that these names ( which are really thoughts with labels) will give us security. In other words knowing the name of your mother is a security blanket. But do you need to know her name to feel her comfort?
As we grow up we find security in shared beliefs like careers, relationships and religions. We believe that having a job or a marriage or believing in a god or gods will fulfill us. We see something, it attracts us and we want it. The thing that sees, attracts and wants is called ‘I’.
Remember being a kid and saying, “I want that!” and screaming your head off until you got it? Well as adults we do exactly the same thing except instead of wanting a toy we want things. And this wanting isn’t just limited to materialistic types. The so called aware person wants things too, it’s just a little more rarefied. “I want to be happy, peaceful and, liberated,” says the Yogi or Greenie or whatever they have identified themselves as. Once we get that thing the ‘I’ takes ownership and says “Now I’m happy” because I have my car, my girl, my dog etc. but that feeling of happiness never lasts. because the ‘I’ is a hungry beast. Observing your thoughts means catching this ‘I’ i.e you in its tracks and asking yourself, “Who is wanting this or that? Who is this ‘I’ that’s so busy all the time? Another way to think of it is knowing yourself as the Knower.
When you go into a hall of mirrors in an amusement arcade it’s fun to watch yourself in the mirror. Eventually as you stare into the reflections of reflections you don’t see you anymore you just notice that all the reflections are in your presence. Ultimately knowing WHO is in the presence of all thoughts, beliefs, actions and desires traps the I. All at once limited thoughts and identifications dissolve and are suspended in the presence, delight and wonder of yourself the consciousness itself.
These days I am grateful for my spirit of inquiry and am more wonder filled than not and life in its infinite diversity is wonderful!