Don’t take your thoughts too seriously. Being a lesson that I learned from Eckhart Tolle, the famed author of The Power of Now, it speaks of the need for greater perspective in dealing with these mental formations. Identifying so closely with these thought forms as a matter of habit, often they are all that we can perceive as we endeavour to construct our reality in the world. Blinded to the presence of a deeper spiritual reality in this process, we suffer, almost by default, through this disconnect. Not being attuned to our higher function that I describe as a calling, we retreat to a lesser life that is rigid, unfulfilling and tumultuous. Manifesting these unconscious and disempowered thoughts in our physical world, we essentially imprison our core self by being ignorant to the fact that who we are in our essence is far beyond what thought can capture.
As spiritual beings at our fundamental core, we are unlimited in our potentiality, and this capacity to embody and perpetuate life transcends definition. Being uncontainable when we give ourselves to this core dimension of life, the mind alone struggles to reconcile this truth with reality. Doing its best to make sense of the world amidst the clutter of our incongruence, it falls far short of understanding what the world needs, and how wisdom and integrity would guide our responsiveness. See here our modern dilemma.
Disconnected spiritually in our lives, we are prevented from seeing the world through the heart’s eyes. Acquainted only with the mind and its workings, it is what we have come to trust as the source of truth. Using it as the primary vehicle for navigating the world, the ego assumes the position of the driver. Relegated to the passenger’s seat of our life, we become stuck and disempowered. Feeling vulnerable, frightened and hopeless, our experience of life is one that is characterised by resistance and negativity.
Think of a time when you felt really dejected in life. Regardless of what the circumstances were surrounding the experience, I can guarantee that at the root of your discontent was a negative thought about yourself or the situation. In reflecting on my own experience of life, I have found it to be true that the situation is almost never as destructive as our response to it is. Whether that destructive response is given internal or external energy, the result is the same, and that is an experience of suffering for the self and the larger world.
Bound to the ego, our experience of life becomes dysfunctional. It is no wonder that people are abusing substances such as alcohol and drugs in record amounts. These people are looking for relief from the false identifications that they have with their thought forms. Wanting a respite from the torrent of chaos that this identification produces, the answer doesn’t lie in consuming external substances, for that is not where the problem is.
What something like anti-depressants promise, meditation and prayerful surrender deliver. Meditation is a valuable practice because it provides us with the perspective of the eternal witness that is unconstrained by the movements of the mind. Getting some distance from these thought forms, we can more clearly see the games that the mind plays, and this endows us with power. Providing present moment awareness, we can do a better job of controlling our thoughts, and are less susceptible to becoming a victim of them. For the person who endeavours to become more conscious in their life, this is a profound shift. The journey from puppet to master is a lifelong process, but in every respect the journey is worth it.
For me, one of the greatest benefits that I have found in meditation is the ability to challenge my thoughts. By cultivating the space to disassociate from these thought forms, I have come to learn what it means to not take your thoughts too seriously. When we are able to peek behind the curtain of thought, so to speak, we can decipher the meanings, motivations and habits that underlie so many of our patterns of thinking. Receiving these thought communications with a higher level clarity, we do not need to take them at face value if in their substance they convey a message that conflicts with a deeper reality that we have previously encountered.