How do our thoughts affect the quality of our lives? For the most part, our thoughts seem to be random. We interact with the world randomly through our senses and our brains sort out the useful information from the “chaff” or “mind junk” that passes through our consciousness barely making a ripple. Our senses absorb the raw data of our experience but our senses don’t ‘get’ language. However, our minds ‘get’ it, and what’s more, our minds ‘get’ it on more levels than we are aware of. So what does that tell us about the language we use for thinking? We know thought can affect our mood, that’s obvious. Think about a politician whose ideas you oppose. What did you feel as you thought of that person? Most likely, your body chimed in with its response to your unspoken thought in an habitual way. Thought triggers a chemical reaction and the nature of the reaction depends on a store of information about the object of the thought. When we detest someone, that thought triggers a flood of chemicals that stimulate us to oppose that person – and his or her thinking. There is already a kind of neuro-chemical war being played out in our brains and the other person doesn’t even know we’re thinking about him or her. It’s a one-sided war where the enemy exists in our imaginal world (mental images) as powerfully as in the external world. If there is sufficient negative emotion involved, we release a toxin into the world and the universe.
Whether we are conscious of it or not we have just used visualisation to affect our material reality. Thought accompanied by emotion-laden images has a stronger effect than thought accompanied by emotionally-neutral images. Try this little exercise to see what I mean: Visualise an ice cube or a fork or a window. They are just things and, as such, they are neutral as images. It is not until we give things a context that they begin to acquire power. For example, an alcoholic may immediately imagine the ice cube in a glass of whiskey and long for a drink. A compulsive eater may see the fork laden with cheesecake and feel the urge to eat. A depressed person may see a window and have the urge to find a real one to jump out of. The point here is that both thoughts and images are potentially destructive, neutral or constructive. It all depends on Context.
Think about all the things that we study in school. How much time was devoted to learning how to use consciousness more effectively? If you were lucky and went to a ‘progressive’ school you might have studied something about how we learn, how we process information, and how we store it in memory. That’s fine, but it’s not the same as learning to make better use of consciousness. For that, until very recently we had to consult philosophical rather than scientific sources. When we release the contents of the mind – literally free outselves from thought - we experience the state known as Being. Being is a state that is free from judgment of any kind. It is pure experience without taint of interpretation – that comes later. Learning how to enter the state of Being at will is actually the process of waking up to Consciousness. It’s a paradoxical state of being. In order to experience pure consciousness, we need to do something akin to putting the brain to sleep! More accurately, we must leave the usual state of chaotic mind noise (Beta Consciousness) and enter a more relaxed state (Alpha Consciousness) and finally a much ‘deeper’ state of being without thought (Delta/Theta/Gamma Consciousness). It is from this deep state that we can gain control over the seemingly random quality of thought.
In the state of just existing in consciousness we are detached from the physical world and, to a great extent, from our bodies. That is, we let the body’s autonomic nervous system do what it was designed to do: keep all metabolic functions operating without our having to think about it. So, how is this different from “normal” chaotic thinking? The difference is that in this state there is NO thought. It’s not just the absence of random or chaotic thought. It is the temporary cessation of all thought. It is a profound, healing, and generative form of silence. In this state we are in direct contact with the energy of consciousness that created and maintains the Universe. For us it is the state of effortless, hyper-conscious Being. Because all thought ceases temporarily in this state, our emotions are at rest. We are free of all judgment and hence free of stress because it is in judging conditions and other people that we create the stressful reactions that release psychic toxins into our world. Think how different the world would be without toxic mental activity. With meditation, toxic mental activity ceases and when we experience the profound peace of this deep state we want more of it and gradually leave toxic mental activity behind.
For more information on the issues raised in this post or to check out the books illustrated above, look HERE.
© Delia O’ Riordan 2012