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isabel

is my mind running by itself?

21 posts in this topic

do thoughts just rise up on their own? then how is it possible to direct thoughts because choosing which thoughts to follow is just another thought, realizations are just more thoughts...even the idea of being enlightened is just a thought, isn't it?

I see thoughts just happening without me trying, the mind runs on it's own, but I can also choose to think or not think about certain things, but then where does that choice come from - am I not really making that choice? does awareness choose or am I really just watching thought patterns happen?

thank you

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4 minutes ago, isabel said:

I can also choose to think or not think about certain things, but then where does that choice come from

5 minutes ago, isabel said:

choosing which thoughts to follow is just another thought

You answered it yourself. There is no "you" choosing between the thoughts; "you" or "choosing a thought" or "directing your thoughts" are just more thoughts. 

There is no "choice", because there is nothing to choose between. Reality isn't split, it's one. But thought can make it seem like there is choice "between" two possibilities. 

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Ultimately, what @Tim R is saying. But it's funny because the ego can use exactly this realization to justify not taking responsibility. A healthy mind, while grounded in the being that is not identified with that mind, can take control of thoughts. On the other hand, some teachers (like Shunyamurti) might even say that you as the true Self can in some way rise above the mind and still its activity through your deep realization of its true nature. I'm not so sure about that from my own experience. But I would say this topic is quite tricky and has many levels of insight and integration that need to be considered.

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@Tim R so this is a process that happens by itself, I (awareness) just watch and that's it, so that's why they say things like to "just allow things to be as they are" because there is no way to do anything else?

but I could have the thought, "I should get a better job" and then the thought "yes I will or no I won't" so that "choice" happens just based on patterns and programs running in my mind and in the world?

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@peanutspathtotruth

15 minutes ago, peanutspathtotruth said:

Ultimately, what @Tim R is saying. But it's funny because the ego can use exactly this realization to justify not taking responsibility. A healthy mind, while grounded in the being that is not identified with that mind, can take control of thoughts. On the other hand, some teachers (like Shunyamurti) might even say that you as the true Self can in some way rise above the mind and still its activity through your deep realization of its true nature. I'm not so sure about that from my own experience. But I would say this topic is quite tricky and has many levels of insight and integration that need to be considered.

yes, very funny, because as far as I can see right now, what are realizations? I see thoughts running on their own - that's a realization but a realization is just another type of thought, ok lol I'm just confusing myself at this point...

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@isabel

You must be careful with this now. What @peanutspathtotruth  said is very important to understand;

14 minutes ago, peanutspathtotruth said:

the ego can use exactly this realization to justify not taking responsibility.

Essentially, what we're talking about here is free will on the level of abstract, mental activity (thought). 

So when I say "choosing/directing thought is just a thought", this might sound like I'm suggesting some kind of determinism. That there is no free will which chooses and makes decisions. 

And ultimately, yes, that is what I am saying. But here's the important counterpart:

Determinism, i.e. not being able to choose and being a mere passive witness of your thoughts is also just a thought. You understand this? 

10 minutes ago, isabel said:

so this is a process that happens by itself

Yes, but this means a lot more than " a process that is going on outside of your control". 

To 'happen by itself' is actually the way this entire universe works. It's the "how" of reality. So this really isn't exclusive to thoughts. 

12 minutes ago, isabel said:

that's why they say things like to "just allow things to be as they are" because there is no way to do anything else?

There is a first level understanding (metaphorically speaking), which is "I am in control". This is the ordinary, egoic sense of being in control. 

Second level understanding is "nobody is in control; laissez faire, be passive, there's nothing to do here." This is how many people who get into spirituality and Neo-Advaita begin to see the world; 'the ego ("I am in control")  is an illusion' (so far this has mostly not been understood beyond the conceptual level).

And then there's third level understanding: "I am not doing it, but it's not happening to me either". This is the stage I am talking about. This is the stage at which "happening of itself' has been deeply realized.

Your thoughts don't happen to you, but it's not you who is in control of them either. Every thought comes and goes of itself. 

It's like your breath. Are you breathing voluntarily or involuntarily? You see, you can look at your breath in both (and thus neither) ways.

You can't abandon responsibility for something that you were never in control of to begin with. In other words, you can't become passive if you were never active to begin with. 

That realization will only make sense if the duality between "I am doing" and "it happens to me" has collapsed. 

34 minutes ago, isabel said:

but I could have the thought, "I should get a better job" and then the thought "yes I will or no I won't" so that "choice" happens just based on patterns and programs running in my mind and in the world?

In a sense, yes. But even this "program" is happening of itself and not to anyone. So there is no passivity involved and you're not suddenly going to become a puppet of the forces of the universe which will make you say "no I won't accept this better job offer". 

15 minutes ago, isabel said:

a realization is just another type of thought

You can have realizations beyond the mind. And they are not thoughts of any kind. 

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@Tim R thank you! so strange because I understand very little if anything about that yet I feel like I do understand, I will read it a few times and keep going, thank you

oh but wait, if I have a realization beyond my mind, how will I know that it happened if there are no thoughts about it?

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1 hour ago, isabel said:

oh but wait, if I have a realization beyond my mind, how will I know that it happened if there are no thoughts about it?

When there are no thoughts about it, only being, it feels like clouds moving away from the sun. There is only the shining Self.

Thoughts come and go. Allowing them, without identifying with them, is the path to enlightenment.

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Ya, like a river or volcano or whatever.  Thoughts seem really close to you so it seems like you're doing it. No one is really doing it.  The "you" stuff is also just happening, seems even closer, but still you aren't controlling or doing it.  I don't think there's a you, I mean, I do think that, but I know I'm wrong :)

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Your mind is the entire universe.

The whole universe flows.


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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55 minutes ago, Leo Gura said:

Your mind is the entire universe.

The whole universe flows.

thank you leo, what does beyond the mind mean? can I experience beyond the mind and then after that experience have thoughts about what just happened?

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26 minutes ago, isabel said:

thank you leo, what does beyond the mind mean? can I experience beyond the mind and then after that experience have thoughts about what just happened?

It depends on how you define mind.

If you realize that EVERYTHING is Mind, there cannot be anything beyond the Mind. That's Infinite Mind. But there is much beyond the finite human mind.

You can even have thoughts while experiencing Infinite Mind. Thoughts are part of Infinite Mind. You can be in the middle of enlightenment and having thoughts about it, just like you can be in the middle of an orgasm and thinking about it.


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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You are just watching thought patterns happen and you have the illusion of allocating focus. A very helpful illusion i must say. The only one who has the power of making choices is God. When you think you did something, that was simply God. And we cannot access God's will. At least most of us will never be. It's a mystery we are just learning to surrender to more and more every day.

This is good news because in the end only God's will is happening. This is Liberation right there. If your ego was in control that would be bad news.

 

 

Edited by SQAAD

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@isabel Yes. I first noticed this when I was very young while I was relaxing or trying to fall asleep. My mind had a dialog and images just running on it's own. I could step in and stop the process with my own thought, but as soon as I would let go it was off and running again. The good news is with spiritual practices you can dramatically tame the monkey mind. I often experience a still mind with no thoughts now. It just takes discipline and focus. 

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11 hours ago, isabel said:

do thoughts just rise up on their own?

You appear as thinking.

then how is it possible to direct thoughts because choosing which thoughts to follow is just another thought, realizations are just more thoughts...even the idea of being enlightened is just a thought, isn't it?

Meditate daily in the morning... then you can build a skill to notice thinking inside you so to speak. Imagine, currently the situation is the following:

You<->Thinking (kinda merged together), with daily meditation practice You (awareness) <-------------> Thinking (kinda more space between you and thinking)

Thinking is no difference with the song of the bird... you can focus on it or you can focus on something else... up to you... follow your feelings. 

I see thoughts just happening without me trying, the mind runs on it's own, but I can also choose to think or not think about certain things, but then where does that choice come from - am I not really making that choice? does awareness choose or am I really just watching thought patterns happen?

thank you

The choice without chooser. Meditate daily. Make a dream board. Focus on what feels good. Let go the limited beliefs. Live life fully. ??

 

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Others have said everything that could be said about this. I've only got one quote for you to contemplate on:

Quote

Thoughts in your head are really no different than the sound of a bird outside. It is just that you decide that they are more or less relevant.

— Adyashanti

 

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In the context of thinking, then yes and no, your mind can produce automatic thoughts and you can use the mind to produce thoughts as well.

Firstly, you created the distinction the there is a "space" called mind where you can hold, among other things, thoughts or internal dialogue. Before that, you did not discerned mind from perceptions. Secondly, try to recognize patterns of thought that occur in your mind. Ask your self why do this patterns occur, in which way do they serve you. Do you judge other a lot? Do you curse the other in your thoughts? Do you blame, shame or create other negative feelings toward your self and others? ask your self why do you do that and what results this thoughts and feelings produce. Thirdly, notice that you can choose whether to give any thought meaning, or just relinquish it from the mind. You have choice in the matter.

Also: consider the possibility that patterns of thought that occur for you served you in the past to defend your self in certain conditions, but now have become obsolete.

Thought can be very powerful and destructive. Thought can produce very negative charge towards objects or experiences, and distort reality for serving self-agenda. By this, your experience becomes subject to illusion which is detrimental to clarity of vision and insight. With thought, you can pump your state of being with negative feelings, and suffer for that. This is why it is crucial to grasp the nature of mind, learn how to control it and ultimately transcend it completely. This can be done by observing the activities of the mind through out the day, meditating, psychedelics (especially LSD and Psilocybin) and contemplation.

And remember always, you are not your mind. But you are not separate from it either. Have fun!

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Yes, it's always running on autopilot mode to save you energy and generate thoughts based upon the identity you have so far.

so you can still change the content overtime but you can't stop the autopilot mode, coz it's the main mechanism of the mind. 


"If you kick me when I'm down, you better pray I don't get up"

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this is intensely amazing that this information is appearing right now in this forum, just want to thank everything and everyone here

I feel like I'm getting everything up to these ideas "choice without chooser" or "I am not doing it, but it's not happening to me either"

so that's what's next I think, I see everything happening, still seems like I'm some sort of a "me that's choosing" but I will follow all of this advice, thank you <3 I'm very interested to see what I find next

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There isn't anything at all whatsoever that isn't simply appearing to happen on its own without a separate controller or guiding mechanism. Even if there appears to be a separate controller or guiding mechanism, that too is just appearing to happen on its own. There's no one, no thing, and no moment neither in, nor outside of, what's simply just appearing to be. The only constant is nothing, which is everything constantly appearing to change. Movement never moves, and nothing controls it.

Edited by The0Self

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