Have you ever witnessed your own thoughts for a while? Truly, really do this for one hour or so and write down all that comes up in your mind. Then read it back.
Have you noticed how much repetition there is, how your thoughts constantly revolve around and confirm this sense of “me, myself and I”? You have discovered a key activity of what mind does. In fact, besides plain functional thinking like when you have to solve a mathematical problem, write down your shopping list or plan the reconstruction of your house, this article poses that 95% (or more) of what you think is more or less unnecessary and repetitive. Yet this kind of chronic thinking is exactly what seems to be happening constantly for most people. That brings up a few fundamental questions:
Where do these thoughts come from?
Who is the one who is thinking these thoughts?
These are fundamental questions which every human being could or perhaps even should really look into at least once during their lifetime. Normally no one will ask you to wonder about this, but aren’t these truly crucial questions which point to the core of our being, the core of our human experience?
In fact the answer to the questions above, according to the best evidence we have (from neuroscience) may come as a total surprise to most people;
- Your brain is producing these thoughts, whether you “will” them, or not.
- When your answer to the second question is: “It is I who is thinking these thoughts”, you will soon discover you are not, as you will find out you are not able to stop thinking for very long. Even when you willfully try to stop thinking, thoughts will eventually pop-up again, by themselves.
So basically, there is no “you” which is thinking your thoughts!
Yet it would logical to say that you are conscious or aware of these thoughts, or at least “something” is. So then another fundamental question arises, which is this one:
Who are you without your thoughts and your beliefs? (do “you” still exist?)
That very question leads on to the core of what Advaita or Non-duality points to; the mystery that we do not actually know what or who we are. One thing is certain; we are not our thoughts or beliefs, since an apparent “something” can observe or witness them.
The answer to the third question above could be formulated as: what you call “you” does not exist as a thing. When thoughts and beliefs fall away, what remains is pure awareness itself!
It seems that more and more people are discovering this, and it can be a profound and life-changing realization. Recognize any of this?
Let us know in the comments section…