"He was trying to think about what the world would be like without having thoughts about it."
--Michael Markham


"Is not thinking itself a notion in the mind?"

Oh looky here, another lengthy social media discussion about thoughts.

As in, something needs to be done about them. As in, what can be done about them.

Every good spiritual seeker knows that thoughts are bad, n’kay?

We’re at war with thinking. Apparently it’s a powerful enemy we mustn’t allow to live.

Apparently it’s not enough that humans try to control absolutely everything in these lives- love, safety, health, feelings, money, time, productivity, desires, future.

No, we shall master thought too- ours and other people’s. (We don’t want others thinking the wrong thoughts about us, do we?)

Thinking does not get a pass.

Thought-management is required for enlightened self-less clear transcendence.

So ideally, the goal is to stop rumination completely. Eradication is highly preferred. Find a way to shut those babies down into complete mental silence.

Although try attaining realization, understanding, or “getting it,” without thinking.

In fact, try living in any way without thoughts. Try raising kids, working, planning dinner, or listening to some teacher on you-tube, without thoughts.

We can’t have one without all of it.

Ok fine, then stretch thoughts out so that there’s lots more calm zoned-out empty space in-between thoughts.

Or, if that can’t be done either, then for goodness’ sake at least find ways to not believe them. And reroute thoughts so they go somewhere more to our liking.

Ok, let's take a moment and rethink this.

Because guess who it’s up to, to make all that happen?

That would be us.

It’s us who must wrestle thinking into line, whether through meditation or inquiry or psychedelics.

It’s us who must control something that has been around for millennia, minding its own business, trying to force it to take us where we want to go, rather than where it wants.

Yep, it's all-powerful humans who will surely harness and put a leash on that.

Hmmm. Perhaps right about here, it's worth noticing what wants thought gone in the first place.

Because that would be... thought. What says thought is a problem? Thought.

Thought says, “I’m a very bad thing, I stand between you and contentment, so I need to make my very own self vanish forever.”

It wants to be rid of itself? Um, OK.

And the thing is, what for? Just so that we can score some blissful feeling we happen to like?

Maybe all we need is just different thoughts. Nicer thoughts. More positive thoughts. Fewer of them. Thoughts that take us where we want to go.

‘Course, we are not in charge of any of that.

Not to mention that consciousness has no problem with any of this. After all, human thinking is It too.

That means it doesn’t matter if thoughts exist, if they’re something or nothing, if they say things we like or don’t, if they bring a feeling we like or don’t.

So maybe we can leave the management of thinking to whatever owns it, and let go of that misguided battle.

Maybe instead of trying to turn What Is into our limited version of “better” by willful control,

Maybe instead of adding extra thoughts about managing thinking to the pile of thoughts we are supposedly trying to reduce,

we can just make peace with it, as it is.

Because fighting for control of something much much bigger than we'll ever be, seems an odd way to seek peace, bliss, or enlightenment.

Whereas watching thinking come, watching it be liked or disliked, watching it float off and be replaced by the next, is easier. More inclusive. Less at-fault. Calmer. More peaceful.

And that just might turn out to be a whole lot closer to

what we wanted to get

by controlling thoughts

to begin with.

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"You can’t empty your mind of thoughts. You might as well try to empty the ocean of its water. But ...why would you even want to empty your mind, unless you’re at war with reality?"
-- Byron Katie


"A common misconception is
The belief that thinking is
The creation of thought.
Rather, it is
The reception of thought from
A source which has no name and
From a place that cannot be found.
Since one can’t decide to think
Nor can one decide
Thoughts’ contents,
Why does one
Claim their ownership?
Is every sound wu'hsin’s because
He can hear them?"