To Think or Not to ThinkFeb 06, 2006
When is it okay to think?
When something makes you angry, there are two healthy ways to deal with it. You can become still, or you can investigate the situation using your mind. So at what point should you use your mind or thoughts to work with a situation? You should use your mind when you are aware you are using your mind.
What I am trying to convey is that thought is okay, it just needs to be conscious thought. So what is conscious thought? Thought that sweeps us away into a busy mind is an example of unconscious thought. Working out a problem, finding patterns, working with logic, setting appropriate boundaries on certain levels, using judgment to discern things are all good uses of the mind, as long as we are aware we are doing it.
Challenges will not stop. Neither will "good" and "bad" emotions, feelings, situations, etc. When we change, the world still comes, but we can deal with the world differently. By being detached from the ego, we can free ourselves of being upset that we are sad. So sadness doesn't stop. Instead, we become okay with sadness.
Depending on how deeply in the world I'm going to live, the more things tend to define me. And hence, the more I need to protect. Be aware of what you are protecting. Be aware of what you are attached to.
Two sides of being alive can be described as thinking/experiencing, or thinking/being, or mind/body. Philosophers have discussed mind and body for ages. The goal is to have mind and body in the same place (here) at the same time (now). We could call the act of accomplishing that a higher state of being.
We don't want to avoid things through meditation. The act of dropping thought is used to learn about thinking, and to show that thinking isn't all there is. It is not used to abandon thought entirely.
To sum up, it is okay to think when you are aware you are thinking. Thinking is a tool, and we need to learn to use it as such.
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