A man I was close to used to tease me when I asked what he was thinking by replying “You think too much!” As a person responsible for strategic planning and long term impacts of things, it seemed like an inevitable occupational hazard.
In time, I have learned that we do not control whether thoughts arise or not – they just do, and we decide to attend to them or not. We decide to give them energy and go along with them, or not. We decide to believe them, or not.
Thoughts arise against the backdrop of our consciousness all the time. They arise without prompting by us. In fact, I dare you to cause a thought right now. I challenge you to stop thoughts arise for more than a few seconds.
“The human condition is characterized by a compulsive and obsessive personal relationship to thought. At its best, thought is a symbolic representation of reality; at its worst, thought takes the place of reality. Our thoughts describe and interpret both the external world and our internal experiences. To conceive of a life lived any other way is incomprehensible to most people. Thought tells us who we are; what we believe; what is right and wrong; what we should feel; what is true and what is false; and how we fit into this event called “life.” We literally create ourselves and our lives out of thought. Further, we associate the end of thought with sleep, unconsciousness, or death. It is this very personal relationship with thought that is the cause of all the fear, ignorance, and suffering which characterizes the human condition, and which destroys the manifestation of true Love in this life.” – Adyashanti
I have learned that when I believe my thoughts I suffer, but when I question them, I don’t suffer. It’s not reality that makes us suffer; it’s our thoughts about reality. Normally, it is thoughts that suggest that things should be different from what I am experiencing that causes suffering. As Byron Katie says “When I argue with reality, I lose—but only 100% of the time.”
There is no doubt that I am in silence much more than ever before in my life. It is not an external silence. It is not even a quiet mind. I am in the silence behind all of that. I use thoughts as a way of noticing they occur within the “ever-present, silent-still-source that not only precedes thought but surrounds it”. – Adyashanti
Do I think too much? No, not really. It is all part of the pathway to something greater: ” What I am talking about is a condition where the mind never fixates; where it never closes; where it has no compulsive need to understand in terms of ideas, concepts, and beliefs. A condition where you are no longer referencing the mind, feelings, or emotions for security in any way. What I am talking about is the complete surrender of all separateness until liberation becomes a permanent condition, and you are forever lost in the freedom of the Absolute.” – Adyashanti