Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Jan Frazier - Looking at thought




Not ideas about the thing
but the thing itself.
 
See the difference between the felt encounter with momentary reality
and anything the mind makes of it.


The idea of the thing becomes
the thing itself.
 
This is what the ego does with ideas. They are mistaken for life itself.
So suffering continues. Time keeps seeming real. Life itself is missed.
The seeming-reality of the self (which is made of ideas) persists.


 When thought objects vanish,
the thinking-subject vanishes.
 
“You” (your ego) have to “come online” in order for egoic thought to form.
When your mind is free of egoic thought, “you” literally are not there.
This is because you (the egoic self) are constructed of thought and maintained by it.
The mind creates a self, which then tells itself stories.
The self lives in these stories and ideas as if they were reality.


Thought gains its dominance and control
by a simple device:
not being observed.
 
As soon as you become aware that you are thinking, rather than engaging with the content of the thought,
the power of the thought diminishes. You see that thought is not reality.



* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

It may take the rest of your life to “get” this. Be patient!
Revisit it every so often. It will bear fruit.
Don’t try (only) to understand it. Observe it operating, as you live.
Let it play like a song in the background of your awareness.


Sources of quotations:

“Not ideas about the thing but the thing itself.” – Wallace Stevens (20th century American poet)

“The idea of the thing becomes the thing itself.” – Thomas Lynch (contemporary American poet and essayist; also an undertaker)

“When thought objects vanish, the thinking-subject vanishes.” – Third Zen Patriarch

“Thought gains its dominance and control by a simple device: not being observed.” – Red Hawk (contemporary spiritual author)

 



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