Thoughts – and the relationship between awareness and thoughts – is still mostly a mystery to me.
There is the process of thoughts/thinking without any particular entity producing them. They appear, unfold, and dissolve within space or mind – seemingly coming from nowhere and disappearing into nowhere.
When awareness identifies with thoughts, there is the sense of “I am thinking”. The thoughts seem to be produced consciously by this entity called “me”.
When awareness awakens to itself as distinct from the processes of the personality, we see that (a) the self is no fixed or separate entity and (b) that the process of thinking goes on largely on its own – it lives its own life. Thoughts unfolding within spacious awareness are like clouds passing through the sky.
In both situations, awareness can engage with the thinking process.
In the first instance, where awareness identifies with the thoughts, it is involuntary. Awareness either fuels or attempts to push away whatever thoughts come up.
In the second instance, where awareness is aware of itself as distinct from thoughts, there is more of a choice. Awareness can choose to engage with the thought process in a certain way, or just allow them to come and go on their own without engaging with them.
The thought and emotional patterns seems to be conditioned – including by the characteristics of this universe, our biology, culture and personal experiences. They react/respond to inner and outer stimuli in a certain way, which partly is shared among human beings, partly shared within our culture, and is partly unique to us as individuals.
It seems that when awareness engages with the thoughts, it can channel them in a certain direction – to a certain extent. They will always tend to live their own life, most likely based on the conditioned patterns (sometimes to the embarrassment of the self).
When awareness is identified with the processes of the personality, it seems that the self is the servant of the thoughts. We are somewhat at the mercy of the habitual patterns of the personality.
When awareness is aware of itself, the transpersonal – or Big Mind – perspectives can be expressed through thoughts. Thoughts are then the servants of Big Mind or transpersonal perspectives.