Exploring the inquiry process outlined by Byron Katie, there are several aspects of thoughts that becomes quite clear.
Thoughts are impersonal. They arise, unfold, fade – come from nowhere and go to nowhere. Awareness can choose to engage with them or not.
Thoughts are universal. It is the same thoughts arising in each human being, in different variations.
When we believe in a thought, it causes contractions (on all levels) independent of what thought it is.
- World vs. Thoughts
Any thought is just an opinion, from a limited view. And the world is more than and different from any and all views. When we believe a thought, there will inevitably be times where the world and the thought does not align, and this causes a contraction and suffering.
We can take care of ourselves and function very effectively in the world without believing in thoughts. In fact, we function with more clarity and responsiveness in the absence of believing in thoughts.
- Arise w/out believing
Thoughts will always arise, and that is fine. It only becomes a problem for the self when awareness believes in the thought, operates as if it was true, and thus sets itself up for suffering when the world inevitably does not align with the thought.
Thoughts can be there and live their lives, and if we inquire into them, there is an absence of any impulse to believe in them. Something in us knows – effortlessly – that they do not match reality, what they do for the self (suffering), and that we can function very well without believing in them.