Believing in Thoughts

 

Another aspect of the Matrix that I find very perceptive is the consequences of believing in thoughts.

Morpheus believes that Neo is the One. Others believe equally strongly that there is no such thing as the One. In both cases, it limits their behavior. It creates rigidiy, inflexibility, and habitual patterns of behavior. It creates stuckness, and suffering.

Neo is one who does not believe in an ideology, which allows for questioning, exploration, flexibility, responsiveness to the situation, change of approach. And he evolves where others do not.

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Beliefs & Suffering
When we believe in thoughts, we set ourselves up for suffering.

When we believe in a thought, we exclude parts of existence. Existence has a way of coming up with exactly that which is excluded, and the discrepancy between our belief and existence brings up suffering. We believe the world is or “should” be a certain way, it shows us that it is not, and there is suffering.

Believing in thoughts creates contractions. It brings up apprehension, because we know existence can come up with something that shows us the fallacy of the thoughts. It brings up righteousness and arrogance. It brings up fear. It brings up anger and lethargy. It brings rigidity and inflexibility. It creates a whole rollercoaster ride of experiences.

When we are attached to beliefs, we resist whatever comes up from the discrepancy between our thoughts and existence. And this resistance, combined with the crazy (and predictable) rollercoaster ride, brings profound exhaustion. Which in turn can be a motivation to find a different way or relating to all this.

Looking at it from a purely intellectual way, we also find that believing in thoughts is a fallacy. No matter how comprehensive a system of thoughts is, it is exclusive. Existence is always more than and different from our experience of it, and our experience in turn is always more than and different from the way we translate it into thoughts.

Not Believing in Thoughts
When we don’t believe in thoughts (through Byron Katie’s process, sitting practice, or something else), we discover that awareness is distinct from its content. It is clear and spacious, and allows anything to unfold within it. There is no resistance (and no need for resistance), and there is no holding onto anything (and no need to hold onto anything). We discover a wisdom and cognition that is far more responsive, flexible, inclusive and clear than anything we can get from thoughts alone.

Thoughts as Tools
When we awaken to awareness as distinct from its content, we can more fully make use of thoughts as tools. We are not exclusively identified with them, and are more free in using them. They become conscious tools for the spacious and clear wisdom inherent in the mind. And we know they are not true, they are just tools of temporary function and value.

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