There are many flavor to how our minds turns away from feeling what’s here.
One is to try to find refuge and safety in understanding.
If I think about my understanding, I don’t have to feel this.
I can explore this in several ways:
What would I have to feel now if I didn’t think about my understanding? Feel that.
What am I afraid would happen if I didn’t go into understanding? Look for the threat.
Can I find X? Understanding? Insight?
Can I find X? Someone who understands? Someone who gets it?
Can I find the command to understand? To get it?
Here are some of the ways I use understanding – thinking about understanding something – as a way to avoid feeling what’s here:
I get caught in figuring something out. Or rehearsing an understanding, or elaborating on it, or fine-tuning it. I distract myself from feeling.
I use it to avoid shifting from thinking to noticing thoughts, since this often will lead to noticing and feeling what’s here.
I use it to avoid doing what the understanding is about. I think about my understanding of something instead of actually doing it, including dealing with things in my life, natural rest and inquiry. This helps me avoid feeling what I would have to feel if I actually did it.
There is of course absolutely nothing wrong about understanding and insight. It’s essential and beautiful. It’s what allows us to function in the world. And it’s what allows us to evolve as a species and civilization. It’s one of the ways life explores and experiences itself through us.
Even compulsively going to understanding to escape feelings is OK. It’s innocent. It comes from deep caring. It’s what the mind does when it scares itself with its own stories. And it’s not satisfying in the long run, or even in the moment.