The underworld gives meaning to a thought

 

At The School in LA last week, Katie mentioned that the underworld is what gives meaning to a thought.

That’s what I have found as well.

There is an image of a cat in my mind. In itself it’s just an image, and perhaps not even that.

Then, there are underlying thoughts and assumptions that gives meaning to this image. A cat is fluffy, warm, sits on my lap, gives pleasure. There are images of past experiences with cats. I see myself as someone who likes cats, and someone liked by cats. I think they are mammals, beings, a facet of Spirit as anything else. I think they live 15-20 years or so, like to eat mice and birds. I think people treating cats unkindly are wrong, bad, hurt, caught up in their own hurt and take it out on cats. I feel sorry for mistreated cats. I see images of cats soaking up the warmth from the sun, drinking water, purring, having kittens.

All of these images give meaning to the initial image of a cat. They are all there, activated to some extent as soon as there is an image of a cat in my mind. Sometimes, I am aware of some of these images. And most of the time, they are just there in the background, activated by the initial cat image, providing to vague images, creating a general atmosphere, offering associations, bringing bout feelings, giving me a sense that I like cats and like to be with them.

So all the meaning that cats have for me – everything I associate with them, feel about them, and expect from a cat – is from my own world of images. It’s from, in the words of Byron Katie, the underworld. There is an image of a cat in my world of images, and it’s underworld is this world of images in my mind associated with my image of a cat.

And that’s how it is with any thought. In itself it’s just a nonverbal thought – AKA image – or a verbal thought. And it’s giving meaning through its associated images and thoughts.

And in inquiry, I can investigate all of these, all the way from the apparently surface and peripheral ones to the very basic ones.