Inquiry: I can go to a thought for answers

Statement: I can go to a thought for answers.

  1. Is it true?
    Yes, it sometimes feels true.
  2. Can I know it is absolutely true?
    No, I cannot know that for certain. Also, I don’t know what is best for me in the long run.
  3. What happens when I believe that thought?
    • I quickly go to thoughts for answers, and in particular to memories of answers from the past, the ones I am comfortable with, and may have come from an alive realization at one point. Now, I can go directly to the thought instead of looking at what is alive in immediate awareness here and now. It seems quicker, and takes less effort. It also seems safer. I know what I’ll find, and it is tested and true. If I went to immediate awareness, I don’t know what I would find. It could shake my habitual and comfortable beliefs and identities. It could wreak havoc with what already works, at least to some extent.
    • But, on the other hand, there is a discomfort when I go to thoughts for answers. There is a sense of it being too easy. And there is often a sense of contraction, reactiveness and of making myself right and others wrong. Thoughts, when believed in, seems to do just that. Yet, sometimes the habitual pattern of going to thoughts is there, as an easy vehicle to jump into, so that is what happens, in spite of the discomfort and sense of contraction and narrowness.
    • When I go to thoughts for answers, I notice that I feel contraction of body (tension), mind (narrow, rigid, fixed) and heart (closed off to some situations/people). Everything shuts down and becomes narrow and rigid.
    • I am also uneasy because I know I am stuck in a particular, narrow, one-sided view, and that life is so much more than and different from that. I know it can easily be shot down, by others and myself. I know it will be shot down, so dread – and hope for – that moment. Sometimes, I also initiate that at earliest possible time, as soon as there is space to relax the grip on the thought and investigate with more space around it, and more receptivity. Better that I do it on my own than others doing it for me, although that works too. If I do it on my own, I am not dependent on waiting for life or others to do it for me, and I get there ahead of them. If life or others do it for me, it is humbling (helping me see my humanity). And there are gifts in both.
    • How do I treat others when I believe that thought? I feel I have the answer. If they agree, then they do to, and if they don’t agree, then they don’t have the answer, or at least not as clearly as I.
    • How do I treat myself? As someone who can go to thoughts for answers. As someone who gets it right when I do. As someone who can easily fall down if the thought is shot down. As someone not able or willing to go to what is alive in immediate awareness instead of (or in addition to) the thought.
    • >> When did I first have that thought? Hm… I sense fear behind going to thoughts for answers. It must have been very early in my life, in a situation where I realized that if I quickly went to a thought for answer I would, possibly, avoid some unpleasant consequences – of being too slow, or saying or doing something that triggered something in someone else. I could play it more safe by going to thought. Thoughts that worked in the past, and were approved by those around me. Thoughts they agreed with, so they wouldn’t get triggered.
  4. Who would I be without that thought?
    I would be receptive in the situation, and wait for something to come up. Something that would be fresh, unexpected and surprise me. Something that could be outside of what I am used to. There would be receptivity and curiosity, and a sense of open adventure. A sense of always being in the unknown, in not knowing. A sense of the the present being fresh. A sense of aliveness. Also, a sense of intimacy with life, myself, others, and the situation.
  5. Turnarounds.
    1. I cannot go to a thought for answers.
      Yes, true. The answers of thoughts are of functional and practical value only, and always from the past. At most, they provide guidance for this human self navigate in the world. But they cannot give answers to existential questions. Also, if I stop with answers provided by thoughts, I miss what is really here now (which is OK, of course, but can be misleading, and is not as alive as noticing what is here).
    2. My thinking cannot go to a thought for answers.
      Yes, also true. If thinking goes to a thought for answers, it is just a spinning of the wheels, a churning of what is already known. It is not fresh and alive.
    3. I can go to a thought for misinformation.
      Yes, definitely true. Thoughts are about the past, not what is here now, so thoughts can easily provide misinformation. Also, thoughts makes a lot of assumptions, which may or may not be accurate even in a relative and practical sense.

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