Truth of your Thoughts

February 19, 2013

Every single person possesses a mind.  The mind is formless. Your mind can generate all kinds of thoughts, and therefore it can generate different brain waves. So, thought is a kind of energy. In physics, the principle of energy is that it cannot be divided. Thought is energy, the physical body is energy, the atmosphere is energy, and even a table is energy. Everything is energy, so one cannot look at reality as an amalgamation of separate pieces, because energy cannot be divided. The instant your mind generates the thought, the reality corresponding to the thought manifests as a whole. This is a manifestation of the oneness from which you cannot be separated.

People tend to think oneness means we are all one and the same, but that is not so. Our minds possess the same ability, but the individual who possesses the ability is unique in himself or herself. For example, if I generate an angry thought, will you become angry too? You will not. Therefore, I have my mind, which works for me, and you have your mind, which works for you. We use our minds differently, though they have the same ability and purpose. Whatever your mind manifests will be your reality, and that reality is oneness because it cannot be cut into pieces. At the fundamental level, your reality and my reality do not conflict with each other because our minds are formless. The formless can overlap the formless.

Conflict only arises when we become attached to what the mind has created. Imagine that we are in a room having a discussion. I am speaking, and you are listening to me. All who are present can hear my voice. Immediately afterward, each of you brings forth a thought pattern that defines what I have said according to his or her habitual thought pattern. Each of you will have a unique, personal definition–a perception–and become attached to it. The definition you create is your attempt to grasp what I have said. As I spoke, you thought and reacted to what I said. Thus, your idea of what I said is different from what I actually said. This dynamic is the cause of many problems in life. In fact, it has caused wars.

Dualistic thinking causes the mind to become attached to its creation, so it is less flexible. It can cause all sorts of conflicts in the world. Even within the individual, duality is a constant source of conflict, questioning and upheaval. For example, you might want to buy something, but at the same time you do not want to buy it. You might love someone but suddenly feel you do not love him or her anymore. This is conflict, and it occurs within you. You might insist on one view of an issue, but your husband or wife will insist on a different view. Then, of course, you argue over such things all too frequently. Or, imagine the people in one country versus those of a neighboring country. The people in my country feel we have the right to possess a certain piece of land, but the people of the neighboring country feel otherwise. So, a war can erupt between those countries in regard to that piece of land. It does not matter whether either country really needs it.

We carry our own habitual thought patterns with us, and we use those patterns to handle all the things that occur in our lives. However, do you think everything in life can be handled through a means of habitual thinking? If it were so, each of us would be a sage. We are too easily confused by all the issues and turns in life to judge them clearly. Have you, for example, carefully examined your life in order to discover the source of all your difficulties? We have so many worries and so much suffering, but the way we talk to others–the way we give advice–is as if we have already solved all our problems. Despite all your worries, when you talk to someone who has a particular difficulty, you will suggest that he or she do one thing or another. However, your concepts, based on habitual thinking, are the cause of your problems. How can any solution based on those concepts solve a problem for someone else?

We are mundane people with many problems and faults, but somehow our habitual patterns lead us to pretend we are right when we become attached to the thought patterns in our minds. Actually, we have no choice in life, and I shall explain why this is so. Again, imagine that you are listening to me at this moment: The thought that comes to your mind is the result of your thought pattern. Because the thought pattern is habitual, you really have no other choice. The pattern decides what thought you will have. Furthermore, the thought that comes out of the thought pattern will lead you to assume the thought is right. So, you will fight for it and lose flexibility.

I will give you an idea, and if you remember it and keep it in mind you will find happiness: Thoughts are tools, feelings are tools, and emotions are tools. They are all tools of the mind, not the purpose of the mind. However, all too often we focus on the tools and forget the purpose. For example, let us say a couple has had an argument. Later, the husband buys flowers for his wife and says nice things to her, but she does not accept that form of apology. As a result, the husband becomes more frustrated with the wife, which makes the situation even more tense. So, what was the purpose of giving flowers in the first place? It was to make amends for the quarrel. The act of giving flowers is a tool but not the purpose. So, when the tool does not work, the husband gets angry which defeats the purpose of flowers in the first place intended to make amends instead of instigating more fighting.

People’s lives are dominated by habitual patterns, and these patterns are so strong that they cause us to lose our focus on the real goal or intention. So, remember that thoughts are tools. You are driven to fix a problem, but you must not hesitate to give up the thought that did not work. Only you can generate your thought, and only you can insist on it. Who wants to fix the problem? You do. So, which is more important: the tool or the solution to the problem? Remember, thoughts are only tools of the mind. For example, if you were a logger you would be accustomed to the use of an axe. You would think the axe was the most wonderful tool in the world. However, is the axe the proper tool to use when cultivating vegetables? This is probably not so, but the axe has been in your mind for such a long time that you will automatically consider it to be the right choice. Similarly, our habitual thought patterns have been in our minds for a long time, so when we have a situation we automatically go to them for solutions.

How did habitual thought patterns come about? The mind is formless and can generate any thought. However, the more you generate the same thought, the more powerful that thought will be. If you are not conscious, you will continue to empower certain repetitive thoughts until they become second-nature to you. Imagine that you have established a company and opened a business. You do everything by yourself, and gradually you make money. So, you hire a general manager. You give more and more power to the general manager, and eventually the general manager replaces you. Each of us is like the boss, and the general manager is similar to the habitual thought pattern in the mind. Who is the boss? You are. Who has empowered the general manager? You have. When we repeatedly give power to the same thoughts, consequently we lose the ability to choose differently. This is why the practice of Zen teaches us to regain mastery over our minds. Remember, no one else in this world can generate a single thought for you. The generation of thought, the quality of thought and the habitual pattern thus created are all your responsibility and your creation.