Think of your thought stream like your FB feed.
There are posts (thoughts) that make you feel good, posts that make you feel bad and posts that don’t make you feel any type of way. In this analogy though, you as the user don’t have the ability to create posts. You aren’t the poster (the thinker), you aren’t the scroller (the doer). All you ever ‘do’ is watch the feed (thought stream) and the never ending posts, placing your attention on the ones of interest. And after a while, the FB algorithm narrows your feed to serve up more posts like the ones you’ve been giving the most attention to, both the good and the bad. Your only power in this scenario is the ability to choose where you place your attention. And pretty soon, you’re locked into a feedback loop where your mood is being constantly reinforced by posts that make you feel even more that way- whether joyful or sad. You become your feed and it’s reflected as your life. There’s a third choice, tho.
While looking at the feed on your phone screen, you could turn your attention around 180 degrees and consciously place it on what’s aware of the feed. Bring your phone up a little closer to your face, until it’s about 2 inches from your nose.
Actually do this. I’ll wait.
Now, do you see your face AND your phone or just your phone? Try this now! When I bring my phone up to where other people see my face, I don’t see my face, I see only space. I also see my phone, a hand, a computer, my body, a chair, and the roof top view of D.C.—sky, clouds, flowers. That’s my current view. What’s yours?
this is always your view out… you don’t see your face, ever! You just see your body and the surrounding environment. YOU are the space that contains everything that’s on display. That’s the way it’s always been. You just forgot!
You are not just that body/mind, you are this open space- you are the container for and the Source of the thoughts, your phone, these words, your body, your feelings, and everything that’s on display now (and every subsequent now). You never see your face, except for in reflective surfaces. Don’t dismiss this. (click here for more experiential enlightenment instructions)
Even though you now know who you are now beyond your feed, it continues to refresh constantly, the posts (thoughts) just affect you less. You give them less attention. And now you can live consciously from this space (it’s peaceful there) and use thoughts the way they were intended—as a tool to create and see your best life! #ThankYouThankYouThankYou
Your other self,
p.s. this isn’t a perfect analogy, nothing is. But hopefully it gave you some insights. It’s important to note that in ‘reality’, all the posts (thoughts) are neutral– meaning is given (based on past experiences) and then there are feels (good or bad). Also, the whole bit about not choosing posts (thoughts), that’s actually the case in your lived experience! Watch closely and see. You have never been the thinker. You never were the doer. You are what is aware of those activities. #paradox
p.p.s. If this experiential enlightenment article actually resonated and you want more on this perspective shift, check out Harding’s Headless Way and his list of super easy ‘experiments’, especially the ‘pointing here’ one. Absolutely changed my life 4 years ago– it took me about 5 months to see my ‘no face’, and then it became super apparent! It’s especially easy to ‘see’ if you’re sitting in a dimly lit room. The first time I saw it, I was sitting up in my bed, re-reading the instructions for the millionth time and I had the phone close to my face (reading in the dark) and the shift happened instantly and I immediately felt lighter and fell out laughing. It’s super obvious, super ordinary, but super important. Also check out my post that I wrote on it a year or so ago. Note that as this insight unfolds you come to see that you’re also not that body/mind, lol. You’re also not seeing the space, you are the space. If you want to approach this realization from another angle, check out Sri Ramana Maharshi’s ‘Be As You Are’ and start a self inquiry practice. Different road, same destination.