07 Oct, 2020 – 7:20 AM
Yesterday when I went to bed I stumbled upon this realisation that thoughts have the ability to amplify. I have been having a lot of health issues for the past 4 years, and yesterday I was suffering because of some random out of the blue cramps and sharp pain in my wrists and thigh joints. At this point I was sick of all the health issues I had, I felt grief and agony because my body isnt supporting me the way it should. One after the other, like the snowball effect I keep having health issues. Here I am, turned 24 a week ago and suffering from old age diseases.
With unbearable pain and total exhaustion of will I started seeking death. I don’t fear death. I actually see it as the greatest gift. It puts you out of all misery. Imagine being immortal and always having physical diseases or mental issues. Death reliefs all psychological, emotional and physical pain.
I started saying to myself, I don’t want this body, I don’t want this mind, I don’t want any pleasure, I don’t want any pain, I don’t want these emotions, I don’t want these thoughts, I am sick of them all, I am tired of them all, and I want to get rid of every substance of my being. I want to put an end to this body and mind which torment me. If I eat something I have a problem, if I don’t eat something I have a problem, If I do or don’t do I have a problem, I am enslaved by the very existence of this mind and body.
I don’t want to work, I don’t want to earn, I don’t want to be positive, I don’t want to be impressive, I don’t want a girl to like me, I don’t want to fight everything, I don’t want to be in charge, I don’t want to be in control, I want to get rid of all desire, I want to stop contradicting myself all the time, I want to stop my intellect telling me what is right and what is wrong, I want nothing.
Sounds kind of depressing, and I wouldn’t deny that. I am messed up and I am tired of “fixing” and “controlling” all the things. I am tired of “doing” & “pushing”.
Why can’t I be at peace?
Why can’t I be the passive observer of all this, who is untouched, ever at peace, as the vedas and upanishads say?
Why can’t I be equanimous to the contents of the mind and body and life?
All these vedas, upanishads, gitas, sutras, and buddhism claim you are untouched pure consciousness, know this and be happy. I understand that I am awareness, the witness of pain and pleasure, that I am not the doer nor the enjoyer, and that I am ever untouched and unmoved by what happens in mind, body and world, but knowing this doesn’t help me. In fact this knowledge torments me more in the face of suffering. When this knowledge is for liberation then why is it not helping me and adding to my pain? Why is it tormenting me instead and increasing my suffering? Why is it increasing my cognitive dissonance? Why is the knowledge not becoming true in my experience?
I don’t care about the answers, I just want to make this mind disappear which troubles me with knowledge, information, questions and explanations.
If you were a therapist you’d present to me 8 limited thinking patterns, that I am catastrophizing, I am thinking in black and white, and that I have low frustration tolerance and all the therapeutic things. I agree with you. I do not disagree. I accept that I have this thinking. I have read many booklets on psychotherapies, I know all this but this doesn’t help me. Although my personal observation is that all psychotherapies are nothing but spiritual teaching with clinical masks and certificates which cut the religion parts of it so that it can be helpful to non-religious minded people who might not accept the teachings otherwise. I am asking that if the words of vedas are not helping what else will?
I am even tired of applying these tricks, again and again, because they provide relief for a while and suffering comes up again. How long will this go on? I don’t want to beat around the bush, I am not being negative, but only sick of trimming the weeds. I seek uproot. And yesterday when I lay in bed, I became meta-aware of these contents, and just like that, without effort or a trick I went blank. Thoughtless.
07 Oct, 2020 – 8:16 AM
I am keeping this article raw. Unfiltered. I never intended to write this article. I like to capture my thoughts in notes, but with flow I started writing this article. I have a bit of experience in writing articles, so it comes to me naturally. Either way, as this article is my contemplation and reflection or mere mind dump, I am writing it as and when the realisations come up in my mind.
Here are some of the realisations:
- Thoughts have the ability to amplify. My pains amplify when I think about them. Often I think negatively, not pessimistic but like that of aversion to sickness. This aversion contradicts the actual happening and causes more distress. And when there is aversion to disease there is clinging to health. When I cling to health and I don’t have good health, I feel everything is going against my will, my desires are unfulfilled and hence depression, agitation and frustration. Either way I am suffering. But when I go blank, thoughtless, this thinking of aversion/clinging cease to exist. When this thinking goes away my awareness from the object of aversion/clinging (desire) reduces too. The pain is still there but the suffering has been reduced to 0%. The pain is there but it is not disturbing anymore. Because disturbance can only happen when there is a thought. No thought, no disturbance. When I go blank even in the midst of terror and pain, suffering ceases to exist. I become an observer who sees the pain and is undisturbed by it. Mind can only communicate, think, understand, make sense of things by thoughts. When there is no conscious activity of mind, I experienced “yathābhūtaṃ” meaning “reality however it is’’. Not trying to change anything, not trying to control anything, not trying to seek something other than what exists at this very moment. This brings peace. I feel close to my awareness.
- Thoughts are the suffering. They sprout like or dislike (clinging/aversion) for something, which activates the karmic cycle and the suffering of birth-disease-death cycle continues. In the Guru Granth Sahib, the central text of Sikhism, it is stated “by the karma of past actions, the robe of this physical body is attained.” In short, thoughts lead to suffering. I am not getting into the nitty-gritties of this as I already know them and it would be an off route for this contemplation session. But if you are interested in learning about it you can watch my video.
- When there are zero thoughts, there is no trying to fix or control things. It is because the mind naturally accepts all events as they happen moment to moment – “yathābhūtaṃ”. With total acceptance comes total peace. Remember, I was trying to fix my health and mind, I was trying to stay focused on work and I was always trying and trying or controlling to the best of my ability. With thoughtlessness I don’t have to make that effort and energy anymore. I just flow. Accepting whatever comes. Without desires for change, like or dislike. This also makes me think about worrying. Worrying never changes a thing. It can be a motivator to change things that the sky falls down but the results of that action too will take time to manifest. So for now, for this very moment, worrying doesn’t change anything, it only gives existence, illuminates and amplifies suffering that doesn’t exist. Note that worrying is a thought process too. No thoughts, no worries. Although I had given up worrying a long time ago, it was worth mentioning. Now that I am thinking about it, I am also finding ambition useless and similar to worry. The difference is in worrying you avoid something and in ambition you want something. Both are thought processes. Doesn’t matter if positive or negative but as per my realisation if there is thought there is suffering. In the book psycho-cybernetics, the author says that “if the number of your positive thoughts are more than the negative ones, you will be happy”. I made a video on that which you can find on my YouTube. I used to agree with it in the past but not today. Having positive thoughts in itself sets expectations. When expectations go unfulfilled till your patients last, you are bound to suffer. Also, Positive thinking is creating dualities. When there are no thoughts, there is no duality. Only oneness. In duality to see things as good and bad. Opposites exist. God and absence of god exists. But in non-duality only god exists. He pervades all. Mind creates dualities by thoughts. When this duality is created, ego is formed, Self and non-self. When this happens desires sprout and thus suffering. That may be another reason for why very accomplished people are tormented by their ambitions, the very thing that made them do things. This doesn’t mean I shouldn’t work at all. In bhagavad gita, when Arjun dropped this bow and gave up fighting his relatives, Krishna said “You have to do your duty regardless, the duty of a kshatriya is to fight, no matter what, fight. That is the right thing to do, that is the only thing to do, you should not show your back to your duties and responsibilities.” Similarly, I will get up everyday, work, earn money, have financial freedom, have a relationship, take care of myself and others to the best of my abilities just because that is the only thing I have to do. For the sake of it. Not expecting any fruits, or else it will cause worry and stress. Just doing, as if just being.
- You are being, not doing. With thoughts I realised I am always doing. This also includes doing in terms of mental activities such as remembering, thinking, imagining, calculating, etc. Doing is karma, either in thought or action. And karma is the prolonging of suffering. I may be completely wrong about every single thing I wrote, or maybe I am right. Who cares? This – being thoughtless, has actually been showing some instant results for me. Not reading vedas, but being thoughtless is making me more peaceful. I am not discarding the importance of reading or listening to any of the spiritual texts. Everyone must read them. Understand them. In Guru Granth Sahib, A story of Buddha, and Osho’s discourses on Ashtavakra Gita, they all state that just by listening you can be enlightened. In Fact listening is the only thing we need for enlightenment. In Vedantic texts, there is outlined a 3-fold process of Shravana, Manana and Nididhyasana, which leads one to complete Awakening and Realization. Shravana means Listening. The first step is listening. Also Osho says anything written in the vedas, bible, koran, tripitaka are mere words. Words don’t lead to liberation. Words are just an attempt to point you in the direction. But words can never come close to actual experience. It is confirmed in Guru Granth Sahib that “God cannot be described, any attempt to desire god will lead to sure failure.” Also in some other paragraph it is said that “By thinking he cannot be reduced to thought, even by thinking hundreds of thousands of times”. So you see, thinking is absolutely useless and not required for peace and liberation. I remember watching Sadhguru’s video where he said that is yogic culture thoughts don’t even amount to 1% of importance. Thoughts are practically useless for finding peace, happiness and ending suffering (nirvana, moksha means end of suffering). Yes, thoughts are useful to achieve things in the material world. We have been using thoughts so much that I think we have regarded it to be the creator of our happiness. I say shun the thoughts, go thoughtless and you will find peace at the very moment.
My words are not authoritative, I am no scholar, In fact this very booklet means nothing, it is just my mind dumped on a word document. Maybe all my connections are illusions, thoughts groundless, and speculations only a confirmation bias. But the only thing I want to stress here is that – it works. For me. Can’t guarantee for you. For me thoughtlessness works to cease suffering. This state is empty. And it feels good to be empty, to lose control and just what things happen the way they happen, maybe (BIG ALERT) I am prompting it because my desire of giving everything up and getting rid of this mind and body (as described in the preface) is being fulfilled and therefore I am happy. Maybe I am deluding myself. I would like to stay open to this possibility that I too am, still, after getting rid of all thoughts, bound to play the game of desire-gratification-suffering. But I don’t feel so, this is something different. Feels very real and up close.
So the question remains.. How to be thoughtless or How to achieve a thoughtless-ness state?
The answer is I can’t tell you because I don’t know it, I just am able to go thoughtless – just like that at will. JUST GO BLANK.
However, I can describe to you how it looks/feels like to be thoughtless in mind:
- Obviously, no thoughts
- No fixed awareness on breath or anything
- Deep sense of quietness even in the midst of market and vehicle noises
- Relaxed body
- Just being
- No control of any kind
- No emotions
- Regular activities done in state of trance
- No existence of self
- No to-do lists, remembering, planning, etc
- No mental activity of any kind
- Doing is no separate from being
- Automatic Mindfulness
- Deeper breathing
- No stress
There is something else then all the above that I cannot cognitize, articulate or make sense of. It is just there.
I am NOT saying all the above lead to thoughtlessness, I am saying the above are the effects or by-products of thoughtlessness.