Week 16 – “The Subtle Forces of Thought… “
“The subtle forces of thought as they crystallize in our daily moods is what constitutes life.” Haanel 16-11.
How well expressed! Is not our thought process the essence of how we are to ourselves? And is not the attempt to control our thoughts often the stated goal of meditation?
It’s when we try to quiet our thoughts that we discover the ‘monkey mind’ that just won’t leave us alone. Thus we learn of the value of focusing our minds on a single ‘mantra’, “a word or sound repeated to aid concentration in meditation.”
So, Haanel states that thought constitutes life. Then why do varied disciplines advocate eradicating or channeling thought down to a repetitively single concept in order to experience increased awareness of self?
Is there perhaps an awareness beyond thought, achieved or experienced in the absence of thought or thinking that, in and of itself, cannot be expressed through thought or its clumsy counterpart, words?
Worth asking, don’t you think?
Truth to tell, most of my day is not spent in meditation but in thought. In this sense I agree with Haanel that life is made up of these moods crytallized by thought. To me, moods are emotional states and emotional states are created by thought processes whether conscious or subconscious.
Now we are getting back to the importance of training our subconscious. So often I find myself “in” a mood without understanding how I got there. Introspection can lead me to identify the trigger and I usually find it to be an unresolved issue floating around my ‘subby.’
Three cheers for resolving issues consciously at the time they show up. A current film, Manchester By The Sea, explores the consequences if we are unable to. I saw it last night and awoke in the night from a harrowing dream where I couldn’t escape danger because an invisibility cloak on everything blinded me to what was going on. Not unlike stuffing an experience down onto my subconscious and then not knowing why I am feeling and acting in ways that don’t align with how I want to be.
I know this is Psychology 101 but it bears repeating. Having information and acting on it are not the same. “Knowledge will not apply itself.” 10-23.
One definition of the word acknowledge is ‘to act knowingly,’ thereby demonstrating that we have the understanding of the knowledge beyond the information level.
The good news here is that we are in charge of what we think about to the extent that we are able to consciously resolve emotional challenges and stay in the clear. Add to that Mr. Mandino’s recommendation “Good habits are the key to all success.” Now we’ve got a great recipe for becoming more of who we already are and “we shall have found the ‘Truth’ which makes us ‘free’ from every lack or limitation of any kind.” 16-37.