The mind has proven an elusive obstacle to thousands of people seeking enlightenment. Throughout history, countless philosophers have put forth their ideas as to what thoughts are and how they arise. Most saints have given advice on how to conquer the mind, and many enlightened beings have prompted us to transcend it. A seeker asked the Indian saint Ramana Maharshi, “Are there degrees of sorrow?” He replied, “All thoughts are sorrowful!” The saying, “Enlightenment is the space between two thoughts” hints at the nature of thoughts.
How is it that we are so ignorant of our mind’s nature, despite all these years of ‘evolution’ as a species? Even with all the research and science, the endless self-help books on ‘positive thinking’ and mental development, and the words of wisdom from all the philosophers and saints over the millennia - the average person today remains oblivious to the workings of their own mind, what influences it, or how to control and focus it!
Before we can claim anything like the new age philosophy purports - in being able to create our own reality, or make the right ‘choices’ - we must first be directly aware of what our thoughts actually are, where they come from, and what determines which thoughts manifest into our reality. No one has ever been able to tell me how to do this - yet so many people claim to be the creator of their reality.
There is a very unhealthy degree of pride and prejudice when it comes to dealing with the psychological problems and patterns of behaviour in others. Many boast about their intuitive abilities, and in the next breath criticise others for their mental weaknesses. Some are even judgmental towards those they consider are not taking enough responsibility, or have poor willpower. Those who make poor life choices, or are stuck in a pattern of behaviour, are also accused of being weak in character. In Truth, we can only be response-able if we have the ability to respond!
One renowned new age guru stated that having distracting thoughts enter your mind while meditating is a form of self-sabotage. Considering that no one seems to know where or how their thoughts arise in the first place, this is somewhat of a false statement. It’s like accusing a hyperactive child of being irresponsible for going crazy after they have just drunk red cordial. Both are victims of an imbalance that creates disturbing thoughts.
The following is the result of my own personal experience, meditation, experimentation, and observation. I have been investigating the nature of this subject since I was 19. This was when I first became aware of the factors behind our mental states and how to concentrate and focus our mind. At the time, I was involved in kart racing. One day during practice, I lost concentration due to dehydration and fatigue, causing me to make an error in judgment and crash at high speed.
This moment was a major turning point in my life and it initiated the journey I have been on ever since. I have gone on to spend every spare moment observing and investigating the body-mind-spirit connection and the nature of consciousness. I have taken a forensic-like approach to this subject, researching even the subtlest influences on our experience of reality.
This topic has been the most interesting Aspect for me to share. It is ironic being in a society that prides itself on its mental abilities, yet there appears to be a TOTAL lack of awareness as to how thoughts originate and what factors influence our State of Mind. Therefore, the ultimate question for The Mental Aspect is:
What exactly is a thought?
We all need to be able to answer this question, so we can then answer these questions:
- Where do thoughts come from?
- Can we actually change what we think?
- If yes, exactly how can we do it?
Our thoughts play such a critical part in determining our individual realities, so if we can’t divulge the answers to these questions; then we would have no real basis for any further discussion. Therefore, it is essential to realise that there are in fact 18 different origins as to where your next thought could come from. Many people want to debate and argue whether it is possible to develop such a clear perspective of thoughts. It is effortless once you have the ability to accurately perceive the nature of your thoughts: Here is an analogy:
- If we stand beside a busy intersection on a road, we can easily determine the direction each vehicle is coming from. With equal ease, we are able to discern each type of vehicle - be it a bicycle, moped, motorbike, car, van, bus, truck etc.
When we are able to maintain our true natural inner experience, we can witness the thoughts in our mind coming and going with ease. The reason why people cannot determine the nature of their thoughts is that they cannot attain the required state of stillness, emptiness or silence.
There are many different factors involved in how each thought actually arises within the mind. We will explore these in more detail soon. In the meantime, we need to define The 2 Types of Thoughts - INWARD COMING and OUTWARD GOING THOUGHTS.
In every moment, you are either outwardly thinking with a positive or negative emotional charge, or inwardly feeling The Divine Flow. All thoughts either raise or lower your vibration - or more accurately, every increase or decrease in your vibration gives rise to a thought. The resulting thought then continues to raise or lower your vibration. We will now examine The 3 Natures of Thoughts.
To distinguish The 18 Origins of Thoughts, we must examine them according to their type and nature. The table below presents the colour code used to categorise The Origins of Thoughts.
Listed in the table below are The 18 Origins of Thoughts, relative to their type and nature.
Dualistic Outward Going Thoughts are ALWAYS based on a doubt, judgment or question, and laced with guilt, shame and blame. They are never focused on the here and now. Whereas all Divine Inward Coming Thoughts are always stemmed with Love and devotion, and are centred in the present. Therefore, we need to be consciously aware of all the subtle changes within the dodecangle, which bring about shifts in our consciousness and changes in our states of mind. If we are not aware, we will just be a victim of our ignorance, and go through life experiencing random moments of clarity and confusion.
The masters who have guided me in this work told me very emphatically, that we must be able to determine the origin of every single Outward Going Thought, as well as connect with the source of every single Inward Coming Thought. Before we can do this, it is necessary to go into the details of the nature of each of the 18 thoughts, and explain the common denominator that they all possess. All 18 thoughts are usually present at any point in time. I use the analogy of a radio tuner:
- A radio can tune into a spectrum of frequencies and channels. Even though you may only tune into one frequency and channel at a time, all the other frequencies and channels remain available. However, the radio can only tune into the range of frequencies it was made to work within. It will not be able to access frequencies above or below its range. It may also depend on the amount of energy available to power it. If the batteries are low, it may not be able to receive the signals.
The mind is like a dial that has the ability to shift between multiple thought streams. Your attention can instantly shift between any combination of thought impressions. If you are not integrated, this is not a conscious or deliberate act, whereas when you are balanced, you can remain focused on whatever thought stream, or any number of thought streams, you seek.
One of the biggest misconceptions regarding our thoughts is that the brain is the seat of the mind. This is the result of failing to make a distinction between thoughts and consciousness. Thoughts arise within consciousness, but are not consciousness itself. Saying they are the same would be like mistaking the contents of a filmstrip as the Light that illuminates it. Consciousness is seated in every living cell. It is the communication within an organism, or between organisms, that form the mind. If the cells of an organism vibrate at a certain Level of Consciousness, then they will only communicate that level of information.
Therefore, the seat of the mind is NOT the brain. The brain and the nervous system are very much like a telecommunication network. They communicate what is going on within the rest of the body. The nervous system consists of cells that can have problems of their own, which affects their ability to function properly. To clearly distinguish the role the nervous system plays, let’s use an analogy:
- If there are two people arguing over the telephone, you cannot blame the telecommunication network for the problem, as it is only the means of communication. On the other hand, if there is a problem with the telecommunication network, then that is a different story altogether.
In the same way, if the two kidneys are stressed, the information will go via the brain to the rest of the body. The source of the problem isn’t identified as being in the brain. If there is any internal problem with the nervous system, or any external interference that causes the information to be blocked or distorted, then that is obviously a separate issue.
Some thought processes do involve brain function. Obviously, there are many mental processes made possible by brain function. However, the level of brain function you develop is LARGELY determined by the physiological activity within the rest of your body. A huge number of factors determine the actual functions of the brain itself, which we will cover in the Neurological Aspect.
Some claim thoughts have a magnetic power that can be used to create and influence your reality. However, thoughts are actually the result of magnetic energy! Thoughts may appear to have a magnetic power, but each origin is the result of all the precursors that cause them to arise. The ‘power’ that low vibrational thoughts seem to have is more like a momentum. There is a snowball effect, which appears to attract more of the same or lower energies as they descend in a spiral. In a high vibrational state, the experience is one of being drawn further into an empowered or enlightened state. This is the natural result of being true to The Nature of Life.
A comprehensive definition and expansion of the nature of each origin of thought impression would fill a book by itself. This is neither practical nor necessary, as a brief outline will give you sufficient information required to maintain awareness in your daily life. The most important thing to remember overall is - once your intention is on maintaining The Intuitive Process, the nine origins that can be dualistic then align with the elements that activate their Divine potential. This enables you to experience The Divine Bottom-up Experience.
All the Origins and Sources are together in the following table, together with examples of each of their natures.
I go into each kind of thought in great detail in my book, THE NATURE OF LIFE: How to remain at Peace while living in the modern world. This is one of the most fun topics I get to share, and even after 35 years of research into this subject, I am yet to find anyone else who is able to explain the true nature and origin of thoughts. I trust you enjoyed this introduction to the topic.
Love and Light
Brian Gerard Schaefer :)
If you would like a new wholistic perspective and approach to life, or work in the alternative and natural health industry and are seeking the big picture, I suggest you read THE NATURE OF LIFE: How to remain at Peace while living in the modern world and learn how to maximise your ability to serve others. Click on the link below to purchase your copy now
Brian Gerard Schaefer is an author and a self-educated wholistic natural therapist, specialising in kinesiology, myopractic, spiritual counselling, diet and nutrition. He presents seminars and workshops on healing, kinesiology, meditation and personal development.