Lookin' Out My Back Door.

Lookin’ Out My Back Door (doo doo doo).

MT HOOD, OR—Many people assume that when your personal self drops, you stop having thoughts—ie: the mythical state of pure bliss.

These are two separate things.

When you stopped believing in the tooth fairy, your thoughts did not cease.

Same thing with the personal self.

When you stop believing in the personal self, your thoughts will not cease.

As many of you know, I still sometimes struggle with a noisy mind (it’s far less noisy than it was, but still more noisy than I’d like), but I no longer believe in the personal self/ego.

Just like the tooth fairy, once I realized the personal self was just a story—a collection of thoughts that are other than me—it stopped feeling real. It lost its felt sense of solidity.

In other words, to me, the personal self—the ego—is just like the tooth fairy. Just another mental image. Just a thought.

The Divine within can still function in harmony with thoughts, but She can’t function with a “solid” ego/personal self.

PS: I have thoughts on quieting thoughts (ironically) but we’ll address those later.

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9 thoughts on “Thoughts?

    • Actually, though I don’t know if you were being snarky or not, it is a very good question…

      The ego IS non-existent, BUT, the belief in the ego creates a felt sense of solidity. It is this felt sense of solidity that blocks Her.


      • I was a bit snarky.. But I want to understand the whole non-duality thing. I’m also curious about the saying (?forgive my English) that you can not do anything to awaken, but that it will happen to all eventually. So why try to take a shortcut if this is not meant to happen, if it’s not happening yet. Effort to become awakened must be an ego thing I guess. The Divine will take me home eventually, if I want it or not. Is that not the absolute Truth? No effort will help the process.

        • @Paul: The two aren’t mutually exclusive. The eternal presence of God is what makes awakening possible. However, certain stages along the spiritual path seem like effort, because the ego is trying to control the process and let go incrementally rather than completely. At the same time, what seems like an effortful endeavor — uncovering the blocks to awakening — may serve as an invitation for divine guidance.

          I wouldn’t assume that the divine will take you home eventually against your choices and intentions. You could avoid Reality for eons if you really wanted to. From this plane, awakening seems to require a certain degree of karmic ripeness. Even though the ego is illusory, it still belongs to you. I think it is best to proceed by taking responsibility for it, as if you had chosen it. Had there not been a primordial wish or choice to experience separate existence, the dual/human/ego experience probably would not be possible.

  1. Liked the use of ‘ironically’. Always been fascinated by the idea of robots, cyborgs and zombies, which seem to be instructive metaphors for the human condition/machine. So, the mind: a programmed mechanism for thinking, even about itself – a robot which can dismantle itself…

  2. The mind may be considered one of the senses and should be utilized accordingly, thoughts are just tools of pure potentiality. No mind or silent thought = Tao/God/Her. Thanks for the teaching Wayne.

    • Like it Maddie. Not sure if Wayne might not have articulated bettrer elsewhere, but to me this helps get to the nub. The mind thinking it is ‘I’ and ‘You’ accepting that is the main issue (of course some identify equally mistakenly with the body and emotions). My own view – which might appeal to Wayne perhaps as a programmer – is that the body is the self-maintaining vehicle (the spacesuit if you will) for living on the planet. The mind is the self-programming computer which runs it, consisting of firmware (unconscious programs) and software (educable, reprogrammable and to some extent visible ie conscious). Thoughts have effects on the body, which can also react to them – these are emotions, which are (as you imply) part of the sensing apparatus. Together they comprise the experience, what is being witnessed.

  3. Nice summary Andy. And you have put your finger on the issue: Not only is emotion the body’s reaction to thoughts (eg, physical arousal from thinking of an ex-lover) but also thoughts stimulated by bodily sensations (eg, thinking you are having a heart attack because you feel chest pain). There is nothing wrong with pure thought (eg, writing computer code) or pure sensation (eg, eating an apple). Where we go into the weeds is with creating emotions. The personal self is nothing more than the aggregate of compulsive, recurring, mutually-reinforcing emotions with which we resist what it happening in the moment. By resist I mean the general tendency to either grasp what these emotions like or reject what they don’t like. The aggregate of these emotions is, I think, what most people call the ego. I find it more helpful to view them as the result of a process, the ego process if you will, that is responsible for creating homeostasis in everything from atoms to organisms, by defending what is perceived as the limits of the organism. So far as the physical being is concerned, this is necessary. So far as the emotional being is concerned, it is not. My impression of Wayne’s post is that we can function in the world quite well without emotion (personal self) but we cannot function with complete absence of either thought or sensation, so there is no way to stop either. But when we stop believing in the personal self we simply stop creating self-referring emotions.

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