Saturday, December 31, 2016

Is Thinking the Only Way to Use the Mind?

by Tim Che'

"We are what we think. 
All that we are arises with our thoughts. 
With our thoughts, we make the world."
(Allegedly the Buddha)

This quote is generally accepted as a "truth", as it is presented, in the 'New age' movement and it is particularly appealing to the intellectual part of the mind. You know... the part that likes to "think".  Most likely this quote was translated by a thinking mind as it made sense to the thinker.

It is interesting to observe that the Buddha, and Buddhist teachings, clearly advocates, and are associated with, the meditative state of "no thinking". Yet, here he is said to claim that thinking is what we are!? And that "ALL that we are arises with our thoughts". And "with our thoughts we make the world".

Hmmmm... so let me get this straight: Thinking creates my world and it is what I am. Basically it’s everything!  But, we are to go through extraordinary measures and disciplines, for maybe 20 or more years, to learn to,  NOT THINK?


Disclaimer: This writer is in no way  claiming to be any kind of expert on the Buddha or Buddhism. The writer is only expressing his own revelation as it has been presented to him. If you are in disagreement with any statements in this article, the writer is agreeable to leave you with them in peace.

I am guessing that the "thinking" minds really love this Buddha translation:
" Look! See how great thinking is!"
 But is this quote true and is it what the Buddha really said and meant? There is clearly a conflict with this quote’s interpretation and the teachings, so let us explore it.

Now, to be clear, I am not picking on Buddhism for this linguistic transgression of consciousness. I just happened to have an "ah ha!” moment when I saw this quote posted on Facebook. I can see many more examples of this in Biblical references. In fact, it used to be law that only selected and properly prepared individuals were allowed to read scriptures. This was because they were written in a way that only an ‘awakened’ mind would understand and they feared what the ‘un-awakened’ would do with them. The intellectual or ‘thinking’ mind would translate them according to their thinking.  And so it is that we find the all the religions of the world today. I say “all” because I have yet to see any that are not, and an Awakened Imagination would never create a religion as it would have no need for it and see it as a great evil.

Is ‘thinking’ the only way to use the mind?

I've been thinking a lot throughout my life. As I have matured, physically and spiritually, I am humbled as I have discovered that all of my 'great' thinking pales in power and comparison to my Awakening Imagination. This I have come to know as the same Imagination that creates and sustains the entire universe... just individualized in each one of us.

And through this discovery, I have an ever increasing, heightened awareness of contemporary spiritual teachings that omit the Imagination and glorify the left brained, thinking mind. The Awakened Imagination is probably the most hidden and obscured "Truth" in the collective consciousness of all its time.

A tricky business

It is a tricky business, for sure, because it is the thinking part of the mind that is required to read these spiritual teachings. And, the great spiritual teachings are generally very old and were created in other languages that require an interpretation and, of course, an interpreter. Again, it is the thinking part of the mind that is required to interpret, and it will translate in terms of itself.

These translations can often times be like a painter who is painting (interpreting) a scene with his brush but has no color 'blue' on his palette. The painter will do his best with the colors he does have. For the sake of this discussion, the Imagination is the blue that is not incorporated into the translation. No malice or conspiracy, just not yet awakened into that consciousness (color blue in this example) yet.

You see, in a thinking world filled to the brim with language, and minds filled with self-talk and ideas, the Imagination is neither recognized, exercised or deliberately expressed.

That is probably the best explanation for this commonly recited Buddha quote and is a great example of how easily any translation would be about "thinking" and the Imagination would remain obscure.

The "Other" part of your Mind.

If I told you about something that you had no reference for, no concept of, or any relationship to... it would have no meaning at all to you. I would have to describe it to you in terms of language and concepts that you already know, which would be, at best, an approximation.

Such is the challenge with the "Imagination".

I have given you a word and you will give it meaning based on your lifetime's accumulation of references to that word. And I can assure you that nothing in your mind's hall of records is even close to that which we are speaking of here.

So why not use a different word?

The word "Imagination" is an invitation to a mystery. It is not what people have come to define it as in our modern culture. which references the unreal, a fantasy, daydreaming… a discouraged realm of fictions, dragons and unicorns, and not very useful. The dictionary actually gets us started on the right foot:

 "... the faculty of imagining, or of forming mental images or concepts of what is not actually present to the senses."

Yet, it is just scratching the surface.

Now, let us review some key points, frequently displayed on this website, as it relates to this discussion. We must realize that there are 2 parts of the conscious mind; The part which is typically called the left-brain, which is intellectual, thinking, logical, reasoning and is externally focused and sense oriented. The "right" side is the seat of the Imagination. It has a deep, direct connection to the Sub-conscious mind. It is inwardly focused and not dependent on or interested in "facts" as causative.

10% of 10%?

It is said that we use, at best, 10% of our brain. That measurement is devised from a "thinking" mind
about a "thinking" mind. The thinking mind is only 10% of its totality, so that at best, we are only using 10% of that 10%.

Now, the Imagination makes up the balance of the other 90%. Their are great spiritual teachings that tell us to "put away" the 10%, or "tithe", in order to awaken the other 90%... the Imagination.

But what is it that we are trying to Awaken?

Our culture loves to think. It is obsessed with it. Yet, we see countless people who's thinking is out of control and ruining their lives, especially those who are stuck in a traumatic, emotional feedback loop. They replay the idea, or trauma, over and over in their head and, just like the children's game of telephone, where you whisper a phrase to the person next to you as they relay it around the room until it comes back to you totally distorted.

It's just like putting a microphone up to a speaker which gives you the great distortion of a screech!  They attend workshops to get control of their thinking or end up taking a never-ending plethora of pharmaceutical drugs, often with devastating, long-term side effects. They try to learn to stop thinking with meditation or direct it with affirmations. Yet, they are never given any alternative to thinking, which is remarkable considering that the alternative makes up 90% of their mind.

The alternative is the Imagination

It seems unlikely that the Buddha would have celebrated thinking as portrayed in quotes like these. Our guess is that "we are what we think" was mistranslated and would more accurately be represented by:

"What we ARE determines what we think". 
“Thoughts come out of what we ARE”

But it would be easy for a thinking mind to translate these quotes in terms of itself... happens all the time.

And how easily it is to be led astray. 

Anyone who has ever seriously tried to quiet the mind with meditation has experienced the
phenomenon of thoughts popping up, seemingly out of nowhere. The practice of turning thoughts into clouds and letting them drift away is useful for quieting a noisy mind, and putting the mind into "idle", so to speak, can give the meditator some temporary relief from a noisy, out of control mind. That relief can be a blissful experience. But is the bliss a result of the relief from the noisy mind? If so, it is part of our duality nature and cannot be a lasting phenomenon. It is just 2 sides of the duality coin of quiet-mind and noisy-mind, or thinking-mind and meditative-mind. One cannot exist without the other. Your question should be:

"Is there another way to use the mind that is not about thinking?"

"All that we are arises with our thoughts". This, too, is an unlikely Buddha quote. It would give greater freedom and meaning if it read, "Thoughts arise from what we are", which accurately describes the truth about where thoughts come from. Thoughts come out of the state-of-consciousness that a person occupies. This being true, the obvious next question should be, "If thoughts come out of a state of consciousness, then,  how do I change my state of consciousness?"

Your Imagination has the power to change anything

"With our thoughts we make the world". This quote again emphasizes thinking as primary in the creation of the world. However, the world is the expressed, Imagination of God and Man. Again, thinking is only in response to what has been Imagined to the point of expression. A more truthful and useful interpretation would be,

"With our Imagination we create the world"

There are numerous teachings in today's popular culture that emphasize ideas like, "thoughts create things" and "change your thoughts and change your world". The popular "Law of Attraction" movement is primarily focused on the thinking mind. These platitudes are not to be discounted as they can be essential in helping one’s ability to take control and direct the activities of their mind. They can provide some positive results but more importantly, they can begin to establish a relationship between the mind and reality that is not taught in our culture.

The relationship between you and reality is that of "Cause"... not "Effect"

Thinking is generally very self-aggrandizing and self-righteous. When the Imagination begins to awaken, the thinking mind behaves just like a frightened child. It does not like the idea that it is "less than" it thought it was. It believes it has been 'right' for so long that it is scared to death that it is no longer, and never has been, the foundation of reality.


A very strong intellect will do extremely clever things to dismiss the Imagination's Awakening and
cover it up with thinking. This battle between "thinking" and Imagination has a name. It was labeled "Armageddon" in the bible and it is your final, and ultimate, conflict. The battlefield is your mind and the opponents are the thinking mind and the Imagination.

Now, the Imagination does not consider the thinking mind as an enemy. It knows thought like a parent knows its child and loves it unconditionally. It sees thought as vital to the individualization necessary for the "Prodigal Journey" click blogpost "The Prodigal Journey, A Mystical revelation"…  A journey through duality for the purpose of self-definition and expansion. The Imagination will not awaken until the prodigal journey is complete and at that time, Imagination will take its seat at the throne of your mind regardless of the interference of the intellect.

“I think, therefore I am”

Here we have yet another famous translated quote. Perhaps it is what Descartes meant. Who knows for sure. From the perspective of an Awakened Imagination, it would be expressed more like:

“I am Aware, therefore, I am”
I am is Awareness and I am is Aware of Being ________ (fill in the blank)
“I am, that, I am” 
(Ever heard that before?)

The Imagination is that “I-am-ness”
It is your ability to see things with your eyes closed
To hear things without a physical source
To smell and taste a meal not present
And, most importantly, to FEEL the emotion of your wish fulfilled and to touch the reality of the unseen, as though it was seen.

The reason that you can have a conversation with someone in your dreams on a sunny day is because your Imagination is the LIGHT of the World.

How do you Awaken your Imagination?

Start by making mental Images of things you would like in your world and add as many internal (spiritual) sensations to these images as possible. Practice seeing the world FROM these images and feel the joy of these expressions.

"the methods of mental and spiritual knowledge are entirely different. For we know a thing mentally by looking at it from the outside, by comparing it with other things, by analyzing and defining it; whereas we can know a thing spiritually only by becoming it. We must be the thing itself and not merely talk about it or look at it. We must be in love if we are to know what love is. We must be God-like if we are to know what God is."

Thinking at the Expense of the Imagination:
The mind cannot  “think” and Imagine at the same time.
Thinking dominates the mind today.
We suggest you start today to Imagine more, and Think less.

Humanity eagerly awaits the fruits of your Awakening.

“Go and give beauty for ashes, go and give joy for mourning, give the spirit of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they may become trees of righteousness, plantings to the glory of God."

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