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You are not your feelings or your thoughts

KeromeKerome Certainty is the enemy of wonderThe Continent Veteran

I have been coming across this message in a few places recently... that because you observe them, you are not your feelings or your thoughts. That we should try to take a little distance from these very intimate things within us that motivate us to do so many things in our lives, because we unhealthily engage in my-making with them.

Our mind seems to seize upon a new emotion or thought as it enters, enchanted with the newness, and quickly gets carried away by it and the subsequent things it generates. Each thought popping up generates new thoughts, which are seized upon in turn, like a dog chasing soap bubbles being blown across a lawn.

Taking a step back and seeing these things as components within ourselves, mental objects that come and go, allows us to see ourselves in a new light. Their exact nature and their coming and going are based on our conditioning, our youth experiences, our trauma’s.



  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator

    Nice. It reminds me of something I posted here in 2017:

    I was reading a bit from The Brothers Karamazov and watching as the wind wafted through the trees and it got me thinking. Our thoughts and mental states are a lot like leaves sprouting forth and falling from branches of synapses and neurotransmitters. Seemingly countless and often colourful, we think of them as solid, immutable aspects of who we are, arising solely of our own volition and free of any bias. But that's an illusion, really, and we fail to see what fragile and conditioned things they truly are, neglecting to note the rays of sunshine and drops of rain that nourish them, overlooking the cycle of arising and ceasing that the seasons govern, and failing to notice how easily those leaves are swept up and blown about this way and that by the winds of gain and loss, status and disgrace, censure and praise, pleasure and pain, like and dislike. And over the years (especially thanks to Buddhism), I've come to learn that, instead of simply following those leaves in whatever direction they may flit about, it's good to try and stay rooted where we are, in the present moment, regardless of which direction the winds are blowing in order to see things a little more clearly and with a little more equanimity.

    Easier said than done, but good advice nonetheless.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited March 2020

    You are not your feelings or your thoughts

    Next you will be telling me I don't have a body bodhi? Is there no end to this crazy dharma? :|

    in emptiness there is no form nor feeling, nor perception, nor impulse, nor consciousness;

    No eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind; No forms, sounds, smells, tastes, touchables or objects of mind; No sight-organ element, and so forth, until we come to:

    No mind-consciousness element; There is no ignorance, no extinction of ignorance, and so forth, until we come to: There is no decay and death, no extinction of decay and death. There is no suffering, no origination, no stopping, no path.

    There is no cognition, no attainment and no non-attainment.

    ... ah ha ... it is sitting advice ...

  • KeromeKerome Certainty is the enemy of wonder The Continent Veteran

    @lobster said:
    Next you will be telling me I don't have a body bodhi? Is there no end to this crazy dharma? :|

    This is something that always confused me, how can we have a body and at the same time say that we are not the body? You look down at your hands, they seem to do what you ask of them, so they are kind of “yours”, but also they are sort of foreign elements. You look at your bank balance, you decide to buy something with your money, and your money obeys, does that mean it is you?

    Consciousness is the strangest thing, because in conscious awareness all of these things appear. And your consciousness cannot be looked at, it does not appear in itself.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited March 2020

    Consciousness is the strangest thing, because in conscious awareness all of these things appear. And your consciousness cannot be looked at, it does not appear in itself.

    Hmm said Mr Watts...

    "There was a young (wo)man who said though, it seems I know that I know...
    What I would like to see is the I/eye that knows me, when I know that I know that I know

    Consciousness sees all, hears all, smells all, tastes all, and touches all...all through the sense doors...In a sense (this sense, being the sixth sense door) consciousness is looking at itself...through the mind's eye of the beholder of the senses...hence why we are conscious...
    Peekaboo I can see you, but as you can see, you can't see me

    You cannot catch hold of it, nor can you get rid of it...In not being able to get get it...When you speak it is silent-When you are silent it speaks

    ~Zen poem~

  • @Kerome
    There are at least two ways to understand the unborn, deathess bodhi.

    The first is as a shell moulting and renewing. Second as a dependent origin. Our thoughts, emotions, body and shadow follow us around, does not mean we are our shadow ...

    And thirdly as a process of mind stilling. Quite explicity describing advancing meditation experiences ...

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