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Life becomes so simple without belief in thought

21 Apr 2024

Seeing that every single thought is just a reflection of reality, and not reality itself, is the greatest relief of all.

Does a tree have thoughts? Does a bird have a narrative in their mind? They seem to know how to live completely effortlessly.

Thoughts don’t need as much attention as we give them. The attention is maintained by the belief that they always have something important to say. But thoughts or not, life takes care of itself. The brain, evolved over millions of years, can take care of living far better than a shaky narrative that’s entirely influenced by our short lifespan of experience.

Speaking happens, writing happens, work happens, planning happens, eating happens, sleeping happens, loving happens, caring happens.

The very belief that attending to thought is important for any of those to happen keeps thoughts seemingly heavy and powerful. We believe that without grasping and analysing thoughts we’d become a vegetable.

Relief is not found in the absence of thoughts. Relief is found in the absence of belief in thoughts. It’s the belief in any thought as something real and solid that gives it energy.

Let this thought stew in your mind: “I’m going to turn into a puddle of water tomorrow”. Did you feel anything? Probably not, because you don’t actually believe that thought has any value.

Now try something like: “I’m a complete failure and nothing ever works out for me”. How does that one feel? If you feel nothing, great. You don’t believe it. But if there’s an emotional charge to it, it’s because there’s a belief in the thought as if it has some reality to it. So check in with your senses. Can you find anything that could be considered “failure” in your direct experience of this moment? Or can you only find sounds and sensations? Is it just a thought, a reflection of reality, which held that seeming truth? When you examine this clearly, it’s seen that the thought can’t hold any truth value. What’s absolutely real is only the immediate experience, in which no such “failure” can be found.

Follow them all the way down, to the very deepest beliefs you hold. Discover the thoughts you didn’t realise you held as truth. Discover they were always just shaky reflections of reality.

When this is understood deeply, life becomes very simple. The direct experience is the ground reality, always available. Thoughts are always a second order abstraction of reality and unreliable. Direct experience can always be trusted. Just the simple sensation of the clothes on the skin, feet on the ground, warmth in the belly.

Grounded right here, life takes care of itself. Knowing what to do is not a problem. When a thought says otherwise, recognise that, too, is just a thought.

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Jordan West

Sydney, Australia

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