The strongest addiction, a million times more addictive than alcohol, heroin or any drug known to man, is thinking. You know this already. However we lose consciousness of this fact throughout the day all the time. You may’ve listened to many teachers say it. But have you really heard it so it sinks in?
Right now, become acutely conscious of this addiction because it is the most dangerous addiction of all, and everybody suffers from it. I’m not talking here about thoughts. There is a subtle difference between naturally arising thoughts that perpetually come and go, and the think-er.
Thoughts in themselves are harmless and we dont need to be afraid of them. It is the purchasing of thoughts that create a vicious train of thoughts within which we become entangled, like in a spider’s web.
But can we really stop getting pulled in? Yes, definitely, with practice and a bit of initial effort, which eventually becomes effort-less. Truly realising you are an addict, addicted to thinking will dramatically increase your awareness of the think-ing habit. As in every addict’s experience,the first step is in genuinely recognising and then admitting to oneself, the addiction.
Here’s are two examples from my own experiences. This first one is when I was an unconscious thought-addict.
I’d had a major knee operation and was living alone. I was in the kitchen and trying to get something out of a low cupboard. Everything fell out at once, and it was agony trying to put it all back and a slow business. Following this, the frustration caused spillages whilst making a hot drink, caused by more objects flying out of the cupboard above. I screamed with huge frustration, and then sat down and cried about how hard it was to manage all by myself, and then I bought into an ever-lasting chain of ‘poor me’ thoughts that carried on throughout the day.
The second experience was very similar, but with one marked difference: I was now a conscious ex-addict, so there was an instant recognition of the thoughts up ‘For Sale’ and a natural ability to drop any temptation to ‘buy’ and be pulled in that direction:
Owning to severe hip-problems, practical living had become very challenging. Trying to take a mug from a cupboard above, everything fell out.
Then I spilt some milk. Finally, trying to put something back into a lower cupboard, everything fell out of that one too! So I decided to scream big-time and let it all go, but straight afterwards in one quick instant, I noticed a miserable thought racing head-long towards me combined with a compulsion to race towards IT and ‘buy’ it, but I also immediately saw, and with crystal-clarity, that this was indeed pure addiction to my next miserable thought, just like an addict might have for their next ‘fix’. I didn’t buy it and instead, just sat down with the underlying vibration of the feeling, and let it pass, which it did in a matter of seconds. This was followed by comfort and peace. Previously, I would’ve sunk into the ‘poor me, I cant manage’ kind of thinking. But without adding thoughts to feelings, there is no fuel being added to the fire and so even ‘sad’ feelings fade in a matter of moments.
Freedom does not mean that sad or bad feelings don’t arise, it just means they can’t stay around. There’s no-where for them to ‘hang their hat’.
And this is the only difference between a so-called Sage or Master and a ‘seeker’: these guys know the addictive nature of thought, have seen through them and ignore them, till required. They are no longer in the market for ‘buying’.
Are you still buying? Have you been ‘in denial’ about being an addict?
Humility, can bring real breakthrough which can only occur when we come out of denial. Like for any addict, the first step, is seeing this fundamental truth. And the first step is also the last step and vice-verca, as there are no steps. ‘Seeing’ is always happening in this very moment. No-one has ever taken their last step- this can never happen. If you think you have taken your last step or ever hear anyone say that they have, bang goes humility and that really is the end – but not in a good way! It ends any hope of ever becoming an ex thought-addict, because Ego, which is just elevated self-belief, supplies increasing fuel to the fire of ‘being a person’ which equates with a very busy mind.
Something that can be guaranteed is this: every single time you resist the huge temptation to buy a thought – either a miserable OR a positive thought (as thoughts can quickly go either way) – there is a reward. There is! That which rewards you is that which you ARE beyond thought: God – the I AM of your perfect Being. When you stop ‘buying’, especially buying the temptation to get deep down and thoroughly miserable, a gap – a space- is created through which God can be tangibly felt. Peace can get in. In fact Peace was never ‘out’ since Peace is the bottom line – the real ‘you’.
So once this addiction to thinking is truly seen through and there is real awareness of it as a very real addiction, then the tendency to get pulled into it gradually lessens as the compulsion to ‘purchase’ is seen too quickly to take hold.
And there-in lies the Freedom that everyone is talking about and searching so hard for. It comes down to this one pure thing: becoming an ex thought-addict.
And just before I get loads of comments about ‘suppression’, we are not talking here about ‘suppressing’ anything . We are not trying to squash anything down or ‘sit on our hands’.
For instance if someone dies who we care deeply about, or if anything sad, upsetting or shocking happens, indeed we will grieve. We feel the feelings, dive deeply into the underlying vibrations and literally ‘ feel it out’. We don’t however need to add words to the feelings – it is far more effective and authentic to simply feel. But if a roar of thoughts arise immediately following the feelings, we must investigate: ‘Who is the me who is thinking this? Or: ‘To whom do these thoughts arise?’ Or ‘Where am I?’
It is only these type of investigative questions that leads us back to spaciousness, to the peace of ‘no-body home’, to who we really are beyond thought. If a question leads only to another thought, just drop it and keep quiet.
So in summary, recognise and admit the addiction. See it so sharply that eventually this witnessing arises at exactly the right time: observing the beginnings of a thought-chain coming racing towards you! The minute you notice it, even (and especially) if it’s half-way through a thought-chain – DON’T BUY IT and eventually, there WIILL be a switch-over from person to Presence.
The result? Freedom. Thoughts will never go away and that is not the object. They are very useful of course when we need to think through any project, but other than that, they will become like a gentle vibrating frequency in the background of life. We let them buzz gently without listening to what they are buzzing about.