We can’t imagine there could be understanding and wisdom without thinking… and yet the true answers we seek can only be found in a realm above thought that’s connected to higher wisdom.
Thinking, thinking, thinking. It’s what we do, day in and day out. We think about the past. We think about the future. We think about our problems and how to resolve them. Thinking, thought, thunk!
But for all that thinking, have we ever come to the resolution we seek? Have we ever fixed a heartache or a past mistake with thought? Or eased our concern over the future? Or found a lasting solution to a problem?
Other than the practical thought needed to do our jobs, find our way back home, or bake a loaf of bread, has all that incessant thinking and inner commenting done anything to bring us peace and contentment?
The great sages didn’t believe it did. They urged us to get beyond the thinking nature and enter a realm above it — a realm of understanding without words — a realm connected to higher wisdom.
We’re so used to swimming in our own thinking, we can’t imagine there could be understanding and wisdom without it. And yet, through the centuries, we’ve been told that the true answers we seek can only be found in that higher realm…
Stop thinking and end your problems.
— Lao Tse (604 B.C.E.)
The mind should be kept independent of any thoughts that arise within it. If the mind depends on anything, it has no sure haven.
— Buddha (560 B.C.E.)
The more a man enters the light of understanding, the more aware he is of his own ignorance. And when the light reveals itself fully and unites with him and draws him into itself, so that he finds himself alone in a sea of light, then he is emptied of all knowledge and immersed in absolute unknowing.
— Symeon, The Younger (949)
We could come into a new reality of our being and perceive everything in a new relation if we can stand still from self-thinking and self-willing and stop the wheel of imagination and the senses.
— Jacob Boehme (1575)
Nor do we think that many of our insoluble difficulties, perplexities, and unanswered questions necessarily exist because of the kind of consciousness we naturally possess, and that a new degree of consciousness would either cause our awareness of them to disappear or bring about an entirely new relation to them.
— Dr. Maurice Nicoll (1884)
To meditate is to transcend time. Time is the distance that thought travels in its achievements. The traveling is always along the old path covered over with a new coating, new sights, but always the same road, leading nowhere — except to pain and sorrow. It is only when the mind transcends time that truth ceases to be an abstraction.
— J. Krishnamurti (1895)
Change starts with even the dim realization of being betrayed by our own faulty thoughts. Self-renewal occurs spontaneously when habitual thoughts are dropped. Few people realize how little truth they can take, but those who do will become new.
— Vernon Howard (1918)
Try an experiment and take a vacation from thinking for just a few minutes. Try it right now…
Just take a few deep breaths, bring your attention back to the present moment, and be as quiet inwardly as you can. You won’t be able to stop your thoughts, but with this little exercise you’ll be in a different relationship with them. You can see them from that higher place within you.
You may be surprised at how those worry thoughts, fear thoughts, angry thoughts, lose some of their power — if only for a moment — when you see them instead of seeing the world through them. You may even see yourself in a new way that changes everything for you.
Of course, you will only be able to stay there for a limited time. But as you slip out of this more aware state, back into your usual thinking, notice how your anxiety comes back. You can see how your thinking and your anxiety are related. This is valuable information.
Most important, now you know there’s another level of life you can be living from. If you see the value in it, you can start to make the necessary effort to spend more time in that beautiful world above thought.
Help in Reaching the World Above Thought
We’ve spent our whole lives immersed in a sea of thought. The habit of thought is very strong, and it takes effort to break its hold on us.
OneJourney founder Guy Finley has written many books and given many talks that provide directions for reaching the higher level within ourselves. Here is something he wrote that can help you get started…
Just as a gold miner far beneath the earth needs special lamps and tools to shed light on ore-rich rocks, we too need a way to see into the darkened inner world of our own psyche. To illuminate our inner world and work, we need to learn about self-observation and the conscious action of deliberately stepping back from our thoughts. We must become an observer of ourselves, watchful of both the content — and the intent — of everything arising from our own mind.
— Guy Finley
Does your tradition talk about the existence of a world above thought, and the importance of spending more time there? If so, can you share a quotation about it with us? It may help others reach this higher place of peace and understanding. So, please submit your quotation to the OneJourney Living Book by clicking the link below…
Dr. Ellen Dickstein
The OneJourney Project
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