Thoughts and Feelings Don’t Matter all that much (except when they do)

23 Mar

Feelings and thoughts are only doorways in ourselves: they are not the self. Think of this, the “I” in us makes feelings and thoughts, manufactures them to an astonishing degree–just as we create physical sensations.

I don’t think of this as a mystical idea, more like a reframing device. Whenever thoughts and feelings become distractions (and they are distractions) it’s a good thing to remember. I’m not saying it’s possible, or even desirable to go through life with no feelings or thoughts, that would be the spiritual equivalent to leprosy. There’s a reason why zombies are a horror movie trope. However, I think they are tools for our use, not meant to push us back and forth like tides.

We can’t be without feelings anyway. The self is very antsy–never is still, even our dreams are trickled down thoughts and emotions made into masques. However, with mindfulness, we can have these feelings and thoughts be murmuring in the distance if need be. They don’t have to always be attended to. They have considerable strength of their own and move according to their own laws. What we can do is watch. After all, each feeling and thought is a minor miracle–a million synapses firing in a certain way, an extremely exact cocktail of chemicals constantly moving in one direction or other.

But behind these things is the golden room of our true selves, the parts that sees beauty and art and knows love and mercy. The magnificent selves that always live in this glorified section, just waiting–eagerly–to be listened to.

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