Where do the thoughts come from? It just takes a few moments of silence to realize that you have never been thinking your thoughts. They simply appear and then they simply disappear. You can be sitting waiting for the bus and all of a sudden the thought, “I want pizza” simply arises. Can you really claim that you were thinking that thought? No. It just sprouted up. What happens next is that you began to engage with the thought. And this is what thinking is. Thinking is not in the thoughts that come and go but thinking is what happens when you begin to engage and play with the thoughts that come and go. All of a sudden this thought about wanting pizza appears and before you know it you took that thought and began to plan, fantasize and imagine where you will go to get pizza or what kind you would like until you were off on a seemingly endless flow.
And you did not even choose it. The thought just arose unexpectedly and you engaged it. If you had not engaged it it would have simply passed. Yet, you seem so compelled to engage in and believe in every single thought that appears in front of you for the simple fact that you have identified yourself with the thought patterns of your thinking. You have identified yourself with the one who engages with the thoughts. Essentially you are taking yourself to be the thinker of the thoughts without realizing that even this thinker is just another thought. The thinker of the thoughts is just another thought in the same exact way that “I want a pizza” is just another thought. Yet, since you believe so strongly in this thought, since you have invested so much energy and belief into this one thought, effectively, your entire life is controlled and ruled by this one single thought.
You have somehow convinced yourself that not only is this thought me but that this thought is the sum total of who and what this me is. You have even convinced yourself that without this thought you cannot continue to live out your life. This is seen clearly by those who have engage in a spiritual path for some time. When you hear the teachings of the great master who say that what we are is not the mind, the thought will naturally come, “but who am I without my mind?” This is how deep this belief in this thought has gone that you can no longer even begin to imagine life without it.
You can no longer see yourself away from it for the very fact that you have given so much faith and trust to this voice that everything you wish to accept and carry out must first have the approval of this thought beforehand. You took a thought that has the same essence as the thought ‘pink elephant’ and transformed that thought into the glasses in which you move about in the world. You so strongly believe that without this voice you cannot live that you are effectively keeping yourself bound and trapped simply because you refuse to let this one thought go. You can let other thoughts go but you refuse to let go of the one who is letting the thoughts go simply because you are not seeing that even this one is just another thought.
You take the inner narrator to be who you are and because of that it rules your life. You think that without this inner voice your world will stop but this is absolutely not true and the sooner you see this directly for yourself at that moment most of the work is done. Once you have freed yourself from this thought, freed yourself from this inner voice essentially you will begin to experience your life from your true position; the place that is aware of even this voice.
Imagine watching a baseball game on T.V and listening to the commentators. The commentator knows just about as much as what is going on in the field as you do. They are simply commentating and giving their opinions on what is going on during the game. Now if someone told you that if the commentators were not present there would be no game you would think that that would be a ridiculous statement. Of course the game goes on without the commentator. This is so obvious to us that we do not even question it.
Yet, that is what is happening with your inner voice. It is simply commentating on everything. And just like baseball game commentators can be wrong about what they see and about what is happening on the field your inner commentator can also be wrong and is often wrong about what is going on in the world around you. Yet, you still somehow believe that without this voice the game of your life will stop so you are left at a lost as to what to do.
If you had a friend who truly believed that without a baseball game commentator there can be no game what can you do to help them see through their view? Bring them to a live game and allow them to see for themselves that not only does the game go on but it can even be more beautiful and more exciting without the commentators at all.
So, how can you help yourself to see that you are not your inner voice? This is where silent meditation comes into play. Giving yourself a space where you can sit silently and see for yourself whether who you take yourself to be, the thought you have of yourself, is in actual fact who you are.
But this cannot be done through intellectual reasoning since any form of intellectual reasoning must first go through the filter of the very thought you are trying to see through. Instead you must allow yourself enough inner room and space to see through this thought without adding another thought to it.
And how can this be done?
All one truly has to do is realize that within us there is something that has always been present that is not within the realm of any thought but can be said (if we must say anything about it at all) is more of a sensation. That place that is aware of all thoughts. That place in us that is present before, during and after all thoughts and experiences. That sense which is the primal sense you and all living beings have of their own existence. That nameless sense all have that lets them know that right here, right now something is existing.
It is the pulse of your very being itself. The pulse and fragrance of the whole universe itself and that is where you must place your attention. Looking from this place you can see thoughts arises. You can see them pass. You can even see the thinker of these thoughts try and connect everything together yet, you remain apart from this. You do not allow yourself to engage in any of the thoughts that arises. Any thought that appears before you can be discarded because what you are is prior to it all. What you are is what is watching the thoughts themselves.
Sitting quietly. Sitting in silence. Not engaging in the thoughts that come. Not even pushing them away. Letting whatever thought that wishes to come the space to come. Letting whatever thoughts that wishes to go the space to go while just remaining aware and present to the magnificence of life. The thoughts themselves will quiet down. When the thoughts begin to quiet down the thinker of the thoughts will quiet down. When the thoughts disappear the thinker of the thoughts will also disappear because the very thinker itself is another thought. It is not anything other than thought. Once you have had a taste of its absence you will begin to recognize and vibrate with that which has always been right where you are. You will begin to vibrate and resonate with that which is beyond all thoughts, concepts and ideas.
But until this is done, not in theory, but in practice you will remain under the rule of this narrator thought. It cannot be done by mere thinking about it because the thinking is being done by the very one you are trying to rid yourself of. Therefore, for many, this will be extremely difficult to do simply because many still have so much faith and belief in this narrator thought. It is treated it as our own personal guru. We listen to and essentially worship this one thought. Yet this does not have to be the case. But all too often the thought like these continue to come;
“But, without this inner voice what will happen to me? How will I live, how will I be able to support myself and my family?”
Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
(Jesus of Nazareth from the Gospel according to Matthew)
Nothing will happen to you. There is no need to fear because this voice is not who you are. It is just a habit pattern of thoughts that you have somehow accepted by your upbringing and conditioning. Just like a baseball game does not stop just because the announcers are not there so too does life not stop just because you are not commenting and worrying about it. The game will go on exactly as it would have gone whether you are listening to the announcers or not. So too, Life will go on exactly as it should whether you are constantly worrying about it or not.
In reality it is not you who are worried about life it is only the ego-mind that is worried and fearful of life. In moments of rest, relaxation, and sleep you are not worried at all in fact you were quite at peace within yourself. Why? Because at these times the false layer of identification was not active. The inner commentator was not there. You have spent too many years maybe even lifetimes listening to the voice in your head. Now is the perfect moment to turn away from your mind and allow yourself to flow with life,to merge with life.
Imagine if someone came up to you all distressed and troubled. You ask them what is wrong and they respond with, “I just do not know what to do about these pink elephants. I cannot deal with them, they will not leave me alone.” This would be a strange thing to hear and it may be hard for you to be able to help such a person. Yet, why does the thought ‘pink elephant’ not disturb you? Why does it just pass you by with barely a second thought?
Because it has no meaning for you at all. Yet, the thought you have of who you are is fundamentally of the same exact essence as the thought ‘pink elephant.’ The thought you have about who you are is just that, a thought. But since this thought has meaning for you it sticks. Because you believe in this thought it sticks. What must be seen is that even the belief in the thought you have of yourself and any thought you are holding on to, are all simply thoughts and all can be tossed aside. This must be seen. That absolutely anything that arises in you no matter how grand, no matter how beautiful, or horrifying it may be are all simply thoughts. And a thought cannot define what you are. You cannot limit your existence to that of the confounds of what a thought can ascribe to you.
You are That in which thoughts are possible. Without you there can be no thoughts. Yet you somehow came to believe the opposite that without thoughts there can be no me. This belief must go and it can go right where you are in this very instant. All one has to do is be willing to let go of everything. Every idea, every concept, every dream. Your history, your future plans, everything must go. Even the one doing the letting go, that one too must go. Anything that came after the primal recognition of existence, throw away. Keep throwing everything away until you come to That which cannot be thrown away.
Find That which has always been present, which is present even now,even here. Find That which does not require any effort for it to be what it is. Find That in whose presence everything can be seen. Allow everything to fall into the heart. Dive inwards and do not bother coming back out. Merge into life. Be the wave that merges into the ocean. Cut through the rubbish and stay exactly where you have always been. Realize that place in you where you have never left from and see if from this place there is anything lacking. Is there anything missing? Is there anything that needs to be improved upon or worked on? Life can be improved upon, more experiences can be had, but once that place within yourself has been touched, once you have disappeared within the heart of your very being, Life can no longer be a struggle. Struggles can be there but you will not be struggling. Once this place is touched suffering can no longer be there. Pain can be there.
As long as you have a physical body you will experience some bodily pain but the you who will be in pain will no longer be there. Once this place has be reached and touched upon you will no longer have a life or will be living a life. You will Be Life itself. This does not have to take years and life times to discover. If you are open to this it is available to you. Through a constant and dedicated practice of silent meditation where you are constantly striving to see through this layer of false identification, sooner or later the very sense of “The Thinker” itself will fall away.