The Power of Conscious Thinking
It is important to understand that thoughts are not immaterial phenomena without substance. Thoughts are electromagnetic realities which influence our mind, brain and body. Thoughts are mental food for the psychic structures of man, and we become what we think. Most modern people are stressed and harassed by their racing minds, which chase them around in the daytime and keeps them awake at night. It is therefore important that we learn to stop this racing mind and discipline our thinking.
In everyday life most people are preoccupied with an almost constant inner dialog. We are constantly talking to ourselves, continuously assessing the actions and behaviours of ourselves and of others. This inner dialog is most of the time not conscious all though it is the foundation on which we perceive and experience reality. Our inner dialog also affects our feelings which are the body’s reactions to our thoughts. Negative thoughts therefore create negative feelings and hence stress and illness.
Our inner voice evaluates, judges, compares and worries. Most people live with such a tormentor in their head draining them of energy. It is an awful burden not to be able to stop thinking but most often we do not even realize this since it is a very common condition. Up to 90 % of most people’s thoughts are meaningless playbacks of old “records”.
The philosopher René Descartes is famous for his statement: “Cogito ergo sum” which means “I think, therefore I am”. However, the identification of thoughts with who you are, is a fundamental mistake. We are not identical with our thoughts. Thoughts are merely tools for your CONSCIOUSNESS which is behind all perception, behaviour and experience.
Thinking is a useful tool if it is used well, i.e used consciously. However most thinking is not rational, not conscious and often it becomes very destructive. For the most part we are not using the thoughts, but the thoughts are using us. When we identify with our thoughts, we let the tools take control over us.
To counteract the identification with thoughts and to discipline our thinking we must start to observe, from a higher level, our thoughts and the process of thinking itself. Most of our thoughts are automatic and goes on and on more or less unconsciously. They are just records of old patterns of thinking. Patterns we have followed most of our lives. Though they are programmed in the past they still manage to affect and control the way we are living.
It is very difficult to stop compulsive thinking. If you say to yourself ‘I want to stop thinking’, that doesn’t work. You cannot stop a thought with another thought, the order must come from a higher level. Instead you must raise your level of consciousness one step up and imagine that you observe your thoughts and the thinking process from a higher level. Try to be ‘the silent watcher on the hill’ as Osho puts it.
The most effective way to raise your level of consciousness, increase your focus and discipline your thinking is neurofeedback training of Gamma waves from the prefrontal cortex. Gamma wave training activates the frontal cortex and raises consciousness above the thoughts. In this state there is no habitual, unconscious thinking. You can still decide to think but all your thoughts will be conscious (This is by the way Krishnamurti’s definition of enlightenment). The Gamma state is a highly lucid state in which you have a clear mind with a penetrating focus leading to better intuition and creativity.
Observing a thought not only makes you aware of the thought but it also makes you conscious of yourself as a witness to the thought. A new dimension of consciousness has stepped in, the habitual, compulsive thoughts have lost their power and will gradually subside. As you learn to go into the high Gamma state, you decide when to think, and in the empty spaces between the thoughts, you will feel an inner peace and calmness. This is not a state of trance - there is no loss of consciousness here. On the contrary you are much more awake, aware and present, than in the state where you identify with your thoughts.
In the high Gamma state with no thoughts, you become conscious of your own being, of your own true nature. In exactly that state you will realize that all that really matters such as beauty, freedom, love, creativity, joy and inner peace, is found beyond thoughts.