Can we change our thoughts?

Can we change our thoughts?

The points here are supplementary to Audio One on the Media Tab.

  • “Not by trying”
    • It IS possible but trying, (which implies an effort), does not help.
  • “No one can tell anyone how to”
    • Change is subject to personal insight and is something that unfolds within each person.
    • One persons’ insight may serve as a pointer, but it can never be ‘given’ to another like a material object can, such as a pen or cup of coffee.

  • Anyone seeking ‘help’ by searching the internet, or self-help books, for example, will find thousands upon thousands of resources.
    • The question has to be asked, How have they helped in the past, beyond temporary relief?
    • No one is looking for temporary relief, although most make do because we have come to expect nothing more.

  • All methods, techniques, etc. (including any 12 step programme), are either temporary or will get the individual so far and no further.

    • Many people get “stuck” in methods, techniques, and practices and rarely move beyond them – or they flit between the practices and “how-to”s seeking out the next new fad in hopes of it being THE answer they are looking for.

    • Once ‘indoctrinated’ in a 12 step programme, (or any belief system for that matter), the individual rarely ever looks beyond it.

  • The 12 step programme is a list of ‘things to do’ that will bring the individual closer to Truth by way of providing some required insights along the way.
    • However, success in its application is dependent on the sustained willingness of the individual to be rid of problematic habits and behaviours as well as keeping an open mind with regards to hearing, accepting, and integrating new ideas and concepts. The commitment to the day-to-day nature of the 12 step programme can be difficult to maintain over time.
  • A “clear and steady mind” (the solution) is acquired only by inner reflection as to the nature of the so-called problem.
  • We, (humans), tend to only experience life in two ways; positively or negatively. Human societies can only ever provide us with an unsatisfactory and fearful experience. A satisfying and fearless experience can only be experienced in the knowledge of our true, spiritual nature. That we are life and all life is derived from and sustained by a force or energy that we cannot begin to explain. ← Crucial point
  • “Want to stop”
    • Does not ONLY apply to physical addictions, such as food, alcohol, and drugs but also applies to mental states such as depression, which is also an habitual fixation and can be said to be addicting, (in the sense that the individual has become comfortable with that mental state).
    • The desire to stop is a feeling of desperation and helplessness brought about by many unsuccessful attempts to make the desired change/s.
    • This sense of desperation is sometimes known as “hitting rock bottom” and often serves as a catalyst for the sustained willingness and commitment mentioned above.
  • Not every individual wants to admit defeat and seek a deeper understanding of their true nature – the spiritual essence that is our life force.
  • Helping others can help the individual to forget their own problems for a while. This can become another fixation simply because the beneficial effects are temporary – in this way helping others can become ‘a fix’.
    • “Helping others” is a good way to start making necessary changes, but unless the individual sees the trap of ‘the fix’, they will never move beyond it.
  • Trying to change our thoughts by an effort of the will (self-will) is the one assurance that those thoughts will ALWAYS return after the effort has ceased.
    • This is why affirmations and ‘positive thinking’ give only temporary relief.
  • “Organic realisation” – or insight
    • Happens, most often, during introspection, (self-reflection) or reflective conversation.
    • *****Warning: Introspection is not rumination – it MUST be organic, (naturally occurring).
    • These ideas are NOT meant to be prescriptive.
    • Again, it is an open-ness to new ideas and a willing-ness to learn or re-think that which we think we know.
  • In solving any problem, which must be done “inwardly” and which is the only real solution and, therefore, reflectively, the questions we ask of our own experience are important. The purpose is to ‘see’ what we’ve never seen before.
    • *** Important point: The situation is our own and must be owned by the self.
    • Although others may have experienced similar circumstances, no two experiences are identical. Therefore, the ‘problem’ lies within and the solution can only be found within our own schema – psychological processes.
  • Talking with others with an open mind, as mentioned above, can help, but remember, there are NO “how-to”s.
    • Beware of anyone, (even me), who would give instructions on how to change any patterns of the mind or behaviour, unless you’re looking for ‘a practice’ or “First Aid for the psyche” (temporary relief).
  • Insight cannot be forced. There is nothing to do. Even becoming willing and “committing to” are organic shifts in the mind and not something to try to accomplish.
    • Organic means free-flowing and without effort.
  • My “inability to change my thinking”
    • Was not an inadequacy on my part.
    • “When I saw through that, change happened for me, within me” – precisely because I was no longer trying, (without trying to not try).
    • I stopped “working on” something, (anything), about my thoughts and behaviours.
    • NOTE: Trying to stop ‘working on’ is another potential ‘how-to’.
    • Self-will is not enough. Self-knowledge is not enough. Information from outwith the self is wholly inadequate.
  • “We all live with a narrative”
    • The seed of the narrative is the root of the problem.
    • What is, (or was) the seed of the particular problematic narrative?
    • Only the individual can answer this for his/her own self.
  • Identifying the REAL problem may take some discussion and/or self-reflection.
    • For example, concerning depression, the depression is a symptom or a manifestation of the root problem and is not, in and of itself, the real problem.
  • Unfortunately, most people see self-reflection as too difficult or too much work and continue to settle for the status quo.

If you have listened to the corresponding audio on the Media Tab and have read all the way through this supplementary post and would like to discuss your situation, you can contact Zander directly or, if you prefer, apply for a 2-hour Transformative Conversation.

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