Question: My life seems like an endless string of thoughts by which I know myself. I wonder if it's really even possible to live a thought-free life. How do I start knowing without thinking?
Answer: Christ often spoke of the futility of using thought as a foundation for knowing our True Self. He asked in countless ways, "What man, taking thought, can add one cubit to his stature?" He taught his disciples to "take no thought for the morrow."
Christ knew the great need for awakening his disciples to the realization that a life spent in only the mental realm was one of secret and sad captivity. And yet, as significant as His teachings may have been in days past, they are meaningless to us today unless we're able to discover, for ourselves, the freedom and fearlessness of the thought-free life. Can such a lofty life level be attained? Yes!
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 and heart.
You can do this, right now, by becoming aware -- without thinking about it -- that you are thinking. See that there are thoughts and feelings coursing through you. As you watch their movements, be their silent witness. Just observe.
To observe yourself, assume no position on the thoughts and feelings you see moving through you. Don't put yourself on either side of any thought's content. In other words, be neither for nor against any thought with any other thought. And should you get temporarily caught in the web of any thinking, then watch that event with the impartial intent and simply start over. Just let your awareness of these thoughts and feelings be there.
The foundation of self observation is a higher self awareness that puts you in direct contact with a new and superior Intelligence, a silent wisdom that immediately goes to work in your favor. For this elevated nature, incisive actions are effortless, and require no thought.
There's a way to know, without ever having to think about it, exactly which of your own thoughts and feelings are your friends, and which are foes, a totally thought-free way to understand which of your thoughts are practical and necessary for everyday life, and which are stealing your life with unsuspected self-compromise. It's true. You possess unsuspected powers of perception just waiting to be awakened. The following technique will help you get started:
Allow your eyes to fall on something familiar in the space where you are. Notice how your mind immediately gives that object a name. Having done this part of the exercise, keep your attention on whatever you've selected, and then continue to watch how more thoughts come into your mind about what you're seeing.
Now, while you're witnessing both that object and your growing stream of associative thoughts and feelings about it, *just drop these thoughts and feelings. *
You can still see the object, and you still know what it is -- but now you are knowing without thinking. This is your introduction to an unconditioned relationship with life.
In this form of higher attention, of knowing without thinking, you can see that the meaning of the object before you has not changed. The difference is that now its meaning speaks directly, silently to you -- instead of you listening to your thoughts tell you about its meaning.
When it comes to seeing a chair or a pencil, this new kind of thought-free state may not seem too profound. But this practice can (and should) be enlarged to encompass your whole life.
The benefits behind the ability to understand something, or someone, without having to go into thought, cannot be over estimated. If the sole cause of our conflict is in our psychic carelessness, because we unknowingly pick up and carry home with us self-compromising thoughts and feelings, then the solution we need and should seek, must be in a new kind of awareness. We need only align ourselves with its powers, which can be done.
Practice knowing without thinking. Begin today. Right now.
Let yourself see the meaning of individuals and their actions, of your behavior, of world events, of all your relationships -- without telling yourself what you see. Again, let the meaning of what is before you reveal itself to you. Keep you out of it. If you don't, then self-compromising self interest will come into and cloud the picture.
Bravely go through your day in this new way. Switch back and forth between your natural need for practical thought, as required in your business or home life, and this new state of seeing, of knowing without thinking. Be patient with yourself. For a while you may feel as though you just have to pick up some thought or feeling, even though a part of you knows you shouldn't. Just learn to watch all of that too. And when you fail, try your best not to pick up self-judgmental thoughts.
And lastly, don't fear anything you may see in yourself, or anywhere else. Don't pick up these feelings either. They just want to load you down with a false sense of self borne out of an equally false sense of responsibility. No fear belongs to you, now or ever. Your higher nature knows this. And it knows what to do about all other forms of disturbance -- all without thinking. Let it tell you what you need to know, and one day you'll know what it means to live fully, safely, and securely.
Excerpted from Freedom From the Ties That Bind