Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

Do we Use Thought, or Does Thought Use us?

--by Dada (Oct 28, 2013)

Have you ever looked meditatively into the cause-and-effect of thought, into the birth and death of thought, the cycle that creates fear and conflict with resultant sorrow?

Every expression of thought-emotion consumes psychic force, and every projection of thought drains the vital source. Each one is blessed with a specific unit of valuable life energy. Constant depletion of your energy through the mechanical activity of chronic and compulsive habit patterns is utterly stupid and in vain. Indiscriminate and ceaseless psychic activity results in energy dissipation, causes mental exhaustion and invites psychosomatic disorders. 

Very few thoughts are necessary for daily living and functioning. One need not use thought when it is not necessary. Thought need not function automatically.

But now there's no ending of thought, even when we retire to bed. Surprisingly, in sleep, too, the thought process goes on and on. The mind projects fantasies and fears. And even while asleep, it indulges in unfulfilled plans and pursuits. This wishful play of mind is constant and continuous. Living is nothing more than this chain of thoughts!

Like the pumping of the heart, the mind remains ever active throughout the lifetime, busily creating and then trying to solve conflicts. We are rarely at ease and never at fully tranquil rest. [...]

You think that you use thought but I doubt it. It is thought that uses you, uses your life energy, by dominating, grabbing and dictating to it, and by possessing people and things.

Thought is a possessive, aggressive, dominant force, subduing and hindering the creative source. Realizing the limitation of thought, its exclusive pursuits and mediocre nature, mechanical habit patterns and subtle compulsions, is understanding. It is the beginning of the awakening of intuitive intelligence. 

The world needs the discovery of such intelligence to experience a new-dimensional existence: a path of impersonal understanding, a way of happy and creative living, the life of freedom and peace. Meditative watchfulness generates a new insight, keeping one free, independent and whole with in, to function spontaneously as a creative being. Then within the field of human sensitivity, a new energy source will emerge. The dawn of a new impersonal intelligence shall swell and burst within the heart. 

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On Oct 24, 2013 Conrad P Pritscher wrote:

 Before I read Dada,,  I thought thought uses me and I use thought.  When I notice I am one with everyone and everything, I notice I think I am one with everyone and everything. I have not been able to rid myself of my ego to become impersonal as Dada suggests. My level of understanding has not yet gone beyond "'my' level of understanding." There is no question that my thought is limited. I find great to joy in thinking about thought. Yesterday I made notes to write about "a thought too far," and "a thought to near ."  I love to think about change and time which can't be clearly defined and I don't know what they are.  I love fuzzy thinking. I believe it is possible to evolve beyond "personal understanding," but I have not done so.  Shunryu Suzuki's statement about being not one and not two seems to apply here. The great value of "not knowing" also is helpful here. Perhaps if I allowed myself to  "not think" more often I would naturally evolve to that impersonal state of oneness. In the meantime I hope I continue to give myself permission to forgive myself again, and again, and again for not being more evolved which amounts to a limited accepting myself as I am.  As the Pentateuch and wise men have been saying for years, the highest form of wisdom is kindness. I have not yet experienced myself being impersonally kind. Thank you for the opportunity to respond. Warm and kind regards to everyone

On Oct 24, 2013 Conrad P Pritscher wrote:


After writing what I said earlier, I read this from tricycle. It applies to what Dada Is saying,
Tricycle Daily Dharma October 24, 2013
The Examined Life

Life is profound if you’re awake to see it. It’s one thing to draw from culture, it’s another thing to be drawn so deeply into the culture that your true nature disappears. Wisdom is not merely something to be gained with old age. One can be wise in every stage of one’s life. To manifest wisdom means simply to step back and see—to reflect, inquire, be aware, be disciplined, and be focused not once in a while, but all of the time, moment to moment. This life is precious and fleeting. Pay attention.

- Seido Ray Ronci, "The Examined Life"

On Oct 24, 2013 A lover of Christ wrote:

 Interesting how you say you have not yet experienced yourself being "impersonally kind" (whatever that means) and yet you wish us (your readers) warm and KIND regards weekly.  
You kindly touch us, weekly, with your thoughts . . . know that! 

On Oct 24, 2013 Ganoba wrote:

 For a long time now, I have stopped thinking. Thoughts/ideas come when there is a need to move on. They are in the form of suggestions and there is no compulsion to act associated with them.
The mind is now like the sky, not a Pandora's box.
Thoughts float across the mind like clouds. They do not effect the quality of the mind. They do their job and then go.
Life is beautiful and harmonious.

On Oct 26, 2013 Thierry wrote:

It seems the author is speaking of the 95% of our so-called thinking which is vain, irrelevant, superficial, mechanical. The chattering mind. Yet to be aware of this chattering, of this wastage of energy, this  also consumes energy while in a more focused way. It doesn't necessary follow that  meditative watchfulness, must , of itself, generate new insights.. In my experience, insights come through sharing the thinking of others, whosoever whose thinking  has meditative value, what is called wisdom. Which is in no way personal yet must make sense in my experience. The mind is like a huge reservoir not all of us can tap into directly. But we can tap into it indirectly through the mediation of others. This is how impersonal the mind is and how important thinking, in the meditative dimension, is.
Thought is restless, the more so as one does not attend to it. Yet this is only half of the deal. The fact is that the more one attends during daytime the more one is aware of that same restlessness at night. The more one wonders of what to make out of the confusing language of dreams. Speaking of a new dimensional  existence, I wonder if this can be accessed through sheer discipline, least of all, by some sort of wishfulness.
Intuitive intelligence must include some capacity not only to read in between the words but also an ability to  see through that wordless yet symbolic language which is also the language of myth.

On Oct 26, 2013 david doane wrote:

Thinking makes a fine servant and a terrible master.  I'm not sure who said that -- I definitely do believe it.  I believe it is important that we have and use and control our thinking rather than our thinking have and use and control us.  Our thinking is part of us, not us part of it.  We have elevated thinking to a position of priority.  Thinking is a primary left brain activity, and it is important that we at least equally utilize right brain attributes such as experience, feeling, intuition, dreaming, fantasy, nonlogic. I experience an I, and it is important that I be in charge of all qualities, including my thinking.  Now I'm thinking that the author and I are thinking too much.  To me, intuitive intelligence is intelligence that is right brain unconscious affective nonlogical intelligence.  Actually, I think intuitive intelligence is operating and is part of our choices much more than we realize.  When I make a decision because I have a hunch or it feels right, I'm using intuitive intelligence.  Sheldon Kopp said all significant decisions are made on the basis of insufficient data -- that may be true of insignificant decisions as well -- even if we don't realize that.  In other words, intuitive intelligence is much more part of us and our choices than we realize.  I married my wife 36 years ago for reasons most of which I'll never know or understand, and I trust my intuitive intelligence was at work, and I'm sure glad it was. 

On Oct 27, 2013 a wrote:

 The most simple personal story I can share related to the seed question given would be:  Having a history of anxiety/panic, the evil one/ill thought "uses me" periodically when I'm on the road.  
I was driving to Madison (pulling a load of my son's stuff in assisting him in his move from Milwaukee), following my husband,who was driving before me on the highway. Thoughts came . . . I'm trapped, I cannot do this, how am I going to get out of this situation (you get my drift) . . . that USED ME.  
From experience, I USED THOUGHT . . . blasted cold air within the vehicle(to dry my wet with panic sweat face) . . . questioned "who would put negative thinking" in my head? . . . repeated the words "I can"! . . . until
God's truth returned in calm and assurance that, indeed, "I can" . . . "I could" . . . and "I would" finish the work I had begun!
Experience, too, tells me that ANY time/in ANY circumstance a disturbing thought or lie ONLY becomes our truth if we hold on to it.  Our "final thought" is the thought that carries the most power for us.  
We determine if we are "on top of" or "beneath" our own thoughts.  However, because I am a sinner, in the case of a spiritual attack on my thought, I have to go to my Father in Heaven to OVERRIDE.  

I am very thankful for the "reads" above!   You speak truth!  Loving you.

On Oct 29, 2013 Mish wrote:

thoughts just passing through...letting them go...not giving them power .   

On Oct 29, 2013 Jagdish P Dave wrote:

 When I am fully present to what is happening in my mind and or before me I feel free form my neurotic patterns of thinking and feeling. I am with it. I feel connected with me and with others without feeling bound by my thoughts and feelings.I can describe my experience as a flow of energy.When I am not in the flow, thoughts about my past a nd at times about the future pop up. I mindfully let them come and go. This way I am able to feel more energy and am able to do things better. In this free state of mind creative ideas show up and result in innovative actions.

Jagdish P Dave

On Oct 29, 2013 me wrote:

 I know this to be true for I have seen your brilliance of your creative mind and resulting innovative actions!  All for the Glory of God . . . not your own, I might add!  
One of Heaven surely smiling on YOU!  REALLY!  

On Oct 29, 2013 Chris Walker wrote:

 Just finished a day full of thought, this is the best reading I could have found to reflect on before I go to bed. 

On Oct 29, 2013 Jyoti wrote:

Thoughts can be used creatively, with training and awareness. Monkey mind can be tamed, with practice. If I did not belief that, I would not be teaching critical thinking !
On intuitive intelligence, sometimes I just know what I need to do, without thought, without rationale, without it being impulsive too -- but with clarity, almost perfect clarity. It feels absolutely right. That, to me, is intuitive intelligence. I have no choice and I am content or rather happy to have no choice, because even if I did, I would still be compelled to just do that which feels right in every which way. Interviewing to get into a prestigious college, I was waiting in the corridor outside the interview room, sizing up the other candidates, competition. One of them was pacing restlessly and somehow I knew she was going to be my friend. We both were accepted to the college, were okay friends, but now 30 years on, are still friends and perhaps best of friends. The initially weak ties have survived so much, despite living half a world apart and only connecting infrequently. She knew I was a poet before I had ever told her or anyone else about any of my poems. She just knew too. We see and hear each other as no one else does. This is intuitive intelligence.

On Oct 31, 2013 Boo wrote:

 Proverbs 25:11
Words suitably spoken are like apples of gold,  coated in silver.

Gifts . . . All of them!   Grateful

On Nov 3, 2013 Luv4all wrote:

I believe each thought leads to a subtle impression, repetition deepens them and our life is a collection of all such impressions. It is very important to be mindful about what we think and engage with people or acts which help in developing positive, humane thought patterns. Defining what is good itself needs thoughtfulness :)

On Nov 3, 2013 smile wrote:

Thank you for sharing in an authentic manner. It helps others relate to their own state of mind and ponder on it. 

On Nov 3, 2013 M wrote:

Thanks Ganoba. You share an example of what is possible which may inspire others. 

On Nov 3, 2013 luv4all wrote:

Thanks for sharing inspiration through both comments - they are deep.

On Nov 3, 2013 Mish wrote:

 Well thought out & expressed.

On Nov 26, 2013 Rajni Gohil wrote:

 I have read a lot of power of positive thinking books and articles. And in daily life I see many things happening as i have thought. 

Sanskrit scriptures say  "Manomulam idam Jagat" e. i. Our whole world is a reflection of our thought.  in other words , we creative our own world, by thinking. 

To me intuitive intelligence is  like God sending us warnings or inspirations.  Full faith in God and acting accordingly leads us to higher plane in spirituality. 

On Nov 26, 2013 Mish wrote:

 This has been my experience too.

On Dec 3, 2013 Carlos Eduardo wrote:

Thanks for your well-balanced comment. Yes, we do need thinking, sometimes formal logical thinking. But, it easily becomes " a fine servant and a terrible master". A superb quote. As well as the one by Sheldon Kopp. Our culture is prone to "infoxication". Perhaps Barry Schwartz has shown an  aspect of this in his Paradox of Choice. And, also from a "non-spiritual" starting point and methodology, Kahneman approaches the riddle of thinking, memories, the decision-making self and the perception of happiness  in his much praised Thinking, fast and slow. In sum: our culture tends to regard sheer rational thinking, based on plentiful "hard" , measurable data, as superior and more reliable than intuitive, non verifiable insights which carry a hint of non-verifiable feeling. Which brings up Huston Smith's criticism of the epistemological bias of "scientism" that has been berating all things metaphysical for the last 300 years.