Dear Francis thank you once again for your kind and prompt responses, I have questions about thought.
- Neo advaita teachers are these days teaching that thought is not a problem, but in my work place I notice a lot of negative thoughts about certain people, its hard to stay uninvolved and sometimes guilt arises because of this, if we dont choose our thoughts, then what is the purpose of these thoughts, they can be very sticky and painful.
There are two kinds of thoughts, thoughts that hinge upon the belief and/or the feeling that we are a separate person, and thoughts that don’t. Only the first kind is problematic. Negative thoughts about others would be an example of such personal thoughts. If we wouldn’t believe to be a separate entity, we wouldn’t really think of others as separate entities either; in our thoughts, we would stay connected, more deeply even than with family members.
- why does thought tend to attack others so cold heartedly and how does one block the guilt or even impersonalize these thoughts?
As long as we believe to be the personal doer of our deeds, there will be guilt about those of our past actions that originated from ignorance, and any effort to block such a sense of guilt is doomed to failure unless we address its root cause, separation. We cannot impersonalize personal thoughts, we can only become aware of them, of their personal color.
- is it the “I” that thinks these thoughts, and why do they tend to be negative?
It is the “I” that thinks these thoughts, for there is only one thinker and only one doer. However they are distorted by ignorance. The “I” first chooses ignorance and as a result creates ignorant thoughts and feelings. They are negative because they arise out of frustration. Ignorance is the most basic of all frustrations: it frustrates us from what we are.
- I have used processes like Byron Katies work, but the thoughts seem to reinvent or recycle and still speak negatively about others, is there an end to this? Is there anything I can do to stop or lessen the grip of these thoughts if inquiry has not worked? it has worked to some extent but not fully.
There will be an end to this negativity when its root cause is finally addressed, and the inquiry that works is the one that asks this question: what is the evidence, both on the intellectual and on the experiential levels, that that which in me is aware of my perceptions is a limited, separate, mortal entity?
- The judging that goes on in the mind, is this a direct result of thought which is running automatically, and why in this consciousness is there such a volume of these type of thoughts, the condition of the world today is an example of this. thank you again Francis.
That which runs automatically is the belief in/feeling of separation. We allow it to run automatically because we are not aware of its danger. We become aware of its consequences: in your case, for example, you become first aware of the pain of not being loved by others; then you become aware of your aggressiveness, then of your negative thoughts about others, then of your negative thoughts about yourself, then, finally, you see that all of this was generated by your sense of being a separate consciousness, at which point the inquiry can begin. The fact that you are aware of the volume and of the danger of these thoughts is a good sign already. Take your investigation one step further, to the pet belief in a separate “I”.