We call thoughts bad thoughts and good thoughts. We strive to stop or control negative and bad thoughts; and we try to carry and encourage positive thoughts. But are there good and bad thoughts? Are there are negative thoughts and positive thoughts in reality?
Our mind as such does not discriminate one thought from another. A thought being bad or good comes from our belief system. A belief today was also just a thought at one point of time in our lives for us – during the childhood. And we hardly seem to outgrow our childhood beliefs. Hence we carry opinions about good thoughts and bad thoughts. So how does this piece of knowledge help us in our lives?
The truth is that a thought by itself has no power. It is our reaction to the thought that makes it potent or impotent. A thought by itself, is just that, a mere thought. A thought is not necessarily a suggestion. But when we react to it (like getting frustrated or angry because of that thought) that’s when we have accepted it as a suggestion in our head.
In fact, the truth is that a belief is not formed after repeated events proving a certain viewpoint true. Rather, it happens in the exact opposite manner. A viewpoint is accepted as a belief by the subconscious first and then it strives to prove it true over and over. Think of it as a colored filter applied to a lens. Now every scenery is colored with the shade of the lens. That is how we experience the world. And slowly these beliefs, as they are proven true over and over by our mind, shape our personality. We come to hold certain viewpoints as true and certain as false. Similarly, we hold certain thoughts as good and certain as bad only after such a standard has been programmed into us. This programming happens either through SEERS programming – Socio Economic Educational Religious and Spiritual belief systems coming from our parents, teachers, gurus, etc., or they become our ‘moral’ standards with through some personal emotional experiences.
If you want thoughts to have the least effect, you must learn to ignore them as they come. Do not deny them, just let them come, and as easily let them pass. Get out of the habit of reacting to them.
Many spiritual practices too recommend that you learn to ignore thoughts and not to react to them. But that cannot happen completely unless you are willing to question your ‘moral’ standards and ego-based beliefs.
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