Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Philippians 4:8 ( KJV )
'Think before you speak!' When dealing with the Person, especially the Other Person, this is usually a good idea. Or at least, so it would seem! Usually, in the course of any given day, at least once, we will find ourselves regretting something we've said or done without thinking it through. 'As above, so below'; thinking things through before you speak sounds good enough, but (at least ) two 'problems' should be noted here; one, even if it's not 'appropriate' ( ? ), by not saying how we really feel, we're being dishonest, not only with the 'Other', but with ourselves! Secondly, we have a tendency to over-think any given situation; so often, for much the same reason ( 'it's not appropriate' ), we end up doing or saying what we shouldn't. Either that, or we remain silent & inactive.
The verse above, again, personally speaking, sounds like great advice, right?! If we kept our minds 'on things above', so to speak, rather than 'things on the earth', to follow further instruction from the Christian bible, we would do well, we're told. But, therein lies much of the problem; because we as humans believe in duality, we see things in black & white. This is beautiful, that is not, etc. This is worthy ( we are worthy ), that is not ( they are not ). Don't get me wrong; I'm by no means saying there's no such thing as 'just desserts' ( call it 'Karma' ), just that with a dualistic mindset comes 'separation'. 'But, there should be separation', some would argue, basing this on passages from the Christian bible, like II Corinthians 6:17. This is probably another matter for another day, but suffice it to say that this passage, indeed most if not all passages like it in the Christian bible are referring to a different people in a land & time far, far removed from our current situation.
Most famously, it was Rene' Descartes who said, 'I think, therefore I am'. If we've learned anything in the pages of this blog, it's that it not only sounds ass-backwards, it's just plain wrong! Thinking is not a result of who we are & it definitely doesn't make us who we are! The overwhelming majority of people in this world seem to think that we are merely human beings with rational minds & the ability ( unlike other animals? ) to think things through before we do or say something we might later regret. This is where Fear enters the picture, but again, 'another matter for another day', perhaps. This is not to say of course, that we needn't exercise care, watching our words, so to speak, but too often, our fear of what others might think prevents us from speaking our mind. Not altogether a bad thing maybe.............................
Getting back to Descartes' statement above, putting the cart before the horse ( ? ), so to speak, although it is more like, 'we ARE, therefore, we think', really, in all actuality, it is ( only ) in our capacity as human beings that we do think. As 'monads', or individual minds, in the Hyperian way of thinking, our thought processes do, in that sense, stem from the fact that we are More than our humanity, our 'avatars', in a manner of speaking. As just a bit of a side-note here; whether you take Morgue's word for it or not, he does make some sense; convoluted as it may be, the idea of 'the One & the Many' is not unique to him. Being unique ( individual ) souls, in a manner of speaking, we are possessed of our own thoughts; in other words, we, in our humanity, do not ( necessarily ) have a 'hive mentality'; we think differently, however similar or dissimilar, than any other human being. No one person out there thinks entirely the same as another.
Not to get too biblical, but the apostle Paul, in I Corinthians 2:16, talks about us, in our humanity ( ? ) having 'the mind of Christ'. As accurate or inaccurate as this translation may be, you can be sure that what the writer speaks of here is not a mind that only thinks pure thoughts, as one would expect of 'the mind of Christ'. No, what the author refers to here is the Oneness with the Source that the above-mentioned 'Morgue' also speaks of. As individual minds, or 'monads', we DO think our own thoughts, separate from the One Mind, or 'the Source'. However, we may choose, as an integral part of the Source, the Collective Mind, one might note, to simply observe ( without judgement ) those unique, individual thoughts, allowing them to pass freely through our mind.
While we may be, as some have said, 'of like mind', we do not, 'as above, so below', think exactly the same thoughts as any other human being ( even 'monad' ). Although we may be fairly 'like-minded', we will never think the same thoughts as another individual. For example, we may be thinking the same thing, as sometimes happens, but everyone has their own unique 'spin' on it, whatever 'it' may be. On the other hand, we should well note, just because one has 'the mind of Christ', it is not to say that impure or 'unholy' thoughts never enter his or her ( individual ) mind!
Because we are who & what we are, call it 'monadic individuals' or what you will, we DO have thoughts unique to us, as individual human beings; there is no avoiding that, nor should we wish to. I realize that, in some traditions, 'thoughtlessness' is highly spoken of, but it is not that we need to avoid thinking, though sometimes we tend to overthink any given situation, it's that, rather than allowing our thoughts to rule us, to the point where we begin to identify with our thoughts ( for example, 'I'm thinking about this, so I must be a..............' ), we simply observe our thoughts, as one separate, yet not separate from the Source, call it 'the mind of Christ', or what you will.
'Speaking your mind' is not entirely a 'good' thing, nor is it necessarily a 'bad' thing. When one doesn't speak his or her mind, whether out of Fear or what, not only are they being dishonest with the other; they are also cutting themselves short. There is such a thing as 'tact', though; I'm not saying that we shouldn't choose our words ( timing ) carefully, just that we should always be true to ourselves. 'As above, so below'; it is when we identify with our thoughts ( 'I am this', 'I am that' ) that we run into trouble. For most people, it IS easier said than done, not to act ( 'right' or 'wrong' ) on our thoughts, but for those few who manage to disassociate themselves from their thoughts & simply observe them without judgement, like passing clouds above, the result is that we are not spurred to action by our thoughts, but by our Will.
The Will does not stand in opposition to the Ego, as some might suppose, for they stem from two very different sources! The Ego, as we've noted, is attached to our human, or animal nature. In fact of the matter, it is an integral part of our avatar. The Will, on the other hand, gets its strength from a Higher Source, stemming from & rooted in our true nature, as spirit beings having a physical experience. I should clarify; though it often seems that the Ego does oppose the Will & sometimes the Will must oppose the Ego, the Ego, as some also suppose ( we've been here before ) is not necessarily 'evil'. The problem 'crops up' when we allow It to overrule our Will.The Ego enables us, in our human nature, to operate in this physical realm; through It we exercise what we humanly call 'free-will', which, though attended by the Will, is not the same. But, I digress.................
There is nothing 'wrong' with thinking! Sometimes, even the darkest thoughts occur to us, troubling or else relieving our minds. We think, though, whether because of societal ( cultural ) conditioning, or what, that such thoughts are 'bad', or 'evil', but they are simply there. Again, 'it is what it is'. If we just observe those thoughts, allowing them to simply & smoothly pass through our mind, 'no problem': it is when we attach ourselves to these thoughts, allowing them to determine our course of action that we run into problems!
To end on a positive note, do not, as some seem to preach, try to change your way of thinking; 'you think just fine!' Your thoughts are NOT the problem; the free exercise ( I'm NOT referring to 'free-will', here ) of your Will is the problem. Learn to differentiate between your Will, which comes from the Spirit Within & your 'free-will', which originates with the Ego; again, NOT a 'bad' thing. Once we learn to differentiate between these two distinct points, we will be more easily able to simply observe our thoughts, without judgement, as they pass freely through our minds. Without the attachment to our thoughts, which belong to our humanity ( again, NOT 'wrong' or 'evil' ), we instead rely on our Higher Nature to determine our course of action, which is ALWAYS a 'good' thing!
Namaste' & Blessed Be,
Charles Haddon Shank