I mentioned in a recent Monday Musings that there seems to be some importance connected to right thoughts. You might remember that I quoted:
Fix your thought on what is true, and honorable and right, and pure, and lovely and admirable.Phillipians 4:8
This sort of quote pops up in many spiritual texts, almost as if there exist a thread that runs through them and as we have seen in previous letters, there are certain principles that appear to exist in the Universe. We have written on several so called ‘Laws’, that is, principles that are constant in all teachings and repeatable in life. We have also noted how these ‘Laws’ have been evidenced in science as truths.
So, I want to add another constant to our list because I perceive it as a persisting Truth, the Law of Right Thought. It is as simple as it sounds. Basically you think the right things you get the right results. It’s a tenet of the Buddhist Eight Fold Path:
You are what you think. All that you are arises from your thoughts. With your thoughts you make your world.Buddha
Here’s a thing, we are very much the masters of our own destiny, we write our own life, not anyone elses. You’ve heard say that it’s not the things that happen to you that determine your life but rather the way you react to them? That is so true. If you take nothing else from this letter take that. You can be the richest person in the world and spend your days mired down by concerns about protecting your wealth, how you will accumulate more, who are your true friends and who are the freeloaders. It’s how you react to your situation and as a thought preceeds every action, it is how you think about what is happening to and through you.
So there is a direct correlation between thoughts and the life you live. You want a life filled with peace and feel good, those thoughts have to be foremost in your mind. When Paul wrote the quote above he knew what he was doing, at the least from a mental health perspective. But beyond that, he seems to be aware that you determine your life. He never used the term but he was setting out a Law of Right Thought. A man called James Allen wrote:
A noble character . . . is not a thing of favor or chance, but is the natural result of continued effort in right thinking. . .As A Man Thinketh
A principle echoed through Paul and then Allen?
You’ll recall my friend Dr David Hawkins? How he and his team spent years studying thought, energy, and the correlation. How he measured the energy within certain states of being and in certain thoughts. That the likes of shame, guilt and apathy vibrate at very low frequencies and joy, gratitude and love are at the opposite end of the scale, vibrating at much higher frequencies. And applying the basic principle of the Law of Attraction, we bring into our lives those things we think about consistently and we become what we think. Happy with that?
If you have come to a place where you hold a low opinion of your self worth, that’s what you think and you have come to a place where you live an apology of a life, then that’s what you get. Misery piles upon misery. I’ve written before about women who, having come from abusive homes go into relationships with abusive, often narcissistic men. Partly because that’s what relationship looks like in their life experience and largely because they cannot believe anyone else would be interested in them. You think ‘low’, you put out ‘low’ energy, you attract back ‘low’.
Or there are people who always feel things are their fault. You know the type? Something goes wrong and their shoulders sag and…’I guess it was my fault’. Often they too are the victims of some form of abuse, have been repeatedly told they are to blame. Thing is, when we know no better we believe it and by the time we should know better it’s a well established pattern in our lives. Then they just attract more blame because, well, having a willing scapegoat in the room is often useful, especially in an age when responsibility is often avoided.
What you believe you get. If you constantly tell yourself ‘I’m better than that’, and hang out for better, you get better than that. Someone said, ‘I didn’t get better’ but think, if you didn’t get the dream partner by thinking ‘I’m better than that’, when offered the potential abuser, realize because of how you thought you stayed out of that abusive relationship, and, hey, didn’t you actually get better?
For those who find their thoughts vibrating at low frequencies it may be a long walk out but it is possible and I do know people who’ve broken free of those thought patterns, and the associated lifestyles, overnight. Like caged birds set free. A little awkward in flight at the beginning but then… However, maintaining positive, high energy thoughts is important and often an act of will. A choice to find good or positive in all situation rather than assume the role of critic. It may mean avoiding old habits, places, TV series, and, yes, even people. The mind can be a fragile thing and easily derailed by a wrong or old thought. Being told it’s not possible you can change, can call everything into doubt so avoid the person who might say that.
There is a Law of Right Thought as much as the other Laws we’ve written about so become the observer of your thoughts, and believe you can control them. Isn’t that meditation? Isn’t that why it’s so difficult, at least until you achieve Grand Master status with fresh orange robes?
Here’s a thing. Have you found that as you try to sit in silence thinking of nothing you actually think of everything! And it often isn’t the nice stuff but rather the things that bring you pain, the aged pains, the long forgotten regrets, quirky fantasies. You are the observer of your thoughts and in meditation you learn to let them go. Not bury them again. Not try to sort them out. Let them go.
After meditating for some years, I began to see patterns of my own behavior. As you quiet your mind, you begin to see the nature of your own resistance more clearly, struggles, inner dialogues, the way in which you procrastinate and develop passive resistance against life. As you cultivate the witness, things change. You don’t have to change them. Things just change.Ram Dass
So in everyday life. We need to be the observers of out thoughts whilst understanding we are not our thought. Rather, our lives become the creation of our thoughts. Understanding this, as the observer we can act to let go of those low thoughts and willfully think higher thoughts. We can defiantly find the good in all situations. Remember, it is how we choose to react that will define the life we live and the person we become. You want a fulfilled life? Not necessarily a life full of luxuries, or surrounded by beautiful people but a satisfying life, a life later defined as ‘a life well lived’? Learn the Law of Right Thoughts.
We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims.Buckminster Fuller
Finally, remember, Hawkins scale progressed upwards until one achieves God Consciousness, the goal of right thinking, perfection and true peace. The zenith of all spiritual paths and the way their writings point. Where Paul aspired to be and I believe reached, like the Buddha.
Yours, wrestling in meditation,