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We manifest our thoughts in the world outside our inner experience through our speech, language, and the things we create. The very fact that you can write an article saying WHy our thoughts are not real" means that thoughts are real. Please do more research and experiencing of human consciousness before writing about thoughts and human consciousness. There is Awareness and thought about awareness. Every being that ever appeared to appear had it's experience in Awareness thus some how unknown Awareness is both common and individual. You appear to make some statements that you know are real or true but she at least leaves stuff open to be contemplated.

What if we think of Awareness as a capacity rather than a thing.

Understanding Your Thoughts

Animals are aware but don't have much capacity for reflective awareness. Here awareness is relative. Maybe Awareness or Capacity, although not things proper per se are ever present. In deep sleep even though we are not knowingly aware if certain not known things happen something might wake us without knowing what it was awareness has the capacity to somehow be aware and we awaken. Thus the Capacity of awareness is somehow here all along.

Anyway I don't want to go on until I find if this will actually be posted or not but the point I wanted to make is that it seems your pride in knowing that you know what is real was effected by this article so you ended up saying that what you say is real but that what she says is not. Avery common response and not to be ashamed of by any means.

I do it to.

Your Answer

Ok, the words or thoughts that appear ed to be here got posted so I'll continue. Is it real or true that only what can be known can be real? We know that Awareness and Capacity have to be real but it's not necessary to know what they are. Just as we don't always know our "own" abilities. To me this is what makes contemplation so interesting since it is open and inconclusive but able to reveal possibilities and seeming realities that can be revised. These thoughts here are not known to me. They just appear and I write them down but I don't have to conclude they are real since no one may ever read them and I will surely forget them.

Why wouldn't it be the Capacity or Awareness that they are appearing in and that yours are appearing in that is real even if not objectively known? It could be that Capacity and Awareness is real but not owned and not known. Not only individual and not only common but open to being either or both as one.

Like "being" can be given or can form out of Open Capacity like a fractal. I've studied a lot of Nonduality and the two schools of expression lineages that get me the most direct awareness are that of Nisargadatta and Rupert Spira. Doing mantra really seems to be somehow helping, I guess by throwing a wrench into my background assumptions that are always running on their own momentum in the background that "I" know what "is".

Nisargadatta and now Ramakant highly recommend doing mantra and they say it doesn't HAVE to be the secret lineage mantra but can be something like I am Brahman Brahman I am. Or I am sky sky I am. Or open I am or whatever. I like Brahman because it includes the traditional Om sound in it. It's like saying I am the supreme free unlimited capacity I am. To do it is to fall in love with being open love. Do it as often as you can remember to and it will open you to the unknown presence.

It may take a while before you notice you are truly being yourself for the first time and you wonder why you don't always notice this. I don't really expect anyone to be convinced but if you investigate Nonduality you may connect. There are many great speakers and once you become aware of it you almost can't help but want to share it. Some others don't but many that do also give freely plenty or all of their teachings for free online so you only need to pay if you feel you must take up their personal time. This is true because that is false.

This is hot because that is cold. I am this because because I am not that. I am who I am because I am not who i am not. With non duality you mean: well is hard to put it into words right? Because words get a meaning by contrasting it to another word. Tom is not bad or good, but a mix between both. This is still duality, but not a fixed one, that tries to separates values completely. You let the good and the bad be more in contact. Non duality would be: Tom is I experience Without objectifying what you experience?

Without giving it a fixed meaning to it, that you can apprehend? But only experiencing it as it is? If I am "correct" with my thoughts on non duality.

You Are Not Your Thoughts

Doesn it feel vertigionous to you? You somehow loose control, if you don t objectify. Or you loose your structure, your limits. Or you loose your compass. Because you somehow know what you need to do because you know what you need to avoid. It also feels reassuring to KNOW who you are. As if it where a big sustancial meaning that keeps fixed and protects you from unavoidable constant change. I am pretty obsessed with the latter knowing myself. I am however attracted to non duality because I feel it might feel liberating and richer. But I fear it might be to extreme to my current mindset, and that it could disarray me.

Why are you attracted to it? We draw conclusions from our thoughts like assumptions,self image and mental health issues depending on the thought we choose to obsess with. This piece of writing reads more like poetry than a magazine article. Not a negative criticism or anything. Just sayin' :- Cheers. Whilst I agree and embrace the concepts discussed I cannot help feeling some recognition of the origins of these concepts is incumbent on the writer. I smiled when I saw the copyright note at the bottom of the page - Nancy do you not feel it would have been more honest to acknowledge mindfulness and the ACT approach as a therapeutic approach developed by Steve Hayes and others from an ancient basis in Buddhism?

This sounds like one of my freshman year philosophy papers. Not bad. Just not a very polished or thought-provoking article, in my opinion. It's very verbose and probably could have been summed up in a meme. Keep in mind, if no one wants to read it all they way through, does it exist? I would agree with you. The article isn't as thought provoking as one would expect. Even these thoughts aren't real despite having written them down and out in an article. She is hilarious. I think she has a point many readers are missing here.

Granted, it's not predigested into a form that is easy to absorb, but that's sort of the point too. Suggest approaching this starting from 'cogito ergo sum', for some extra mindfk. The quantum physics people do not agree. And just because you haven't seen something, does not mean it does not exist.

Thoughts are just as real as any other internal process of body and mind. The idea that if we ignore a thought it will go away is not helpful. Denial is not a healthy choice other than in the very short term. Thoughts that have been pushed away will burst through eventually but over time they may well have become distorted and almost impossible to make sense of, better to attend to them and reflect on their meaning than to try to make them vanish. I agree with Modal Roberts- thoughts have contents or refer to meanings.

How can you say they are not real just because when they are inside one's head no one sees them? Thoughts are carriers of meanings.

How Your Thoughts Change Your Brain, Cells and Genes | HuffPost Life

Did you ever notice that all thoughts involve a relationship to a supposed "own "I"? Or to some supposed "own" being of the object? The being of this "own" "reality" is only a product of thought. Maybe it's more like that we are owned by this concept of and about being. It's a belief in the known. Just like an image in a movie passing on a screen which has no substance itself.

The substance is the film or the screen or the tv or whatever. We have spent our whole lives convincing ourselves that what is and what we are is what is known. It takes a fair amount of looking close or doing mind differently to notice with conviction that we are not limited to what thoughts the capacity to think think and believe is the case. After all we are often wrong about what we think about ourselves and things. Haven't you ever thought something negative about yourself or someone and found later that it wasn't real? I submit that we are the unlimited open Capacity first but don't notice it because it is covered with our concepts of what is real.

Franklin Merrel Wolff is a great philosopher that covers this in great detail in his "Philosophy of Consciousness Without an Object". There is a whole "society" based on his writings. There is a guy named Fenner that also take a western philosophy approach to nonduality. Hell, the University of Virginia has a whole course on nonduality. Even Jesus referred to this when he said "Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven and the rest will come ".

There is nothing more real or beautiful than the sense of oneness that can appear out of nowhere and one grows in it's conviction as being real always now. I mention sources in some comments above. There is only one "own" and it is not owned. And you love it. The Selfless Self. The potential or Capacity to open is with us all this is why psychological healing can occur. I realize it may look like I have made some conclusions but this is what language and thought do to us.

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As you say, thought is a Capacity process and it's contents or products appearing as separate thoughts such as the separate "I" or "my own" self if not examined will keep arising to color every experience and denial that there is another way of opening beyond this assumption that the "I" thought is real just because it keeps appearing is limiting and can end up turning into depression if you believe this thought is real. Look at the world and all the negativity that belief in thoughts generates all because we want to be right.

But who is right really? The Earth is no longer flat. I'm getting free. I hope you will too. I am now aware of the bliss of being absolutely free at times and it's deepening as the conviction grows. For most of us it is gradual but it takes close examination. As I pursue the practice and study of Nonduality more and more of what they all say is coming clearer.

Nothing is more valuable than to be free of all known things. Free of All assumptions. The idea that that thoughts are not "real" is helpful in eliminating guilt about thinking "bad" thoughts and allowing us to explore ideas while secure in the knowledge that this is not "evidence" of our depravity and does not contribute to bad actions in the world. Noting thoughts, and even peacefully exploring the if we wish, helps us understand life and actually reduces any tendency to obsess about ideas or get caught up with them.

Barbara's comment is exactly what I took away from this article. While I disree with the idea that "thoughts are not real" when applied to everything, it will comfort me during times when those "bad thoughts" creep into my head. I usually spiral into a pit of anxiety and question my goodness as a human being at those times, just for thinking of such things.

If the thought shoved its way into my head, something that happens to everyone and not just me, then I can release my grip on the idea that a bad thought's presence reflects on me as a person if I don't acknowledge it in any meaningful way. This should make my life a lot easier if I can manage to remember it. The good: the important insight that thoughts about x are not numerically identical with x, and a thought alone does not create or directly influence reality outside of the thinking.

Recognizing these facts can be of great benefit to people who are in one way or another struggling with the ways their thoughts do or do not relate to the things those thoughts are about. This value of this insight should not be overlooked or lost in the criticism. The problematic: a Cartesian style 'ghost in the machine' metaphysics with an internal world that is detached from and different in kind than the external world, to which each individual has complete, accurate, and unique access, with libertarian free-will thrown into the mix.

Empirically, this view of mind overlooks the intimate connections between what are commonly categorized as 'mind' and 'body', pre-reflective and unconscious cognition, the fact that our thoughts and perceptions are influenced by the external world, and in turn influence our behavior in that world.


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Pretty much every point made faces significant philosophical difficulties, which have been at the heart of philosophy of mind for the past four hundred years. The post is also completely unclear what the words 'thought' and 'real' mean. They seem to be used in somewhat different and incompatible ways throughout. This is no good, given how central they are to the whole post. In short, and insightful point could have been said much better, but as it is, more problems are created than corrected. A thought of a thing with a name, just a concept, a model, oversimplified, distorted, unreal, but with every thought we believe it all the more, forgetting to pay attention to the real thing itself, enamored with our cleverness, creating fantasy dreamlands, until we are completely out of touch with the direct experience of "reality" yet another concept , and we wonder why we make so many silly mistakes, create epic dramas, cause pain, and end up blaming some other "thought, thing with a name, or concept", who often turns out to be our most cherished loved-one, on the receiving end of our endless wrath.

Thank goodness for patience, forgiveness, and love. May you never mistake your thoughts for reality. Terrible article full of errors. Read Eckhart Tolle's the power of now and cop yourself on you she-hulk! Thoughts are the conceptual counterparts of sense-perceptual realities, in short, they refer to the meaning of the things that we see.


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  • So there is sense-perceptible realities and there are conceptual realities or the meaning of things. The fact that you say "We are aware of our thoughts, so in that sense they are real. Meanings exist within yourself and outside your own awareness Thoughts are information like everything else in the universe, the concept of reality it too old. No thought has any power. You have power. And when you identify and believe in the thought you give power to the thought. It is the thinker of the thought that gives power to the thought.

    Can anybody catch the thinker of the thought? You have too look! You assume this is a fact. But here in Satsang it is questioned:. The problem I see is that a "thought" is generated by an indiviual's energy from the brain. However, once in existance, it can be given to another person by voice or written text and has potential energy. This transfer suggests to me that the "thought" exists, whether it be something as energy or beyond our conception.

    If the "thought" has been generated by electro-chemical energy in our brains, and energy cannot be destroyed, then this "thought" can only be transfered. This ability to transfer thoughts has to be considered. The thought must be something different than Plato's forms, but something similar.

    What if we held lightly the idea that our thoughts are not ours, nor our parents thoughts who have mostly influenced us. What is thought? And if we don't know what thought is, how can we know where it really comes from? When a new idea comes to mind suddenly, from where did it originate?

    Why are our personalities unique? We don't know what "intelligence" is but we do measure it, and how is it different from one person to the next? Personality, thought, intelligence, talent I don't think our minds are ours at all. We can choose to give attention to thoughts or not and that will shape our lives, but my question is still If my thoughts are not mine, then who am I?

    Thoughts are real because all our beliefs come from our thinking patterns. Everyone has different realities based on beliefs they have in their minds. If someone thinking that they can do something , they'll do it. If someone thinking they can't do something , he will fail. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart. We distinguish between thoughts and ideas , and, unsurprisingly, there are verbs in English for producing both.

    The usage of these verbs, however, is extremely imbalanced: think is, of course, a fundamental part of our vocabulary and is very frequently used, but ideate is not. Design , 9 October This is particularly true for the human-centered design process — empathize, define, ideate , prototype, test — as outlined by the Institute of Design at Stanford, also known as "the d. Smart is an Old English-derived word; intellectual is a Latin-derived word. Like most synonyms, they overlap rather than duplicate meanings. The greater emotional distance of many Latin-derived words in English makes intellection a perfect term for dispassionate analysis, and has been used in theological writing and literary criticism for centuries:.

    The severall opinions of philosophers concerning the manner how intellection is wrought or produced. But time and again in her first two essay collections, Against Interpretation and Styles of Radical Will , she argued for a more sensuous, less intellectual approach to art. It was an irony lost on no one, except perhaps her, that she made those arguments in paragraphs that were marvels of strenuous intellection.

    Outside of these contexts, intellection serves a way of emphasizing thought or thinking in a positive way and contrasting it with the alternative:.

    How Your Thoughts Change Your Brain, Cells and Genes

    It induces solipsism, selfishness, and outright rudeness. As such, quantum theory has opened the door to a noetic , mind-based universe. Reality, we would infer, is mind-made. While-out-of-body experiences have the character of a perceptual illusion albeit a complex and singular one , near-death experiences have all the hallmarks of mystical experience, as William James defines them passivity, ineffability, transience, and a noetic quality.

    Noetic is also used in connection with the supernatural: the former astronaut Ed Mitchell founded a center for the study of paranormal phenomena and consciousness called the Institute of Noetic Sciences. Someone recently asked if people actually understand my columns. I don't understand them sometimes. I attempt to be noetic , but can often come off as verbose and obtuse, if not borderline lugubrious. Until then, I'm doing my best to be compunctious. Samuel Johnson defined the word this way in Now, brother of Clarence, how like you our choice, That you stand pensive , as half malcontent?

    My leisure serves me, pensive daughter, now. My lord, we must entreat the time alone. The Latin word for brain was borrowed into English whole: cerebrum can refer either to the front part of the brain that is believed to be where thoughts occur or more generally as a synonym of brain itself. Consequently, its use is sometimes distinctly technical:. Such exercise may well increase aerobic capacity, as these investigators have convincingly demonstrated, but does it stimulate cerebration or prevent boredom?

    Although the coining of a neologism is abundantly appealing, I cannot claim the word "feminal" as a product of my own cerebrations. Nolan is now one of the greatest and most inventive movie technicians. He also lists the Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges near the top of the people who influenced him, which signals his taste for cerebration , and can be seen in some of his earlier movies, like Memento and Insomnia. But the most Borgesian quality in Nolan's work is his cool detachment from the world he describes. One impediment to greater usage of cerebration is its similarity to celebration , which can make it easily misunderstood.

    And ratiocination is a favorite word used to describe him :. One of the characters in the Ritchie film remarks that there is a fragility beneath all Holmes's logic and ratiocination , and it's true.

    Downey's character is as needy as he is superior. Those cases -- and Sherlock Holmes's ratiocinations -- are fated to remain forever untold, mentioned in Dr. Watson's chronicles but never explained beyond these baroque references, with their nearly comic grotesqueries. The adjective ratiocinative is occasionally encountered in similar contexts:.

    Early in ''Sherlock Holmes'' — and also again, later on — the famous sleuth demonstrates his ratiocinative powers in a way undreamed of by his creator, Arthur Conan Doyle.