“Each person has an average of 60,000 thoughts a day! That’s one thought per second in every waking hour! Amazingly, 95 percent are the same thoughts repeated every day. On average, 80 percent of those habitual thoughts are negative. Unfortunately, our brains are hardwired to pay more attention to negative experiences than to positive ones. That’s right, our brains are designed to take in and register negative experiences more deeply than positive experiences. This served us well—in fact, it was critical for survival—when we were foraging for food centuries ago, paying close attention to anything that might place us in danger, like a saber-toothed tiger. We even have a name for this type of thinking—negativity bias—and it’s not a great prescription for happiness.”
There is a whole lot to digest in those few sentences up above. In this piece you will discover the illusions that are keeping you from experiencing a solid foundation of consistent happiness in each and every day of your life from past, to future, to thinking and you guessed it death.
What is happiness?
The first thing I like to say is that happiness doesn’t really exist, yes there are certain things in life that can make you happy, but to me there a more concrete and sustainable version of happiness and that is bliss.
Bliss is happiness on steroids, an ecstasy and nirvana.
In order to begin to understand how to experience bliss you have to understand how the mind functions. For proverbial use we will say that the mind is simply that where all thinking takes place.
If you remember from the statement above, you will see that we have AVERAGE of 60,000 thoughts per day. So what does this mean?
It’s easy to say that we think a lot. But how about the more sheer and in your face outlook and to say that the mind is addicted to thinking.
The mind is an addict to thought no less than alcoholic is to alcohol or a druggy is to drugs.
So where does all this thought come from?
Nobody really knows the origin from where thinking originates, but one thing is for certain is that every thought in your mind has first and foremost come from the world outside of you.
The second thing is that there are two basic components to why we think.
The number one goal of the mind is to ENSURE its survival.
After all we survival creatures, more on this later.
So basically from the time we are born going through our toddler stages and beyond we have no other choice but to borrow the thoughts of the “adults” and what I mean by borrow is that we cannot think for ourselves because have not established a conscious at those stages so we are relying on everything we learn from the world outside of us.
After all we would not be able to walk, to read, to write, to eat…ect
In order to be able to learn we have to remember. In order to actually be able to put the things that we remember into action, there has to be some sort of anticipation for it until we do it enough until it becomes autopilot.
Now what is memory?
It is past.
What is anticipation?
It is future.
Your using your past to put action into the present for the future.
The mind is a store bank of everything that you have learned in the past so that you can utilize it to survive and in which case if you are alive right this moment, then survival is for the future.
The mind fluctuates between memory and anticipation, from past to future.
“95 percent are the same thoughts repeated every day.”
As you can see here that thinking patterns are repeated day in and day out, showing that past continues to regurgitate itself over and over again.
So why is it that “On average, 80 percent of those habitual thoughts are negative?”
This is where the “POSITIVE” revolution has come to its plateau, to its peak, to its limitation.
For you positive junkies out there brace yourselves. No amount of positive thinking in the world can sustain your happiness, can give you a rock solid foundation of bliss throughout each and every one of your days.
This is not about negativity either, and in fact if your dual nature of positivity is that it relies on negativity as they are two sides of the same coin and that is why positivity is limited.
So how exactly do we obtain everlasting bliss, peace and joy.
The very first basic fundamental start at ever learning to experience bliss and I mean the absolute knowing, with unshakeable certainty is that….
You are NOT your mind.
3 years ago when I started the journey towards my personal growth, I began by reading all the self-help material that I could.
But really what I was doing and the foundation of self help is to strengthen one’s self image, or one’s self-perception.
Again, that is nice experience to life, but cannot sustain the foundation of your happiness.
So the first thing you have to know is that you are not your mind.
So who are you?
Back through time we go, and again when you look at the mind as it functions in past, memory, anticipation and future.
The one phenomena though that does not function in is this present moment. Only thinking has memory and past. Only thinking has anticipation and future.
But when you are utterly present and you can feel your inner body energy, then past and future no longer exist. In the direct experience of this moment, the full body sensation of this moment memory has dissolved and so has anticipation. And what I mean by those dissolving is when you are utterly present you cannot experience memory nor anticipation so it is the experience here which is reality.
So back to the question who are you?
If you are not your mind, which also means that you are not past nor future, then that can only leave one other option which is this moment.
So the question itself is almost an illusion because you are not a who, but a what and that ‘what’ is this moment.
You cannot understand and comprehend this moment with thought. Thought can only understand and only comprehend past and future.
And that is why you are beyond the comprehending mind.
“I think therefor I am not here.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
So the illusion with the positive revolution is says “Just stay more positive, keep feeding your mind with more positive thoughts and that will sustain your happiness.”
But in reality this is just keeping the mind going, it’s just moving right along with those 60,000 thoughts per day of yours, 80% of which are most likely going to be negative to begin with and still cause suffering, and pain.
But why are they negative?
Remember back when I mentioned that we are survival creatures?
That’s right if you are not your mind, it can ONLY be your mind that is afraid of its own death.
But go back to the nature of time and you will see that the past is no longer here, it’s dead and gone forever, and the future is and WILL ALWAYS be unknown, and by that the future is unknowable because it’s not here.
The only thing that we can directly experience is right now. So do you see the trap here with thinking that thinking can sustain your happiness?
You think because we need memory to get around in this world again comes back to survival. And you think that because the future is unknown that “what happens if I don’t survive?” Again which is anticipation because you are alive in this moment.
So if you look at time it is a measurement towards death. So really the future is almost an anticipation to guarantee our survival. But not our survival but the minds survival.
The conclusion here is that thought itself can only keep your mind at its survival, BUT it cannot sustain your happiness.
When you look to the future for freedom, there is no future because you can never directly experience the future then you can only look to the mind which will always cause suffering.
So 80% of thoughts that are negative is not so surprising when you take a look at all of the illusions that our mind creates thinking it will give us happiness.
I have to say I found it quite liberating to realize that the mind creates its own suffering because it has done everything in it’s power to ensure it’s survival.
The fear of physical death, and of mind death are the VERY root cause of suffering.
So no matter what happens going forward always know your suffering is cause from the mind, and the guarantee for its survival.
And what happens when you get rid of inner pain?
You feel it’s opposite which is bliss.
There is only one way to sustain happiness and that is know you are not your mind, you are this moment and to start feeling and experiencing this moment (You) more deeply, more passionately and more vibrantly.
Because we still live in this world, we are still going to use time, to use past, anticipation that is absolutely necessary. So from a measurement standpoint assuming you don’t physical die in the next moment (And future is not guaranteed to anyone) we can use this moment to make it the foundation, the purpose of our lives to let presence happen on a more consistent basis.
That my friends is how you use time rather than for time to use you, increasing the rate at which happiness and at which bliss happens reveals itself to you.