April 17, 2015 9:09 AM
“I am mad at you.”
How often do people say this? How often do they think it?
When our body dies, we (as a Soul) detach from what we used to think we were: our body and mind.
In an almost identical manner, when we step through the Gateless Gate, we detach from what we used to think we were: our thoughts.
After my illumination experience, I put a lot of emphasis on thoughts (calling them Hortons, as in the cartoon elephant of children’s books). Thoughts were (are) no more real than cartoon elephants. Over the course of those three weeks, I realized how strongly I had been identified with my thoughts. I had subconsciously believed I WAS my thoughts.
With that in mind,
I am mad at you.
My THOUGHTS are mad at your THOUGHTS.
(Even if you are mad at someone’s actions, those actions originally derived from their thoughts.)
“My thoughts are mad at your thoughts,” then becomes:
My CARTOON ELEPHANTS are mad at your CARTOON ELEPHANTS.
How silly is that? How absolutely crazy—no, insane—is that? Yet:
- Wars are started because of something no more real than cartoon elephants.
- People commit murder because of something no more real than cartoon elephants.
- Loving relationships end because of something no more real than cartoon elephants.
The primary Emptiness practice is this: If you can experience it, it isn’t you (because there are two things there: you and that which you are experiencing).
Just like we-as-the-Soul detach at physical death from what we used to think of as “me” (the body), so too can we-as-Awareness detach from what we used to think of as “me” (the thoughts/cartoon elephants).
Everything you think of as “you”—your past, your story, your roles, your opinions, your values, …—is really not you. All those imaginary things are just a bunch of thoughts, no more real than a horde of cartoon elephants. Why? Because you experience your thoughts (so they can’t be “you”).
You’ve often heard me say that sometimes I contract (feel my sense of self growing smaller and denser) when I take my mind too seriously. What I really mean is:
Sometimes I take these stupid, imaginary, cartoon elephants that only exist in my head way too seriously.
Now go watch two minutes of the news and see if you don’t recognize the insanity: Practically everyone takes cartoon elephants too seriously.
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