You are not who you think you are. You are your ability to create thought.
These words point to a truth that will be apparent to anyone who understands the nature of thought.
In my experience, a person can believe that they are confident, powerful and productive, one day. While the next day they feel self-conscious, anxious and experience a plummeting self-esteem.
I think everyone has had the experience of being ‘up’ one moment and ‘down’ the next, when there has been no real change in his or her external circumstance.
Our feelings can change from moment to moment during the day. We can feel happy or sad, frightened or excited, but what are feelings exactly?
A feeling is our conscious awareness of a change in our body chemistry. If we feel hungry, it is a signal to find some food; if we feel love, it is a signal to spend more time with someone; if we feel fear, it is a signal to move away from danger (or be prepared to fight – which will require reaction, not judgement, so the ability for conscious thought is reduced).
The feeling of hunger is a day-to-day experience that most of us don’t question. Our unconscious intelligence senses a biological need and informs our conscious mind, of that need, by means of a ‘feeling’.
Abraham Maslow, in his 1943 paper “A Theory of Human Motivation”, suggested that feelings, or drives, like; thirst, hunger and cold are ‘deficiency drives’. They are all consuming until satisfied. Once our thirst is quenched, we stop drinking; once we are out of danger, we stop running.
Conversely, other feelings are what he refers to as ‘higher needs’. With higher needs, the feelings get more intense the more we feel them; like love, excitement or the ‘need’ to play a musical instrument (for the feeling of satisfaction and joy).
So, the attention of our conscious mind, and its level of cognitive ability, are controlled by our feelings. These feelings are created by the unconscious bio-electrical functioning of our neurophysiology that, for ease of understanding, we could call ‘Thought’.
This means that, to quote Dr. Keith Blevens, “We are always living in the feeling of our thinking”.
Who we think we are is going to change depending on what we are feeling at the time.
As long as we are alive, we have a life energy that digests food, heals wounds, adjusts our heart rate, powers our body and powers our mind. It gives us consciousness, awareness and the ability to create thought.
We can be ‘up’ one moment and ‘down’ the next but the feelings, and the meanings we give them, are not controlled by our circumstances. They are of our own creation. Reality is a creative experience.
I have just looked up the word ‘Illusion’ and I think this is a good definition: “An erroneous perception of reality.”
Living a life based on an illusion is not as good as living life with an understanding of the illusory nature of reality.
Happiness is just one thought away.