Friday, January 8, 2010

just your thoughts, dear

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Thinking, I think, is a little like bowel movements: There's no end to the shit.

And like bowel movements, thinking can elicit all sorts of reactions, from eeeeewwww to ahhhhh.

But bowel movements are a natural function of the human framework, much like breathing. They are just what happens, irrespective of the pros and cons anyone might saddle them with.

And thinking is much the same: It's a human function that only after the fact excites applause or catcalls.

Those who interest themselves in so-called spiritual endeavor often have the good sense to examine their thinking. And sometimes that examination can lead to the notion that thinking is somehow unreliable or naughty or misleading ... a real eeeewww that stands as a barrier to a peaceful life.

But such a point of view is excessively fearful and only serves to add fuel to the flames of uncertainty. While it is true that examining the function of thinking is a good idea for anyone seeking a peaceful life, still, the whole business is better seen from the old Christian perspective: Christians sometimes misquote their bible and say, "Money is the root of all evil." But the correct quote is "The love of money is the root of all evil." It is the attachment to thinking that causes the problems, not the thinking itself. As the bumper sticker suggests, "Don't believe everything you think."

A little girl once asked her mother a question anyone might find useful: "Mom," she said, "what are these voices I keep hearing in my head?" And the mother replied, "Those are just your thoughts, dear." "Oh," said the little girl. And she went about her business.

The fact that thoughts may be a pure torrent, a tsunami of diarrhea, does not mean there is something wrong or unhealthy or unclean about them any more than it means there is something intrinsically good or elevated or laudable. They're just your thoughts, dear.

Like bowel movements, they occur and pass away and the only job for a sensible person is to examine them with a little patience as a means of putting any attachment to them in its place.

Does anyone who took a satisfying shit this morning spend the rest of the day marveling and elevating and philosophizing about the event? Wouldn't we call a person who did this nuts?

Pooping is just one of the things we do.

Thinking is one of the things we do.

Doing is one of the things we do.

It's kind of neat, no matter how much 'profound meaning' anyone might prattle about.
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16 comments:

  1. I think this may go into the category of "One of Genkaku's best posts that I have to be careful with whom I share it." Blogger probably doesn't have a button for that.

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  2. I think I've always known I was full of crap.
    So. Ex-lax. Good thing or bad thing?

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  3. Whether rueful or serious, when people say, "I'm full of crap," there is almost always an accompanying sense that the situation is somehow deplorable. And more than that, uniquely important. Everyone would like to be as pristine as a concert-stage Steinway piano. But this is just crap heaped on the crap they imagine they could be free of.

    As the T-shirt observes, "I am unique. Just like everyone else." And likewise, "I am full of crap. Just like everyone else." The bottom line in Buddhism as I get it is, "Yes, you are full of crap. Now what?"

    Full of crap ... big deal. It's just a matter of what anyone might be willing to do about it or with it. Some grow daisies and some just stink up the living room. Your life, your choice.

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  4. Just woke up and read this post. Excellent way to start the day. Thank you, Adam. Now, off to the bathroom. ;)

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  5. Yes. But... Some of us have a hard time stopping at 'yes'. Why does the poet keep writing or the artist keep painting or dancer keep leaping or the songstress keep singing? It's really ALL crap, in this sense, but... we do what we do, because -- in this moment, it just seems 'right', we are compelled. Ah, crap, what do I know?

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  6. Dee -- Maybe if you can dispense with the 'why' and the 'because,' it won't seem so crappy.

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  7. Yyeah, but... it's the 'whys' and the 'becauses' that have gotten me to this place I'm standing in. Is such a satisfying addiction expected to be dropped cold turkey?! What if the world falls out from under my feet, or something? Or this that just a rumor...?

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  8. Dee-- It's not an intellectual or emotional matter. Just keep up your good practice and you'll find that the place where you are standing is just the place where you are standing. No need to worry about the DT's.

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  9. While engaged in prolonged navel gazing,
    It is hard to avoid seeing crap.

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  10. Hi BH -- No argument from me. Now the question becomes, what do you plan to do about it?

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  11. Ha. I always hated the "bottom" line. :)

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  12. I'll sure try. ((Thanks)) Adam.

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  13. G, "What is crap?", "What is crap?", "What is crap?".

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  14. BH -- Crap is the stuff we all step in and it seems to slow us down and stink things up. Since the habit is long-standing, we need a name for it as a means of communicating and sometimes therefore use the name 'crap.' Another perfectly good name is "enlightenment."

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