Saturday, December 10, 2011

Identifying with Thoughts

When I speak publicly on the tarot, I make the point that we are not our thoughts. Thoughts are transient and mutable our souls are fixed (from a one-life perspective) and immortal. Since we identify as our thoughts, most people give me strange looks. My point is usually lost in a fog of bewilderment.

I mention this because some evangelicals knocked on my door today. In my opinion, evangelicals are among the rudest humans on the planet. The very idea of knocking on my door to interfere with my spiritual practices demonstrates a hubris even an ego-maniac Leo cannot comprehend. I believe they should be educated regarding their rudeness. However, 90% of the time, I am polite to them. This irritates me. 

Trust me, there is a tie in to the first paragraph in a minute.

So today, I am watching a documentary on Anti-Semetism. They made the statement that the Holocaust was the worst such event ever. This is a statement I took for granted until recently. That statement is rarely made with any qualification. Is it worst due to numbers, brutality, proportion of the population, perniciousness or something else? I can think of Rwanda, Cambodia, the Balkans and Armenian genocides off the top of my head. Is it being 'the worst' a valid statement? I simply don't know but a genocide is never good. Is this statement more of a cultural identity? "We are the most abused?" 

Think about that statement for a moment and its impact. If you buy into that cultural identity, would there be a danger is seeing abuse where there is none? Wouldn't 'owning' that abuse make you fearful, resentful and looking for the next thing to be fearful and resentful about? I am not speaking here of the lot of the Jewish people. I am making a general statement about identifying with a negative belief. 

What I noticed even more is that I accept claims of anti-Semetism with greater ease than I do of racial or gender discrimination. I began to wonder why. Maybe it is because I've seen what I believe to be false claims of those things in my life but I have never seen a case of anti-Semetism in my personal life -- real or imagined. Maybe I accept it more readily because the Jewish people have better PR. I don't know. I do know that the documentary, by an Israeli, seems to be claiming there are much fewer serious incidents than the Jewish culture would have you believe. 

The problem is that you really don't know what is going on if you were not there to witness the incident, even so, opinions vary. Two people witnessing the same incident often have two distinct points of view. 

This is much like the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas issue. All an impartial observer could tell is that one of them was lying or mistaken. Any other viewpoint reflected more of a bias than anything else. Many people took a stand on who was to be believed based on their own political point of view rather than the facts of the case, which amounted to he said/she said at the time. 

So, you ask, why is this a blog post?

Because I've been identifying with a lot of my thoughts of late. Given that I am in a head space that is so utterly negative that it is literally scary, I am identifying with, well, very negative things. 

(The previous sentence was sponsored by the Department of Redundancy Department "When you really have to say it ad nauseum.")

I am thinking of simply noticing the thought and letting it go as in meditation. In order to do that, I am going to duck questions of my well being and mental state when asked by my friends. I am not sure how possible this is but I do know there is a me under all this negativity. 

1 comment:

Atlantic said...

Your post makes a lot of sense. Detaching your self from your thoughts rather than pushing them away seems to be the right way to go. If you want to take this one step further, look up the Tibetan practice of Tonglen - when you have negative thoughts/moods/emotions or just plain old pain, not only do you stop pushing it asay, but you actively pull it in towards you, and invoke everybody else's pain too. Might be worth a try.