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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Awareness Is Distinct From Mental Activity

Your thoughts may come willy-nilly. They may take you here and there, tossing and turning your emotions, depending on what these thoughts are about. You may find yourself laughing at remembering your niece walking for the first time, every so often plopping down on a padded diapered bottom when she lost her balance, and standing up again, or you may feel pain, or even cry, as you hear the lyrics: Can't live, if livin' is without you... and in the next moment you may be frozen with fear as you wonder how you will pay for your bills at the end of the month.

All of that has been mental activity. There has been little or no awareness, other than awareness of the fact that you felt like laughing, crying, or that you were afraid.

But there was no awareness that you could have had a hand in all of this.

In other words, you could choose where your thoughts were going to take you. You could, therefore, choose whether you wanted to experience the above-described emotions or not. How's that for a good idea?

But in order for that to happen, you would need to begin to bolster this state of awareness, encourage and foster it as much as possible in your daily life in order to make it become second nature. Generally speaking, we are not aware in this sense, generally speaking we do allow our thoughts to come and go willy-nilly, and hence, generally speaking, our lives are lived as though we were leaves in the wind, where we are blown here and there by whatever thoughts we may be harboring, but that we have not chosen.

One of the elements of becoming aware is that you become capable of choosing your thoughts, of choosing what you decide to focus on, and therefore, of choosing - in a much greater way than you do with mere mental activity - the manner in which your life unfolds.

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