Monthly Archives: May 2013

If we’re focused on what we’re not doing we can miss what we could be doing

I haven’t written for a while.  I felt like I had nothing to share, nothing to contribute to all the amazing stuff that’s out here.  I’d never before had my stuff so out there in the Social Media for all to see and read or not to read which felt horrible, like a rejection.  So I didn’t write.  I reposted other’s writings.  I innocently thought that all those wonderfully talented “invisible” people have so much more insightful, profoundly deep stuff to say.   So I stopped writing.

I just realized all of this and then, almost just as quickly, I realized that I’ve been stopping myself from doing something that I enjoy based on a false impression of me that I made up!  Seems that I had convinced myself that I wasn’t good enough and that thought just as quickly set up a wall of self-doubt about what I was good at.  My mood took a dive and I spent a great deal of time acting as if I was fine. Continue reading

About LIfe, Crazy Thoughts and “Evil” Forces by Elese Coit

I’m sharing this as I found that this read like a really simple way to explain something that we all encounter, our own “crazy” thoughts.  Most often we feel as if we need to do something about these thoughts and begin a cycle of what seems like paths that run endlessly to no where.  I hope you enjoy.  If there are any questions, please ask. 
About Life, Crazy Thoughts and “Evil” Forces
by Elese Coit (Notes) on Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 6:16pm

I recently made a new Facebook friend named Kristian –who you are about to meet. Kristian friended me, I asked him why and we began talking about The Three Principles. Messaging back and forth.

Lead by his thoughtful questions,  Kristian and I reflected together about “the voices in our heads,” obsessive thoughts, why we all get scared and how we stay safe.
I asked him if I could share our chat here on the blog. He said yes.  At first I thought I would edit this to be shorter, but I’ve decided not to.  So…
Here is the unedited dialogue between this wise fellow and myself exploring the nature of thought in the context of The Three Principles.

Kristian Thalin A question, do you think there are “evil” forces that can control peoples action or is all that just thought? 
For example, sometimes people do these really bad things and say stuff like “that was a voice in my head that told me to do it” … Therefore I thought that is very scary for me at times. “What if I suddenly …” and then the worst possible thing that I can come up with like kill someone etc..
Have you ever met one with these kind of unwanted almost obsessive thoughts? If so, what makes you think they become obsessive when you don’t even want them in the first place… This is where I get confused with our “free” will.  Thank you Elese, All my love, Kristian

Elese Coit Hi Kristian, How wonderful to meet you. What a thoughtful place to reflect. Here is what I have found most helpful to know about thought. See how this lands for you and let me know.
1. Everyone has every kind of thought.  The most beautiful to the most terrible. The Principles do not say you will not have “evil” or “obsessive” types of thoughts. They say: you will feel the content of your thinking, whatever it is.  Notice in your own life and see if this is true.
2. Everyone has had and continues to have (daily!!) thoughts that they ignore.  We ignore “I could eat that whole cake!” even though we have the thought. So, we do know how to let thoughts come without making them a big deal (even awful ones) and simply allow them to pass. I find that is nice to remember about ourselves. If you can find one example in your experience, you have established that thought cannot take you over. That is what I call free will.
3. When thoughts come alive in our 5-senses, we feel them very intensely and in full 3-D.  This feels compelling, true and real. And it is. However, most people feel compelled to do something about them to stop the feeling. That means they will act on the outside of themselves in order to get rid of a feeling they don’t like: strike out, get revenge, eat the cake… etc. Most people will do this and will truly feel they had no choice to do anything else. Now this is going to sound a bit tricky, but see if you can see that makes sense to people — but only if feelings are coming from outside of us! (Which they are not).
So here is the REAL KEY: Once you know that your feelings are coming from thinking, and reflect the content of thinking alone, you do not need to act on the outside world in an attempt to rid yourself of a feeling. The more you understand where the feeling is coming from, the less you need to do “out there” to resolve it. (In fact, the less you need to do to resolve it at all. That includes improving on yourself.)
4. Remember, all feelings WILL and in fact MUST change. It is the nature of feelings. There is nothing you can do to stop yourself getting a new idea (and the feeling that will go with it) at any point.
If you want to test out number 4 for yourself, try to take one feeling, any feeling maybe anger or rage and see what you would have to do to keep that feeling going -without a break in the feeling at all.
Most people cannot last one minute with a single feeling. Within seconds they are thinking “I’m hungry” or “how long have I been doing this?” and the feeling they are trying to sustain will simply subside.
This shows you just how much natural feelings are moving along with the thoughts behind them.
So how does this help you to trust that is what is happening and know that it is the Principles that keep you safe, not the content of your thinking? Love, Elese
Elese Coit P.S. and YES, just last week I was totally enraged and wanted to hit someone. I told a friend of mine in the Domestic Violence prevention unit, I could totally see how wives beat husbands and husbands beat wives. I could easily have been one in that red hot moment.
Luckily, I told her, “The Principles kept ME safe because I know what is happening to me — what they did not do was keep me “safe” from having the thought in the first place!” Does that make sense?

Kristian Thalin
Elese, all I can say right now is WOW! I acually found myself smiling with a deep sense of relief as I was reading your answer – thank you so much!
What you say just make perfect sense Elese, becouse if we think that our emotions really comes from something or someone then there is no wounder that one might think that we are controlled by something, when we in fact are feeling our own thinking! Thank you for helping me see that  Im starting to realize more and more that there can’t simply be any “evil”, it’s rather a absense of god! In the same way that cold is the absense of heat and darkness is the absense of lightness like Einstein was on about. The way you came across with it made it very clear to me!
For me it feels like that the more we start see our true identity, the less scary our thinking gets simply becouse we just think we need to feel fearfull of it. I mean just look at a little baby, it does not get scared of spiders or snakes or even the most brutal horror movie becouse they don’t even know what it is! It’s all conditioning!
Or am I all lost when I say that we are learned to fear most things that we are scared of Elese?

Elese Coit Kristian, Glad to be in this reflection with you
As to your last question, here is what I think we learned: we all learned to “attribute.” We had a feeling, looked for the reason for it, and then just pointed to something outside ourselves and said, “this made me feel …”
We learned to attribute this way because no one knew any different. I certainly didn’t before I came across the Principles and began to reflect on what they mean in practice…
So what we attribute to is random. Which makes sense because no one is afraid of the same things right? It’s kind of amazing if you think about it, that we have never noticed this is the reason!!
Anyway, my favorite way of talking about this is “No one can make you feel …X”* Nothing can make you feel it, but you can attribute feeling to something and believe yourself. That’s not something wrong with us, it’s just a misunderstanding…
does that help as you reflect on your question? Love, Elese *(With thanks to Mara Gleason who put that on the white board when teaching atSupercoach)

Kristian Thalin
Elese,  First of all I want you to know that your amazing kindness and wisdom means so much to me
The way you explained how we “attribute” makes perfect sense to me! I can really see how this missunderstanding makes one think that there is something wrong with us, when in fact there is nothing wrong at all!
Elese, what do you do when you get caught up with negative feelings from your thoughts?
Sometime I find myself feeling sad but I could not identify what kind of thought that caused it and I tend to get into this strange gap between stress and wellbeing.
Once again thank you Elese! Love, Kristian

Elese Coit
Hi Kristian, Hm, a question on this one … tell me, why would you want to “identify” the thought that caused the feeling?  Love, Elese

Kristian Thalin
Hi Elese, It’s funny how we give meaning to meaningless things. The moment I read your response a statement made by Einstein came up in my head:  “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.”
Identifying the thought that caused the feeling would be like identifying the tiny object on the road that caused a flat tire on a bike. Focusing on that object will not do me much good…
I guess we’re so used to focus on our mistakes so our habitual thinking kicks in.
Anyway, thank you Elese for questioning my thought and helping me look at it from a new angle! Love, Kristian

Elese Coit Wonderful. No one could say it better. Even Einstein.

Ask the Deeper Question, by Judy Sedgeman

New post on Peace of Mind Matters

Ask the deeper questions

by Judy Sedgeman

A flood of questions follows horrifying actions like the Boston Marathon bombing. Who is to blame? How did it happen? Why? Could we have stopped it? Can we keep it from happening again? We analyze each incident with an excruciatingly complex compilation of details. We hope for answers from the accumulation of minutiae.

Shouldn’t we also ask the deeper questions, the questions that would generalize speexploding mindcific events to insights about the universal nature of fury, hatred, alienation, dissociation in human beings? Have we taken seriously the critical need to truly understand and address mental health, not only here, but across the globe? What erupts within the human heart and mind to inflame the rage to kill?  Could anything inhibit the rabidity that fuels terror? Could people ever see how to create and sustain peace and stability?

In order to fully prevent — to eradicate — anything, the source must be clearly identified. Until the root cause is certain, prevention is randomly effective and situational. For example, even though it had been known since the Roman Empire that sewage must be diverted to avoid widespread sickness in concentrated populations, no one knew what was intrinsic to sewage that was the actual cause of illness until the germ theory of disease was proven in the mid-1800’s. Then we knew how the primary source of illness could contaminate and disseminate in many ways. Solving the spread of the one true source was the answer that allowed us to begin to control diseases.

As we think about cruelty, violence, evil now, we are like the ancient Romans. We want to keep them away from populations, so we look after the fact to figure out how to do that better. We take it for granted that dealing with those dark aspects of human behavior is inevitable, so we keep looking for more ways to wall them off and push them farther from us — more security, more barricades, more restrictions, more suspicion, more weapons. We are especially dismayed in the face of obvious ambiguity, of situations like the Boston bombers and other youthful terrorists around the world.  Those who grew up around the perpetrators often tell us that they were good kids, good friends, happy guys. How could that be?  Does the potential for terror lurk even in the apparently nice people we generally like? Why would seemingly intelligent, athletic, friendly young men turn into ruthless, remorseless, mass killers? What is the contaminant? How do we keep it away?

In the more than 30 years I have been working to extend the reach of the Principles of an inside-out logic that explains the whole range of human experience, I have wondered  why some central questions have not generally registered with people. For example:

  1. If  the causes of human behavior are external, why wouldn’t the same external forces create the same reactions in everyone exposed to them?
  2. Since common sense shows us that people respond differently to the same external circumstances, why aren’t we looking for the mediator that explains that?

Questions that reach below the surface of our prevailing assumptions easily get lost. It is the history of humanity to live within the boundaries of the theories about life that are most widely accepted in our eras. So, before the discovery of germ theory, people accepted frequent contagion and widespread outbreaks of disease as normal “acts of nature”. Now, we see them as abnormal and we know what to look for to bring them under control.

At this point in our general understanding of human psychology, the prevailing theories all suggest that life happens to us, and everything we think and feel and do is generated by things outside ourselves. Without realizing it, we see ourselves as perpetual victims of circumstances, both good and bad. We consistently look for causes outside ourselves to explain effects within ourselves. Who or what should we blame or thank for our experience of life? He made me mad. You make me cheerful. I’ll be happy if … Of course, he or she is this or that — look at his or her family/schooling/background/environment/friends/religion… Because we empower all the stuff in our life, we are always struggling with things outside of our control.

What if we are missing a crucial link in our understanding of ourselves? What if we generate our experience from within, by the thoughts that flow through us, mediated by the level of awareness we have that we are the thinkers of our own thoughts and thus the creators of our own experience of reality? What if the power is within each person on earth to recognize how thinking works and see how to discriminate wise thinking from destructive thinking? What if this knowledge is intrinsic, but not always understood, and therefore easily awakened? What if the universal source of all of our responses to the external world is the way we hold and use our own thinking about it?

Reflect for a moment. A mind at peace does not, could not, conceive violence as a viable action. A mind at peace creates ease, connection to other people, compassion and engagement in life. A mind in turmoil will conceive and act on whatever thoughts seem to offer relief from inner torment. A mind in turmoil creates insecurity, righteous self-absorption, alienation, hatred and disregard for life.

If part of early education, just as ordinary as math and reading, were a true understanding of how our own minds, how all human minds, work to create our experience, young people would know early on how to use their feeling state to navigate their own thinking. They would recognize which thoughts make sense to guide them into action, and which thoughts to leave alone. They would not be frightened by any of their thinking, regardless of how bizarre or destructive, because they would understand that all thoughts are fleeting images created within our own minds that have no meaning beyond our level of commitment to them. They would live at peace within themselves. When we are at peace inside, there will be peace in the world.

Cut off from innate wisdom, a lost thinker experiences isolation, fear and confusion. This is why there are so many atrocities throughout the world.  Sydney Banks, The Missing Link, p 83.