Meditation and Thinking

all thinking is a construct – a projection. The internal dialogue itself is imagining a conversation that will never take place. When we say were thinking, it’s almost always imagining ourselves interacting with the result of our thoughts in the future.

even now as I’m writing this – I’m imagining myself reading it tomorrow and wondering if it makes sense. My current thoughts are wondering what my future self will think about this letter. Will it make sense? Is the grammar right? To think about how to form the words in our thoughts, we must imagine ourselves reading what we are writing.

Craftsmen also do this. A sculptor isn’t “thinking”about what they are doing now… There imagining what the statue will look like as they strike the chisel now. And even striking the chisel now is based on every former strike and how the marble of similar shape split and averaging those former experiences together. It’s a memory and fantasy.

And you don’t need drugs to see this this is what it means to be awake. Being awake is recognizing you never were even aware that there was a present to be in. And when you meditate and just get aware of your actual thoughts instead of thinking about how your future self (the fake self that is a dream of the future) will read this… You are present in the present!

You’re not in the future or in an imaginary person’s head, hearing your words, looking at the statue, writing the surfboard you’re shaping, or playing the game your coding. But most of our thoughts are imagining what the future would be like if we took the current course of action. Very rarely do we stop to ask the question, “what is happening right now?”

Thinking is fun, and necessary, and addictive, and unavoidable, but you can take a break from it if you want to. If you don’t control your thoughts – they control you. This is the state that most of us are perpetually living in. If I’m honest, I think I’ve only been fully present 10 or 15 times in my life. This is new for me – but I can finally see it.

God is the “I am” (the now, the present) because his thoughts are not our thoughts… He is perfectly aware and awake! Meditation is medication – it is awareness and being present, just like God. And we we are in the present like God is, we can actually meet him as he is – rather than as the imaginary results of our current thoughts or actions. We don’t try to impress him, we don’t try to avoid him, we simply experience and enjoy him. This is what it means to be present with the Lord.

Meditation is simply being awake and aware. It lets you control your thoughts and simply relax your brain. This is why people use drugs, or by fancy houses, or tried to “win”, or seek to be loved… They think they will finally get to rest if they can just achieve the thing they are chasing.

But you can rest right now. It is free – and it is within you. It was placed there by God himself.

Meditate. It is everything you are after. Calm your mind. Stop it with the silly ambitions and fantasies. Stop it with the stupid regrets and bitterness. Be present.

The Lord our God is one. He is present. He  is the truth (that sets you free from your chattering mind.) he is the truth because he is literally the truth. He is truth personified. He is the present now, not your thoughts – the mind you can’t quiet. Quiet your mind and you will see him face-to-face in the present – here and now.

Jesus is the life because you’re not in the dream. You’re finally living right now and aware of the fact that you are alive – and not asleep – not distracted with your thoughts but just present and alive. Most of us move through life constantly dreaming about what would happen if we did this, or how things would be if we never did that, or who we might be if it weren’t for so-and-so. This is all a useless waste of time. We have no idea what it would be like or what it could be like because very rarely have we ever actually been.

all sin is sin because it keeps you trapped in the mind – “I’m going to do X because later it will make me feel like Y…”. this is the trap. This is what sin does – it makes you focus on a past that never happened, or future that never will. You focus on your desires more than your reality. It literally is a lie.

Let’s take a look at how this works out in some of our favorite sins:

  • greed – “if I have this, then imagine how people will look at me and go wow…”
  • Vanity/ambition/pride – all of these are imagining or remembering how you think you will feel in your imagined future, or how you used to feel or would have felt in the past. You looking forward to a future that will never happen, or looking back into a past you cannot return to. And it keeps you from doing anything in the present.
  • Vengeance –  “one day I’ll make you feel pain” but you can stop feeling the pain right now by simply being present and accepting the truth.
  • Murder – “if I kill you, I’ll feel this way later” but you can never anticipate all the feelings you will have because our imaginings rarely turn out the way we expect them to.

sin is deceitful because it has you stuck in the past that you cannot change or influence, or stuck in a future that will never happen. Sin is simply not being present – it’s being asleep – thinking that “I’ll feel better tomorrow if I do this today…” But it rarely turns out the way you imagine it will.

Sin always over promises and under delivers because sin is simply your imagination. Be awake and present and you might find you have already obtained all you ever wanted or needed. Be still and know that he is God. Then you will know the truth. You will know Jesus, God himself. He represents the truth in your imagined future – if you can take the time to stop and be present with him today.

Thinking is just imagining. Einstein said “imagination is more important than knowledge.” This is true because “knowledge” is just thinking somebody else’s thoughts again, or remembering your own thoughts again. Knowledge itself is a brain bulimia – you’re bringing up the things you’ve already digested but not thinking about how to get closer to the reality that is the core of the thing you’re thinking about.

Imagination is making a “image” of something new. It’s reassembling your experiences together in a new way, a new combination of all your past experiences of the present.

Getting stuck in your knowing – being “right” – is refusing to be present and imagining your former thoughts again. “Knowing” is the opposite of thinking – it is simply the act of remembering your former construct. And if you weren’t present and aware when you had the original thought – you are dwelling on something fake, something you simply imagined, something you once dreamt about and simply want to dream about again.

Wake up O sleeper. Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you…

In the present.

SFTUme002 – God hates sin because it hurts you, not Him.

This is why money is a root of all kinds of evil- not because you have it, but because it has you. YOU aren’t evil when you have money- but chasing money means that evil has you. God hates sin not because he’s offended and sin hurts God- God hates sin because he’s loving and sin hurts you. He hates sin the way a parent hates the sickness that causes their child pain- but we’ve been fooled into believing that God hates sin the way an arrogant man hates offense.  God has nothing of arrogance, or the insecurity that it’s built on. He doesn’t need to protect his Holiness, it’s literally what he’s made of. We can’t cast a shadow on it, much less stain or scratch it with our clumsiness..

this needs to be continued. If anyone cares about hearing about the rest of this – let me know.

 

 

SFTUme001

There’s nothing special about me. I’m not writing this because I think I’m unique and my words deserve to be heard because I’m somehow better equipped than you to do so. And that, paradoxically, is what makes me uniquely qualified. I’m just like you.

I’m unique because I’m recording this. Because I think my life matters enough to be recorded “for posterity.” But I’m no different than you. You could also record your story and then you’d be in the special club called “people that record things for posterity.” As a matter of fact, I’m recording this to tell you that you indeed are unique, just like me, and that your voice needs to be heard. I want to hear it. Your family and friends want to hear it. As long as it’s really you, and not your ego trying to impress us by pretending to be so different that you’re not one of us.

We want your  message if you see the paradox clearly that everyone is special, and therefore nobody is. It’s like Dash said in the movie “The Incredibles,” but he was looking at it through the wrong end of the telescope! He wanted to compete– to beat everyone else and  prove his superiority of speed using others as his measuring stick so he could come out on top. But that’s handing over your identity and your sense of worth to other people, rather than just owning it. It’s as if he couldn’t recognize that he was incredible unless he defeated or conquered other people.

You’re just like me, and I’m just like you, and we’re all positively special and we’re all completely ordinary. Truly unique and absolutely common at once. That’s the paradox we’re supposed to discover.  We’re simultaneously common and unique, and therefore we’re simultaneously both and neither.

It’s been kinda slow to develop in me, but it’s happened over the last few months. I can’t recognize a trigger for it exactly, except that I had finally met all my personal goals. I started a successful business. I got completely out of debt. I published a book.  I have experienced a brush with death and survived. And none of it really matters- I wasn’t happy with my life. I still needed more. I wanted to impress you.

I had a stroke in my mid-forties, and I have pretty much fully recovered. But even with that huge wake-up call I didn’t understand the message until tonight. I had the most amazing epiphany of my life this evening. I was meditating and just trying to sit still and be aware of my own body, my breath,  and sit still. But in trying to sit up straight and still I made the most important discovery of my life about my own soul… the deepest parts of me that make me tick and color all of my perspectives…

I slouch.

I slouch so constantly that standing up straight felt like arching my back.

 

And tonight I realized that the reason I slouch because I always feel unnecessary or useless. I’m constantly tired because I don’t sleep because my mind is racing about ways I can do something to impress you. Truth be known, I’ve never been a huge fan of the guy in the mirror. I never actively hated myself, I just never liked myself either. I was always trying to get the next accomplishment so people would like me, or buy the next thing to distract me from my unhappiness or impress people because I didn’t think I had value for just being me.

But I do. And so do you.

Hold your head high. Stand up straight. You don’t need success or stuff to have value- you’re worth more than anything you’ll ever do or all the things you could ever own.

This is what it’s all about. Embracing this paradox:

You’re exactly the same as me– absolutely unique. All you really need to do to impress us is be yourself.