Monday, 12 November 2012

Looking Beyond our Thoughts

Cartoon by Leunig
3 am Wake Up, Leunig

Did you ever wake up in the early hours of the morning and feel that the whole world was resting upon your shoulders. That, no matter which way you turned, everything looked dark and miserable. In those wee hours our minds can be so troubled and full of foreboding thoughts that no matter how we might try to look at it, all seems dark and there is a sense that nothing can ever turn out right.

We fall back into an uneasy slumber and when we waken again later that morning there is a lingering sensation that something awful 'happened' or is about to 'happen', but it is also mixed with a dawning sense of relief. As the sun begins to rise and we pull ourselves together for the coming days work, the premonitions and our previous sense of futility from the night before begin to fade into insignificance and before long these disappear like morning mist, swallowed up by the distractions and concerns of life.

For me, Leunig's wonderful cartoon encapsulates this little scenario most pithily. It is one instance of how we can take our thoughts very seriously in one moment and yet in another  feel very differently. What does this tell us about our minds and the nature of our thoughts?

If we can accustom ourselves to being mindful of our thoughts at least some of the time, we can soon begin to see just how illusory and baseless they actually are. Upon first observation this may not seem very significant but in fact realising this as a fact can completely change the way we react to thoughts and subsequently the way we live our lives...

Read more in Never Not Ever Here Now
Books by the Writer

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