In order for the Triad of Spiritual Will, Love and Consciousness to manifest on Earth and in our lives, the understanding of spiritual Purposes, Goals, and Means must be known via our thought. That is, we have to consciously know, which requires mind and thought. Mind is the medium for knowing. It is the realm of knowing, the dimension of knowing. It is the function in us that can know. Yet to understand things, thought is necessary, because though-forms and ideas are the building blocks of knowledge. In other words, we build knowledge through thought and the coherent organization of thought. Wisdom understood in a discussable and practical way must involve thought. Essentially, we need thought in order to understand higher purposes, goals, and the possible ways to practically get there.
Thought is how we formulate understanding and experiences. It is the analysis and mapping of the world. Thought is also creative or directive, for energy follows thought. Thought composes mind. Mind is the sum total and unique organization of thoughts developed. Each of us have unique compositions of thought, carried in our 'mind field'.
Yet, thought is communicated and spread throughout the world, so most thought-form is not just ours, but is shared between many people, many minds. In this way, mind is also shared and can be said to interpenetrate the space between us. Thought is alive, it continues on influencing our life energy and those who accumulate the thought even beyond our physical death. When we physically die, our thoughts carry on, thoughts about our self and the world, and these will possibly be picked up by new generations or be “reincarnated” into someone else.
In fact, this release and accumulation of thought is happening all the time, and is what makes up most people’s reality of self and world. Thought continues on mechanically and with its own inertia, usually controlling our lives, until it is transformed to a more perfect representation of the Truth or into the pure light energy of consciousness, direct knowing. This transformation requires a sacrifice of our attachment to it and our coming into objective observation. From here we can create truer thought and formulate new creative possibilities and uses of energy.
Thought is indeed a powerful reality, but it is not “the real thing.” It is only a representation of reality. It is our map of reality. So we need to gain freedom above and beyond thought, in order to really discover the Truth of life and oneself. Thought is very powerful in life. What we think of life is our own reality of it. Thought is also a creative force in life, and it influences the circumstances of our life. What we believe tends to occur. Thus, to much degree, thought creates reality, because thought patterns reality.
Yet it is not true to say, as some metaphysical philosophies do, that whatever we think and believe will necessarily occur, because this would assume that anyone of us could have full power over everyone else’s reality or manipulate the world by our choosing. If one is starving in the desert, thinking and believing that food will automatically appear may prove to be very disappointing. One does not acquire wealth or happy relationships by thought alone. One is not necessarily enlightened and full of the Spirit by merely believing so. Yet, these “philosophies of mind” have much to teach us about the uses of right thought and believing trust in the benevolence of life.
Positive thinking and strong belief in good has a great influence on our life and the possibilities that can come our way. Right thought and trust in ourselves and in life opens up possibilities and prepares our mind for seeing and accepting these when they come along, where as if we are negative about things and dis-believing in possibilities, then we won’t even see the good when it’s right in front of our face. We can use thought, and we surely have the right, to influence the circumstances around us, creating a life that is both good for us and those around us.
Thoughts are very often connected to three supporting components - belief, desire, and feeling. Not all thoughts and ideas have such connections, but many do. We usually think of these as three different, distinct phenomena, because often one of these components of thought will be much more dominate over the others, so a belief, a desire or a feeling appears to exist in and of itself, but actually all are at least somewhat involved together. Feelings have some belief and desire to them, desire has some belief and feeling to it, and belief has some desire and feeling involved. Simplifying this, we call these aspects of thought carried through the mind or psyche. Belief is that part of a thought that defines it. When we say that we believe in something we are giving it some stable form within the mind. Belief is thought knowing itself.
We all carry around lots of beliefs and we sometimes experience the change of these. Desire is thought seeking to manifest. All thought is alive with at least some desire to manifest, whether through belief, feelings or in action. What we experience as intense desires are thoughts with a lot of energy to actualize through us. Desire is the energy of thought, as belief is the defined structure of it. The third aspect of feeling is really the middle aspect, which gives belief and desire the sense of being. All thought has a feeling quality to it, like a color or sound. Feeling is what makes thought real to us. We say that one has a feeling for something or a feeling about something. We feel something is true, right or wrong, which is the feeling of a belief. We feel strongly to do something or make something happen, which is the feeling of a desire.
Man mostly allows thoughts, beliefs, desires and feelings, to enter the mind and effect his behavior without any real discrimination as to the value of the thoughts. These thoughts become attached, because of our attachment to them. Like attracts like, and the thoughts which have been agreed to as part of one’s personality will continue to attract similar thoughts from the environment. It is our agreement to these which keeps us in a vicious circle of conditioned attachment to similar thinking and emotion.
There is often the tendency to be attached to any thought which comes up in the mind because we think that it is definitely our thought. We hold onto it like we hold onto old junk. We think it must be important because we have it. We say inside that “this is my thought, my emotion; therefore it is important-- it must be right, it must be good”, so we hold onto it. And consequently more of it comes to reinforce it.
Yet, we do not need to reinforce our thought patterns. We are foolish to agree to any thoughts or emotions which do not serve our greater needs. It is good to recognize whatever comes up in the psyche and accept it with love, but it may not be good to agree to it or allow it to take over our energy and consciousness. Thought needs to become the servant of our higher intention, and we can choose the best thoughts, the most useful thoughts, and learn to discriminate what is truth, what is guidance from what is misleading and delusion.
We need to become objective observers of thought, and acquire control over thought-form. Then, we can use and direct thought for our own good and the good of our world. Until we have practiced observation and self-study of thought, we will be plagued by a continual stream of mostly useless thought. This is the value of meditation and quieting the mind through self-observation.
Thoughts come into us from the our world of interaction. Our society of family, friends, and mass media give us most of the thought we think is our own. Man is very suggestible and like a sponge he takes in whatever is given. When we are young and innocent, this is very hard to counteract. Even rebelling against the status quo of thought becomes a conditioned reaction which has the same quality of the original influence except in opposite clothes.
So, the thoughts of the social environment become conditioned in us, and we very soon forget where we got them, thinking that they are our own unique thoughts and of our own personality. Personality is mostly created by our social environment or our reactions to it, until we begin to take back the power in our lives to create our personality by free choice.
We each have great potentials, many possibilities for being in this world, and do not believe anyone (or your thinking) that you are only this or that way due to genetic, social or astrological destiny. We each do have a certain destiny and abilities for some things more than others, but wherever we are now there are many more potentials for being. Through conscious choice and some effort, we can develop any of the abilities or potential qualities of personality and behavior. All possibilities are within each of us, and any one can be further developed, though a limitation will finally be reached, yet not until death. Our real destiny is to be all that we can and all that we choose to be in this one life-time. But we have to work to go beyond our conditioning and the thoughts which hold us back from being all we can be.
Great and good thoughts are available to us, and it is up to us to attune to these, to tune ourself to these. We have a personal right to receive the highest, the most true, useful and beautiful thoughts from the world, which we can make a part of our being and share with the world around us.
The contemplation on higher, more loving qualities of thought brings these into our psyche and strengthens the good already within us. This is a conscious effort to tap into the higher thoughts of the human mind, which will fill our being with truth, goodness and beauty, guiding us and making us more perfect manifestations of the Divine Presence. This contemplation is an aspiring attunement to the higher qualities of Divine Being, where by we ask to be vehicles for the Divine and understand the Divine Attributes of Love in order to be more of service in this life. We allow ourselves to receive and understand the higher qualities of love, and visualize ourself enfolded by these and commit ourself to manifesting these.
Contemplation requires a willing receptivity for understanding and a commitment to the question or intention of the heart. One needs to give up all thought, becoming empty in mind and heart, being completely receptive to the grace of love and understanding from the Divine Presence as it arises within the empty chalice of being. At the same time one needs to concentrate the question and desire within the heart to know the Divine and its Qualities of being through us.
Once the qualities of the Divine Being are discovered, one needs to go into these in greater depth of understanding through a willingness to have them become real in our being. A key here is gratefulness, which allows the grace to be received and accepted as part of our being. Contemplating upon “seed thoughts” of Divine Truth and Love can help our understanding grow and develop the higher qualities of mind, while helping humanity through this concentration of good thought. Through the receptivity and assimilation of Divine Qualities into being and through the mind, we become mediators for the Divine Being to manifest into the world and we share this transformation with the world.
Tuning into the higher thought or contemplation on the Divine Qualities is completely different from opening up to whatever thoughts come in. It is also different from being a medium or channel for “guides” to speak through. Our goal is to go beyond any intermediates to the truth. If we can contact so called guides or “ascended masters”, entities, space beings or what have you, then we can just as easily tune straight to the Divine Source of Truth, because the Divine Being is forever generous and will reach us with what we need to know and do, if we are receptive and aspiring to the very highest. Do not become emotionally attached to intermediate sources of guidance, for these can be mis-leading without the development of conscious discrimination, and will eventually hold us back from further ascension into Divine Knowledge. One knows the truth within, because the truth resonates the truth within. We will know inside the higher thought versus casual thoughts that pass through the mind. The greater we develop a personal connection with the Divine Being, the greater will be our discrimination between the true and the false. This connection is known as the conscience from the level of mind, and it is known as the soul when we reach clear consciousness of our essential being.
In our daily lives of encountering and interacting with the world, we may be picking up many thoughts and energies from those around us, and these can trap our attention, as well as lead us astray from self-transformation. If we are not awake to the thoughts coming in and going out of mind through attention, then we inadvertently allow ourselves to be conditioned by the stray thoughts of others and are giving our stray thoughts to others. The only way to gain control over this automatic, conditioned interaction with our world is to wake up to these thoughts and energies as they are occurring.
Feelings are our experience of energies and the interaction of these with others in the world around. Feeling is our energy connection with life around, and provides substance for relationships. It is the basis for our interactions and communication. Feeling holds relationships together and holds thought together. It has the property of attachment, and even helps us to be in the moment, for feelings are very present when they come into strength. It has a devotional quality in that once established it keeps the connection going. There is nothing wrong with feeling-attachments, for this creates a bond with others and what we care about, but we can free ourselves from a mechanical attachment, thus able to renew and evolve our feelings with conscious choice or release feelings that are no longer positive in our lives.
Feelings tend to become mechanical and reactionary, and will become so powerful that one ceases to be free to evolve new and better relationships with others and the world. Some of these reactions are harmful to our growth and to others, and these could be called negative emotions. But we need to be careful not to rigidly define any feeling as bad or morally wrong. Whatever we are feeling in the moment has a good reason of its own that needs to be recognized and understood, not resisted or repressed. At the same time, if we allow this to merely go on mechanically without some conscious discernment, then it only reinforces its strength and inertia. It then continues without evolution or transformation. Feelings have the possibility of being transformed back into their Divine Source and be filled with love. Conscious breath is very important to the objective observation and understanding of feelings, to their freedom from mechanical, unconscious expression and to their transformation into a higher quality.
Our feelings can be our spiritual experience of the Divine, or even of God. That is, it is possible to experience the Divine through feeling, essentially through the heart. Feelings can be positive, such as the feelings of love, caring, and compassion. Yet feelings can also be negative, such as feelings of hatred or bigotry. Additionally, non-feelings can be negative, as in being unsensitive and unfeeling about the welfare or the feelings of others. Most positive feelings of love include a feeling of relatedness, inclusiveness and empathy with others.
Yet even more amazing and less spoken about is the possibility of our feelings being at one with or even the same as God's feelings. This might sound too anthropomorphic for some people, saying that God has feelings. But why wouldn't God have feelings? Isn't love a feeling? Or would one think that God is just mental or just a great intelligence? No, God has feelings. So it is possible to experience those divine feelings through our own feelings. Let the highest divine feelings be your feelings. Open up to God's feelings, with sensitivity and empathy, then feel the feelings of the One Divine Being. This is felt in the heart, of course, rather than in the head. Now if all this seems beyond one's capacity, then try to feel the interconnected oneness with nature, maybe with the nature immediately around and maybe even with all of nature. For this feeling of interconnected, interrelated oneness is a very profound spiritual feeling, which should be in the capacity of everyone to experience.
Remember that our emotional field and emotional experience, which esoteric teachings call the emotional body, can be filled with the highest and most beautiful feelings, such as love, joy, compassion, and oneness; as our emotional body can become a pure vehicle for spiritual feelings. And nothing less than the most positive feelings can exist in us.
Our activities, our manifest expressions in life, can be the activities of spiritual will. They can be expressions of the Divine. As Sufis say, we can become the hands and feet of God. We can become the doers of God, the servants of God, the artists of God.
Activity is how we express thought and feelings into our world. It is how we move and live in the world through the physical body, and express creativity and service. Everything of the body is part of this aspect of the functional triad, including the senses and internal structure of the body. The body is continually in motion, at least internally. How the internal parts act and interact together determines our health and continuance of physical existence. Fortunately, this all happens relatively free of our thoughts and feelings; otherwise we would destroy the body quickly out of temporary stupidity and impulsive reactions.
Yet, the body responds to and is influenced by our thoughts and feelings, especially when these are strong. So the body is not completely free and autonomous of our thought and feeling, and if certain thoughts and feelings have rigidly crystallized through continual belief and use, then this will have a patterning influence on the workings of the body and its movement in the world. Yet we can develop and strengthen the body and senses through exercise or creative activity, and this will in turn have its effect on our thoughts and feelings. Being active is very good, but we need to remember that it is also good to slow down at times and to be still for contemplation.
Activity is needed for creatively expressing ourselves and serving the vast needs of our world, but without stillness we will be running ourselves in circles. Some people tend to be constantly active, while others have a hard time getting off their backside. It is good to develop a balance in one’s life, to give time to both activity and stillness. If we are not active we do not really experience this wonderful life and the possibilities inherent within it, and if we are not still at times, then we cannot really reflect upon all that has been given and re-evaluate our intentions and aims in life. By allowing ourselves the time to be still and reflect upon life and our being, we open the possibility of truly knowing ourself and the purpose of our existence. Through conscious stillness we can relax into a deeper experience of being, and come into a greater peace and love of self.
We might surrender to the Life that gives us life, releasing all thought and desire into the great unknown, giving our self up to what is beyond any conception, and come into the still emptiness of pure Being. From here we may find the Source of creation, becoming the Creative Will Itself and help life unfold with real Love.