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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Thoughts of Love

Thoughts of love

Thought is a label attached by the brain to one of its apparent functions; thinking. It names breathing to the functioning of lungs, seeing to eyes, hearing to the function of ears and so on. Love is a special thought but another label for the thought that tries to explain attraction felt by a human body. Similar attractions occur all through out the universe but they are labelled differently by the brain, e.g. Gravity, magnetism and electrical energy.

If we try to go deeper into the meaning of the label "thought or love", we quickly end up at the bottom of the rabbit hole. This is not unique to this label but to all names and labels. Take "table", a word used to describe the functioning of a rectangular object made of something called a tree, which is made of something called molecules, atoms and then strings and eventually energy. What is energy, another question at the bottom of the hole, begging for what philosophers call the "one free miracle".


I wrote an essay on "nature of thought" here in April 2011(check the archive). My thoughts (pardon the pun) have changed somewhat. I used to agree with the then experts that thought was a function of brain; hearts pump, lungs breathe and brains think. But more recent neuroscience research shows that thoughts actually follow a human act not precede them in most cases.

The most appealing albeit controversial theory about thoughts, memory and other seeming brain functions is that they actually exist outside of our organic brain. An event or trigger brings a thought into consciousness and the brain takes ownership of this calling it "my" thought. It turns out upon serious looking that there is no I, you or self as we know it and so anything being "my" thought is incorrect. "You" don't have a thought, but thoughts do happen. They are in that sense the same as breath which happens or walking that happens. It is part of living that happens without a me or you.

Let's look at it another way. How can we stop or significantly reduce thoughts? Meditators will tell you and neuroscientists will confirm that by retracting your attention from the senses and concentrating on one object such as breath, you can indeed reduce or even eliminate thoughts for long periods of time. Also, in deep sleep when the brain activity has slowed, thoughts do subside.

That means there are two essential interactions that spur thoughts; between the brain and one of the other five senses. So thoughts happen as a result of seeing, breathing, sitting, eating, sensing. It is an integral part of living. The brain calls this a thought and claims it as it's own creation. There is no evidence to support that brain produces thoughts. Most likely it is aware of thoughts after the fact. It does the same thing to other acts of life. Life happens and  brain claims it is "my" living.

Love is another label or name of a special thought. Attraction between two objects is a fundamental aspect of the material world. Negatively charged electrons love positive protons, particles love other particles and planets love the sun. We call it gravity. It takes extra energy to repel things from other things. But the ground state, when all energy has been spent is love. When this primordial feature touches consciousness, it is expressed by the brain as the word love. Everything is part of this one whole which is in love with all of manifested creation. But rocks can't express their love of water or trees their love of the sun, the same way humans do. So love becomes a big word instead of a very natural feature of existence.

Love is the very nature of consciousness. It too just happens as life happens. Until a human brain becomes aware of it and claims it to be its personal thought of love. There is no such thing as "your" love. There is just love. Just as there is no your thought, there is just thought. There is no my life, there is just life.

Is thought, or love (a special thought) hinderance or help on the path?

I find the "I" thought to be a great hinderance. These are thoughts that have an incorrect ownership attached to them. Just removing the personal connection makes them quite tolerable. Even when "your" house is on fire, you will do a better job to try and put out the fire by considering it  just another house. This works well in most aspects of living or loving. When this understanding of true nature of thoughts takes hold, it is of great help in keeping me true on the path.

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