Can we trust our thinking? If not, what can we trust?

Can we trust our thinking? If not, what can we trust?

Credit photo: Paulo P. Pereira

Imagine a glass of water.

Water can enter the glass. Water can leave the glass.

Glass can hold water but glass is not water.


Have you ever noticed?

What is real and true is always present. How can it not be? Reality doesn’t need you, me or anybody. It doesn’t care about us.

Yet we all have a different experience of reality. Isn’t it kind of peculiar? That we all live in something we consider real and solid, yet nobody have the same experience of it.

Not even we, ourselves, have the exact same experience of reality from one moment to the next. If we would go to a certain place one day and visit the same place in, let us say a couple of hours later, we wouldn’t have the same experience of it. We would feel different about it, right?!

Heraclitus wrote,
”No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”

Heraclitus makes an interesting observation and what he is trying to tell us is important but let’s leave that for now.

If reality is solid and humans have different and ever-changing experiences of it, it must suggest that there is something else, other than reality, that moves and changes. Have you noticed what it is?

Zen has a way of showing this:
Two monks were arguing about the temple flag waving in the wind. One said, ”The flag moves.” The other said, ”The wind moves.” They argued back and forth but could not agree. Hui-neng, the sixth Patriarch, said: ”Gentlemen! It is not the flag that moves. It is not the wind that moves. It is your mind that moves.”

And the movement in our minds are Thought. Is it not?

This conclusion can lead to an important question. And that is: Can we really trust our thinking?

If not, what can we trust?

When thought comes. What does it come to?
When thought leaves. What does it leave?

Glass or water. Both or neither.
What do you prefer? What seems more real?

Thank you for reading this article. Feel free to leave a comment or share it with others.
Get in touch if you are interested in exploring more on this topic.


About the author: Patrik Rowinski is a specialist of State Of Mind and mindset change. He is the Co-Founder of StateOfMind Institute, 3P Center Stockholm and Mindset Factory from where he helps Organisations, Leaders, Teams and Individuals to bring breakthroughs in performance, results and well being.

A simple formula (to see if someone can use some help)

A simple formula (to see if someone can use some help)

I use a simple formula to see if someone needs help.
Two questions which goes like this:

1. Do you sometimes experience unpleasant and discomfortable feelings in any form?
2. Are you 100 % ok with having these feelings?

If they answer Yes to the first question it means that they are in good company, approx. 7.4 billion individuals are “suffering” from the same thing.

If their answer to the second question is No, it might be an invitation to something.

What I want to get across is that the issue at hand is not that we experience unpleasant feelings, if that was the case every human being on the planet is in trouble. The issue at hand is that we are not ok having them or we are not ok with how long they stay with us.

Whether you believe it or not, we all have an innate capacity to enjoy a peaceful and harmonious life AND if we are not having this experience RIGHT NOW we have most likely fallen into a very elusive trap. This particular trap is almost impossible to see but we can feel it. You want to know if you are in it? It carries the scent of “being stuck”, “I will be happy when …”. Sometimes it also comes in the shape of ”I am well…..but”.

Fortunately to get out of this trap is not as hard as you might think. If you follow the steps below you are good to go.

First of all you need to be sincere och honest about wanting to get out of it. Then you find someone that you suspect knows something about the nature of this trap.

Are you lost in thoughts?

Are you lost in thoughts?

When we notice and recognize that there is a voice in our head that never stops speaking we can discover something quite extraordinary – we can see that we are not our thoughts.

What would you say if I told you that this voice is nothing more than bits of energy passing through your being?

Can you hear it? What does it say? Does it have a familiar ring to it like ”haven’t I thought that before?” – like echoes from your past and future?

Have you ever stopped and wondered why you believe certain thoughts and dismiss others? Isn’t it strange how the ones that we engage in feels real? Why did we dismiss some and made others real?

If all they are, bits of energy passing through our consciousness, why would we give credibility to any of them? Nobody is forcing us to believe any thoughts passing through…or is there?

Pay attention to that voice, and recognize that you are the one being aware of it.

Then the melting will begin…

Clever is the voice…it will say all kinds of things to get your attention again.
It might say ”Ahhhh, melting is good.”
It might say ”Hmm, I am not melting fast enough.”
It might say ”Damn, I have stopped melting, I am becoming solid again.”
It might say ”Now I understand how life works.”
It might say ”I need more, I wonder if I can speed up this process.”
It might say ”I am really good at this.”
It might say ”Melting is happiness.”
It might say ”I shall liberate others by sharing my understanding about melting.”
And so on…

Different flavors. Misleading. Confusing. Cunning. Always changing shape. Like a ”brute force attack” on your being, but not a hostile one.

But no matter what. Be sure of this:

The voice are thoughts.
Turning our attention on thoughts is called thinking.
And you don’t have to believe any of it because you are neither.

Ultimately you have but two choices.
To believe the voice and get distracted by its content or to remain as the one watching the voice.


Un-know thyself

Un-know thyself

Look in the mirror…what do you see?

Not until we discover what we have become, we can rediscover what we are.

The process is called self-discovery. If properly guided self-discovery leads to a higher degree of self-knowledge which is like the stepping stones to a new way of experiencing and enjoying life.

Increasing ones self-knowledge leads to changes in perception.

But in order to change we first must become aware that we are aware. Awareness comes with being alive so as long as we have a knowing that we are alive we are aware but the trick is to be sure of what we are aware of. Can we really trust ourselves?

What is there when we open our eyes and senses and who is looking?

A high degree of self-awareness and self-knowledge unlocks a powerful and hidden resource within us. This resource is the foundation of the healthy, self-sufficient and peaceful way of being we all want to achieve.

Funny enough this process requires no effort of your behalf, but your gain is everything.

The power of looking

The power of looking

Imagine that you suddenly notice that you are hurting. You can sense pain but you have no clear idea where it comes from.

What do you do?

Now imagine that you discover that the pain is located to your hand. It took a little while to discover because just noticing the discomfort of hurt wasn’t very helpful.

What do you do?

Now that you have noticed that the pain is in your hand you realize that you this pain seems familiar. You even suspect that it has been going on for a while and you are a little astonished over the fact that you really didn’t notice this before.

What do you do?

Instead of just hurting you are now curious what is causing the pain. You aim your attention to that area on your hand but there is no way of telling what is causing it. But you remain curious.

What do you do?

BAM…all of a sudden a hammer makes a perfect touchdown on that spot on your hand. Although your hand is throbbing with pain you are happy to have noticed the hammer. You notice your pain but your attention is elsewhere. You remain curious.

What do you do?

BAM….there is the hammer again but this time you see who is holding it. The hand is throbbing as usual but you can’t help smiling.

No more doing is necessary.

What’s stopping you?

What’s stopping you?

The only way for a martial artist to succeed in breaking many bricks lies in their ability to “aim beyond the bricks”. If he focus his mind on the bricks he will not succeed. He will fail to succeed not because he lacks the technique or physical strength, it is his mind that fails to break the bricks.

In the same way we can “fail” to see the obvious because our attention is fixed.

Are you able to see where your attention is resting?