I am very pleased to share an article from a friend of mine, Dr Gudrun Frerichs, currently living in New Zealand. She has recently published a delightful book of recipes for loving relationships including some sweets to share with your love. Her discussion on thoughts and what they are useful for is fascinating and right up my alley. I think you will enjoy it. Please comment and share and check out her book. I do have to warn you the food recipes are not organic or gluten-free or sugar free so use sparingly, but if you are good most of the time a little treat can be good for the soul.
Please welcome Gudrun.
Have you ever wondered why a group of people can look at the same situation, and yet they have a very different recall of it and often a very different opinion? How is that possible?
It has all to do with the power of thought nature has gifted us with. I picture THOUGHT by imagining every person walking around with a permanent diving bell attached to their head through which they look out into the world. This bell contains all our experiences, filters, beliefs, in short everything we use to understand our world. The content of the diving bell determines how we interpret what we see, what we focus on, and what escapes our attention.
Now, because my experiences were very different from your experiences, my diving bell contains very different things to yours. As a result, my view of ‘reality’ has to be different from yours. Thus what I believe cannot be the ultimate truth, and neither can what you believe.
You wonder whether there is such a thing as ‘the truth?’ There is, of course, a material reality that we can see. A table in the middle of the room is a table and if you knock at it you might end up with a bruise. That part is real. But when you think that there is this ugly table someone put in the middle of the room to annoy you, or because they were too stupid to set it against the wall, then your thinking is influenced by your diving bell. You are making things up. This is now your personal reality and probably very different from anybody else’s.
Each of our perceptions is based on a certain amount of sensory data that we pick up from the world around us and which we actually might share. Mainly, though, we are adding vast amounts of interpretation from our richly filled diving bell. Whatever we think can be considered at best a possibility of ‘the truth’, at its worst a colourful fantasy. Not real. Never the full truth, but rather a collage of wishful thinking. Our reality is a funny thing in that it is only real for us. Most people miss that and are surprised that other people see the world or things around them very differently to themselves.
Sydney Banks, who formulated the Three Principles of Mind, Thought, and Consciousness, said once that we all live in separate realities. That is an uncomfortable concept. Think about it: If what I believe is not real, or better not a shared reality, than how can I trust my thinking, my beliefs, my values even? How then can we make any relationship work?
We are often seduced by our own thoughts assuming they tell us something real about the world around us. But that isn’t true. You can test that for yourself. After an argument with your sister you may think she is a terribly unpleasant person. A day or two later when you both made peace again, she is your best friend for whom you would go through fire! Our thoughts are just thoughts! Fleeting constructs picked from amongst the many possible thoughts, coloured by our current state of mind, filtered and sorted by the content of our diving bell, transient expressions of our current state as we reflect on our relationship for example.
Our thoughts are not a reliable reflection of our relationship. Our thoughts only reflect our state of mind with which we view our relationship.Many people find that confusing to begin with. The old saying goes: The map is not the territory! Just like a map of New Zealand is not New Zealand, it’s just a map. A thought about our relationship is not our relationship, but just a thought! Like the map of New Zealand, a thought about our relationship might capture something, but will never capture everything. It may be a helpful guide, but rarely more.
When we think about our relationships in a calm and peaceful state of mind, when we are in our innate health zone, we are more likely to view our relationship from a vantage point of wisdom and common sense. Our thinking can be considered trustworthy.
When we think about our relationship in an upset state of mind, when we have left our innate health zone and are battered with distressing feelings, we view our relationship through the dark clouds of emotional upheaval. Our thinking is not very trustworthy. Most people know that in the back of their minds because they have experienced feeling bad for the things they said or thought after an emotional fight. We know we have created a chill in our relationship rather than warmth and compassion.
The moment we understand that our thoughts are fairly random, shaped by our current state of mind, influenced by our diving bell, it’s not a far reach to see that our relationships would benefit from taking our thinking less serious. It then makes sense to not act on our negative state of mind and wait until we are in a more neutral mood. Then we can have another close look at our relationship and take appropriate steps – which in some cases could mean we decide to walk away from a partner who is not meeting our needs.
You can read more about how understanding Mind, Thought, and Consciousness in the context of relationships can make all the difference between a caring, harmonious relationships and a proverbial battlefield in my new book:
The need to love and be loved is in our DNA and yet many people struggle within their relationships. ‘Delicious Love Forever’ is filled with common sense, wisdom, and simple concepts based on the premises that we all create our own, personal reality through the 3 principles of Mind, Thought, and Consciousness. Following these, readers are encouraged to get in touch with their innate ability to create lasting, loving relationships. This is enhanced with some delicious recipes, and tackles at the same time the root cause for relationship problems. Solutions are offered people can easily try out for themselves. Indeed, a holistic ‘meal’ that feeds mind, body, and soul!
Gudrun is a therapist, author, and life-long explorer of the mysteries of the human mind. She is retiring from mental health and trauma work and has published now her first book Delicious Love Forever. She is passionate about applying the Principles of Mind, Thought, and Consciousness, as formulated by the late Sydney Banks, not only to her books but also to everyday living situations. For more go to her website www.gudrunfrerichs.com
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