Author Archives: Jerome Lewis

  /  Dharma Prompts, Guest Contributors

We are Only Our Thoughts

By Jerome Lewis

We experience our non-abstract and personal thoughts and feelings, which continually occur in our mind about other people and ourselves, as if they’re actually being currently lived out in the world, rather than simply thought out in our mind. It’s this lived-out quality of our thought-feelings that makes them seem so real and have so much impact on us. It is significant, then, to be able to see that this in-the-world phenomenon is actually occurring in our mind, so that we see the power of our lived-out thoughts and experiences to gain some perspective over them and our mind and more effectively experience our life.

What is most significant about directly witnessing this in-the-world experiencing is we see that it makes our sense of ourselves seem so much more real than just being a thought. By directly experiencing this phenomenon occurring in our mind, we begin to directly experience ourselves as a mind-made thought along with all our other thoughts – and that none of them are solid and real in themselves. It’s when we can directly experience this artifice that we can truly gain freedom from our mind and see how mechanical our thoughts and constructed sense of Self actually are. We then experience and realize that all our thoughts are mind-made, rather than continuously experiencing them as real, and that we aren’t actually in the world but in our mind. Most importantly, we see that we, our sense of Self, are an ever-created thought, rather than actually being real and in the world.

This epiphany also helps to free us from all our self-beguiling thinking, seeing that everything we do is just a mind-made thought and not an independent reality. We then see that all our thinking is just thoughts and lifelike interactions we are having directly with ourselves. Most importantly, we begin to see the power of thoughts and feelings, and how they are continually and falsely turning all our thoughts into reality for us. Because we have so much belief in them and their realness, we end up reifying ourselves and our reality in the process, and then take everything, including ourselves, too seriously. When we can keep seeing that everything we experience – including ourselves – is just our mind-made thoughts, we can then become more effective with our thoughts and have less personal suffering in our life. We can then begin to clearly see that we are only our thoughts.

Jerome Lewis