A strong injection of truth coming. Can you take it?
"Your thoughts define your life". Said a wise spiritual teacher once. And if you think about it its true. You contemplate that you are a loser and unloved? Like a self fulfilling prophecy you get confirmations of that from your daily life. You self sabotage and make the wrong choices that lead you to several deadends. Your vibe and energy almost commands from others to treat you with said expected attitude.
Are you a pessimist? Always see the glass half empty? Always expecting the worse and irrationally deducing the sad outcome of things? It's almost like an invocation of your own bad karma. Always find the evil and fault in things and people but are unable to tell you are just experiencing the symptoms of your own ill mindset?
Do you find yourself frequently dwelling in hedonistic and provocative thoughts? Does your life revolve around carnality? Even that, all begins with your thoughts. To make an action, you have to contemplate it first. And it doesn't happen in a night. It grows in you. Your thoughts become dirtier and dirtier. You find all the more hard to be satiated and need more stimulating perversions to feel the same result. its a vicious circle.
Suicide thoughts, self hatred, desperation, if people only knew they are building a prison for themselves by feeding all these beasts. They start as little vermin and grow to be full fledged beasts.
How normal are unfiltered thoughts? Thoughts coming from an unenlightened heart?
You have a little voice in your head. A voice that says things. This voice has been there for sooo long, and you never been able to take a step back and question it. A constant flow, a river of thoughts inside your head, and you seem Helpless against its persistent stream. In many spiritual traditions like eastern christianity, hinduism and buddhism, "emptying the mind of thoughts" is one of the main concerns. What do these ancient cultures know that we ignore today?
We live in a culture that contantly promotes thinking. It bombards you with desires, advertisements, visual stimulation, it commands you to practice your "fantasy" and your "creative thinking" all the time. highlights how paramount these skills are. In such a thinking overstimulation orgasm, how can you find a peace of mind and get off the grid? Seems impossible right? Just try this. Try to have a minute pass, mere 60 seconds, without having a single thought. nada, nothing. not a picture, word, nothing. absolute void. you will find out, that you find that WAYYY too hard to accomplish. seems impossible right? these little critters creep back in, with the first chance they get.
People don't know there are three roots of thoughts according to orthodox tradition:
-There are thoughts that originate by your own memories, fantasy and desires.
-These that are implanted in your head from demons. as temptation.
-And those inspired by God.
If you think you mostly have the last ones chances are you most probably have to have this checked out. haha. Most of us average people struggle just with the first two.
A thought of mine can't be mine? You will ask surprised. A parasite implanted in my head to be seen as mine? Yeah. totally. a thought of blasphemy, a dirty thought, a violent thought, a thought of pride, a thought to steal a pencil from your classmate, an excuse to break a spiritual routine for some "noble reason", a vain self congratulation. demons tempt with such thoughts even the most advanced of saints and ascetics.
Example, a demon attacks with a lustful thought a monk, the monk prays the thought away. Then the demon can wisper to his ear. "You did it, you beat me. you are great, now you can rightfully sit at the side of God as his loyal student". Just by accepting and letting this thought sink in, the monk can lose all his grace and even get possessed if he lets the devil inside. How did lucifer fall? From a glorious archangel of light and beauty to a horrifying monster? Did he fornicate? He had no body. Did he steal or murder? A mere thought of pride and desiring to become God without God, was enough to turn him into the devil.
Some times demons appeared to monks even with the very form of angels or Christ Himself, to "congratulate them on their virtue" or "take them to some heavenly realm cause they've earned it". They can take whatever form they want. If the monk was inexperienced and naive, and let a subtle pride make him say yes, he could even get possessed. Seasoned monks, always fought such attacks with humility. "Who am i to deserve to see Christ from this life, if he pitties my sinful soul, may i even hear his footsteps in the next life. thats more than enough for me". And they meant it from the bottom of their hearts. At the sight of such humility the demons are burned away like vampires in the sunlight. and are left enraged and unvictorious.
From the painting "Temptations of st Anthony". Here we see a materialistic human-perceived concept of various demons each has his tempting specialty.
Demons fight everyone according to his/her individual weaknesses. If they see you have an inclination towards lust, they attack you with lust. If they see you are either naturally asexual or have achieved apathy of the flesh through asceticism they go for different passions or try much subtler things, as subtle feats of pride. They know the 70 year old monk that melted for 50 years with prayer won't go with a beauiful prostitute even if offered on a plate. so they'll hit with much more subtle techniques.
Everyone has different passions. Power-thirst, fame, money, judgment, gossip, heresy, lying, stealing, lust. According to your weakness you are being attacked. In the end though noone else has the responsibility of your actions but yourself. Many will come and say we promote victim mentality. far from it. whomever really understands this war, knows that the Enemy can only give you the seed. YOU do the watering and cultivation. many times when we have advanced in vice, it doesn't even have to be a seed from the enemy, it just comes naturally to your degenerate heart. the enemy attacks his enemies not his allies. not those that he already owns.
Your heart's desires define your thoughts and life.
This beautiful quote that Eckhart "borrowed" from the orthodox Church Father's, but is often misinterpreted with a more shallow meaning, reveals the deep meaning of life. If you want to find peace you have to die before you die. You have to die towards your sins. To die towards your former secular self. To find divine apathy and feel the grace of God. Then you won't die when your material body ceases functioning. Eternal life or damnation begins from this life.
This constant invisible war inside your head happens without you even realising it, and each and every choice we make, is either a defeat or a win. there is no pause in spiritual life. its all an upward or downwards spiral. we either ascend or descend.
How can you be freed from the constant verbal diarrhea of thoughts? New agers and hinduists will tell you with yoga, with meditation. Well i beg to respectfully disagree. Emptying your head and leaving it a void, still makes room for dark forces to enter. Still lets pride to kick in and doesn't transform the person. Thats why i recommend the prayer of the heart. "Christ have mercy on me".
Why just emptying the void when you can also fill it with grace and light? And as you advance with years you will see that this prayer will happen automatically by your heart, cause your passions will have been unrooted from there, and you will be able to pray 24/7 but also solve mathematical equations, work, talk to your wife and friends etc while doing it at the same time. The schizoid condition people face today and all rush to antidepresant pills and psychiatrists is nothing else than this dis-allignment of heart's and brain's desires. Only contemplative prayer rejoins and rebridges that gap.
Thanks for reading.