Thinking, Associating, Inner Freedom

If you don’t wish to think, I understand. Sometimes I feel that way, too. Thinking is hard work. Among other things, it requires an aim, focused energy, and perseverance. But please don’t confuse thinking with associating. Associating, which can on occasion bring creative insights, is often simply a distraction from thinking. A mind that is at the mercy of associations, however creative they might appear to be, is sometimes called a “monkey mind” or a “gossipy mind.” When you are quieter inside and can resist saying “I” to them, you can see these associations more clearly for what they are: mechanical movements of words, images, and other mental forms that have little, if anything, to do with actual thinking. Being present to these movements is the beginning of inner freedom.

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