Article by Kaiyum.
Maybe this statement will set you thinking. But then, to what extent do you truly have control over all those thoughts welling up out of the great nothingness?
Aldous Huxley once said: “Life is not what happens to you, but what you do with what happens.” He implies the genuine choice we have, bluntly stated as: thinking positively or negatively.
Message of the heart
Meditation teaches us that we can never stop the mind from chattering. We can just take distance from it. We can choose to listen or to ignore, and to make space for the gifts that arrive in the heart.
From another perspective, you probably recognise the situation that the mail arrives and you KNOW there’s a letter from a certain friend; the phone rings, and you KNOW who it is; you’re out somewhere and KNOW that someone is watching you (you turn around and meet the eyes … the beginning of a new romance? Or a spy thriller?).
Effect of negativity
In the Kabbalah (just as Sufism is the mystic side of Islam, so, too, does Judaism have its esoteric studies) there’s a specific prohibition on ‘bad mouthing’ – which includes even the non-spoken negative thinking about others. Take this concept to another extreme: Voodoo is fabled for its black magic, the combination of the power of negative thinking and the belief in that (destructive) power.
In 1924 Henry Ford said: “If you think you can, or think you can’t, you’ll always be right.” This creative power of thought – for good or evil – is the basis of all self-help programmes. Simple kinesiology testing provides indisputable proof of how negatives reduce your physical energy, whether they are thoughts, words spoken aloud, or even a disapproving glance from another.
Source of energy
You may correctly conclude that you have choice in how you express yourself, in how you look at events and people in your life, and thereby give yourself an energy boost that costs nothing and is a lot healthier than a strong shot of caffeine!
Osho and positive thinking
In The Transmission of the Lamp, Ch 36, Q1, Osho is asked very specifically about ‘American-style positive thinking’. Osho’s response is totally clear:
The technique of positive thinking is not a technique that transforms you. It is simply repressing the negative aspects of your personality. It is a method of choice. It cannot help awareness; it goes against awareness.
Awareness is always choiceless.
Positive thinking simply means forcing the negative into the unconscious and conditioning the conscious mind with positive thoughts.
But the trouble is that the unconscious is far more powerful, nine times more powerful, than the conscious mind. So once a thing becomes unconscious, it becomes nine times more powerful than it was before. It may not show in the old fashion, but it will find new ways of expression.
So positive thinking is a very poor method, without any deep understanding, and it goes on giving you wrong ideas about yourself.”
And in The Last Testament Vol. 1, Ch 20, Osho continues to rail against ‘positive thinking’:
like Norman Vincent Peale go on writing books on positive thinking, and millions of people read those books thinking that perhaps by positive thinking they can become millionaires, by positive thinking they can produce palaces. And they don’t bother about how many palaces Norman Vincent Peale has created. They don’t bother at all that Rockefeller has never read Peale, that Henry Ford has no idea of Peale.
It is not a question of positive thinking. Positive thinking is appealing only to negative people, because they know their negativity continuously. But without enlightenment, you cannot have positive energy. So I say throw away all those books on positive thinking. They are deluding you. They are giving you a sense as if without being enlightened you can be positive. That is impossible. Positivity is beyond the door of enlightenment. Negativity is on this side, the night is on this side – the black hole – and the day is on the other side, where the sun never sets.”
Role of meditation
But Osho is equally clear that “meditation changes your approach from the negative to the positive,” (going all the way) so that you do have a choice. But it’s a choiceless choice that derives from your heightened awareness and deepening meditation which bring you beyond the inherent negativity of the mind to the inherent positive nature of the heart.
Just thinking positively will indeed not change your world, and repeating affirmations as in a mantra marathon will only dull the mind – like Transcendental Meditation – until you learn that the heart must be in total alignment, open and impassioned. Then you will automatically be positive and have the power to fuel your intentions.
Kaiyum, Osho News
Related article by Anando: Why the Law of Attraction doesn’t Work
Related excerpts from discourses by Osho: Positive Thinking: Philosophy for Phonies
Related video: Dr. Masaru Emoto’s Rice Emotions Experiment