Thought is sound imagination
Alan Watts has an interesting observation: Ego hangs on to stress in the body. But I think stress is the manifestation rather, the reaction to thought.
Mind is an electromagnetic machine of potentials and flows. It has a design. Its primary function is dreaming (or imagining). Based on the inputs it creates a story for consciousness to enjoy. The design is to serve the character. It signals central control whenever some action is needed. Consciousness has a viewpoint at central control so we become aware of the signals, the decision making process and actuating signals. Actions needed for what? To survive and reproduce on the instinctive level and serve our intentions.
There is no such thing as a conscious vs subconscious. All of mind is subconscious only signals (feeling and imagination intuition) come to conscious.
Thought is language imagination. We imagine patterns of sound which convey concepts and we have become very good at it. We have become conceptual. When we imagine, we are detached from the collective dream of direct experience, we are dreaming within the dream. Sound imagination is particularly constraining as it is one dimensional. Visual/spatial imagination is richer as it spans three dimensions (that is why memory techniques use visual imagination).
Imagining seems to be an action. It happens naturally when we lose presence. The mind roams. Losing presence is like attaching to mind, indulging, giving it free reign. There is a capability, called presence or vigilance to keep the mind centered, by centering the "Qi" (气) in the dan tian (丹田). We can exercise this capability when detached. We intend it to be so. Being grounded is being in connection with our sense experience being connected to the supra mind.
And here we arrive at intent. Mind serves intent by forming intentions. Now intentions are beliefs in needs at root and carry a potential (how bad we want it or how firm is our belief, the weights in the neural network). They are also identities as I am needing this or that. Mind will give signals to serve these intentions. This is good and natural.
Identities are charged permanent beliefs about ourselves. They are based on the misconception of some permanent self (as opposed to just roles). Mind will protect and assert these identities by generating signals (as it does not differentiate between imagined identities and the 'real' body). The signals are picked up by the imagining function if not present and voilá we have the commentating. These comments are destructive because they interfere with our intentions (thus creating internal conflict) and insulate us unnecessarily from direct experience and cause unhappy feelings. We are disconnected, dreaming within the dream which is based on internal signals.
It looks like all beliefs are identities when charged.
So there are two ways of ridding ourselves from imaginings which prevent non dual awareness (which is nothing but full attention) and happiness:
- Maintaining presence. Not giving attention to the internal signals.
- Removing the source of the internal signals by destroying the Ego identities. Or perhaps we should say by deflating these identities.
The two go hand in hand. Actually we cannot maintain presence, it is a result of high energy and mind control. We can do embodiment work. Metaphysics, Enquiry, shadow work, surrender to aim at 2.
See Self Enquiry a New Take and Useful thinking and What is Ego.