Latest Post: Why Your Fear of the Feminine (and of Being Gay) is Severely Holding You Back with Women

If You are Your Thoughts, Then Who’s Listening?

January 16th, 2008 by Ryan

Have you ever been talking with an old friend and they mention some great success they recently had, maybe like getting a high paying job or buying a really nice house when suddenly a thought pops into your head like "that lucky bastard," or "he doesn't deserve that, what gives?"

I know I've been genuinely happy for friends and relatives and these thoughts have still popped up at times.  I used to feel guilty about thinking them and would say to myself, "Jeez, what's wrong with me?  I keep having these jealous thoughts, does this make me a jealous person?"

You are not your thoughts or your ego.The other night I was drifting into sleep when I had one of the greatest realizations in my entire life so far.  My consciousness was dosing off and I was about to fall asleep at any moment. 

My mind was wandering onto this topic and that, when suddenly I was no longer paying attention to the thoughts, but rather, I effectively fell asleep for about 2 seconds. Suddenly, I came back into awareness and since such a short time had elapsed, I was able to recall the last thought that had passed through my mind.

I repeated it in my mind and realized that I was not the one who thought it!

I said to myself, "That thought did not come from me at all, it came from somewhere else, I was asleep at that time."

It was in that moment that I experienced the feeling of separation between who I am and what I am thinking.  I realized that I am not my thoughts; I am the observer of them, the experiencer, the listener.

I felt it at an internal level for just a split second.   The thoughts that manifest inside my awareness are simply thoughts, they are not me. 

I am defined not by what thoughts come into my awareness but by what thoughts I consciously hold onto and act upon.

Having jealous thoughts does not make a person jealous, being jealous makes a person jealous.  The person defines themselves by their conscious action, not random thoughts.  

Likewise, a person who reads a lot about running a business isn't a businessman; the real businessman is the guy out there cold calling, dealing with customers and creating new products.  

It sounds so obvious yet this is a huge disconnect in our society, we identify and define ourselves by our thoughts rather than our action.  Why is this?

I believe much of it has to do with the education system.  In school we are taught to get good grades through reading (about others thoughts and experiences) and analyzing them (thinking about them), then writing a report (summarizing our thoughts). 

Very little actual action is taken on our part yet we are positively or negatively reinforced for our thoughts, our ego rather than our character.  This is probably the reason many graduates have trouble adjusting to the real world.

Imagine that you are visiting a foreign country and you can't speak the language so you bring a translator along with you.  The only way you can communicate with anyone is through your translator and he has a tendancy to add his own opinion and ideas into what he is translating.  

Since you don't know the language, it's hard to tell when he said something you didn't.  Eventually, if you make the effort, you can pick up when the translator is adding in his words through your gut feeling.  

You also find out that everyone else has a translator as well and sometimes your translator gets into a fight with theirs and you end up at odds with the other person.

So you decide to bypass both translators and communicate with others directly through your body language, facial expressions, and actions.  The other person is soooo grateful to feel such a strong connection, that you both experience joy and happiness like never before.

This angers the translator (since he is no longer needed), so he tries to scare you into believing that you will not survive without him, that he is you

You realize that he is not you but a servant of you.  You realize that when you return to your homeland you and him will go your separate ways for there will be no need for translation at home.

This is how the ego works, it tricks you into thinking you need it and that you are it, when all along, the ego is just a tool to help you in this physical world and you can let go of it as soon as you are accustomed to the world.

Lately I've been focusing on bypassing my translator, the ego, to reach the other person.  I've only made slight progress but the results have been very powerful. 

A great book that focuses a lot about the journey inward is The Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman.  There is a powerful scene where Dan lets go of the ego and feels extreme fear and uncertainty without it yet pushes onward.

Another great way is utilizing the meditation exercises from Revive Your Sex Drive.

Daily meditations will allow you to bypass the ego more each time you do them, allowing your true inner being to communicate through you with others.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

Stumble it!

19 Responses to “If You are Your Thoughts, Then Who’s Listening?”

  1. Sue Ann Edwards Says:

    It’s a trip, discovering we’re not our stories but the Reader of our stories.



    It’s been called “The Watcher on the Threshold”. And is what Sovereignty and Self Mastery are all about.

    What a way to begin a new year! Welcome to the realm of self-more-ness, instead of self-less-ness!

  2. Evan Says:

    But what is this unthinking self?

    Why should thinking be devalued compared to watching?

    And wouldn’t this require analysis?

  3. Bart Says:

    Isn’t that a mindblow – your thoughts are talking to someone, and that someone is you, and the thoughts are being generated by someone who is not you.

    I know, it does sound convoluted and strange, but it’s pretty wild when you obtain the Aha! moment with it.

    Another book to check out is Ekhart Tolle’s book, The power of Now. It was the first place I heard about this idea.

    However, I’m not totally sure of what to do, what to build off from this realization. Has any one been practicing this for a while, and how has it changed their lives?

  4. Alex Kay Says:

    Really powerfull post. Gave me some food for thought, thank you.

  5. bigsend Says:

    Wow!! Fantastic post Ryan!

    Resonates deeply.

    Yeah, it is rather weird how the ego clings to you. But then again, all your body parts “cling” to you too, its part of nature.

    It occurred to me. The ego is like an amazing tool which keeps us alive in hunter-gather situations. I.e., thinking logically. It makes us do crazy things too: either impregnate a woman, or to kill a competitor, to steal, etc etc. In a weird way, its like an organ of the body, and like any body part it is susceptible to disease. Perhaps once we are accustomed to life, we can transcend the ego and thus “remove it” like removing a cancer (ooo kind of a harsh example, but there you go!)

    Thanks for writing this!

  6. Tim Organic Lester Says:

    Some good thoughts for the new year.
    Tim Lester

  7. Ryan Says:

    Sue Ann, the day before I posted this, I was wondering what you’ve been up to and checked your blog…I guess I manifested your comment 🙂 Thanks, Yeah self-more-ness is a good way of putting it, more of me to shine through to others.

    Evan, I’m using my mind the best I can to describe an experience of awareness. If you’d like to read up more about the value of presence, I’d recommend Eckhart Tolle’s book The Power of Now as well, its quite a paradigm shifter.

    Bart, yah it was quite the aha moment. Now I’ve been slowly practicing presence more and more throughout my day and taking small seconds to appreciate my surroundings.

    Alex, glad to hear it.

    Bigsend, wow that’s a great way of looking at it. Perhaps the question becomes, once you are aware of the ego, you can truly transcend it by accepting it and appreciating its purpose.

    Tim, great to hear.

    Cheers guys.

  8. ash wills Says:

    If want something to build upon this new ‘understanding’ then check out the works of Dr. David R. Hawkins.

    Highest Possible Recommendation!!!

  9. Ryan Says:

    Thanks ash, I actually have Power vs Force in the mail as we speak.

  10. Tuplad Says:

    Ryan, you’ve got like the most AMAZING posts lately 🙂 They are EASY and I can actually tell this to other people, you know ? I can explain this stuff to my little brother. Good stuff!

  11. Jared Says:

    Excellent Ideas here. Our mind is constantly trying to sensemake our surroundings and the occurances around us. It is like a super computer running through the various permutations of logic codes. When we choose the ideas / codes to sensemake e.g. that guy is rich cos he is lucky, we become defined by those ideas.

    To develop oneself, we have to learn to not only to control our minds but also to forgive ourselves when such “stray” thoughts occur.

  12. Ryan Says:

    Thanks Tuplad! Good to hear you can use the info to help the younger guys. Jared, yes one skill that I have embraced is to take it easy on myself. When one is aware of what they want to improve, they can be too hard on themselves. Instead, having patience with one’s self means knowing that in time you will become better and where ever one is, is ok.

  13. Fenton Says:

    Thoughts are just recycle-able elements that circulating the world. It lands on you when something triggers it, which usually in the form of experiences and thinking process. The thoughts that landed on us is actually from the process of unconscious reaction (or by the ego).

    Yet everything comes deeply from conditioned pattern that one has undergone. Whether towards to the positive (yang) or negative (yin) depends how the one is programmed.

    Fenton’s last blog post..I Win A WiFi Photo Frame

  14. Ariel Says:

    Excellent article, Ryan!

  15. Pregnancy Miracle Review Says:

    I’ve heard somewhere that our consciousness is like an onion. It consists of layer after layer. We can go deeper and deeper peeling each layer until finally after the last layer is gone we will find our true self. But what i found fascinating is after the last layer is gone, there is actually nothing left. in the middle there is NOthing. But it’s kinda liberating because from nothing that we can create.

  16. Johannes Says:

    I have been thinking about this a lot recently but I just couldn’t seem to understand…
    all I needed was this article, great work!

  17. Cairns Massage Says:

    Its very much out of your control what thoughts arise. How much attention you pay them, and how they influence your mood or actions are things to consider.
    .-= Cairns Massage´s last undefined ..If you register your site for free at =-.

  18. feli Says:

    A great book to better understand and learn to apply it in your life(how to distinguish which voice is which and use them) is The still small voice by Robert Wall Crary.
    Thank you very much for this site, helps feed my awareness like you wouldn’t believe it. Wow, we just will never even be close to finish learning.

  19. Diffuse Says:

    I was really happy to find this. You remind me of myself, in all the introspection and description of feelings and revelations. This is not a jugglery of words, without a rigid conclusion. This is SOMEthing. This truely tries to explain the feel of the revelation. 😀

Leave a Reply