Author Topic: Are thoughts formless?  (Read 6656 times)

Nell

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Are thoughts formless?
« on: July 15, 2007, 06:13:34 AM »
Hello everyone,

My close friend and i follow perrenial philosophies, non-dualism and the teachings of Ramana very enthusiastically, we both feel the truth in its "concepts" although are also aware that what we feel is not reality lol...we spend alot of time together discussing perrenial phylosophies and appreciating various writings that we feel encompass teachings and examples of non-dualism and enjoy picking apart and interpreting writings together.

Today we were talking and i refered to thought as formless and he disagreed and said that they were the exact opposite...thoughts are form...i could not understand this...i view that thoughts create form, but the form which they create is not reality and so therefore is not form...but you could also say that the form which thoughts create is not reality so therefore the form we percieve is a thought and by this point thoughts are form.

As we experience thought in my mind, they have no form...they do not poo out of your ear as you have them, although i suppose each time we open our mouths to express them  :D....LOL

But to me this supports my understanding them as being formless.  The thing is, he is incredibly wise...he is far better read than myself, so is more aquainted with the knowledge and teachings of perennial philosophies, non-dualism and Ramana Maharshi who he adores...in our conversation, i kind of got to grips with the point he was making, through logic and trust in his wide knowledge...but i still do not understand completely how my point is invalid...i still can not see how why in the one perspective thoughts are form this means that they can not be formless in their nature, experience.

It is possible that i have gotten the state of my thoughts confused with consciousness, but i can not see either how this could be relavant.  Consciousness is formless and infinate, unbindable...so surely anything that stems from it is formless also?

Here is the conversation if you want to read it to give a better insight of where my friend was coming from, there may be a few bits that do not make sense, for me and he refer to things that we already understand and agree quite simplistically, i do not want to discuss these, i would like to understand how thoughts ARE form...the way he put it...or how thoughts ARE formless the way i view it...i would REALLY appreciate ANY quotes or teachings you could give me that may help resolve this and understand...

A - one thing i disagree with and that is that thought is formless
me -  what?
A - what we see and think is form
me -  mmm   yes
A -   hence the point of transcending form ...  transcending thought
me -   yeah, but what we see and think is form, but our experience of thought is formless
A -  but the thought itself that we identify with is form
me - l  no
A -   but ya I agree that the consciousness is formless
  think about it
  the computer you are using
me -   it creates the thought of form
A -   it is a thought
me -  yes
A -  and it has a form
me -  no
A -  no?
me -  i think it has form ...  but in reality it hasnt
A -  in reality it transcends both form and formless I know that, but thought is form while we are identifying with the ego
  because it has a certain shape ...  and distinction from other thought forms
me -  no ...  you think it has form ...  certain shape
A -   the thinking is the form
me -  the thinking creates form but it is not the form itself, for there is no form in reality
A -  the thinker and thought are one and the same
  duality is form
me -  yes...and?
A -   hence the various multitudes of forms that manifest via duality
...  wait ...  let me show ya something
me -   hurry up though, i gotta go in a mo
A -  Thought cannot do what it will, free itself from opposites; thought itself created the ugly and the beautiful, the good and the bad. So it cannot free itself from its own activities. All that it can do is to be still, not choose. Choice is conflict. ---Jiddu
me -  yes ...l  and?
A -  we choose forms which is made of thought
me -  when thought is still it becomes its formless state
A -  but until then it is form
me -  no
...  the reality is its true state
A - agree to disagree
me -   no
..  ahaha
A -   and it is beyond the reach of thought
me - l  lets sort this out!
A -   because thought = form ...  also
...  there is form in infinity because infinity has everything
me -  but everything is nothing
 there is form and there is no form
A -  and nothing is everything
me -   yes...but it is also nothing
A -   but thought is form while we see it in parts of a whole instead as just a whole
me -  dont equate that nothing being everything makes everything the stronger of the two
A -  thereis no difference between the two ...  both are concepts
... concepts are thought
...  thought is form
me -l  yes, thought creates form in our minds...it interprets
... but it is not the form itself
...  i do not understand why you can not see this? ...  it isnt the form it creates
A -  there is no difference between thought and form
...  they are the same
me -  it is the process that creates it
A -  the process is thought
me -  yes
A -  and it has form
...  true reality has no process ...  for it is ever as it should be
me -  it is the process that creates form, but not the form itself, for it does not exist...
...it is just a thought...MMMM
...l  i might be getting you
A -  ultmately it is all illusion
me -   WOW!!! the way i worded that is MAAAAD
A -  but the illusion is thought ...  and the thoughts are various forms
me -  check the contradiction man
  i still associate with the formless aspect
A -   even that is a thought
me - what i said, yes
A -  true formlessness is beyond both formless and form
me -  yes
A -  my point is
  thought is objective
  or subjective ...  but they concepts ... concepts are form
me - l  but the form isnt real
A -   doesnt matter
me -   whether we think them or not
A -  it is still form
me -  how...if it is not real?
A -  it may not exist but its non-existence is form
me -  i think my head does FUnny things that makes me understand it differently
A -   we all have that

Even after this iteration, i get it, but i do not...reality is formless and unbindable, so on the one hand thought is an illusionary binding, like a veil...so how can a illusionary state have form, if you are aware of its true nature?...

Thanks for reading i look forward to recieveing any help you can offer me...it will mean alot

Nellx
 
Can i explain the Friend to one for whom He is no Friend? ~ Jalal-uddin Rumi

blahmananda

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Re: Are thoughts formless?
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2007, 06:26:13 AM »
Names and forms are illusory from the perspective of the absolute. But they are real for those of us stuck in duality. Being aware that the true nature of reality is nondual is quite different from realizing such nonduality. The former is an intellectual understanding only.

Blah blah blah,
Blahmananda

Nell

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Re: Are thoughts formless?
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2007, 08:47:41 PM »
Cheers Blahmananda,

Yes, you have worded that really well.

So, if my friend understands non-duality and follows it as i do myself...why refer to thoughts=form...when he understands that reality is formless and the illusion of thought and form, formless also.

However, what you have said does resolve this somewhat for me...but i would still really appreciate any quotes or teachings anyone has to offer on the matter   :)

Cheers  ;D
Nell
Can i explain the Friend to one for whom He is no Friend? ~ Jalal-uddin Rumi

Nell

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Re: Are thoughts formless?
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2007, 02:34:10 AM »
Names and forms are illusory from the perspective of the absolute. But they are real for those of us stuck in duality. Being aware that the true nature of reality is nondual is quite different from realizing such nonduality. The former is an intellectual understanding only.

Blah blah blah,
Blahmananda

mmm, yeah and also, isnt accepting that we have not realized nonduality some what sealing our own fate? ....to experience the non-dual should we not surrender to the truths of the absolutes?...it just does not make sense to me.

Is it like...only people who have "self realized" are allowed to express things in that way?  :-\...to me there is no idolising or divisiion to realisation, i live my life in a society of dualism but i know the illusionary paradox of this and the formlessness of thought is a more accurate description of what i experience than that of the dualistic interpretation.

ha ha...sorry, just some more thought forms pooing out, thas all HAHAHAHA ;D

EDIT: WOWWWWW! Just realised! i've resolved it!!! :) If formlessness of thought is a more accirate description of what i experience then the original dispute is irrelavant :) YAY!
« Last Edit: July 17, 2007, 02:39:39 AM by Nell »
Can i explain the Friend to one for whom He is no Friend? ~ Jalal-uddin Rumi

blahmananda

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Re: Are thoughts formless?
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2007, 11:19:55 PM »
Thoughts exist in the chitta, the mindstuff. They come as either names or forms. Thoughts are the illusory world. The formless truth is not a thought. It is beyond thought. Still the mind and feel this. But how to still the mind? One method is to concentrate on a single thought only. When others arrive let them go and come back to the one thought. Eventually the thoughts get thinned out. In the end throw away the one thought too. Another is to watch the thoughts without being carried away by them. Rest in the eternal witness. This method also will thin out the thoughts. They are really the same method. Observing or concentrating on the breath is another method. This becomes the one thought of the first method. Concentrating on a chakra or an energy center in the subtle body is another method. These are all really the same method.

Then there is the background of thought. Concentration and meditation must really be kept up constantly, even while engaging in the world. But who can do this right from the start? So study the Upanishads, the Gita, The Brahma Sutra, the Yoga Vasistha, etc. Knowledge or Jnana is developed. This generates a satvic (pure) "background of thought" that will help one remain as the witness even while engaging in worldly activity. The benefits of scripture cannot be understood unless one experiences the power of this background of thought.

Also cultivate the heart. One should not be a "dry vedantist." Sankara was a supreme bhakti. Truth is Love. Merge the mind in the heart. But it doesn't matter really, for if one proceeds far enough on the path of knowledge, one discovers anyway that the highest nondual realization is pure Love.

Blah blah blah,
Blahmananda

parthasarathyxr

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Re: Are thoughts formless?
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2007, 11:47:14 AM »
thoughts are the aggitations which take place in our brains
In Physics you come across what happens to molecular activity at 0 degree kelvin, activity ceases
The same happens when you realise yourself who are you and what are you
and the result is that your activity ceases and you thoughts cease
Calm yourself by not thinking about all worldly things and meditate on the guru RAMANA
and you will become silent

rob

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Re: Are thoughts formless?
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2007, 07:53:32 PM »
Just like to say hello to everyone here, I'm new to this forum.

I personally have always felt that the sleep state was a no-thought state, i.e. a blank state and thus formless. However, I did read somewhere (can't find the article at this time) that Ramana said that sleep too was just another thought. If this is so, then wouldn't this make thought formless too?

Rob

Subramanian.R

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Re: Are thoughts formless?
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2008, 01:03:05 PM »
Thoughts are formless.  When mind-reader reads your thought,
you or he does not perceive that it  comes out of you and reaches
him.  But thoughts can produce forms, like the magician bringing
rabbit out of his thought.  Out of thoughts, names and forms
appear simultaneosuly.   Thinking about sleep is again a thought.
But being in sleep is not a thought, because mind withdraws into
the Self.  But, when you dream, it is a thought and so names and
forms appear.  In a dream, as Bhagavan said, when you feel hungry,
only the food in the dream can satisfy you.  It has nothing to do
with your waking state hunger and food to satisfy it.