Does negative thinking matter?

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Digity
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Re: Does negative thinking matter?

Post by Digity » Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:03 am

It all comes down to neuroplasticity. Whatever mental habit you practice becomes more ingrained. If you keep indulging in negativity then it gets easier and easier to do it. Have you ever been around someone who is super negative? Did you enjoy it? Did it give you the sense that this was an "enlightened" person? The point is that negativity points in the opposite direction of liberation and release. So of course it matters and of course it's unskillful.

It's just so much easier to be negative then to be positive. Our brains our wired to see the negative more easily. Humans wouldn't have survived as long as they have, heck no animal would have, if they didn't notice all the negative stuff around them, which could kill them. Our brains are sensitive to negativity, much more than to positivity. So, don't beat yourself up over that tendency, but at the same time we need to be skillful in our minds.

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No_Mind
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Re: Does negative thinking matter?

Post by No_Mind » Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:30 am

Just thinking aloud -

After a through analysis of my thoughts today morning I find I have to do some sort of deconstruction of my mind and rebuilding it. I never feel much anger. I learned long ago it is a wasted emotion (please do not take my acting out in this forum to be an indication of my actual personality .. we are just disembodied electrons "talking" to each other while floating in cyberspace not actual human beings having a conversation over a nice cup of coffee and a cookie .. in real life, if we were sitting besides each other on a plane .. I would hardly ask why you say you are from Wichita, Kansas and not from Wichita, Kansas, U.S. .. nor would I bring up the topic of Brahman or anatta/self/soul if I was traveling with a committed western Buddhist convert)

I do however feel steady low level anxiety. I am not willing to spend money on counselors because I find their method annoying - tell me/speak aloud what makes you anxious .. why do you think you are anxious .. what do you think can be done to reduce your anxiety .. for at least a year while they drain my pocket and prescribe mind numbing medicines like prozac or zoloft. Intelligent people can analyze their own problems .. is my firm belief.

The question I have more generally is am I aiming too high .. have I always aimed too high when it comes to having a peaceful mind? What do we mean by a peaceful mind? Is it possible that I already have as peaceful a mind as possible in a householder's life due to meditation daily for about 3 years?

I do not bite my nails, I do not drink, I do not eat out of nervousness, I do not do anything anxious people are supposed to do .. I do nearly always have strange dreams for past 6 or so years about people and places I cannot recognize ..

Perhaps feeling steady low level anxiety is normal .. a survival tool.

The problem is the internet .. and on it there are people who create videos and write blogs setting impossible targets .. even impossible targets about having a peaceful mind

Is it possible for a householder to have a perfectly peaceful mind? Like a still lake .. or am I aiming too high? Maybe, I am already there but I do not know it yet (one of the pitfalls of not having a teacher; one has breasted the tape but does not know the race is over) .. maybe I am as peaceful as possible and just having OCD about the residual anxiety I have .. which actually maybe only 5% of the anxiety that normal people have.

---------------------------------------

Something happened yesterday evening .. about 12 hours ago.

I was watching the local news and found a woman had committed suicide by jumping from 18th floor of a building. This building/apartment complex is very upmarket .. very posh and near my home (600 meters away)

She was 45, lived with her parents and had never married. Her parents were wealthy too. She had rented this flat but never lived in it. That goes to show how much money she had to waste. I have never heard of people renting a posh flat but never living there. By profession she was a Chartered Accountant (same as CPA in U.S.) and a successful professional.

About 10 minutes after I saw her photo I recognized her .. she had matched with me on Tinder back in Dec and we had a short chat .. where, after she asked if I was single and which college I had attended .. she asked if I had a car (I said no I have 10,000 because I have the Uber app) and then she commented "you are too unsuccessful" and unmatched with me .. it had stayed with me because she was the only match who had summarily dismissed me because I did not own a car.

She must have had enough money to buy a Mercedes .. I can hardly afford to buy one wheel of a Mercedes let alone a Mercedes .. but she jumped out of 18th floor

I am n times poorer but very happy and functional (all this happened after I asked this question)

So perhaps I am not as anxious as I imagine myself to be .. who knows maybe after a year I will also have to throw myself out of 18th floor but right now .. today .. 11:20 AM IST Mar 19, 2018 .. I am feeling unusually alive

:namaste:
I know one thing: that I know nothing

Meezer77
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Re: Does negative thinking matter?

Post by Meezer77 » Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:55 am

It was a bit unkind and unnecessary to call you unsuccessful. I find that my mood goes low in the winter months, but if I take myself off somewhere sunny then I turn into a different person. Maybe you could try taking yourself off to the pool or the beach more often No Mind, much cheaper than therapy.

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No_Mind
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Re: Does negative thinking matter?

Post by No_Mind » Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:15 am

Meezer77 wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:55 am
It was a bit unkind and unnecessary to call you unsuccessful. I find that my mood goes low in the winter months, but if I take myself off somewhere sunny then I turn into a different person. Maybe you could try taking yourself off to the pool or the beach more often No Mind, much cheaper than therapy.
What is high summer to you is height of winter here. Right now it is a 100 in shade. We have three seasons here - hot (80-90), very hot(90-100), very very hot (100 plus)

I want to escape to Scotland :smile:

:namaste:
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seeker242
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Re: Does negative thinking matter?

Post by seeker242 » Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:27 am

Negative thinking matters a great deal as negative thinking amounts to "inappropriate attention".
The Blessed One said, "Monks, the ending of the fermentations is for one who knows & sees, I tell you, not for one who does not know & does not see. For one who knows what & sees what? Appropriate attention & inappropriate attention. When a monk attends inappropriately, unarisen fermentations arise, and arisen fermentations increase. When a monk attends appropriately, unarisen fermentations do not arise, and arisen fermentations are abandoned
"And what is the food for the arising of unarisen restlessness & anxiety, or for the growth & increase of restlessness & anxiety once it has arisen? There is non-stillness of awareness. To foster inappropriate attention to that: This is the food for the arising of unarisen restlessness & anxiety, or for the growth & increase of restlessness & anxiety once it has arisen.

"And what is lack of food for the arising of unarisen restlessness & anxiety, or for the growth & increase of restlessness & anxiety once it has arisen? There is the stilling of awareness. To foster appropriate attention to that: This is lack of food for the arising of unarisen restlessness & anxiety, or for the growth & increase of restlessness & anxiety once it has arisen.
Attending appropriately matters a great deal.
This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "With regard to internal factors, I don't envision any other single factor like appropriate attention as doing so much for a monk in training, who has not attained the heart's goal but remains intent on the unsurpassed safety from bondage. A monk who attends appropriately abandons what is unskillful and develops what is skillful.

Appropriate attention
as a quality
of a monk in training:
nothing else
does so much
for attaining the superlative goal.
A monk, striving appropriately,
attains the ending of stress

binocular
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Re: Does negative thinking matter?

Post by binocular » Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:53 am

No_Mind wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:30 am
The problem is the internet .. and on it there are people who create videos and write blogs setting impossible targets .. even impossible targets about having a peaceful mind
Don't believe everything you hear and see on the internet. :tongue:
Is it possible for a householder to have a perfectly peaceful mind?
I don't think so.
Like a still lake .. or am I aiming too high? Maybe, I am already there but I do not know it yet (one of the pitfalls of not having a teacher; one has breasted the tape but does not know the race is over) .. maybe I am as peaceful as possible and just having OCD about the residual anxiety I have .. which actually maybe only 5% of the anxiety that normal people have.
Odd that you say such things; because on the other hand, you also say about yourself that you're living in contentment and bliss. So which is it?
About 10 minutes after I saw her photo I recognized her .. she had matched with me on Tinder back in Dec and we had a short chat .. where, after she asked if I was single and which college I had attended .. she asked if I had a car (I said no I have 10,000 because I have the Uber app) and then she commented "you are too unsuccessful" and unmatched with me .. it had stayed with me because she was the only match who had summarily dismissed me because I did not own a car.
Looks like she knew exactly what she was looking for, and had set for herself clear limits as to what makes for a worthwhile life and what doesn't.
But it could also be that there are things about her that we don't know. Maybe she was recently diagnosed with a terminal disease ...

Meezer77
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Re: Does negative thinking matter?

Post by Meezer77 » Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:00 pm

No_Mind wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:15 am
Meezer77 wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:55 am
It was a bit unkind and unnecessary to call you unsuccessful. I find that my mood goes low in the winter months, but if I take myself off somewhere sunny then I turn into a different person. Maybe you could try taking yourself off to the pool or the beach more often No Mind, much cheaper than therapy.
What is high summer to you is height of winter here. Right now it is a 100 in shade. We have three seasons here - hot (80-90), very hot(90-100), very very hot (100 plus)

I want to escape to Scotland :smile:

:namaste:
It's freezing and we are a miserable race who take joy in complaining.

binocular
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Re: Does negative thinking matter?

Post by binocular » Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:11 pm

No_Mind wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:15 am
What is high summer to you is height of winter here. Right now it is a 100 in shade. We have three seasons here - hot (80-90), very hot(90-100), very very hot (100 plus)
What is the biggest temperature difference between any two days in a year there?

Here, in the winters, we sometimes have -20°C, and 40°C in the summer, which makes up to a 60°C temperature difference. This isn't easy to handle either.

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No_Mind
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Re: Does negative thinking matter?

Post by No_Mind » Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:21 pm

binocular wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:53 am
Like a still lake .. or am I aiming too high? Maybe, I am already there but I do not know it yet (one of the pitfalls of not having a teacher; one has breasted the tape but does not know the race is over) .. maybe I am as peaceful as possible and just having OCD about the residual anxiety I have .. which actually maybe only 5% of the anxiety that normal people have.
Odd that you say such things; because on the other hand, you also say about yourself that you're living in contentment and bliss. So which is it?
My long post was second thoughts some hours after I had posted the original question.

I am not living in contentment. I would like couple of million GBP invested in AA+ rated corporate bonds. But not that I am unhappy. In my own eccentric way I am happy.

But I have a degree of low level anxiety because my skill is not unique and things are changing all the time and who knows where I might end up a decade and half later ..

But on the other hand .. say I was a farmer between 2000 BC and 1600 CE (anywhere in the world) .. who had no clue when marauding hordes would appear and take all I have or anthrax would kill all the sheep .. so no one knows the future and I am willing to accept this level of low level anxiety though it is highly undesirable.
binocular wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:53 am
About 10 minutes after I saw her photo I recognized her .. she had matched with me on Tinder back in Dec and we had a short chat .. where, after she asked if I was single and which college I had attended .. she asked if I had a car (I said no I have 10,000 because I have the Uber app) and then she commented "you are too unsuccessful" and unmatched with me .. it had stayed with me because she was the only match who had summarily dismissed me because I did not own a car.
Looks like she knew exactly what she was looking for, and had set for herself clear limits as to what makes for a worthwhile life and what doesn't.
But it could also be that there are things about her that we don't know. Maybe she was recently diagnosed with a terminal disease ...
My point is I have made it this far without rich parents while she chose to exit. So maybe my life is more blessed than hers was. And I was reflecting on my good fortune .. that the wealth I had received was more genuine and life giving than hers was.

:namaste:
I know one thing: that I know nothing

binocular
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Re: Does negative thinking matter?

Post by binocular » Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:29 pm

No_Mind wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:21 pm
My point is I have made it this far without rich parents while she chose to exit. So maybe my life is more blessed than hers was. And I was reflecting on my good fortune .. that the wealth I had received was more genuine and life giving than hers was.
Like I said: there may be -- in fact, most likely -- are things we don't know about her. Maybe she was diagnosed with a terminal disease, maybe she was abused.

It's easy to make superficial comparisons with others, in order to make oneself feel better. But such comparisons are illusory and whatever satisfaction they may bring could evaporate as soon as more is known about those other people.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Does negative thinking matter?

Post by Sam Vara » Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:32 pm

There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.

(Shakespeare. But you thought it was cappucino, didn't you!)

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No_Mind
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Re: Does negative thinking matter?

Post by No_Mind » Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:33 pm

binocular wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:11 pm
No_Mind wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:15 am
What is high summer to you is height of winter here. Right now it is a 100 in shade. We have three seasons here - hot (80-90), very hot(90-100), very very hot (100 plus)
What is the biggest temperature difference between any two days in a year there?

Here, in the winters, we sometimes have -20°C, and 40°C in the summer, which makes up to a 60°C temperature difference. This isn't easy to handle either.
Speaking of Calcutta - it is reverse weather of Siberia

Calcutta would have 10°C low and around 40 to 42°C high with killer humidity .. tomorrow actual high will be 36°C but real feel 40°C and this will continue till end October .. real feel will rise to 55°C slowly from now till June 10th

Delhi would have 5°C low at dead of winter and 43°C high at height of summer but drier than Calcutta (it matters because in Delhi days are hot but nights are cool .. here after you lie down for few hours the whole bed is wet with sweat)

Mumbai same as Calcutta but since it is by the sea side it is humid but also pleasant .. in Calcutta the air stands still much of the year.

:namaste:
Last edited by No_Mind on Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I know one thing: that I know nothing

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No_Mind
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Re: Does negative thinking matter?

Post by No_Mind » Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:35 pm

binocular wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:29 pm
No_Mind wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:21 pm
My point is I have made it this far without rich parents while she chose to exit. So maybe my life is more blessed than hers was. And I was reflecting on my good fortune .. that the wealth I had received was more genuine and life giving than hers was.
Like I said: there may be -- in fact, most likely -- are things we don't know about her. Maybe she was diagnosed with a terminal disease, maybe she was abused.

It's easy to make superficial comparisons with others, in order to make oneself feel better. But such comparisons are illusory and whatever satisfaction they may bring could evaporate as soon as more is known about those other people.
That is what I meant. If she had terminal disease or was abused or a plain case of too much money and too little to do .. it makes me more blessed than her .. her good fortune was lots of wealth while my good fortune is more intangible but also more nourishing.

I came to realize after hearing about her death that I may not be actually anxious. Let alone throw myself out of 18th floor I am not going to jump from 18 inches (at this moment).

:namaste:
I know one thing: that I know nothing

binocular
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Re: Does negative thinking matter?

Post by binocular » Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:40 pm

No_Mind wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:35 pm
That is what I meant. If she had terminal disease or was abused .. it makes me more blessed than her .. her good fortune was lots of wealth while my good fortune more intangible but also more nourishing.
As always -- count your blessings!

https://www.dhammatalks.org/Archive/y20 ... ssings.mp3
https://www.dhammatalks.org/Archive/y20 ... ssings.mp3

binocular
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Re: Does negative thinking matter?

Post by binocular » Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:43 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:32 pm
There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.
So it's thinking that makes bad dreams bad?

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