Something that I really struggled with when I first came across the Three Principles was the idea that there was a space before thought. In this article I’ll explain what I understand this to be now.
What is thought?
A good place to start is to explore what thought is. After all, if we’ve never considered this then how can be know what comes before it?
Thought, it seems to me, is the energy that passes through us and creates our experience of life. It is through thought that we interpret and experience the world.
Given that scientist believe we have over 60,000 thoughts a day it seems to me that Thought is transient and neutral until we pay attention to it.
Once we pay attention to a particular thought we can add personal thinking to it to effectively create a ‘thought storm’. It appears to me that this can be habitual. Some thoughts are very familiar and we tend to pay them a lot of attention.
Anyway, I don’t want to dwell on thoughts. I want to point you to the space before thought.
What is the space before thought?
When I first came across the Three Principles I heard this a lot. You’re looking for the space before thought.
To me that seemed crazy. I was very aware of my thinking and it seemed to be loud and constant. There was no space before thought, or so I thought.
I searched and searched for this beautiful place. For the promise of peace. For the freedom of no thought…and I couldn’t find it.
I got annoyed, I searched some more and it alluded me.
Now I know from working with clients that this is a familiar journey.
So what’s the key?
When we search for something we take ourselves away from what is.
We take ourselves out of the present moment and back into thought (“where’s the space before thought”, “why can’t I find it”, “there must be something wrong with me” etc etc). The very direction we don’t want to go in if we want to find peace and happiness!
So how do we find it?
We step into the present moment.
We become present.
And I know what the next question is…
How do I get to the present moment?
Am I right? Are you wondering that and in doing so taking yourself further away?
I know I did.
Well the good news is that you do it all the time without realising it.
You’ll find it in the most ordinary places; chopping vegetables, mowing the lawn, dusting the house, walking the dog, listening to music…
In fact, it’s so ordinary that you’ve probably missed it. And you’ve missed it because it’s quiet and there is no thought. It is the space before thought!
What does the space before thought look like?
For me, when I watch 10-year-old Nandi Bushell playing drums, it points to what it looks like to be in the present moment. To be in the space before thought.
Fully in the present moment with no thought. Just being, feeling, joy, happiness.
Even if you don’t like the music (turn the sound off) I really encourage you to watch this video of her playing.
If she was thinking about her drumming; about which drum she should be hitting do you think she could do it?
To me it looks as though she is allowing the force behind life to flow though her; to move her. No thoughts getting in the way.
And the very joy of that is clearly evident…
You can read more about the Three Principles here.