Positive Thinking—And Beyond

August 30, 2011

I was listening to someone talking to a group about how to accomplish a particular project. I was waiting to hear what simple actions to take in order to accomplish it.

I was still waiting when the speaker said that positive thinking was crucial for the success of the project, and for everything in life.

This would apply if you are at the point where you need encouragement in order to begin taking action, or if you are feeling discouraged as the action is in progress.

And it would apply if you are in the habit of self-defeat. Positive thinking might be helpful for changing that habit.

Positive thinking is also an invocation to the positive forces in the universe, attracting support for the success of your activity.

I definitely affirm anything that works for you.

At the same time, it seems to me that there are a few more nuances to the topic.

For one thing, there is the common, everyday experience of doing something that you don’t feel like doing. Inwardly, you experience resistance, but you still decide to do what you know has to be done. And you do it.

This suggests that you can perform action regardless of your inner experience, positive or not.

As Answers From Silence says, “Feelings and actions are separate dimensions.”

For another thing, if you accidentally tip over a glass of water onto your dinner table, you probably won’t take any time out for positive thinking in order to convince yourself to do what needs to be done.

In fact, taking time out for positive thinking at that moment would be superfluous. And it would reduce your effectiveness by sidetracking your attention.

Instead, you will act instantly to contain the spill. And you won’t do any thinking at all.

This suggests that there is a part of you that is always ready for action.

So it seems to me that there can be something beyond both “positive” and “thinking”.

Item: beyond “thinking”.

You are not your thoughts. You were here before they were.

There is a more fundamental self that is you. It is characterized by silence.

Thoughts orbit around that fundamental self. But they are not the definition of you. Nor are they the identity of you.

Item: beyond “positive”.

That silence is positive, but not in the sense of “I get what I want” or “I am in a good mood”.

It is positive in the sense of wholeness.

Wholeness means that nothing is lacking.

When you move through life having embraced the inner sense of the wholeness of the silent self, where nothing is lacking, then you are beyond the qualities of positivity and negativity that categorize events in the outer world.

Your experience might be something more like having God carry you in His two hands through each day.

Bonus item: beyond “invocation”.

When wholeness is there all the time, then you never have to summon it.


  1. Beyond positive: “Contentment.” “Neutrality.” “Equanimity.” “Acceptance of Reality, both positive and negative, and sometimes neither!”

    This is a test of the comments section, but I’m also trying to make a useful contribution to the comments section. Enjoy!

  2. Dear Rose:

    I’m glad that my post affirmed you and supported your important work.

    Also just to let you know that I enjoy exactly who you are and that I am sure that you are doing a great job. I know that many people are grateful to you.

  3. So hypothetical (NOT), Jeffrey:

    “Your experience might be something more like having God carry you in His two hands through each day.”

    I couldn’t agree more strongly with everything you described. Agree although I can’t claim that I experience everything that you described.

    As a writer, I am also so impressed with how you gave an entirely positive, uplifting debunking of positive thinking.

    You may know that one of my books supplies an alternative to popular Law of Attraction teachings (Talk about positive thinking!) In the process, I felt that I did need to separate wheat from chaff, or show precisely where I found negative consequences on the level of auras for people who worked really, really diligently on their positive thinking.

    It was difficult for me, doing that part. Yet it seemed necessary, a bit like cleaning up the spilled water: First observing that the “water” really was spilled, then cleaning it up.

    I really look forward to a time when I have a more elegant state of consciousness and can do a more graceful job. Meanwhile, dear friend, I do enjoy being exactly who I am, operating from my present level of consciousness, and doing my human best.

    Somehow this post of yours helped me feel better about doing all of this.