Thinking (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn)


I came across an interesting article from Natural News that I want to share. Usually I don’t like their articles because they are very anti-medication and anti-psychiatry. However even in the worst places you can always find a gem! This fits in well with my ideas about positive thinking and how we should not force ourselves to think a certain way. It also discusses the fact that we actually need to pay attention to our negative feelings because they are our teachers, not our enemies.

Spiritual, psychological and holistic reasons to  avoid the positive thinking mentality

Monday, March 11, 2013 by: Mike Bundrant

(NaturalNews) Mention a problem to just about anyone and you’ll be inundated  with positive advice. “Things will get better soon. Just keep a positive  outlook. Chin up, my friend! Behind every dark cloud is a silver lining. When  one door closes, another opens. Your attitude determines your altitude. You’ll  be fine. Everything turns out for the best in the end.”
Positive thinking  dominates our conscious minds. When we have a thought we can control, we try to  make it positive. This is a massive problem; it may be humanity’s deadly flaw.  All those negative thoughts you cannot control, therefore, have a basis in unconscious negativity, an area we are motivated to avoid, especially  since the advent of the positive thinking culture.
What is unconscious  originates outside of our awareness. What is outside of our awareness is outside  of our control. To control negativity, we need to be able to see it, focus on  it, confront it, deal with it – NOT avoid it.
The positive side of life  is valid part of the story. Denying the rest of story goes against  ancient spiritual wisdom, psychological evidence, common sense and sets you up  for a lifetime of disappointment and self-sabotage.
Look at the world around you. Look at  your own mind and behavior honestly. It is not all positive. Focusing only on  the positive and denying the negative is a recipe for disaster. The disaster is  in full force all around us. We continue to deny it at our own peril.

We need holistic thinking, not positive thinking.

Positive thinking is  the act of thinking good or affirmative thoughts. Many people engage in positive  thinking to rid themselves of negative thoughts, even though it is the worst way  to get rid of them.
Positive thinking goes against holistic  thinking on so many levels. Holistic thinking embraces all of life, the  positive and the negative, to the point of transcending them. By transcending  them, I don’t mean avoiding negativity, but achieving balance between these  opposing forces that are not going away, no matter how much we pretend  otherwise.
Focusing solely on the positive  empowers the negative, because the negative and the positive are connected. It  works like a teeter-totter. Sit on one side and the other pops up. Put equal  weight on both sides and you can live in balance and harmony.

Lessons from Taoism

Taoism teaches us that the seeming opposites in  life actually give rise to each other. Many natural dualities (such as female  and male, dark and light, low and high, cold and hot, water and fire, life and  death, and so on) are thought of as physical manifestations of the yin-yang  concept.
Christian apologist C.S. Lewis spoke highly of the Tao in  his book, The Abolition of Man: The Tao, which others may  call Natural Law or Traditional Morality or the First Principles of Practical  Reason or the First Platitudes, is not one among a series of possible systems of  value. It is the sole source of all value judgments. If it is rejected, all  value is rejected.
Denying negativity – especially our unconscious  attachments to it – is a flat rejection of the Tao.

The Old Testament lays it out clearly, in Eccelesiates 3: 1-8

There  is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the  heavens:
A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time  to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to  build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,  a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time  to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to  keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be  silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war  and a time for peace.

If a “positive thinker,” as opposed to  (theoretically) King Solomon, had written Ecclesiastes, here is what we might  have gotten:
A time to be born, but you never have to die if you  see the glass as “half-full.”
A time to laugh, but weeping is not  necessary because nothing in life is sad if you have a positive mental  attitude.
A time to search, and never give up regardless of the  evidence.
A time to love, but we’re not comfortable mentioning that other  word.
A time for peace, so let’s pretend there are no bad guys in the  world.

A time to heal, but we’re not comfortable admitting there  is such a thing as killing, or even suffering.
If we are going to  deal with the negative before it swallows us, we need to learn to focus on it,  intentionally. This involves learning how it operates in our own psyche. We need  to face it productively, rather than ignore it. Facing negativity can change  your life for the better in ways you have never imagined.
When you face  negativity – including the natural negativity within you – with open eyes and an  open mind, you naturally put your magnificent intelligence to work to solve  problems, not deny them. Self-sabotage, which results from an unconscious  attachment to negativity, becomes a thing of the past. .

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