An image of a thing is not the thing. Salvador Dali liked to point this out. Men have an image of themselves—a hive of memories, hopes, fears, regrets, opinions, preferences. There’s no problem with this until we mistake the hive for the honey.
To screen our thoughts as they arise, we can pose one or both of these questions: Is this necessary? Does it serve a purpose? This practice immediately severs our identification with negative thinking.
Difficulties and deliriums arise when we identify with our emotions, even to the extent that we become them. In the consumptive event, we don’t have an emotion—an emotion has us!
When I was 17, I switched from my first name, Hugh, to my second name, Keith. Not that it matters; we are are not what we are called. Understanding that, Prince changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol.
It’s like a fevered dream we live in, this oscillating fear-world of us and others. But look and see: there are no others.