3P Random Reflections Blog

In the moment that I heard “How can we take ourselves seriously in light of the fact that we’re making it up?”, I realized that EVERYTHING I had ever thought in my entire life was completely made up, and that I was living in the experience of the complete illusion of my thinking, as was everyone else. From that moment, I started living in the experience of an entirely new world because I now understood the “reason why” for every human behaviour in life.



Why do people sometimes hate?

  • Thinking appears in their head and they believe it.

Why do people sometimes get angry?

  • Thinking appears in their head and they believe it.

Why do people sometimes hurt other people?

  • Thinking appears in their head and they believe it.

Why do people sometimes lie?

  • Thinking appears in their head and they believe it.

Why do people sometimes get judgmental?

  • Thinking appears in their head and they believe it.

Why do people sometimes drink, and take drugs, and harm themselves, or do anything to excess?

  • Thinking appears in their head and they believe it.

Why do people sometimes love?

  • Thinking appears in their head and they believe it.

Why do people sometimes show compassion?

  • Thinking appears in their head and they believe it.

Why do people sometimes help other people?

  • Thinking appears in their head and they believe it.

Why do people sometimes be honest?

  • Thinking appears in their head and they believe it.

Why do people sometimes get grateful?

  • Thinking appears in their head and they believe it.

Why do people sometimes play, and laugh, and enjoy themselves, and just live in the moment?

  • Thinking appears in their head and they believe it.


It’s so incredibly simple.



Our uniquely personal experience of life and consequent actions are NOT at all driven by our circumstances or whatever is happening in the world around us or even who we are at the core of our being. Our personal experience of life and consequent actions are driven simply by the natural and innocent belief in whatever flow of thinking happens to appear in our head in each moment. We are designed to have a continual flow of up and down thought, and feel it, and believe it.



That’s it. That’s everything.



What’s interesting, is that if we somehow realize this as true, we begin to get some level of freedom from this naturally occurring up and down flow of secure and insecure thinking that appears in our head. We get some distance from it.



We begin to take our thinking less seriously, both the bad and the good. We begin catching ourselves feeling yucky, and begin noticing (getting insights) into how the yucky feeling is coming from a momentary flow of insecure thought, some of which may be aware of, and much of which we likely may not be aware of. We begin catching ourselves feeling wonderful, and begin appreciating the moments of being graced with a momentary flow of secure thought, some of which we may be aware of, and much of which we likely may not be aware of.



And in that growing freedom from whatever experience we happen to be having, continually being created from the up and down flow of thinking appearing in our head and being felt through our feelings, we begin realizing something more



We begin caring less what state of mind we happen to be in, knowing that whatever we’re feeling is just a consequence of the momentary and naturally changing flow of thought and not anything outside of us or inside of us that needs to be “fixed”.



We begin realizing that neither we nor anyone else is “broken”. Instead, we’re all just experiencing life and participating in life through the filter of our own innocently believed up and down thinking.



We begin realizing that whatever we are feeling, whether good or bad, has absolutely no connection to who we all are at the core of our soul… something that can’t really be explained, but can be felt, and something that we all are intimately familiar with, whether we realize it or not.



And so in the moment that I heard “How can we take ourselves seriously in light of the fact

that we’re making it up?”, and I realized the truth of it, and I realized the truth of who we all are at the core of our soul, it didn’t stop me from being human.



First of all, it just made me laugh because how funny and ridiculous it was that “we’re all completely crazy and we just have no idea”.



And second of all, it allowed me to go back into life, still thinking and feeling both good and crappy, and sometimes really really crappy… but with complete understanding of WHY, and no more need to figure it out, even though my thinking, for some reason, still seems to love coming up with other WHYs.

I remember being in a team meeting once with a group of individuals who were all high performers in the fields of human resources and organizational development (basically, the fields of how to be a better personWink). We were going around the room, each sharing something that we were grateful for, and each person had some beautifully inspiring story, or they shared a moment of touching appreciation for someone else on the team.



I was relatively new to the team, and when it got to me, I can’t remember what I said that I was grateful for, but I do remember sharing how I mostly saw life as “the cup half empty” rather than “the cup half full”. And although I was just stating it as “simply a fact for me” without really too much on it, I remember their initial silent or confused reaction. I didn’t mean it to be that big of a deal, and it didn’t seem to be that big of a deal to me, but in a room full of high achievers, always overcoming obstacles, always finding the positive, always in the “get’r-done-and-move on-to-the-next” mode, I see now in reflection, that I might as well have announced that I was a pedophile. Big Grin LOL!



As a funny side-note, another thought that had occurred to me was that the potential problem was that I was Canadian. In a room full of Amercans, I had the thought that their American sense of "ra ra ra" probably didn't quite mesh with my Canadian sense of "ha ha ha".



And so I had some sense then, that although I was very much enjoying the work I was doing, that I was clearly in the wrong room… I was not at all speaking their language.



At the time, I thought the reason I was in the wrong room was because of something wrong with me. I thought I should be less of “me” and more of “them”, because clearly, they were what success was all about. I should be a striver, a motivator, an achiever, an overcomer, a rising star, an emerging leader, a "high-potential", a mover and a shaker. However, there was something deep in my bones that was also telling me that this thinking was wrong for me in some way… I could feel it, but I couldn’t hear it. My heart was telling me something profound, but my head wasn’t listening at all.



And then I gained insight into the Three Principles… And so what I didn’t know then, that I know now, is hilariously, that they were all just as messed up as I thought I was. Their proclamations of “YES I CAN” and perceptions of being in control, were often just as unhelpful as my proclamations of “NO I CAN’T” and perceptions of not being in control because of some inherent brokenness. Their very human and very compelling and mostly invisible-to-them insecure needs, just came out in a different way than mine did.



They were in a continual mode of effortful striving because each time they got to the next level, although it was rewarding and they were often recognized, it was eventually somehow not enough. And I was in a continual mode of “I’ll never be enough” because I continually dismissed anything that I did that seemed effortless, and I gave incredible amounts of attention and significance to my apparent inability to be proactive at “overcoming”.



That’s the incredibly compelling nature of the power of thought. Until we somehow discover the fundamental illusory nature of ALL thought, and the deeper spiritual truth that all of us are always already enough and perfectly fine just as we are, we will keep looking to make change in whatever crazy stories we've made up in our head, and we will never be able to see what has always been right there, right in front of us all along.



Today, I still have lots of thoughts about not being enough, easily dismissing any of my achievements, and I’m guessing they still have lots of thoughts about needing to be an achiever, giving great significance to what they have already achieved or what they need yet to achieve.



But how nice to know that I (and they) don’t have to pay attention to any of it, and that even in those frequent moments whenever we do happen to get caught up in our compelling and completely ridiculous made up thinking, we’ll all still be perfectly fine.

Whenever I facilitate the 2-hour Stinking Thinking Hangouts at the homeless shelter, the individuals that come in are often not sure why they’re there, or what it’s going to be about. A few have come in because they’ve read something on the flyer that has piqued their interest, a few have been encouraged to attend by the staff at the shelter, and others have come in for a variety of other reasons, including that it’s something different to do, rather than hanging out at the drop-in centre.


And although every person brings with them something completely different in their circumstances, their thinking, and their state of mind in the moment, it’s almost guaranteed that most are experiencing some level of suffering, often both physical and mental. As well, since it is a “non-intoxication” shelter, many are managing some withdrawal from drugs, and bumping into the painful busyness of their thinking that tends to be more loud and affecting when not numbed by the drugs. It’s not uncommon for them to be a bit confused, and fidgety and restless. And it’s not uncommon for some to want to leave before the two hours are over.


And so I never know how any hangout is going to go. In some hangouts we’re able to make a human connection and have some interesting conversation, with an opportunity for me to learn a bit about them, and sometimes an opportunity for me to share a little bit of what has been helpful for me, and sometimes I get to hear some incredible wisdom. And in some other hangouts, not so much. Today was more in the “not so much” category, but still interesting and appreciated and amusing, just the same.


I had 3 people drop in today.


One was a woman who was a bit unsteady on her feet, a bit limited in her attention, a bit quiet and garbled with her speaking, but with some quick smiles glancing across her face and some life behind her eyes as we greeted and chatted.


The second was a man who appeared more clear headed and articulate, but was a bit more hidden in his posture and behind his eyes.


The third was a man who walked in all loud and imposing, wanting to know what was going on, then starting a conversation with me which led to him sharing how he’d killed several people, and how not everyone believes it, but how everyone always gets hairs raised up on the back of their neck when they hear of it. He went on to tell me a few more things about thinking and about God. He wasn’t too interested in hanging out with us, but he had a chance to say his piece, grab a few items from my basket of treats, and then left, saying “Thanks and have a nice day”. That happened at about 2 MINUTES in.


With my two participants left, I began to share a bit about what the hangout is about, and what they could expect, and asked if they had any initial questions or thoughts before we started. The response from both of them was limited and reluctant, so it seemed to make sense to me to share a bit of my own story. Shortly after starting, the man advised he had to go. That was about 5 MINUTES in.


Then with the woman still left, I continued on with my story. At several points she mentioned that what I was sharing is what happens to her. I didn’t quite understand what she said at first, but eventually got some sense of it. Not sure yet what to ask, I continued on for a few more minutes sharing my story, after which she said something again. I didn’t understand it again, so I asked her to repeat it. She spoke again, and this time I think I got the words, but it didn’t immediately make sense to me, and then after a moment, the penny dropped. I realized she was asking me if I was reading her mind.


I was telling her the story of how my thinking had affected me (how it worked), and since it is universal, and therefore what also happens with her own thinking, she thought I was reading her mind. I smiled and laughed a bit, and said, “Oh, no, no. I can’t read your mind. What I’m sharing is just how everyone thinks.” We talked for just a bit after that, then she looked up at the clock, and said she had to go. That was 10 MINUTES in.


She got up on her feet, slowly gathered up her bags of belongings, and grabbed a few more treats to go. I asked her if she likes to read, and when she said yes, I gave her a copy of the Enlightened Gardener. She put it in one of her bags and left.


After that, I just sat down and chuckled a bit to myself. I thought wow, 2 minutes, 5 minutes, and 10 minutes… that’s gotta be a record for people wanting to leave once I start talking. LOL!


As I mentioned before, I never know how any hangout is going to go… who will appear and what will happen. But I quite often remember that I never have to worry, because I know I’m not in charge of any of that. I just get to show up, try not to be an idiot, show a little kindness, and see what happens. The rest is up to the universe.


Fortunately, on this beautiful, sunny, temperate day today, I got to leave a little early and enjoy the drive home with the windows open and the music playing. I wonder what next week’s hangout will bring?

A few years ago, some neighbours moved into the house next door who were suffering with alcoholism, drug addiction, economic lack, and a variety of other challenges. The house attracted many others, and became a sort of meeting place that brought forth loud booming music, late night parties, screaming, fights, property neglect and damage, collateral damage around the neighbourhood, and frequent visits by the police and ambulance.


For a while, I "suffered" along with them, frequently being affected by the disruptive behaviours, and often being fearful for the safety of myself and my home, to the point that my husband and I began making plans to sell our house and move. And although I had some compassion for their suffering, I still saw them as completely separate from me and I saw them as "less" in many ways.


And then one day I had a profound realization... that they were EXACTLY the same as me. That they were simply caught up in the compelling nature of their own insecure thinking (just as I often was), acting out from their believed thoughts in each moment (fighting, yelling, damaging), and often looking for any relief (via drugs, alcohol, partying) from the feeling of suffering that was unknowingly being created through their innocent belief in the chronic nature of their insecure thinking. They were simply and innocently doing the best they could to manage the "scary world out there", not realizing and seeing what was "in here".


All of a sudden, everything about the situation and about life made complete sense to me. All the whys and hows of everything in life became completely clear. I no longer saw the neighbours as less. I saw them as exactly the same as me. I saw all the joys and kindnesses in their behaviours and not just the moments of their suffering behaviours. I could see how we were intrinsically connected in ways that are now completely obvious and in many more ways that could barely be articulated but could be profoundly felt. I had completely new eyes for how I saw them and a completely new heart for how I experienced them. I loved them without condition.


Bill Cumming, who has had his own profound experience of "a change of heart" (check out his amazing TED talk) recently shared a video of Gabor Mate which points to the perils of societies that foster the illusions of separateness, and foster the perspectives of others being seen as "less". I can see my own experience and understanding reflected in Gabor's words. Thanks to Bill for sharing.



It was my 63rd "Stinking Thinking Hangout" at the homeless shelter today. One person appeared... a repeat from a couple of past sessions, and someone who happens to have spent 20 years in maximum security in prison for killing a couple of people, but more importantly, a human being, subject to the innocent belief in his made up thinking, exactly as we all are. Being away on holiday, I hadn't seen him for a few weeks, but in our last session, I left him with a copy of the Enlightened Gardener.

When he came back in today, he talked about how much the book meant to him, and what he had seen, and how it made so much sense. I kept on smiling and laughing as I heard the things he was saying.... "We are nothing and everything. This is too big for words. No one can tell the truth. It's not in the words. I don't have to get lost in my thinking... I can just defuse it. Instead of fighting back, I'm just not interested... I'm calm and clear... and when I'm calm, then they also no longer want to fight me. Our mind is like a computer... what goes in is what comes out. The belief that there's no hope is not true. I can do anything".

What made it even more amusing was at the end of the hangout, when we spent a bit of time watching a Syd Banks video, he turned to me and said... "He's saying everything I just said." I simply smiled and said "Yes, I know."

Thank you Syd.

Latest comments

10.06 | 11:27

You're so welcome Karen! My first 3P insight was that because we're all living in the illusion of our made up thinking, we're all crazy and don't know it!

10.06 | 11:11

You are so darn funny!!! I was pointed to this site when I googled 3P school and it addressed if you should wear a 3P's suit! Thanks for sharing so much humour!

12.04 | 22:44

Catch up... sounds good. Would love to hear how things are going. 😊

12.04 | 22:34

Hey there, welcome back! Let's touch base soon. I had a virtual ticket to the conference. Have only just been able to start watching the clips. Way, way cool! Reminds me of our walk over to the chicken place. LOL