Everyone thinks, but not everyone utilizes critical thinking skills in their thinking. Enlightenment is not the ability to avoid our mind, but the ability to properly analyze and process information as it comes into our experience, to deepen our mind. It is the state of being in a continual process that is aligned with natural laws, and not misaligned processing, nor the avoidance of processing. Critical thinking is the gateway to knowing (gnosis) and understanding (logos) all things better, especially our Self — it is the gateway to deepening intellectual, emotional, physical, and spiritual awareness.
Our minds are laden with a myriad of limiting and self-sabotaging patterns of relating to life, others, and Self. These patterns block our ability to think, feel, and relate to life in a way that is harmonious and supportive to ourselves and others. Most people have not had critical thinking modeled for them, especially in how it can help their emotional well being. In fact, the Prussian Education System was implemented worldwide to eliminate critical thinking from the public schools — only the Elite private schools still teach critical thinking, but only so that they can maintain a working class and an overlord class of people. Even the private schools do not teach how critical thinking can improve relationships and emotional well-being though, even though critical thinking is the best way to improve those areas of our lives. They call it “emotional intelligence” for a reason, as it is the ability to think critically about our emotional responses and reasons (aka, logic) for reacting to both internal and external stimuli.
One of the most important aspects of critical thinking, processing our emotions, and of shadow work, is identifying our underlying assumptions and beliefs. When we experience a trigger, it is imperative to ask questions that gain clarity about the flare up, as well as questions that help identify the assumptions that we are basing our emotional reactions upon. Once we find a root assumption, we have the opportunity to analyze it further, by looking at its implications, its energetic requirements, its sustainability over time, and it’s logical ending point. If it is not sustainable and expansive on its own, without requiring emotional energy from external sources, or sacrificing emotional energy to others, then we understand that it is a poor assumption that leads to problematic emotions, problematic behaviors, isn’t sustainable in the long term, and is thus entropic. With such understanding in mind, we are now able to change our root assumption / belief, and upgrade it to a better serving one — one that is able to sustain itself without consuming emotional energy from external sources.
Processing our emotions isn’t screaming into a pillow to let off steam, nor is it venting our emotions to our supposed perpetrators; it is the ability to reverse engineer our behavioral and emotional patterns, so that we can modify our core assumptions and beliefs. With our underlying assumptions modified, we are now more capable of relating to life in a manner that is more harmonious and in balance with nature. Altering our core assumptions and beliefs with critical thinking is akin to alchemically transmuting lead into gold; and our emotional triggers have the capacity to be the catalyst that sparks our transformation—but only if we choose to ask the right questions.