The cause of all emotional suffering is ego output in the form of thinking. To put this another way thinking, which is generated by the ego, is what causes emotional suffering.
Suffering occurs when thoughts happen — sometimes these thoughts are generated by external events and sometimes they generate due to nothing at all apparent — and the thoughts carry a message that says, essentially, things are bad. Suffering happens not from the generated thoughts, but from an absolute connection with the thoughts so that they are interpreted as being credible.
In other words, a person doesn’t see the thoughts as something apart from them: the thoughts are considered to be “me”. It is inconceivable to most people to deny the credibility, the truth, of their thoughts because they are so close to them. It would be like denying the reality of their own being.
But thoughts are not representative of the self. Thoughts are helpful or useful in rare instances: most often they act as toxic blocks to one’s authentic being. What is authentic being? In reality it is beyond description, beyond the capacity of the human mind to fully comprehend or to categorize, but it is sometimes referred to as pure consciousness, or the presence of God.
Equating thoughts with the self is analogous to referring to a bank of storm clouds as the sky. The sky is beyond the storm clouds, as the authentic self is beyond thinking. Want to know the sky? Wait for a clear day.
Want to know or experience the authentic self? Stop thinking.
The average person would certainly oppose an end to thinking, and would probably oppose it strongly. This goes back to the lack of separation most people have between themselves and their thinking. They are convinced that they are their thoughts, and without thinking they would lose themselves and cease to functionally exist.
Rene Descartes, a seventeenth century philosopher who has been described as brilliant, is quoted as saying ‘I think, therefore I am.’ The logical flip side of this statement is that if one stops thinking, they cease to be. Many, many people — consciously or not — subscribe to this.
This is actually ego output, and is born from the ego making claims that it is distinct and so is absolutely vital. It is part of the ego’s insecurity.
I am necessary! I am needed! Consider me! Put me first!
The ego is insecure because, in fact, it is not needed. The ego is part of a human intellect gone out of control, acts as a barrier to pure consciousness, and is often quite toxic besides. The ego knows its nature entirely, and fears annihilation should humanity as a whole ever become aware of its nature. So it works like heck to keep humanity unconscious, with thinking being its primary method of operation.
Most people give in easily to the ego’s efforts to keep them unconscious.
(Learn more about the reach of the ego Here.)