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Excerpt from Living in the Now

Thoughts Are Very Convincing

Thoughts are designed to be very convincing. As soon as we think a thought, we believe it. We have to learn to stand apart from and question our thoughts before it becomes clear how few of them are actually true. “I'm not pretty. He shouldn't have left. I can't do that. I can't take any more rejection. She doesn't care”—such thoughts are felt to be true, and so they are believed and therefore spoken convincingly, as if they were true. And because we are convinced when we speak them, others become convinced as well.

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The funny thing, though, is that being convinced of something doesn't make it so. Con artists and salesmen convince people all the time of things that aren't true because they know how to sound believable. The best salesmen are the ones who believe in their product, but a salesman can be just as effective by pretending to believe in a product. If that person is so convinced, then, we are likely to be convinced too. But believing something doesn't make it so. Many contestants on the TV show “American Idol” believe they are going to win, but only one actually wins.

However, in the world of the ego, believing makes it so. Believing is how the ego creates its reality. Its reality is based on beliefs and ideas, not necessarily on what's real and true. Our beliefs create our mental reality (not necessarily reality itself). For the ego to create a mental reality, thoughts have to be believable. If thoughts weren't felt to be believable, then the ego's mental reality couldn't be sustained. So part of having an ego is having thoughts that are felt to be believable, no matter how untrue they are. Even when our thoughts contradict each other, they can still seem believable, unless we consciously question them. Once we see how untrue our thoughts actually are, the ego's mental reality begins to fall apart. It can only be sustained by believing that our thoughts are true.

Something we believe to be true that isn't is called a delusion, and people who believe something that isn't true are said to be deluded or delusional. That would describe most of humanity, since most people are deeply identified with their egoic mind, the voice in their head, and its mistaken ideas and limiting beliefs. When we believe that voice, we are deluded. The mental world created by the ego is a delusional world. That is why spiritual teachers often refer to the world as an illusion. The world, itself, isn't an illusion, but the mental world created by the ego is. The world experienced through the lens of the ego is an illusion.

Waking up out of the ego's illusory world requires seeing that no matter how convincing our thoughts are, they are mostly untrue. And the same goes for feelings, which make our thoughts even more convincing. For instance, when you feel sad because you believe something (a story the egoic mind is telling), that makes the thought that caused you to feel sad all the more believable. Thoughts create feelings, which are felt physically, and then those physical sensations lend credibility to the original thought, which had no truth or basis in reality. Brilliant! Who thought this up? Well, Oneness is pretty clever!

Yes, thoughts are very convincing. The ego is the penultimate con artist, and we are meant to catch the ego at its game. Once we have seen the truth, we can't be fooled anymore. We are too wise to keep falling for the same tricks, except maybe occasionally! The ego is tricky, and it gets trickier the wiser we get. The ego doesn't ever fully disappear, and it doesn't have to as long as we continue to remember that all thoughts about me are false, every last one of them. They tell a story about the false self, and there's no one here that those stories are true of.

Who you really are can't be described in words and has no past or future. Who you really are is the consciousness that's looking out of your eyes and experiencing the words on this page. You are just This: nameless, formless, empty nothingness and everything-ness, pretending to be you for the time being. And the way it pretends to be you is by making your thoughts believable. That is how the false self—the you that you think of yourself as—is created. That's fine, until it's time to wake up and see what's really going on.

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245 Reviews on Amazon averaging 4.4 out of 5 stars!
Here's what reviewers are saying ...

  • “Thanks to the author, I am finally enjoying the here and now. Each moment is a precious gift that I can CHOOSE to enjoy. The short essays in this book provide so much knowledge and insight. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to simply enjoy life as it is.” –S. L.

  • “This book is an excellent complement to Eckhart's bestseller The Power of Now. Gina Lake fills in the in-between. Her book presents, in plain English, the practical exercises that I needed to apply those teachings more efficiently in all circumstances of my life. This book deserves the same success as The Power of Now.” –Raymond L.

  • “Astonishingly insightful and revealing. Thanks to this author, I am already experiencing a reduction in stress and the emotional roller-coaster ride that I had previously grown accustom to.” —W. McLean

  • “With this book, Gina Lake continues to establish herself as one of the major spiritual teachers of our time. The 99 essays are each a powerfully inviting doorway for learning how to recognize the peace and happiness of the now and live in the now. This is a must read.” –D. Trunk

  • “Gina Lake's books are enormously powerful in helping us understand the ego and live increasingly enlightened lives. I joke with my friends that her book, Living In the Now, is like Eckhart Tolle on steroids. It is enormously powerful and will assuredly have a favorable impact on your life. It is a must read for all who are more interested in `Being' than simple intellectual understanding.” —Jeff T.

  • “Along with Eckhart Tolle, I consider Gina Lake to be a great inspiration to my life. I like to read one essay from this book in the morning. It takes about five minutes, but it keeps me happy the rest of the day. I recommend that everyone read it the same way, though you will be tempted to read more because each page is so inspirational.” –Chris Heath
  • “The clarity of Gina's writing is amazing. So simple. Letting go of the ego in plain English. Love it!!! The format is wonderful. It has taken up its rightful position on the bedside table, and I frequently carry it around with me. –L. Lawrence
  • “WOW. Gina Lake brings it again. This book is no-nonsense, practical pointers to what takes me out of the Now and how I can return to the Now. This book gives relatable examples to help me recognize how my conditioning, my mind, and my emotions take me out of life and leave me feeling alone and separate. This is a great book—transformational.” —L. Holliday
  • “I highly recommend all of Gina Lake's books. I was severely depressed, anxious, having suicidal thoughts, and frustrated with therapy when I stumbled upon Gina's books. The Universe brought me her books at just the right time and in just the right manner and, thankfully, I was open to receiving them.” –R. L.

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