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The below video (though a bit old – 2010) spoke volumes to me just at a time when I had been thinking the very same thing: Positive thinking? What a load of cr*p! (Pardon the French btw)
I’m in a straight talking mood tonight…. 😉
Seriously, I come across people daily, weekly who seem to think that being positive is an attitude to be exalted and admired, whilst being negative (aka realistic and honest) is somehow inferior and a sign of weakness. This is total baloney. In fact it is as one of the comments to this video states: ‘psychopathic authenticity‘. It is also as the video states, a form of social control, or control of others.
Yes thoughts do have enormous power but they need to be genuinely authentic and honest in order for real positivity (I rather call it balance, or grace) to arise. But psychopathic positivity is not positive (as the video says – it calls it a mistake). Needless to say, we live in a topsy turvy society (certainly in the west anyway) where such delusion is seen as genuine and true genuineness delusion.
This video is pretty 3D let’s say, but it touches upon deeper aspects. For example it talks about one’s authentic state as being simply vigilant, rather than positive. This is just so. Our state is one of awareness and noticing, but what is then added on top of this awareness is all the thoughts and beliefs we hold deep down, mostly sub-consciously (unless we’re up to facing the music about ourselves). And some of these beliefs will be, for many people, around always coming across as being in control, being happy, being nice, being positive. Yup – ego.
Urgh, I’m going off that positive word as I write….:)
Remember the recent post I put up about the nurse and the regrets terminally ill folk had? Well, one of the regrets was that they wished they had been more genuine, less nice, less playing it safe. That’s just it. Being nice and positive really just leaves us feeling fake, dissatisfied and unconnected. I don’t mean don’t be nice….lol, of course not. I simply mean – to put it straight – don’t compromise your truth, yourself, for the sake of keeping peace, because the peace that you think you have, well it’s not peace. It’s just a papering over cracks. Denial.
(Reminds me of that film The Invention Of Lying, where noone can lie, till Ricky Gervais comes along of course.)
A lot of new age folk have this thing about being positive too – you know, as if, if you focus on the lack and on how horrid the world is (which it is in terms of the society that has been created) then you’re somehow not being spiritual. I do not concur with this view. If lack exists then why deny it. If suffering exists then why deny it. And so on. There is a critical difference between being negative and seeing things as they are.
In truth being psychopathically positive (let’s call it) is simply more dualism.
I’ll end with a quote I just found of Osho’s that says it crystal clear:
“The technique of positive thinking is not a technique that transforms you. It is simply repressing the negative aspects of your personality. It is a method of choice. It cannot help awareness; it goes against awareness. Awareness is always choiceless.
I am absolutely against positive thinking. You will be surprised that if you don’t choose, if you remain in a choiceless awareness, your life will start expressing something which is beyond both positive and negative, which is higher than both. So you are not going to be a loser. It is not going to be negative, it is not going to be positive, it is going to be existential.”
I rest my case 😉
Comments, as always, welcome.

Acclaimed journalist, author and political activist Barbara Ehrenreich explores the darker side of positive thinking.

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“There is no mind! All there is, is thoughts coming and going in the Space you are. The apparent problem arises when A) you believe YOU are the thought “I” or “me”, and B) you believe that these passing thoughts are ABOUT this fictional “you”. This is simply a case of mistaken identity. The solution is dirt simple: Stop BELIEVING the thoughts. Take your stand IN and AS the Space-Like Awareness which is NEVER absent! As Nisargadatta pointed out, REFUSE all thought except “I AM” (which is a close as language, thought, can get to the Eternal Isness; and reject any and all questions except “Who Am I”.”
from the post “What Mind” by charlie hayes, here:
worth the read if you’re interested in ultimate truth.

Bernard Dozier

Thought is an activity of Mind–our primary resource for shaping our lives and the larger life of the planet. The mix of positive and negative conditions and circumstances–both in ample evidence, is honest testimony to the fact that thought can be productive or unproductive. One of my pet peeves has been the way some use “positive thinking” to deny appearances or to mask unadmitted and unaddressed fears. But having said that, we should be honest enough to admit that missuse of positive thinking does not define positive thinking, nor does it diminish the role and power of positive thinking. A further statement on that in a moment, but first I want to make the point that positive thinking is more than the observant neutrality you describe–though I really like that concept. Positive thinking is more because in the spiritual and universal sense thought is creative. Conscious thought is one of the activities of Mind. Thought is the Mind resource through which we shape our individual lives and the larger corporate life of the world. What I wish to point out is that the nature of thought is imagery. Thought (image) is as much a seed as a peach pit. Thoughts, sown in the fertile medium of Mind, produce results (fruit) after their kind as surely as peach pits or poison ivy, sown in the medium of fertile soil, will produce results after their kind. Thinking expectantly in terms of desirable, beautiful, and beneficial outcomes is vastly preferable, to me, to dreading undesirable, monstrous, and deplorable outcomes. The medium–whether mental or earthy–is neutral, and both mind and earth produce without prejudice. We are still what Adam and Eve were: gardeners. Our seed choice determines our harvest … in more ways than one. Thanks. I enjoy and appreciate your site. It stimulates my thought.

Rev Colleen E Brown

If you want to believe all that, fine. But having lived on both sides of this equation, I am
all for where I am today. Thoughts ARE things; what we think about we bring about. All
of life is vibration of one kind or the other, up/down/wide/narrow whatever. All positive
thinking really means is taking one’s self in tow and being honest, authentic, aware. It
is dealing with what one is giving their energy to, or Not giving energy to. To say, Reena
that you dislike it, is to place yourself in a polarized position that does not feel real good
to me for the wide array of minds that you serve. Misery does love company. We
have all learned that one. And their are indeed vampires amongst us (people who can
not because of their stinking thinking– produce positive energies, so they take yours)
This is not an open and shut case, dear heart. One can’t mold the reformation of the
world in a short essay. Every mind in use by its occupant is a powerful thing. Bruce
Lipton, biology/medical/scientist has proven that positively charged cells recharge and
heal. Negative ideas/feelings/attitudes DO impact the body. Proven fact. And I am
a Unity minister who has seen lives transformed by teaching people how to properly
use denials and affirmations for 30 years. Though not necessarily negative, I lived
20 years of my life in fear of God, fear of authorities, oppressed as a female…on and
on. Finding Silva Method materials and Unity totally transformed my life. Yes, absolutely..
balance, authenticity are the goals. One won’t get there practicing victimhood which is
what so much of negative orientation is. You are doing a great job of providing a
matrix for folks– in spite of my disagreement with you– but is that not how we practice
balance and authenticity?? Blessings, dear sister soul….
Colleen Engel Brown


Bernard Dozier and Rev Colleen E Brown – Thank you for the responses to my post – it is good to debate 🙂 Please forgive the round-robbin approach to replying to your comments, but my response is one, so here goes:
Positive thinking is still thinking (mind), whereas in my experience, the state of authenticity arises when one can see one’s whole domain of thought itself. But usually we are too much attached to our specific opinions and intellectual analyses (conditioning), to be able to even notice thought as a whole. We notice and react to individual opinions (in ourselves and others) but the domain of thought as a whole itself remains an unconsidered aspect.
I also practiced the Silva Method many years ago, and many other practices and efforts, but it was not until a few years ago, when for the first time I considered and saw thought per se, that confusion gave way to experiential understanding. Also, on the healing journey at the time, I learnt to accept the shadow side, which is a part of the human experience, and discovered through such allowing that the shadow side was ok – and in fact, that natural cheerfulness arises only if we can acknowledge the shadow aspect. This is because you can’t put icing on a mud cake and call it a delicious cake because when you bite into it, it will not taste so delicious. Positive thinking is like the icing on the cake.
For me, this seeing of the domain of thought was transformational at a much more fundamental level than any of the many positive and motivational practices I had spent years doing because I finally was able to see the wood not just the trees.
Human beings carry, often for years, unresolved unworthiness from the past, for which we subconsciously seek coping mechanisms. Positive thinking, imho, is such a coping mechanism. If we are truly accepting of ourselves, as we are, then why would one need to ‘practice positive thinking.’
Positive thinking is a response to the thought that something is wrong or needs fixing, thus we feel we must do something, practice something or be something other than what we are. But what’s wrong with how we are right now, warts and all. To love is to accept all of us, not to fix us.
Here is Jiddu Krishnamurti on thought: “Freedom is found in the choiceless awareness of our daily existence and activity. Thought is time. Thought is born of experience and knowledge which are inseparable from time and the past. Time is the psychological enemy of man. Our action is based on knowledge and therefore time, so man is always a slave to the past. Thought is ever-limited and so we live in constant conflict and struggle. There is no psychological evolution.
When man becomes aware of the movement of his own thoughts he will see the division between the thinker and thought, the observer and the observed, the experiencer and the experience. He will discover that this division is an illusion. Then only is there pure observation which is insight without any shadow of the past or of time. This timeless insight brings about a deep radical mutation in the mind.”

I agree with JK – there is no psychological evolution and trying to practice positive thinking falls in that category – imho.
I appreciate you have different views and that is okay. This blog welcomes varying views – we are all unique.
Thanks so much for your comments, got me thinking tonight 🙂

Rev Colleen Brown

Wait… Reena…. you are really mixing apples and oranges, girl… being the therapist that you are…vibrations are Still vibrations and we attract according to Our vibrations. If you want something different in your life then one has to give up feeling victimized, take on a ‘new garment’ of curioisty, be more optimistic in one’s outlook (positive?) and become
an adventurer. I find that pretty simple and not so convoluted. I love all the sources you mentioned– and I am only responding once more because I think people are pretty well
overwhelmed with information; all many want is What Works. Starting where they are.
And what worked for me long before finding New Age/New Thought or whatever one
calls it– was to recognize I was the one who needed to change: not my husband, nor
my boss, but I could make that choice. I did and that led to many fruits of the Spirit,
and to a far better life. Little did I know it would take me from being a Realtor into
ministry for 30+ years.


This compulsive “positive thinking” is of course NOT positive. It’s the usual message of all the controlled new-agers and intended to work like a sleeping pill for the masses while the 1% loot everything and prepare the total takeover.
As most old teachings say, rats and snakes must be killed, you can’t ever domesticate them. Positive bias is nica, but one must keep his eye on the reality and defend himself where required.


I’m not sure about this. It feels like there is more than one definition of what positive thinking is. I can only relate to what I think positive thinking is, and on the whole it is good for me. Let me give an example.
Assume it’s not winter when everything ought to come to a stop naturally, but it’s the warmer months. If I am thinking negatively at the weekend I’ll just sit on my backside doing nothing, and eating too much. At the end of the day I’ll have achieved nothing except to line my arteries with extra fat and cholesterol. If I am feeling positive I’ll force myself out of the door and go for a walk in the country, or along the coast. From experience I know that at the end of the day I’ll feel tired but very satisfied. For the longer walks, 7 or more miles, I can be almost buzzing. Even on a 10 mile walk the hardest part is the walk from home to the station. Without positive thinking I couldn’t do it, and by not doing it I miss out on something wonderful.
Isn’t that good positive thinking. or not ?


Bill, I see it like this: if one’s positive thoughts arise naturally (eg ‘let me go for a walk…’) then so be it, one should go with the natural flow and enjoy any such natural optimism. What I am saying is that when one tries so hard (and this can be very unconscious not just an overt effort) to be positive, then that’s where it becomes false and this has impacts. For eg, in the video it said that George W Bush was into this positive mindset so Condoleza Rice, though she apparently had misgivings about the war in Iraq, went along with it, since Bush didn’t want negative people around him. And blow me, what an impact Bush’s need for positive thinking had on the world…
It’s the difference between being naturally, effortlessly cheerful (as and when this arises without force) and needing to be positive even though underneath one may not be feeling so at the time. This sort of forced optimism becomes a way of being, and ingrained in individuals, companies, institutions, governments and also families.
So in your example I would say that you are using positive thought consciously which is cool. What is not so cool is when such positive thinking is not conscious, but a way of being, or denial of the negative.


I think the difficulty of this thread is that “positive thinking” is a catch-all phrase that means different things at different times, or different situations.
I take your point that when positive thinking gets to the point that it becomes a substitute for more rational thought things will go wrong, and yet there are situations where it may be valid.
One idea that has not been touched on is the idea of positive thinking as a means of healing and more. It’s impossible to turn back the clock to try it a different way, but it always feels that getting back on your feet after, say, twisting an ankle, is the fastest way of getting over it. That’s an example of a physical injury, but I am sure there are examples that some here could quote about recovery from various illnesses being speeded up by positive thinking.
Then there are the disabled. As much as I am 200% disinterested in sport, and feel a bit squeamish about amputees etc. I can’t help but admire the paralympic athletes. They surely are a good example of forced positive thinking. It seems hard to accept that someone who has just had their legs blown off just offhandedly decides that running marathons might just be a handy sort of thing to do.


this abundance and lack thing are in the mind. naturally we all are abundant the only thing that blocks it is our believes about it.

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