Byron Katie is a wonder to watch in action as she guides those into self-reflection to clear away the cultural dysfunction to be in touch with awareness of truth, rather than the culturally enforced "idea" of truth. Much of the work she presents in this video can be applied to many other instances, of which you can also watch from her website.
The problem with thinking is it's based in conceptual knowledge, which serves as the map of what truth is. Unfortunately, we have been hypnotized into "thinking" that awareness and experience arise in words, in thinking, and this absolutely false. There's nothing inherently wrong with thinking or conceptual knowledge, as it serves in communicating essential for life to unfold. But, when we take it to be absolute without question and become obedient to others, we abdicate our own inner awareness, our Being, that IS TRUTH. Not the static truth that we are conditioned with, but the living truth of awareness. The many have become so far removed from this living truth that they dis-believe anything that goes against what they were conditioned to BELIEVE. If you find this ridiculous, consider all the various delusions were once BELIEVED in the past, which then must lead to the inevitable journey within to become AWARE of what beliefs we are holding that prevent us from living from truth now, rather than from belief, from concepts, from words, from what the other says is truth. We truly don't know truth, we know conditioned truth; virtual truth void of the living truth.
Losing trust in our own authentic being is the ultimate betrayal of our own BEING. All pain and suffering arises from this betrayal; the turning away from Divine Love; our love. The idea that love is out there in some other or in some place is the perfect delusion to the truth within. The many have accolades of thinking to mask the lies of delusion, fantasizing the rational world they have contrived in a virtual reality.
It's not courage that is required to be authentic, it's self-love and self-respect. BEING authentic requires no thinking, no judgments, and especially no other's opinions or ideas.
I received these from contemplation throughout the day:
Following others is being blind to your own destination. There is no arrival because there was no departure!
Life in the fast lane is mental overdrive. Life in the slow lane is BEING in the right place in no time at all!
There are two different types of maps to follow in life. One is the well trodden and "known" mind map; the other the heart map. One is based on thinking and figuring out the way based on cultural contexts; the other is inspired in love. Without the heart, one despairs in fear masquerading as the idea of love. With the heart, one embraces the truth that is the direct presence and awareness of love; one is Being the other not Being. Fear is being blind to the true reality that conducts the orchestra of life of which we are never separate from; ego would have you "believe" otherwise. Fear is the belief in the need to control, for fear of losing control of their life, but the reality is they never had control of anything. In essence, the mind creates an imaginary delusion in order to prevent authentic expression by consistently avoiding awareness through the fear of reacting and wanting. Both lead nowhere but living within the solitary confinement in the head, with nowhere to go but round and round in the vacuum of imaginary circular beliefs. That's the only circle that exists in the circular logic of limitation. The many have been conned into thinking wholeness arises from thinking and believing. The reality of this distortion is that wholeness/spirit/life/divinity are already whole and require no thinking to become aware through direct experience.
The need to be positive or well off or enlightened are rooted in the mind. Presence doesn't need anything, because BEING in awareness has no judgment about positive or negative, rich or poor, enlightened or not enlightened. Awareness is just creative awareness, full, complete, alive, present, and non-judgmental. The mind doesn't know what that is, because its function can only build mental structures that block out awareness.
Being present is not an impoverished state of existence, in fact it is the only sustenance worth having, and from this true sustenance and living through BEING arises moment to moment. One in Oneness is always supported, nurtured, and loved where BEING gets its authentic needs met, which are vastly different from mentally constructed believed cultured needs. BEING is a like a nuclear bomb going off that wipes out all the delusional structures of fear.
Ego's entire existence is threatened by BEING. To become aware of this, just notice when fear presents itself. This is what awareness does in every moment, revealing the delusions and distortions of fear. What is it that chooses fear? Fear of course. Do you really "think" love would ever need to choose?
It's important to realize that authenticity supports itself absolutely, just not in the way the mentally constructed belief system imagines it to be.