Q. Virtually all the thoughts I have are about myself, even when thinking of other people--its about myself! Putting on my scientist hat, when an effect size is that large it means something--
This is a very important observation, but it's slightly, and critically flawed!
Try the sentence again as follows;
Virtually all the thoughts are about my imaginary self.
You see, thought is always an image, an approximation. That's not problematic when the subject is static. But when you yourself are the subject, you're literally creating an idea about yourself everytime you think about yourself.
Then not realising that it's just an image you start to act upon it as if it were real!
And in this case it means clearly that the ego-system which enabled survival of primitive man has become incredibly dys-functional. Because this ego-system is so dysfunctional its also very hard to manage.
The ego system is not a function of survival, this is a huge misleading mistaken belief.
The ego system is purely a dysfunctional psychological phenomena, and as such has no physical benefits whatsoever!
Every thought that I saw through, was immediately followed by a related thought which also had to be seen through and on and on it went--frankly no fun.
This is like mopping up continously from a leaking pipe..... fix the source of the leak and the mopping ceases!
And the solution is very subtle, which is why you'll hardly even find it mentioned!
Thinking about myself creates an image which we take as real.
In the physical world this works fine, and we have mistakenly carried this over to the psychological.
We only think about ourselves because we have memory of dysfunctional psychological states and so feel the need to control/secure our future.
Those experiences of psychological disorder were actually a result of being told as a child to be other than we were, or that we were 'bad'. Or that reality (the way things actually are this moment) could be different. It created the notion of a split in us and we have been reaping the results of that mistake ever since.
The fact is that we are what we are, and any idea about what we should be is a split, a division, a duality.
Any attempt to act upon myself psychologically creates a split between what I am and what I should be. This split is the source of ALL psychological dysfunction.
Remember Tolle's awakening episode.
"I cannot live with myself any longer." This was the thought that kept repeating itself in my mind. Then suddenly I became aware of what a peculiar thought it was. `Am I one or two? If I cannot live with myself, there must be two of me: the `I' and the `self' that `I' cannot live with." "Maybe," I thought, "only one of them is real."
I was so stunned by this strange realization that my mind stopped.
This is the essence of what I'm trying to convey.
Thinking about myself creates the split.
This is the true significance of non-duality.
So what's required to end the split is to see the nature of thoughts and images. To see that an image is not the thing itself. Apply that to images of myself created by thinking about myself. To see that none of this content is 'me'.
An image of your hand has a counterpart in reality.
How about the image of your 'self'?