Years ago were a time I was worried about the future and for a brief period had lost my ability to stay happy. Looking at my state, my friend advised that every thought is our own creation and we have absolute control over them implying happiness is my own choice. Recently, another friend of mine shared his intuition that material existence involves navigating ones collection of nested thoughts. One thing appears clear – thoughts are inevitable as we get through this life.
While we can think at will i.e. while we can choose our next thought, our choice is bound by what we remember. We wont know what we forget at the moment right ? And am sure all of us do forget something all the time. Also once in a while, all of us would have experienced something ‘out of the blue’ or through instincts i.e. those ‘out of context’ thoughts. This makes me think and even conclude that the arrival of the next thought is elusive over which we will never have absolute control over. Now, that gets me nervous – the lack of control over our own thoughts which eventually drive our actions. But an appropriate subsequent thought is going to hold importance especially during moments of uncertainty. So how do we handle this paradox?
While we cannot control, I think we can influence. Influencing happens through proactively conditioning the mind with the thoughts that we would like to experience. Through such conditioning, we improve the probability of us experiencing the right thought at the appropriate time. Now, if we decide to condition, what could be our selection of those thoughts? Thoughts that could come handy and help us decide during uncertain moments could be one good choice. Especially those thoughts that are driven by ‘will’ which override the convenient ones for the not so convenient ones for a deeper purpose. I’ll call these crucial thoughts as ‘overriding’ thoughts. As one embarks on such a conditioning pursuit, he/she will most likely realize a constraint that such overriding thoughts can only be those that are easy to remember. To remember, the thought has to be simple and a fundamental one that finds frequent applicability. I have an intuition that such thoughts can get nothing other than fundamental qualities (both positive and negative) around decency, discipline, spontaneity etc. It does appear that simplicity (in both thoughts & actions) is inevitable in any pursuit, only that the pursuit has to be genuine.