How Thoughts Work

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Published: Monday, May 24, 2010, 17:20 [IST]
 
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How Thoughts Work

Have we ever stopped to think what our mind is? Or rather what our mind stuff is, though engaging it throughout the day with various activities from dawn to dusk?

Our mind is basically made up of thoughts. Thoughts have a different coloring to it. Good, bad, pleasant, unpleasant and so on. It could be surprising for some of us who have not been alert, that our expectations, emotions, likes, dislikes, worries, joy etc are all in the form of thoughts.

Thought Forms

We are in fact habituated to travel with the endless train of thoughts. Some of our thoughts seldom make sense when engaged in random thinking, when the mind is not employed in working on something useful. For example we think of a beautiful dress which we are to purchase during the weekend. We then think of the shop from which we are to purchase it. Suddenly our thoughts shift to one of our aunts who purchased a lovely sari in the same shop. Then the thought turns to how wonderful a person she is, jumping swiftly to her sister who is not a warm person, to her daughter, her daughter's college and so on......Hence we are always carried away by the thought process.

Another thing which we will have to get clarified is whether there is one thought at a time or a cluster of thoughts that rush in at a time. Though it seems that a cluster of thoughts rush in simultaneously, for example, when we are really frustrated or worried, it is a fact that there is only one thought at a time. It is just that the swift rush of thoughts which makes it appear like a cluster.

Now that we know that thoughts come in one by one, there should definitely be the very first thought which precedes the train of thoughts through out the day, from which stems all the other thoughts. So it could be called the root thought.

Root Thought, The 'I' Thought.

What exactly is the root thought? When does it show up and when does it subside?

The root thought is said to be the 'I' thought. We may now query what the 'I' thought is, how and from where it emerges. The 'I' thought is the base for all other thoughts to emerge. Since we are carried away by the endless train of thoughts and that we have not stopped to look into our mind stuff, we miss the 'I' thought which exists in all other thoughts. For example when we think of people around, it is basically, 'My sister', or 'My mother', 'My dog', 'My colleague', or 'My Boss' etc, though the 'My' or the 'I' is hidden. We randomly think of our sister, mother, boss etc. But without the thought of ourselves which lies hidden, no other thought can ever flourish. Without the feeling of us, the thought of other things cannot exist.

What 'I' thought? It is the thought about ourselves. From where does it emerge and when does it emerge? The minute we wake up from sleep or encounter the 'waking state' from the 'sleep state', thoughts starts streaming in, obviously from within ourselves.

Have we ever thought what our true self is? Or rather who we really are? Do we know that what we think of ourselves is false?

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