Not every thought is worth our thought
The word “thought” can mean two different things: an idea that has appeared in our consciousness (“I got a thought”) or our calm conscious deliberation on an idea (“I have given this a lot of thought”). Considering these two meanings, let’s analyze: Does every thought deserve our thought? Do we need to dwell on whatever comes in our mind?
To understand why not, suppose we are driving a car. We will focus on the road ahead, while staying peripherally aware of the things around us inside the car and outside it. If we start focusing on every single thing that comes in our awareness, we will endanger ourselves.
Gita wisdom explains that we all are driving in our bodily machine. During our life-journey, we need to focus on the things necessary for us to move along, not on all the things happening along the way. Just as the things outside can distract us, so too can the thoughts inside us.
How can we avoid being distracted by our thoughts? By learning to view them just as we would view things outside us. The Bhagavad-gita recommends this observational mood when it urges us to see our thoughts as arriving and departing because of material nature’s influences (14.22). As with outer things, we focus on those that matter. To neglect random thoughts, the Gita recommends that we cultivate a mood of service to the all-attractive Supreme, Krishna (14.26).
While driving, if we need to reach in time for an important meeting, that purposefulness will increase our focus on the way ahead. Similarly, Gita wisdom helps us understand that to attain lasting satisfaction, we need to reach Krishna before our life runs out. Such purposefulness will increase our focus on the thoughts that are worth our thought, thereby channeling our thought-energy and life-energy productively.
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Explanation of article:
Think it over:
- Observe yourself for 5 minutes to note the many thoughts pop up in your consciousness. Which of these thoughts need your attention?
- What are your life’s important purposes?
- How much thought do you give regularly to thoughts focused on these purposes?