We are always full of thoughts, but we aren’t always thoughtful
Our consciousness is always filled with thoughts, for we can never stop thinking. Even the notion of stopping all thinking is also a thought. Thus, we are always full of thoughts.
But we aren’t always thoughtful, for our thinking isn’t always purposefully or productively directed. Why not? Because random thoughts keep popping constantly within us. As such thoughts aren’t always linear or logical, they often leave us confused and paralyzed.
When we are full of thoughts, our consciousness resembles a basement filled with books heaped haphazardly. In contrast, when we are thoughtful, our consciousness resembles a library filled with books sorted systematically. Though both are full, their fullness affects us differently – seeing a full library energizes us to read, whereas seeing a full basement exhausts us by reminding us of all the work needed to sort it. Similarly, being thoughtful energizes us, whereas being full of thoughts exhausts us.
Arjuna was full of taxing thoughts at the start of the Bhagavad-gita (01.46). On thinking about the impending war, his thoughts started running wild, painting for him a dystopia about the war’s consequences and leaving him tearful and spiritless (02.01). Fortunately, hearing the Gita corrected the dystopia – Gita wisdom convinced him that omni benevolent Krishna’s plan would work out for everyone’s ultimate benefit. By contemplating the Gita’s message (18.63), he regained his composure and determination (18.73). Thus, the Gita made Arjuna thoughtful.
The Gita can similarly elevate us from being full of thoughts to becoming thoughtful. When we understand our spiritual identity as souls and our ultimate purpose of harmonizing with the whole, Krishna, we can better process and prioritize our thoughts. By focusing on thoughts that help us progress towards our purpose, we can neglect other thoughts. By thus deliberating the pertinent issues, we can determine the best course of action.
Think it over:
- Explain with an example the difference between being full of thoughts and being thoughtful.
- How did the Gita change Arjuna’s conception?
- How can the Gita help us to become thoughtful?
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