Can a person control their thoughts?
It seems to me in response to what I wrote yesterday, that it appeared to a few that I am of the opinion that "one can control their thoughts" ....... I personally don't think so.
Where do our thoughts come from? Where are they manufactured? If the original source of our thoughts came from us then I might think that we have the ability to dictate the quality of our thoughts. However, the infinite energy that fuses the world of the formless (Hashem - the endless one, the spiritual world) to this world as we know it (the world of form-physicality-the material world) is thought - - - as it appears to us in our head. Thought is the manifestation of electrons, protons, neurons that come into this world from the world of the formless appearing to us "in the world of the form".
Thought is where our life all begins.
We are able to have an experience of life via this formless energy that appears in the physical realm as thought through the gift of consciousness.In other words, it is the gift of consciousness allows us to experience life all together through the medium of thought.
So the origination of thought thought really come from up high
and it starts out as "impersonal - original thought" before it comes contaminated through our our own particular prism. Each of us, very different, unique individuals, with different personalities, inclinations, drives and experiences will all experience the same formless energy that starts out as original and impersonal thought once it is picked up by our consciousness as personal thought, each in our own distinct and different way.
Wow.... that would mean that each of us can see and experience the exact same thing and yet experience it totally differently from the next person. There was once this book in France whereby 5 people experienced the same intense event and the entire book was a narrative of 5 individual stories-versions of what happened according to each of the five people. Didn't they all see the same thing? Well.... yes ..... and no in a way.
Of course this is quite frustrating if this is true, because one would like to think that they see something exactly as it happened, the truth and reality. So many arguments, conflict and fights occur because 2 people experience the exact same event but in completely two different ways. Each one sure that the others emotional biases have completely skewed their vision. Each one is sure that they have seen it exactly as it happened.
I was certain that when both of my boys were much younger, fighting - who hit who, did what to who etc that when I got both versions of their stories and differed so much, I was certain that one of them was lying. Now I see it a little differently ---not so fast.
By the way it happens to be that it is for this reason that we have a Mitzvah to judge favorably because, off hand we have to think to ourselves that maybe there is a peice of information to this puzzle that I am not seeing... meaning I am limited as to what only comes to my mind.
An important question is how can we determine the truth and reality of our thoughts? I mean what in the world can we rely on besides our own mind telling us what we are seeing? Another question is "What would the factors inside of ourselves that influence the way we things that might differ to reality and truth"?
These are not for now.
But I do want to say that notwithstanding the approaches to those questions above, the discussion of free will generally center and focus in the world of action; the distinction between the voices of your soul (your higher aspiration self) and what is referred to as the "body" -(your lower aspiration self) which one do I listen to and choose at any given moment. It appears to me that free will begins as to how to understand the thought that appears in my head. What to make of it? To act or not to act upon it? How truthful is it? should I slow down the impulse of directly acting to the intensity of the thought? Free will of thought goes before free will of action.
I don't feel that we can control which thought to have on the onset but I do believe that we have the ability not to fuel a thought. We have the ability to allow the thought to pass by and relate to it as one relates to the background noise of the weather channel when cooking in the kitchen. Even if that thought appears emotionally charged, juicy, it demands attention, it demands you must act upon it now.
In the end of the day, we are not one and the same as our thoughts, but we are the thinker. Knowing that in it of itself lessens the feeling of compulsion of a thought. Having this realization helps us to become less of a victim of our thoughts. Knowing that we have more of an ability to observe our thoughts helps to lessen the grip of our thoughts.
I have more to say but I got to go ...... again..... to car pool....
P.S Thank you to all who have read my posts and thank you to everyone who was able to come to last night's presentation at BRS for Shoshie's Shaloshim. Also to those who wanted to be there but couldn't.