Oh how quickly it happens! You can catch it and stop it if you’re fast and observant. Sometimes I think of the mind as being like a bunch of bunny rabbits darting this way and that, never sure where its going. That’s the nature of thought–like one google link attached to the next–strings of them doing their thing all by themselves.
Is that me? Am I that which is thinking those thoughts? Yes and no is the best answer that I can sum up with at the moment. I think that the Buddhists would say we are not those thoughts; they are just energy doing their energy-thing just like those rabbits darting around in the field in the image above.
How much we identify with them is more the question. Better said, how much we take ownership is the real issue. “Mine”–a childish word and one of the first ones we learn to speak after we get here. That ego starts right up at such an early age doing its separation thing. But before I lose my point here, let me say that I believe that the thoughts around me are both “mine” and also not mine–they only become mine if I declare them to be so. Ah, Life! Full of dichotomies and that’s another. But hang in there and maybe I can make it clearer.
Thoughts are just out there and we each contribute to the web of them that are like interconnected squiggles floating around us. I’ve got an example.
It’s about something that happened the other day. I’m trying to take it apart here and examine the whole thing because something really important was going on. It’s about identifying with a thought–whether it is a thought that comes out of the mouth of another (something that was said, apparently, to you) or whether it comes dashing around from within one’s very own mind doesn’t matter much. It’s a thought that is spoken aloud or it’s just there like that bunny rabbit dashing by. Did we create the thought? Or did we attract it? Or is it just simply floating around there by virtue of the nature of reality? –good questions to contemplate.
Anyway, what I see that we do, and I see my self has a tendency to do is to grab it. That’s the first impulse and in this case that I’m about to describe, the first mistake. Grabbing ahold of it and identifying with it instead of just simply seeing it for what it is–a thought.
Is it your thought if you didn’t say it? The answer here can be complicated or simple depending on the view you wish to take. Long ago, I discerned through my own meditative experience that there is only one mind. That’s hard to conceptualize–I know. That’s because of our individual egos and that tendency we all have, right out of the shoot, as children, to name things “mine”. “My” mind, as in separate from yours. But really, stand back far enough and get a wide enough perspective, and you see that there is no separation or distinction.
Yet, as the human tendency goes, we like to make the lines of demarkation e.g. “that was her thought” and “that was not my thought”. My point here is that thought is simply thought, like bunnies are simply bunnies and both just run around–that’s the nature of life.
What happens, I believe, is that if we’re not careful, we begin to assign ownership to the thoughts or spoken words. Then the crucial next step that gets us into big, big trouble with ourselves and others is that we create a story around that bunny thought that just hopped by.
And now, what do we have? A drama, a play, a complicated scenario that develops as our mind grabs the thought and creates that whole story around it.
It’s amazing to watch this process work out before you and you can if you stay aware. And even more astounding is when you can pull yourself away from it right in the midst of the process and stop! Then you realize, “Wow, look what I almost did there–nearly created a whole story line around this silly bunny rabbit thought that came dashing by me just now. Woah!”
My mother, who is quite to the point of senility, said something to me… a thought spoken aloud. It hit an emotional trigger point of mine and there I was just about to take ownership of it, make a whole story around it, nearly ready to think of my mother as deliberately being cruel or vindictive or who knows what else I would have come up with, had I not caught myself in the process of taking ownership of the thought and casting a storyline around it. She, however, had no idea that what she just said applied to poignantly to my life in that moment. She’s way too confused and out of date regarding the current circumstances and events of my life to have been deliberate about it–there was absolutely no malice or intent behind the simple sentence she uttered. It was just a bunny thought and I nearly grabbed it, caged it and created a whole drama out of it.
I could clearly see that if she actually had been aware of the circumstances of my life, that I could have very easily created that story and been ready to become a victim to what I would have most assuredly decided was a cruel thing to say. The next thing I’d have probably done is to go back in time, gathering up any and all other memories that had any type of similarity–calling all other bunnies! I’d have created (like any good lawyer) a case against her and then become the accuser, judge and jury.
AND, to top it all off, I could have done all that in less than a minute! And who knows how long after that I might have carried this legal case around with me in my mental briefcase?
And what for? It was just a little bunny thought that was dashing by. I’m glad I saw it for what it was–a sweet innocent little bunny.
And again, whose thought was it in the first place? My own? Did my mother speak one of my very own thoughts aloud; perhaps a thought of my very own that I wasn’ t even aware that I’d created sometime in the past that was just hanging out there. It could have been that way. But maybe it was someone else’s thought just hopping around. Or yes, my mothers own. But, again, what is mine or hers or anyone’s thought? We’re back to the one mind-one thought theory when we contemplate it more deeply.
A thought is just a thought and there are millions of them dashing around all over the place–in and out and around us all the time.
The question becomes, which ones are we going to grab and make a story out of and create something with? Let’s grab the good thoughts, the inspirational thoughts, the positive thoughts, the happy thoughts, the complimentary thoughts–they’re out there too!
Perhaps this blog post has a point or perhaps its just rambling–more bunny thoughts passing by that I grabbed to made a story out of here. A story about a story that almost happened. But instead, I let the thought hop on by. She didn’t mean a thing by it, but I nearly gave it meaning and that’s my point or what I’m trying to
point toward–for whatever its worth!
Moral of the story: Don’t catch the bummer bunny rabbit thoughts;
let them dash by without calling them
“mine” and creating a web of a story (or a whale of a story) around
them. That’s my point to myself and whomever else reads this post!