Even the unusual ones
This thought struck me on one of those days when nothing seemed to require my attention. Was it at the beach, at my first choice coffee shop? Wherever it happened, I felt relaxed, was content with the world, watching the sky and making clouds disappear. And, suddenly, there it was, an insight, crisp and clear, unmistakable.
The central part of the heading’s statement you may accept quite readily, particularly when you have in mind those daily, mundane thoughts such as my morning specials: “What’s for breakfast?” Or, “Is it going to rain today?” and during the day, other ordinary thoughts come: “What am I going to wear to this party? What’s for dinner? I wonder, what this person is thinking about me. I want an increase in wages.”
…. I am sure you know what I mean and trust we share some of them. And there seems no question about the origin of those thoughts. We find ourselves in a particular situation, and we think them. Or has the stimulation of the thought been triggered by the situation? Let’s leave this aside for a moment. I don’t like getting stuck or sidetracked in the early part of my writing.
What about those rare thoughts? Am I daring to name one? Perhaps better not, after all, you might think I am a bit odd, and you would not continue reading this article. I’d rather shunt this train of thought to a parallel track and look at it some other day. Let’s talk about someone else: What about this Stone Age man who put wheels on his sledge?
Where from would such an elementary thoughts originate? In the case of the Stone Age man, it could have been a deduction. One day he might have observed a somewhat round rock or the stem of a tree rolling down a mountain slope. Nothing seems to push it. There was a moment of surprise, wonder and curiosity.
…. Hopelessly, he looked at his sledge laden with a dinosaur leg. He had to pull it with strenuous effort, even down hill. He might have placed his sledge onto several round rocks or round branches and realised, the sledge was much easier to pull as long as there were round rocks under the sledge.
…. Therefore, rather than carrying around a bag of round rocks, in case there were none around he tried to fix them onto the runners of his sledge. Bingo.
…. Since you are well aware of the process of thinking consisting of a seemingly endless sequence of trial and error, we may as well jump ahead in time for some considerate period and watch him flatten the rocks into disks with central holes and attaching them under his sledge and there it was: the world’s first lorry.
…. We all can imagine the core train of thought leading him to this final solution. In addition, we can imagine as well, his wife yelling down his neck about this complete waste of time and the starving children.
…. There had been no role model thought, there was no prior perception. Most of us can’t see what we don’t know, what we don’t believe. Why him? And again, why would, why does someone make the initial, most important connection between the rolling stones and the sledge?
How many before him had ideas? Why was it him who finally dared to express this extraordinary thought one night when they were sitting around the campfire?
…. How many were humiliated in situations like this when they had to bore the arrogant laughter of the ignorant? How many would still carry out their vision through to reality in spite of all the teasing?
They found themselves driven by an unfaltering belief and an unwavering trust, feeding their perseverance with a profound knowing, assuring them when they remained steadily on the track of their conviction.
Why do we have unusual thoughts? Perhaps, if necessity is the mother of invention, could it be, daydreaming is its father? Would you like to wander with me down some quiet avenues and explore some of those unusual thoughts?
Was it Freud, maybe someone else, who said: “All our thoughts stem from a pool of collective (un)conscience” which is also part of and connected with Gaya, the spirit of our planet Earth. If it were this way, I would like to put it to the test and propose this thought (hypothesis):
“If one would transport all human beings of this Earth to another planet, in a split second, away from their collective pool of knowing, would they think differently? Or would they stop thinking altogether, fall into the abyss of mental darkness, until a new collective unconsciousness would be created?
…. “Who would be the creator of this unconsciousness? Would this new planet have already one waiting for them? And immediately occupy, possess them? They would not even notice any difference, have no chance of recognising they are ‘thinking’ entirely differently. And would it really matter? If nobody were aware of this situation, the change would not be noticed.
…. “Or, maybe, such a large number of people would contain some sort of unconscious mental momentum that would keep on engaging their minds, even if it were only idle chatter, the mind’s favourite occupation if it were conscious of any mental activity at all.”
Origin of Thought
Who is the originator of a thought? Have you ever experienced the feeling of being occupied by a thought, a nagging thought? Often we don’t even know how it was instigated.
…. Could you imagine a thought itself to be an independent ‘thought-being’? Each and every thought a separate entity. They would float around amongst us and sometimes connect with us. And who would initiate this communication? Them or us? Who is in charge? What would be the purpose of us wanting the connection? Or them wanting to engage with us?
…. If it would be the thought‑beings’ intention, could they degrade the thinker to a mere observer of a screen in his own mind watching those thoughts passing through? What is the thought’s benefit to be thought? A thought may remain the same, but when one exchanges one thinker to another with a differently shaped screen, which would distort the thought to some degree, then each thinker would perceive a varied image. Could every thought have as many interpretations as there are thinkers?
May I invite you to another step? What if the observer in our mind is part of the thought, observing itself as it sees its reflection on a mind’s screen? What is left for us? Are we mere actors on a screens for the thought‑beings? A tool, a mechanism for them to manifest, express themselves?
Looking at life on Earth, all living beings, expect us (why except us?) have one characteristic in common. As we ‘conscious’ beings see it, ‘they’ are unconscious. Why would we be the only sentient species on this planet? What we see as our identity, our persona, is it an accumulation of thought‑beings residing in our brain giving us the impression of having ‘our own’ mind?
Enough of this, for the time being.
How many generic thoughts actually do exist? Can thinkers share the same or similar perception? To what degree can a thought’s interpretation vary? Not at all? Maybe, there are as many interpretations as there are thinkers? Perhaps, there are less generic thoughts than we assume. If we would communicate our thoughts more often, we could find out whether we have shared ones.
…. Or worse. To what degree are we the slaves of thoughts, possessed by thought‑beings when they force us to manifest their thought‑contents in the physical realms? We may boldly identify ourselves with our thoughts and consequent actions but is this attitude reciprocated?
…. Do thoughts feel responsible for the response they cause, when an action caused some unexpected bad effect? Can we be, are we responsible for our actions? Do we truly have this often-acclaimed choice? And if we can choose, are we just toggling between one infectious intruder versus another?
…. With all my claimed, assumed consciousness, I still find myself helplessly trapped, governed by a thought’s induced perception. Even when I am aware that all I see is altered through perception, can I move this screen aside and see the truth? And, whatever I seemingly see, how could I tell it is not only another layer of perception?
Hierarchy of Thoughts
I feel a sense of rebellion rising, my intellect wants to discard these ideas I have evoked. Is this perhaps one of these thought‑beings inducing this revolt trying to avoid discovery?
Travelling on my path of growing and hopefully maturing, I have endeavoured to increase my awareness of my thoughts and to take responsibility for the resulting actions. I want to be in charge, this vision of a mental occupancy makes me shiver from gnawing doubt.
Behaviourists have defined a hierarchy of our basic needs. As far as I remember, it follows approximately this sequence: primary level: Food, shelter, sex, authority, touch, middle level: emotion, stimuli, entertainment, and highest level: relaxation, personal and spiritual growth.
…. Is there perhaps only a tiny, limited number of principal thoughts, with headings like those above, one for each basic need, and dependent on the thinker its fulfilment would be manifested due to his complementary characteristics, habits and behaviours. Our individual thoughts are interpretations of these core thoughts, coloured by upbringing, society and culture, our desires and expectations.
….. How large a portion of a thought is actually original and where does our interpretation of a thought start? Is there any authenticity at all? Could I claim any participation in this process? Perhaps, my personal attributes are the framework for my particular way of perceiving a core thought.
How is a thought initiated? Do we collect small seeds of thoughts selected by our basic needs and emotions? One seed for the thought ‘food’ is feeling ‘hunger’. After the thinking process has been triggered the mind creates a picture around the topic ‘food’, where the ingredients are supplied by the circumstances and by the way we would want to satisfy this particular need.
…. An Italian may picture a bowl of pasta, an Inuit starts dreaming of frozen raw fish, Indonesian sense the taste of nasi goreng on their tongues and a French salivates at the thought of ripe Camembert.
Feeling insecure or unsafe may trigger the thought for ‘shelter’, and again, it will find its different forms of expression. The Sioux Indian sees a tipi, the islander images a palm leave thatched hut and the ‘alternative’ Australian fantasises about a cottage in the bush. The results, the desired manifestations differ as we consider people from diverse lifestyles and conditions of living.
If stimulations are repetitive and conditions identical the susceptibility, vulnerability to a relating thought can be repetitive and identical. Keep people in a common environment with the same stimuli and they start thinking the same thoughts, they look for similar ways of expressing and satisfying them, develop the same desires and create similar belief systems. This is how fashion and advertising works. Those who know the triggers can guarantee the ‘success’ of products.
I am not underestimating the need for the sense of security, which the ‘blanket of uniformity’ provides. The consequence causes people to submit their individual attributes to common traits, norms and preferences; the source and expression of a particular culture. They lead to a similar perception and interpretation of core thoughts and desire traditional manifestations.
…. We begin to seek similar forms of satisfaction and indiscriminately apply provided conventional solutions. This is the essential function that permits advertising, politics, fashion and peer‑group behaviour to assert their authority and key position in our society.
…. Take the thought about ‘food’ again. Millions of people around our planet respond to the image of and seek satisfaction by consuming a particular type of hamburger produced everywhere, a certain fried chicken from another multinational food chain, a bottle of dark brown, bubbling sugar water. Those are examples of the worst kind: mind control.
Living in an environment with over stimulation in a narrow and primary sector of mind, opportunity and space for fostering individuality and the expression of it becomes challenging and is by many not looked for.
…. People not following the mainstream, not submitting to peer pressure are branded as fringe dwellers of society. Weird and odd we are called. For the society at large, for safety and simplicity of approach, they put all rebels in one box, the odd box with the label ‘others’.
…. Why don’t we lobby? We are different within our oddity. The oddity is often our only commonality. What is your thought, right this very moment? A wry grin on your face? Have you not heard this all before? Many surrender, withdraw or assimilate with, succumb to the dictate of the crowds.
How else could it be possible that millions of people passionately desire to possess one particular product, idolise a rock star or surrender to the dogmata of religions? For some people this may be only a once off action, in others, it causes lifelong addiction. Why would we vote for individuals we don’t know at all and have no reason to trust, often quite on the contrary and permit them to rule over us?
…. Do you live in a city? In this case, you can observe all of the above without much trouble. Much of it would probably not exist if we would not live in cities. Blaming the cities is not the solution. Dispersing people all over the world would be better.
In summary: If there is a collective unconsciousness, an unconscious knowing, why does it not flush the brains of people from time to time? Come on, you thought‑beings get off your derrières and show us some action. I don’t think they see an advantage in or need for this. It is much easier for a parasite to come and go as it pleases if the host is unaware.
How are you going? Still hanging in there? Thanks. I feel somewhat exhausted and certainly not in a state to offer any solutions.
…. Of course, I could jovially distance myself from all, hop in my spiritual observer seat and smartly comment: “I can’t be anywhere else but on my path and when I am on my path all is perfect.”
…. At the moment this may sound like a shoddy excuse to avoid dealing with those thoughts, and while they are chasing across my mind, they sputter nasty speckles all over it.
Yeppoon, 11 September 1993