The Sunlit Path|Sep 11, 2008 3:32 PM| by:

Dealing with Unpleasant Thoughts

We have very little control over our mind and thoughts. And very often we find that we are assailed by unpleasant and unwelcome thoughts—thoughts of anxiety and fear, thoughts of anger, irritation and depression, thoughts of bad will wishing some harm should come to others.

We generally do not like to think in this manner and it would make most of us very uncomfortable. But the more we try to get rid of these wrong and bad thoughts, the more they come back with an even greater vehemence and we find ourselves quite helpless.

The Mother was once asked.

Question: At times unpleasant thoughts come and disturb us. How can we get rid of them?

Here are three simple and practical ways shown by the Mother, which if we put into practice can help us greatly.

To Think of Something Else

There are several methods. Generally—but it depends on people—generally, the easiest way is to think of something else. That is, to concentrate one’s attention upon something that has nothing to do with that thought, has no connection with that thought, like reading or some work—generally something creative, some creative work. For instance, those who write, while they are writing (let us take simply a novelist), while he is writing, all other thoughts are gone, for he is concentrated on what he is doing. When he finishes writing, if he has no control, the other thoughts will return. But precisely when a thought assails you, one can try to do some creative work; for example, the scientist could do some research work, a special study to discover something, something that is very absorbing; that is the easiest way.
A Movement of Rejection

Naturally, those who have begun to control their thought can make a movement of rejection, push aside the thought as one would a physical object. But that is more difficult and asks for a much greater mastery. If one can manage it, it is more active, in the sense that if you reject that movement, that thought, if you chase it off effectively and constantly or almost repeatedly, finally it does not come any more. But in the other case, it can always return. That makes two methods.

The Supreme Method

The third means is to be able to bring down a sufficiently great light from above which will be the “denial” in the deeper sense; that is, if the thought which comes is something dark (and especially if it comes from the subconscient or inconscient and is sustained by instinct), if one can bring down from above the light of a true knowledge, a higher power, and put that light upon the thought, one can manage to dissolve it or enlighten or transform it—this is the supreme method.

This is still a little more difficult. But it can be done, and if one does it, one is cured—not only does the thought not come back but the very cause is removed.

The first step is to think of something else (but in this way, you know, it will be indefinitely repeated); the second is to fight; and the third is to transform. When one has reached the third step, not only is one cured but one has made a permanent progress.

The Mother