The Sunlit Path|Jul 6, 2007 9:22 AM| by:

Thought Control

We believe we are rational organised beings.  But if watch ourselves closely, we find that our mind is more like a market-place where all types of thoughts are jostling about in complete confusion and disorder.  And it is extremely difficult to bring some sort of a control and mastery in the mind.

We also find that thoughts often come and go in a random manner, and have no special effect or significance.  But, at times, there are some thoughts which we know to be bad, wrong or negative.  We would like to get rid of them, but the more we try to push them away, the more they come back and harass us.

A question was asked once to the Mother related to the functioning of the mind.

Question :  Why do we have bad thoughts?  From where do they come?  Why is thought control so difficult?  How can it be done?

Here is the Mother’s answer, as she explained it to the children in a class, in a simple and practical manner.

    Bad Thoughts

There can be several reasons for that. In fact there are several reasons. It may be due to a bad nature—if people have nasty feelings, these nasty feelings can be the cause of nasty thoughts. It may be the opposite. Perhaps they are wide open to all sorts of suggestions from outside and, as I said, these suggestions enter them and gradually create nasty feelings. It may be due to subconscious influences which are conflicting precisely because they are uncontrolled. When these influences rise to the surface, instead of being controlled and those which are undesirable refused, everything is allowed to enter as it likes, the doors are open.

You are bathed in all kinds of things—good, bad, neutral, luminous, dark; it’s all there, and each one’s consciousness should, in principle, act as a filter. You should receive only what you want to receive, you should think only what you want to think; and then, you should not allow these thoughts to be changed into feelings and actions without formal authorisation.

    Our Field of Work

In fact, this is the very purpose of physical existence. Each person is an instrument for controlling a certain set of vibrations which represent his particular field of work; each one must receive only the ones which are in conformity with the divine plan and refuse the rest.

But not one in a thousand does that. You do it a little, half consciously, due to the friction of circumstances and surroundings, but as for doing it deliberately, surely there are very few human beings who do it deliberately; and even when it’s done deliberately, to do it in the true way and with the true knowledge, that indeed is still more exceptional.

Thought Control

Thought-control! Who can control his thoughts? Only those who have trained themselves to it, who have tried hard since their childhood.

There is the whole range, you see, from total lack of control, which for most people comes to this: it is their thoughts which rule them and not they their thoughts. The vast majority of people are troubled by thoughts they cannot get rid of, which literally possess them, and they don’t have the power to close the door of their active consciousness to these thoughts. Their thoughts govern them, rule them.

You hear people saying every day, “Oh! That thought, all the time it comes back to me, again and again, and I can’t get rid of it!” So they are assailed by all kinds of things, from anxiety to ill-will and fear. Thoughts which express dread are extremely troublesome; you try to send them away, they return like a rubber band and fall back on you. Who has control? It requires years of labour and such a long practice. And so, to come to something which is not complete control but anyway already represents a stage: to have the ability to do this in your head (Mother moves her hand across her brow), to annul all the movements, to stop the vibrations. And the mental surface becomes smooth. Everything stops, as when you open a book at a blank page—but almost materially, you understand… blank!

Try a little when you are at home, you will see, it is very interesting.

    Sri Aurobindo’s Action

And so, one follows the place in one’s head where the little point is dancing. I have seen—I have seen Sri Aurobindo doing this in somebody’s head, somebody who used to complain of being troubled by thoughts. It was as if his hand reached out and took hold of the little black dancing point and then did this (gesture with the finger-tips), as when one picks up an insect, and he threw it far away. And that was all. All still, quiet, luminous…. It was clearly visible like this, you know, he took it out without saying anything—and it was over.

And things are very closely interdependent: I also saw the case when someone came to him with an acute pain somewhere: “Oh, it hurts here! Oh, it hurts! Oh!…” He said nothing, he remained calm, he looked at the person, and I saw, I saw something like a subtle physical hand which came and took hold of the little point dancing about in disorder and confusion, and he took it like this (same gesture) and there, everything had gone.

The Mother

  • http://Website Abhay

    It is really like picking up an unwanted insect, gently and letting the bad thoughts pass.