Too Many Thoughts
We humans think altogether too much on altogether too many things. In the space of a split second our minds may entertain a mishmash of unconnected ideas and half formed notions such as could not be found on the printed page outside of Wikipedia. We jump haphazard from one idea to the next, unguided, unguarded, unfiltered and clutching on to whatever is blasted at us across the moving screen of mind and declaring it to be real. We start the Subconscious Mind moving in one direction, halt it, start it off in another, recall it, send it off again, recall it, literally hundreds of times each day.
We have developed habits of utterly undisciplined thinking. Worse still, very often where any discipline is present it is aimed at negative thinking. One moment we are happy and entertain happy thoughts. Then a shadow crosses the face of the mind, and we entertain morbid thoughts. A friend pays us a compliment, and we feel important and vain. An acquaintance criticizes us, and we entertain thoughts of resentment and bitterness. We wait for stimulus from outside to determine what thoughts we will accept and which we will reject. Consequently we become victims of every wind that blows and every twig that falls, and the temper of our lives is determined by countless unending streams of circumstances over which we have no control.
Rare in fact is the man that disciplines himself to accept only positive thoughts and beliefs. Rare is the man that is firm in his faith and foundation, who out waits the world to achieve his ends.
The sea and the mountain, the storm and the stars shall not persevere against such a man, and he shall move the very ends of the earth: Faith that moves mountains and the faith that by shear thought transplants a tree in the ocean.
DO WE THINK?
Do we think? This many well be the trillion dollar question. Could it be that we as human beings have been deceived into believing that we think or better said we make thought? It is strange that we should believe this, since we have no concept or perception where a thought comes and from what it is made. Even so most treatises on the mind maintain that man imagines and makes up thoughts. Yet a vigilant investigation of the process of thought, you will find that we observe thoughts instead of making thought. You will find that thought is a stream or a river that flows across the conscious mind more like a screen projection. These thoughts parade across your consciousness in a never-ending stream, following one upon the other incessantly.
Some you select and add to you, others you reject and send on their way. But the plain and irrevocable fact is that it is not you who sets the stream of thoughts in motion. If you doubt this, try to stop it!
Do not despair! You will find that all your efforts cannot stop your thinking, for the essence of being is observation, contemplation, and comprehension; and though you may slow the stream of thoughts even to a focal point, and examine each thought presented to you with diligent care, still they come. These thoughts come from out of nowhere, displaying before your consciousness word pictures and images, demanding of you to establish a position: accept or reject. You are demanded to evaluate truth and fiction, right and wrong, real and fantasy.
Consider the writer who sits keyboard in hand. Does this writer “think up” the story? Does this writer “think up” the characters or plot? The writer unequivocally puts himself in a position of someone who is going to write. The process is simple from this vantage point. He then observes the thoughts and ideas that cross the conscious mind accepting or rejecting until the ideas which appeals to him is settled. This idea he takes and examines places him in position not only to observe thought but in a position of writing a story about a man who is, let us say, standing in the middle of a busy city street. He wonders how he arrived there and the stream of thoughts come, and he accepts one, and now he is writing a story of a man who is going to meet his future wife. With each question and resulting thoughts that stream by the plot, characters and story line emerge. In no way shape or form does he “think them up. Fact is he has rejected far more thought that he has accepted. His entire story, once completed and written, is merely evidence of the thousands of ideas he has accepted from the thoughts that have streamed through his mind. He has not thought up a thing; he has simply exercised choice. His story tells you what he has accepted; nothing will ever tell you the millions of ideas and thoughts which he has rejected.
WE CHOOSE THOUGHTS
Though it is a far stretch to say we author the story of our life; Like the writer who authors a story, each of us observes the life script of our lives and how we deal with the thoughts we accept and reject. Each of our lives is a story, unfolded by the silent contemplative Self who dwells within us, who does nothing more than accept and reject, who is involved only in making choices. This indwelling Self says, this is the law of nature and the law of God. All thought then becomes a matter of acceptance or rejection of these truths: “This is so,” “This is not so,” “I believe this,” “I do not believe this,” “There is hope,” “There is despair.” And each of these choices is manifested in the physical world.
We are today living testimonies to the choices that have been made from the thoughts that have streamed through our minds. We are literally products of the thoughts accepted or rejected. We are what we believe, that only, nothing more or less.
We are admonished to hold every thought captive!
2Co 10:3-5 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
The Spirit of God within us is teaching us to accept only good. The Spirit of God within us is teaching us to reject all evil by bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ!
Col 3:1-2, 12-16 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
We are deliberately compelling ourselves to accept the things that build us up and add value to our lives. This includes the values listed in scripture whereas these values are health and strength to us.
Consider these word carefully:
Gal 5:19-23 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
We are deliberately compelling ourselves to reject all suffering, all sorrow, all depression, all morbidity, all inferiority, all aches and pains. We know that we are only what we accept from the thoughts that come to us, and more than ever the wisdom of Jesus is brought home, “As ye believe, so shall it be done unto you.”
St. Augustine wrote:
I, Lord, went wandering like a strayed sheep, seeking Thee with anxious reasoning without, whilst Thou wast within me. I went round the streets and squares of the city seeking thee; and I found thee not, because in vain I sought without for him who was within myself.
Heed the Holy Spirit in the recesses of your being. Know that to him all things are possible, according to what he accepts. You are what you choose to be, and your choice is made in the mind. Seek the high and forsake the low. A man adds all things unto himself simply by taking a position with impregnable faith.
As a reflection know that “as a man thinks in his heart, so he is” (Prov. 23:7). However the limitation of this statement is based on our view and maturity. Consider the mustard seed as given by parable by Jesus. If you have the faith the size of a mustard seed you would be able to say to a mountain be moved or to a tree be transplanted in the sea. Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me”. Do you believe? How big is your faith? Dare to believe and have courage to stay the course. This we know that at the end of life the person who loves much, laughs much has lived much will view life as having much to show. The opposite or negative of this is true as well. The person who has loved little, laughed little has lived little and will view life as having little to show.
Father grant to me discernment to accept the thoughts that flood through my mind that add value. Grant faith that moves mountains in my life and restore to me the joy of my salvation. Grant me grace that moves my view from my own and this world to your view. Let me see your thoughts toward me and allow me to see myself as you see me and accept the thoughts you have accepted toward me. Give me discernment to reject the thoughts that will unleash evil and the consequences of this evil in and through my life. Restore health and vigor to my life, mind and spirit.
Additional scripture reference
Gen_6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Psa_10:4 The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.
Psa_33:11 The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
Psa_40:5 Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.
Psa_94:19 In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.
Pro_12:5 The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit.
Jer_29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Heb_4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.