Thoughts are incredible. They come through my mind like a parade. One after another. They usually didn’t segue well.
Right now I just thought about when I was in elementary school. I remember buying erasers at the school supply store. I liked their pink color and the strange way they smelled. Plus I enjoyed bending them, and how they wouldn’t break.
And now I’m thinking, “I’m wondering if you’re enjoying this so far?” This is followed by, “I wonder if the person reading this is thinking, ‘Where’s he going with this?'”
I’m amazed at how thoughts show up and I’m able to continue doing whatever it is I’m in the middle of doing. I can be talking with someone and suddenly think about my next door neighbor’s cat when I was a kid. I am able to keep talking. I don’t have to lay down and say, “Wait, I’m having a thought about an old cat I used to know. Would you please wait until this has passed?”
I fascinated about thoughts because I never say, “I’m going to have a thought about ______.” They are spontaneous. It’s as if I’m listening to random songs on a radio station. I don’t know where they come from. Research shows that the brain is receptive in nature. It’s not a generator.
I like writing about thoughts because we all have them, but we never hear each others thoughts. Each of us has a lively endless stream of thoughts, but it’s only available to the person having them. When I spend time with someone, I hear their voice, I see their body, I notice what they do, but I don’t hear what they are thinking. Based on what’s happening, it can appear that I’m the only person who is thinking.
To say what we are thinking to another person is vulnerable. Sharing thoughts is intimate. “I feel like I can trust you by telling you what’s private and secret to me.”
Even though my thoughts feel private and unique to me, I feel like if I were able to experience your thoughts, they would feel a lot like mine. I would get the sense that I’m similar to you. Sure, our memory details are different, but the experience of remembering, and the feelings that go along with them wouldn’t seem foreign to me. The same goes with worried or hopeful or fearful or excited thoughts. Even fantasy thoughts have a similar feeling.
This fascinates me because I think there’s an underlying unity to life that is hidden underneath the differences. Focusing primarily on the differences between us can create division, fear, and isolation. But noticing what’s common, our human nature, our vulnerable sense of self, can create connection. Peace can be found in the universal.