For quite some time now I have been perplexed by the nature of Thought. Primarily because thoughts, I have found, essentially comprise the state of normal awareness. If there are no active thoughts, then we are asleep, unconscious or perhaps in a deep state meditation wherein one could be said to be in a different state of consciousness. However, the steam of thought that is experienced whilst awake directly contributes to actions, judgements, and emotion. Therefore, thoughts, not the appraisals of the external world, are responsible for behavior. It is said that if thoughts change then the world changes and this cannot be overstated.
A thought occurs before actions and judgements, by what reason do thoughts arise? This is not to say that thoughts are inherently irrational as society in its current state clearly proves otherwise. However, a thought must occur first before a judgement is made, whether conscious or subconscious, save those actions due to the orienting reflex. In everyday, non-life-threatening experience, there is thought that precedes meaningful interpretations and action. It can be supposed that some appraisals of mundane matter do not involve complex thoughts, perhaps the appraisal of a customer at a shop who is rude. The process of deciphering surface value hostility is simple and brief as other obligations swiftly negate the necessity to analyze the context of the encounter. Yet, the surface level appraisal is certainly wrong to varying degrees and deeper prodding is never achieved. The thoughts required to initiate the contextual understanding of such an encounter do not come with ease, thus it is never understood that this customer’s mother just died or the he just lost his job, only that he was rude and that was enough. This superficial appraisal conjures a label, a label that is flawed but adhered to on the basis of a brief and poorly represented encounter. This is something that occurs every day, all the time.
What does it take to breach the surface and dive deeper, to find more meaning and understanding in each encounter? The thoughts necessary to dive deeper do not come naturally, the questions do not seem to reveal themselves with ease. Often times the disruptive actions of others leave people to feel distaste and thus personally targeted. Perhaps what is missing is a sense of benefit of the doubt that implies that there is a complex but reasonable answer as to why anyone would act inappropriately. Though the case may be convoluted and the answers lie deep in the past, it can be assumed that reasons do exist. Taking this mindset to each encounter provides a foreground in which to treat each person as though their thoughts and actions are, in their own way, understandable even if we cannot understand it. This does not imply that others should not be held accountable for rash action, only that direct opposition is likely not the best solution and instead a deeper understanding would provide a more fruitful encounter.
It is perfectly reasonable to reckon that such analysis of mundane interaction is not necessary, but the proper handling of said situations is still of importance. Thus, it is wise not to propel the circumstance, or the other person further into controversy. Mitigation of conflict results from a backseat to impulse and instead the thought that we likely do not or could not know the full scope of an encounter so brief. Therefore, to judge other people, situations, and actions blindly and swiftly is the mark of an untempered mind. Or rather, a mind that has not learned to commune with the nature of its own thought.
It appears that thought has a nature of its own, although tied to the thinker, thought is in some ways unpredictable. Scenarios are played out and there is some level of control that exists but ultimately thought is driven by some underlying force. This may be the reptilian mind as we think of food when hungry, or get scared when alone in the woods, the thought of going hungry or being eaten permeate as a mechanism that attempts to provide a solution. Then there are more readily accessible thoughts, specifically as they pertain to the attitudes toward others. Our judgements of them and appraisals of their actions run through our head as a stream of dialogue or perhaps a feeling. These thoughts are comprised of a life of human interaction, experiences with other humans leads to an internal rubric that is used to gauge others. The rubric is subjective in large part but has some objective facets courtesy of culture, ergo the murderers are not taken to kindly.
Further, it is thought that generates a change of behavior and action, therefore if good advice is seen as faulty by the subject, that person will not take the advice. Even so, that person will likely have to realize a pattern of thought themselves before any meaningful change is to occur. Thus, the recognition of the necessity for change is a precondition for transformative thought, this implies a level of observation and self-awareness that is also necessary. The same advice, given by two different people will be taken in two different ways by the same person, unless the subject understands how to objectify thought.
To objectify thought is to reckon thought as separate from the thinker and as an object to be pondered. The thoughts of others, when shared with us, have a far more objective basis as they come from the other, however depending on the giver, the reception of the external thought can be different. Full objectifying of thought means to take all thoughts, even those from others, as objects to be pondered. Surely some thoughts are better than others but this has absolutely nothing to do with people in the case of thought objectivity.
When conducting appraisals of people, situations or history, there is a ruler to use. The ruler is of cultural conduct and historical mistakes, the ruler is used to definitively say that Stalin and Hitler were atrocious humans or that Ghandi brought people together. When appraising thoughts, the ruler exists but only within the mind of the beholder. Thoughts are measured with a highly subjective set of standards but it appears that given the nature of thought being continuous but unpredictable, any sort of ruler seems unfitting. There are those who think thoughts and then judge themselves harshly upon the thought they had, but a thought has no value unless it is given value by the thinker. Therefore, when a person feels disgusted by themselves for a thought they had, it is odd to think of how this can be. It seems that the proper attitude toward any thought is a contemplation of why it may have arisen and is it of any value, but to entwine the thought with oneself seems unwise as predicting thought is not feasible and thus can ruin if attachments are taken ill.
Thoughts are a stream of ideas that conduct an experiment for the best possible set of actions within the close future. When culminated, they evoke action and thus people proceed through their days, meeting deadlines and doing work. When daydreaming, thoughts take a different role, a highly prospective role which helps to define our relationship to others and more importantly ourselves. It is here that things become tricky as delusion is a form of thought and without an objective lens to view thoughts, the assumptive delusion may very well evoke destructive action. The most common case of this is imagining how others feel about us and taking it as truth then acting on it. This mode of conduct is sure to distance oneself from others in a sort of self fulfilling prophecy. Therefore, all thoughts should require evidence, just as material phenomena do, if it is supposed that a person is not partial to us, this cannot be taken as the truth. It is dutiful if those thoughts produce dis-ease (especially of they produce dis-ease), to find a solution whether that be confronting the person or careful observation. It is far more likely that the superficial understanding of any situation is flawed, this assumption is useful when dealing with complex thoughts.
Ultimately, thoughts are not simple and require a method of interpretation of their own. Any thought that arises is subject to analysis and to take them as truth right off the bat is sure to produce unnecessary mental conundrums. Becoming unattached to the thoughts that possess the mind each day produces the courage necessary to deal with some of the more complicated aspects of the mind and of life.