For most of us, a large part of our thinking is unconscious and compulsive, in the sense that we aren’t even aware that we are thinking. But even then the mind is able to go on and on with thoughts to the extent that even if we wanted to, they wouldn’t stop. I have always wondered why the mind has to do this, because this is what leads to compulsive thinking and stress.
Even if the thinking is unconscious, there exists a continuity existing between thoughts. Which means there is ‘something’ that facilitates the connection of one thought to the next. This does not happen just in the case of compulsive thinking but also with day dreaming. Once the thinking can have it’s own continuity, it tends to act like an independent function and does not need the thinker to intervene as much as possible. This is the state of no awareness. In the state of no awareness the ‘unconsciousness’ spreads to other aspects of life, like decision-making, performing some routine tasks, reacting to situations…
It may be interesting to look at if this continuity issue arises at a thought level and spreads to other aspects of life or it is the other way around?
Even if we say that the thinking is unconscious, it is not really so. Most of the time there is a theme or a topic or an objective and there is mostly an order. But within that space, at the level of thought, the continuity is unconscious. But we need this continuity to think, to produce results, to make sense etc.
The intelligent mind actually adopts many techniques to keep thoughts together and give continuity. Here are few examples:
- Stories – stories make up the lives of most of us (I am like this, my achievements, my sufferings, my this and that..)
- Reactive Mind Patterns , Conditioned behaviour
- Anxiety and anticipation
- Resistance – Past/ Future
This continuity spreads to all aspects of our lives and ultimately results in us seeking continuity in our own lives. And for most of us, this is what drives our lives. It is what strengthens our sense of self which thrives on seeking continuity and fulfillment. But most of the time the continuity is so well established as a habit that people have absolutely no say of what they think and how they think.
What happens when the continuity is broken? Assume that there is no compulsive need for a thought to connect the next what happens?
This is probably the state what most spiritual traditions call freedom. They say this is the state where there is no likes and dislikes, no desires, no remorse … you can look at something without thinking and you do not need to react to something….
So the revolution is to go deep to the thought level and eliminate the need for continuity. Then all the mind patterns, habits, concepts and identity will simply collapse. Because the root cause lies deep in the mind.
But is that the real freedom that we as human beings want? I do not know…