What are high thoughts and low thoughts?

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Question: What are high thoughts and low thoughts?

Shri Prashant: Let’s see. Think that you are speaking in the Russian language or in the Spanish language. Is it possible to think so?

L1: No.

SP: It is not; because to think, there must be some relation of the thought with your past.

Now write down a law: All thoughts come from the past.

We often say that we have a new thought. But actually, there is no new idea or new thought because every thought is fundamentally grounded in the past. It is coming from the past; there is nothing new in that. Every thought comes from the past experiences and we know that past experiences are limited. All our thoughts come from those past experiences.

We can say that the past is like a room, like this one in which you are sitting. This room is full of all our past experiences. Whatever we have learned, hear, see, are in this room. This entire thing is in our mind and all our future expectations are coming from this past experiences. We think that these are the new imaginations of our future. But these are nothing but the same old past experiences which come in seemingly new forms. There is nothing new. It is very clear that you cannot think beyond your past experiences. How many of us want to spend their entire life in this hall which is full of our past experiences? How many of us want that their future should be the shadow of their past? We want a new future, right? Nobody wants to have the future like their past.

What is ‘new’? New means freedom from the past. Pay attention. If we want a new future then we must come out from this room. Our thoughts keep moving here and there in this room – our mind. Now, if you pay attention, you will notice that there are two ways to move around in this room. One way is of incessant random motion leading nowhere. However, there is another way which is to walk in the room in such a way that you come out from the room. I am still walking in the room but my direction is in such a way which can take me out of the room. Can random movement help me to get out of the room? All movement in the mind is thought. Both of the thoughts are from the past but one kind of movement is helping me to move out from the room. The door of the room, the limit of the room, represents freedom from the past.

The question asked by you is “What are high thoughts?” High thoughts are those which give you freedom from thinking.

Now write down:

Poor thoughts are those thoughts that lead to an infinite number of random uncontrolled thoughts.

High thoughts are those, or high thinking is that, in which thinking happens in such a way that thinking stops and an understanding happens. High thinking is that in which there is end of thinking and beginning of understanding. High thinking is one which does not remain for a long time. It sublimates into a silent understanding.

Poor thinking is an untamed thought which goes on expanding madly like a cancer and destroys everything.

L2: Sir, I want to know more about ‘poor’ thinking.

SP: How many of us have been in a state in which our mind has been wandering uncontrollably? It happens that we are sitting here – in a physical way – and our mind is at the airport, railway station, etc.

Let us do an experiment. Those of us who are in dhyana (attention) right now and are listening to me in dhyana will find that there is absence of any thought, thinking, comparisons. But there are some who are sitting here and their mind is somewhere else – they are surely not understanding. Their mind is half here, half there – fragmented. Dhyana and fragmented mind cannot be together.

Where there is Dhyana, there cannot be fragmentation.

You want to know thought?

There is a simple way – when the mind is doing all these activities, be silent, watch it and let it do whatever it wants to. When you see it with attention, it may just stop doing all these things. You are not forcing it to stop, but it may just stop.

For example, when you just look sharply at a small child wandering here and there, making noise, he or she stops and becomes still. Just looking is sufficient. Your attention is a very potent force.

So, we have learnt that there are two different types of thoughts. One is that which moves randomly. The second thought is that which starts from the past, as it must, but it changes into understanding and disappears.

L3: Whatever we imagine is out of our own experience. That means we cannot ever imagine anything?

SP: Are you a vegetarian?

L3: Yes.

SP: Have you ever eaten meat?

L3: No, Sir.

SP: Imagine that you are eating the meat of a goat.

L3: I can’t. It is not possible.

SP: You cannot imagine without having an experience.

L3: Why, Sir?

SP: Go ahead and try to imagine.

L3: I failed.

SP: What you just got a proof of is a law of the mind. Laws of the mind are just like scientific laws, isn’t it? You come across the various laws of science and never protest. Do you ask why force ‘must be’ equal to dp/dt? You let it be, it’s an unchangeable law. But when I speak to you about the laws of the mind, you resist so much. Why are you unwilling to see that the mind is material and is governed by certain laws?

One of those laws is: All imagination of the future comes from your past experiences.

There is not any space for ‘why’ in this. It IS so. It just IS so. It exists this way. Even your ‘why’ emanates from your mind. Do you ask why do I ask ‘why’? ‘Why’ means cause and effect. Cause and effect are both within the mind. What is within the mind cannot tell you ‘why’ the mind is of a certain nature. Do you ask why force is dp/dt? This is an unchangeable law. It has not been dreamt up by the mind. It has been just observed, not invented, not thought of.

In the same way, it is a law of the mind that it lives in duality. All your future expectations are the shadow of the past. Have you ever asked why gravity is 9.8m/s2? You may ask this and get an answer but there would be another ‘why’ confronting that answer. ‘Why’ is causation – time. All “why’s” are mind itself. Observe the ‘why’ and see from where it arises. You may not get an answer to ‘why’ but the ‘why’ itself will dissolve.

L4: We can calculate the value of gravity from first principles.

SP: Calculate or observe? Underneath all scientific calculations lie direct and unbiased observations. The entire scientific method is based on observation. What do you do in a lab? In lab, you first observe and on the basis of that you come to an understanding.

Since our education does not focus on self, we do not know the rules of the mind. We know Newton’s first law, second law, but do we know the first law of the mind, the second law of the mind. We are hardly ever so cynical about the thermodynamics laws. The gentleman does not believe that the engine of the car gets heated up upon ignition. Alright, keep disbelieving and go and sit on the engine, you will come to know whether or not the laws of thermodynamics hold good.

Just as there are laws of the objects- air, water, pressure, heat, similarly there are laws for the mother object – Mind is the mother object. Mind is the biggest object. The mistake lies in our upbringing and education which have not ever talked about the mind. That is the reason these things seem incredible to you. You think that objects exist outside and your education has not told you that the mother object exists within – it is your very mind. When I say this to you, you will resist. You will ask: who published this mind theory? Who has verified it? I say that the lab lies within you. Go ahead and verify whatever I have said. Watch your thoughts, that’s it!

The rules of the mind are unchangeable. Existence has scant regard for your wishes. You cannot wish away the laws of the mind. But yes, you can understand them. This can be done only when there is impartial observation.


~ Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. 

Edited for clarity.

Read more articles on this topic:

Article 1: Why do thoughts keep changing?

Article 2: What is meant by right thinking and wrong thinking?

Article 3: Do not be wary of a particular type of thought; be wary of thinking itself

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