I was listening to Sam Harris on a podcast this morning, and he said something that shook me: “You don’t think your thoughts. You are your thoughts.”
Which is empowering in that you-choose-the-way-you-view-the-world kind of way. Think positively and you’ll view the world positively; think negatively and negativity will seem to find you. I’m pretty sure I buy that.
But then I realized that this sentiment — you are your thoughts — is not a particularly pleasant one when I consider the kind of messed-up thoughts I have during the day.
I don’t dwell on them, of course. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t occasionally think the horribly morbid thought. “What if I just drove the car off the road right now? Right into that ditch? Or into oncoming traffic?” Every time somebody on a bicycle comes anywhere near me, I think of that scene from Indiana Jones where he jams a flagpole into a Nazi’s motorbike spokes and sends the guy pinwheeling through the air. Not that I actually want to hurt somebody, just that I could take a tiny action like that and seriously mess up somebody’s day.
Troubling. To say nothing of the dream I had this morning where my wife was holding a handful of baby snakes which subsequently started to eat each other from the inside out (don’t ask, it was a dream, who cares about logic), filling the room with a cloud of black flies. (Interpret that one for me, if you can.)
If you are your thoughts, then what do those thoughts make me?
Pardon me while I try to avoid thinking at all for the rest of the day.
2 thoughts on “Your Thoughts”
I agree somewhat with that sentiment, but also consider the native american proverb of the two wolves inside you. Everyone has light and dark in them, what “you” are depends on which one you cultivate. Just like muscles occasionally have twitches or spasms that you didn’t consciously initiate, those thoughts are spasms of the darker side. They needn’t define you. My 2 cents.
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Strangely enough, this is the second time in 24 hours that I’ve heard somebody talk about that proverb, and I don’t know that I had ever heard it before in my life.
Clearly the wolves are after me.