I awoke with a train running through my head. It gathered steam in the middle of the night with what felt like an earthquake inside my brain. I had no way to know if it was part of a dream in sleepland or dreamed in what we call reality. I fell back asleep, letting it be what it was, and awoke to the train.
It’s pretty darn easy to follow a train of thought, to see how it hooks you and drags your along, creates a thinker of the thought and the villains and heroes. It’s easy if one is open to such a lark.
I saw the train, saw the places it wanted to take me, and must admit I stepped aboard for a moment or two. I may have even walked up the narrow, well-defined aisle a few steps before I felt a bit claustrophobic. To sit down and ride I had to define myself narrowly, as a someone who was at the effect of something, something most likely quite bad.
With that recognition I was standing in the station, waving at the train and its passengers, noticing no need to climb back aboard.
In order to get off that ragged rigged track, you have to be willing to suspend belief in thought, its train, and the inevitable conclusions. That isn’t quite as easy but where there’s a willingness, possibilities abound. When you see the trade-off clearly willingness too, abounds.
Most see thought as thinking. It isn’t. What we think of as thinking is simply one thought piled up on another. Even the thought, I am thinking, is nothing but another thought. Many see their thoughts as evidence of their ability, their intelligence. They are not. Thoughts simply are. When left to run off the track they simply come and go. When we engage, mentally, emotionally, physically, even covertly, they engage us, condition our perspective, limit what we can and cannot see, creating an ‘I Loop’ in which we get stuck.
How about you? Do your thoughts make you proud? Do they make you cringe? What do you think they say about you?
Are you so enamored of them that you follow them wherever they go, straying into the past with them or wandering into the wonderland of a future, riding the train for all you’re worth?
Or are you, like many, so appalled that you attempt to suppress your thoughts, to tamp them down adamantly, to damn them, hoping they never see the light of day again.
Thoughts, and the feelings they are entangled with, are pretty damn persistent. They tend to break through even the deepest darkest dungeons mind can create. Seems the more we deny them, the stronger they get, picking up steam, garnering proof from the outside world to cement their claims. The thought train runs to ruin on its own track, without a conductor, without brakes, down a very steep grade.
The quality and quantity of thoughts say nothing about you. Thoughts have no meaning; they simply are. When left to be, when neither ignored nor engaged, they move along. They are always moving along unless you string them together, hook up the train, and drag them with you.
If that happens, no harm, no foul. You’ve just taken a ride on the dreamland express. Oh well. Life takes us where it will.
What if you simply let thoughts be? Would it change your life? Perhaps, perhaps not. What will be will be. If the earthquake this morning shakes my world down to its foundation, it will. But, paying no heed to the trains of thought, I may not quake in my boots awaiting the fall. Anticipatory grief has less opportunity to set its claws. Just one thought seen through changes the course of the universe.
So yes, it does affect life. Everything that happens affects life one way or the other. The ride is emerging, the path not set on tracks. Freed of this morning’s attempt to instill anxiety, my life, my actions, my very being emerges from greater peace and love, acceptance and joy.
Sounds like a better ride to me. Platform 9 ¾ anyone?