The Cost of a Thought

Inspired by Emily

It costs nothing to put pleasant thoughts out there about other people and yet despite costing nothing we shy away from such acts of kindness especially with people we regard as enemies or people we don’t like.

Why do we behave in this manner towards other people when they are human like us, it’s certainly not healthy for them or us. Is it because we believe our thoughts will never have an impact on anyone else and it’s a fruitless task to share thoughts of well-being – or is it because we are naturally malevolent and it is easier to harbour loathing and ill-feeling rather than show compassion, empathy and accommodate love?

Rather than “putting out” negative thoughts in the direction of others shouldn’t we be trying to think positively regardless of whether we like the other person or not, if not to avoid wasting valuable time and energy, but so as not to unbalance of our own well-being. How often, and for how long do we dedicate negativity in the direction of others, how many bad thoughts do we give up, how many years are we known for harbouring a ‘grudge’ against another person, how inflexible are we when it comes to forgivenes?

No doubt some would argue forgiveness depends on what the other person did to us both mentality and physically [as if there is some kind of standard template that we can use to judge other people] whereas others would assert quite simply that there is no room for forgiveness, that to live by the sword, is to die by the sword, an eye for an eye.

However, when we hold feelings of resentment against someone else we are knowingly putting our-self into a position of imbalance, i.e. we are choosing to allow our-self to resonate in a way that keeps us in conflict with this person either directly engaged in arguments, or indirectly by engaging in ill-feelings and or thoughts that the other person is not even aware of.

This seems to happen especially when someone does something to hurt us,  depending on the severity of the action and the strength of memories, bitterness becomes entrenched and grows into a source of long-lasting resentment and in some case, revenge.

Bad memories are the link between reasonable and unreasonable behaviour that we direct towards others, indeed bad memories are powerful catalysts for some people to hold ill-feeling for years and in some cases actually harm people. But what is the cost of forgiveness – is forgiveness an option – or is it merely idealistic thinking and something that can never be given?

What we can be 100% certain of is that we can’t change anything about past events because these moments and the memories that we have collected about them are only permanent when we allow them to be. The “past” can only exist in our Mind through thoughts that manifest – therefore it is only our-self that can be blamed for surrendering to the turbulence and upset that bad memories can bring when we allow conditioned observation to continue [conditioned meaning pattern negativity]

Rather than observe bad memories from a balanced point-of-view [as in recognising them as PAST events] because there is nothing more we can do about past events other than try to understand them through logical reasoning, we allow our-self to be consumed by the emotions that represent a particular past moment – remember, past memories are simply a ‘representation’ of moments that have been lived, therefore it is not feasible, let alone reasonable to continue living in those memories as though they were qualitative aspects of the here and now.

So, what is the point in also worrying or expending too much thought or energy about things that are unknowable… the future might have ‘potential’ but it is the same as the past in that it has no realness about it. We are forever taking steps into the future as ‘present’ time passes us by, but we can never live in the future because it is always one step beyond us, just as we can no longer live in the past because that is effectively one step behind us.

The truth is quite simple – the only point in life that has any element of realness about it is the present NOW of which we are aware… but even these moments are in fact themselves fleeting glimpses of the future that become elements of the past. The window of present awareness is very brief indeed and so we can be forgiven for not always making the right decisions in life, particularly as each moment that constitutes a life event is rushing at us with extraordinary speed and being consigned to memory as we digest them.

We are bound to make mistakes when the window of real-time observation is so limited. The beauty of memory is that we are able, given enough desire, to sit back and reflect on our own behaviour and decisions in relation to previous life-interactions. Why… to learn and grow. This reflection is made possible because of memories [whatever memories are] or snap-shots [ethereal images] of life-events being produced and visualized in the Mind. We are able, whilst utilizing astonishingly powerful electrochemical processes taking place in the brain to experience momentous feelings and visually reflect on past moments, and if we are slightly bolder, to judge our-self. This ‘ability’ is available to anyone. It is what makes us human.

Instead however, it is easier to use this ability to reflect on the past or future in a negative way, it is easier to direct ill-feeling that we ourselves manifest into thoughts and emotions against other people and then reinforce the terribleness of past events in the process. Rather than acknowledging and respecting the value of the memory by accepting the emotional reaction of the body and pausing to take some time to look at the memory holistically, i.e. taking a deep breath and looking at the past event with compassion, understanding, honesty and more importantly, from a view-point of Love, we instead allow ourselves to be consumed by every emotional aspect of the memory that made it so bad in the first place – so much so that we become overwhelmed by anger and hatred.

The moment we allow the irrational aspects of our ‘self’ to govern and retain responsibility of our reactions to past memories then we have failed in our bid to understand the root ‘cause’ of the memory from an unbiased or balanced point-of-view. The natural reaction to overwhelming emotions that often accompany bad memories is enough to temporarily debilitate the owner of the memory – dreadful memories can hold people back from making sentient progression for entire life-time, they can cement rifts between people into unbreakable foundations, and they can destroy relationships as effectively as a tornado can wreak havoc on a town unprepared.

Memories can influence behaviour for generations if they are passed on as traditions – a good example of this is racism. Racism is learned from trends manifesting from appalling past events and not because of random gene expression or any other reason that causes detachment from our conscious experience of life.

Why do we as individuals harbour this potential disharmony? I say potential because without our ability to recall [either voluntarily or involuntarily] memories into our Mind for reflection, there would be no imbalance, there would be no potential for disharmony. The past exists in memory because we allow it to exist in thought, just as the future exists as potential because we allow ourselves to ponder what might become. We do this from a fleeting moment that we call the ‘now’ or the ‘presence’ and this common ground gives us an opportunity to lay memories to rest.

It costs nothing to think. Energy exchanges that take place in the body as a signature that thought or feeling has manifest is not a loss of energy because the fundamental essence of Nature is that energy can never be lost, energy transforms into different states, there is no creation per se, just as there is no total destruction of anything. So thinking for one-self and for the benefit of others doesn’t actually cost anything energy-wise, the electrochemical signatures that represent thoughts in motion will be replenished within and without naturally.

In terms of the potential cost of a thought the possibilities appear to be unlimited, the thought of a U.S. president compared to a U.S. citizen for example is global in potential impact. The thought of a police officer who suspects an individual of foul play will prove to be the foundation of the police officers future behaviour towards the suspect even though the reality of the situation might be that the suspect has actually done nothing wrong.

Compare this to the thought of a fighter-pilot who has to make a split second decision on whether or not to drop a 2000lb bomb on a village overrun by enemy soldiers and one can see the cost of the pilot’s first thought is profound in every conceivable way. If the first thought is about innocent villagers being caught in cross-fire then the cost of indecision becomes a tactical loss. If on the other hand, the pilot’s first thought is the next step of engagement then the cost of his thought is measured financially [use of bomb] and in collateral damage [civilian deaths].

When we ponder ‘thoughts’ in this manner we can see that someone somewhere is going to be affected by our thinking, it is like a ripple effect, akin to throwing a stone in a lake. This alone tells us that we need to take time to look at what we are thinking rather than allowing our thoughts to run away and guide our behaviour, particularly when we are angry and behaviour becomes even more erratic and uncontrollable.

But, for some reason we don’t check our thoughts and we allow the thought process to become automated to the point we might as well be programmed robots. This is the inner battle we all face without exception, this is the struggle we endure so that we can resonate with the nature of true Love.

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