“Sometimes I wonder
Whether thoughts are made of misery
Or misery is made of thoughts.”

– Sri Chinmoy

Every level of our existence below the mind – body and vital – and every level above the mind – heart and soul – exist and operate without thoughts. Thoughts are exclusive to the thinking mind: they are its food, bricks, language, currency, secret service and armed forces.

As a spider spins its web out of its own body, so the mind constructs its own universe out of itself, from its limited and binding thoughts. Designed to capture its prey, the web imprisons its maker. So, in seeking to impose meaning on the chaos of the universe, the mind is entrapped and imprisoned by its own thoughts, fears, pride and prejudice.

A thinking mind acts as a black hole in our spiritual life, actively devouring light, peace and joy from its surrounding inner galaxies. Peace, light and joy are all native to our soul – infinitely free and ever expansive. The moment they are grabbed by the thinking mind, light is obscured, peace ruffled, and joy retreats into misery.

Thoughts and misery are interdependent. Thoughts enmesh us in the material and tether us to the temporal; while misery accrues from the combined tyrannies of finite time and space.

Thoughts constrict and restrict, as they are limited and limiting. In limitation, we are bound, and bound to suffer. Thoughts are misery’s oxygen – no thoughts, no misery; in the heart’s bliss, thoughts are utterly redundant. Misery begets thoughts, as thoughts nurture misery.

To bury misery and bask in eternal joy, we must master our thoughts once and for all. While ultimate victory may be a distant dream, let our goal be daily progress, lessening thoughts gradually and inexorably as, step by step, we approach our goal.