“Each thought that you have is like a tiny drop in either the ocean of darkness or the ocean of light. If it is an aspiring thought, it is trying to feed you with affection, sweetness and love. If it is a desire-filled thought, it is only trying to bind you, blind you, capture you and devour you.”
– Sri Chinmoy
Thoughts are intimately connected with desire: thoughts and desires both attach us to, and enmesh us in the finite and the unreal. They direct us away from the destination of happiness and fulfilment, our infinite soul, our true self. Desires enlist thoughts to aid them in their purpose, then clothe, embellish, intensify and propagate themselves with thoughts. Both come to us disguised as friends, mentors, even saviours, and we embrace them as such. Thoughts and desires alike stand as barriers fencing us inside our egos, and together expressly prohibit our entry into deeper meditation.
How tempting then, to ascribe blame to thoughts, desires, and to the mind itself, which nurtures both these antagonists. If we could only dispense with the mind, these destructive forces would have no harbour to dock their ships and unload their treacherous cargo.
Thoughts, desires and the mind itself are neutral: our problems arise from our attachment to, and identification with these phenomena. As we rush to embrace and claim thoughts and desires as our own, they claim us. By this same trade, Dr Faust sold his soul to the devil: we exchange infinite potentiality, for passing sensations and fleeting power.
We will always need the mind as our soul’s ideally suited instrument to live and operate in the world. To reject the mind is to throw away the baby with the bath water: the mind must be transformed and illumined – now.