Wikipedia describes thought as – “Thought can refer to the ideas or arrangements of ideas that result from thinking, the act of producing thoughts, or the process of producing thoughts.
Thought (also called thinking) – the mental process in which beings form psychological associations and models of the world. Thought maybe an idea, an image, a sound, or even an emotional feeling that arises from the brain.
Simply put, thoughts are the perception that you infer and the opinion that you form of the reality around you. The number of thoughts that you can have or endless. You will never run out of them. Thoughts are action or activity which creates vibrations that travel and will have their effect and results will manifest.
One might easily agree that the origins of one’s thoughts are hidden from view—we just don’t know where our thoughts come from. But once we have them and we know it, that’s where understanding begins. Therefore, thinking needs to be properly understood. This will be possible through understanding the soul or the life atom and its structure, role, and functioning. Once that is done every piece of the puzzle will fall into place.
Delving Deeper into the Human Psyche
The human body is the most evolved species on the whole planet with the most complicated neural systems working in order as a single unit. The human brain is composed of about 100 billion nerve cells (neurons) interconnected by trillions of connections, called synapses.
Human beings are a union of this advanced physical body and conscious soul (life-atom) that energizes the physical body. The soul or life atom is a complete atom that is without mass or form. It keeps traversing through each cell of the body at infinite speeds, thus energizing the whole system.
The physical receptors or the senses help him interact with the outside world and the life atom helps him create meaning and experiences out of those interactions.
The thought is an identifiable activity out of the holistic functioning of the life atom. It is a precursor and a prerequisite for any action that a human being can make.
This power of thinking and forming an opinion is possible because of the fully developed frontal cortex in the brain. In animals, the life atom is not supported by the requisite brainpower. The capacity of the human being thus comes from both these elements.
Once the science of the consciousness or soul or the life atom becomes clear, the thoughts and the process of thinking is always done with a purpose.
There are five parts like man, vritti, chith, buddhi & Aatman. They are all independent and virtual separate parts, each part doing its specific functions. Mind refers to all these parts and functions and thoughts are the outcomes that are an output of these functions. Thoughts spur “YOU” to instruct your body to do things or not do them. Thinking is an activity and thought the output performed by any of the parts of the virtual life atom.
Selection is a process that happens at the level of the MANN part of the life atom. Comparison and evaluation happen at the level of the VRITTI part of the life atom. Chitran and visualization happen at the CHITH part of the life atom. Understanding happens at the BUDDHI level of the life atom. Experiencing happens at the ATMAN level of the life atom.
All these are loosely associated and become part of the thinking as normally used in the parlance of the contemporary world. All this happens at speeds that even the most advanced computers are still far far away. So this all seems to be mixed up and never in order or sequence. Knowing your thoughts is possible by understanding this reality.
The Philosophy of Thoughts
There is no need to restrict or stifle the flow of thoughts as it has been believed for a long period of time. The natural flow of thoughts is human nature and there is nothing abnormal about it. Emptying the thoughts brings tranquility but then existence becomes meaningless. Meditation has helped people attain a state of freedom from pain but then life also becomes useless and purposeless.
So they can not continue to be in meditation forever. Instead, if they align and have thoughts that spur them into action that creates happiness, that is a better state to be in. Aligning speech thought, and action is something we can do forever and keep creating happiness around us while interacting with others.
In the current social system which is unhealthy and lacks a complete picture of reality, people have been indoctrinated to think on the basis of greed, affection, and selfishness. Whereas their real human nature is to be benevolent. That’s the reason every human being despises the bad, wicked, or evil, no matter how many theories validate it like Darwinism, individualism, asceticism, etc.
Once human beings start doing it on the basis of truth, justice, and human values, that is their inherent nature, the alignment in thoughts, speech, and actions will be achieved.
When thoughts, speech, and action are aligned, the analysis is done according to human nature, on the basis of truth, justice, and human values instead of selfishness and profit minded approach.
Upon complete alignment of thoughts, speech, and action, and being one with the existence, the realization that follows is every single element in this existence is submerged and soaked in the vast expanse of energy. This realization leads to the firm decision in the human thoughts that he will never deviate from this existential reality and this reality is understood and realized forever. This ultimate realization in turn leads to sheer pleasure in the soul, what we call enlightenment.
Popular Belief: Thoughts arise in the brain.
Supported by: This article by Scientific American supports the idea that thoughts arise in the brain.
Existential Reality Check: Thoughts are one of the three types of actions that we always keep doing. Action and speech are the other two. The Human being is the blend of the physical body and the life atom. The life atom part of the self controls the body by energizing it and sending it signals which can be read by the frontal cortex and communicate back to the same. This life atom which has infinite energy can have thoughts, aspirations, and desires. Once the intensity of the same is of the required magnitude, then the body starts following them. Imagination is the power that the life atom has which helps it in performing these actions. So, the life atom controls/produces the thoughts and then controls the physical body through those thoughts.