The Harm Of Unchecked Thoughts (Guest contributor : Quinn Fisher, 2016)
Whosoever might read this, do me a favor, if you please. Are you perturbed? Are your perturbations regular, predictable and periodic? Then they must have particular causes that you encounter often. Now, on to the causes. Is the locus of your disquiet some group of people, perhaps? Do you find certain political bents insufferable? Are you incensed by a particular person? Are you frightened by or inimical to an idea? Are you generally frustrated at the workings of the world? If you answered "yes" to these questions, which most of you have (provided you're honest), then you have a problem. Or many problems, as the case may be.
The most important question of all is this: are your disturbances justified, after careful consideration of the object or the focus? Or are they mental preoccupations that serve no one, including yourself? Consider carefully, because if the focus of your disquiet is outside your power, then your mental thrashings and contortions come to naught. Your mind, invariably, is occupied with useless chains of thought, endlessly looping back to the source without an iota of understanding reached.
The fact of the matter is, only you are the cause of your own mental disturbances: your anger, frustration, and brooding emotions. Nothing in this world can disturb you unless you allow it and give your consent. Your thoughts and emotions are not the inescapable consequence of some external thing. They are in your power, absolutely pliant should you make the effort. But this requires you see your thoughts and feelings for what they are: impressions of the world, not the world as it truly is. Most don't observe their own thoughts, precluding any real self-control; they instead" feel" them and are carried by them. The thoughts come and go unmarked and unquestioned, and few stop to ask that vital question: am I justified in thinking this way?
Now where does the danger come in? People's irrational preoccupations, their childish inability to control their own thoughts and emotions, are the cause of untold suffering in themselves and others. Minds occupied with false notions drive people to inequity, to abuse and murder, to commit all manner of atrocities. The only solution is take control of one's thoughts, rather than being dragged by them as by an inexorable undertow. The world does not drag a man through the dirt, he merely rolls in mud of his own accord.
For these people, my advice stands: observe your thoughts and emotions as you would words on paper, to be entertained by or rejected as logic prescribes. Avoid letting them carry off your mind unnoticed, stealing away like a thief in the night.