Modern man can boast of one accomplishment through which he has left his predecessors far behind; his ability to think nonstop. Thinking is such a constant part of our reality that we rarely pause to reflect on what exactly we are thinking about. We have simply assumed that whatever it is that we are thinking about, it has some purpose and it offers some benefits to our lives.
Thinking is not always a useful phenomenon. Just because we are addicted to the process of thinking, it does not mean that it is solving any great purpose. Just think about it, how much of your daily thought process is simply a collection of random thoughts which have absolutely no purpose whatsoever.
Excessive nonstop thinking is partly due to the constant stimulation from the society around us. Everybody wants to put an idea into your mind. We even have a saying – an empty mind is a devil’s workshop. But in reality it is empty moments of our lives that add any meaning to the phenomenon of life.
More often than not, thinking can simply confuse us with over stimulation. We can simply keep on going in circles chasing one thought after another. If we do not learn how to pause our thought process and quieten it for a while, we can even go crazy. Just think about it, would you be able to enjoy music if it is not interspersed with silence. What if you are made to listen to a monotone continuously without any pause or break? Would you not get irritated?
The beauty of music is actually not in the sound; rather it is in silence. Music is simply ornamentation for silence. Music is just a way of glorifying the silence that is already within us. This is why music is such a subjective personal experience, because most of what is necessary for the music to happen is already within us. Without the silence within us, it is impossible for such a thing as music to exist.
Just like the beauty of music can be enhanced by interspersing it with silence. We can beautify our life by interspersing our thought process with moments of thoughtlessness. Only when we learn how to find the off switch for our mind and learn how to turn it off when not required, we can experience some inner peace, relaxation and contentment.
A thought is always a part of the problem. It is never a part of the solution. The more we indulge in thoughts, the more problems we create for ourselves to solve. The only way to find a solution for the real problems of life is to learn how to step away from our thoughts. Stepping away from thoughts is not escapism. It is a way of refreshing ourselves to look at the next set of thoughts freshly. If thinking is one dimension of life, silence is another dimension of it. The only way to have a balanced life is by learning how to quieten the constantly chattering mind.