One of the things that many people do with thoughts is to try to stop them from coming. They say I’m not going to have any kind of a thought that I don’t like so I’m going to stop the thoughts. That’s very, very hard to do. Maybe it can be done for fractions of seconds but basically it becomes a full time occupation to stop thoughts. Who wants to spend their lives doing that? Or to give a job to myself to stop thinking about a particular subject? Well, just in telling ourselves “I’m going to stop thinking about this particular subject,” we are thinking about this subject. So anyway we look at it, we fail. Do you want to do that? I don’t.
What Poonja-ji said many times is true and it works very well. He said that the thought comes and we have the choice to play with it or to say to it I hear you…Thank you…Good-bye.
Many times it’s an instantaneous choice if we’re going to stay with it or not. Many times we get caught up and we don’t recognize it right away. But eventually, maybe a minute later, an hour later, or five days later, we are going to recognize that we’ve been playing with these particular thoughts. Then at that time we must say enough.
Papa used to refer thoughts as automobiles. Let’s say we’re out there in the middle of the street and we see all these cars coming by. Are we going to start chasing all these cars? What car are we going to start chasing first? With all the thoughts that come and go and come and go, which ones are we going to chase? We keep chasing this thought and then we chase the other thoughtchasing and chasing.
So, what can we do? We can’t stop the cars from going back and forth. So all we can do is say, “Yes, all these cars are out there and they are coming and going. So what?”
But, if there is a particular car that is very interesting and we want to chase itmeaning that there is some kind of a thought or desire that appears to be very, very important and we want to do something with itthen, by all means, we should chase it! But we need to do the best we can to catch it. We don’t want to just be chasing it. Chase it and try to catch it. Then, if we catch it, we can feel good because we caught it.
But, if we try our best and we can’t catch it, then, in fairness to ourselves, we have to say, “Well, maybe this car is going too fast. Maybe this is the wrong car for me to be chasing. Maybe this is the same old car that has come around the block over and over again and enough is enough. So I’ll use some wisdom and stop chasing it.”
All this interaction can be negative and it can be beautiful simultaneously. A lot of people would not recognize that the same car is coming around and around and around. They would think that this is a different car. And it would be a different problem, a different thing because they think it is always new. But if somebody sees the same car, the same idea, coming around and around, that becomes familiar. Then we can say, “Look, car, I recognize you. I’ve seen you. You’ve come around this block fifty times now. I don’t want to see you any more.”
You see, it’s a great advantage to be able to recognize that, in fact, these things are happening. If we want to compare ourselves with other situations and possibilities, there are many, many beings that cannot detect that they are being bothered by this stuff. If you can’t detect it and you are being bothered, that’s a more severe thing than being bothered and having the ability to recognize the situation.
The recognition is a gift.
And when we can recognize what is bothering us or what we have been chasing over and over again, we have many choices of how to handle it.
When we become aware, we also begin to become aware that we have many choices that we didn’t think we have. We have choices and we have the freedom to choose.