Thursday, November 20, 2003

A Bubbly Mind

A Bubbly Mind

We are often told to think before we act. All of us spend a lot of time during the course of the day thinking; but somehow we still end up acting unwisely sometimes. Perhaps this is due to inadequate thinking, or perhaps we do not have all the facts with use to make a better judgement. We do agree though that thinking must precede action. But what exactly then do we mean by thinking before acting?

When I was a Form Five schoolboy, I read Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's book on Transcendental Meditation. As a kid I was very interested in such esoteric things. Even now, I think I am stil very mystically-inclined.

In the book, the Maharishi describes the mind as a deep pond and thoughts are like bubbles rising from its bottom. As thought bubbles get closer to the surface, they become larger and larger, finally bursting onto the surface as action. Action is just the gross level of thinking. All action stems from a thought. Thought and action are just two ends of the same spectrum.

Some thought bubbles do not rise to the surface and become action. They fizzle out. One bubble can also spawn off other bubbles, and they too can potentially burst onto the surface of action. The stronger and larger the bubble, the stronger the action.

Some people's mind are shallow--any kind of thought just bubbles up to the surface. Some also end up generating so many tiny bubbles that not much of an impact is made on the surface. There are others who possess a sparkling mind, spewing out a constant stream of lively and energetic bubbles.

When bubbles first arise from the bottom of the pond, they are just miniscule dots. It is us who choose which bubble to nurture and help rise to the surface of action. As long as they are below the surface, we can still control them.

A deep thinking person examines his thought bubbles when they are still at their germination stage and crushes them out if necessary. When bubbles get close to the surface, they already possess a life of their own, and are often quite difficult to suppress. They could also have spawn off many other "bubblets" in the course of their journey upwards.

Everything starts with a thought bubble: our craving for certain food, our response to an advertisement, our decision to pursue a relationship or our choice of career. Sometimes we just do not realise that these bubbles have already arisen until it is too close to the surface. Other times we unwisely encourage unwanted bubbles to swell to an unmanageable size.

Let's dive deep into our minds and check our bubbles. Thinking is nothing but bubble management.

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