“Thoughts are things, even though we cannot hold them in our hands or see them with our eyes. This is very different from our usual view. Usually we consider thoughts as immaterial, so we are not aware of how a fleeting thought can affect us. If I throw a beach ball at you, it won’t hurt much; in five minutes you will have forgotten about it. But if I say something harsh to you, you will not be able to forget that thought; you will take it home in your mind, have nightmares about it, and wake up oppressed the next morning. We all know from personal experience how a harsh comment from a parent or a friend can rankle in our consciousness for years. This is the immense power of thoughts.”
—–Eknath Easwaran, Blue Mountain Center of Meditation
We probably all grew up chanting, Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never harm me — It was never much comfort, but we still mostly believed it was true. But in these days of Facebook-induced suicide and torture by taunting, who still believes in this bromide? We have lost our innocence.
For another way of putting it, see physician’s-assistant Brian Maurer’s Marginal Musings for his latest column “Thought to Thought”. Here’s an excerpt:
Photons fly and strike the rods and cones of another human retina, triggering biochemical impulses transferred via the optic nerve to the occipital lobe of another human brain—reception of thoughts, ideas, concepts, emotions, problems, solutions—the stuff of life.
The stuff of life, which can be death-dealing. The power of thoughts… JB