I found myself in the middle of the earth. Not to be confused with middle earth. You know, the core. I began to wonder how I found myself here. I took a look around and noticed an amoeba sitting next to me. He turned and spoke to me.
“Austin, a peculiar situation you have yourself in, isn’t it?”
I was taken aback, and mildly insulted. Pointing out the obvious is no way to introduce yourself.
“Do you wish to know how you ended up here?” he continued.
That was it.
The sun was shining, I remember that, when I had realized that this was only a thought not reality. Confused and curious I wondered where it had come from. What had happened to cause me to produce this thought? To think this way seemed strange, to me. The first thing I did was go to the dictionary. The definition I found was,
Thought: an idea or mental picture, imagined and
It proceeded to follow this with the example ‘the mere thought of Peter made her see red’. The idea if she really saw red is a conversation for another time. Let’s focus on the definition, it claims its an idea or a mental picture. Which is explained through the words of your personal language. It’s imagined and contemplated, and my mind begun to understand. I had thought the definition would tell me what a thought was. After some considerable amount of time contemplating that thought, that idea of what a thought was, I came to the conclusion that the dictionary had in fact not told me this. It explained to me what a thought does, and how we interpret it. Or maybe I didn’t understand, or asked the wrong question to myself, but I wanted to know how a thought occurs. Where the thought came from, and why it came.
I sat there in front of an empty Google screen, trying to think of what question would provide me with an answer.
Next step: Science. Not a lot of knowledge was gained here, however I did manage to reason with the information I found that there are neurons in our brain, which is an excitable cell that can transmit information through electrochemical signaling, and are the core components of our brain. These neurons respond to through stimulus via touch, sight, or other sensory organs.
This made me feel like the actual thoughts that I have are a mere reaction to chemicals in my body and the environment around me. So, naturally, I attempted to recreate the thought. Silly idea I know, you may be thinking, how can you recreate a thought you’ve already had. I learned it is quite difficult to forget a thought intentionally, only to have the same thought again. Or was it the same thought? When you remember a thought are you using the same neurons that originally created the thought? I venture to say no. That each thought is separate from is predecessors. Different neurons processing information left by the previous. Well, that’s a memory! You might say. Perhaps. Based off of your current knowledge do you really know that? I don’t.
Along this thought pattern I started to think how large the differences in thoughts were from human to human.
“Be careful of your thoughts, they may become words at any moment.”
~ Iara Gassen
If we are to be wary of our thoughts, then that must assume society or humans as a whole know that we have thoughts we are not supposed to. Which could lead one to wonder why these thoughts aren’t ‘allowed’. And if we know we are not supposed to have these thoughts why do we continually have them? It was at this moment I remembered another quote, from a childhood memory.
“Do you ever stop to think, and forget to start again?”
~ Winnie The Pooh
Ah, the deep, simple, messages imbedded into our youth. Who would’ve known one day it would be useful. Makes me wonder what other ideas or concepts could be deep down in my mind, along with how many others share these thoughts. I realized here, along my journey to understand thought, that it was likely I never would. That simple phrase from Winnie the Pooh is happening every second of every day. Where you take a moment to think, and find yourself in a thought that had nothing to do with your intentions of thinking. That the reality is, you can not control your thoughts, you may monitor them from afar. Deduct what is shared with others from your mind, in the form of words, and what you will keep for yourself. In the end you have complete control of what anyone knows about you, whether it be true or a censored and edited thought you try to pass off as your original.
I haven’t yet found myself back at the core of the earth. I eagerly await another intriguing thought that perplexes me. Perhaps a return to the core, and another chance at a conversation with the amoeba could provide more insight. Alas, at the end of it all though, I find myself with more questions, and more theories, one in particular being how many thoughts can a human have? Is there a limited amount of space? Have I thought too much? These are questions for another time perhaps, or maybe the real thought is only just beginning.