How we punctuate our thoughts determines, to a considerable extent, our state of mind. Learning correct punctuation in the mind can save us a lot of time, energy, and trouble.
When we encounter an unexpected or unwanted situation, we often punctuate our thoughts with a question mark, “Why are they doing this?”, “How dare they…?”, “Can this ever happen?”
The result is a train of thoughts speculating on the possible reasons for the situation. We may conjecture about the intentions of other people, or even attribute motives to them. The surmising is not limited to our thoughts, and spills over into talk, which usually takes the form of gossip. The result is considerable expenditure of time and energy with little achieved in return. Instead, we may lose our peace of mind, have our judgment skewed, and end up with a heavy head.
It is little different when we apply a comma to our thoughts in response to a particular situation. We may not question why things or people are the way they are, but…. Our ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ start a chain of thoughts that drain us. Thinking on the lines of “nevertheless…”, “on the contrary…”, “if only…” has a similar effect. We see situations or people in a certain way, and instead of accepting them without judgment, or trying to understand why they are that way, we proceed to air our opinion on how things should be or what others ought to do. Often the intention is good, but incomplete knowledge, inadequate understanding, or impulsiveness prompt us to offer unsolicited advice or pass judgement gratuitously.
Then there is the exclamation – “What!”, “This is ridiculous!”, and the like. What follows is entirely unnecessary commentary and conjecture that stem from poor understanding of people and situations. Beliefs and prejudices that limit the breadth of our vision also restrict our ability to take anything and everything in our stride.
Spiritual knowledge helps us punctuate our thoughts in such a way as to prevent or stop unnecessary and faulty thinking, and the consequent misunderstandings.
Knowing that all of us are souls, children of the Supreme Soul, creates bonds of spiritual kinship that foster better understanding of others. Recognising the fact that each soul is playing its unique role in the drama of life helps us to appreciate differences of opinion and way of life that can often cause mistrust, antipathy, and conflict. Acknowledging each soul as a child of God fosters greater acceptance and respect for the heterogeneity we see among people.
Then, understanding the law of karma – that we reap what we sow, and it is our thoughts, attitudes, and actions that determine our experiences – gives us the answers to many a ‘why’.
In essence, when we apply spiritual knowledge in our daily life, it enables us to put a full stop to unnecessary thinking – saving our time, energy, and peace of mind.
B.K. Geeta is a Rajyoga teacher at the Brahma Kumaris headquarters in Abu Road, Rajasthan.