What Are Thoughts?  – 1


Scientifically, when packets of light energy called photons stimulate the retina of the eyes, a chain of events takes place. Billions of neurons carrying electric signals pass on information from one to another, which the mind later represents through thoughts. When the mind responds to any stimulus, such as images from our optic nerve or sounds from our auditory nerves, it establishes a perception we experience as thought.

It is unknown from where all the information originates and how the mind experiences it. It is deeply philosophical, has all the answers, and is not related to any coding from computer science, which you are about to read and decide for yourself.

There is no general agreement or fixed opinion on what a thought is or how it is created. Thought is a mental process that allows us to comprehend the world according to our emotional desires. They emerge after any information arises spontaneously from a straightforward, absolute source of aware energy, forming ideas, images, opinions, and beliefs. Originating from an ocean of awareness in and around our environment, thoughts arise like bubbles, independent of each other.

Philosophically, when the mind is alert, you become aware; if you are attentive, you become conscious. If you are not, the mind goes into auto-mode and subconsciously passes on information via thoughts. Many articles and books expound on thoughts, yet the mystery makes it even more enjoyable. This is especially true in our case because of the supremacy of thoughts in the world of materialism and their subservience in the realm of spirituality.

A thought may be independent, bizarre, exclusive, or inclusive of external influence. Thought is energy expressed by language, a mental activity formed in words, images, notions, and feelings of past and future. It represents, interprets, and subconsciously navigates your body and mind into separatism or the oneness you belong to. In short, thoughts represent and expand your observable, existential, and experiential relationships with the inner and outer worlds through your uniqueness in consciousness.

How you uniquely think via consciousness determines the quality of your mind. The sensory organs perceive and transfer the information to the brain, ideas develop, and you feel, and only after that do you begin to think to infer, deriving information from past knowledge projecting into the future. When combined with action, thoughts create that material realm for your thinking identity, which spans from probability to actuality, interpreting physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual experiences.

From your thoughts, you perceive, conceive, and conceptualize consciousness, soul, God, or, for that matter, the personal world and the Universe. The mind first creates all conceptual thoughts before becoming beliefs and faith in one’s reality. The culmination of your overall thoughts constructs an identity of its own, which we call an ego. It provides a sense of physical identity and a thinking mind comprising subconsciousness. 

The exciting part is that the mind needs to feel first before it can start to think; only after feeling can the mind react from memory and intellect to begin its thinking. Feeling here indicates being aware, conscious, or having a sensation. Secondly, you are not the thinker because the thinking self is a process of the mind, which has been provided with a name and is conscious only when awake.

However, even during sleep, the other parts of you exist; thinking stops, but the hair keeps growing, the heart continues to beat, breathing continues, and so forth. It is that actual self of who you are, the spirit, which can check and guide your body and mind and is beyond all physicality, whereas thoughts pertain only to past/future knowledge.

A thought is one finite form of energy, limited to time, space, and cause, allowing us to experience, express, relate to, and establish all objects Mother Nature provides. However, there is also a ‘sovereign’ energy by which you can observe your thoughts. You will never say ‘I am thoughts’ – the observer ‘I’ always differs from your thoughts. Therefore, humans have this unique ability to observe and become aware of our thoughts.

Since the duration of observation is before any thinking, observation occurs in spontaneity with thoughtless thoughts. So, we are a composite unit of body, mind, and soul superimposed on a broad substratum of spiritual being-ness.

Thinking depends entirely on the past and future, and the process involves relative thinking in opposites of this and that to determine anything. Only after you relate heat to cold can you decide on its actual feel. This means that while thinking, it is necessary to separate the absoluteness of any energy into two to determine its outcome. Life is the totality of your sum experiences living in duality, which exhibits the individual nature of ‘what’ you are through your relative thoughts.


I reiterate that while observing through the presence of your aware energy, you are in a state of thoughtless thoughts, absolute, spontaneous, choiceless, and non-separated by any relative thinking. Spiritualism considers this initial stage, the presence of this observing state of your mind, to be at par with the absolute supreme ability of energy of ‘who you are – That Art Thou,’ referring to that state as the individual soul or ‘The Witnessing Self.’

This aware energy is before thoughts and beyond cognition. The rest is all a web of cause and effect, bound by time and space. Existence, in turn, is a play of life with its series of experiences, represented by thoughts, which we consider as consciousness comprising of the superconscious via the soul and conscious, subconscious thoughts via the mind.

At any moment, while the observation process is taking shape, the observer observing what is observed is one. Thoughts of awareness arising during this moment, if any, are pure, choice-less, and without any discrimination, revealing the union between the subject and its object in absolute observation. During this moment, there is no separation of energy by the mind into its duality; it is simply the primordial aware energy (subject) observing through the mind the inner or outer (object), all three connected as one. Intuitiveness, instinctiveness, and intelligence in personal creativity are the best examples of the mind’s perfect and flawless assimilation.


Therefore, during the observation process, there is only the presence of this being-ness in a state of observing. There is no presence of any individual being there, only waves of aware energy, which we can refer to as the Universal Self. There is no thinking; the mind is instantaneously in the present moment and still.

This awareness extends and, if the mind is attentive or focused, makes the mind conscious to think in clarity, experience, choose, and infer. The process of life during this stage, from ‘being’ to ‘becoming,’ is initiated, where the mind separates this absolute energy into dual opposites to think, discriminate, and decide via the intellect to become what you are through an individual level of consciousness. 

The mind initiates its functioning based on what it feels and believes. Using thoughts, you choose between two dual factors, expand on this through the intellect, understand through intelligence, and act to experience what you desire. Even though thoughts are based upon past knowledge, your desires are embedded in the future, which is a manifestation of thoughts. Desire is the fuel for the mind. Being is to exist, and becoming is to desire.

Thoughts imprison your spirit in memory unless you come out of it spontaneously, alert, and aware of thoughtless or choice-less thoughts by sheer observation of your environment. Come out of that cage, savor a higher state of consciousness, and the quality of your life will improve. You need not prove to others who you are – you will effortlessly evolve. This will reveal how alert, observant, aware, conscious, and awake you are. Let us go further and understand how this can be made possible. 

Thoughts are an automatic consequence of transmission from different sections of our mind. They react either emotionally by subconscious desires purely in self-interest or influenced by the degree of consciousness experientially. In the subconscious state, thoughts depend on memory, past knowledge, and the time taken for their experience in the mind functioning in auto-mode. These subconscious thoughts cannot stop independently unless the mind becomes conscious. Hence, they chatter recklessly, randomly, and repeatedly, projecting into the future based on past information. Fear is a shining example; it is only a movement of thought expressed in words, which relate to past experiences, making you anxious about the future.

However, spiritually, you can stay ahead of thoughts by watching and witnessing your mind. Witnessing or observing your thinking self is the ultimate way to enhance your consciousness. I repeat, the observer (the individual) at any given moment of observation (witness-er) observing (through the mind) any sensation, idea, or image (object) remains one. You spontaneously experience that object rather than analyzing and judging through personal thoughts of the past or future.

In this case, action from your mind is occurring in the now through the presence of sheer awareness in any present moment. Your mind becomes dynamic and still, undistracted by thoughts, and is not wasting any time or energy brooding on the past or future.  It becomes mindful of that existential now, moving from one moment to the next, irrespective of the passage of time. This spontaneous activity by the mind is more spiritual and less material. 


Material thoughts, on the other hand, arise and revolve around an aura of physical identity. They reinforce the ‘I-thought’ of ‘me and mine’ and succeed by inducing a deep separation between you and your environment. Whether you consider yourself spiritual or worldly, if you are submerged with your name and identity, you will remain an egoistic self, immersed in selfishness, living with separated selfhood from all others. A pseudo-independent identity of a ‘thinking-self’ will emerge and exist. In contrast, in the actual nature of our reality, we are all one, part of a complete whole in unity and continuity in absoluteness.

I repeat thoughts that move subconsciously are in lower consciousness. They emerge more out of reasoning and intellect, which are more effective for the material world. Emotions, reasoning, and logic have their respective thoughts emerging from past knowledge, which are extracted from the memory subconsciously. Therefore, the mind does not require intuitiveness or conscious awareness for most of its functioning. It is happy being in auto-mode, carrying on its job while extracting its information from the subconscious section of the mind.

This stage of lower conscious thinking carries on, and you continue to exist in relativities of happiness and sadness, positive and negative, good or bad, etc., within your ‘me and mine’ according to your convenience. This continues until you become aware of and conscious of that present moment and respond proactively in nonduality.

Energy simply responds in oneness, whether it is positive or negative. How the mind pro-acts or reacts to any stimuli depends on the presence of your state of awareness. Either you permit your life to be dictated by your circumstances, emotions, and unquestioning beliefs in a compulsive reactive approach, or respond proactively, fully conscious of every moment, beyond likes and dislikes, with the presence of that inner awareness of who (spirit) you are. This absolute state of the mind is beyond all polarities in duality.

Existence is simply in its being; it is not concerned with your psychological or cognitive mind forever trying to convince you into this or that from your likes and dislikes. You must consciously explore and create your destiny by responding to every situation, alert and observant, with complete awareness from one moment to the next.

One of the fundamental characteristics of any form of energy is to flow in entropy, as is the case with thoughts. However, humans have been gifted with this power of awareness to counter and check this reckless randomness to become aware and conscious of their thoughts, which they can operate and regulate. Our high levels of the aware, conscious mind make us human. Unlike a computer or other living creatures, a human is more aware and conscious of the outside and the inner self.

Therefore, the critical factor to keep in mind is the degree of conscious awareness, which is solely responsible for the movement of our combined thoughts in the past, present, and future; these need to align for the overall welfare of our being. 


Most of your thinking operates in auto-mode, subconsciously. For this reason, there is so much inner chaos and confusion in our random thought processes. Neuroscientists declare that over 98% of thoughts function from the subconscious section. The soul is that instrument that oversees your subconscious thoughts into a proper design via awareness, provided you have the will to do so, and that too by constantly witnessing your mind, which we refer to as awakening of the soul.

Therefore, conscious or subconscious, all thoughts cannot be simply taken as electrochemical neural interactions within the brain. There is also the presence of a certain intensity of aware energy that determines, through free will, the course of its direction. Since the state of consciousness differs in every individual, no one can measure the quantum of this output. Therefore, despite what the scientists say, we should not provide a common denominator or percentage of the conscious and subconscious operations within any individual mind.

Excerpts taken from the book – ‘God and Beyond’ by Gian Kumar

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