There is no linear connection between one thought that we have and another thought that we have. The only relationship between thoughts is that they come from the same source. But we constantly connect one thought and the next thought in a linear manner.
Just as bubbles shaft nor the pain in a fish tank shaft exists, rise from the bottom, our thoughts also rise in the same manner. When one bubble comes and reaches the surface of the water, the next bubble starts and then the third bubble starts. Because the bubbles are rising at a high speed, they look like a continuous stream!
Actually there is always a gap between two bubbles.
Like the bubbles, we also experience a neutral space between two thoughts. Since the gap or the neutral space between two thoughts is so small, we think all thoughts are connected and form a shaft. But there is always a gap between two thoughts.
Let me tell you about an incident that happened:
A middle aged man came to me and said, ‘Swamiji, I am going to divorce my wife. Please bless me!’ One gentleman around forty five years of age came up to me and said, ‘Swamiji, I am going to divorce my wife, please bless me.’ I told him, ‘I only bless people for marriages. Why do you want me to bless you for a divorce?’ He replied, ‘No, you have to bless me, because I have suffered so much.’
I said, ‘Suffering is always give and take. It is never just taking. You must have given your wife enough suffering too. So, please tell me the truth about what happened and then we will analyze the situation.’
He replied, ‘How do I decide which incidents to tell you, and which ones to leave out? There are so many of them! From day one she has been torturing me. You don’t know how much torture I have gone through!’ Then he narrated an incident from the day of his marriage.
In Indian villages, when a wedding takes place, the newly married couple plays games after the marriage ceremony. For one of the games, a ring is dropped inside a pot filled with water. The husband and wife put their hands inside and compete to pick up the ring. Whoever grabs it first wins. These small games were created mainly to reduce the unfamiliarity between the couple because in arranged marriages the bride and groom first meet during the wedding ceremony. They have small games to reduce the distance between the couple because they are new to each other.
This man said, ‘During that game, she scratched my hand. With her nails, she scratched my hand!’ And he started a big story about everything that she had done to him since that day! For all practical purposes, he had kept a file, like a police report from the first day of his marriage.
After two or three incidents, I told him, ‘Please stop! If this is the case, she should be happier than you to part ways. It is very difficult to live with someone who keeps such large and detailed files in his head!’ Any time she does something, this man will always be looking through the files.
Then he told me the immediate reason for the divorce. He said, ‘She spilled some coffee on my clothes!’ I told him, ‘Spilling coffee on your clothes cannot be a reason for a divorce!’
He said, ‘No, you don’t know. Today she poured coffee; tomorrow she will pour acid!’ He really said this. I did not understand the connection. I asked him how he could possibly connect coffee and acid. Again he said, ‘No, no Swamiji, you don’t know.’
He may seem extreme and you may laugh when you hear this. But just look intensely at your own life. You are doing the same thing – constantly creating illogical connections. You forget to see incidents as being independent of each other. You forget to see thoughts as being independent.
If you just learn this one simple technique of unclutching, you will be able to retain a significant amount of energy in your system, in your being. As a result, you will be many times more productive and creative. Your relationships will be much friendlier because you will not clutch incidents that are not related. You will not feel suffocated by people or their expectations of you. You will have tremendous inner space available to you to fulfill your needs, as well as others’ needs. You will also have tremendous compassion to know why others are suffering. It is only when you don’t understand why the other person is suffering that you are harsh with them.
When you unclutch, you are able to accommodate that person in your inner space. You are automatically compassionate. Your very life has a different quality and you become a different person in the world.
Every single happening in our lives is unconnected, even our everyday activities like eating and drinking. Each and every experience is independent by its own right. Drinking water yesterday and drinking water today are two completely different incidents. The food that you ate yesterday and the food that you eat today are different, even if they seem physically the same! But your mind creates the shaft between these two incidents and says, ‘I eat the same food every day.’
Please be very clear, you don’t eat the same food every day. You may use the same word ‘eating’ for both the experiences, but they are not the same experience. Do not be cheated by the words that you use. Yesterday’s eating, today’s eating, and tomorrow’s eating are separate incidents, separate experiences. They are completely independent and unattached.
A beautiful incident from the life of an enlightened master from central India:
During the last ten years of his life, the doctors asked the master to eat a particular kind of food. He was not allowed to eat anything else. He had to eat the same kind of food three times a day, everyday.
After two years the person who cooked for him came and complained, ‘Master, I am bored with cooking the same food. How are you able to eat the same food day after day?’ The master just laughed and said, ‘I am not eating the same food every day. How can I eat the same food every day? I can only eat this food today. Tomorrow’s food is totally different!’
Life is new every moment. It is the mind that makes it look repetitive, dull and mundane.
source: Living Enlightenment