11/12/2009 07:03 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Are You Your Thoughts About Others' Thoughts?

People talk. We listen. We think about what they are saying. As we consider the thoughts that other people verbalize, their thoughts stream through us and become our thoughts, at least, for the time being, while these thoughts remain under our consideration.

Basic stuff, right? Nothing to it. It's part of our day-to-day mind-flow. But here' s a puzzle for you. Do we become our thoughts about others' thoughts that are passing through us? Are we carried away with all this daily mind-flow or do we remain?

To help you ponder this, here's a set of three quotations on the matter. These quotations - once you read them - will become your thoughts, at least, for the time being, while you are reading them. Ponder if - upon having these thoughts - you, yourself, have become these thoughts.

"The Self is free from all qualities. Qualities pertain to the mind only." (1).

"If all of your experiences, your various states of consciousness, were weather patterns - clouds, rain, rainbows, tornados, hurricanes, or summer breezes - your consciousness would be the sky in which they take place. Your consciousness is the context in which all of your experiences, perceptions, thoughts, or feelings converge." (2).

"Consciousness is the essence of the self." (3)

What have you concluded? And, more importantly, what have you concluded it with? Meditate on this. Share your thoughts about this. Read others' thoughts about this. Then, meditate on your thoughts about others' thoughts about this. Then meditate again.


1. Sri Ramana Maharshi

2. Maria Schlitz, Cassandra Vieten and Tina Amorok

3. S. Radhakrishnan & C. Moore

Pavel Somov, Ph.D. is the author of "Eating the Moment" (New Harbinger, 2008), "Present Perfect" (NH, 2010), and "The Lotus Effect" (NH, 2010). He is in private practice in Pittsburgh, PA. For more information visit and sign up for Pavel Somov's monthly "Mindful-not-Mouthful" Newsletter