Michael Laitman, On Quora: “Why is it very difficult to control your mind?“
Indeed, we often try to take hold of our thoughts, to change or replace them with other thoughts, and the more we try, the more we realize our inability to do so.
In order to control our thoughts, we need to understand where they come from. Thoughts are upshots of desire. Initially, a desire surfaces, even if we do not feel it. Afterward, the desire enables the mind to realize it, and it enters our thought. We thus think only in relation to what we desire. The question then becomes, how can we acquire, hold onto, and develop that which we desire; or how can we distance ourselves from what we consider undesirable?
We find it futile to control our thoughts because thoughts, which are secondary to desires, cannot change desires. Our thoughts can only change the size of our desires, by increasing or decreasing them. Likewise, we also cannot replace one thought with another.
Therefore, we can only control our thoughts, our mind, by controlling our desires. The question then becomes, how can we change our desires? And the answer to that is: through the kind of social influence that we receive. The values, examples and behaviors that we absorb from our environment influences what we desire, and according to the social influence we choose for ourselves, we accordingly receive a certain direction to our desires. We would thus be wise to choose an environment that leads us to the loftiest of goals, and which influences us with the highest of values.
Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.