Train of Thought

Ever wondered what triggers all of the bizarre things you ponder when you’re idle? There are millions of things that catches the eye everyday and it stays safe in our subconscious mind for us to refer back to. Any one of these things could stir up a very peculiar train of thought that will have you dazed if you think about it.

Now, allow me to prove my point with a personal incident.

It was early in the morning of a Sunday.

I was on my way to university, stuck in traffic and looking out the window. I caught sight of a patch of plush green grass on the side of the road. It had rained the night before and as such, the color was quite vibrant. That combined with dew made the whole scenery very pleasant. One would imagine that all these delightful images should invoke an equally delightful flow of thinking but obviously that was not the case for me. As I sat there gazing at the patch of radiant grass with awe, I asked myself, ‘What was this place like a hundred years ago, this exact spot where I be waiting? Was it all grass and forest or was it a water body? Did people reside over here or did wild animals like the Royal Bengal Tiger prevail?’

The questions went on to whether people like the participants of the World War and Taylor Swift were aware of this very spot. Of course, I came to the conclusion that it was highly unlikely, but my thoughts didn’t stop there. I moved to thinking more about that spot and what it was like in the pages of history.

A century wasn’t enough for me.

I began to think about what it was like in the very first century i.e. the first century of the Christian calendar. However, the year 17 didn’t suffice either. I wanted to know the whereabouts of that spot in the very first year that the Earth came into existence; even before the first man and before dinosaurs roamed free. Soon enough, I moved from the first year on to the very first day, the genesis of life.

There, my subconscious mind halted it’s journey back in time for I started moving again and I had forgotten about it until later in the day.

When I recalled all those thoughts again, I was perplexed and amazed by the nature of my train of thoughts, how I moved from a hundred years back to the beginning of our world and how I moved from war veterans to a pop star. I wanted to identify what instigated all these thoughts so I made an imaginary list of all the things that really caught my eye during that day and I narrowed it down to the one single patch of grass.

So there you go.

A small patch of grass took my thoughts so far back in time that eventually, I ended up on the doorstep of the origin of the Earth. It’s amazing how something as trivial as grass could make one think of things so out of place.

Now, it’s crystal clear that a single object can initiate an insanely bizarre train of thoughts. Now, other questions arise. Why is a ‘specific’ train of thought triggered? What causes that specific train of thought? For example, why did I think about the history of that patch of grass and go back in time? Why that specific train of thought? Why didn’t I think about something else other than time? What made me think about time? Why did I choose to think about time instead of all the other millions of things related to grass?

Fascinating, isn’t it?

The answer is open for debate. But my theory is that a person’s train of thought is usually about the thing that person finds the most intriguing at that point in life. And as such, the person’s thoughts eventually and inevitably leads to that ‘specific’ thought regardless of the object that is spotted. Lately, I’ve been obsessed with the concept of time and the length of eternity; so I suppose it’s very natural that my thoughts were about time and it’s history.

The next time you see something that triggers some flow of thinking, you might be blown away by the random and unconventional nature of those thoughts. But then again they may not be as random as perceived at first.

The human mind is captivating. The ability of thought and perception is fascinating. And we owe it all to our intellect. Don’t waste it by keeping your mind idle humans. THINK.

Rafsan Zia

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