Short Thoughts and Unclear Thinking

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Does it sometimes happen to you, that you have a great idea or a good thought in general, or perhaps even an answer to a question that was for long in your mind, but it sort of evaporates before it is really finished…?

Right Thinking is one of the factors of the Buddhist noble eightfold path…yet although many people understand that it is somewhat not unimportant to become master of ones thought processes, most people don’t know where to even start..

For beginning somewhere, here a small analysis according to the Abhidhamma system:

Analysis according to the Abhidhamma system

Material Factors:

Physical Processes do not follow the proper sequence

(For example, instead of a physical feeling of hunger leading you to eat, first an emotion arises (mind-born matter spreading throughout the body) triggering the feeding of the body)

Or,…Physical Processes are not allowed to full-fill their work until completion (for example when you try to concentrate your mind before the food in your belly is properly digested, or before wholesome emotions of interest have arisen)

Or…Physical Processes do not get the proper support of nutriment

Or,…Rigidity and tensions in the body

Lack of stability in regards to physical movement

General lack of harmony between body and mind

Lack of supportive kamma for the matter that acts as a base for the higher faculties

Mental Factors:


Perhaps restlessness or agitation

Lack of mental life

Lack of capacity to decide on one thought


Lack of items of information/ items of knowledge to connect, to formulate a connected thought (lack of kamma related to the topic at hand)

Lack of interest

Lack of mental calmness

Lack of mental malleability

General lack of skill with the mind

Mental Functions:

life-continuum vibrating (due to emotional agitation)

Lack of skill in arresting the life-continuum

Lack of supportive kamma for the higher faculties

Inappropriate reception, investigation and classification of the object to be thought about

The Solution

The solution is more or less contained in the analysis,….that is wherever there is a lack, there one has to find an appropriate item for filling the lack, where there is unnaturalness in the sequence, means have to be found for an more natural occurrence of things, and for unwholesome factors there has to be found the proper antidote.

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