What Will I Be Thinking?
Saints tell us that we were sent into this creation a very long time ago. As our own memories of the event are absent, and this ancient moment might give us cause to wonder, it is perhaps more useful to ask the question, “Why am I here at this very moment? What is the reason for the lifetime that I am currently undergoing?”
Saints teach us that it is only our desires and attachments that bring us back into this world of forms. If they didn’t exist, then we couldn’t exist in this world. They are the raw material of the workings of karma, and the very mechanisms that bring people into this world and take them out again. It was also the condition of our consciousness at the moment of death in our last life that was the principal factor in forming our current destiny. So we might ask the question of ourselves, “When I departed my last life, what was I thinking?”
We might look at the karmic web of our current existence, and all the desires and attachments that have driven us down various pathways of grief or happiness. We might observe how much disorder there is in our own consciousness at this very moment, and certainly wonder, “What was I thinking?” It is an idle fantasy for which we have no answer. But this bit of speculation does lead to the more pertinent question, “When I depart the world this time, what will I be thinking?”
Our thinking at the time of our final departure from this body is being shaped by our thinking today. If the mind is spending most of its time pursuing material objectives and forming attachments to them, then it stands to reason that the mind will be swamped by thoughts of these things at the time of death. Perhaps we may think that there could be an instant change at the time of death? The saints say that unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. The transformation of the mind needs to be gradual and incremental. And meditation is the primary activity that will bring about any lasting change. A change that replaces material desire with spiritual desire.
So the answer to the question “What will I be thinking when I depart this world” is a straightforward one. What I think and do today, next week, and next year will determine what I will be thinking, and whether or not it will be necessary for me to be reborn into this world again to finish off what I have neglected to do now. However, it is not an easy question to have to ask of oneself, but it is essential to ask it. Are we mindful of time passing, and how we are spending that time? How are we using this finite consciousness available to us? Whether it is invested wisely or foolishly? Mind is simply the perennial procrastinator, and needs reminding of the short and transient nature of life. It needs reminding that at the end of life, the soul and mind will go to what the heart desires.
So the question is indeed pertinent, “When I breathe my last breath, what will I be thinking?”
Until we join ourselves to the Shabd, we are subject to egotism – and as long as we are in ego, there will be bondage and pain. As long as we say, “I am doing it,” there will be bondage. If we do good, the bonds that tie us are pleasant; if we do bad, the bonds that tie us are unpleasant. It’s up to us whether we go on sitting here within the nine doors, or we get instruction from someone, go beyond the nine doors, and attach ourselves to Nam.
Maharaj Jagat Singh, Discourses on Sant Mat, Vol. II