"Every cell in your body is eavesdropping on your thoughts."
~ Deepak Chopra
Sometimes you never know what you are getting into on Facebook. A friend of mine recently posted the above quote from Deepak Chopra. I made a simple comment of "That's good" on her status. A few minutes later I got a message from her asking me to expand on my thoughts about the quote. It seemed like a good idea, so here goes...
First, I like the analogy Chopra uses here. The visual imagine of every cell in our body listening is powerful, if not a little scary. My mind goes kinda "Sci-Fi" channel and sees cells with ears attending to a anthropomorphic "thought" awaiting the next utterance as if receiving a command from the King. To snag a phrase from EF Hutton, "When your mind thinks, everyone listens." Fun stuff there. Meaningful stuff there, too.
Second, I think the message Chopra is sharing is that our thoughts tend to direct our focus and thus our actions. There is an old saying, "If you hang around the barber shop long enough, you're going to get a haircut." We laugh because we know it's true. If we think about it, a similar correlation can be drawn from something that precedes hanging out at the barber shop - thinking about the barber shop. Our continued thoughts about people, places and things pave the way for us to walk right up to them. In a very basic way thought commonly precedes action. The point here is that we need to be mindful (pun intended) of how we are thinking. I'm on board with that, and most spiritual traditions from extreme religious asceticism to tantric sex practices place importance on the power of our thoughts to produce action and results.
Lastly, I'd like to go metaphysical on you. If you take Chopra's statement beyond analogy and consider the possibility that there is a cellular (or perhaps spiritual connection) between the cells and processes of our bodies, then it makes sense that the energy exchanged in the process of thinking does have a butterfly effect on all of our cells and thus our body. It isn't too much of stretch to see the connection between our thoughts and our physical and spiritual well being. Of course, we might wonder if those thoughts aren't driven, as well, by the overall health of the larger system. We might also so say, "The voice of the mind speaks but the opinions of the body collective" - (we are Borg??). Nevertheless, the point is a profound one and it is my personal belief that we can make meaningful changes in ourselves by immersing ourselves - body and mind - in an environment that promotes the values of our deepest beliefs. If we hang around the barber shop, we'll likely end up with less hair. If we spend our time with negative and shallow thinking people, we might very well find ourselves with less joy and analytical capacity.
Wait - I guess I have another point, or thought at least. Within the Christian faith, we often speak of the 'Spirit' and our connection with the Divine. Chopra's tantalizing analogy nudges my mind to think of that connection of mind and body to also include spirit. As goes one - so resonates the others. If this is true, then maybe sometimes, when we are listening (eaves dropping) carefully - we might hear some thoughts that are greater than our own - moments when we are privy to eaves dropping on the thoughts of the Divine. If thoughts lead, then perhaps God's thoughts are one way the spirit is present with us, guiding, inviting us to respond to a possibility of change outside of what we can produce on our own in any given moment in time, and perhaps - it isn't about when those Spiritual thoughts are there as much as it is about when we are intently listening. Could we then say, 'Every devoted mind is eavesdropping on the very thoughts of God?"
I like that.