An organized chaos of chemical explosions has erupted around you in less time than it takes for you to blink an eye. As you draw in your next breath, an electrical circuit of neurons fire to create a passing moment—a fleeting contemplation, and without any record of this emission of pure and powerful energy, it eventually vanishes.
According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, a thought is “the intellectual product or the organized views and principles of a period, place, group, or individual.” It’s an intangible item that can evolve into a tangible product in the physical world. The thoughts that I am currently thinking are instantaneously being translated into American English just before the fingers on my hands type them out using a keyboard. My thoughts then become words on a screen that get downloaded into the minds of the handful of people who are reading this. But what happens to the words that do not make it onto the page? Where does a thought go when it’s forgotten?
I often experience the waning of memory slowly dissipating into the fog of nothingness without reminders prompted by photos or stories stitched together with legible words. They all do not completely disappear, but the vivid emersion into the correct combination of emotions and carefully painted images using wavelengths of light are not the same when I try to revisit moments in time. The thoughts that I had, especially during those times, become vaguer and fain on the air of the abstract. In many cases, thoughts tied to less memorable events vanish for good.
Oddly enough, I thought about the thoughts that I could no longer think of any more and wondered where they went when time crept forward, and I moved on to think more thoughts. Did the lost intellectual property of my brain seek shelter in the minds of others? If a thought is made up of energy and can be stored and recalled, then is a thought ever truly lost? Does this clump of electricity abiding by the laws of physics even belong to you if everything that exists in the universe has always existed and nothing is created or destroyed? Are there such things as original thoughts?
I suppose, based on the assumptions of science alone, that it’s not entirely wrong to say that forgotten thoughts change addresses and eventually find new homes in the minds of those that welcome them. Thoughts are never truly gone, but they find shelter in those that seek wandering flashes of information. One person’s discarded thoughts, intentional or otherwise, is another mind’s treasure trove of new possibilities. It may also be safe to say that the faint shadows of thoughts that were once vibrant and full of light live on in the deep recesses of our minds and are patiently waiting to be discovered again.