Once upon a time, a little prince asked his nanny, “Can you explain my thoughts to me?” “Your thinking creates your feelings. This is the important thing, don’t think bad thoughts,” she said. So he stamped on her toes, and giggled when she screamed.
Later the young prince asked his tutor, “Can you explain my thoughts to me?” “You see,” said his tutor, “it’s that the power of thought creates your whole reality. That is why you don’t need to worry about thoughts.” But somehow that didn’t seem to count for much with the tutor, when the prince refused to study.
He asked a few more people. Some talked about brainwaves. Others about the synaptic gap. Some explained thoughts change, others that thought is a constant. Some said there were good thoughts and bad thoughts, others that thought was neutral. But the prince never felt the truth in any of it. And eventually he stopped asking.
Roll forward a few years. The prince, now a young man, rode out on his horse. Away from the castle, and down past the cottage by the gate, where the young witch was tending her herbs. (She was definitely a witch, because she had a black cat, and what more evidence do you need?) On a whim, he stopped and asked her, “Can you explain my thoughts to me?” Looking up from her garden for a moment she replied, “Of course. If you can tell me the nature of the one that knows the thoughts.”
A few more years, and the prince is now the king. He rules wisely and well. And never once feels the need to issue a royal decree about thought, what it means, or what to do with it. Next to him, in case you hadn’t guessed, sat his queen, the young witch who knew which question to ask.