We’ve all done it: you’re having a conversation with someone, you get momentarily distracted and you forget what you were going to say. It tortures you. You almost writhe with discomfort as you become totally focused on trying to remember your so-important point. Your friend looks on patiently but it feels like all your credibility is leaking away.
It’s frustrating. But look at it another way and you may see this momentary amnesia as a gift; a potential shortcut to something very precious. By mistake you have come very close to the Absolute; that place of freedom where opinions and stories are completely irrelevant.
Medieval Christianity spoke of the ‘cloud of unknowing’ where the mind was bypassed to enable a true connection to God through the heart. Similarily, Zen Buddhists prize the ‘Don’t Know’ mind, where the intellect is confounded and as a result, we see things as they truly are.
When you forget your lines in this human play, the ego is suddenly weakened, threatened, and struggles desperately to re-establish its its role of interpreting the world.
The lost thought that you are trying to retrieve seems like a massive, delicious pearl of wisdom that was going to enrich both your lives when you shared it. But when you do remember your point (which will only happen when you stop trying to), it probably won’t seem very important at all.
So, why not make the most of this tendency of the mind tendency to seize up occasionally? Next time you lose your thread in a conversation and sense a void opening up where your sense of self-definition was, jump into that hole.
Hopefully you will be with somebody sympathetic. You could say you need the toilet, and disappear for a few moments and surrender to this very empty, spacious feeling inside that the ego sees as an enemy. The ego fears it, but it is no threat to you. In fact, it is the true you.
We are usually so desperate to express our opinions, and to move on to our next point, but if you accept the gaps in your stream of thought, you could find yourself in a very beautiful place that ultimately moves you on much further.