Location: NY, US
You say that we have no control over thoughts but what about the use of mantras during which other thoughts stop and the mantra goes on continuously? Other thoughts are stopped; that is, controlled. People control their thoughts all the time by suppression of anything they don’t want to think about. There seems to be thought control going on all the time. People make themselves happy by remembering something good which happened or they can make themselves sad and depressed by thinking about something bad which happened. The Dalai Lama has said that the only freedom which human beings have is the freedom to choose what to allow into our mind streams. This entails the ability to control thoughts. The Buddhist practice of metta, loving kindness, is based on cultivating good thoughts and excluding bad thoughts and there are many similar practices in other religions. Is this not based on thought control and are not many people successful in it? The sufi mystic Rumi said “If you become angry and commit some bad act, it is you who will suffer the consequences, not someone else. If you work, you get paid for your work, not someone else.” This has something to do with thought control, it seems to me. Are you saying that it is a waste of time for an angry person to try to control his thoughts?
I am glad to see that you are perfectly happy. Since you can control your thoughts, you can choose to have only happy thoughts, loving thoughts, compassionate thoughts, or no thoughts at all. I speak only for those who can’t and I bow to the Buddha.