The more controlled one is by a thought, the more severe the consequences will be. And the consequences are determined by how much of a hold the attached thought has over you.
This is my understanding of how attachment to one’s thoughts manifest; it was sad news to learn that one of my neighbors recently committed suicide, to me it didn’t just happen nor did it have to. But it did and to me it’s all because of the unawareness of how one’s own mind truly functions. Suicidal thoughts must have been deeply engrained in this persons subconscious mind and without the tools in place to prevent from attaching to them, the inevitable occurred. How do I know this, because there wouldn’t have been a suicide had there been. Nothing just happens in life, I don’t profess to know it all or where a thought originates from or why there’s attachment to certain ones, but I do understand the process a thought goes through to get the needed energy to manifest and gain strength.
The problem with thoughts isn’t when one is busy, although they’re still randomly arising non stop, but because of the busyness there isn’t much awareness of them. The problem arises when one is doing the daily mundane tasks that don’t take much focus, like sitting in traffic, shopping, watching tv, eating, doing yard work, lying on a beach, etc. In this state of semi idleness if there’s unawareness of this, when a thought arises there’s nothing to distract one from becoming attached to it because the mind has no focus so it opens the door for attachment to occur.
So here is the process, one is at home relaxing, feeling all is well, all of a sudden a thought pops in that you want to have a beer, substitute the beer with something more suited to your conditioning. At this point if there’s awareness, the thought will be allowed to pass through, but if there isn’t look out because the attachment begins. First a past pleasure is brought into the present, then the Conditioned Mind makes one attach to the pleasure, so now there’s an impulse to reach for something (in this case a beer) this puts actions into place and once the beer is opened and consumed the consequences follow.
There wouldn’t be much of a consequence from consuming one beer, but what if it turns into six. The more controlled one is by a thought, the more affect the consequences will have. Because so much of the thought process is to provide pleasure to oneself, there’s nothing this pleasure seeking (which is the bondage of self) can’t make worse. This understanding is imperative if one is to be free from attaching to their thoughts. If it’s not understood, it will be one’s own Conditioned Mind that creates their attachments, even to something as devastating as suicide. Why this is such an issue is because this leads one to believe this is the best solution that life has to offer. So without the awareness of this and with no tools in place to prevent it, tragically there’s not much thought given to the consequences.