When I first read Victor Hugo’s quote, I was arrested by the truth in the statement. It prompted me to ask myself; “which thoughts are constantly echoing in my mind and how are those thoughts affecting my future?”
The word “echo” has plethora of definitions. It can be defined as a reflection, a repetition, a parallel, a duplicate etc, etc. My favorite definition is “a sound caused by the reflection of sound waves back to the listener”. Radiology uses this technique to obtain images of internal body structures. When ultrasound waves are directed towards the body, some of the waves are stopped by the body tissues. But some are reflected back to the transducer which then uses that information to generate a fairly accurate picture of internal structures.
Applying that principle to my life, I assumed that the ultrasound waves were “words” which were spoken by me or to me. Some of those words do not get internalized likely due to certain psychological characteristics (these represent the stopped ultrasound waves). Of those that are internalized, some are reflected back and forth in my unconscious mind and are eventually picked up by my conscious mind (the transducer). Once we become conscious of these thoughts, we use them to inform our decisions. Ever wondered why certain words be they positive or negative stick with you? Well my theory is somehow they surpass the mind’s threshold for rejection and become internalized in the subconscious.
Note however that the echo is only picked up by a transducer it is connected and listening for feedback. Our minds get that feedback through the process of meditation and introspection. By paying close attention to the thoughts echoing in my mind, I can use the information to inform my future decisions. Remember that our pasts can affect but do not determine our future.