By 'second thought' I mean the thinking which comes just-after perceiving. There is no doubt that - here and now - Man is a thinking being: or meant to be such.
We are certainly not supposed to live 'in our senses' - nor to try and do this - to be immersed-in and (passively) guided-by the stream of sensory inputs is just the worst possible situation - especially when the perceptual inputs are controlled by the armies of evil...
So - we should look then think; hear then think; feel or smell then think... Life as an inspiration (breathing in the senses) and and expiration (exhaling our thoughts). But what thoughts? Ah! That is the key question indeed!
Our thoughts - to be valuable - must be the thinking of our true selves - but where is this true self? How deeply buried it is beneath false personality habits and absorbed patterns! How confined by socialisation, and by fear!
So deeply buried is that true self; that it is your false personality which is reading this, most likely.
(I did not say this would be easy! - if it was easy it would already have happened - it is precisely the double binding which holds us fast - the double liberation that is required if both bonds are to be broken. Because if one bond only is broken then we are held by the other - and the first bond will re-bind us while we are at work on breaking the second.)
Thus we cannot save ourselves by main strength and effort - because that which makes the strong effort with be false.
Of course we have Christ to save us - but save us to what? That is seldom clear... The answer is that we must be saved to a different life - in the sense of a life different in its fine texture moment-by-moment - but not, as typically misleads, different in terms of emotions. That focus will block us.
Aimed-at is a life which differs in terms of thinking - of the typc of thinking, the mode of thinking: that which comes after perception.
So our first sights are the same, but our second thoughts... well, that is where the difference lies.
At present we regard second thoughts as (merely) interpretations of our perceptions - as theories, hypotheses, models or 'explanations' of the perceptions... Thus we consider ourselves subordinated to the perceptual world which is currently under enemy control - the situation seems inescapable...
Not so! The second thoughts include perceptions - which may come from the enemy; but the second thoughts are themselves primary (or should be) - and the second thoughts can (should) draw from universal reality - that is why the true self must think them, because the true self is that within us which is divine and eternal.
(It is our inculcated and absorbed theories, hypotheses, models and explanations that hold us in thought prison. But we all, as Men, have access to the eternal, universal, true, real concepts - and if our thinking uses these instead of the passive falsehoods - then we are immediately free and alive in-reality.)
So here we are - this is our situation; not hopeless, but on the contrary abounding with hope and delight! Held back by passivity and a lack of seriousness (and false understanding) - but able to leap free at any moment and moment-by-moment.
Freedom... freedom-in-thinking is the special task; and free thinking is that which comes-from within us, from within the real, divine us (and not a thinking which 're-hashes' our absorbed perceptions!).
We must, naturally, realise that there is this divine and indomitable capacity in us - and recognise this in a world which ignores and denies the basic truth. We must, naturally, recognise that we are moving-through a world of divine communications - all the time; awake and asleep.
Naturally, we can't understand all of everything all at once - but the communications would not be being-made by the divine unless we were intended to understand all of them, eventually - and that our current life can be a process of understanding more and more of them.
What is needed is therefore natural, but - like all thinking - also effortful. Freedom does require effort, in comparison with passivity. When people say life is 'difficult', 'challenging' and so on - this is therefore correct - but not in the way usually understood.
Life must indeed be grasped - and we must reach out to grasp it, and it must be our real self that does the grasping...but this is not a labour.
It is thinking rather than not thinking, Freedom rather than sleep.