Is the essence of who we are merely a by-product of the thoughts we think? Do we have control over the ideas that float in and out of our consciousness? And perhaps more importantly, do those ideas have the power to shape and transform us against our will or better judgment?

In other words, was Rene Descartes right when he said “I think, therefore I am?”

In this episode of NPR’s podcast Invisibilia (Latin for “invisible things”), co-hosts Alix Spiegel and Lulu Miller dive deep into these questions and more, exploring the power of dark thoughts and the impact they may or may not have on our lives. I found this episode to be a fascinating and entertaining. A must-listen for anyone interested in psychology, human behavior or mindfulness.

From the NPR website: Invisibilia is about the invisible forces that control human behavior – ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emotions. Co-hosted by Lulu Miller, Hanna Rosin and Alix Spiegel, Invisibilia interweaves narrative storytelling with scientific research that will ultimately make you see your own life differently. In Episode 1: The Secret History of Thoughts, the show’s co-hosts ask the question: “Are my thoughts related to my inner wishes, do they reveal who I really am?” The answer can have profound consequences for your life.

Click here to subscribe to Invisibilia on iTunes.