When we do not recognize our thoughts as thoughts, our unconscious mental patterns predominate and rule our behavior. When we are unconscious, we don't really know what we are doing. When we don't know what we are doing, we behave as victims, not of other people or circumstances, but of our own ignorance.
Thought is self-justifying, and survives on explanation and rationalization. Thought cannot see itself. The mind sees only its own projections. This is why we can't see how we are the source of our own problems. We try to solve our problems out there in the world or we try to correct another person's behavior. We often miss the fact that what we see out there in the world or in someone else has its origins in our own mind.
When we are lost in thoughts, there is no seeing, there is only justification. The consequences of our actions will remain invisible. We will see only what we want to see, in spite of the evidence. It is quite possible that our entire species will self-destruct because we won't be able see the impending chaos. The chaos is our own creation.
We must learn to recognize our thoughts, not with other thoughts, but with awareness. Without seeing our own thoughts, we deprive ourselves of the guidance of the Self.
Take a single thought and hold it up to the light of scrutiny as one would hold up a luscious apple of handblown glass to see its inner facets. In this examination, we can come to realize what thoughts are, and that we are different from thoughts.
Then our inner lustre will shine, and the chaos will end.