- It's ALL in the Mind... or is it?
Courtesy: S. Stalin, Project Director Essar Projects (I) Ltd
It’s ALL in the Mind…or is it?
They say the mind is like a parachute - it works best when it’s open. When the mind is open it can be used as it is designed to be used, which is to creatively play with ‘possibility’ (creative thinking) or to order and juxtapose various thoughts/ideas in the process of reasoning or the formulation of a rationale.
The mind is like a canvas upon which we ‘can’ consciously create our life. However, more often it’s our subconscious that ‘throws up’ thoughts, ideas and perceptions and they become the raw material of our creativity, which is why life is not so much a creative process as a repetitive process!
Mind is the ‘faculty of our consciousness’ which allows us to originate and shape our future in ‘the invisible’, in the ‘here and now’, before it becomes visible in the ‘there and then’.
If the mind is closed it means we are holding on to something, we are wrapped around and busy with some thought, image, idea, concept, memory or belief that is ‘on’ our mind. In such moments we are not able to be creative and playful, we are not able to juggle with possibility, not able to consciously ‘dance our attention’ between, around and into new insights and ideas. A closed mind is a classic sign of attachment and the habit of attachment is the cause of all our anxieties, tensions, fears and angers. These are the emotions that can easily become permanent fixtures in our personality, all because we have the habit of closing our mind.
An open mind is like a window with the curtains drawn back. Light can get in and light can go out. A meeting of open minds is a bright, lively and playful gathering in which there is a great deal of lightness and the process of co-creation enriches all minds and therefore all hearts that are present. A meeting of closed minds is a dark, tense and somewhat heavy encounter in which only the ‘old and the stale’ tends to be the currency of exchange.
You have a mind but you are not your mind. Out of the light of your consciousness you emerge the faculty of mind as the ‘arena of creation’. The most common mistake is to lose your ‘self’ in what is ‘on’ your mind. That’s when you allow your self to be shaped by what is on your mind. This will be an image in the form of an idea, memory, belief etc. This is when you ‘cloak yourself’ with what’s on your mind, sometimes consciously or more often unconsciously, and develop a false sense of ‘I’. This is the moment when you cease to be a master of your mind. The feelings, which then arise from this mental state, will always be uncomfortable and unnatural because you are acting against your true nature, which is free of attachment to anything ‘on’ the mind. A free spirit is not grounded or trapped by anything mental.
All of this can be ‘seen’ in the practice of meditation and in the process of reflection and contemplation. Sit back and stare at the ceiling – bring all your attention within – be aware of your self being aware – watch your thoughts arising – notice how you get ‘lost in thought’ – see how ‘you’ the ‘I’ that says ‘I am’ is easily lost ‘in’ an image of an idea, memory or desire – see how you close your self around and trap your self within the thought/image.
It’s not right or wrong but it is a mistake to stay ‘in there’ for if you do you will see how it starts to shape your sense of identity as you start to identify with my thought, my idea, my desire. This is how the ego is born, for what is EGO but a case of mistaken identity, the birth of a false sense of ‘I’. From the day we are born to the day that we depart 99.999% of us will likely learn, practice and perfect such a mistake and not realise it is the one and only reason why we are ever unhappy, discontent and/or peaceless.
If you contemplate and reflect a little more, if you meditate with some regularity, you will start to see this as the root of ALL your emotional discomforts, the source of ALL your suffering, the origin of ALL your stress and that it really means ALL. Which is good news because it means you can do something about it. But ‘the doing’ is not between you and the world out there, not between you and other people, it’s between you and your mind. Our freedom and therefore our happiness is impossible until we stop living in our mind and losing our self in what is on our mind.
But don’t believe a word that you read here…but don’t not believe it either! See for yourself and you may notice that every time you get lost in what’s on your mind you are really looking for yourself. But that, as they say, is another seminar!
Question: What two aspects of the above are not clear for you? Reflection: I am not my thoughts. Action: Which three trains for thoughts do you tend to lose yourself in the most – practice pulling your self off the train!© Mike George 2010
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