Introducing the uncharted mind
In the surroundings of a lovely afternoon, the sun was about to end its perceived daily trip from east to west, while giving the chance to most individuals to change the direction of their familiar gazes at this time: From looking downward to looking up at the sky. The scenery had that depth beyond the normal, trivial entertainment which the human mind has grown to be accustomed with.
The master said: “ To understand our own minds is perhaps one of the most important tasks that we could undertake. In general, the mind is an instrument to deal with memories, data and facts. The mind centers its existence in the past or the future only; that is; the mind lives in those times which are no longer real. The experience of the present as in “right now” is not of the mind. Thus, if you look at a sunset, you could look at it attentively as if that was the first time ever; that sight is immensely fulfilling or you can choose to take a photograph and look at it later and use your mind to label that sight and compare it: ‘It was yesterday at 6pm. Last year’s was better’ and completely miss that wonder. Humanity has grown to be content with having a picture or a video for that information of pixels is all the mind needs; but they are missing the unique moment of being in front of a timeless presence which no picture or film can ever grab. That timeless moment can nourish you. A picture cannot.”
The disciple had a question: “Master, isn’t a memory needed to connect with people? Otherwise, how could I remember that I know you?”
The master responded: “While the mind will allow us to remember someone from our childhood; it is that same mind creating a still picture, a belief that that one who we have met many years ago, is still the same. Therefore, most will relate with their own mind pictures rather than what is actually there. To find out what is there, you may need to observe as if that was the first time ever.”
The master paused for a few seconds and then continued: “The mind will judge based on social protocols which it has learned through conditioning. That judgment has the polarity of moral standards such as good or bad. That judgment will make us biased. A lazy mind will not consider change for it likes the certainty of what it already knows. Therefore, you will find in Life people who will be attached to their beliefs and defend them even to the expense of losing their own lives, in the name of truth. The mind finds a way to maintain its principles under the facade of improvement, which is another ideal of pursuit of that mind.
The mind is very good at recalling pieces of information to resolve technical or mathematical problems; it has the idea that Life follows the same protocols; that is the accumulation of information which has been labeled as knowledge to solve problems. Thus, the mind will follow ready-made recipes which do not necessarily meet the need of time. There is a disconnection with ‘what is.’
The mind creates separation, as it is designed to see differences. Those differences will be the ingredients to create beliefs. Those beliefs are static and cannot match the fluidity of Life. The mind creates what is known as ego in every individual as well as collective identity: Patriotism, nationalism, chauvinism are degrees of that same disease of pursuing separation, but yet the mind distinguishes those labels as different and appeal to the morality of ‘good and bad’ to make one degree of separation between those words and create a theoretical moral reality.
Moreover; suffering is a creation of the mind, that is the continuous repetition of distorted facts in time. Life will give us the experience of pain and pleasure: Physical, emotional or psychological; but the mind will make that experience into a ghost of torments or a pleasurable treasure to look for in a repetitive fashion, to bring addiction to our experience.
Pain is a fact of Life. Suffering is the option of a sick mind. Pleasure is the other side of the coin following pain, but addiction is the option of that ill mind. Therefore, the intensity of your suffering will give you the intensity of your addiction.”
Finally, the master went into a deep silence and emerged after a few seconds and said: “ The mind could be your greatest friend or your most formidable enemy. ”
Will resume writing on August 19, 2021. Enjoy life!
The world of the mind may not be “real”
The core of any worthwhile “spirituality” or self-help/psychology is in the understanding of our own mind.
I am not saying “study” of our minds. This is not about what scientists have discovered and for us to use that information just to be “right.”
When we are understanding ourselves, to “reinvent the wheel” is necessary. No one can give us insight through second hand information, unless we are ready to look, become aware and learn from that.
Observe the conditioning in our minds. What we know about or “civilized” society is conditioning. We expect “reality” to follow those guidelines but we may find out that Life does not follow the commandments, laws and guidelines of the “Office world.”
We have a thought. Did we willfully come up with it? Or perhaps, it just appeared? Have we observed that.
Do we become aware of the thought arising, or we simply IDENTIFY with it and call it “mine”? This question is the beginning to find out more about our minds.
At this time, there are millions of people suffering from some kind of mental issue.
What do they have in common? Contact is lost with external “reality.”
In other words, these individuals strongly believe in what their minds dictate.
Someone suffering from schizophrenia, have a “reality” which is undeniable to them. They feel very strong about it. That creates the clash with a different reality of “normal” people. Psychosis, depression, bipolar disorder, dementia… all of those fancy terms, basically describe a mind that is not in touch with “reality.”
If we identify with the contents of our minds, we may live a miserable life. Ego resides right there. Ego is interested in being “right.”
As a person evolves into a different consciousness, that person will realize how forceful our minds could be.
Someone suffering from OCD, is bound to perform certain repetitive actions because in his mind, those activities will bring some benefit. If those actions are not performed, then a sense of guilt and uneasiness will arrive. The mind has control over that person.
Because our society lives in the mind, there is no other “authority” to trust but the conditioning and contents of that mind. That is until we know about out gut-feeling, our heart feelings or any other fancy label to describe a direct knowing which is not necessarily logical or follows a particular benefit for ourselves. To be able to trust “that,” and discern it from the mind, is to create the gap from the rule of the mind.
It is that space, the one that will allow us to observe our own mind.
For example, when we interview someone for a job. We could ask the same questions to all candidates, grade them, add them up and see who is the top candidate. That is the world of the mind, what we have been conditioned to believe. The worshiped idea to be “fair” is there. Nevertheless, personality traits may be covered by someone who is a good talker, a funny person, etc. To observe beyond the answers, becomes important, and to listen to our gut feeling is even more important. Nevertheless, that is not considered to be “fair,” for it is not following “guidelines,” etc. That is the dilemma.
The bottom line is that, we could learn about this experience only if we are AWARE, otherwise; we will perform mechanically the same steps every time there is the label “interview” in our minds, for the conditioning is strong.
We are asleep.
Thus, in that example we could follow the strict steps of the mind to hire someone, or we could go with our gut feeling; but what creates insight and open up our consciousness, is simply to be AWARE that we went with the mind or the heart.
That AWARENESS is the choice-less choice where freedom from the tyranny of the mind resides.
Being awake to observe
Jack had a Mom with a strong personality. She was the “boss” in the house.
Jack developed a shy personality as a defense mechanism to deal with his mother.
On the other hand Jack’s sister; Melissa had decided early on, not to put up with her mother. There was a continuous struggle to be in good terms with her.
As Jack and Melissa grew up, they used those personality traits to relate with others and to perceive the world.
Jack’s shyness developed into insecurity. Melissa’s fighting attitude, developed into trouble for her and her close relations.
That is the everyday situation for most of us: Something that we have learned unconsciously, will remain in our behavior no matter what.
People around us work as giant mirrors. The consequence of behaving with some sort of neurosis, could be observed in our relation with others.
Melissa will behave with bossiness whenever possible. Nevertheless, Melissa may not like to deal with Claire because “she is too bossy.” Melissa may not be able to recognize her own bossiness because she will feel that she is “normal.”
Let us say that Jack ended up having a good job. Jack had to deal with many individuals under his supervision. Jack may still have that shyness when dealing particularly with women. Jack may not be able to pinpoint the “reason” for that unless, Jack looks back into his relationship with his mother.
The “reflection” that other individuals bring to our lives is meant to show us something about ourselves.
The above description is not psychology. It is self observation. The above is not a religious story to “believe in” and to feel “peaceful” about being “a good person.”
The above is spirituality.
That is why a religious person may not be spiritual. That is why, a spiritual person may not be religious. It is not a matter of belief. It is matter of observing and being aware of ourselves at every moment.
Life is offering us the means to observe and to live fully, but for many it is easier to practice a devotional activity or to pay the psychologist so they could figure out our own issues.
That is the proof on how little we know ourselves… or how much willingness we have in deeply looking “inside.”
It easier to pray to God to change someone else. To send that “other” person good wishes so “she can change,” but we do not realize on how what we perceive in others is a reflection of ourselves in different degrees.
The game of being “aware,” “conscious,” is an interesting game. We are not awake because our eyes are wide open and because we can move around.
We are aware when we are continuously conscious that “we” are not, because then paradoxically; we could observe. Just as when we observe our neighbor without difficulty, because they are not “us.”
Guilt, fear, OCD and Spirituality
Patrick had a pretty good childhood. His parents were loving and “normal,” like most “good parents.” Nevertheless, Patrick’s father used to be very particular about certain aspects.
One day Patrick was walking barefooted around his father’s room, then he jumped into that bed. His father immediately “pulled his ear,” by telling Patrick that his feet were dirty and that he must not jump into a clean bed. Moreover, Patrick’s dad was very particular about the ceremony of “washing hands” before eating and after touching anything that could have germs…
“Did you wash your hands?” was the ongoing question from his father.
Patrick learned about germs and the need to wash his hands after touching anything “dirty” for otherwise, to forget about it could be very contagious to others and potentially harmful for himself.
The seed for fear was created and for feeling guilty as well.
You wonder how is it possible for a human being to live when there are so many germs around us and inside us as well… 🙂
Patrick’s father was afraid that someone could break into his car. He used to double-check that his car was locked.
He double-checked that the door in his house was locked and that there was no light on inside or outside the house, to save electricity and his electric bill.
“Why is this light on?” was one of his recurrent questions…
Patrick’s dad was a perfectionist as well, specially with Patrick.
What a great dad! He is always looking to save some money and concerned about cleanliness and security in his house… 🙂
As Patrick became older, he developed the same insecurities and guilt since he was a highly “moral” person. Patrick felt guilt if he didn’t comply to what his father has taught him. Patrick developed OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder.)
Patrick had some thoughts which provoked fear in him. Patrick needed to repeat his activities to make sure that everything was well done even though he was aware of doing the task “right.”
Guilt was the feeling. Something “bad” could happen, someone could get a disease, or lose a belonging due to not checking enough.
The same obsessive behavior was latent in his religious practices. Patrick needed to pray to God 10 times every day so his sins could be absolved.
Patrick felt that God, the father; could punish him if he did not follow his prescribed routine. Patrick called that fear of being punished as “love to God.”
Hell was waiting there for him unless he became a perfect “saint.” 🙂
This fear was in him already. Patrick needed to do things “perfect.” Nothing but perfection. Otherwise, he could feel anxious, worried, fearful…
This fear of making “mistakes” was obvious in his life. Patrick wanted to change. He realized that this fear was just a ghost from the past, and he wanted to stop those repetitive actions, but he couldn’t.
“From now on… I will not repeat my checking or any compulsive activities” he would promise himself.
But he failed… then he felt guilty… then he asked God for forgiveness which in turn meant to pray 10 times.
Patrick asked the priest how to liberate himself from this mental disease. The priest told him. “You just have to have will power and ask God to help you.” “Just fight against that. Don’t let that dominate you.”
Patrick learned to fight for everything. Patrick learned to oppose, to reject.
After a long while of seeing his own “failure” and after asking so many times for forgiveness, Patrick decided to change his approach into a different way.
It was a great realization.
Patrick learned about not going into the opposites, the extreme polarities of things.
The world teaches us to oppose things, to reject. It is the fight of “evil against good.” When we apply that teaching in ourselves to improve a habit, this only means to suffer mentally or physically the effects of that inner fight.
Patrick decided to use the “middle way” instead.
How is that?
Whenever Patrick felt that need to repeat things, he would stop and say to himself: “ This tendency to repeat things is not mine. It belongs to my father. Let things be as they are.” Then he would sit down and to pacify the feelings in his body, he would eat a candy and calm his martyred inner child’s mind: “Things will be alright. Enjoy this candy instead.” Then the feelings subdue.
Patrick used the same energy but channelized in a different way. There was no need to use “will power” to stop things but just to be aware.
Patrick learned that there was no need to reject or to fight against himself, but just to recognize that what he had learned many years ago was to feel guilty and that this feeling has made him feel that he does not deserve good things in life, but rather to be fearful by not doing things “right.”
Spirituality is more than praying or asking for things. It is primarily about that inner discovery, that inner change through our own observation. There is a LOT to see in ourselves.
Someone who feels guilty and who is unable to perceive that guilt will not be able to live life to the fullest no matter what religious practice this person engages in or how “saintly” his life seems to be.
Guilt, fear and OCD will be there despite any external practice. Observation and openness by no rejecting or opposing things may be the greatest “spiritual tools” to experiment in life.
Free of charge… so guilt free.. 🙂
Question: : Myself is a mbbs doctor.the way i enteted in brahmakumaris is a big story.To tell in brief i was brilliant student but probably genetically or due to stress i started suffering from bipolar disorder(psychiatric illness) since 2nd year of mbbs,i also started with thoughts related to spirituality after that.My disease gradually worsened since i didn’t seek treatment since my collegues didn’t welcome my disease.i thought i’ll come out of illness without treatment but it didn’t, instead it worsened which started affecting my work & relations.Nobody Knew it & others did’nt help me to come out. Meanwhile i was looking out for marriage,a boy from reputed college insisted for physical relations & then ditched me since i had good concepts of spirituality related to sex & lust as i had asked him about his previous affairs & lustfull attitude.NOW the cases are pending in court.Please help me to come out of the things since i’m fine now & wants to live good life.
Thank you for sharing your story. Please read this post as well.
Having personally experienced the friendship of a soul with bi-polar disorder, I could say that this is an ongoing challenge for you. Consider the fact that a life style of a BK will be challenging as well for you. Outsiders will not understand it. If those outsiders have known you while you were experiencing those bi-polar episodes, there is the likelihood that their “help” will be to get you out of your chosen spiritual path.
Also be aware that unless that illness is not affecting you, there is a likelihood that some conflicts may appear in your relationship with BKs and non-BKs as well. This is something that you need to understand fully.
I am saying this because above you shared “others didn’t help me to come out.” We cannot ask for others to help you to come out of it.
Be well to make those decisions. That is the most important priority.
As a BK, I could only suggest for you to hear the Murli and ask for answers while listening the Murli. As a friend, I would suggest to look for the advice of a local spiritual minded counselor who will know the details about you, your current life issues and your specific condition.
All the best.