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.
Honesty is not just a word. It is the key to live in balance, acceptance and joy.
Honesty is not related with following a particular dogma, code or commandment.
Honesty is not related with living within a box of restrictions to be “saved.”
In fact, every attempt to restrict consciousness by external ways is a step away from being honest.
Many will define honesty as being “true to themselves.”
That definition is “good” for a life which is restricted to the mind and thinking.
There is nothing static that could be called the “self.”
The “self” is always changing, evolving.
Self is not, but consciousness.
To be honest is to live in spontaneity that is to honor the “truth” of the moment.
Every time we build a “self,” an identity about ourselves and try to hold on to it, there cannot be honesty for that image of the self is a static picture, which remains alive only in the mind.
When we live in the mind, we believe that the pictures going on in the TV screen are “real.”
When we live in the mind, our sentiments get shut down as an old pipe full of corrosion, which does not allow feelings to run free from beliefs and traumas.
When our mental life becomes intense, then mental sickness will appear: Obsessive compulsiveness, manic depression, bipolar states and general psychosis.
That mental trap will bring a person to an isolated “reality” which only strengthens the idea of a “self.”
The self thinking thoughts about itself is the vicious cycle.
That is the state of consciousness of many at this time.
Honesty cannot live when we live in our minds.
Without honesty, there is no acceptance of life as it presents itself. It is in that rejection when joy cannot blossom, then joy becomes just another concept.
Arranging our world in pretty labels to live by, in pretty beliefs to think about and in pretty concepts to recite and “teach to others,” we may live our lives struggling to maintain that “self” even though it does not exist… but only in our minds.