IT'S ALL IN YOUR MIND!
Have you ever said this to someone, or had it said to you?
When a thought arises in the mind there is a sense of it being true to you, because you take yourself to be the thinker - but is this really so, and is anything you believe to be true necessarily true beyond your mind? Is there a deeper truth that the mind cannot even comprehend?
We spend so much of our time 'in our mind', we mostly don't even know that it can play incredible tricks on our perception. This is because our mind has evolved way beyond its basic original required function of keeping us alive.
During a visit to the Oxford Ashmolean Museum recently, I came across the rooms displaying artefacts from man's 'prehistory', the time before written records, and it was fascinating to see how the earliest humans focused only on finding food, procreating and preserving their security. Our needs were that simple back then, and our minds were too. Over time, our minds have evolved and remarkable advances in understanding and technology have been achieved. But with this complexity has also come increased mental suffering. Why is this?
Our thinking is still motivated by the same primordial instincts for survival, and this creates a huge amount of stress, but now, for most of us, particularly in the developed countries, the stress has become far more intellectual. We no longer simply compete for physical survival, we now compete on many levels; physically, socially and economically. The mind responds to this by seeing the need for self-interest and control, and this mutates into selfishness, and a desire for power. Along with this intense self-focus an inflated ego-identification can develop, and then, because ultimately our life situation, physical body and beliefs are essentially fragile in this totally unpredictable life, there builds a continuous underlying fear of failure or loss. This creates doubt and confusion, leading to irrational beliefs and an ever-more reactive mind response - all contributing to mental disorder.
With the ever-increasing complexity of life our priority has been placed on thinking and the intellect. We have, as a result, lost touch with our intuitive natural inner voice. Our thinking mind is a fantastic tool, but for many it has brought imbalance, with the result - a kind of insanity. Everything destructive we inflict on ourselves and our planet has come from the mind gone mad.
One only need look at the suffering in this world to see the truth of that statement. Our planet can easily provide food for the entire population, yet hundreds die every day from starvation. There are countless wars being fought all over the globe at any given moment. We consume vast quantities of drugs, both legal and illegal, in an attempt to cure or alleviate the mental torture of a dysfunctional mind.
What we need is re-balancing - a realisation that we have lost touch with our inner guide, the 'being', in the human-being. As we look at the functioning of the mind from the position of our 'beingness', we come to know that the mind is not where ultimate truth resides, and our thinking needs to be watched or it can create all kinds of madness!