• Shar Jason

Making Peace with the Mind

The mind is a beautiful and complex machine that is wonderful for problem solving and planning. However the majority of how are minds are operating, are putting us in a self-induced trance, where we not only believe what our mind is telling us, but we believe that that is who we are.

The mind enjoys telling a story and if there's no-one there to listen, then it will just tell the stories to itself. Stories about what happened in the past, about current situations, about things that may happen in the future. It will bend and twist facts about what happened to make it more gratifying in some way, more entertaining, or so it comes up the victor or victim. On and on it goes in a fantasy world, while all along, reality - the present moment - is being missed.

The mind has a conversation to people that aren't there, it plans what it's going to say to someone, it goes over a past conversation and creates and idea of how things should have gone, it even creates conversations with people it will never meet, and imagines how that interaction might go "If I met the president I would tell him..."

It looks for problems where there may be none, it tries to solve things that aren't for it to solve such as someone else's problem "If I had a child like that, I would..."

It replays events in the past, analyzing details about what happened and then creates different scenarios on how it could have gone "What I should have said to her was..."

Depending on your particularly conditioning the mind may reminisce about beautiful moments in the past which offer a nice distraction from the present moment, or go over horrible details about traumatic events that happened, activating deep emotional pain.

It may plan for a better future, another way to escape what is happening right now, offering some relief from challenging present circumstances.

It makes assumptions about why things happened and creates ideas about the world, people, and everything else. Abuse as a child may leave that mind believing that all men are bad or the world is a dangerous place. Most of this is unconscious, and if beliefs are not questioned, they can stay buried for the person's entire life.

When we have to make a decision we often ask our mind. The mind, being similar to a computer, can only give you information based on what happened in the past and what information it has learnt about the topic at hand. It can't be creative or give you any helpful advice, but we often follow what it says, getting ourselves caught up in similar challenges and patterns over and over again.

The mind can make us feel superior and powerful, or pathetic and broken. We have almost no control about what thoughts will arise, and what emotional reaction that will activate.

The mind ends up being all things for us - a best friend - someone that will seem to listen and attempt to offer advice, a judge and critic - analyzing ourselves and everyone else, a mean parent scolding us for mistakes we make, a comedian and entertainer singing songs and cracking jokes, and on and on it goes.

Not only does all the chatter keep us entertained and stimulated, it stops us from noticing the stillness and silence that is always present. This is how we unknowingly overlook our true nature. The noise of the mind doesn't give us space for us to realize it's there.

This continual identification with thoughts is sometimes called egoic consciousness or ego, and is what I consider a side effect of the formless manifesting into form. We can feel like who we are is an entity that lives somewhere in the head area. Most of humanity is lost in the trance of separation, unaware of who they really are or how the mind is keeping them believing in something that is false.

Through an awakening we start to notice how the mind works and begin to let go of thought patterns and beliefs. We realize we've been believing a fraud, and that a lot of what it is saying is coming from a place of deep wounding from personal and collective pain. It's unable to be unbiased - it can only repeat conditioning. We start to realize that we've being treating the mind almost like it's a God, as if it knows everything and is looking out for our best interests. It can be shocking to see how many poor decisions we've made, by going to this false prophet for answers.

One of the most fascinating parts of all is not only is the insanity of it all considered normal - as long as you're not saying it out loud then you're generally classed as sane, but most of us never question who the one is that is doing all the talking. We may notice that we're having a conversation with ourselves - talking to ourselves all day long, but who is the one that is doing the talking? When we start to ask questions like this, we begin to break the flow of automatic identification from thought to thought. The mind kind of freezes up, like it's been busted - and it has! It can no longer operate in the same way and starts to fall apart.

The more you question who is the "I" that is talking away all day, and access your true nature, the more the trance is broken and you're unable to get hooked as much to the thoughts. Eventually the ability to identify with the thoughts will be deleted and you will be able to live from the realization that you are emptiness, which will feel like peace and freedom.