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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Killing Minds

Have you ever noticed that you can only think of one thing at a time? You can't think of your mother and the Chinese economy at the same time. You can flip between them, but you can't actually simultaneously bring both to attention. This is a very simple, powerful and liberating realisation. It means that when you are lost in negative thinking, all you have to do is bring to attention something positive and preferable, and the negative focus dissipates.

There are of course many kinds of ‘negative’ thinking that are embedded in deeper psycho-spiritual issues that will definitely not go away simply because you change your focus. If you carry a deep hurt about your relationship with your mother for example, then just thinking about your kind father will not change the underlying pain. To heal that pain, you have to allow it to express itself, to be heard and honoured.

But an awful lot of rubbish thinking doesn’t fall into that category.

I hate this job.
Mary is so immature.
Christians are delusional.
I hate atheists.
Why do we pay so much tax?
What the hell is wrong with this place (office, city, country, planet)?
My eyes are too small and my nose too big.

And so on. Note most of this kind of thinking is about what is wrong. What passes as ‘thinking’ for most people is rarely constructive, and most of the time there is no intention to come to a deeper understanding of the problem being thrashed over and over again.

It is not difficult to change such thinking. You just have to be willing to pay the price: allowing the ‘mind’ to die - at least for as long as you commit to the alternatives.

The alternatives are to focus upon something positive; or even better, to bring the mind into presence, where it is silent and still. When you experience being fully present, it is absolutely clear that the mind is a well of delusion. It is a world of phantasms and fantasy. It is not real.

Try this. Bring your attention to an object close by you, say a pen, a notepad, your shoe etc. Without moving your eyes AT ALL, keep your full attention on that thing. Then, without moving your eyes or taking your attention away from the object, try thinking of what is wrong with the US economy. Go on, do it before reading the next paragraph. Remember, YOU MUST NOT MOVE YOUR EYES AT ALL.

Do it now for thirty seconds.

Did you notice that you cannot analyse, abstract, or think of past or future while your attention is on the object? The mental world of illusion disappears.

It disappears because it was never real.

When you focus on what is actually here, when you are present, the ‘mind’ dissolves.

Next time you find yourself in some silly online argument, arguing with the other side of the ‘issue’, or fretting over something that has no meaning, just bring yourself to attention... and watch the illusion disappear. The only question then remains is whether you will choose to return to the world of illusion, or in what way.

Of course your mind will try to draw you back into the delusion, because you are attached to it.

Some time ago I attended a conference on transhumanism - people who want to upload their consciousness onto computers so they don't die. However as I observed the speakers I realised that they did not understand the nature of consciousness at all. What they were trying to preserve was not consciousness, but their attachments. 

It's the same agenda all minds have.


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