In today’s positive self-help society, there is quite an abundance of people preaching positive affirmations, positive reinforcement, positive thinking and sayings like “choose your thoughts wisely.”
Then you have you have the psychological principles like the conscious and the subconscious mind.
When we think of choosing, we think in terms of choosing to act, or not act based upon the level of the mind.
However, I’d like to propose a new level of understanding when it comes to thought and the ability to choose consciously.
You could go on for weeks, months and years about how the human mind has been conditioned for centuries upon centuries.
The mind is like that of a large vacuum, the speed of the air is going so fast it sucks in just about everything that you put in front of it.
Now, the mind is a lot more complex being that it takes in millions of pieces of information, sorts, organizes and cycles through this information.
It takes what is useful and discards what is not.
And yet, the mind is affected in some way, shape, form or fashion from the standpoint that it is taught what is useful and what is not.
So from the very start of life, the very mechanism that the mind works from is wired in a way from that of the liking of the circumstances that your born into.
That being your family, schooling, media, culture, race, religion, ancestry…. ect
The mechanism that is constantly being rewired from the outside if not looked into and understood is one of the reasons we don’t have as much power as we think in terms of choosing how we feel and act.
It is said in some Zen traditions that the mind in its most natural state is pure and uncontaminated, beginners mind is what is suggested.
However, this could not be the case from the standpoint that the mind is a collection of thoughts and emotions.
A thought in its most natural sense is something that is learned. Learning is essentially the basis of all conditioning.
The point is, is that the mind itself IS the conditioning. This is not bad, nor good but if not looked into and understood, then you will never have the ability to choose, and thus you won’t realize that fulfillment that the heart truly desires.
So the state that most humans are currently in are, are being run completely by the conditioning. This is to say, they only know what has been wired into the brain, from the outside and nothing else.
The conditioning has chosen their thoughts, feelings and emotions, essentially on autopilot.
“A greater part of most people’s thinking is involuntary, automatic and repetitive.” – Eckhart Tolle
What Tolle is saying is here is that because if all that someone knows is the conditioning, the mental training then the thoughts they have are not theirs but the worlds around them.
Take it away again Tolle…
“Strictly speaking, you don’t think. Thinking happens to you. The statement “I think.” Implies choice. Implies that you have a say in the matter, that there is a choice involved on your part. For most part this is not yet the case. “I think” is just a false statement as “I digest.” Or “I circulate my blood.” Digestions happen, circulation happens, thinking happens.”
So where are the thoughts coming from?
They are coming from the conditioning.
So unless you find that way out of the conditioning, then you will never TRULY have the power to choose.
So how do we find the way out?
Disidentification with the mind
To think that conditioning is not necessary is to think that having is mind is not necessary, that’s just a part of being a human.
What will be harmful however, is believing fully that who you are is the mind.
By believing that you are the mind, you are also believing that you are the conditioning.
When you believe in this absolutely, then the conditioning will run your life.
It will do the choosing for you. It will choose, what your career is, who you associate with, what you’re interested in, how you react to situations emotionally and every other area of your life.
So then who are you?
The awareness behind the thinking, the non-thinking. The witnessing awareness that can see itself as separate from the conditioning.
So in this sense, there is no such thing as a pure unconditioned, unfiltered mind.
There is mind (conditioning) and then there is no-mind (awareness).
What Zen and other eastern teachings are pointing to when they speak of beginners mind is the same thing, the absence of thought.
The Mystery That Is Life.
I have received a lot of messages from people on Facebook asking things like…
“Why does my family not understand me?”
“Why are my thoughts so much different than my family?”
“I feel like an outcast from society, why?”
Well, firstly this is a sign that these individuals are starting to break through the hardening of rigid conditioning that society has tried to firmly place into them.
Secondly, you as well as me were born into a random family, into a random place on planet earth, with a random race, culture and timeframe (ERA)…ect
And to think that your intuition (Fulfilling conscious awareness) which is infinite, eternal not subject to the limits of time should coincide and match with those collective thoughts of the random family that you were born into?
Being that thoughts are going to continue happening, and they are going to happen from the conditioning you will only have the ability to choose, the way that awareness lets you choose.
Consider this statement. “You will only have the ability to choose the away that awareness lets you choose.”
This paradox here is that the context with way the word awareness is used here it seems like some phenomena is outside of you is allowing you to choose.
It has a Godlike essence to it.
And yet, does someone who is unconscious have the ability to choose anything?
Some words that described unconscious are comatose, lifeless, ignorant and most importantly unaware.
So you see, this Godlike essence called awareness is not actually a part from you, because it is you.
Now when you disidentify with the mind, then the conditioning will no longer have such a grip you and then awareness can now play a part of feeling itself as fulfillment.
This means you are no longer your mind, you longer take the mind to be absolute, you no longer take the mind very seriously…ect
Let’s relook at that statement again, knowing that you are awareness.
This of course realizing the self prior to any doing.
You will only have the ability to choose the way that you allow you to choose.
What does this mean moving forward?
The mind is still going to be a large part of the way that you interact with the world, this is not in any way bad.
Thoughts are still going to happen. (Not you choosing thoughts)
Conditioning is still going to happen.
Autopilot thoughts, emotions and behaviors are still going to happen.
Certain times, you will lose sight of awareness as your being.
What will happen though going forward is that you will loosen the degree of which these have controlled your life up to now.
You will loosen the intensity with which the conditioning has run your life.
You will lessen the degree of intensity with which your life has been on autopilot, done for you.
And what will happen?
Awareness will start working through you as you. And what happens through the body, is the sensation of aliveness, of fulfillment and joy.