While one can think in ways that will enhance their life or at the very least not cause any harm, they can also think in a ways that will limit their quality of life. And the mind is like any other kind of tool out there; with one needing to know how to use it, in order to utilize its capabilities.
Without the right understanding, one can end up being their minds slave and not the master of their mind. One approach might be to blame the mind and to see it as the problem. But that would be like one using a piece of machinery that they don’t know how to use and then blaming it for the damage it has caused.
In this scenario, it would be clear that one simply needs to learn how to operate the piece of equipment and then they will no longer create any damage, or if they do, it will be minimal.
One reason why this approach is not taken when it comes to the mind is probably due to the fact that people are not educated on how their mind works. Ones parents or the people around them may have served as good role models and were therefore a source of guidance.
However, if this wasn’t the case and one simply had to rely on the education system for guidance, they are likely to end up disappointed. That’s if they were looking for guidance in the first place; as unless they were expecting to learn about how their mind works, they might not know that anything is missing.
They could come to the conclusion that their mind is not something that can be understood and appreciated over time. And what it could end up as something that one does their best to run away from and avoid.
If one doesn’t learn during their childhood years and through the education system about their mind, then these consequences and many others, are to be expected. The self development industry, along with the internet, has given people the option of educating themselves in how the mind works.
For if one has not been educated on how their mind works or on certain ways that it functions, they could have come to see the mind as being who they are. Based on this outlook, what the mind says is taken as the truth and not questioned.
This can make one feel trapped and controlled by their mind, especially if what it comes up with is disempowering. The ideal will be for one to question their mind and to be the observer of it.
Here, one doesn’t resist or try to change what the mind comes up with; they simply observe what is occurring, neither accepting nor trying to change anything. This ability can take time to develop and will surely be something that one will continue to develop for the rest of their life.
When the mind is unobserved, it is inevitable that one will end up being taken for a ride, as opposed to being the ones that decide where they would like to go. And one thing the mind does is create meaning around everything that happens.
This meaning doesn’t have to have any relevance to what is taking place and it can lead to one feeling better or worse about something. The mid will draw upon ones history in order to create this meaning and this will be through association.
So the present experience will end up merging with the previous experiences that one has had and to the experiences that one has heard about through others. And while something similar could have happened in the past and ended up going well for instance, the mind can locate a time when something didn’t go to plan.
Therefore, it won’t matter that they could have had other experiences that were different or that the present situation is nothing like what took place in the past, as the mind will project what took place in the past onto the present moment.
It will then not be possible for one to come to a balanced outlook and to embrace all sides of their current experience. And this is because the mind works in absolutes and this means there are no grey areas.
Black And White
To say that seeing life in this way is bad might sound accurate and yet that would be another absolute. There are going to be times when seeing life in this way is appropriate and there will be times when it is not. It will all depend on what it relates to and if having this outlook is enhancing one’s life.
If one’s mind was to come to the conclusion that all door handles turned in the same direction, it would save them time and energy. It wouldn’t limit their life in most cases, unless they were to come across a door handle that turned the other way.
However, when this kind of thinking is applied to the opposite gender, there is the chance that one will suffer. Through labelling the opposite sex as being a certain way, one won’t have to think and will therefore save a lot of mental energy, but their chances of meeting people who are different will end up being greatly reduced.
So while these ways of looking at life might not help someone, they will be what are classed as familiar to ones ego mind. And what is familiar is what is classed as safe, regardless of whether it is empowering or accurate.
The ego mind will end up filter one’s life so they only see what their mind believes to be true. One then ends up being right and this is important, because being wrong is associated as death. But just because one ends up being right, it doesn’t mean that they will be happy or that there is not another way of looking at something.
It will be important for one to monitor their mind and to see when it is using black and white thinking. To generalise might feel comfortable and even normal, but it doesn’t mean that it is in ones best interests.
And as certain as the mind may be about all men or all women being a certain way for example, there will be plenty of men and women out there who are completely different.
When one begins to change their point of focus and uses their mind, instead of letting their mind use them, they will gradually begin to see themselves and their life in a new way. A therapist, healer or a coach might be needed to assist one with this process.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.