Manifestations of the Mind (part 5)

Posted by: David

What’s important for all of us to understand is this: our thoughts are a force that not only affect our sphere of influence, but they also affect reality itself. Before you press the ‘X’ on your browser window, please give me a chance to explain.

We all have a sphere of influence and this may be limited to what our hands can do. We can use our hands to paint a pretty picture for someone to enjoy or use our hands and arms to give someone a hug to make them feel cozy. Our bodies do these things through the instructions of our mind.

The Mind’s Eye

What is the mind? The mind is the ‘seeing’ and ‘visualizing’ that is akin to our actual bodily senses. The mind’s thoughts are a tapestry of  senses, feelings, memories, knowledge and logic.

Before I decide to give someone a hug, my mind consciously or unconsciously envisions giving someone a hug. Something in me decides whether to go through with that action. If I act upon the mind’s vision, the person gets the hug. This is a simple example of how reality itself is changed by a simple vision or a thought.

But does reality change if we simply think about something? Okay, we might not be able lift an X-wing fighter out of the swamp like Luke did. But what we think about affects our perceptions of our world. It affects our awareness. Our thoughts are reordered and a new landscape is burnt into our mind. This affects who we are, physically as well as mentally, and it changes the way we evaluate and make decisions. It affects our perceptions of the world. Our mind is active much of our days and some of the night. Our thoughts are continually shifted and reordered and a new community of neurons is established in our head. Our relationships with others change. Our work habits can change. And this can be a vicious cycle, depending on where we are grounded. If we are grounded, our mind’s landscape tends to stay relatively stable. These thoughts, whether grounded or not, drive us through our own personal and collective histories. And don’t think it tumble us haphazardly through time. It drives us toward the visions of our minds, individually as well as collectively. It drives us towards the reality that we focus on. If I were to choose one word that defines what most of us focus on it would be: “me.”

In some cases, we have choice on which of varied subjects we dwell. In other cases, we seem to have no choice on the matter whatsoever. But even in those cases, in the most extreme examples, where someone might be ‘tortured’ with obsessive thoughts, we still have choices. We will always have choices in our lives.

I’ll take the extreme example of being ‘tortured’ with obsessive thoughts. It’s extreme, but it’s probably common in degrees to most of us at times in our lives. It is at these times that we cycle thoughts through our head. Over and over these thoughts resurface. We may try to push them back into the recesses. Even though we may not have a choice whether these thoughts pop-up into our minds, we do have a choice how we interact with them. We can hate them, push them away or get angry at them. We may also try to neuter them through reason. But none of these approaches really do any good. On the other hand, we can look them straight in the eyes and see them for what they really are. We can look at them with honesty, repentance, compassion, mercy and love. If we learn to look in these ways to our innermost thoughts, we will simultaneously learn to look at tangible people and circumstances in this way.  I know, easier said than done. I’ve been there. But the important point is that these thoughts are a force and they affect us and our reality. And we can look back at them with the force of truth and love.

Thoughts can be both scary and alluring (push and pull) and they must not be allowed to control our will. They will be in our head all of our lives, but we must make the choice how we deal with them. We must be active participants in our inward and outward lives.

A Choppy Inner Sea

In looking back at my life, I notice that most of my conscious moments have been filled with varied thoughts fading in and out of view much the surface of a choppy sea. The only times that I have not had that sea of thoughts was when I was engaged in some extremely difficult mental enterprise, such as computer programming or some other intense focus From talking to others over the years, I find that they are no different than I.

And please don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that we should try to control or stop this plague of thoughts. That’s what people consciously and subconsciously try to do with food, alcohol, drugs, sex, work, escapism, exercise, distractions and other methods. They use these techniques to block the choppy sea of visions and thoughts that is so difficult for many to deal with. They are trying to cope as best as possible. Of course, as we see time and time again, these approaches mostly just exacerbate the problems. Too often, the plaguing images and thoughts within the mind only get worse with the rational and irrational fixes that we apply. Or they may subside and emerge again at a later date, or transform into something different but equally difficult to deal with. This is a common human predicament and I believe common to the entire human race. Pure and simple, it is an effect of our consciousness.

The Dilemma of Repricocity

Let’s look at Newton’s third law of motion: “To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” What was placed in motion at the very onset of our becoming conscious beings has plagued every last one of us, because it has been a chain of events, just like Newton’s third law describes. So, when you have a disturbing thought or someone causes you pain in your life, if you fight back, your reciprocation will just cause the dominoes to continue to fall. Likewise, if you just build a castle wall around your emotions, psyche or body, you will just cause others to build bigger walls around there’s and so on. The other option would be to rationalize the pain. And that’s probably the worst thing you can do. That traps the pain into ideas, thoughts, words and writings. This is the true K-bomb of Part 4. The pain is packed densely into a mental or social algorithm. It’s packed so tight that one day it will explode, and maybe not in your lifetime. In Part 6 we will look at how to diffuse the K-bomb.

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