29 July 2015

Out of My Mind

I've been spending a lot of time learning how to go out of my mind.  It's usually not a problem for me--many people would say that I'm out of my mind anyway, and that's fine with me.  I tend not to worry about what other people think about the things that I do, and while I don't do things that would hurt or inconvenience others, I tend to enjoy things like climbing trees and walking places instead of driving, even if it takes a couple of hours.  I often wonder if people who see me think that I must have lost my driver's license for some reason or another.
But when I say that I'm learning how to go out of my mind, what I'm talking about are two very specific things:  first, I'm trying to learn how to escape the non-stop barrage of thoughts on every possible topic under the sun (and even beyond the sun), and second, I'm trying to pull myself away from the beliefs that I've adopted because other people have taught them to me, and I've believed those people and basically adopted their beliefs as my own.  My mind's tendency to hold on to these beliefs in many ways keeps me from growing and learning, and that's something that I never want to have happen.  Of course, when I use "mind" in this way, I'm referring to what we've come to call the ego, which likes to think that it's in charge, and which defends itself when our higher selves try to release themselves from its control, for it thinks it always does what is best for us.
Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and my mind is racing, going over thoughts about something that had happened the day before or some current issue in my life.  Normally, I'm not able to get back to sleep when my mind is going like that, which makes for some unpleasant time, laying there in bed wishing I were sleep, but having my mind continue to race over something that I don't even want to be thinking about in the first place.

Other times, my mind will go through hundreds of different consequences when I feel that I've done something "wrong."  Of course, it usually turns out that there are no consequences at all because no one else has even noticed my "mistake," but I've spent many a miserable hour worrying that someone is mad at me or that I've lost a friend.

I've found that there are many principles of meditation that help with this problem.  One of them is to find a focal point, such as my own breathing, a mental image of a beautiful place, God, a rock in the garden--whatever you can use as something to focus on.  As I relax and keep my mind focused on this thing, trying to notice everything about it, the other thoughts start to fall away as I neglect them.  My mind quiets down, and I'm able to feel peaceful and relaxed.

Of course, I know that there's much more to meditation than just this, but this is one technique that I use that allows me to get to sleep or just to quiet my racing mind.  And this technique doesn't require that I fight these thoughts, for doing so would usually make things worse, adding conflict to the problem of the thoughts.

Many people have taught me their beliefs over the years, and many of those beliefs have survived in my mind ever since.  Beliefs that things should turn out in certain ways, beliefs that other people should act in certain ways, beliefs that I should try to control certain situations, beliefs in other people's versions of what spirituality or religion should be--all of these beliefs keep me tied down to certain ways of understanding the world, and the longer I remain tied to them, the more difficult it is for me to fly free as an individual, as truly my own person.  I don't want to go through life as a reflection of what other people believe--I want to find my own way and my own beliefs so that I may become the person I truly was meant to be.

Whenever I feel tension between what I think I should believe and what my heart and soul are telling me to be true, then I know that something's wrong with that belief.  Even more importantly, whenever a belief isn't reflective of unconditional love I know that there's something askew with that belief.  The question that I ask myself in these situations is quite simple:  does this belief of mine reflect unconditional love?  If it allows me to judge or to condemn other human beings for their thoughts or beliefs or actions, then no, it doesn't.  I never know the whole story behind anything that another human being does or says, so it's impossible for me to judge accurately what he or she has done.  And when I do judge, I'm leaving love behind.

My mind likes beliefs, for they keep things quite orderly.  These beliefs make things easy for me if I hold on to them, but they don't help me in the long term, and they don't help me to be able to uncover who and what I truly am as a human being.  They really are little more than limitations, and while other people in the world may be fine with limiting themselves, I'm always going to do my best to make sure that I don't do so.  I know that if I do, I'll keep myself from reaching the potential that I was born with.

Going out of my mind isn't a bad thing at all--it's actually something that can help me to reach my goals and my potential.  There is, though, a pretty big difference between what our societies define as "out of my mind" and what I see that as being.  As long as I know how and why I'm trying to limit the effects of my mind/ego, I know that I'll keep working my way towards becoming the loving, hopeful person that I have the potential to be.

No comments:

Post a Comment