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How Do You Relate To Your Mind?

How Do You Relate To Your Mind?

What is the proper way to relate to your mind? The voice asked. Should you always do what it says? Clearly not, for we have all kinds of thoughts that are irrelevant or fantastic. Should we ignore what it says? No again, because the mind gives us all the desires upon which we build our lives.

There is no single way to relate to the mind. You canít take a stance that will always work. When people decide arbitrarily to be optimists, they may miscalculate when it comes to serious crises, evildoing, wars, personal conflicts, etc. If they decide arbitrarily to be pessimists, they will miss many opportunities for joy, fulfillment, hope, and faith.

My mental guide showed me this, and I was intrigued. It would appear that being spiritual is one stance that works, yet there are situations where even being spiritual Ė tolerant, loving, accepting, and detached from materialism Ė wonít work at all.

A parent canít simply accept and love a child addicted to cocaine, for example; active intervention is called for. A thousand other examples come to mind. Love wonít defeat torturers; tolerance wonít stop the excess of fanatics. A person must find an infinitely flexible way to relate to the mind; otherwise something gets lost. The most precious gift of the mind Ė its total freedom Ė is the source of our creativity.

Now, my mental guide said, look at the world. Isnít it the same as the mind? The same unpredictability prevails, and therefore you cannot take a fixed attitude toward the world that works. People who are congenitally optimistic about the future are as shortsighted as people who are congenitally pessimistic.

Mind, the world, and Karma are the same thing, perfect mirrors of one another. Their complexity is impossible to fathom. Their infinite connections can never be mapped out, and even if they could be, the next tick of the clock will bring a new, equally infinite set of possibilities.

Adapted from Life After Death: The Burden of Proof, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2006).

Read more: Deepak Chopra's Tips, Spirit, , ,

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Deepak Chopra

Acknowledged as one of the world's greatest leaders in the field of mind body medicine, Deepak Chopra, M.D. continues to transform our understanding of the meaning of health. Chopra is known as a prolific author of over 49 books with 12 best sellers on mind-body health, quantum mechanics, spirituality, and peace. A global force in the field of human empowerment, Dr. Chopra's books have been published in more than 35 languages with more than 20 million copies in print.

56 comments

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5:25AM PST on Nov 20, 2012

Thanks for sharing

10:24PM PDT on Sep 16, 2010

thanks for the insight : )

4:37AM PDT on May 22, 2010

Thank you!

2:35PM PDT on May 19, 2010

Thanks! Peace!

4:15PM PDT on May 5, 2010

Suzanne, ..you might be doing God's will in your own personal and unique way, and this God is in control with you and for you.. Joy and Peace 2 U..! (-..wow..!..2 days have past..-)

12:18AM PDT on May 3, 2010

What was it Jesus said about becoming like little children? Yago, it is totally true.

12:17AM PDT on May 3, 2010

Yago, please forgive me. I've been at this for almost 40 years, and at this point I may take be a bit forgetful.

I'm not sure how to explain this except to repeat what I said before, and which I learned from experience. I began very legalistic in my spiritual journey. I had to do everything just right and more so. I had to control myself, control my schedule of spiritual practices, control everything that could interfere with my objective. So fervent was I that I prayed to be stripped of anything that would keep me separated from God in any way.

I got stripped alright, and all the stripping amounted to me giving up control of myself, and surrendering to God. This took some time because it was an incremental process.

Basically, I gave up control, trusted God to transform me, relaxed and enjoyed the blissful ride. That made me far more receptive to grace, sped me on my way faster, and I had fun as I went. I grew in character and integrity and love. None of this was because of something I did, it was God's grace acting in and through me, and I was transformed in the process, rather like being formed to fit the model. All I had to do was love, and do what I knew was right, live my values, act on my values. I have had all the grace I needed to do so without controlling anything.

I believe it is a lesson we learn at some point, but it takes tremendous love for God to stick it out, to be exposed, and to discover how much we are loved in return.

11:43AM PDT on May 2, 2010

Thank you

11:33AM PDT on May 2, 2010

Hi, Suzanne.. i dont want to sound obsessive about this "control" idea,.. as an example: lets say you are riding a motor-vehicle, for as long as you are at the wheel you must be in control; when riding a bicycle one must always keep the equilibrium or else.. and of course while moving, walking, one must have some kind of control that comes as a given when use to it,, practice makes perfect..! i dont see this self-control as an obstacle but as an important tool to face the permanent uncertainties of life as we know it..-self-control opens my awareness to perfection; self-forgetfulness opens a door to improvement of character and spiritual progress.. i'm just learning to appreciate this temporal existence, after all i dont know what tomorrow brings.

10:51AM PDT on May 2, 2010

I agree Yago, but I would still argue against any term related to "control", although one could see self-discipline in that way. Personally, I see self-discipline and stemming from my commitment to grow as opposed to keeping me from doing something by almost forcing myself to do something.

One of my reasons is that it can take on an almost intolerant approach to myself and others. Whereas, learning and growing into the person I would like to be seems more patient and tolerant of my failures, while at the same time affording me a sense of celebration at seeing progress.

I personally prefer a gentler and more understanding approach, but I understand that different people need different approaches. I just don't think there is one way.

I believe their are abundant examples of that in the New Testament recounting Jesus' actions and teachings.

Selflessness is a result of growing in love, and love will also increase one's desire to make good choices to advance growth and evolution of the soul. Loving ourselves and others is the most important thing we can do.

We still have the remnants of 16th century spiritual practices today that make some people thing that must almost flog themselves to keep their bodies in check. I'm sorry, but I don't agree. That energy would best be used to serve others in love, and to treat oneself with the love and respect due a divine being.

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