I’ve been listening to a talk given by Eckhart Tolle and thinking about the nature of conditioning. The question is - how can a human being enjoy personal freedom and really live life instead of stumbling through life asleep at the wheel?
In the general conditioned state of human beings the weight of the past largely dictates the perception of available choices in the present moment. Or even worse, the individual is almost completely supplanted as the past continues to repeat in the robotic continuation of patterns.
”Because this happened to me I have these beliefs about this sort of thing and when things like this happen I think, do, or say this.”
This is not living life. This is a program running itself within constrained parameters.
“In the province of the mind, what the mind believes to be true, either is true or becomes true within certain limits to be found experientially and experimentally. These limits are further beliefs to be transcended. In the mind there are no limits.”
- John C. Lilly
So how does someone break out of the behavioral program into freedom and spontaneous creativity in the moment?
The answer is to let go. Let go of your story. Stop identifying with the story of your life. Let go of the - “When I was this old, this happened to me. I’m this way because of this or that person. It’s their fault.” If a person is unable to let go they will be largely unable to be creative in the medium that matters most - their own life.
Their life becomes their prison. Until a person stops playing the victim of their own life they will never be free. The victim mentality is understandable and pathetic. It’s all too easy. A victim isn’t responsible. It’s not my fault. The fast food companies made me fat. Justified or not things are the way they are. Nonacceptance only serves to perpetuate the problem and solves nothing. So one can either take responsibility (because no one else will) or learn to enjoy prison life.
By holding on to one’s story one’s behavioral patterns, however inappropriate to the reality of the current situation, assert themselves. One makes the same mistakes and gets the same (often dissatisfying) results. One begins to feel trapped in one’s own life and trapped in one’s own body if behaviors are detrimental to physical health.
If one lets go of one’s story by ceasing to identify with it one is free. Free to choose and spontaneously do according to the changing circumstances within the present moment. Free to be creative and evolve in any direction.
“You are permanently enrolled in the school of life. Each day, you will be presented with lessons. You may like the lessons, or think them stupid and irrelevant. What you think does not matter. The lessons will be repeated until they are learned.”
How do you let go? Like anything (such as overcoming shyness) it’s all a matter of practice. Meditation on the breath is one method of practice of letting go. By letting go again and again and returning to the present moment you become adept at letting go and can eventually do so when and where it matters most.
We all have all manner of thoughts and feelings. Happy thoughts, hateful thoughts, loving thoughts, violent thoughts, negative thoughts, positive thoughts, depressed thoughts, and exhilarated thoughts. The occurrence of such thoughts and feelings are a product of existence. Consciousness is like a shining mirror that reflects the world. Its the nature of the world that things come and they go.
The thoughts and feelings that appear in consciousness that we hold onto gradually appear in consciousness more and more. You may have been wronged by another person and justifiably you may have complaining thoughts or even hateful thoughts in regards to that person. It’s always the thoughts and feelings that are justified that are the hardest to let go of.
However, gradually you’ll begin complaining about some little thing about your work mates, about your meal, about the service, the traffic, the weather, your partner, your friends, your life. You become a burden to yourself and everyone around you. Thus it is very important for us to be aware of what enters consciousness and what we hold onto. What we hold onto soon becomes our nature. Whatever our nature is tends to be reflected back to us by the world. So after the thought train pulls into the consciousness station let it leave without you.
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