Influences in the Conscious Mind
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami , 2015-09-30
On the spiritual path be careful to not let the worldly approach of others influence us. Take time each day for spiritual practice; turn off the externalizing and limiting conscious mind thinking. Overcome the use of anger in the world. Become strong, get greater willpower, gain control over the mind. Consciousness of the Sat Yuga is in the mind of those of us who are spiritually oriented but not in the world of those who are oriented toward violence.
Master Course, Merging with Siva, Lesson 171.
Guru Brahma, Guru Vishnu, Guru Devo Mahesvara, Guru Sakshat, Parabrahma, Tasmai Sri Gurave Namaha.
Good morning everyone.
This is from today's Merging with Siva Lesson 171:
"Reason Reigns Supreme
"It really hardens a person to live in the conscious mind all the time, because he has to build an ego shell around himself for protection, and that makes him insensitive and rough. One of the biggest protective influences of the conscious mind is anger. Anger makes a person cunning in his thinking, and of course the predominant underlying quality of anger is fear. He is always afraid of something. It is generally something that may happen or is going to happen. He is always in conflict with someone. These are the motivating forces of the conscious mind: anger and fear. Most people live in the conscious mind unconsciously."
Doesn't sound too good, huh? I don't think it's where we want to be. Well definitely, when we're on the spiritual path, have to be very careful to let go of this worldly approach and the, it can be a bit difficult because of the people we're associating with in the world.
I had a great teacher in anger; you've heard this story before. They were building the house on Siva Panai. Two carpenters. And every day there'd be an argument and then one of them would jump in his car and you know go off and the tires would be squealing and all, you know. Every single day. So, obviously if you're in the construction trade that's kind of a, working in a hospital.
So have to be very careful that the conduct of those that you're associating with doesn't rub off on you. And that's the importance of taking time each day to sit in the shrine and do spiritual practices. So we, that we get out from under that influence.
Anger is something we definitely need to overcome and it's use in the world but shouldn't be used in a spiritual home or in the monastery.
"The conscious mind is the area of the mind where memory and time are Gods, and reason is the Supreme Ruler. 'If it is not reasonable, it is not acceptable,' declares the conscious mind, and 'If we can't measure it, it does not exist.' That is the conscious mind. It is active. It is alive. The conscious mind perpetuates itself, and we all help to do that. The conscious mind perpetuates itself, and we all help it to do that. It is carried on in ramification by its own novelty. We can always find in the conscious mind some distraction to please us, to intrigue us, to dominate our awareness of other states of consciousness. And we don't have to look very hard to find it. "
This tendency is intensified by our, by the internet. We're bombarded with information all day long and if we're out in the, out in the world, television. I remember when I was traveling in this one hotel I wrote about it. I went to the room and the television was on. They thought you'd want that. And in the morning went down to the exercise room and there was a couple of televisions on. And went for breakfast and I think there was three screens in the breakfast room, you know. So by the time I finished breakfast I'd heard all kinds of things that I didn't need to hear.
So all this information keeps pouring in. And now, you know, we have Facebook and twitter to add to it. So we have to be careful to turn it off for some time each day. We just can't get caught up in it and constantly be active in the conscious mind thinking. It's definitely externalizing and limiting. So trying to deal with it but we need times where we turn it off. Okay, enough!
"The mystic's goal is to control awareness while he is in the conscious mind--to know where he is in consciousness. When he finds he is aware in the conscious mind, and the five senses have become his ruler, he then controls his awareness within the conscious mind itself. He does this in a number of ways. One way is through the control of breath. Breath is life, and life is breath. Breath is the controlling factor of awareness. Awareness rides on breath. Breath is also a controlling factor of our willpower. A seeker must develop a dynamic will to walk the path of enlightenment, so that he does not stumble or falter, but continues onward no matter how difficult the path seems to be..."
So Gurudeva's point here is that, you know, not to avoid the world or avoid the conscious mind but we have to learn to deal with it and control ourselves when we do so. We can't let it constantly upset us or overwhelm us. We have to deal with it. In so doing we become stronger. We gain greater control over the mind. We get greater willpower. And then when we sit to meditate that greater control and greater willpower helps meditate more deeply.
Well the two things are not separate. Our inner abilities in meditation or our outer skills in handling the mind. They're not getting upset by it; it's the same faculty.
"The mystic loves the conscious mind, for he sees it like an adult sees the toys of children. An adult does not take children's toys too seriously, but the child does. Meditate on that comparison. Meditate also upon the conscious mind while you are aware in it. Write down on a piece of paper the various areas of daily experience over a period of three days to which you are most attached. Then meditate on those time periods until you are able to see the chemistry that makes the conscious mind appear to be what it is. When you live two-thirds within yourself, even physical things begin to look transparent to you."
One of the challenges some people face is they want the conscious mind, want the world to be perfectly peaceful. Everybody to get along is what they expect.
I was once asked: "If this is the Sat Yuga, why is there so much violence in the world? Isn't the Sat Yuga the time the world would be totally peaceful? "
And my answer is: Well everybody is not in the Sat Yuga. You know, Sat Yuga is a certain spiritual consciousness. And all the inhabitants of the planet haven't reached that. Some have, but we're all not moving like a school of fish; you know, we're all not identical. So the Sat Yuga is in the mind of those who are spiritually oriented but it's not in the mind of those who are oriented toward violence. So it's in the mind, not in the world. So we can't expect the world to be free of problems at this time. It's just not going to happen overnight.
Ran into an interesting quote from Yogaswami, Paramaguru Yogaswami.
"What you think, that you become. If you think God, you become God. If you think food, you become food. Everything influences consciousness."
So this is an important point and we have to be careful, other people influencing us, what we think about. You know, if we are by ourselves we choose our topics more carefully. But when we're, because we're inter-relating with other people we can, without giving it much thought, dwell on the topics that they bring up. And if we dwell on them a lot then we move that direction.
As I mentioned before, well like a big magnet it attracts experiences to us. You know, we blame other people for what happens to us, right? But it's so funny; we're attracting it. It's inside of us. That which attracts. So, if we put thoughts inside of us it's going to attract some. So we have to be very careful the thoughts we put inside of us. That's what Yogaswami's saying in this. We want to realize the mind has power. It will attract something if we put a lot of thought into it be it a negative thing or a positive thing. And that's how we manifest our future by our thoughts.
So, in terms of the conscious mind we want to be careful how influenced by other people. And make sure we're not dwelling on thoughts that we really wouldn't choose to dwell on if we weren't interacting with certain people.
Have a wonderful day.
Aum Namah Sivaya.