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StarMountainKid

Why Can't We Tell Ourself What To Do?

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StarMountainKid

Why can't we tell ourselves what to do? We make New Year's resolutions, for instance, and never keep them. We want to stop smoking, but we don't stop smoking. We want to live in a better way, but we keep on living as usual. There are many examples of this. It seems we're unable to boss ourselves around.

So, what is this impediment that prevents us from being our own boss in this sense? 

It seems as if we're two people. We're who we wish to be, and who we are. We're how we want to act, and how we actually do act.

What's going on? Who or what is really in charge of ourselves?

 

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LanaBanana
7 minutes ago, StarMountainKid said:

It seems as if we're two people. We're who we wish to be, and who we are. We're how we want to act, and how we actually do act.

What's going on? Who or what is really in charge of ourselves?

 

I love this post! I personally believe that it comes down to discipline. We are in control of ourselves, yet so many people fail at goals they set for themselves. People will decide to start eating healthy but go right back to eating junk because it's what they want. People are more likely to choose their wants over their needs. When somebody else holds the person accountable, they are more likely to succeed. People would rather let themselves down then let someone else down. It's all about realizing that you are worth it enough to not let yourself down :)

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DebDandelion
25 minutes ago, StarMountainKid said:

Why can't we tell ourselves what to do? We make New Year's resolutions, for instance, and never keep them. We want to stop smoking, but we don't stop smoking. We want to live in a better way, but we keep on living as usual. There are many examples of this. It seems we're unable to boss ourselves around.

So, what is this impediment that prevents us from being our own boss in this sense? 

It seems as if we're two people. We're who we wish to be, and who we are. We're how we want to act, and how we actually do act.

What's going on? Who or what is really in charge of ourselves?

 

Personally....its choice. And as LB said, discipline. For me its discipline to follow through your choice.

The mind is a powerful tool. Once you make a choice you have to have discipline to follow through (and stick to ur choice).

Acting differently? We all do measured on the people and situation.

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XenoFish

We're creatures of habit and enjoy the path of least resistance. 

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OverSword

Here is a guy that developed the discipline within himself to overcome himself.

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Horta
On 6/14/2018 at 3:48 AM, StarMountainKid said:

Why can't we tell ourselves what to do? We make New Year's resolutions, for instance, and never keep them. We want to stop smoking, but we don't stop smoking. We want to live in a better way, but we keep on living as usual. There are many examples of this. It seems we're unable to boss ourselves around.

So, what is this impediment that prevents us from being our own boss in this sense? 

It seems as if we're two people. We're who we wish to be, and who we are. We're how we want to act, and how we actually do act.

What's going on? Who or what is really in charge of ourselves?

 

Although more dramatic, for similar reasons schizophrenics can't simply tell themselves to stop being schizophrenic. Those suffering with long term depression can't simply tell themselves to stop being depressed, and so on...

It's because we are a bunch of chemicals with the illusion that there is someone in amongst it all with genuine freedom to choose. The principles of physics and chemistry are what give rise to not only this illusion of "self" but also determines every choice we will ever make, and are what is really running things. The self goes along for the ride taking credit for things it really had no say in anyway.

Which doesn't mean you can't try or that change is impossible. After all, we have simple computers that can learn, adapt and change and some people also manage to effect great change. It's just that despite our efforts, we all have different limits on what we can achieve.

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StarMountainKid
1 hour ago, Horta said:

Although more dramatic, for similar reasons schizophrenics can't simply tell themselves to stop being schizophrenic. Those suffering with long term depression can't simply tell themselves to stop being depressed, and so on...

It's because we are a bunch of chemicals with the illusion that there is someone in amongst it all with genuine freedom to choose. The principles of physics and chemistry are what give rise to not only this illusion of "self" but also determines every choice we will ever make, and are what is really running things. The self goes along for the ride taking credit for things it really had no say in anyway.

Which doesn't mean you can't try or that change is impossible. After all, we have simple computers that can learn, adapt and change and some people also manage to effect great change. It's just that despite our efforts, we all have different limits on what we can achieve.

I think there is the sub-conscious mind that is in control. The sub-conscious is directly wired to the more primitive areas of the brain, so that it is not very imaginative and demands simple reward. In this way we just continue doing the same things over and over, because the sub-conscious has learned this is the most efficient method for its chemical rewards.

The mind is the elctro-chemistry of the brain. The physical brain is the mind.

I would agree that for the most part the conscious self just goes along for the ride. However, as you say, the conscious mind or self can over-ride the subconscious and change its behavior. Perhaps by redirecting the sub-conscious' reward system. 

 

 

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Torchwood

Most of what makes you "you" is a massive pile of bacteria and organs all of which make their own demands , and tell you what to do, and what to think....and then theres a little bit at the top saying to itself "I'm in charge", rarely realising its actually on a committee and doesnt even get the casting vote...

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Tatetopa
On 6/13/2018 at 10:48 AM, StarMountainKid said:

Why can't we tell ourselves what to do?

We tell ourselves what to do all the time.  We just don't obey.  

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Coil
On 13.06.2018 at 8:48 PM, StarMountainKid said:

Why can't we tell ourselves what to do? We make New Year's resolutions, for instance, and never keep them. We want to stop smoking, but we don't stop smoking. We want to live in a better way, but we keep on living as usual. There are many examples of this. It seems we're unable to boss ourselves around.

So, what is this impediment that prevents us from being our own boss in this sense? 

It seems as if we're two people. We're who we wish to be, and who we are. We're how we want to act, and how we actually do act.

What's going on? Who or what is really in charge of ourselves?

 

In man, thought, intention, desire or will is not immediately transformed into action, therefore on the material level there is a division between these elements and subtle bodies and they do not act in one, harmonious and coordinated manner.

Only a higher mind or spiritual consciousness has such an opportunity when the word (thought) -will-action works as one. In Hinduism, this higher reason is called vijnana, which is inherent in Satyam, Rtam, Brihat (Truth,Right, Vast) Ritam is the action of divine knowledge, will, joy fully consistent with the manifestation of the consciousness of Truth. Satyam-is the truth of being in which such an action takes place, the dynamic essence of the Truth of consciousness. Brihat (Vast) - infinity, giving a beginning and serving as a support for Rtham and Satyam.
The consciousness of vijnana is inherent in the knowledge of Oneness and Multiplicity through the vision of Truth and Right, therefore, if a person achieves this consciousness, there will be no conflicts between him and people, between a person and a diverse universe and a huge cosmos because everything will be seen as a harmonious expression of the One in the Many.

To a normal person to overcome something negative and work out a positive one needs to make great efforts. This is the rational grain of nature why the current person is so weak mentally and his thought does not immediately translate into action. Since most people are not sublime beings and there are many low-minded thoughts and actions in a person, the instant fulfillment of our desires would lead to a catastrophe of ourselves and others so nature limited the abilities of people. But those people who want to achieve something useful or be freed from something bad should make efforts and will on the way to victory then they will go beyond the bounds of the mind and possibilities.

If all mankind expresses only positive, then a person can instantly learn everything by looking at the subject or branch of knowledge that needs to be studied and the need for science, various research instruments and apparatus will disappear. The person will be able to see and to know the smallest and the most distant. Now, in order to develop the necessary habits in the body, for example in sports, one needs to train the body for correct movements for a long time but with the enlightenment and transformation of the body a person can instantly develop the right movements and his body will never tire and grow old. The gap between matter and spirit will fall  and everything will become the expression of a single Truth and Order in the mind, body, humanity, the cosmos.

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moonman
Posted (edited)

It's easy to tell yourself what to do, you just have to truly want whatever it is you're telling yourself to do.

 

Edited by moonman

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XenoFish
12 hours ago, Tatetopa said:

We tell ourselves what to do all the time.  We just don't obey.  

I think a lot of it comes down to want or need. 

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StarMountainKid

Could it be the 'we' in "we tell ourselves to do something" doesn't really exist? 

What we consider the conscious self is an illusion created by a separate mind that is really in control. 

The mind creates the conscious self because this self is the input interface between the outside world and the mind. 

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Coil
1 hour ago, StarMountainKid said:

Could it be the 'we' in "we tell ourselves to do something" doesn't really exist? 

What we consider the conscious self is an illusion created by a separate mind that is really in control. 

The mind creates the conscious self because this self is the input interface between the outside world and the mind. 

Maybe you're confused?

Everything is real: both the outer self-consciousness and the inner self and the infinite self and ego.

After all, our outer self is a reflection of the higher and inner self, so though it has less capabilities and abilities, but this does not cease to be real.

Naturally, with spiritual realization, the earthly personality disappears and there will be an eternal divine Person, which we are.

 

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moonman
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, StarMountainKid said:

Could it be the 'we' in "we tell ourselves to do something" doesn't really exist? 

What we consider the conscious self is an illusion created by a separate mind that is really in control. 

The mind creates the conscious self because this self is the input interface between the outside world and the mind. 

No need to complicate it with all that. It's not complicated.

If you aren't doing something that you tell yourself to do, you simply don't truly want to do it with your entire being. It's simple as that. You may fool your higher mind into thinking you want to do it, you may have good reason to do it, but if your lower subconscious mind isn't on board - forget it. Your base lizard desires are what need to be changed, and it's not easy to do.

Edited by moonman
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StarMountainKid
24 minutes ago, Coil said:

Maybe you're confused?

Everything is real: both the outer self-consciousness and the inner self and the infinite self and ego.

After all, our outer self is a reflection of the higher and inner self, so though it has less capabilities and abilities, but this does not cease to be real.

Naturally, with spiritual realization, the earthly personality disappears and there will be an eternal divine Person, which we are.

 

I would agree that the (outer) self-consciousness is real. I say it's an illusion in the sense that it is created by the inner or what can be called the sub-conscious mind. 

I say this because the sub-conscious mind evolved first in the evolution of biological species. I think this is obvious when we consider the mentality of animals compared to modern humans.

As to spiritual realization, I consider this as the mind realizing the fundamental oneness or unity of all existence. When the mind ceases to differentiate between the subjective and the objective, between itself and everything else. 

I also consider this a practical matter and not a divine condition of mind. This realization or enlightenment or whatever we want to call it is a natural condition of mind that can be discovered by everyone. It's just we usually are not introduced to this possibility.. 

 

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Coil
26 minutes ago, StarMountainKid said:

I would agree that the (outer) self-consciousness is real. I say it's an illusion in the sense that it is created by the inner or what can be called the sub-conscious mind.


Well, what is the subconscious? This is what is done consciously at first and then goes down into the sub-conscious area and from there helps or harms us depending on what habit is cultivated. Yes, the subconscious area is more extensive but from this the operational mind does not become less real.

26 minutes ago, StarMountainKid said:

I also consider this a practical matter and not a divine condition of mind. This realization or enlightenment or whatever we want to call it is a natural condition of mind that can be discovered by everyone. It's just we usually are not introduced to this possibility.. 

 


Such an impression from your words that it seems that the "natural condition of mind" is just an enlightened human mind but therefore there is a division into the human mind and spiritual because these are different things. Enlightenment is not the improvement of our mind by enlightenment, it is another work of the mind in general. Of course, the possibilities of this mind are natural and will be normal for us in the future but for now they are supramental.

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StarMountainKid
2 hours ago, Coil said:

Well, what is the subconscious? This is what is done consciously at first and then goes down into the sub-conscious area and from there helps or harms us depending on what habit is cultivated. Yes, the subconscious area is more extensive but from this the operational mind does not become less real.

Yes this is a possibility. The mind is a complex thing and is not understood well enough to determine exactly where external influences originate, consciously or subconsciously.

But I would conjecture that the subconscious generally is influenced first, then these influences filter into the conscious mind. 

The conscious mind is not less real, but I think the unconscious has more influence on our thinking and behavior than we may realize, or maybe we do realize this but we don't like to admit it. 

2 hours ago, Coil said:


Such an impression from your words that it seems that the "natural condition of mind" is just an enlightened human mind but therefore there is a division into the human mind and spiritual because these are different things. Enlightenment is not the improvement of our mind by enlightenment, it is another work of the mind in general. Of course, the possibilities of this mind are natural and will be normal for us in the future but for now they are supramental.

Yes, I consider the natural condition of mind is enlightenment. I don't agree that there is a division between the human mind and the spiritual mind. This is because I don't consider the spiritual as some super element separate from the human mind.

The mind or intellect defines spirituality in many different ways. Spirituality is an invention of mind in this sense. When we have a spiritual feeling or experience, I think this is mind returning to its fundamental nature. We're not adding some external spirit into mind in this experience, it is just a condition of mind.. 

 

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Coil
9 hours ago, StarMountainKid said:

Yes, I consider the natural condition of mind is enlightenment. I don't agree that there is a division between the human mind and the spiritual mind. This is because I don't consider the spiritual as some super element separate from the human mind.We're not adding some external spirit into mind in this experience, it is just a condition of mind.. 

 

And from whom did this natural mind occur?
And in what belief system do you believe?

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StarMountainKid
8 hours ago, Coil said:

And from whom did this natural mind occur?
And in what belief system do you believe?

The natural human mind evolved from the earliest life on Earth. So "from whom" is not in the equation.

I don't have a belief system. My thinking has been influenced by Buddhism, Zen and Taoism. 

By the way, it's nice having a polite conversation around here between different views while still being committed to one's positions. 

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Coil
3 hours ago, StarMountainKid said:

The natural human mind evolved from the earliest life on Earth. So "from whom" is not in the equation.

I don't have a belief system. My thinking has been influenced by Buddhism, Zen and Taoism. 

By the way, it's nice having a polite conversation around here between different views while still being committed to one's positions. 

 

In Buddhism there are three bodies and of them two spiritual and one mortal:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trikaya

In addition, there is a hierarchy of worlds: a world without forms, a world of forms, a world of desires, etc:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhist_cosmology

In general, there is no natural mind.You see, without a spiritual basis everything hangs in the air as it seems that the mind originated on earth and the earth itself is not the creator of consciousness and matter because we are a derivative of the gods and in the image of God we are created.

There is no creator in Buddhism because the Buddha did not want people to discuss God and how everything was created and more practice was practiced so he avoided mentioning God and later Buddhists concluded that He is not and there is Emptiness and the Unknowable.

 

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StarMountainKid
5 hours ago, Coil said:

 

In Buddhism there are three bodies and of them two spiritual and one mortal:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trikaya

In addition, there is a hierarchy of worlds: a world without forms, a world of forms, a world of desires, etc:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhist_cosmology

In general, there is no natural mind.You see, without a spiritual basis everything hangs in the air as it seems that the mind originated on earth and the earth itself is not the creator of consciousness and matter because we are a derivative of the gods and in the image of God we are created.

There is no creator in Buddhism because the Buddha did not want people to discuss God and how everything was created and more practice was practiced so he avoided mentioning God and later Buddhists concluded that He is not and there is Emptiness and the Unknowable.

 

I'm not really interested in Buddhist doctrine and scriptures. My interest is in the mind and how it operates for us in real time, here and now in a practical way. All the sutras can be discussed endlessly, but what is important is one's present state of mind. The content of one's consciousness just now.

In Buddhism and especially in Zen, the natural state of mind is a silent emptiness, which means a pure awareness without the interference of the conditioned personal ego. Why add all sorts of intellectual complications to this? 

One may need to be pointed in the right direction, but it's the old story of don't mistake the pointing finger for that to which it points. I think this is the problem with religion, the ideas and doctrines become more important than the essential religious experience. So we end up promoting ideas instead of investigating from where these ideas originate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Coil
Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, StarMountainKid said:

 endlessly, but what is important is one's present state of mind. The content of one's consciousness just now.

In Buddhism and especially in Zen, the natural state of mind is a silent emptiness, which means a pure awareness without the interference of the conditioned personal ego. Why add all sorts of intellectual complications to this?


Yes, this is an important state of consciousness that can lead to Nirvana or other passive states. But this is not the real goal of religion to become a person with a silent mind because silence is a means to higher, active states of consciousness. That is why Buddhism, with its departure from the world, did not take root in India and was supplanted by a more multifaceted Hinduism with the concept of Sat-Chit-Ananda (Existence, Knowledge, Bliss) are those elements of which God and all being consist.
From the radiant state of Sat in which the mind is hidden passively, the divine Will unfolds and thanks to the knowledge of Truth and acting correctly, it tastes Bliss from action. And by calming the mind we will only pacify it and become passive witnesses in the universe without participating in it and becoming its masters, we will not reach the supramental level of the possession of the universe and its forces and will not become the lords of Nature, the Force and the Will of God. And for the fullness of experience, even to comprehend the third state of God himself, because he is above the passive and active being, higher than Nirvana, Ananda and the universal mind Chit, he is ParaBrahman, param-Atman, he is Uttama Purusha, the Supreme Person. This is the highest goal of religion (at the level of consciousness) - the comprehension of the Source of all reason and all consciousnesses outside the universe.
In general, the calming of the mind is the first step, the conquest of the active divine mind and the universal forces  -this is the second step, the comprehension of God -the third step and the transformation of mortal matter and nature into a divine immortal matter and Nature- this is the fourth step on the way to the universal cosmic man. God's plan for our humanity.

If you want to read about calmed passive mind(passive Brahman) and its maximum capabilities, here is a chapter from the book:

Spoiler

 

The Passive and the Active Brahman

The difficulty which the mental being experiences in arriving at an integral realisation of true being and world-being may be met by following one or other of two different lines of his self-development. He may evolve himself from plane to plane of his own being and embrace on each successively his oneness with the world and with Sachchidananda realised as the Purusha and Prakriti, Conscious-Soul and Nature-Soul of that plane, taking into himself the action of the lower grades of being as he ascends. He may, that is to say, work out by a sort of inclusive process of self-enlargement and transformation the evolution of the material into the divine or spiritual man. This seems to have been the method of the most ancient sages of which we get some glimpse in the Rig Veda and some of the Upanishads.¹ He may, on the other hand, aim straight at the realisation of pure self-existence on the highest plane of mental being and from that secure basis realise spiritually under the conditions of his mentality the process by which the selfexistent becomes all existences, but without that descent into the self-divided egoistic consciousness which is a circumstance of evolution in the Ignorance. Thus identified with Sachchidananda in the universal self-existence as the spiritualised mental being, he may then ascend beyond to the supramental plane of the pure spiritual existence. It is the latter method the stages of which we may now attempt to trace for the seeker by the path of knowledge.

When the sadhaka has followed the discipline of withdrawal from the various identifications of the self with the ego, the mind, the life, the body, he has arrived at realisation by knowledge of a pure, still, self-aware existence, one, undivided, peaceful,inactive, undisturbed by the action of the world. The only relation that this Self seems to have with the world is that of a disinterested Witness not at all involved in or affected or even touched by any of its activities. If this state of consciousness is pushed farther one becomes aware of a self even more remote from world-existence; all that is in the world is in a sense in that Self and yet at the same time extraneous to its consciousness, non-existent in its existence, existing only in a sort of unreal mind, — a dream therefore, an illusion. This aloof and transcendent Real Existence may be realised as an utter Self of one's own being; or the very idea of a self and of one's own being may be swallowed up in it, so that it is only for the mind an unknowable That, unknowable to the mental consciousness and without any possible kind of actual connection or commerce with world-existence. It can even be realised by the mental being as a Nihil, Non-Existence or Void, but a Void of all that is in the world, a Non-existence of all that is in the world and yet the only Reality. To proceed farther towards that Transcendence by concentration of one's own being upon it is to lose mental existence and world-existence altogether and cast oneself into the Unknowable.

The integral Yoga of knowledge demands instead a divine return upon world-existence and its first step must be to realise the Self as the All, sarvam brahma. First, concentrating on the Self-existent, we have to realise all of which the mind and senses are aware as a figure of things existing in this pure Self that we now are to our own consciousness. This vision of the pure self translates itself to the mind-sense and the mind-perception as an infinite Reality in which all exists merely as name and form, not precisely unreal, not a hallucination or a dream, but still only a creation of the consciousness, perceptual and subtly sensible rather than substantial. In this poise of the consciousness all seems to be, if not a dream, yet very much like a representation or puppet-show taking place in the calm, motionless, peaceful, indifferent Self. Our own phenomenal existence is part of this conceptual movement, a mechanical form of mind and body among other forms, ourselves a name of being among other names, automatically mobile in this Self with its all-encompassing, still self-awareness. The active consciousness of the world is not present in this state to our realisation, because thought has been stilled in us and therefore our own consciousness is perfectly still and inactive, — whatever we do, seems to be purely mechanical, not attended with any conscious origination by our active will and knowledge. Or if thought occurs, that also happens mechanically like the rest, like the movement of our body, moved by the unseen springs of Nature as in the plant and element and not by any active will of our self-existence. For this Self is the immobile and does not originate or take part in the action which it allows. This Self is the All in the sense only of being the infinite One who is immutably and contains all names and forms.

The basis of this status of consciousness is the mind's exclusive realisation of pure self-existence in which consciousness is at rest, inactive, widely concentrated in pure self-awareness of being, not active and originative of any kind of becoming. Its aspect of knowledge is at rest in the awareness of undifferentiated identity; its aspect of force and will is at rest in the awareness of unmodifiable immutability. And yet it is aware of names and forms, it is aware of movement; but this movement does not seem to proceed from the Self, but to go on by some inherent power of its own and only to be reflected in the Self. In other words, the mental being has put away from himself by exclusive concentration the dynamic aspect of consciousness, has taken refuge in the static and built a wall of non-communication between the two; between the passive and the active Brahman a gulf has been created and they stand on either side of it, the one visible to the other but with no contact, no touch of sympathy, no sense of unity between them. Therefore to the passive Self all conscious being seems to be passive in its nature, all activity seems to be non-conscious in itself and mechanical (jada) in its movement. The realisation of . this status is the basis of the ancient Sankhya philosophy which taught that the Purusha or Conscious-Soul is a passive, inactive, immutable entity, Prakriti or the Nature-Soul including even the mind and the understanding active, mutable, mechanical, but reflected in the Purusha which identifies itself with what is reflected in it and lends to it its own light of consciousness. When the Purusha learns not to identify himself, then Prakriti begins to fall away from its impulse of movement and returns towards equilibrium and rest. The Vedantic view of the same status led to the philosophy of the inactive Self or Brahman as the one reality and of all the rest as name and form imposed on it by a false activity of mental illusion which has to be removed by right knowledge of the immutable Self and refusal of the imposition.² The two views really differ only in their language and their viewpoint; substantially, they are the same intellectual generalisation from the same spiritual experience.

If we rest here, there are only two possible attitudes towards the world. Either we must remain as mere inactive witnesses of the world-play or act in it mechanically without any participation of the conscious self and by mere play of the organs of sense and motor-action.³  In the former choice what we do is to approach as completely as possible to the inactivity of the passive and silent Brahman. We have stilled our mind and silenced the activity of the thought and the disturbances of the heart, we have arrived at an entire inner peace and indifference; we attempt now to still the mechanical action of the life and body, to reduce it to the most meagre minimum possible so that it may eventually cease entirely and for ever. This, the final aim of the ascetic Yoga which refuses life, is evidently not our aim. By the alternative choice we can have an activity perfect enough in outward appearance along with an entire inner passivity, peace, mental silence, indifference and cessation of the emotions, absence of choice in the will.

To the ordinary mind this does not seem possible. As, emotionally, it cannot conceive of activity without desire and emotional preference, so intellectually it cannot conceive of activity without thought-conception, conscious motive and energising of the will. But, as a matter of fact, we see that a large part of our own action as well as the whole activity of inanimate and merely animate life is done by a mechanical impulse and movement in which these elements are not, openly at least, at work. It may be said that this is only possible of the purely physical and vital activity and not of those movements which ordinarily depend upon the functioning of the conceptual and volitional mind, such as speech, writing and all the intelligent action of human life. But this again is not true, as we find when we are able to go behind the habitual and normal process of our mental nature. It has been found by recent psychological experiment that all these operations can be effected without any conscious origination in the thought and will of the apparent actor; his organs of sense and action, including the speech, become passive instruments for a thought and will other than his.

Certainly, behind all intelligent action there must be an intelligent will, but it need not be the intelligence or the will of the conscious mind in the actor. In the psychological phenomena of which I have spoken, it is obviously in some of them the will and intelligence of other human beings that uses the organs, in others it is doubtful whether it is an influence or actuation by other beings or the emergence of a subconscious, subliminal mind or a mixed combination of both these agencies. But in this Yogic status of action by the mere organs, kevalair indriyair, it is the universal intelligence and will of Nature itself working from centres superconscious and subconscious as it acts in the mechanically purposeful energies of plant-life or of the inanimate material form, but here with a living instrument who is the conscious witness of the action and instrumentation. It is a remarkable fact that the speech, writing and intelligent actions of such a state may convey a perfect force of thought, luminous, faultless, logical, inspired, perfectly adapting means to ends, far beyond what the man himself could have done in his old normal poise of mind and will and capacity, yet all the time he himself perceives but does not conceive the thought that comes to him, observes in its works but does not appropriate or use the will that acts through him, witnesses but does not claim as his own the powers which play upon the world through him as through a passive channel. But this phenomenon is not really abnormal or contrary to the general law of things. For do we not see a perfect working of the secret universal Will and Intelligence in the apparently brute (jada) action of material Nature? And it . is precisely this universal Will and Intelligence which thus acts through the calm, indifferent and inwardly silent Yogin who offers no obstacle of limited and ignorant personal will and intelligence to its operations. He dwells in the silent Self; he allows the active Brahman to work through his natural instruments, accepting impartially, without participation, the formations of its universal force and knowledge.

This status of an inner passivity and an outer action independent of each other is a state of entire spiritual freedom. The Yogin, as the Gita says, even in acting does no actions, for it is not he, but universal Nature directed by the Lord of Nature which is at work. He is not bound by his works, nor do they leave any after effects or consequences in his mind, nor cling to or leave any mark on his soul;4 they vanish and are dissolved5 by their very execution and leave the immutable self unaffected and the soul unmodified. Therefore this would seem to be the poise the uplifted soul ought to take, if it has still to preserve any relations with human action in the world-existence, an unalterable silence, tranquillity, passivity within, an action without regulated by the universal Will and Wisdom which works, as the Gita says, without being involved in, bound by or ignorantly attached to its works. And certainly this poise of a perfect activity founded upon a perfect inner passivity is that which the Yogin has to possess, as we have seen in the Yoga of Works. But here in this status of self-knowledge at which we have arrived, there is an evident absence of integrality; for there is still a gulf, an unrealised unity or a cleft of consciousness between the passive and the active Brahman. We have still to possess consciously the active Brahman without losing the possession of the silent Self. We have to preserve the inner silence, tranquillity,passivity as a foundation; but in place of an aloof indifference to the works of the active Brahman we have to arrive at an equal and impartial delight in them; in place of a refusal to participate lest our freedom and peace be lost we have to arrive at a conscious possession of the active Brahman whose joy of existence does not abrogate His peace, nor His lordship of all workings impair His calm freedom in the midst of His works.

The difficulty is created by the exclusive concentration of the mental being on its plane of pure existence in which consciousness is at rest in passivity and delight of existence at rest in peace of existence. It has to embrace also its plane of conscious force of existence in which consciousness is active as power and will and delight is active as joy of existence. Here the difficulty is that mind is likely to precipitate itself into the consciousness of Force instead of possessing it. The extreme mental state of precipitation into Nature is that of the ordinary man who takes his bodily and vital activity and the mind-movements dependent on them for his whole real existence and regards all passivity of the soul as a departure from existence and an approach towards nullity. He lives in the superficies of the active Brahman and while to the silent soul exclusively concentrated in the passive self all activities are mere name and form, to him they are the only reality and it is the Self that is merely a name. In one the passive Brahman stands aloof from the active and does not share in its consciousness; in the other the active Brahman stands aloof from the passive and does not share in its consciousness nor wholly possess its own. Each is to the other in these exclusivenesses an inertia of status or an inertia of mechanically active non-possession of self if not altogether an unreality. But the sadhaka who has once seen firmly the essence of things and tasted thoroughly the peace of the silent Self, is not likely to be content with any state which involves loss of self-knowledge or a sacrifice of the peace of the soul. He will not precipitate himself back into the mere individual movement of mind and life and body with all its ignorance and straining and disturbance. Whatever new status he may acquire, will only satisfy him if it is founded upon and includes that which he has alreadyfound to be indispensable to real self-knowledge, self-delight and self-possession.

Still there is the likelihood of a partial, superficial and temporary relapse into the old mental movement when he attempts again to ally himself to the activity of the world. To prevent this relapse or to cure it when it arrives, he has to hold fast to the truth of Sachchidananda and extend his realisation of the infinite One into the movement of the infinite multiplicity. He has to concentrate on and realise the one Brahman in all things as conscious force of being as well as pure awareness of conscious being. The Self as the All, not only in the unique essence of things, but in the manifold form of things, not only as containing all in a transcendent consciousness, but as becoming all by a constituting consciousness, this is the next step towards his true possession of existence. In proportion as this realisation is accomplished, the status of consciousness as well as the mental view proper to it will change. Instead of an immutable Self containing name and form, containing without sharing in them the mutations of Nature, there will be the consciousness of the Self immutable in essence, unalterable in its fundamental poise but constituting and becoming in its experience all these existences which the mind distinguishes as name and form. All formations of mind and body will be not merely figures reflected in the Purusha, but real forms of which Brahman, Self, conscious Being is the substance and, as it were, the material of their formation. The name attaching to the form will be not a mere conception of the mind answering to no real existence bearing the name, but there will be behind it a true power of conscious being, a true self-experience of the Brahman answering to something that it contained potential but unmanifest in its silence. And yet in all its mutations it will be realised as one, free and above them. The realisation of a sole Reality suffering the imposition of names and forms will give place to that of eternal Being throwing itself out into infinite becoming. All existences will be to the consciousness of the Yogin soul-forms and not merely idea-forms of the Self, of himself, one with him, contained in his universal existence. All the soul-life, mental, vital, bodily existence of all that exists will be to him one indivisible movement and activity of the Being who is the same forever. The Self will be realised as the all in its double aspect of immutable status and mutable activity and it is this that will be seen as the comprehensive truth of our existence.  

 

Edited by Coil

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StarMountainKid

Thank you, Coil, for that information.

However, what is the average person to do? I don't think he or she has the time or interest to study the sutras, the Gita and topics such as you have presented, as informative as they may be.

We act from our conditioning, from our ego. We may want to break out of our habitual behaviors, but why can't we tell ourselves what to do? Of course, it's our conditioning, our ego's that are asking this question and trying to answer it.

So, what is to be done? Is there another aspect of mind from which right action can manifest? Can we fulfil and express our true nature as complete, mentally healthy human beings? Must we always live fragmented and in conflict with ourselves and with our environment? If there is a way to do this, how do we discover it's source? 

In my view, this is the question we should be considering in life. I also think our conditioning is such a strong mental construct, few will discover an answer for themselves. And many will find some superficial substitute, a sort of pretending.

I'm mot trying to set myself up as some guru with all the answers, that would be ridiculous, everyone must discover some answer for themselves. I'm just asking questions. 

 

 

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Coil
4 hours ago, StarMountainKid said:

I'm just asking questions. 

All is well,I just shared with you the information and any method is good for transcending our mind.

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