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The (in)voluntary mind


Unsplash - Mind

This is something I want to shed some light on it. First because it's something that works me at the moment and second, because I'm experiencing often pushbacks when talking to friends about living in the present moment and how our mind is in our way. That our mind is the source of the pain, the suffer, while holding on the past or worrying about the future. And because of letting go of such thoughts and focusing on what is, will lead to inner freedom and happiness.


The reaction I get the most is disagreement, that it is far from reality as we all have to function in this world in a way that we all have to work to pay bills, to go on holidays or to plan a great future for our children.


The first thing to understand is that we all have this inner voice and that we are not these thoughts. Especially the involuntary thoughts suggesting us how to behave based on "positive" or "negative" experiences we made. Or the thoughts that come up to build a self-constructed "supposed" future with a certain outcome to comfort ourselves. This outcome, of course, is always in our favor! What a surprise :)


Let me give you an example:


I think most of us know the following situation. You're on the road with the car. Driving stressed or peaceful it doesn't matter. When reaching a cross-road, suddenly someone steals your priority and doesn't even apologize. You get upset and for the next 10 km, or whatever, you imagine how you would pursuit and telling this person right from wrong. Ideally, that person will apologize in the end. Maybe you do not imagine how you pursuit this person, but at least, you're having a conversation with him or her. Doesn't this sound familiar?


These thoughts are involuntary. Thery're a just a reaction emerged from what you learned is right, and to feed your ego emerged from the concurrence thinking based world we live in.

Perhaps, however, you're enjoying this. Well, all that's enjoying in this case is your ego and it only enjoys the fictional outcome your mind has built. How important and how right you are. A future that will never happen. You might also argue that it was the fault of that person. You have been surprised. He or she has put you in danger and therefore you're right to be upset. Let me tell you that all this emerges from what you learned is right and wrong. Of course you feel right. Because no one would act consciously wrong. And of course the emotion you're experiencing is anger. How could it be different in a world where we're all taught to become a "valuable" person through hard work and achievement? To be better than others in order to survive? You feel threatened and want to defend yourself.


The reality, however, is that for 10km and 12 minutes you passed by life, experienced stress and accepted a risk of provoking an accident. An unconscious process to which you're a slave and which makes you pass by inner freedom. How would this situation eventually have happened while you're conscious and present? That person probably simply hasn't seen you and hasn't done it on purpose. The same way it happened to you a thousand times before as well. Eventually, you would have noted how the anger within you came up. Conscious about it, avoiding an unconscious reaction. Eventually, you would have taken a deep breath to let off the energy of the shock you experienced. Space within you would have taken over the anger. Eventually thinking: "Thank god no one got harmed" while continuing your journey peacefully. This was only one example. As you pay attention in your daily life, you will notice how many of such unconscious situations you're submitted to.


Coming back to the voluntary thoughts. Of course we all live in this world and we all have to follow rules the mind of humanity has put in place. Of course, we need to prepare and plan things. Also, for our own pleasure, a project we're working on or whatever. But here, we're in control. We make use of our mind, consciously, to create or plan something.

Our mind is not an evil thing. In fact it's our biggest strength and weakness at the same time.


All it takes is to become aware. To take note whenever your mind takes control over you. This will sum up after a while and it will start to feel disturbing. The more you become aware, the more you realize how much power this inner voice has over you. As a logical result, you'll want to get rid of it. Don't fall into that trap. Do not start to fight against it since you will feel worse than you felt before when you suffered unconsciously. Only difference, now you suffer consciously. Obviously, going against you is self-destructive, and this will never feel good. Rather, note the resistance and allow it to be. Tell yourself it's Ok that you feel that way right now. This will create space within you, for everything including the "negative". This space at the end will allow you to be free of pressure and to let go whatever needs to be released.



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