“Mind control allows us to destroy the shackles created by thought. To achieve the stillness and silence of the mind it is necessary to know how to live from instant to instant, to know how to change each moment, not to waste the moment”. – Samael Aun Weor
Are you tired of hearing so many voices in your head, telling you everything you need to do, i.e. what you have to eat, the clothes you have to wear, the way you should talk to others?
Do those voices tell you all the time that nothing you do is enough, that you could have done better and that you shouldn’t even have tried? Or maybe they tell you, with flattery and affection, that you are wonderful and deserve so much more?
The previous paragraph sounds like the conversation of a madman, something you might hear in the courtyard of a psychiatric clinic. Exactly! That’s not far from the truth, yet it’s what we consider to be perfectly normal.
Now, we all converse with ourselves in our inner world, The great philosopher Plato defined the process of thought as “a dialogue of the soul with itself”.
In that sense, someone who is proud of his own reasoning might believe that he is lord of all that goes on in his mind.
When we look at the psychological origin of our thoughts, however, we can see that the situation is more complicated than it seems. We will discover an endless stream of internal contradictions. And what is worse, those are the precise issues that most inspire us with certainty about who we are and what we know.
This being the case, we might have reason to distrust what we believe to be “our reasoning”, which may not be so far from what is called madness.
Have you ever seen certain dilemmas of daily life represented like a dialogue between an angel and a devil?
In this scene, the conflicted person starts going around in circles! On one shoulder is the angel, calling him to act honourably, from ethical principles. On the other, sits the cunning devil, who skillfully defends the advantages and relativities of sin. The person, divided against himself, does not know who to listen to. Should he behave well, as life has taught him to?, Or should he dare to take the path of badness, which seems to hold a kind ofs fascination? In his mind, a terrible battle is waged between right and duties, desire and rectitude. In this battle of opposites, we feel confused and conflicted, which is the dualism of the poorly understood mind.
Thus, the student who had convinced himself of the purpose and benefits of daily meditation, misses one day, then a second day, then a third day…. then he does not meditate any more.
A man in love who swore eternal love to his girlfriend but gets bored and ends up leaving her.
A person who enters a sacred initiatic school then changes to an easier school that is more to his liking.
Everyday life offers us numerous examples of the inconstancies of our character, yet we remain ignorant of these. How many of us could claim to have full knowledge of who we are?
Some people may think they do, and perhaps even feel that they are good and responsible individuals. This isn’t really surprising; in these times the devil is so sophisticated that it becomes difficult to discern what is right and what is wrong.
In this sense, the very lack of continuity when it comes to achieving our goals indicates that we are not individuals with internal unity. When we observe our mind with a philosophical eye, we cannot help but ask some questions. Why are there so many sudden changes in our habits? Why do our beliefs have no logical relationship with each other? What is the cause of the inconsistencies between our most cherished ideas and our what we actually do?
It is at this stage of investigating ourselves that we begin to have suspicions regarding our own individuality. Where do all those arguing and negotiating disputing voices in our minds come from?
Gnosis teaches us about the doctrine of the many, that is, about the plurality of the psychological ‘I’. In other words, we do not have an individual, true and continuous ‘I’, but we have thousands and even millions of ‘I’s that fight to control of our life.
“Well, why don’t I buy that car, I’ve never seen such a special offer!” exclaims a greedy self, in a great hurry.
“But how! At that price I will be broke, paying it off until I die,” protests another, more penny pinching one.
“Anyway, cars are new inventions, for the vain. The ancient wise men walked on foot and always got where they wanted to go,” chips in a wise ‘I’ of pride, forming an alliance with the previous one.
“If our society were not so unequal, everyone would have access to their basic needs, and cars would not be the right of a few,” interjects the sophist ego of envy, with some drama.
In this way, our mind is a stage of incessant discord. Where thoughts amass, the various ‘I’s fight to impose their voice and their desires. They speak, discuss, debate, shout, lie, insult and, in the midst of this chaos, some even sing. Sing? That’s right, we all have a psychological song that characterizes us!
“The highest form of thinking is not thinking”. – V. M. Samael Aun Weor.
The verses of an ancient book of Chinese wisdom postulate the following:
“He who speaks does not know.
He who knows, does not speak.”
A popular saying already tells us that “silence is the eloquence of wisdom”.
It is also worth remembering a detail in the statues and sculptures that represent a divine figure of the Buddha. You may have noticed that the ears are usually elongated. It is said that these ears represent wisdom, as they suggest a person who knows how to listen.
For example, begin to pay attention to how ignorance and foolishness are often attributes of people who talk a lot and listen little. Unnecessary and superfluous conversation is a reflection of inner chatter.
Have you tried listening to your inner talk?
Have you made the effort to make out the living reality of the plurality of voices debating there?
Have you determined to investigate their different and deep-rooted causes?
When we become conscious of the plurality of the ‘I’, we naturally feel astonishment. In the end, what are we? Or rather, what is truly left of who we are? It is fundamental to realize this. Then, we naturally feel an urgent need to cultivate the silence of the mind. That is, to be in a state of alertness to all those voices and images that emerge from the darkness of the subconscious. In the end, the course our life takes depends on this, and consequently, so does our success or failure in life. In this context, the truly practical meaning of self-knowledge is born.
“An initial study in the technique of meditation is the antechamber of that divine peace which surpasses all knowledge”. – V. M. Samael Aun Weor.
The world we live in is complex and unknown. Every moment is new and unique. Our own being is a deep mystery yet to be revealed.
What certainty can a mind that is unguided, disordered and unable to remain silent bring us?
What wisdom do we find in following the flow of that involuntary mental activity?
For that reason, if we seek wisdom, we must seek it beyond the intellect. We are not saying that the intellect is useless, but that wisdom is something more specific. Sometimes it can be related to the intellect, but it can also be expressed through intuitive action. Beyond the world of concepts and opinions there are higher and deeper regions in our own consciousness where intuition reigns.
In the silence of the mind we can hear the wisdom that pulsates within us. Then everything appears as it really is, natural and without complications.
Thus, it is fundamental to learn how to silence the mind, given that inner silence brings us a special lucidity about who we are, what we know, what we actually need, what we are really capable of, etc. And all this, through a simple and direct feeling. In this way, we learn to conduct ourselves in an intuitive and practical way and to overcome the many adversities of life.
“God is a silence, man is a voice” – V.M. Lakhsmi.
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