Thursday, August 30, 2012
Lost in Logic: Breaking Out of Old Mental Constructs
you are not your mind,
your ego and your mind are different, and
you are not your ego.
Make sense? Well, an ego is a collection of memories, personality traits, and choices that we all create, and then we decide that this is who we are. The mind is a tool for remembering, categorizing, doing math, sending signals to perform motor skills like talking and walking, and so forth. In this sense, I consider the brain and the mind to pretty much be the same thing. None of them--brain/mind, ego--are all of you. They are simply tools to help you through this amazing world and this walk of life.
Lost in Logic and Made-Up Things
However, many people get lost in the realm of the mind and made-up things like logic. It's often very disappointing to people who live in this realm to find out that they can't explain everything, that not everything fits in a black or white scenario, and that science can not, in fact, actually explain everything. Even now, some of you are cringing or are wanting to argue with me, but how do you quantify the color blue? How? If you use a bunch of words and ideas, all that does is point to something. Those words aren't blue, and they can't quantify it.
The point is that logic will only get you so far. Don't get me wrong; it's useful. Logic and scientific rules are very helpful. They allow us to have functioning cars based on proof. I am more than a little happy that my car doesn't blow up when I start it because logic has helped to determine the appropriate combustion chamber to funnel the on-going explosion into energy that takes me to the mall and not up to the spirit plane (i.e. blowing me up). So we aren't throwing the baby out with the bath water (God, that's an awful saying; where did it come from? Anyone know?). We are simply returning a tool to its rightful place in the toolbox.
Coming to the Edge of Logic and Looking Down
Here's a scenario. I had no logical reason to not go to a dance event in northern California in the June of 2010. In fact, logic said that this would be something I'd enjoy as I'd be dancing and out in nature. How would that not be fun? But I had an intuition that I needed to stay close to home. No rationale can explain that intuition, but I've long since learned to trust it. So I did. And I came down with appendicitis at the time of that event.
While you can never really know how things would have worked out with a different set of choices, I choose to assume that I would have gotten appendicitis if I had gone to this event and that by staying home, I put myself in the exact place I needed to be to get help. These are just assumptions that I'm willing to make, and I see no reason not too. And I'm using this example to illustrate the edge of where logic can go. Logic can go within the known. That's primarily where most people function with their minds, although the mind can dream and have visions. It actually is a much broader tool than its generally given credit for. In one of my posts, I even encourage using imagination as a spiritual practice because it's a wonderful way to step out of the constraints of logic and to stretch ourselves, our visions, and our minds. Because if you stay behind the iron bars of logic, you will quickly get trapped doing only what you know and what appears to be safe and proven to work within these narrow confines. And ultimately, that's too small a space for any of you to fully be you.
Feeling the Edges of Your Life
This week seems to have me writing about the barriers and edges of people's lives. Many of you have always felt constricted and trapped. Maybe you learned to live with it because people told you that you had to. You just have to go to that miserable job like everyone else. It's just the way it is. False. Ultimately, that's not even logical. It's so fear-based that logic can't even help because there are just too many examples of people out there willing to try knew things and who already live in different ways. The 9 to 5 world, for example, is still a relatively new phenomenon historically speaking. There are many centuries where no human being ever lived in that kind of work confinement. I'm not saying that there haven't been perks with that type of work scenario--there always are if so many us buy into it--but it's not the only way to earn a living and support yourself. Even logic will show that last statement to be true.
All the Ideas that You Have About You
But where this post is really headed is encouraging you to look at the ideas that you have about yourself. Look at all your "logical" suppositions about who you should be and how you should live your life. For instance...ladies..."I have to be pretty."
Sit with this one for a moment.
So many of you...probably most of you have this "logical" statement so deeply rooted in yourself that that statement sounds true. This is a big problem. Because it's a total lie. You can enjoy being "pretty" by cultural standards if you choose to do so, but you don't have to be that way. I encourage you to write down all the things you do to be pretty. Write out how much money is invested in being pretty and how much time is spent being pretty. You may be shocked at how much energy is being invested in a lie. This one idea is absorbing huge amounts of women's energy all over the world.
Typically, the big lie for men that more and more women are unfortunately accepting is that "I have to make a lot of money." The deeper one is "I have to make money," which is only true to a point (There are many ways to be financially supported). So men, and as I said, more and more women are trying to make 6-figure incomes to support this lie, and there is a plethora of logic that is built up on top of it to support the lie. Consequently, that lie makes people try to get into certain schools, get certain types of degrees (ahem...MBAs?), get into certain types of jobs, and so forth. It's why when many people have awakenings that their whole world crashes down. They no longer believe in lies or the so called logic that go them to this point. And look at how much energy has been put out by you in support of it. It's immense!
Better to start letting go of old mental constructs and logic that do not serve you now before your whole world explodes.
Bringing Out the Journal Once More
As always, I encourage people to journal. If you can't write down your thoughts and be completely honest with yourself, you can't really be honest with anyone else. This is a good way to get logic and the mind back into their proper roles. Write down all of your assumptions about yourself and about life. Just look at them. That's step one. You're just bringing awareness to them. Then actively question each assumption. Question whether it matters what you look like, how much money you make, where you live, what gadgets and toys you have, how many push-ups you can do, and so forth. Be brutal. It's better that way. Really dig into it now before life throws you that curve ball pitch that you couldn't fathom. Strange, random, and tragic things happen all the time, and building space to accept life in its amazing, beautiful, and terrible craziness is critical to the spiritual path. It's critical to simply being able to accept life as it is without trying to force it into an idea.
I always like the example of when someone does something that totally surprises a friend or loved one. The friend says, "I never thought that person would do that." Surprise, your idea of this other person was too small. You did not see them fully. You were seeing what you wanted to see, and now you just started to see more of them. Time to journal that out too.
The Jail Cell Begins to Crumble
One of the amazing points that some of you may come to and others have come to is this: knowing that you don't know. It's a step on the journey, and it's a powerful one. Because at last humility is sneaking into your life. It's crept out of your heart and infiltrated the mind to let you know that your thinking is too small. It is not adequate to fully explain or describe all of life. But as I said, we don't throw away a shovel once we realize that it can't spraypaint our cars. We simply begin to appreciate what it can do, and that actually empowers the mind to a new level of awareness.
My mind can memorize stuff and do all kinds of cool things. But it cannot define who I am. I am too big. Words and ideas can't fully encapsulate me. That's why I often describe terms like "spiritual teacher" as just clothing. But maybe that's too encapsulating. Maybe you can consider that term to be just a pinky ring or a mitten? You see? It hardly encompasses any of me, and that gives me so much more freedom to simply be.
So I encourage you to turn inwards. Look at the mental walls that you've erected. Look at your assumptions about yourself, your life, and life in general. Take out the proverbial sledgehammer, and start knocking them down. Then see just how much more space and room to breathe you suddenly have.
Today's lovely photo comes from my student, Jenn.