The importance of maintaining the right perspective It is the most reliable source of help in adversity
The immensity of life finds full expression in our physical bodies. Scientists are unraveling the biological complexity behind our physical existence. Besides this, there is an intangible part of our being we are yet to uncover. It lies within reach of everyone. The mind is only a small part of this inner world. The value of that untapped potential that lies in the internal landscape is immeasurable. The mind can be a facilitator or a hurdle. It becomes a facilitator when there is inward freedom from the ego. The perspective we carry can make or break access to inner freedom. Developing the right attitude is both an art and a continual effort. It makes life more enjoyable, satisfying and is a shortcut to happiness.
The perspective we carry can make or break access to inner freedom.
The mind offers a small opening and gives glimpses of life’s expressions that are yet to be understood, especially the interiority of our being. Everything is a creative expression, whether it is the multihued feathers of an exotic bird, the jagged peaks of the tallest mountain ranges in the world, or thoughts that we encounter every day. Every thought has a creative vein that runs through it, but since we mostly focus on their contents, they often appear ordinary or boring.
Taking a step back and studying a thought, however insignificant, we will likely come away being fascinated. Without any physical basis, it holds such a variety of information. It travels at lightning speed and is the most secure place to store our deepest secrets. No one can hack into the mind of another and see what thoughts they may be entertaining. Thoughts are the paintbrushes of creativity. However, we use them to paint the same lines of conditioning over and over again.
Thoughts are the paintbrushes of creativity. However, we use them to paint the same lines of conditioning over and over again.
Based on our habitual living patterns, it may be safe to assume that most people share similar thought patterns, which relate primarily to the common insecurities we face in life. We saturate the mind with such thoughts. There is nothing creative about a conditioned existence. Such thoughts cross over into our memories, impressions, experiences, aspirations, wishes, hopes, and dreams. Creating a passage through the mind for a more in-depth understanding to well up from within becomes difficult unless we overcome a conditioned existence driven by the content of our thoughts.
The outer dimension of life complements the inner one. Understanding the external dimension proceeds from the collective body of knowledge humans possess. This body of knowledge is enormous and is easily accessible through books and the internet. We need not struggle to replicate the findings. Based on what is known, we can infer and understand.
The inner dimension of life does not lend itself to easy study. We cannot apply the same principles of learning and acquiring information to the internal space. Books and methods show us where the door lies. It is up to us to open that door. Since the mind is so full of experiences and memories, the door remains hidden. Mere belief that there is such a door cannot supplant experience. The proof of such experience lies in whether or not there is inner transformation.
The inner dimension of life does not lend itself to easy study.
The mind is more in tune with the outer aspect of our existence than the inner element. The mind is like an invisible cushion which shields the pristine purity of the inner being. Even if the mind were a free and open space with relatively few thoughts, it remains a rudimentary tool. Understanding the immense scope and extent of life through the mind is like using a magnifying glass to study the night sky.
The mind is more in tune with the outer aspect of our existence than the inner element.
The mind is only one tool in the toolbox we carry. There are other, more powerful instruments available to us. Perhaps the most powerful tool at our disposal is subjective awareness, which is the perceiver behind the ‘I.’ Subjective awareness is one step removed from the mind. We cannot divide it into inner or outer. There is only one awareness. It is the inner sea of endless depth. How deep we dive into that sea of awareness impacts the quality of perception and perspective we maintain at any given moment.
How deep we dive into the sea of awareness impacts the quality of perception and perspective we maintain at any given moment.
Before we can even wield the instrument of awareness, we will have to successfully go through all the tests and challenges the mind throws at us. An external entity does not design these tests. These trials carry reflections of unfinished experiences. An experience remains ‘unfinished’ when our involvement is partial. When there is total involvement, the experience becomes the moment, and the moment becomes the experience. There is only one, not two. In such totality, awareness automatically rises to the surface from the depths of our being.
When there is total involvement, the experience becomes the moment, and the moment becomes the experience.
When there is partial involvement with any experience, the false sense or the ‘I’ interprets the experience. The resulting perspective is through the lens of prior conditioning. Since our involvement is incomplete, the perception is also partial. We use new experiences to amplify what the mind already knows, whether it is something we like or dislike. We don’t see an experience of this moment for what it is. Past learning comes into the picture. We see the present from the lens of the past, and we imagine the future through the same lens. This contaminates our experiences. We carry numerous such unfinished experiences.
There is a daily battle within which is invisible to others. The battlefield is the mind. The false self or the ‘I’ continually jostles for space and tries to become ‘the inner being.’ The nature of the ‘I’ is aggression, while that of awareness is a passive reflection. Awareness is like a mirror. If it is at all possible to be completely aware in the present, so totally that nothing registers in the memory, every moment will be full of life. This will also make us inwardly silent, and the mirror of awareness will offer a pristine reflection of the world.
The nature of the ‘I’ is aggression, while that of awareness is passive reflection.
The false self draws our attention into the mind, which is an attractive display of thoughts and experiences. By doing so, the mirror of awareness will no longer reflect. It becomes covered with the dust of the past.
The mind is like a supermarket full of exotic goods, carefully curated to our likes. Comparisons abound which further enhance and concentrate our attention on what we may like or dislike. The false self or ‘I’ gives us a ‘credit card’ in the form of desires. We freely spend our energies acquiring thoughts and experiences. Our perspective of the world intertwines with our desires. The result is that we do not see the whole picture, but only parts that resonate with our hidden desires.
We are free to ‘buy’ anything from the mind using desire as a ‘credit card.’ However, just as in the real world, where once we buy something we would have to pay it off eventually, in the mind, once we ‘buy’ a thought or an experience with the ‘credit card’ of desire, we will owe a ‘payment’ to the mind.
The mind is the treasure house where we store our thoughts and experiences as memories. We cannot readily buy the mind off and make it do our bidding. What can we bring to the mind when it carries everything we identify as ours?
What can we bring to the mind when it carries everything we identify as ours?
The mind reminds us continually about who is in charge through the medium of desires. It offers a ‘loan forgiveness’ program when we switch our allegiance to the mind and become beholden to the ego. We get an ‘unlimited expense account,’ and we are free to desire as much as we want.
The mind is a training ground for us to learn and grow to our full potential. However, by ‘overspending’ on desire, we give the ego the upper hand through the accumulating debt we owe to the mind. The ego will not allow us to learn and grow. It curtails inner freedom and assumes the role of the sole supplier of happiness. We are too weak to be in constant conflict with the ego. We take this inner conflict to the outside world. By doing this, we minimize the internal struggle with the ego. However, this ends up becoming the basis of our divisions and conflicts with others. From this basis, humanity gets divided into nations, sects, religions, caste, and creed.
The mind is a training ground for us to learn and grow to our full potential.
We rejoice about having individual freedom, forgetting the bondage to our ego. When we are inwardly free, the world will not be a place of struggle and strife. From the standpoint of existence, the world is not a place of punishment, but a place of enjoyment.
The extent to which we enjoy the world parallels inner freedom. Inner freedom is freedom from the ego. The ego looks at everything from the perspective of how best it can continue to keep us in bondage. Just as a wise leader considers all opinions and holds the right to have the final say, we can certainly consider the ego’s perspective, but we keep the veto. Awareness cements that power.
With the right perspective in any situation comes inner freedom. This involves considering all angles while remaining neutral and seeing a given situation in its totality, not in relation to our individual existence.
With the right perspective in any situation comes inner freedom.
In this totality, what we may feel is good for us or bad for us both exist. When we rise above the ego’s perspective, both good and bad dissolve into a whole and complete perspective just as salt dissolves in water.
By rising above our ego, even in the most adverse of circumstances in the eyes of the world, we may find valuable pearls.