SEED QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: How do you relate to the analogy of returning from exile to enter into the unconscious fully aware? Can you share a personal story of a time you distinctly experienced freedom from the control of compulsions, cravings and fits of emotion? What helps you to live intentionally, in freedom?
If our thoughts think us and our feelings feel us, do then our choices choose us? This is the thought that first entered into that which I refer to as "my mind." Choice seems to imply control. I just keep trying to feed the good wolf and let everything happen from there.
Having choice or even the illusion of choice can be liberating. It takes some pressure off. We can choose different thoughts. We can choose how we react. How empowering! This happened the other day after a challenging conversation. I reflected on it and realized my part and that I could choose a different response which in the end served the other person better and me too. Here's to the power of choice in our thoughts and our actions!
Choice making is in our hands. We all know that as human we have mead self-and-other hurting choices. In all relationships there is no the other without me. We all are intertwined. When I make a wrong choice, focusing only on my interest, I am going to hurt the other and the other may counteract to hurt me or teach me a lesson. Tooth for tooth and eye for eye becomes a vicious cycle hurting each other on all levels.
So it goes back to choice making. Wrong or crazy choices are made when the mind is buzzing with wrong or crazy thoughts, when we are not awake. All wisdom traditions have emphasized the value of taming the monkey mind, the wandering mind. Meditation is one of the most effective ways of taming our wandering mind, quieting our noisy mind. We need to be aware of the light or heavy clouds passing through the sky of our mind. We let these clouds come and go without reacting to them or letting ourselves be hijacked by them. I practice mindfulness meditation. "Mindfulness is about being fully awake in our lives. It is about perceiving the exquisite vividness of each moment. We gain immediate access to our own powerful resources for insight, transformation, and healing." Jon Kabat-Zinn. Cultivating such mindfulness skills requires ongoing consistent practice called sadhana. It is an introspective inner work, relating to the world from inside out.
May we cultivate mindfulness to make wise wholesome choices for doing greater good for us and for others.
Jagdish P dave
By definition, the part of us that we are unaware of is the unconscious. What I become aware of is no longer unconscious. I may think of the unconscious as full of nothing but wild beasts and other evil -- Freud called it a seething cauldron, Jung called it the shadow -- but it's all me. When I was a kid, I was convinced there was a boogeyman that I desperately feared in the attic of our house, and sometimes I could see him through the attic window. One day I went into the attic, with the protection of my mother of course, and saw that my boogeyman was a dressmaker's form, really harmless and something that had its use. What we fear as wild beasts are the inner treasures. The wild beasts are the unknown, and the more I fear and separate them from myself the more they become wild beasts. As I meet and become aware of what I fear and keep unconscious, I can incorporate in ways that are healthy and constructive. I never become aware of all of the unconscious any more than I become aware of all of the universe, but the more of me I become aware of the more of me I become, and I gain freedom from compulsions, cravings and fits of emotions that had control because I feared them and lacked awareness. The only exile I'm in from my unconscious is the exile I (with help from family, cultural and religious conditioning) keep me in. What helps me live in freedom is ongoingly being open about myself, becoming more aware of myself, owning and becoming more of myself. My freedom is limited because I never become aware of all of my unconscious and become all of me, but the more of me I become the more freedom I enjoy.[Hide Full Comment]