Before David has even raised his head off of the pillow, the torture begins again: This is wrong, and that is wrong. He tosses himself into a sitting position on the side of the bed, and a minute later something else appears wrong. His life isn’t the way it should be–he knows it! His mind tells him so. He goes to the washroom, and as he prepares for work more negative thoughts enter his mind. His life is full of wrongness. It’s just the way David’s life is…or so he thinks.
What David doesn’t realize is that life has nothing against him. In fact, it’s on his side. The evidence is all about him, if he’d only stop, pay attention, and see clearly. His heart beats, circulating blood, without any effort on his part. His lungs expand and contract beautifully, without any prompting from him. His digestion, too, especially when he’s not stewing about the sad state of the world, functions perfectly. All occurs with neither his consent nor participation. Still, however, David thinks that his life is wrong. His mind incessantly informs him of the seemingly-so fact.
How David would love to have a better life. He’s read many of the self improvement books. If he does this, he will be happy. If he rearranges his life that way, he will be happier still. Such-And-Such expert advises to do this; So-And-So psychologist concurs. For years, David has been studying personal transformation–how to become one of those blessed people who just fall into good luck. He desperately hopes that another night course, another book, or another counsellor may offer relief.
Here’s the truth: There’s nothing wrong with David’s life beyond his mind’s compulsive habit of labeling it wrong! If his life were left alone, free of the continuous negative rattling of his mind, there would only be isness. His job, his divorce, his finances, and his state of health are not wrong. All are only isness–empty except for the meaning that he, himself, gives them. Only in David’s mind does such become a problem. The joy he seeks is so very close. If only he knew.
David has no clue that his suffering is self imposed. Life isn’t doing it to him; his ego (the conceptual self) is the cause. David has lost touch with the awareness (so natural in children) that exists prior to mind. For David to heal, a break from the compulsive chatter of his mind must occur. The problem is he thinks that thinking can offer a solution–when, in fact, it is the I-Thought that actually is the problem! As a wise person once said, it’s like trying to remove blood with a bloody rag.
The solution? Stillness, first of body and then of mind. If David can catch a glimpse of life beyond the realm of thinking, the clear and luminous essence of his true self will have a chance to shine through and be recognized. As advised in spiritual teachings, he would also be wise to pose this question: Who am I? Such can stop the mind in its tracks and lead to great revelation. Do we–as in David’s case–desire a healthier, happier life? Do we yearn to break free from the destructive side of thinking? Do we desire to reconnect with our true self, and create from a state of innate peace and joy? If so, now is the perfect opportunity to still our mind and ask the question. The answer may surprise.
Dare to dream (and care for one another).
With heartfelt regards,
Copyright © – 2020 – R. Arthur Russell
P.S. Please share this article if you enjoyed it. If you’d like to view my latest book (This Taste of Flesh and Bones–released September 8, 2020), press here. May it help you in your spiritual journey. 🙏🙏