Each human has an in-built ﬁlm or memory that stores all of his or her past experiences, events and thoughts. Over thousands of years, society, propaganda, religious beliefs, personal opinions and experiences all contribute to this program. For most humans, their entire life is based on this collection of stored programs. Their behaviour, beliefs, actions, thoughts and words are all pre- determined by the inﬂuences of others. In other words, they don’t get to live their own lives. They live according to whatever program has been installed.
Think of a movie projector at a cinema. A ﬁlm is installed into the projector and a light shines through the ﬁlm to project the picture onto the big screen. With humans, the light of the projector is our true self and we look through our ﬁlm of past experiences and our life unfolds according to this script. A person with a ﬁlm ﬁlled with racism will automatically see every coloured person as inferior without even being conscious of this belief. In areas of the world with continuous ﬁghting among religious groups, individuals in each group fail to see the real person on the other side. They see the person through their ﬁlms or collection of thoughts. They don’t see the life of another person, as they have reduced the person to a label or a word, such as a Hindu or a Muslim or a Christian.
Someone with an inferiority complex will look through thoughts of inadequacy, poor self-esteem, poor conﬁdence and self-criticism. Each time they look in the mirror, they won’t like what they see. Their see their own life in negative ways based on the thoughts that they have saved onto their ﬁlm. The more they run the same thoughts through their heads, the stronger, sharper and more real is the image that they have of themselves. Eventually, they may come to hate themselves, and all as a result of their own imagination and thoughts.
Whatever is stored in the ﬁlm determines our outlook on life. Good ﬁlms are better than bad ﬁlms. However, in any event, any ﬁlm that we look through is divorced from life. As long as we continue to live on autopilot and through stored ﬁlms or programs, we are asleep. We are asleep from the moment our analytical mind begins to function, at around four years of age, to the moment we die. We are the living dead.
As long as our attention is caught up in our mind, it is divided. Part of our attention is looking through our ﬁlm of thoughts and the remainder is focused on life. The objective is to allow our true self to connect directly with life and not through our past thoughts. The objective is to leave aside the ﬁlm and focus 100% of our attention on life. Past thoughts are in the past; they are stale. They reﬂect other people’s and society’s opinions. At best, they are ﬁgments of the imagination. They are not life.
Have you ever observed your thoughts? What is watching your thoughts? Who is the real you? Is the real you the watcher or is it the thoughts running through your head? There cannot be two of you, can there? Who is the observer? Is the observer of thoughts the real you? Is the observer the light in the projector? Or is the real you a collection of thoughts? I would like you to seriously consider these questions.
Who is the real you?
Suffering does not take place in the real you. Suffering only takes place in your mind, but your mind is not you. Your arm is not you. Your leg is not you. Your hand is not you. When our bodies die, our arms, legs and hands cease to function. Life has expired from them. Life will also have expired from your mind. Your mind ceases at death. You cannot think when you are dead. Your mind does not continue to function as you lie in the cofﬁn. The only part of you that continues to function after this body dies is the real you. It is accessed only through a still mind. This is the door to freedom.
It is your mind or your collection of thoughts that determines your suffering. Through thought, your mind creates emotions in the body. In turn, these emotions feed your mind. The more you think about that ass of a boss, or that idiot of a neighbour, or that lousy wife, or that clown of a husband, the more anger builds up in you. This increased anger feeds your mind. Your mind feeds your emotions.
If you were not thinking, if the real you were directly in contact with life, would there be anger? What creates anger? What creates tension?
Our thoughts create our state of mental health; nothing else but our thoughts.
Stay present and connect directly with life instead of doing so through a collection of thoughts, experiences and events. Drop the thoughts. Set them aside not through force but through the realisation that thoughts are not who we are. If the mind is not us, then thoughts originating from the mind are not us. This is liberating. We understand thought to be just a thought and nothing more. We have the choice to follow it or not. We begin to see thought NOT as truth or something that we must adhere to and blindly follow. We understand thought as a collection of good and not so good inﬂuences that we have stored in our ﬁlm.
With this understanding, you see the ﬁlm for what it is. The light of your true self can then shine without thought. Only then do you truly live in your natural state. Once you realise this, your life will positively change forever. If this is your ﬁrst introduction to this concept, stick with it. This is not intellectual debate. This is about understanding your mind, which alone determines your happiness on earth.
You are not your mind
Even though every human has inherited a moving right arm, they still become annoyed when they are at the receiving end of it. They don’t seem to realise that both they and you are oblivious that the right arm knocked them and not the real you. You don’t mean to knock into people. It just happens. Some people have completely lost control of their right arm. They spend many hours in a pub drinking alcohol in an effort to tranquilize it. The next day, when the alcohol wears off, the right arm moves twice as fast as it used to. Others run to a doctor, who prescribes drugs to calm the right arm.
A few other unfortunates feel so much pain from the right arm that this same arm eventually becomes the instrument that takes their lives. These poor people died by their own right hand. Every human has this moving right arm, with the exception of a few who have realised that it is a tool that can be tamed, and that with attention you can control your right arm. You have inherited this right arm as a condition from humankind. Over the millennia, the right arm has developed a bad habit. It is slightly ﬂawed. It simply does not stop moving.
At some point, you realise that you can control your right arm. You realise that you are not your right arm. Even though it is part of your body on Earth, it is not you. The real you, your true self, can observe the antics of the right arm. The real you watches your right arm and begins to observe its movement. The more frequently that the real you watches your right arm, the more you will see its habits. You begin to see the triggers that cause it to move quicker. You begin to notice that the more the arm moves, the more it feeds itself and continues to move
With this realisation, through alertness you keep your right arm still. When you are ready, your right arm becomes more under your control. You are able to connect with life and what goes on around you without your right arm moving incessantly. A moving right arm is no longer a distraction that took your attention from anything that you tried to apply yourself to.
There is little difference between a moving right arm and the human mind. The main difference is that it is easy to identify the right arm. The arm is external, visible and can be readily noticed. The human mind is cleverly located to avoid detection. It is hidden away from view and carries on unhindered in the background. We have lost our ability to control our minds. Our minds move incessantly in the background. Recognise your mind as a moving right arm.