Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Personal Desire and the Way of Liberation


Clearly, there is nothing "wrong" with positive thinking.:) It is so much better than negative!:)

Positive thinking can contribute to a happier, more productive life. It can also aid in the bodymind healing process. All in all, it has very much to recommend it.

But a major problem occurs when positive thinking grows into an attempt to control the universe by thinking positive. For those who advocate this are trying to pretend that the conscious mind (a very tiny part of Mind) is God. They are acting to "defend" themselves from the unknown, from a deep place filled with fear. This tiny slice of mind finds and creates much fear, and can never become God! For God is fear's opposite, Love; God dwells at a much deeper part of the Unconscious, a depth so profound that it is shared (collective). So, fear is no way to serve Love!

What is their foundation for this radical assumption that their conscious mind is "God"? It seems to be nothing more than a combination of vague superstition and wishful thinking.

They say, "I know what God wants, because it is precisely and always the same thing that I want." This is where they often make their first big mistake. For simply because the conscious mind might selfishly want a thing or condition does not by any means imply that God wants exactly the same thing! It is possible for us consciously to want one thing or condition, while Lovemind might want something completely different!

Most of these "new-age faddists" want wealth, fame, or some other egobased situation. Many of the more desperate want perfect health. But if the desires of the conscious mind resist the desires of karma, created by the powerful and unconscious Soul, the weak conscious mind does not have a chance of controlling events!

This is where the Taoist perspective of the mystical Way enters the picture. For, in most conditions, we must learn to "flogo," or go with the Flow of events. For often, we cannot change or control them. This forces a stubborn and often unwilling mind to cooperate with the will of God, even though she might not like that will!

Jesus said it best when he taught, in the Sermon on the Mount, that we do not have the power, in the conscious mind, to change the color of a single hair on our own heads. So, when people start to tell you that "they can do absolutely anything" with the "power of mind," challenge them to change the color of a specific hair on their own heads! For, as Jesus said, they will not be able to do it!

The function of the conscious mind was never to be able "magically" to change the world. Many "positive thinkers" suffer from a condition that psychology calls "magical thinking." The normal adult outgrows this by about age six.

Yet some still cling to this mild pathology, well into adulthood, by allowing their "interior child" to make decisions. An example of magical thinking is when a little girl's aunt suddenly grows sick, and even dies, and the little one feels somehow responsible. You can se why this is regarded as an unhealthy condition.

Instead, the only function of the conscious mind is to interact with, and try to understand, the "material" world. We can use the conscious mind to train our behavior, creating karma, or using Love to erase negative karma.

It is mystically true that all the world is only Mind. But this does not imply that the world is our personal conscious mind. Instead, the world is dreamed into being by very deep levels of the Unconscious, including the Soul, and the Coremind (Lovemind or Godmind).

When we have a list of things that we "want," we work hard to cultivate a personal will. (To "will" is to "want.") This is the opposite path of the Enlightenment Tradition, which encourages strongly the lessening and decrease of personal wants. We, as students of the mystical Way, want to reduce our personal desires to as close to zero as possible, so that we might discern, and actively pursue, the will of God (Love). This simplification of the mind requires selflessness, but it is the only Way to enlightenment.

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