Free Your Self

 

“Free your mind” – this was the cult slogan in my university days. It meant freeing yourself from culturally and politically imposed propaganda and thinking for yourself. I guess it still does. Anyway, the thought I had this morning was that freeing your mind is a great first step…but what we really need and what is far harder to achieve is freeing our selves from our minds.

Our minds are dominated by our egos, which revel in their stories of who we are, who others are, our weaknesses and failures, boundaries and impossibilities, judgemental rants and rolling tides of emotion.

To free the self from the mind means to let go of all our stories, to reject the mind’s preoccupation with keeping things in a static state, and to enter the stream of never-ending transformation which is who we really are – a constantly unfolding process, as we dance through life.

To free the self from the mind is to unclench the fist of self, of possession, of attachment, and to see that in the letting go we expand. We have this fear that if we let go we will cease to exist, that we will lose something essential to ourselves, that we will be lost. The paradox is that we feel lost and isolated when we live within the paradigm of the clenched fist, and that upon opening it we realise that we were never lost or alone but only limited in our understanding of our reality by our fearful minds.

To free the self from the mind is to come home and realise that we were always there, only we couldn’t see it with all our veils and filters and glasses that our minds screen our perception with.

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6 thoughts on “Free Your Self

  1. Here’s another take on freeing the mind I got today:

    A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?”

    Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

    She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.” She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.”

    It’s important to remember to let go of your stresses. As early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the evening and into the night. Remember to put the glass down.

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    1. Oh that is wonderful Rafael! Thank you so much for sharing that, it’s so true and so important!
      Reminds me of a story my Dad likes to tell about Winston Churchill – in the bunker one evening during the war his secretary asked him how he could sleep at night with all the worries and responsibilties on his shoulders. HIs response:

      “I get into bed, turn out the light, say, “Bugger the lot of them,” and go to sleep.”

      Wise man :)

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      1. I guess it’s a bit too difficult to free our mind completely and stay that way all the time. We got the thing to use it, right? If we walked around empty-minded, we’d be hard-pressed to complete simple tasks. But, like Tolle, we could become park bench gurus for the lost souls wondering how to live a balanced life. However, I do agree that deleting the temporary ‘files’ and ‘cookie’s is just as useful for the mind as it is for the comp. We have limited influence on what comes in (and it is a lot), but total control over what we keep. I like the simple symbology of putting the glass down, don’t you?

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      2. Well it’s definitely not easy..but it is possible. I think it’s a nice thing to aim for, mental peace. I don’t mean it in the sense of not using the mind, but just to have a pure mind, untainted by stories and projections and expectations and “possible futures” etc.
        I love the visual of setting down the glass, especially how it illustrates that it is (in theory) actually that easy…just let go
        Also like your analogy of deleting temporary files….regular disk clean-ups for better mental health, YES!

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  2. Yeah, apparently I delete them so effectively that I can only remember the larger picture – no details. Annoying to some, liberating for me :)

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