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"Did you ever feel like an alien who somehow became stranded on a planet called Earth where nothing seemed to make any sense?" A quote from "Ming The Merciless"
Making changes to our thinking and behavior doesn't have to be painful or expensive.
Check this great affirmation resource out.
Can it really be true that we don't live in the real world but rather a conceptual representation of the world? What do we even mean by the idea of living in the world? One of the most powerful realizations that meditation can reveal to us is the true nature of what is real and what is the abstract constructs of our mind, and many people are unable to deal with this kind of truth when they encounter it. So, what exactly is going on? What is real and what only seems to be real because we are not aware of the activities of our own mind?
When I first came across the idea that I might not be living in the real world I put on a great show of indignation, but in hindsight, I now realize that even then there was a part of me that knew it was true even though I had no clue just how that could be at the time. I never questioned the idea of mind. What? My mind? What about it? But as the years past and I drilled ever deeper into self realization, I became aware of many powerful realizations. Looking back, I wondered why I hadn't become aware of such enormously important things long ago?
But then, there was that tiny bit of consciousness that always seems to know the real truth telling me that I really didn't want to know. Didn't want to know? Why would I not want to know about something that effects every moment of my existence? And of course that tiny awareness knew the answer to that as well. From the time we first avoided dealing with the problems, challenges and obstacles that life naturally presents us with, though we did not realize it, we turned from the path of living in the here and now, to living in a world of mental constructs, fantasy versions of what we now desperately needed reality to be in order to live with our deceptions.
The longer we walk any path, the more accustomed and comfortable we become with it. Kind of like moving to another area and learning the zip code, the streets and stores. This is a natural form of the powerful process of conditioning. So, once we learn how to avoid reality as it is, when it is and where it is, rather than learning how to deal with life in the present moment, the easier it becomes. How do we do it? We simply replace the actual real here and now experiences of sensations and stimulus with conceptual constructs of reality and forget that we are doing it. But what is the trade off?
Convincing ourselves that we really don't live in the zip code that we actually do live in takes a lot of energy, both mental and physical. Denial and self deception are not natural to us. What is natural is when we deal effectively with life on the fly as it happens, we expend mental and physical energy to deal with it and then it's over and does not require any more of our resources. But denial and self deception is a whole other situation that ties up large amounts of resources that are thereafter unavailable to us for the purposes of dealing with the real world as it is happening, and the more we avoid the less energy is available to us to not avoid, and we find ourselves in a trap of our own making.
We get out of the trap in the exact same way we got into it. We disassemble it in the same way we assembled it. However! There is a small matter of awareness. The processes by which we achieve and maintain a state of self deception rely on the absence of awareness of our own behavior, specifically the activities of our own mind. It will not be an easy task to overcome perhaps years or even decades of firmly entrenched habitual denial behavior patterns. But there is hope.
Keeping in mind that each of us is different to some degree or another, each person must do their homework and find the right resource for them. I am only able to pass on the resource that I used and continue to use for this purpose. While I personally take advantage of many different meditation techniques for achieving different objectives, in this particular area of endeavor there is one technique that is specifically designed to deal with matters of self awareness, it is the Vipassana meditation technique and is one of the oldest of the Buddhist disciplines.
This meditation is all about achieving enlightenment through insight, and to do this we must first develop mindfulness. Mindfulness is that ability of our mind to step back from itself and observe the minds activities objectively. This means that when we are mindful we are no longer subject to the impulses and reactions to the thoughts generated by our undisciplined mind. We focus our attention on the breath because that activity takes place only in the present moment, the here and now. And as we focus our attention we notice the thoughts and feelings and all the sensations that bombard us every second of our lives. In so doing, we begin to develop the ability to see clearly what is actual reality and what is only the conceptual constructs of reality generated by our mind.
Part of the great power that our species has is in our ability to make choices. This trap places us in a state of slavery and makes us forever the victims of our own mind and our reaction to our fears and ignorance. We take refuge in some conceptual version of reality and rob ourselves of the intense possibilities of living in the present moment where and when our lives actually take place. We build a prison and then sentence ourselves to life. Freedom is not quick or easy, but only a choice away.
Here is a free e-book that might help