Make Up Your Mind
Is there any human being (or any creature for that matter) who would choose mental turmoil over peace of mind? Certainly not. No one wants to be mentally agitated, frustrated, or disgusted. Everyone wants to be peaceful, content, and happy, and no one wants to be unhappy and miserable.
What causes mental disturbance?
Mental disturbance is the opposite of mental balance. How is our balance disturbed? Our balance is disturbed when we give too much weight, or importance, to that which does not deserve so much importance, and we give too little time to that which deserves more attention. Everything we do has significance, even the small, unnoticed things. But when we give too much importance to the mundane things, we neglect the really important things and this creates imbalance in our lives.
What is Most Important?
So, what is the most important thing in your life? The answer to this question will differ depending on one’s age, health, environment, marital status, etc. However, with some reflection it is possible to come up with an answer that is equally applicable to all peoples of all ages, all the time. The most important thing in life is peace of mind. Peace of mind does not refer to the temporary sense of well being that one feels upon attaining success in some endeavor. Like the stock market that goes up and down, the mind gets excited or depressed when it gets what it wants or fails to get what it desires. This excitement, whether frenzied or subdued, has nothing at all to do with ‘peace of mind.’ Peace of mind is directly linked to one’s mental poise or balance and is not a by-product of the fulfillment of one’s images or expectations.
As long as we are caught up in duality our peace of mind will be short-lived. Being caught up in duality means being under the grip of ego, it means being a slave to gross desires, to the whims and tendencies of the mind, to the ever changing condition of the body and our environment. Whereas, rising above all of this means ‘taking the bull by the horns’ and getting a grip on our ego before we are trampled by it. Confronting ourselves head on, coming face to face with our own weaknesses and shortcomings, and standing our ground, i.e., asserting ourselves for what is right in the face of the insolent might—this is what creates balance in our lives. The insolent might is our own negative and selfish tendencies, our bad habits, and our excuses for not changing for the better, here and now. Asserting ourselves means remaining firm and not weakening when we feel pulled by the current of sensuality and unreality. These ‘feelings’, whether vague or pronounced, originate in the mind, and have nothing to do with our real nature. Understanding this—that these negative feelings are only in the mind—is critical to rising above the duality of the world and becoming truly balanced and peaceful.
We Need to Clean Up Our Act
Inundating the mind with wisdom is the key. When we listen to the wisdom from the lips of the Wise we are motivated to change for the better. But to change for good we need to make wisdom our best friend. When we make wisdom our best friend, we feel at home with the Wise, and that makes us very secure and happy. But as long as the mind fluctuates, we will be insecure and subject to the rise and fall, up and down, feelings of the mind.
Wisdom of the soul—the knowledge about what life is really all about—is the greatest wealth. It is only with this knowledge, put into practice, that one can buy one’s freedom from the mind. In other words, when we spend this wisdom—when we use it in our daily routine—we will attain peace of mind.
We cannot conquer our mind if we betray our higher nature and listen to our ego. If we are traitors—if we go against our own true self—we will definitely torment ourselves in our own mind. Mental tormentation is the result of self-delusion and self-deceit. We deceive ourselves when we listen to the propaganda and selfish proposals of our mind and ego.
It is the nature of the mind to fluctuate. To curb the fluctuations of the mind, all we need to do is to make a commitment. Of course, if our commitment is to something which is itself temporary, then our commitment will be frustrated. Our Real Nature is eternal. If we are truly committed to our real nature we will create mental stability, resulting in true peace of mind.
Wisdom reveals our true nature. The only way to remove the curtain of ignorance from the mind is to study wisdom and practice the precepts of the wise. It is really this simple, but if our mind is cluttered with images, personal bias, and false expectations we will make it very difficult for ourselves. If we are busy complicating our lives trying to satisfy our whims and desires, we will not see clearly and we will be constantly bumping into our own mental blocks and obstacles.
Removing our mental blockages will bring relief to our mind. But building castles in the air will only postpone the relief, because if the sky is our bed pillow our mind will never rest. When we hallucinate about all the things we are going to do ‘someday’, we will never attend to what needs to be done ‘today’.
Today we need to make up our mind to be peaceful, content, and happy under all circumstances. This means we need to fill our mind with such deep wisdom that we can rise above any and all circumstances and remain firmly established in soul-consciousness.