Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Going Beyond the Mind Games

When we see dysfunctional behavior in others, it makes us sick. However, when we see it in ourselves it's usually only after we have lashed out with a venomous attack against someone.

It's easier for some of us to believe that so-and-so is responsible for our behavior. Yet, we find it difficult to believe we are actually messy, the propagators of the hurtful gossip and the envious verbal daggers plunged into the backs of our friends, family members, and strangers.

Many of us find that it's also easier to feel victimized by the mind games perpetrated on us by our leaders than to take the time to find out what's happening inside our own minds that's causing us to feel this way. We sometimes forget that during our lifetime, we have filled our minds with so much intellectual garbage that they are cesspools for breeding dysfunctional behavior.

Nevertheless, on some occasions, when some of us get the courage to look inward and try to find out what's going on, it's downright shameful to discover all the toxic beliefs we have acquired over the years. They're stacked on top of each other, fighting for supremacy of our minds.

And some of them, such as anger, envy, jealousy, hatred, and addictions, have taken over. They own the space in our minds. While we try all types of things -- religion, prayer, meditation, money, fame, and so on -- to get rid of them, they continue to remain responsible for expressing the dysfunctional behavior in our lives.

After spending considerable time searching within the clutter, the toxic beliefs dumps, and the intellectual stench scattered throughout our minds, we get faint glimpses that most, if not all, of our beliefs came from our society, our parents, and our life experiences. And once we discover this fact, we usually don't want to go any further in our self-discovery, because we don't want to cast aspersions toward our parents.

Similarly, many of us actually feel badly even considering that our hardworking parents actually introduced us to our beliefs. Some of us feel like we're being ungrateful to our parents for all they did for us when we couldn't take care of ourselves.

Unfortunately, the deeper we go in our minds the clearer our understanding of life becomes. At some level,  we're able to see our lives without the illusions causing our dysfunctional behavior.  Some of us call this the level of clarity. 

When we gain the clarity to understand the origins of our beliefs, then we're able to stop playing mind games with ourselves. We can see our behavior as nothing more than reflections of our beliefs. And we are also  able to understand that our parents, acting as surrogates for society, were as victimized by their beliefs as we are now.

Meanwhile, for us to go beyond the mind games of blame, we must be willing to perceive ourselves with power that's independent of what we have been taught by others.

This means we must unlearn the toxic beliefs and develop the necessary clarity of mind to express the colorless, formless, and faceless awareness in our minds awaiting to be born into the world. This is a twenty-first century example of being born again.

When we stop playing mind games with ourselves, being reborn is nothing more than removing the dysfunctional behavior from our lives. Unfortunately, since we are the ones who are acting dysfunctional,  then we must be the ones responsible for changing the behavior.

So for this period of time when we are living as part of the holidays, let's begin to celebrate by being mindful of our mind games. And to commit ourselves to overcoming the dysfunctional behavior that's spewing from our minds.

Peace and enlightenment to all!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Life Beneath the Middle-Class

Our beliefs are responsible for our powerlessness. They prevent us from perceiving the world as it is.

This point is illustrated clearly by the current debate in our society about the wealth disparity between rich and poor people. While this is the main focus of the debate, the greater concerns seem to be about the middle-class people, or those whose income falls somewhere in between the two polar opposites. 

Some of us who are struggling to make ends meet are more concerned about obtaining a well-paying job so we can pay the mortgage or rent, pay down some of our debt to get rid of the debt collectors, and buy the kids some decent clothes so they'll feel good about themselves, and not have to listen to other children tease them.

We're the other group that's excluded from the debate. We're the ones living beneath the middle-class, somewhere between the homeless and middle-class. For us, the debate is just another distraction in a day filled with too many distractions. We have piled too many negative beliefs into our minds that distort who we really are.

Nevertheless, in spite of our beliefs, some of us are aware of something in us that wants to come forth and express the hidden desires of greatness we so desperately want to accomplish. This something we feel is the enlightenment within our minds that's concealed by doubts, fears, and worries.

Unfortunately, we have bought into the class distinctions and our own powerlessness. And it is from the prism of our class distinctions that we perceive our lives and the world.

We victimize ourselves by believing we belong to a certain class of people, in this particular case a class beneath the middle-class. It could just as well be the middle or upper-class. Either way, this distinction is one of the primary obstacles preventing us from seeing the world and ourselves as we really are.

On the road to enlightenment, we see many things. We see people suffering beyond believability. We see people struggling to make sense of their lives. We see people living luxurious lifestyles with money, power, and fame. And we see people searching for their inner power. We don't know them, but we see them, and we identify with them.

We believe we know quite a bit about the upper-class people because they are the ones who supposedly control our lives. We believe we know even more about the middle class, because it's closer to us. And some of us, at one time or another, were middle-or upper middle-class.

Now we find ourselves, seemingly overnight, living beneath the middle-class, just a tad or paycheck away from the dreaded homeless people.And we know everyone is afraid of becoming homeless and joining a group that doesn't warrant a class distinction of any importance from society.

By living beneath the middle-class we receive all types of offers from ministers, politicians, social activists, self-help gurus, and so on. They offer us programs or pay-for-results inspirations. We are the ones that produce civil rights leaders, prosperity religion, mega-churches, government programs, welfare reform, healthcare reforms, and so forth.

We don't really have any leaders among ourselves, because most of us believe we're too powerless to have any influence in the society. We suffer from a leadership/dependency syndrome.

We need someone to liberate us from our own behavior. We believe we're powerless to help ourselves or incapable of freeing ourselves from the cyclical behavior causing the powerlessness in our lives.

Most of us have given up on ever becoming successful or making any type of meaningful contribution to the world. We have settled in to living beneath the middle-class, and rationalizing some form of success among people deemed by society to be unsuccessful.

It's a nightmare, but it's one we created. We believe these are the cards we have been dealt by our society.

Meanwhile, some of us are waking up our minds. And by doing so, we have discovered the power we have within ourselves to give us whatever we desire. We have discovered the enlightenment within our minds.

And with our new found friend, enlightenment, we are able to clearly understand why we live the way we do. We understand why our beliefs victimized our behavior. We understand how to unlearn what we have been taught to believe about ourselves. And we know that class distinctions are some of the beliefs that distort the enlightenment within us.

The truth about who we are is not found in the material status of our lives, but it's found in the spiritual clarity of our behavior. When we can see the world and ourselves as we truly exist, we can live freely from labels and characterizations such as class distinctions.

As we begin to do the work to develop our minds to unleash the enlightenment existing therein, we create a new paradigm for living. At this level of clarity, we begin to perceive ourselves as we really exist: colorless, faceless, and formless.

In other words, we see ourselves without societal labels and distinctions. We remove the labels, the distinctions, by changing our beliefs or unlearning what others have taught us about ourselves.

The power we seek is found beneath the beliefs defining us as something that we're not.

Now it's up to us recreate and revalue ourselves with the power and attributes that allow us to exist in this world with power and oneness.

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Power to Choose how we Want to Live

Can we become the person we dream about?

For many of us, it's difficult to believe we actually chose the lives we are currently living. How many of us would consciously give ourselves the problems of burgeoning debts, home foreclosures, anger, angst, and deep-seated powerlessness? Yet, whether we like it or not, these are the gifts we give to ourselves.

Many of us never dreamed as young children that we wouldn't become the exact images of our dreams. We talked endlessly of having a waterfront apartment in the City of our dreams, and having all the material possessions we craved from watching movies and television.

Some of us found great comfort in playing the mind games of living vicariously in illusory tales of success and fame. And depending on our living conditions, some of us had the power to play more sophisticated games than some of our less illumined contemporaries.  

Nevertheless, the mind games we play with ourselves can be both rewarding and punishing. During the course of a day, we imagine or dream about all sorts of things. Most of what we imagine or dream remains buried in our minds. We feel too powerless to move them from our minds into the visible world.

Whenever there's a death in our lives we mourn the loss. And in the death of our ideas, we mourn their loss too. We go through a grieving process that causes us to regret how we treated our ideas. And in some instances, we try to resurrect them from the dead.

Meanwhile, when we fail to resurrect our dead ideas, we begin to focus our attention on the outside world by looking for problems that resemble our own. We soon discover that the world's problems overwhelm us with more suffering.

At some point in time we began to judge the outside world and its people. We place people in categories according to our hallucinogenic perceptions of life. These are the times when we want the world to change so that we all can be liberated from our self-imposed powerlessness.

We believe that by changing the outside world, we are able to create a better life for ourselves. If people would only stop treating us so unjust, then we would be able to free our minds of the toxic beliefs causing us to feel powerless all the time. We could act on our dreams.

Similarly, during those moments of great angst when we suddenly believe it's unfair for people to be poor, or to be treated unjustly by the political, judicial, and economic powers, we decide that it's our responsibility to do something about it.

By changing the world, we believe we somehow remove the toxic beliefs that directed us on this course of action. Unfortunately, we have ignored doing the work on ourselves by working on liberating others. And in the process of changing the outside world, we have created more toxic beliefs in our minds.

 As we embrace more powerlessness in our lives, we crave more and more for a just society. We want the system to be fair so that everyone can express their dreams without interference from society. And most of all, we want a system that will liberate us  from the nightmarish lives we have created for ourselves. 

Meanwhile, at the core level of our dreams, our visions of living more abundant lives, we want to be the person we daydreamed about as children. The person we were reluctant to tell others about because we feared they would mock us.

This is the person that's causing us all the problems. And until there's fairness in the world, we cannot be that person. In other words, we believe we cannot be the person we want to be until the world changes to a more just one.

Whenever we feel this way, there's little space in our minds for us to see what's happening to us. Our minds are so cluttered by the illusions that we have allowed to consumed our lives that we're unable to perceive the world as it really is. A world free of illusions we have created to interpret our lives.

At some point in our lives, we forgot that we are the producer, director, writer, and actor in the movie we are creating of our lives. We have the power to produce whatever actions and outcomes we choose. We can create a happy-ending movie, or a horror one where we are fearful of everything around us.

The bottom line is that we can make ourselves into any person we choose. When we remove the toxic beliefs from our minds, and our clarity of the world improves, we are able to create the powerful person waiting to be born into the visible world.

Regardless to the number of times we try to change the outside world, we remain powerless to change the actions of the people who're not in our movies. This life is our movie. And until we clear away enough space in our minds for us to explore new choices, we remain as actors in our own horror movies.