The mind is everything in this world. If it is filled with garbage, life is needlessly hard and full of suffering. If it is clear and strong, and we understand its nature, life is a totally different story. What may appear to be a hopeless problem to one mind, has a clear and simple solution to another mind.
Applying life science involves understanding, and gaining mastery over the single largest problem generator in our lives – our thought processes. If we can identify where our minds start to create a problem out of thin air, then we can nip the problem in the bud. The first step here is to be able to identify reflexive programming (operating on automatic pilot) vs unique, or original thought (thinking for oneself). Since we tend to identify with our thoughts, we often mistake mindless “programs” for actual “thinking”. The problem with this is that once you identify with a thought, you are no longer free to change your mind… because it feels like death – like you are somehow killing yourself, by admitting an idea you once held to be true, is now realized to not be true. You are not your thoughts; practice catching yourself identifying with them, and trying on new ideas the way you do clothes.
A sure sign of original thinking is the ability to change your mind
As young infants and children, we are especially open to learning all we can about everything – we absorb information like a sponge. This is a very vulnerable time. It’s great if the info absorbed is true, and tragic if it is false. We live in a media-rich environment, filled with questionable information designed to create dependence, obedience, and separate us from our money. Media creates an incessant background drone of programming, that seeps into our minds, even when we are aware of it. How do we recognize its influence on our thinking?
One way is to watch yourself for assumptions. If you assume drugs are the best form of treatment, then you are programmed; and need to dissect this belief to determine its truth. If the dissected facts point in one direction, yet you “find it hard to believe”, then you are programmed. If you find that you believe everything the media tells you, you are programmed. If you think therapies or entire professions you know nothing about are worthless, you are programmed. If you don’t feel you are “smart enough” to evaluate a topic of science, you are programmed. If you think this stuff only happens to other people, but not you – guess what – you are programmed. Keep this in mind with what ever you are evaluating – keep an eye out for things you assume are a certain way, even thought you have no proof, or experience with them.
Knowledge is tainted. Ignorance is pure.
Everything we know has an element of programming in it. Approach a topic as if you are ignorant, and let the facts of the matter form their own picture, without the programmed assumptions imbedded in your knowledge. This is one way scientific breakthroughs occur – a scientist admits ignorance (which clears the mind), and then sees the same old problem through new eyes. A healthy relationship with both ignorance and knowledge will allow us to find sustainable solutions to our problems (and we decrease our vulnerability to manipulation).
Everything “works” if it’s what you need
Healing has many factors; and the concepts in the mind are major players. We have a wide spectrum of different forms of medicine available to us in our modern world – from surgery to faith healers. For each of them, there are stories of success and failure. And for each person there are subconscious biases that influence their thought processes – in some cases denying anything positive; in others, denying anything negative. If you refuse to see the value in some form of therapy, then you limit your options, should you need that therapy some day. On the other hand, if you are prone to wishful thinking you may be wanting something you don’t actually need to be your solution. Many people (more obvious with health care professionals) may not realize they actually harbor a “favorite” therapy. This is the method they want to be the solution to a problem (though it may not be, if the situation could be viewed objectively).
To take this idea to an extreme: if your favorite therapy is surgery, is it the appropriate therapy for a common cold, muscle soreness, or hormone imbalance? Extreme examples may seem foolish, but the point is to first establish the validity of the statement – is there any case where it is true? So now that we have established “truth” to the basic concept of “appropriateness”, we start to move into the grayer areas, to identify where we loose sight of the fundamental truth of appropriateness, and enter into the realms of our cognitive biases.
My point is that everything works IF it’s what you need. We simply may not need what any given therapy offers… and we may need something we are unfamiliar with, and know nothing about. The issue is always one of appropriateness, versus reflexive support of one’s favorite therapy, or pushing an agenda, or some ulterior motive (profit). Problems arise when we hold on to the idea that our favorite therapy is all we would ever need for any situation. This is wishful/magical thinking – it is not reality – it is not even logical.
Common sense doesn’t require “proof”
The Achilles Heal of intelligent and complex thinkers is over looking the simple fundamentals underlying the complexity of what they know and must deal with on a day to day basis. Complexity, by its nature, tends to overlook simplicity. A great example of this was seen in 1847: Dr Semmelweis‘ simple advice to doctors to wash their hands in obstetric clinics in order to decrease mortality. The doctors of his time argued that there was no data or other evidence to support his advice – but if you think about it, all that was needed was a common sense understanding of basic hygiene – the same common sense applied to cooking and daily washing.
We tend to loose sight of basic truths when we encounter our attachments to what we know and understand; as well as when we hide from our ignorance. If we desire to evolve as conscious beings, we need to learn to hold our space as beings grounded in reality when we encounter situations that expose our weaknesses, attachments, ignorance and fears. We can only move forward with our next step if we remove our foot from where we happen to be standing. To keep our feet in our current tracks is stagnation. There is much more that we don’t know then what we know. “Learning”, by definition is moving into what we don’t know.
Learning and growing involve
perpetual recognition of our ignorance
If you try a therapy that you don’t need, do you expect to see amazing results? No. But if the therapy is exactly what you need, then it will do what it was designed to do – and you will see great results. It is ill-logical to condemn an entire method or profession because you didn’t require it, and received no benefit from it. It is also ill-logical to condemn things you have not tried, and know nothing about. Logical as this seems, people (including doctors) do this a lot. Don’t beat yourself up for it – we got programmed to think like this. Learn to recognize it. Become neutral regarding your knowledge. New things are always being discovered, so watch yourself for attachment to ideas. Keep an open mind: no need to make a judgement right away – give the next new idea room to prove itself.