Reality & Realization – 6. The Mind

You think of the world as being outside yourself. Instead consider that the world is within you.

You are a consciousness trapped in a mind-body. Your awareness has a single built-in portal: your mind. Your mind captures a peephole of Nature and insists that it is giving you a full and accurate portrayal. It is in your nature to believe. You are set up to buy the lies that your mind tells you.

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While sensation seems to be of an external world, all that you know of that world is internal to you, within your mind. Your experiences are only what your mind informs you.

The mind is a symbolic processor. All the mind ever relates are tokens which you take to be real. All that you ever experience or think you know are only symbols which were transformed into concepts, some of which are bathed in emotion, and so made meaningful.

Solipsism is the philosopher’s epithet for recognizing that all you can ever know is entirely in your mind. Solipsism is a truth that everyone ignores, because the mind deceptively insists that it is merely a faithful translator of external events. You conveniently believe.

Yet you know you’ve been deceived by your mind many times. Mistakenly mis-seen. Misheard. Had fears and worries which never came to fruition. You’ve believed many fables told to you by your mind.

Since your mind is the manager of your senses, you ought to be skeptical. Instead, you blithely believe. Here is the essential paradox of life – stuck with a patronizing and deceptive mind, but with nowhere else to turn.

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The fact that you’ve been attached to that bag of meat you’ve been carrying around your whole life does not mean that you are the meat. You just got used to it as being “you.” You mistook the wrapping for the package.

This misconception about consciousness and mental filtration is so common as to be unremarkable. The great mass of humanity – the Collective – are defined by their easy purchase of fictions as facts.

Getting used to anything does not make it real. Acclimation is proof only of persistence and acquiescence. Repeating a lie does not make it true. You carry memories inside you from long ago that are not real; no more real than the dreams you had last night.

From an evolutionary perspective, memories serve solely as a knowledge base; to know what to do when certain encounters arise. Memories are the foundation for skills. The mind massages memories to serve that purpose, mangling individual experiences to make them fit into an overall picture.

An accurate memory is actually a disability. People with perfect memories have trouble recognizing faces, because a face looks distinct under different lighting conditions.

To fawn on memories for their own sake – sentimentality – feeds the mind, which is happy to tell you stories that keep you entranced.

The fine art of slavery without overt violence is to feed a slave occasional pleasantries. That keeps the slave submissive and willing to do its master’s bidding. This is how your mind treats you, and what you have become accustomed to.

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Your mind is a double-edge sword: an indispensable tool that enslaves. Coming up next: how to train your mind to behave.