See through the mind’s troika of denial, misdirection and self-victimization
The mind often sabotages us by making us do foolish things. Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita (06.06) cautions that the mind can be our enemy.
The mind acts inimically firstly by making us do counterproductive things and secondly and more dangerously by preventing us from identifying it as the impeller of those counterproductive actions. How does the mind mask its culpability? Through three major strategies:
Denial: The mind acts innocent, as might a cunning culprit. It pretends to be as mystified as we are about the question, “What made me do that?”
Misdirection: Just as a culprit may blame someone else, the mind tries to push the blame to relatives, colleagues, the weather – anything other than itself. Its most audacious misdirection is to pass the buck to us and to arrogate for itself the position of a judge. After making us do something immoral, it takes the high moral ground and berates us for our immorality. Cringing at its chastisement, we fail to identify that the self-appointed judge is the actual culprit.
Self-victimization: When children are caught doing something wrong and are about to be disciplined, they sometimes burst into tears, hoping to evoke compassion and thereby escape the disciplining. Similarly, when we identify the mind as the culprit and strive to discipline it by making it concentrate on Krishna in the purificatory process of bhakti-yoga, it starts whining that the process is too difficult and that we are making it work too hard. By thus portraying itself as the victim, it tries to weasel its way out of the disciplining.
If we study Gita wisdom diligently and accordingly become introspective, we can see through the mind’s shenanigans and unsentimentally pin it down. Thereafter, we can determinedly subject it to bhakti-yoga and gradually convert it from an enemy into a friend.
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