If we don’t double-check the mind, it will double-cross us

If we don’t double-check the mind, it will double-cross us

Suppose an agent were prodding us to sign an important deal. If that dealer were notorious as a wily operator, we would be inclined to decline. But if somehow they were the only dealer available, we would go ahead, but with extreme caution. Before investing our money, we would double-check the whole agreement, including even the fine print.

We need to be similarly cautious when dealing with our own mind. The mind is the subtle mechanism that acts like an agent interfacing between us souls and our physical bodies. For such spiritual-physical mediation, the mind is the only agent. We need it.

However, the mind often misleads us. It makes sense objects seem unlimitedly pleasurable, whereas actually they give only finite pleasure followed by a lot of trouble (Bhagavad-gita 18.38). Conversely, it makes spiritual disciplines seem impossibly difficult, whereas actually the austerity is only brief, followed by lasting joy (18.37). By such misperceptions, the mind makes us waste huge amounts of time, thought and emotion on sensual fantasies while deterring and distracting us from pursuing our spiritual side. By thus impelling us to mis-invest our life itself, it grievously double-crosses us.

That’s why, before deciding on any course of action, we need to double-check the mind’s portrayal of things. For such double-checking we need to equip our intelligence with scriptural knowledge, especially knowledge about our identity and purpose. With this intelligence, we can apply the Gita’s guideline for mind management: Wherever and whenever the mind wanders, we need to bring it back under the control of the self (06.26).

When we train ourselves to look at the mind before we look with the mind, we will become better equipped to protect ourselves from its shenanigans. Thus, we can use it for our necessary material obligations and ultimate spiritual aspirations.

Think it over:

  • How does the mind double-cross us?
  • How can we double-check the mind?
  • Think of a specific strategy to protect yourself from your mind.

 

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