Don’t give the mind power of attorney – and don’t let it grab it either

Power of attorney refers to the power given by the owner to someone else to act in a legal capacity on one’s behalf. As the power of attorney grants a substantial amount of control to the empowered person,  it needs to be granted only to someone trustworthy. Otherwise one will end up deceived.

We often grant the mind power of attorney. That is, we let it act on our behalf without subjecting its plans to adequate scrutiny. On many issues, we just act according to our impulses without thinking sufficiently about the consequences or complications. Usually, such impulsive actions are prompted by the mind which has its own programs based on our past choices and conditionings.

Quite often, such actions impel us on to the path of self-destruction.

Actually, the mind can be much more insidious than anyone else with the power of attorney. It not only misuses the power of attorney, but also misleads us into ceding that power to it. Because the mind is inside us, we deem it trustworthy. In fact, so implicit is our trust in the mind that we even misidentify ourselves with it – we consider its voice to be our voice.

But the mind is often not worthy of such unquestioning trust. The Bhagavad-gita (06.06) warns us that the mind can act as our worst enemy, especially when it controls us rather than we controlling it. It presents its proposals with such persuasiveness, such forcefulness and such deceptiveness that we get bamboozled into accepting it. Only after we have acted self-destructively and borne the consequences may we question, “Why did I do that?”

To avoid such self-destruction, we need to vigilantly base our decisions not on the mind but on scriptural counsel.

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Every trial is a teacher
Strive for not the good life but God’s life
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