Everything is not in the mind, but everything comes through the mind

Some people say, “Everything is in the mind; if you just learn to train your mind, you won’t face any problems.”

Such statements highlight the mind’s power in shaping our experience of problems. To understand that power precisely, consider two statements:

Everything is not in the mind: Why not? Because all reality is not just a construct of the mind. Gita wisdom explains that reality has three levels: physical, mental and spiritual. What happens at the physical level is real; it’s not just a mental conception. Suppose we bump our head into a wall and injure ourselves. The wall is real, the bump is real, the injury is real. If the injury is serious, we will need real medicinal treatment, not mere mental adjustment – just changing our mind’s thoughts won’t cure the injury.

Everything comes through the mind: Still, our mind determines the meaning we assign to that injury. We may label ourselves as bumbling fools and become depressed. Or we may label the world as cruel and become resentful. Or we may learn to avoid bumping into walls, take the necessary medication and move on. Thus, our mind’s interpretation of the injury determines how it impacts our emotions.

In general, when we face any problem, that problem’s size is determined by the mind. How can we see our problems in proper perspective? By understanding that we ourselves exist beyond the mind, at the third level of reality: spiritual. The more we situate our consciousness at the indestructible spiritual level, the more we can have the inner security and clarity to constructively reshape our mind’s conceptions. By such reshaping, we can elevate ourselves with the mind, and not degrade ourselves (Bhagavad-gita 06.05).

By understanding that everything is not in the mind, we won’t minimize problems that need practical rectification. And by understanding that everything comes through the mind, we won’t let the mind maximize our problems either.

Think it over:

  • Why is everything not in the mind?
  • How does everything come through the mind?
  • How can we see our problems in proper perspective?

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