If we get into the mind’s discourse, we go down a disastrous course
Suppose someone gave a talk that is captivatingly delivered but is filled with semi-truths and untruths. If we get into that talk, we will end up misled.
Our mind is inside us and it is constantly chattering. And sometimes it takes on the prescriptive tone of a discourse, complaining how things should be but aren’t, lamenting how people aren’t the way they should be, and even berating us for not being the way it wants us to be. The mind’s chatter can sometimes be rosy and fantastical too. It can paint a picture of how enjoyable things could be if we just put aside our moral hangovers and pursued the sensual pleasures it craved for.
Either way, if we get into the mind’s talks, we lose our bearings and do whatever it impels us to do. Believing its negative depiction, we may become disheartened and quit even when things aren’t that bad. Or believing its rosy depiction, we may wildly chase worldly pleasures, overlooking the many ethical boundaries we are crossing. Underscoring how rapidly and dangerously our mind can mislead us, the Bhagavad-gita (06.34) indicates that the mind’s persuasive power can be as irresistible as that of a stormy wind.
How can we protect ourselves from our mind? By education and absorption.
We need to educate ourselves about the nature of our inner world by studying the Gita seriously. Thereby, we get regular reminders that our mind’s talk is not always trustworthy; actually, it is mostly untrustworthy.
And we need to engage ourselves purposefully in the things that are truly important for us — things that center on the ultimate reality, Krishna, attaining whom is life’s supreme purpose. Being thus focused, we can evaluate the mind’s ideas objectively and keep ourselves on course to a meaningful and fruitful life.
Think it over:
- How can the mind’s discourse make things seem darker than what they are?
- How can the mind’s discourse make things seem rosier than what they are?
- How can we protect ourselves from being misled by our mind?
06.34 The mind is restless, turbulent, obstinate and very strong, O Krishna, and to subdue it, I think, is more difficult than controlling the wind.
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