Screen your inner screen

Our mind is like an inner screen. On it appear sensory stimuli from the outer world as well as recollections arising from past impressions in the mind. What appears on the mind can lead or mislead.  

Suppose we have watched some scary movies involving snakes biting someone. Suppose thereafter we are walking through a forested area, where we see something long and thin lying on the ground. That sensory stimulus goes into our mind, where it triggers the memory of snakes from the movie. The combination of perception and recollection may make us feel that a real snake is out there, when it’s just a rope. 

To avoid such false alarms, we need to screen whatever appears on the inner screen. Indeed, such careful evaluation of the mind’s contents is the essence of intelligence — it helps us choose wisely (Bhagavad-gita 18.20). How? One way is by discerning whether whatever is appearing on the mind is real or fictional or a combination. If such screening seems difficult, we can begin with some situation where the screening is relatively easy: where we know what is to be done and what is to be avoided. 

Suppose we are studying for an important exam. Suddenly, we feel like checking the latest news. Guided by Gita wisdom, we will understand that on our inner screen two images have appeared: the image of the book we are studying and the image of the news site. If we exercise our intelligence to refocus on the book and neglect the news image, we will choose wisely. And such exercise will strengthen our intelligence, thereby enabling us to choose well in future too, and choose well faster. 

One-sentence summary: 

Intelligence means to screen whatever appears on the screen of the mind. 

Think it over:

  • How is the mind like an inner screen?
  • Why do we need to screen our inner screen?
  • Plan how you can screen your inner screen to curb some unhealthy behavior. 


18.30: O son of Prutha, that understanding by which one knows what ought to be done and what ought not to be done, what is to be feared and what is not to be feared, what is binding and what is liberating, is in the mode of goodness.

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1 Comment

  1. JAPA guides you what to screen.

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