The mind as our inner cell and inner cellmate (Why we all need interior redesigning – 1)
Suppose we are confined in a cell whose walls are filled with pictures of all the worst moments in our life. Suppose further we are confined there with a terrible cellmate who keeps drawing our attention toward one or other of those images. Living in such a condition, we will end up demoralized, maddened, even suicidal.
Scarily enough, we all are actually confined in such a condition, wherein our mind is both like the cell and the cellmate. Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita warns that our mind can be our worst enemy (06.06). Let’s consider two roles played by our mind:
Mind as the structure of our inner world: We live not just in the outer world along with its structures such as our home or our workplace, but also an inner world that is centered largely on our mind. Among the many things that comprise the structure of our mind, a prominent component is our memories. Unfortunately, most of those memories are negative, relating to the many terrible things that have happened to us and the many terrible things we ourselves have done.
Mind as the active force in our inner world: The mind is filled not just with passive memories, but also with active elements such as desires, impulses and cravings. Through the force resulting from these elements, our attention gets drawn toward particular memories. And if we don’t strive to be consciously aware of what we are thinking about, our mind draws, even drags, our attention toward the dark images in our inner world.
When we understand our grim inner predicament, we realize that interior redesigning — by working on our mind — is not just a casual luxury; it is a survival necessity.
We are stuck with our mind, and we are stuck with what is in our mind.
Think it over:
- How is the mind the structure of our inner world?
- How is the mind the active force in our inner world?
- During your introspective moments, have you even sensed either or both roles of the mind?
06.06: For him who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of friends; but for one who has failed to do so, his mind will remain the greatest enemy.
To know more about this verse, please click on the image