The mind is not just a liar but also a traitor
We all experience that the mind frequently incites us to do things that we regret later. To protect ourselves from such self-defeating actions, we can equip ourselves with the insight shared by the Bhagavad-gita (06.06) that the mind can be our enemy.
To better understand this Gita warning, let’s analyze how the mind is a liar and a traitor.
Liar: The mind’s biggest lies center on the topic of how we can become happy. It aggressively propagates that materialistic activities, even immoral and anti-devotional materialistic activities, are the reservoirs of pleasure. Actually, the pleasure, if any, in such activities is only initial; it is soon replaced by a long tail of misery. The mind also foxily insinuates that spiritual activities involve too much trouble. Actually, the trouble, if any, in such activities is only initial; it is soon succeeded by prolonged, in fact eternal, fulfillment.
Traitor: A traitor is a person who pretends to be trustworthy but factually works against our interests. Because the mind exists inside us physically, we assume it to be trustworthy. In fact, we often assume it to be “me.” Anything that exists outside us physically we usually consider to be different from us. So if someone prods us to do something, we normally evaluate the idea and then decide whether to do it or not. But the mind by its strategic location inside us attracts our trust. Thereby it deceives us into indiscriminately embracing its ideas as our own ideas. Thus by first appearing trustworthy and then misleading us with its lies, the mind acts as a traitor.
By remembering the potentially inimical nature of the mind and by training ourselves to evaluate its ideas, we can protect ourselves from its tricks and pursue our best interests.
“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.”