When the mind insinuates, it is often more insidious than when it incites
Suppose a politician speaks hate speech against a particular community. Hearers can easily detect and reject such speech as emotional manipulation. But suppose that politician cunningly plants innuendos and rumors about the targeted community. Hearers get subtly affected: they don’t openly voice those doubts, but they just start treating that community with reservation and suspicion.
Inside us is our mind which is wilier than the wiliest politician. The Bhagavad-gita (06.06) warns that the mind can be our worst enemy. It acts inimically by inciting us toward sensual pleasures, triggering lower desires within us. But it acts even more inimically when it starts insinuating and planting doubts within us: Does God really exist? Is this religion stuff for real? Are these devotees just a bunch of religious nuts?
Having such doubts is not the problem; they can occur in any thoughtful person. And these doubts can be addressed by expert spiritual teachers who present spirituality rationally.
But the mind often creates a vague cloud of doubt whereby we don’t voice our doubts or subject those doubts to rational scrutiny. Instead, we just become aloof and suspicious about our faith-tradition and especially about its ultimate purpose: pure love for the all-attractive supreme, Krishna. When we keep ourselves at an emotional distance from Krishna, we can’t get any taste in him. And such phases of tastelessness increase, our doubts: “What is the point of doing all this?” Those doubts trigger a vicious cycle that increasingly alienates us from Krishna.
To protect ourselves from being thus misled, we need to first understand the mind’s manipulative modus operandi. And then we deploy our rational faculty not just to question our faith but also to question our doubts. If we let Gita wisdom guide us in monitoring our mind, we can counter it when it incites and when it insinuates, thereby outsmarting it.
Think it over:
- How is the mind like a wily politician?
- How does the mind alienate us from Krishna?
- How can we outsmart our 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.
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