Archive for the ‘mind’ Tag

Is present an illusion?

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

I’ve been asking myself this question for a long time now. All these gurus talk about being in the Present. You know, Eckhart Tolle, Anthony Robbins, Robert Anthony and even Buddhism. They say that in order to be healthy and happy you have to fully embrace the present moment.

Some people live in the past. That means they constantly think of the good (or bad) times they had when they were younger. It also means that they hold on to grudges for longer. In other words, the present is not good enough and future non-existent for them. They can’t be ever happy unless they go back in time.

Others meanwhile, live for the future. Some of them always seem cheerful and expectant of some good thing happening soon. That soon may never come but they are still happy. They don’t dwell on the past and may not learn from their mistakes. On the other end of this scale there are also some future-living people that constantly worry about the future. They try to foresee every obstacle (most are never even encountered) and can’t get to sleep because of worry that they may have missed something. These people can’t be happy either. They live in fear.

So the gurus say that you have to live in the present. Past is gone and there’s not much you can do about it. Future has many possible paths and there’s no guarantee that the one you’re on is the one you chose.

Now, let’s take a look at the Present. But what is that elusive Present?

My definition is that the Present is where Past meets the Future. It is this tiny little fleeting point in time. In fact it is so tiny that it doesn’t really exist. Think about it. Right now. By the time you’ve thought about it it’s already moved on into the past. In fact, by the time you decide to think about it, it’s gone. You just can’t pinpoint it. How long does it last? A second, millisecond, microsecond? No, it just doesn’t last at all.

So it logically follows that the Present does not exist. It’s an illusion. Therefore, how can you live in the present if there is no such thing? It’s only Past and Future.

Or maybe, and that’s a worrying maybe, it’s the other way around. Maybe there’s no past and no future just everlasting Now. Maybe it’s all in our minds. A trick that our minds play on us.

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Stress relief

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

These days just about everything demands our attention. Here’s a typical day disected. You try to concentrate on work, then something distracts you. Then you’re feeling hungry and think about food. Your friend calls with the latest gossip and you’ve forgotten about food. Kids come in yelling and fighting with each other. After sorting the kids, you’re back to food. Then you remember about work and the looming deadline. Your partner comes in with their problems of the day. And so on, you get the drift.

At the end of the day you feel drained. You reach for a glass of wine (or something stronger) claiming it calmes your nerves. You end up going to sleep feeling guilty that this or that hasn’tbeen done. Does this sound familiar?

There are infinite number of things that our minds have to worry about. This is contributing to the epidemic of stress related health issues. More and more people are either self-medicating or reaching for prescription drugs. There is however, a simple way to deal with stress.

We know that there is a conscious and subconscious mind. The conscious mind processes new information and learns new things. The subconscious mind takes care of repetitive stuff so that the conscious mind is free to focus on whatever we choose. Imagine how hard it would be if we had to consciously think about breathing, heart beating, digesting and so on. We would not have time to work or enjoy ourselves. Anything new done a few times becomes automatic – that’s the beauty andpower of the subconscious mind. Take bike riding as an example. Once you learn it, you won’t forget it.

So what does the subconscious mind have to do with stress? Simply, let it solve your problems for you. How? By letting it. Once you stop forcing stuff with your conscious mind, you let the subconscious do its magic – do what it was designed to do. Very often it has done it before. You may not realise it at the time, but some problems are similar to others and some solutions are similar to others. Furthermore, problem solving in general can be pushed to the subcoscious and done effortlessly. Think about it – no more stress!

You can practice this by thinking nothing, or meditating. When you don’t think, all the competing worries get equal share of your time – nothing. Some people suggest that the mind is like a radio tuner and station at the same time. Then we are all broadcasting our thoughts, but only when you quiet your mind you can hear anyone else’s thoughts. And chances are that others have had the same issues as you. So by tuning in to their thoughts there is possibility of obtaining the solution stress free.

What does it mean to surrender?

Monday, August 27th, 2012

A lot of gurus talk about surrender. Some new age self-made law-of-attraction experts talk about letting the universe take over. Others talk about going with the flow. But what does it all mean?

It means to listen to your inner desires and acting upon them. There are many examples of people wanting to do something creative like paint or play guitar in a rock band, but not doing it all and being stuck in a 9-5 job that they hate. It’s no wonder that there are so many people taking anti-depressants.

When relating to our analogy of being a character in a giant virtual reality game, it means to let the actual player play. The player, or your higher self, has got some plan or strategy. This plan is being executed through you – the character. The character takes on strengths and weaknesses as he/she goes through many tasks and challenges. As an added challenge, there is something else that develops in the character. It’s called ego.

A strong ego will side-track the character and may prevent accomplishment of the plan. It may also interfere with the inner desires. When this happens, people call it a set-back. It is not really so – if you realise that this is just a game, then it becomes only an experience. Maybe it’s something that was needed to get back on track.

The character in the game cannot see the full picture. The actual player can. It’s like when driving, you can’t see what’s around the bend. Now, if you elevate yourself high above the road level, you may be able to see what lies around the corner. It’s the same with your higher-self. It pays to listen to your inner voice, no matter how small it may seem to be. By the way, it may seem small only because it may be overshadowed by the ego.

Anyway, so how do you surrender? First of all, through acceptance. Accept what has happened, as you cannot change it. It is what it is. The worst thing you can do is start the “what if” thinking. This has no end to it and serves no useful purpose.

Second, do not dwell on the mistakes of the past. If the damage has been done once, there is no need to go over it countless times in your mind. It serves no purpose other then satisfying the ego. Learn from the experience and let it go.

Three, get in touch with the player, or your higher self. There are number of techniques like meditation, yoga, relaxation, or doing something that brings you joy. Spend some time in nature, offer kind words to strangers, help someone… There are no clear cut rules here – let your imagination flow.

Four, live in the present. Too many people live in the past or the future but are absent from the present. Everything happens in the now. As per the first point, do not dwell on the past, what’s done is done. Learn from it and move on. Also, do not fret about the future. It will take care of itself. You can plan and prepare yourself now if you know what you want, but it’s still done in the present. Then, if you do everything in your ability and current knowledge of the situation, you can rest easy. Sure, things will happen that are outside of your influence from time to time. However, there’s not much you can do about them and there is no need to worry. Worrying by itself will not stop them from happening.

Last, but not least, learn to love yourself. Take time to rest and de-stress. Reward yourself every now and then.  Do not deny yourself things that make you happy. Know that you are worth it. You cannot truly love someone else until you learn to love yourself.

Minecraft Reality – continuation

Saturday, August 18th, 2012

So how can you break the chains of the addiction to the game?

First of all you have to realise that it is just a game. A very powerful illusion, but that’s all it is. Do not associate yourself so strongly with the possessions. Forgive more freely. Love all other players in the game and do not do them harm. Take more breaks – meditate, spend time in nature, appreciate some simple things and relax more. Be cheerful and happy.
Also, remember that you cannot own other players. They have their own game to play and their own lessons to learn. Remember the saying “if you love somebody, set them free”. Everyone should be free. Free to choose whatever we like as long we do not enroach on other players.

If you follow these tips you’ll be more detached from the worries and stress. You’ll know and understand that everything in this game is impermanent, it’s an illusion. Material posessions, relationships, money, health, body – all will pass. Some sooner, some later. And the game will go on regardless. So many other players keep it going. But it should be enjoyable for everyone. We can make it happen.

Reality is like a giant Minecraft game

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

Have you ever seen Minecraft? You get a blank virtual world and create anything you want. It is like playing god. You can play by yourself or you can join a server and play with others. There are communities, cities, structures springing up and so on. It is highly addictive. I can’t seem to get my 10yo son to get off the computer. Once he found out about the multiplayer server he wanted it immediately. Then his friends joined in. But then he wanted more. That’s where mods come in. With mods you get other cool features and powers.  And that’s why it is so addictive.

So what’s Minecraft got to do with our reality? Imagine that you are a player in an extremely addictive and realistic (illusory) game. Kids playing Minecraft get emotionally affected when other players do something to them or destroy what they have created, as much as when someone steals or destroys something of theirs in the real world. After some time of playing, you get strongly associated with the character in the game. So strong is the bond that you actually delude yourself that you are the character. But nothing could be further from the truth. Just like when you play any computer games for a long time, you need to take breaks. In real life, you go to sleep. That’s when the real you does real work in the other (real) dimension. When you get killed in the virtual world, you start the game again. It is kind of from scratch,but you retain some “experience points”. Some games call it “karma points”…

Does all this sound familair? In Minecraft, you join a multiplayer server and you have to play by the rules. There are rules of the game itself, and then there are rules of the server administrators. Furthermore, players can join into factions. There are faction rulers. The factions can compete or fight with other factions. Should I go on, or do you get the picture?

Now, imagine if the server administrators decide to join the game but they hold a lot of administrative priviledges and give themselves mods with “super” powers while keeping the rest of the players in the dark? It happens in the real world, too. The real masters of this world have access to mods and they make the rules. Don’t believe me? Just look at the money markets and how they enslave the population of the world. What about medicine and health? The modern medicine has killed of any other competition while not providing any real tangible benefits. There is the never ending hope, and funding, to find the cure for cancer, diabetes, MS, Alzheimers…

And what about the earth itself? You can own the land but not it’s mineral rights. The minerals are valuable and only large corporations own the right to extract the wealth from earth. The general population in the meantime is caught in the never ending rat-race because they want part of the action. You want the beatiful jewellery, or a big house, or that new sports car…  So you borrow something imaginary – money – and have to return more of it. Just imagine how stupid this rule is. First a limited amount of money is agreed on and created. This amount is agreed to be equivalent to something valuable but limited – gold, for example.

Then the controllers – bankers, financiers – distribute some amounts to other players who have to repay it back with an accrued interest. In other words, they have to repay more than there is available! Do you get the implication of it? There is not enough around so you can never repay everything. To get around this problem, the controllers can give you another loan. And another, because you want more – another car, investment house, holiday etc. How do they do it? Has the amount of gold suddenly grown? No, they just issue more money telling you that you just have to produce more to cover it. After a while you just lose track of how much money is issued, borrowed, repayed and so on. You just get hung up on the things you own and things you want. You associate yourself with the character and with the things you own – in the game. You forget what you really are and what you should be doing. Like a dog you are chaisng your own tail.

This is a game you can never win. You get more and more addicted and drawn into it by associating yourself – strengthening the bond – with the character you play. Can you stop playing the game? Yes, when you die. You take a long break but then the pull of the addiction is so strong that you decide to come back as another character. So sometimes you are a player, sometimes a creeper and sometimes the mob (using Minecraft terminology here). And because you gain some karma points, you have different skills and strengths every time you play. It is extremely addictive but there is no end to it. It provides some extreme entertainment to the controllers, but as much as they think they are in control, they also get addicted. They get addicted to the never ending abuse of power. They want to keep the game rolling on as it is, forever.