This article serves 2 major purposes, to demonstrate the power of the individual mind as equivalent to and even far greater than mere physical action as well as to show that one of the major responsibilities of the true power of mind lies in deconstructing the shackles of consensus reality which serve to bind us into narrow constraints.
There is a tendency of many to consider action as something of the physical body. Thoughts themselves are commonly dismissed as being separate from the physical world we live in. When we consider though that all physical structures have started as ideas in the mind as well as considering that consensus entities like corporations, money, and property are all really objects held in the mind then we start to really take a look at the power of consciousness in terms of its manifest ability.
"I shall now declare to you the creation and its secret. For, it is only as long as one invests the perceived object with reality that bondage lasts; once that notion goes, with it goes bondage."
Yoga Vasistha 3.1
"By names and images are all powers awakened and re-awakened."
Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
These are only 2 quotes of many suggesting that the power of the mind, with its associated names and images/forms, has the capacity for true power and the potential for shifting what we perceive as the "external reality".
If the mind has such power, then why is it that we feel so helpless and fearful in the face of what seems to be an incredible weight of problems in our lives? I would say that it is due to our internal fragmentation. Many of us want to change and unify the world but we do not know how to unify and internally rewire ourselves. Part of the illusion lies in the fact that we consider ourselves one stream of consciousness, or one individual personality and not many. Do we ever notice the internal wars inside of ourselves? Even more interesting, do we notice that what we fight with on the outside, what we perceive as an external war is oftentimes a reflection of our own internal wars? Our tendency is to externalize ourselves and "put the responsibility on someone else". In this way we can avoid deep seated feelings of guilt and shame by having an external scapegoat to carry the load for us. This only gets compounded by external consensus.
As I've stated previously in my blog on the Internal Bodhisattva, I believe that only by truly healing and unifying all of the streams and identities within ourselves will we truly be able to release 100 percent of our inherent power, which is colossal. Most of us are only operating at a very low percentage of potential, precisely because we are internally conflicted with ourselves. The "spiritual" us beats up the "material" us or any other infinite number of possible internal conflicts. Acceptance is the key to truly starting down this road of healing. Acceptance and discernment. The taking of responsibility for our thoughts, feelings and actions.
When we start to have the condition of inner union within ourselves, what do we do with this immense release of energy? Do we just check out and hang on the mountain? Or do we utilize the new found recognitions by applying them with the power of generosity? What is true generosity and help? Is it agreeing with consensus reality or it is finding the courage to call bullshit? Facing the possibility of becoming an outcast among not only society but also religious and spiritual organizations? It takes true courage at this point to find and continually seek for authenticity in every situation. To have the courage to disagree, not only with what everyone disagrees with in our circle but also to have the courage to question the paradigms that even these circles close to us cling to.
As many times as I have cherished the Yoga Vasistha (I have studied it intensely for 20 years now), I have also thrown it across the room in utter disgust. I abhor Vasistha's tendency to dismiss nature and truly revile his tendency to cling to outmoded patriarchal paradigms. Nevertheless, he speaks truths, powerful truths which I cannot simultaneously dismiss. The more I disagree, sit with, chew it out for myself, the more the depth of it truly comes alive in me.
When a friend goes on about how great Obama is, I oftentimes play "devil's advocate" talking about the hypocrisy and bullshit that also goes on in his organization. Does that make me a Republican? No. It makes me a free thinker, and one that gives a shit about deconstructing these comfortable plateaus that even I want to hang out and sit on for some time.
But being comfortable never gets us very far.
I see a lot of cutesy pop-wisdom spiritualism on platforms like Facebook. These pop-quotes with the lovely pictures are like a two-edged sword. One one hand they may actually inspire and direct one's mind in a direction that brings more freedom. On the other hand, they may also inspire laziness and the tendency towards being submerged in certain spiritual beliefs that actually increase one's bondage in invisible threads of subtlety. Honestly I prefer reading original accounts of people's experiences, the ones that are pushing the envelope in the modern day.
Our minds are powerful. We barely recognize how powerful they are for both freeing us as well as ensnaring us. Waldo Viera, a Brazilian consciousness researcher who has been working decades in the fields of consciousness and the multidimensional nature of man/woman discusses these concepts that have been around since time immemorial, about how thought/feelings are actions that shape and define our world. Simple thoughts in our minds, what we dismiss perhaps as meaningless, actually build and shape vibratory mental bodies, which in turn act directly on the world.
Many traditions, both Western and Eastern acknowledge this but do we witness this directly? Do we truly see the causal relationships between our minds and this world? I think sometimes we ignore it because it can be truly terrifying. Why terrifying? Because we are scared at how powerful we actually are. Chogyam Trungpa once wrote an amazing article on the terror of space. It is terrifying to the mind that wants a comfortable structure to hang out in because in space there is nothing that constrains it. The ability of movement becomes unlimited.
"In this world whatever is gained is gained only by self effort... What is called fate or divine will is nothing other than the action or self-effort of the past. They indeed are fools who are satisfied with the fruits of their past effort, which they regard as divine will, and do not engage themselves in self-effort now."
Yoga Vasistha 2.6
The more that we become used to living in the freedom of space, the depth of power that our true will and minds can unleash, the more that we will have to capacity to start to shape in positive ways and even shatter harmful consensus realities with authenticity and pure deep level intention.
I abhor traditions that dismiss the will. One student brought up the whole thing about how science has determined that action in the physical body has been proven to come before the thought of it (discussed in Blink by Malcolm Gladwell). This is easily explainable to me not as proof of the non existence of free will but rather that the true will lies prior to the body. The deep level decision making process which arises from what the yogis call the buddhi, is prior to the body. This gross shell is only one of our many layers. What causes us to consider that decisions are even formulated by the brain? The scientific paradigm? The modern scientific paradigm is not a paradigm of direct recognition but rather one of collected consensus viewpoints based upon axioms which themselves are thoughts.
Taking responsibility for our personal will frees us. To think for ourselves, to act for ourselves, to shape the world through the power of authentic expression, released from the shackles of conformity and comfort. It takes courage. Courage to actually express our individual nature which itself is the true divine expression and the ultimate fulfillment of our dharma.
What we think causes changes, whether we immediately see this or not. Thought is energy. The more that we recognize this, the more that we clue in to the changes that are occuring as a direct result of our minds. This gives us faith. Faith in the power of consciousness. This faith fuels the sharpening of our intentions, the examination of our motives. Breaks us out of our comfort. It forces us to examine the relationship between what we think and what we say. Between what we think and what we do. We begin to examine the deep threads that connect and shape the net that is relative reality. We begin to see our potential as divine creators.
What do we want to create?