by Robert Wilkinson
I’ve been thinking about some of the key concepts I just gave you in the post “Choosing Our Actions and Reactions As We Move Through Strange Days In A Transitional Era,” and figured a bit more is in order.
As I introduced in the linked article, in our life we are inevitably acting, reacting, or being acted upon. When we are acting, we are moving on a path we have chosen because of an intention. Whether the intention is “good” or “bad,” as we act we will go through various experiences which will demonstrate to us whether our efforts are misguided and leading us into confusion, or well planned and leading us into confusion or fulfillment of our understanding. It all depends on whether our desire mind is under control or out of control, and whether we’re chasing our dream or someone else’s dream.
The issue is whether we moved by our higher intentions, or acting despite a lack of clarity about what we're doing or where we're going. What impels the decision to act of one’s own initiative? Are we clear why we are acting in that way? Will those actions accomplish our objective?
When we are reacting, we are moved by something to respond to it. It may be an obvious thing, or a subtle thing. It may be visible or invisible. It may be from the past or the present, or something in the present that creates a reaction in us that sets a future pattern.
While it’s easy to spot when we are reacting to obvious and/or external things, it’s somewhat more taxing to understand when we are reacting to things within us which we may not understand. Until we understand the nature of the “Three Minds,” and how they are related, we will react to all that resides in our subconscious mind, for better or worse.
These types of reactions can seem random and often make no sense. That’s because the power behind the reaction resides below the surface of our rational mind, and we must dive deep and courageously face whatever it is that creates the “unawareness” of our response. Cultivating objectivity and detachment allows us to distinguish when we are acting in a conscious way, or reacting to something in our subconscious mind and the images that lurk there.
We have a Conscious Mind, a Subconscious Mind, and a Superconscious Mind. Respectively, the rational mind, the unconscious mind, and the inspired mind. If we are to break the hold of reactions formed in the past that reside in the unconscious areas of our subconscious mind, we must first be willing to explore those dark parts of ourselves with a fearless self-honesty, remembering we are an eternally Loving, Wise, Intelligence here to learn all we can about being the best human begin we can be.
On our journey from darkness to Light and fear into courageous Heart strength, we must joyously embrace the quest to become conscious of the unconscious areas of our mind, knowing nothing we fear is as bad as the fear itself. If we are to break the hold on our mind of all the images, fears, memories, and reactions formed through frustrations, defeats, and defaults of the past, we must have radical compassion for ourselves as human beings having universal human experiences, and surrender our separateness and fears to our Loving Eternal Self.
Some ways we can quickly become aware of our subconscious mind’s imagery include therapy, meditation, contemplation, listening to the language we use, and other self-reflective techniques that reveal what moves us. Over time we can become aware of what motivates the attachments and aversions of the subconscious mind, and at each turn take command of our personalities and not be at the mercy of forces that seem overwhelming and beyond our control.
As I offered in the earlier article, echoes of memories of perceptions of memories of perceptions from childhood often bring reactive patterns to the surface. Holidays and other "special moments" throughout the year may trigger these perceptions of memories of perceptions of memories since just about everyone had at least one bad holiday experience (and often more than a few!) when younger that were out of our control. Each of these imprinted negative feelings on our subconscious mind which haven’t gone away just because we’ve ignored them.
I have found that once we’re aware of our reactive tendencies and patterns, we can observe what moves them to manifest, and choose which reactions we no longer want to indulge. As we consciously choose our reactions, we find we are acting on our own behalf, and not at the mercy of behaviors we didn’t want to begin with.
Besides acting and reacting, there are times when we are being acted upon. When we are acted upon, it’s by some external force that we may or may not have invited to act that way. Each time we are acted upon, it creates a trigger in the subconscious mind which may respond to all kinds of subsequent events, whether they are directly related to the earlier event or not.
When we are being acted upon, we tend to revert to how we reacted to previous situations we confronted. When we are being acted upon, something external has become an immediate part of our experience, whether we react or not. How long we choose to live with it depends on whether we invited it or not, and whether the result of it acting on us feels unifying or dividing in a healthy or unhealthy way.
Again, in learning how to act in our best interests, we have to look at the cause of the action taken by another that impacts us. How did we volunteer for that situation? If we didn’t, what brought us to that point? What did we agree to, or not agree to, that set us up to experience that situation? It’s always good to get a fix on these answers, since it can mitigate whatever “hard time” our minds and feelings are going through.
When our mind and feelings are having a “hard time,” it makes concentration difficult, which is why they can get sidetracked into unhelpful responses. By getting to the source of what is troubling us, we can know if we're reacting to something immediate or whether it's associated with a past hard time we may or may not have created. When we sort these things out, we have the power to change our response patterns.
In all these things, we must accept our power to change what we can and understand why there are certain things we can’t. That’s why we must reference the inner wisdom of our Higher Self rather than an external perception or persuasion by a person or appearance of something. Even the most well-meaning friends and associates may not know how, or where, or what to do to further our highest good.
Regardless of what the external world presents, it is our responsibility to examine it, contemplate it, and find our own conclusion about it in our own time. I take the view that I and only I can determine if a given thing is good or bad for me in that moment, knowing I might change my mind if I find our more later that gives me a more expansive and accurate view of something.
Whatever presents itself is an opportunity for me to learn something, or apply something, or utilize something creatively and/or intelligently. I may not be able to stop other people behaving as they do, but I can always act in my own and/or the group’s best and highest interests in the moment, in my own way. I may or may not attain “the ideal,” but as long as I do my best in each moment who could criticize that?
Again, it helps to remember we are Eternals having human experiences so we can integrate our bodies, feelings, and mind under the guidance of our Higher Self. We are moving through life experiences, and our task is to reference our Higher Self and allow it to guide our mind and feelings in right action. As we reference our Eternal Self, the Atma-Buddhi-Manas we find ourselves perfectly in harmony with each moment.
However, as sentient Beings sharing a reality with billions of other humans, past and present, we also feel all there is to feel in the collective field. That means we are all feeling 3 things simultaneously: what we’re feeling, what others are feeling, and what all have felt since the beginning of time. As the human condition is filled with suffering, as we become more aware it is natural to experience the generic suffering and heaviness in the collective atmosphere.
I have found the way to transcend the generic feeling of heaviness and a lack of joy is to be in the NOW as best we can, feeling our Eternal Self and its power to shift physical, emotional, and mental patterns that are causing us or others to suffer. This means translating the words of Spiritual inspiration we learn from our teachers into an inner practice. That we fall short of the ideal isn't the point; all we can do is apply what we know is true for us in order to break the link between pain and suffering inside or outside us.
By seeing and feeling the long cycle of how our feelings and responses came to be formed by people and circumstances in our past, we can learn from our past and present experiences to use our imagination creatively. As we choose to embrace different types and qualities of responses as Spirits having human experiences, over time these can prevent the recurrence of many old frustrations and karmas since we're changing how we're reacting to old patterns.
We can always learn more skills which help us move through this ever-changing reality, but must first train our mind to interpret our experience and what our 5 senses bring us. As we learn the cause of what arises in our minds and feelings, we can know the unreal from the real, darkness from light, the impermanent and the permanent, and acquire coping skills that can help us feel more competent in the future through direct knowledge born of our experience of choosing to BE the Highest Self we can be in each moment.
Life is a never-ending experience of awareness on many levels. We begin life in ignorance, and over time are offered a greater understanding of many things leading us to wisdom. Ultimately, the ancient injunction “Know Thyself” is the bottom line to our understanding of why things have happened, why they are happening, why we responded as we did, and how we need to respond in the present.
As we choose to change unconscious reaction patterns to loving, wise, and intelligent responses of our choosing, we are no longer at the mercy of others. We can sail the seas of life charting our own course, being with those we love and who love us, fulfilling our purpose for being alive. That is our divine heritage.
© Copyright 2018 Robert Wilkinson