In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna tells Arjuna that the mind can be a friend, but the same mind can also be an enemy. Cultivate the friendly side of your mind. And, don’t give too much attention to the enemy.
Free will is an illusion. Our wills are simply not of our own making. Thoughts and intentions emerge from background causes of which we are unaware and over which we exert no conscious control. We do not have the freedom we think we have.
Sam Harris, Free Will
I do not agree with the idea expressed by Mr. Harris, for many reasons I will not go into at this time. But perhaps Mr. Harris would agree with me about the idea that I do have a choice over:
- what thoughts I pay attention to; and
- to what degree I allow myself to be identified with my thinking.
The mind thinks. This is its job. It generates thoughts, stories, to explain to me the world, myself, and my place and experience within the world. I can no more stop it than I can stop my heart from beating.
I can, however, let go of thoughts that describe a self that is unworthy of joy, or unworthy even of life; and I can entertain thoughts – my own or those of some friendly teacher, in person or via books or recordings – that remind me of the truth of my being transcendent of thought. That spirit is the essence of what I am. That the spirit of myself is the spirit of the Whole. That the spirit of the whole is a perfect, complete oneness moving always in the direction of its (and my own) highest good and greatest evolution.
Today I will cultivate the friendly side of my mind. And if I am unable to access a friendly side today, I will ask someone who loves me to be that friendly side for me until I can find it once again within myself.
The Dove, No. 13, Hilma af Klint, Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY