I started reading ‘The Power of Now‘ by Eckhart Tolle yesterday. At one point he writes:
Just because you can solve a crossword puzzle or build an atom bomb doesn’t mean that you use your mind. Just as dogs love to chew bones, the mind loves to get its teeth into problems. That’s why it does crossword puzzles and builds atom bombs. You have no interest in either. Let me ask you this: can you be free of your mind whenever you want to? Have you found the “off” button?
When he says, “Have you found the ‘off’ button?” I was awestruck. I never realized that I wasn’t controlling my thoughts or brain. It was my brain that was actually controlling me.
I used to think that the ability to think is the greatest asset human beings possess; because without it we would all be like animals. That’s what separates us from the rest of animal kingdom.
However, even though thinking helps us move forward, it can actually destroy us if not used correctly. I like to think of it as a drug. If you use it properly, you will improve your health. If you overuse it, it will simply destroy you.
Eckart Tolle notes it nicely:
The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive. To put it more accurately, it is not so much that you use your mind wrongly – you usually don’t use it at all. It uses you. This is the disease. You believe that you are your mind. This is the delusion. The instrument has taken you over.
This is what stuck me the most. I was actually never using my mind, it has just taken over me.
After realizing this, I tried to not think for sometime. I couldn’t. I just failed. I even struggled to ‘not think’ during meditation.
I’ve reached very low state of self, which I wouldn’t have realized if I didn’t read “The Power of Now”.
So, now I’m trying to transition from thinking mindlessly (which my mind does on autopilot), to not thinking. After that, using the mind (instrument) rightly. Or in other words, controlling my mind, instead of my mind taking over me.
I just want you to realize if you’re controlling and using your mind or that your mind has taken over you completely. That’s the first step before you can move towards the next step, which is usually meditating and connecting yourself with the void.
If you want to go deep and figure out the off button to thinking, I’d recommend reading The Power of Now. It’s worth it.