A conscious decision to observe
The human mind is a fusion between ego identification and one’s true nature. An amalgam of random concepts and ideas, repetitive karmic thought patterns and emotions, all of which are consciously followed with limited beliefs “programmed” since birth.
Scientifically, the mind is a formless set of cognitive faculties including imagination, perception, thinking, judgment, language and memory. The ego is the mind’s identity, a false construction of self.
Much of what we don't understand about being human is simply in our heads. Moreover, even though it is said that the mind is created by the brain, the mind however, can operate with independence from the brain. In fact, when one is constantly engaging and believing in mind’s thought patterns, by definition where the attention goes energy goes, thus one will automatically manifest its own reality through and as that thought pattern.
In other words, one’s mind can be described as a simple "monkey" playing in a "world full of bananas”, interestingly with a mind of its own. It can’t be controlled, it can’t be manipulated, it can however be Observed. Cultivating awareness, one can “stand outside” one’s mind as if watching it. The “watching part” sometimes called “the Observing Self”, is somehow detached from emotions and sense perception and can “see” one’s thoughts and actions with some impartial objectivity.
Image: Tim Tadder
Image: Tim Tadder
A belief system is an ideology or set of principles that allows us to interpret our reality. A deeply rooted need to give meaning to something. If we take all the beliefs of what we are, beliefs about our personality, talents, and abilities we have the structure of our ego.
Beliefs are our brain’s way of making “sense” of this complex yet simple life. They are mental representations of the way one’s brains expects things in one’s environment to behave, and how things should be related to each other.
A strong belief will automatically imply an emotional connection to it. Usually the idea, or thought, by itself doesn’t FEEL bad. It is when one has that thought as a belief that one has strong emotions. It is the identification with it emotionally that causes one to experience suffering. A thought by itself is just a thought, a simple idea spinning in circles in one’s mind. One can pick up the idea or drop it in a moment without any problem. It's a matter of choosing so, shifting the attention, cultivating awareness and the Observing Self.
Ego is the mind’s identification with a constructed false self, a blend of beliefs and concepts designed to falsely enhance one’s idea of Self. If we take all the beliefs about one’s personality, talents, and abilities, one can clearly see the artificial structure of the ego.
In psychology and other theories, the ego plays a crucial role in the psyche. It forms one’s self-concept and is an essential part of human cognitive function. In fact, from a spiritual point of view, the ego can be an obstruction to enlightenment. The ego mind is amazingly arrogant and has more than just thoughts and beliefs; it has emotions, memories, imagination and a life of its own. It calibrates at a low energy level.
When looking deeply into what forms the ego, instead of condemning it, we can see, out of innocence, that is what we believed at the time and that just like all the rest, is also a part of the consciousness itself. Discovering your true Self, which thrives on awareness by observing one’s reality, implies discovering and seeing how the ego mind actually thrives on fear, desires and judgment.
Image: Tim Tadder