Man's problem is that the outside world rarely reinforces the pattern of most of his mental conditioning. The result is that the limbic system is continually creating mental and emotional stress responses. We remain unable to relax. Tension becomes a normal part of life. It is not the brain that is faulty; it is the narrow limitations of our mental program put into the brain that is the cause of the problem. The program is unsuitable for our environmental situation.
Our attitude towards life depends on our mind; an unsuitable, narrow, unrealistic, incompatible mental state leads to continual conflict with our surroundings and to unhappi-ness and stress as a consequence. An expansive, realistic mental program leads to harmonious interaction and good relationships with the environment and with other people, which must lead to happiness and relaxation. Our lives can either be an expression ofjoy or an expression of discontent; it depends on the content of the mind. .Are we then completely at the mercy of our mind? Yes, we are, but at the same time we have the ability to throw out the contents of the mind that cause so much havoc in our lives. We can change our mental program or at least modify it by removing all the dross or unwanted parts. All that is required is the desire to reorientate our life along new pathways and to translate this desire into personal effort.
The eventual method is by exploring the mind, facing the inner contents and clearing out the rubbish. But before we can do this effectively we need to bring a measure of relaxation into our lives to enable us to relax sufficiently in the first place to direct our awareness inwards. The method to bring about an initial degree of relaxation is by consciously trying to rewrite our existing program.
This is definitely possible, at least to a degree. The content of our mind is due to our environmental interactions since birth. Our mental programming has been written in response to the situations we have faced in life. It is continually being updated and modified in the light of new experiences. In this way it is possible to influence the direction in which our mind is being programmed by consciously developing attitudes such as the ones suggested at the end of this topic. Of course, we can never overcome deep-seated mental impressions. These can only be removed or at least neutralized by the deeper exploration of our mind through meditational techniques. But the process of consciously developing attitudes to life is a positive step towards cleaning the whole mind, gaining relaxation and starting to live life joyously. The choice is ours: we can either take steps to make this world a veritable heaven on earth or we can remain as we are.
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