Inside your head you have the most remarkable computer ever devised. It is a biocomputer that is so complex that we cannot even imagine its complexity. According to scientists, it consists of something in the region of ten to thirteen billion neurones which analyze, interpret, compare, store and transmit information that comes from the outside world, including our own body. It is capable of handling millions of bits of information in the form of audible and visual sensations, together with sense data from every part of the body every second. Remember, every hair has a connection to the brain. Every square inch of the body has a vast number of connections to the brain.
Yet you are never aware of most of this activity; it happens in the subconscious realms of the mind. This unawareness is absolutely necessary, otherwise we would be aware of so much that we would become completely overpowered by the continual flow of information. In this context, it is imperative that we are totally unaware of most of the activity of the brain so that our consciousness is left free to follow things other than body sense data and so on. The human mind is in a way similar to a modern electronic computer. If a computer programmer wants a solution to a problem, he is interested in the answer, not the intermediate calculations. The programmer will only become interested in the intermediate workings if something goes wrong, i.e. the output is not in an acceptable form, or the program will not pass through the
computer. In this case either the program or the computer itself is wrong. This is the topic of this section.
Most of us live a life that is like a faulty computer output. Now, it is not the brain itself that is wrong, apart from a few cases; it is the program in the mind. In other words, if we are to live meaningful lives we have to reprogram our minds. It is the incorrect mental program that we have slowly developed since birth that is causing us all our unhappiness and anguish in life. Reprogram the mind and you will start to live a life that has deep meaning and that is happy. A well programmed mind can make this world a veritable heaven on earth. A badly programmed mind can make this world a hell on earth.
The reason for our unhappiness is our mental programming. This makes us seek happiness through making money, obtaining a nice new car that is bigger and better than any other, obtaining status, drinking and chasing after so many other things that give a flush of transitory pleasure. In short, we can say that we try to gain happiness through satisfying or boosting the ego. What’s the result of this method of seeking happiness? It makes us use other people for our own selfish ends. If they get in our way we use all kinds of gross or subtle ways of bypassing or pushing them out of our way. The result is hatred, fear, jealousy, anxiety, tension and so on. Our continual chase after these ways of attaining happiness actually causes the opposite result; we become mentally tense and thus unhappy. If we don’t obtain our objectives, our objects of desire, then we suffer mental tension, boredom and unhappiness.
Though these things don’t give us happiness, we continue to chase after them. Why? The answer is that we are following the program that we have constructed for ourselves. We have programmed ourselves to chase after these things, even though they don’t bring any kind of lasting happiness. Now a computer program can be changed. In the same way, the mind program can be changed if we make the necessary effort. We can reprogram ourselves so that we react in a different way to our environment, so we don’t depend on ‘ego trips’ and desires for happiness.
Meditation is almost impossible when we are continually fighting life and the people who surround us. Meditation will occur almost spontaneously if we flow with life instead of fighting it. If we can reprogram our mind, we will start to tune in with our environment and meditation will take place automatically, without effort. Our consciousness will start to expand. When we harmonize our mind with the pattern of our surroundings, then we will automatically become happy. Happiness lies in the mind, not in manipulating the world to suit our desires. By reprogramming our mind we will be able to find permanent happiness in our own being.
It is our present likes and dislikes, hatreds, jealousies, etc., which distort our interpretation of the outside world and also ourselves. Our mind accepts and acts on only that information which is compatible with our present programming. In other words, if we now feel, if our mental program dictates, that everyone outside hates us, then
mind will only accept and give access to information that reinforces this attitude. Other information will be suppressed. If we feel our mental program dictates that everyone loves us, then again our mind will interpret information to reinforce this belief. This is a gross oversimplification, but it illustrates how our mind colours the outside world to suit our programmed mind. The outside world and other people are never seen as they really are because of our conditioning, because of our desires, attachments and so on.
We are not saying that desires are bad. All we are saying is that they are blocking your spiritual evolution and path towards meditational experience. Indescribable happiness and a higher awareness are waiting for us, all we have to do is to reprogram our minds and meditate.
Points to note
The first point to remember is that we do not want you to change your lifestyle in any way. What we want you to change is your relationship with the outside world by reprogramming your mind.
Secondly, you must realize is that the chase after outside happiness is futile. If, even after years of experience of trying to find happiness from the outside world, you have not come to this conclusion, then you will have no incentive to change your mind. You will only try to change your mind when you have realized the impossibility of getting happiness and peace from the external world. One only needs to look at people who have gone to extremes in seeking happiness through outside
interests, they never seem to find what they want. In fact they tend to become despondent and cynical; they start to believe that permanent happiness and peace is a myth.
The third point to note is that the mind can be reprogrammed. There is a saying: as we think, so we become. Our present programmed mind is no more than the result of our previous thinking. The mind is like a piece of wax, it moulds itself to suit the impression imposed on it. If we start to try to think in a new way, then the mind will gradually but surely reprogram itself. Let’s take an example of how the mind has already programmed itself, so that we are now forced to follow its dictates. A child might live in a home where the husband gets everything his own way by acting almost like a tyrant. At the same time, the child might find that he is always at the mercy of the whims of others. For example, he wants to go and play with his friends, but his father says no. His mind starts to program itself so that he thinks that power is the way to do what you want to do in life. When he becomes older he therefore seeks power as a means to attaining happiness.
It is the same with nearly all our external motivations in life; they start in essentially the same manner. At the same time we have the ability to remove this existing program so that we no longer have to follow its commands, and to replace it with a program which allows us a harmonious way of life and allows us to expand our consciousness. We can build a future that is consciousness orientated, positive and awake, merely by altering the mind that we now have. We can eventually aim at experiencing the hidden truth and beauty that exists inside us.
All people have phobias, complexes, emotional stresses and so on which make the mind continually tense, whether consciously or unconsciously. All these prevent the mind from becoming tranquil and peaceful, and act as obstructions to meditation. We should remember the cliché, as you think, so you become, for this tells us the way to remove these mental symptoms. The power of suggestion is very great. If we think negatively in life, then our life will become negative. If we think positively, then we will surely become positively inclined. If we think that we will suffer from cancer with sufficient intensity and belief, then surely we will eventually suffer from cancer, such is the power of suggestions or belief.
These suggestions don’t only come from the mind; they also come from the external environment. In fact they occur almost continuously. Our mind is continually influenced by outside events. We read a book and it suggests ideas to us which influence our behaviour. We talk with someone and though we are not always conscious of it, we are constantly being given suggestions. Everything comes to the mind in the form of suggestions. Suggestions come from the way people look at you, the way they move their hands, the way they speak and in so many other subtle ways. Using this power of suggestion in the form of autosuggestion is the simplest way to remove all the aspects that keep our minds tense, and to prevent negative outside influences from disturbing the mind further.
At the same time we should use autosuggestion to prepare ourselves immediately before meditational practices. The essential requirement for effective autosuggestion is the deep need to see the aims and suggestion translated into the desired results. Without a strong need or will, the object of the autosuggestion is unlikely to succeed or materialize. One must want to make a change. If the need is only half-hearted, it can be built up to a higher level of intensity by continually dwelling on the subject. As the reader treads the spiritual path, he will become more and more aware of things that cause him mental disturbance. The more he progresses, the more they will manifest and rise to the field of consciousness. As soon as they show themselves, they should be negated by replacing them with their opposite or else by autosuggesting that they are not really so very important.
As each individual will always have different problems, the reader must work out for himself and should develop his own technique for removing them. For example, consider a person who has a fear of the dark. Since he must spend much of his life in darkness, this is bound to cause mental disturbance. His mind will always be tense, consciously or unconsciously. The way to remove the phobia is to realize how ridiculous this fear really is; to realize that darkness is only the opposite of light; to realize that many other people are not afraid of the dark, so therefore why should he have a fear of the dark, and so on. Constant autosuggestion in this way will surely remove the fear. These kinds of suggestions are most powerful when the individual is in a state of relaxation. Even a deep-rooted fear is amenable to this type of treatment, providing the individual devotes himself wholeheartedly to its removal. Eventually a new, indifferent attitude, to the dark in this example, will penetrate the subconscious and the fear will disappear.