The Forest of the Mind
I may be living in the 21st century with all of its norms and social patterns of accepted behavior but many dimensions of me might as well be a caveman wandering through the dark forest in search of food and comfort.
My instincts and emotions are like a machine that runs on certain specific data that was programmed in thousands of years ago.
Much of our mind is dwelling in the dark forests of the past. The mind is chemicals that have changed little in thousands of years.
An interesting thing about the mind is that it fixates on what it wants and any variation from the specifics identified meets with a lot of resistance. Sri Chinmoy in one of his book Everest Aspiration expresses this very well: “We want to possess [a particular thing], but if one thing more or one thing less than what we wanted comes, we are not satisfied because human desire is so limited that we want the thing exactly the way our mind has conceived it.” This attribute of the mind is great when it comes to survival but runs us into plenty of trouble if it is our guiding principle through life.
As I meditated upon this idea it occurred to me that the reason for this goes back to the need for specificity when it comes to survival. Once an animal identifies a specific thing needed for survival, or a specific thing to avoid for survival, then it is imperative that the animal be sure to hone in and stay focused on that exact thing. The red berry can keep you alive, the blue on will kill you.
A child who is having a “temper tantrum” will often reject all offerings because the exact thing that they wanted was not given to them. They wanted the orange two-sticked popsicle and NOTHING else will suffice. And even that will now not suffice for they did not get it WHEN they wanted it. So it is not just WHAT but WHEN that affects the animals existence and hence our desires.
Welcome to the past!