We think that we act rationally. We thing we think rationally. Problem is we don’t.
In 90% of cases, the unconscious part of our mind drives our thoughts, feelings, emotions and therefore actions. The unconscious acts a million or more times faster than the conscious part of the mind and often overrides the conscious, logical or rational part.
Nature has a reason. The unconscious part of the mind, parts of which neurologists called reptilian brain, evolved through our development through millions of years, stores the memories needed for survival of the species. Often called ‘flight or fight’ responses, these protect us by sending adrenalin to the exterior limbs such as hands and feet propelling us into quick action. We call this instinct.
However, what worked for the cave man doesn’t work today. We do not come across tigers and lions on our roads. Our threats to survival are different. Society and religion seek to protect us and the species through injunctions and commandments. Often control freaking parents and fire & brimstone preachers convey these to us as children and condition and condemn us to a life of bondage under undermining beliefs.
We may not believe most of the Ten Commandments as practical. We may disobey them anyway. But the archetypal vision of a fierce Jehovah haunts us into guilt. The unconscious is already programmed to follow these commandments, along with numerous others taught to us by caregivers and teachers. This is society’s way of controlling us.
Most of our beliefs about right and wrong arise from these beliefs. We call this collection of underlying beliefs our conscience. Bruce Lipton, an eminent molecular biologist who researched beliefs calls this dogma. Conscience is different from consciousness, though etymologically quite similar. Consciousness defines our relationship with one another and a common Creator.
Not all beliefs are undermining. Beliefs on faith, centering on hope and trust, are beneficial. These beliefs are healing. When we believe in a Supreme Intelligence that created us, the sense of awe that it invokes in us, the spirit of surrender it infuses in us and the emotion of gratitude that flows in us, raise our consciousness to a higher level. It is not essential that we believe in one god or another, to be beings of consciousness. It is enough if we believe in living in unison with this universe and its creatures, to be in line with our consciousness and act in accordance.
This requires that we remove the filter of unconscious, undermining and underlying beliefs that prevent us from utilizing our full human potential.
We believed that our DNA, our genes dictated our behavior. In his path breaking book, ‘Biology of Belief’, Bruce Lipton shows that our mind, our beliefs create our genes. At one level, this is an uplifting thought. We can control our species through our thoughts. At another, it is frightening. If we do not know how to control and be rid of our negative beliefs, we and our species are in danger. Listen to Bruce Lipton here and read his book.
A powerful technique to rid ourselves of these underlying beliefs is to relive the experiences that led to the creation of these beliefs. Reliving these experiences relieves the emotions that underpin the beliefs created. Sometimes, the mere understanding that these beliefs exist is enough. Sometimes this may be a temporary reprieve. Removing the emotional underpinnings is a permanent cure.
Let me cover some meditations in the next post.