Note #3.2 | The Thinking Mind vs The Present Mind
THE THINKING MIND
Universally, in a productive point of view, “the thinking mind” is what most people believe as 'what allows us to make sense of, clarify and process all of the information we receive and are exposed to on a daily basis'.
The thinking mind is also widely unfavored in many studies, being identified as “our deepest and loudest inner critic/voice” or more popularly known as, our Ego.
Over the past decade now, these studies have suggested that our thinking mind and reactions are inevitably linked to our physical experiences (via our sensory perceptions) that carry deep pain and fear from different moments in our life.
Through this, psychologists have found the nature of the mind to be subdivided; divided in parts (or voices) that have stemmed from these challenging and traumatic events. Voices that echo our pain from the fragments of those memories that all still linger. Whether we remember them fully or not –due to potential emotional blockage– most are rooted in our early childhood yet we usually only recall those from our more recent years as adolescents and/or adults.
These events have instilled great fear or attachment in our subconscious –like a virus.
Dr. Richard Schwartz (author of “Greater Than The Sum of our Parts”), explains that these different parts aren’t “bad” –they are just hurt; so they are defensive and protective.
Trauma is the sense that you’re at fault or worthless, so, when these parts of you feel triggered, they immediately speak up and go in “protective mode”, actively convincing you from engaging in something that could represent the same kind of pain you’ve already endured and/ or witnessed.
For example, a person who as a child has suffered the abandonment or negligence of a parent, is extremely likely to have grown up challenged with the following:
- Questioning their self-worth: How could my parents leave me? What’s wrong with me?
- Heavy guilt and shame: Feeling they were at fault for being left behind or ignored
- Difficulty trusting in people: When a parent abandons you, he or she is violating your most basic human need, which is to have parents who value and love you. This slowly creates an unconscious guard that goes up, making it more difficult to believe that anyone and everyone who becomes important to you will not honor their word or do the same.
When we finally begin to become aware of these rooted patterns in our psyche; a conscious healing process begins to take place.
Unloading burdens, begins to seal wounds and transform them back to their natural state –meaning that what were once triggered reactions now evolve into genuine listening and mindful responses.
Author and mystic, Eckhart Tolle, says “external things and electronic devices increase the demands that the outer world makes upon our attention. Thoughts have a pulling power. They are an energy formation that pulls our attention in, and we follow it where it wants to take us. It ends up in one thought after another and eventually leaves us on a ‘mind stream’, that takes us out of the present moment into a conceptual reality –which is what ‘thought’ is. It has an abstract sense of Self –a narrative (‘an image of me’ –the story we tell ourselves about ourselves) in other words, the reality we assume most of the time. Which in essence draws us away from our true Self”.
The Self, being that which is just beneath the surface from all of these parts.
So, when we open space to cut through these parts, which happens when we experience THE SHIFT we discussed in our previous note –we enter a new state of awareness that is commonly known as 'starting to have an open mind'. This state is what literally opens the bridge to your true Self.
A bridge or path that slowly liberates the wounded parts of our-Selves that had kept us stuck and anchored for so long, allowing us to connect to our highest truth, our Present Mind.