The essence of mastering your mind is simplicity. The failures of doing so are due to unnecessary complexity.
Unless you know what you are dealing with, it might just deal with you. It might just deal with you in any way it likes. Your mind is filled with many mechanisms, some natural and some self-imposed.
We must understand what these mechanisms are and how they impact us as a total being. We can look into cognitive biases and other fallacies, but in the end we must learn to identify our false intuitions as they happen, before they happen, and not after they have happened.
The moment we can see where our moods and emotions come from, we can alter the contexts and behaviors we engage in prior to their emergence. We modify our interactions with the world to prevent our patterns from acting out.
Many of our patterns don’t come from a linear place. In fact, almost none do. Linearity is just something that helps us with representing what’s going on in a way that makes us feel safe and less uncertain.
Our egoic drives usually come from the place we least expect. And it’s only once we develop awareness of the processes and our part in them that we can undo them.
Simply knowing what is happening might help us identify how we make it happen. But only knowing how to manipulate the processes of our mind really allows us to maximize those insights.
Awareness is not enough. Awareness must be expressive to make a meaningful impact. And here we are talking about you. How do you feel right now? How do you want to feel right now? What is your state of mind like? Do you have a choice or do you only have a story?
We are often so bedazzled by amazingly detailed explanations about our mind that we forget to notice how useless they are. No neuroscience book in the world can teach you how to master your mind unless you are ready to cut it open and stick some electrodes in. Also, let’s not confuse mind with brain.
It’s essential to have the clarity of mind to notice this distinction. Knowing what happens is trumped by knowing how it happens. Knowing how it happens is trumped by being able to make it happen.
Of course we would all prefer to know how to actually feel good than to just have a lengthy explanation that tells us why we don’t.
This is the necessity of control. To know how to create, suspend, dissolve and modify the elements and contents of your mind and experience. With control, awareness becomes ability by upgrading it to expressive awareness.
A Way Out
We don’t always have the time, nor the inclination to deal with the nuanced processes of awareness and control. Just as it is with any game, we need a way out. True freedom is the ability to create freedom.
You want to be able to hook out from the thought stream. Maybe even strip the thoughts of their meaning. And be more present by dissolving the mental theatre by setting its silver screen on fire.
Once you have a way out, nothing that your mind throws at you can shake you. You can simply switch off the TV, dial down the volume, and transcend it altogether.
We can complicate things in so many ways. We can complicate things all we want. But in the end, it comes down to only three things. And they are as easy to achieve as we are willing to make it for ourselves.