The Hold Of Identity.


This is my country, this my ancestry and this the custom, this is my religion, and so on. To tell the truth, we hold these in high regard for the most part only because we were born into them. And then to gain recognition and admiration of others we carry on adding – I am an alumnus or member of such and such, this is my title or standing, and the rest of it.

Creating an identity is an accumulation and something we wear. We must make this distinction. The problem is that we get so wrapped up in these that we come to believe this is what we are. Should anyone fault any of these we feel threatened and get very defensive. Besides our affections get restricted because in the process we erect walls of us and them, ours and theirs.

Hold the notion that I am so and so loosely and you feel that connection once more. It also sets you free to truly savor a diversity of cultures and philosophies. And what is more in the absence of all this labeling, you might just find yourself.

Who Can Say?

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We would all be a lot happier for the most part were it not for the habit of being anxious about the future. In a sense, the future is only imaginings. It has its uses, but must not be permitted to take over our life. The problem is when you open the mind’s door to this, you also allow in worry and fear and we are doing this all the time. Certainly, there will be times when you face difficulty and challenges. But then you will be around and do what you must at the time to overcome them. Besides who can say what is good or what will follow.

There is a wonderful Zen story where a farmer’s horse runs away only to return the next day with a herd of wild horses it had come upon. The following day the farmer’s son attempts to ride one of the wild horses, falls off and breaks his leg. And a few days afterwards soldiers arrive at the village drafting for the army and the son does not have to go because of the broken leg, and so on.

Mind Control.

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Just how we respond to a situation is a habit. Our way of thinking is a habit. Personality is a habit. Something transpired in the past and this influences the manner you behave the next time around and over and over again. And each time this conduct is reinforced until it becomes a habit. You are then predisposed to acting this way without knowing why and you think it is what you believe and how you are. Your thoughts take the existing much travelled path rather than clearing new ones. We are most of the time reacting rather than reflecting. In this way, we are inclined towards some suggestions and hesitant and at unease with others.

What all this means is that you can consciously nurture ideas – give them greater weight – till eventually they become a big part of the way you think. What is more, sometimes something that perhaps ought to be inconsequential can become a big part of us. A line of thinking that is without rationality and possibly damaging. When you understand and are mindful of the mechanism at work it is possible to take charge of your thinking. Like tackling any habit, you need only to consciously do the opposite. As you are going against the flow, it takes some effort at first. When consciously repeated and reinforced, you will in time rewire your mind.