Do you know that your ego, which you identify as I or self, is the most incredible survivor and confidence trickster in mind? To the ego, death is an anathema. So much so that we have created various beliefs and philosophies to comfort us and think that there is life after death. Yet we see people committing suicide. How is it that this ego, the great survivor suddenly turns around and goes on a path of self-destruction? The answer lies in understanding how our perceptions and thinking process influence our subconscious mind.
In my recent article titled “Rational or Delusional Thinking?”, I raised this question “Are you a rational or delusional thinker?”. Most people think they know themselves and believe that what they are doing is right and justified. The types of actions they take as a result lead them into different directions according to their perception of reality.
The problem is most people think they know themselves, yet do not know how their mind works. They do not realise how the body and the mind are so intimately connected. So to help you understand the basics, please let me recap the following from my observations. First of all, we all know that we have a body which is the physical part and a mind which is the mental part.
Everyone is familiar with the physical part, the body which does not require much explanation. However, the mental aspect, the mind, is not adequately understood by most people. They are not aware that it has two parts, the conscious and the subconscious. Most people are aware of the conscious part, where our ego is active and does all the time-travelling. However, not many people are interested in or understand the subconscious mind. We mostly take it for granted, like the elephant in the room. Even the medical profession which should be interested in our mental health ignores this because doctors lack insight into their mind and are uncomfortable looking at their egos. Since our subconscious mind, the supreme energy source, controls all our vital functions such as our cardiovascular system, breathing, digestion etc. wouldn’t it be a stupid thing to do to ignore it? Yet we do. Doctors will be deluding themselves if they think they are practising evidence-based medicine at present.
Have you noticed how we are always trying to appease our subconscious mind in whatever we do in life? When we pray to God, for instance, are we not trying to appease our subconscious mind? Most of our activities are all directed at making ourselves happy or calming our subconscious mind.
Yet people do not know how the ego operates in their mind and how it influences the subconscious mind. People are not aware that our thinking process is hypnotic and that we are hypnotising ourselves whenever we are thinking. Not only that, but most people are not aware that the outside world is also hypnotising us. A lot of people believe they cannot be hypnotised.
Hence it is so easy to become deluded. Since we live in a very self-centred world, one can become very isolated. Without self-knowledge and gaining insight into one’s mind, one can become a potential candidate for suicide. To understand how we deceive ourselves, we must first learn to understand how our subconscious mind works.
Remember, our subconscious mind is the most potent energy source in our body. It controls all our vital functions in our body and makes us feel happy or sad, depending on how we stimulate it. It has no discriminatory power. It does not recognise right from wrong or the good from the bad. It affects us at various levels of our consciousness, from the cellular to our central brain. It is like a sponge that is constantly absorbing information from our inner as well as outer worlds. In brief, I would say that our subconscious mind is made up of a whole system of conditioned reflexes meant to protect us from our environment.
To understand how easy it is to delude ourselves, we have to look at the effects of words on the subconscious mind. The words have a direct reflex action. Their meaning does not matter.
For example, when we press a key on a piano keyboard, it makes a specific sound. Similarly, when we say a negative word in our mind, it produces a harmful chemical in our system. When we say a positive word, it creates a positive chemical. The meaning does not matter to the subconscious mind. As I see it, how we feel at a given moment is the sum of all the good and the harmful chemicals in our system.
Let me give you some examples of how we are continually deluding ourselves. When you instruct a person how to perform a task, and the person says “It is too hard, I can’t do it”, it will instantly produce chemicals that will block further understanding of the task.
It means that the person had defeated himself before he started even if he did not mean it that way. Why? It is because the words have a direct effect on the subconscious mind. If he keeps repeating this phrase, it will make him feel helpless. It is how one deludes oneself into thinking that one is helpless.
What one should be doing is to say the opposite even if he does not mean it “Yes, I can do the job. If he can do the job, I can do it better. All I need is training, knowledge and experience. Yes, I can do it.” If the person keeps repeating this type of phrase in his mind, he will eventually succeed in doing the job. He has kept producing positive chemicals to keep his subconscious mind open to all possibilities. Please become aware when you find yourself keep saying negative words. It could lead you to disastrous consequences even if you did not mean them. They affect your perceptions and reinforce your negative thinking.
In the same way, a person can delude himself into believing that he is on the right track when he says “I understand.” or “I know.” In this instance, the subconscious mind will immediately block further understanding of the task given. It is because the subconscious mind reacts to words, not the meaning of the word. One can easily believe that one knows everything about the job and yet has not grasped everything. So please become aware of how you use words in your mind. Please do not say “I understand.” when you have not learned the meaning of what has been said. That way, you will keep your mind open.
Let us look at another example of how we use words to hypnotise ourselves in feeling good. You attend a funeral of a person you know had a reckless past and was a difficult person who never listened to anyone. But the person on the pulpit says all the nice things about him. Tears come to your eyes, even though you are not sad. Why? It is because the words have a direct effect on our subconscious mind. We have no control. Here, we are consoling ourselves with words even though we may or may not mean them. It is why we never hear any harsh language at any funeral.
Let us consider people who are smokers. They say they know that smoking is bad for them, yet they continue to smoke. They do not realise they use words in their mind that makes them continue to smoke. They should become aware of this because it is only a habit and say the opposite to what they feel, like “I hate smoking. It is a dirty, filthy habit. I hate smoking.” If they keep repeating this type of phrase, it will be easier for them to give up their habit. Better still, they should also use the power of perception to help themselves where they can instantly stop the habit of smoking.
Again, if you are suffering from any chronic illness like cancer, diabetes etc., it is even more vital to straighten out your perceptions. You are in this position because your immune system has been damaged. You can help yourself by changing your thinking and your approach to life. So if you harbour hate, anger, bitterness, resentment or any negative feelings in your mind, please realise you are here producing harmful chemicals that can further damage your immune system. They are bad for your physical and psychological health. Please become aware of these words. Replace all the negative words with positive words. The best part is you do not have to mean them or concentrate on the words and see how quickly you start feeling better.
As one can appreciate from above, you do not know yourself until you start understanding your subconscious mind. The world is manipulating you. So it is easy for a person to make himself feel depressed or suicidal just by talking negatively. Without insight into one’s mind and any self-knowledge or understanding of how our mind works, one can easily talk oneself into taking action that can lead to disastrous consequences.
After reading the above, can you still trust to take yourself seriously? I have written this article to give you some insight into your mind. If it helps to make sense to you, it means you have some understanding. If it does not, it will have the same effect as reading the Holy Book in front of a buffalo. The thirst for self-knowledge has to come from within. One can take a horse to water, but one cannot force it to drink.