Mind Identification is Misery
I was having a conversation with a woman one day and she told me about her experience of being insulted in a bus. After alighting from the bus, she continued to think of what happened in the bus. She was replaying the event and was imagining the hurtful words she would have used on the woman. In the moment she was imagining this, the event in the bus was over and nobody was verbally abusing her but she was feeling horrible. She was in pain. Her mind was replaying and ruminating over a past event in the present moment. She lacked peace as a result. This is what mind-identification does for virtually every one of us.
The wave of the sea has its identity rooted in the sea. Imagine the wave of the sea having a mind and thinking that its identity is the sun. The wave of the sea has wrongly identified with the sun with the help of the mind. It has become mind-identified – identified with the content of the mind hence deriving its sense of self from the content.
Most people are identified with their mind and this has cost them peace. The identity of man is rooted in God but man through thinking has become mind-identified – identified with the content of the mind (thoughts) and deriving his sense of self from his thoughts. The various forms of pain – worry, anxiety, fear, regret, guilt, unhappiness – are mostly as a result of mind-identification. Why are we mind-identified? Because we are addicted to thinking.
The mind has become busy with compulsive thinking. It is constantly labeling, conceptualizing, defining, judging and in its over activity, it is preventing us from having a direct experience of the world. We can have a direct experience by being present in the Now, not lost in thought. The compulsive-thinking mind is a noise maker, a chatterbox, that is constantly commenting on every little detail of our experience, robbing us of a still presence, a receptive state of being that experiences life with an open curiosity which helps us know the world as a living reality that is miraculous and magnificent.
The mind is an accumulation of thoughts and people are obsessed with their thoughts. This is why you do not even know yourself, you do not know who you are. Your Self is behind your thoughts, below your thoughts, above your thoughts, beyond your thoughts, but never in your thoughts. You do not exist in the mind.
When you go out, you see trees, birds, and so on. You know they are not you, you know you see them, you watch them. Now turn inwards and do the same. Watch what is happening inside you. Watch your thoughts and see that you are not your thoughts. Doing this will help you separate from the content of your mind. This separation is essential for your disidentification from your mind. This separation is the beginning of a different life for you. Actually, it is the same life but your experience of it will be different.
This is the basic problem: you think you are your mind. Unless you become aware that you are not your mind, you are ultimately stuck and many things will seem difficult to you. Mind-identification is misery.
You are not your mind. You are so much more than your mind.