Knowing ourselves, and feeling that we are in our right mind or at ease in our mind is not always easy. Our mind is continually writhed with a steams of thoughts which often govern our emotions, choices of action, orientation and destiny. It can be hard to distinguish which thoughts are governed by our self and to remain stabilized with all the outside influences that bombard the senses, however, we do have a SELF distinct from most of the outward experiences that we allow experience on often shape us. In some cases thoughts and experiences can shape us in ways that we do not wish, simply because we do not know how to process these in the context of who we are, because we are unsure of who we are and how to be, or to maintain our original and authentic truly powerful and wonderful self . A present awareness that our minds govern the perception of who we believe we are when can begin to actively govern the mind (and we can) and we can begin to master and become our very real self. These are not new concepts and can be found in the writings of early philosophers as the excerpt below illustrates.
PHILOSOPHICAL WRITINGS – Excerpts from James Allen
A man does not live until he begins to discipline himself; he merely exists. Like an animal, he gratifies his desires and pursues his inclinations just where they may lead him. He is happy as a beast is happy, because he is not conscious of what he is depriving himself; he suffers as the beast suffers, because he does not know the way out of suffering, …………..and lives in a series of sensations, longings, and confused memories which are [often seemingly] unrelated to any central idea or principle.
Before a man accomplishes anything of an enduring nature in the world he must, first of all, acquire some measure of success in the management of his own mind. This is as mathematical a truism as that two and two are four, for, ……….If a man cannot govern the forces within himself, he cannot hold a firm hand upon the outer activities which form his visible life. On the other hand, as a man succeeds, in governing himself he rises to higher and higher levels of power and usefulness and success in the world.
With the practice of self-discipline, a man begins to live, for he then commences to rise above the inward confusion and to adjust his conduct to a steadfast center within himself. He ceases to follow where inclination leads him, reins in the steed of his desires, and lives in accordance with the dictates of reason and wisdom. Hitherto his life has been without purpose or meaning, but now he begins to consciously mold his own destiny; he is “clothed and in his right mind.”
If a man goes out to conquer an enemy, knowing nothing of his enemy’s strength, tactics, or place of ambush, he will not only ignominiously fail, but will speedily fall into the hands of the enemy. He who would overcome his enemy …….. must discover his stronghold and place of concealment, and must also find out the unguarded gates in his own fortress where his enemy effects so easy an entrance. This necessitates continual meditation, ceaseless watchfulness, and constant and rigid introspection.