Been reading a lot of oriental philosophy lately. I’ve been interested in their mentality for a while. Coming from an occidental background makes you feel sometimes “overwhelmed”. There are so many mental diseases lately that it seems we are creating our own mental illnesses. Are we? There are biological explanations for some mental diseases which can be prescribed but I am also concern about those mental issues regular people have.
I was reading the book “The Power of Now” by Eckart Tolle and to sum up (in my level of awareness and understanding) the main message is, ” you are not your mind”. It seems a little difficult to understand, especially if we have idolatrized the mind and rationality as our bibles. But the main idea behind this book and other philosophies such as Taoism, Buddhism, Zen, etc. is that you are something else apart from your mind. Your mind is another organ, like your lungs, your heart, your stomach. And as such, it must be at your service, not the other way around.
So your mind is useful, to communicate, to do math, to have a schedule. And all these must be to serve “yourself”. This idea of separating your mind from yourself is a way to make you understand that you are able to observe your thoughts. In that way, every time you are “feeling” in an undesirable way, you can approach to these “thoughts” as an outsider and control them.
It sounds good, right? Being able to control your brain or mind to your favor. So the thing is, every time you feel bad, guilty, sad, angry or whatever, observe the thought, think how this emotion is going to be helpful for you. For example: not repeating a behavior. These emotions are supposed to be useful to learn about your life situation to become a better person. So try to observe your mind, feel your emotions, learn from them and let them go. Your mind is at your service.