Breaking the Shackles of the Past


In the physical realm, human brain is the most complex tool, which provides an added edge to our species. Its complexity not only baffles a common man, but also astounds even the neuroscientists. It is the house of our consciousness, in which our mind and intellect are submerged. There is a thin line which separates the mind from the intellect. Mind is a repository of experiences and feelings, whereas intellect tirelessly goes through this data, and in an attempt to make sense of the present, creates countless thoughts. Yes, unbelievable it may seem, but our intellect is capable of creating around 50,000 thoughts in a day. Perhaps, death is the stage when this process stops, as it continues even in our sleep. Through our sense organs we receive stimuli from the external environment and every such stimulus is bound to create ripples in the still waters of our mind. These ripples evoke past memories and feelings, and give shape to our thoughts. So, the seeds of our thoughts were mostly sown in the past. Does it mean that our past still controls our present and future? Isn’t there any way out, to break free through these shackles of the past? Was human created so helpless to remain a slave of his destiny?

At first, it may seem difficult to accept, but most of us are still controlled by our past, knowingly or unknowingly. If we are waiting for that elusive transformation to take place on its own then that’s sheer foolhardiness. If I ask you to drive a car without any fuel and you are prohibited from even pushing it, then what you will call me? Certainly, a fool. In physical world, nothing moves or changes its state of motion, unless a force is applied. Then why do we wait for miracles to happen in the thought world? The force in the thought world, is the force of will-power and mindfulness, which can control our mind from straying into the by-lanes of past and cajole it to remain in the reality, that is present. Let’s admit, that we do realise when our mind is about to stray, and more often than not, we don’t want to let go off the pleasure, of basking in the glory of our past or to shed a tear or two on our past misfortunes. Past can only be a good teacher, if we learn from it. It surely is a terrible master, if it controls our present. So, it ought to be handled with utmost care.

Problem arises when we associate ourselves too much with our mind and intellect, and feel a sort of helplessness over them. The fact that we think that we are what our intellect is, that very moment we transfer all of our power to our ego. Intellect is the seat of ego. Ego creates divisive thoughts as it is designed to shield us, even at the expense of causing harm to our near and dear ones. Ego fetches only those memories and feelings, which are sure to make us feel powerful, comfortable and when everything fails, it can even protect by turning us into a victim. To gain control over them, it is important to realise the true nature of our form which is quite distinct, all pervasive and all inclusive. It is this form, which is the true master of our body, the ruler of our senses and the driver of our mind. Sages meditate day and night to search for this form, which is the very basis of our existence. Our worldly pursuits may refrain us from the early encounter, but it is not the destination but the journey that matters the most. This is the journey of self-discovery, which only can lead us to the truth.


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