A new perspective of why we are the way we are has been introduced by some cutting edge molecular biologists. Foremost among them is former professor of medicine at Stanford University, Dr Bruce Lipton.
He says the new science of epigenetics has shown that our genes are in fact controlled and manipulated by how our minds perceive and interpret our environment.
It was formerly believed by science that it is our genes themselves which dictate our traits – that our genes form who and how we are. The new findings are great news because it means that we can change many things about the way we are, including our health, by changing how we interpret events and situations which happen to us.
Your Unconscious Mind is Running Your Life
Dr Lipton shows that if we interpret things in a positive way, we start living healthier and better quality lives, regardless of the genetic makeup we started with.
A new attitude, positive or negative, sends new messages to the cells in our body and can actually reprogram their health and behavior. It can even change cellular structure, turning diseased cells into healthy cells.
This new science does away with the old scientific tradition, based on Newtonian physics, that the body is just a mechanical device, and actually acknowledges that mind and spirit also play a role in who we are. (Don’t even think to ask how much research it took to prove that!)
Dr Lipton explains that there are two separate minds that create what he calls the body’s controlling voice.
There is a conscious mind that can think freely and create new ideas ‘out of the box’. Then there is the subconscious mind, which is basically a super computer loaded with a database of programmed behaviors, most of which we acquired before we reached the age of six.
The subconscious mind cannot move outside its fixed programs – it automatically reacts to situations with its previously stored behavior responses. AND (here’s the rub), it works without the knowledge or control of the conscious mind.
This is why we are generally unaware of our behavior, in fact most of the time we are not even aware that we are acting unconsciously.
Studies from as far back as the seventies show that our brains begin to prepare for action just over a third of a second before we consciously decide to act. In other words, even when we ‘think’ we are conscious, it is our unconscious mind which is actually making our decisions for us.
And it seems the unconscious mind is running us on its automatic pilot mode, 95% of the time!
Neuroscientists have shown that the conscious mind provides 5% or less of our cognitive (conscious) activity during the day – and 5% they say is for the more aware people, many people operate at just 1% consciousness.
Dr Lipton also says that the unconscious mind operates at 40 million bits of data per second, whereas the conscious mind processes at only 40 bits per second. So the unconscious mind is MUCH more powerful than the conscious mind, and it is the unconscious mind which shapes how we live our life.
The scientists show that most of our decisions, actions, emotions and behavior depend on the 95% of brain activity that is beyond our conscious awareness, which means that 95 – 99% of our life comes from the programming in our subconscious mind.
Osho has talked about this for more than forty years, but it is pretty graphic when you hear the scientific statistics which bear it out, isn’t it!
So, our life reflects our unconscious programming. This is because the job of the subconscious is to create reality out of its program, ie to prove the program is true.
So if you have negative programming in your unconscious, Dr Lipton says 95% of the time you will recreate those negative experiences in your life. And as those of us who have ever taken the time to check out our unconscious thoughts know, most of the programs our unconscious mind runs are based in negativity – for example fear of what other people are thinking about us, fear of not being loved and respected as we are, etc, etc.
So… how to get out of this endless cycle of old programs and start to be more in the conscious mind? Because of the power of the unconscious mind (one million times more powerful than the conscious mind), and the amount of time it is running us (95 – 99%), Lipton says it takes a lot more than positive thinking to get out of it.
Because as soon as you forget to be conscious, the unconscious is back in charge again. Sound familiar? He suggests meditation, hypnotherapy or other reprogramming approaches.
And in fact, in the parallel field of neuroscience, a number of experiments with Buddhist meditators have shown that people can actually change their brain structure (regardless of their age) by creating new neural pathways just by conscious thinking. The same research also shows, by the way, that people who meditate regularly have higher immunity and lower blood pressure, among other health benefits.
So what are you waiting for? Osho has described over three hundred meditation techniques in his different books. He says there is a technique to suit every type of man or woman, you just have to try them out and find what ‘clicks’ for you.
For more information about his basic meditation techniques, see www.osho.com.
For more information about the science, see www.brucelipton.com.
Thoughts, thoughts, thoughts
All of your thoughts come from the outside. None of them come from within, although there may be some inner basis for the thought inside you. The thoughts themselves come from the outside, but there are grooves along which they run inside you.
If someone thinks about money, the thought of money must have come from the outside but the desire for money comes from inside, its seed is inside. The thoughts come from the outside and then attach themselves to your desires. If someone is thinking of sex the desire for sex comes from outside, but there is a seed inside to which this desire attaches itself. Your thought comes from outside but there is a seed for this thought inside you.
To purify your thoughts it is important to realize that the thoughts which enter your mind don’t come accidentally. They are the ones that you actually want; the rest you just throw away.
If someone is throwing garbage into your house you will fight with that person, but if someone is throwing garbage into your mind you will not fight with him. If I meet you on the road and start telling you the story of a movie, you will not object.
But if I come to your house and throw some garbage into your house you will ask me, “What are you doing? This is not right!” And if I fill your mind with garbage, if I tell you the story of a movie you will listen to it very happily.
You are not aware that your mind can also be filled with garbage. You are each others’ enemies: you keep on dumping garbage into each others’ minds. What are the people that you consider to be your friends doing to you? Nobody betrays you more than they do. Your enemies are better; at least your enemies don’t fill your head with rubbish because they don’t talk to you.
You are all filling each others’ heads with garbage and you are so fast asleep that you don’t realize what you are taking in. You take everything in. You are like a guesthouse where there are no caretakers and no guards outside to see who is coming in and who is going out. You are a place where anyone can come in – man, animal, thief or cheat. And when he feels like it he can leave, and if he doesn’t feel like leaving he will stay.
Your mind should not be like a guesthouse. If your mind is like a guesthouse, if it is not well protected, then it will be difficult for you to become free of impure thoughts. You should consciously watch over your mind, constantly watching what is happening inside you and rejecting whatever is useless.
If you watch the movement of thoughts inside you it is not difficult to keep your thoughts pure. And it is not difficult to recognize impure thoughts: thoughts that create a kind of restlessness inside you are impure thoughts, and thoughts that create a flow of peace inside you are pure thoughts.
Thoughts that bring joy to you are pure, and thoughts that create any kind of disturbance are impure thoughts. You have to avoid such thoughts. And if you constantly watch your mind, your thoughts will become more and more pure.
You can do this in three ways: by being close to pure and true thoughts, by being close to pure and true people, and mainly and most importantly, by being close to nature. Nature never has impure thoughts.
If you look at the sky and you go on looking at it, you will find that the sky does not encourage any impure thoughts in you. In-stead it will clear all the rubbish in your head and you will find that by looking at the sky you feel you have become one with it. If you look at a waterfall you will feel that you have become part of the waterfall. If you are in a forest full of greenery you will feel you have also become one of the trees.
The mind lives in a sort of sleep, it lives in a sort of unconscious state. You become conscious only very rarely. If your life is in tremendous danger you become conscious; otherwise you are not conscious. The mind goes on moving, sleepy.
Stand by the side of the road and watch people and you will see shadows of dreams on their faces. Somebody talks to himself, or makes gestures – if you look at him you will be able to see that he is somewhere else, not here on the road. It is as if people are moving in deep sleep.
Somnambulism is the ordinary state of the mind. If you want to become a meditator, you have to drop this sleepy habit of doing things. Walk, but be alert. Dig a hole, but be alert. Eat, but while eating don’t do anything – just eat. Each bite should be taken with deep alertness, chew it with alertness. Don’t allow yourself to run all over the world. Be here, now.
The mind is always going somewhere else, it never wants to be here. Because if the mind is here it is no longer needed; right in the present there is no need for the mind – consciousness is enough. The mind is needed only there, somewhere else in the future, in the past, but never here.
Whenever you become alert that the mind has gone somewhere else – you are in Pune and the mind has gone to Philadelphia – immediately become alert. Give yourself a jerk. Come back home. Come to the point where you are. Eating, eat; walking, walk; don’t allow this mind to go all over the world. It is not that this will become meditation, but it will create a situation for meditation to happen.
The problem is not the mind; the problem is your identification with it. You think you are it, that is the problem. Disidentify. Watch the mind – be the watcher and let the mind be there watched, witnessed, observed.
And a great radical change happens through observation. Mind functions far more efficiently when you observe it because all that is rubbish drops, and mind ceases to carry unnecessary weight; it becomes light.
And when you become a watcher, the mind can also have some rest. Otherwise for your whole life, it is working, working, day in, day out, year in, year out – it stops only when you die. It creates a deep fatigue, mental fatigue. Now scientists say even metals become tired – metal fatigue.
So what to say about the mind which is very subtle, which is very delicate? Handle it carefully. But you remain aloof, unconcerned, uninvolved.
When you are writing you don’t become the fountain pen, although you cannot write without it. A good fountain pen is very essential for good writing.
If you start writing with your fingers nobody will be able to read what you have written, not even you, and it will be very primitive. But you are not the fountain pen, and the fountain pen is not the writer but only a writing instrument. The mind is not the master but only an instrument in the hands of the master.
And remember, it is your identification with the thoughts in your mind that gives them life. Your comments keep them alive – when you stop making comments on the thoughts, they begin to stop. When you are completely cut off, they fall like leaves falling from the trees and they leave a pure, vacant, silent mind. This is a great achievement.
If you simply watch your thoughts coming and going, as if they are not your concern, by and by they will automatically cease – they need your cooperation to be there. If you cooperate, they will be there; if you fight, then too they will be there – because both are cooperations: one for, the other against. Both are sorts of activity. You simply watch.
Meditation means finding the source of your life and disconnecting the source from the mind. Then mind is used by you, not vice versa. Right now the mind is using you, the mind is the master and you are the slave.
This is the sole cause of misery. When you are the master and the mind is just a mechanism – you can use it whenever you want and if you don’t want it you don’t use it – then life flares up and the joy of it is tremendous. Then for the first time you know that to know life, is to know eternity.
Meditation gives you the real taste of life. Without meditation life is only lukewarm, it has no intensity. It is not a flame, it is just smoke. Once you enter into meditation, life is a flame without smoke. Such great intensity explodes in you – as if suddenly spring has come in the inner world, flowers, songs, celebrations, for no reason at all. You have found the life-giving source within you.
Thoughts are very whimsical. They leave an impression on the mind, whether good or bad. The things that you think will also affect your personality. If someone is constantly reflecting on beauty, it is quite natural that it will also make his personality more beautiful.
So reflect on the things that are constantly in your mind. What do you think about all the time? Mostly people are either thinking about money, sex or power. What are the wounds in your mind around which your thoughts revolve? The thoughts to which your mind constantly returns will be your basic weakness. Do you think about lying? About dishonesty, about cheating? These are the minor things – sex, money and power are the major points.
The mind contains all your misery, all your wounds. Your consciousness has no wounds. Your consciousness knows nothing of misery. Your consciousness is innocent, utterly blissful. That’s why meditation is a effort to bring you in touch with your consciousness, to detract you from the mind, which goes on creating wounds.
The only way to get out of misery patterns, whether ancient or new, is witnessing. It is the only way, because nobody has escaped from the mind without becoming a witness. Just witness, and suddenly you will start laughing at your own misery. Your miseries are so superficial