There is a serious addiction, afflicting many of us. While making us feel better, at least for a moment, it makes us worse at feeling, by numbing our senses. It gives us false sense of security, leading us to believe that we are in control. Yet, it is just an escape. An escape we seek with greater frequency as each time it provides less and less comfort. This addiction could take over our entire life and eventually lead to other addictions as it stops providing the escape it once did.
So ingrained this addiction is in our culture, that having it seems normal. Not engaging in it appears wrong.
The addiction we are talking about is our addiction to thinking, analyzing and understanding – it is our addiction to our mind. From all addictions, it is a fashionable one. Mind is the new black! This addiction of ours reflects René Descartes’ paradigm of: “I think therefore I am,” which in our modern world we translate to: “If I could figure out, I can solve.” And, so we spend thousands of dollars and innumerable hours each year trying to analyze and fix ourselves.
But, what is wrong with that? What makes it an addiction? Isn’t the brilliance and the capacity of our mind what makes us human and great?
Mind is a tool. It could be a tool for empowerment or a vehicle for escape. Unfortunately, for many it’s the latter. We think, so that we don’t have to feel; we analyze, so that we can escape discomfort; we seek to understand that which the mind can’t grasp. The result is a culture where we spend years in therapy, analyzing every minute detail of our lives, but yet never deal with the underlying pain. Thinking, analyzing and understanding are past or future focused. Thus, we use our mind to get away or get to, forgetting about right here, right now.
The alternatives to thinking, analyzing and understanding when dealing with pain are being and feeling. Being happens now. We are, whether we think or not. And, feeling fully and unconditionally, whatever is no matter how uncomfortable it may feel, without labels or even understanding, creates the space for integrating and dissolving the pain. It is that space in the ever-present here and now that is a key to profound change. Rather than trying to understand what fire is; how it got there and what scientists say about it, being and feeling take us to the source of it, empowering us to deal with it right here and right now.
And, once we are, and we feel, mind is a precise and limitless tool. When we are steeped in being, our mind is a brilliant servant. Otherwise, it is a terrible master.