The Cause of the Problem
Below is a summary of this edition of the Illuminations newsletter. We discuss how, in the attempt to control our mind, we often are only deal with the effect, the thoughts, and not the cause of the thoughts. Thus the thoughts we try to control continually come into our minds. It requires looking more deeply into the nature of our consciousness.
May you always think of Krsna,
The Audio Newsletter
Where did that thought come from?
How can we control negative thoughts? We must control them at their source. Thoughts are the effect of a deeper cause. The cause may be envy, jealousy, a desire to possess, control, or enjoy something or someone, a fear, something we wish to hide from others, pride, hatred, or beliefs that no longer serve us.
To change our thoughts, it’s essential to acknowledge that our thoughts, even the ones that are highly conditioned by past actions, have their roots in our own self-created soil. It may seem like they are coming from outside of us, but we must have the soil within us to nourish them. Otherwise, they will not take root. If, by chance, they do take root and you don’t nourish them, they will die.
I can’t conrol my mind
Devotees often say, “I am having trouble with my mind,” “My mind is difficult to control,” “My mind is giving me trouble.” Why blame our problems on our mind? Again, we must recognize that the cause of any trouble with the mind is self- created. Since thoughts are an effect, they reveal to us their cause. Change or root out the cause, and thoughts will change. This is Krishna consciousness.
We can’t control the mind unless we change the nature of our desire. Of course, we may be able to control the mind temporarily, just like we can temporarily control symptoms of disease. However, if we don’t eliminate the cause of the disease, the symptoms reappear.
Aligned with a higher purpose
The reason we have thoughts of envy, jealousy, pride, or hatred, is because we nurture these qualities. Why would we nurture them? We nurture them because we get something “desirable” from them. For example, if we hate someone, we may be thinking that the hatred allows us to get back at them for the wrongs they have done to us. In this case hatred serves a purpose for us. At the same time it harms us. The irony is that we are the one creating those thoughts. Our envy creates the hatred, and then we suffer from it and regret having those thoughts.
When we have thoughts we don’t want or need, thoughts that don’t serve our higher spiritual aspirations, we are out of alignment. Our spiritual self wants one thing, but our mind often works against us and we end up with thoughts that make it difficult or impossible to properly achieve our spiritual goals.
The first step to dealing with this problem is to admit that we are allowing it to happen. Since we are the ones creating the problem, we can create the beliefs and desires that are in alignment with our highest needs, goals and aspirations. When we align our desire with our spiritual purposes, Krsna conscious thinking becomes natural and almost effortless.
Our thoughts affect others
Thoughts have physical waves and these waves affect others. If we think positively or negatively about a person, it affects them. We can see this with kids and pets. If we love and appreciate them, they feel it. If we are upset with someone, even if we don’t express the upset, they usually can feel it. If we expect or hope that someone will behave a certain way, either good or bad, our thoughts will affect them. This is why it is said a moment’s association with a sadhu can change one’s life. A sadhu’s Krsna conscious presence can deeply affect (and positively infect) our heart. This means that our Krishna consciousness, or lack of Krishna consciousness, will be experienced by others.
Elevating others begins at home
We should work to raise the consciousness of the world, not only by the way we behave, but also by raising our own consciousness. When we go to a temple we feel elevated and blissful because of the Krishna consciousness of the other devotes in the temple. Imagine the effect that millions and millions of such devotees would have on the world. Prabhupada said that if one percent of the world would become Krishna conscious, then the whole world will change.
We are the only ones who can elevate the consciousness of the world. What we think today not only affects ourselves, but it also affects those in our world.