CHAPTER 1: Conditioned Mind Patterns
This is my understanding of how a mind that was brought into this world pure and free becomes conditioned and cluttered. The mind's attachment to the I Self, or ego, causes most of - if not all - of our problems. The real addictions in our society are not to substances, (drugs, alcohol, or food) or to things, (gambling, pornography, sex, money, success) but to an "I-based sense of Self," or I Self, that commands our exclusive allegiance. We react to the promptings of this I Self and base important life choices upon it. Throughout this book our ego is referenced as the I Self.
Conditioned Mind Patterns are formed as we unconsciously adopt the biases of society, and allow personal biases and compulsions to control our behavior. When the I Self starts building defense mechanisms as a way to deal with our fears and discontentment's, a Conditioned Mind Pattern is formed. We use this as a way of coping with life, to remove any unpleasantness. Think about it: From the time we are infants, we cry and someone puts a bottle in our mouth to quiet us. We fuss and we are put in a swing or held until the fussing stops. The development of a Condition Mind Pattern has started; even at this age we see how outside things bring us inner peace. This is also one of the main reasons why it so hard to quiet our minds since the conditioning goes back to when we were infants.
The longer a Conditioned Mind Pattern is engrained in our psyche, the more noise (which is how energy manifests) is generated in our head. So I came to understand that if I ever wanted to be free of my I Self I was going to have to learn how to stop all the noise that was constantly going on in my head. I learned this through the discipline of meditation. Learning how to meditate so the mind can become quiet takes practice, and it is a practice that will need to be cultivated if our transformation of energy is to go from a self-centered perspective to quietness, and from quietness to love.
When infants are uncomfortable and discontented, they cry. Then, either someone will give them physical comfort or they will find relief through something else - a toy or child's TV show or some substance, such as a bottle or snack. A diversion has to be created so attention can be diverted from the discontentment. What would happen if no one responded to the crying? The crying would stop and the infant would just develop some other form of coping. Maybe they would tap their feet, bite their nails, pull their hair or, as they grow older, start cutting themselves - but they will develop a form of conditioning to cope with the discontentment. So the discontentment will be dealt with in one form or another.
Conditioning and its Discontents
Our conditioning is created through our misunderstanding of what to do when our mind becomes discontented. It is not the discontentment itself that causes our conditioning. We don't know how to quiet the discontentment. That's what leads us to become conditioned. And so begins the development of our Mind Patterns; we look outside ourselves to fix an inner discontentment whatever that cause of the discontentment is. This pattern continues throughout our life or until we become aware of it and learn to stop it.
The conditioning just gets reinforced as we grow older and our parents try to give us all the things that they didn't have growing up. Or they give in to our whining, just to keep us quiet so they can do whatever it is that they are doing. This is through no fault of theirs; they're just doing what they were conditioned to do. This is the beginning; the beginning of the formations of Mind Patterns. These Mind Patterns are just conditioning us to use things external to us, as our solution, to make us feel better on the inside. The more these Mind Patterns are repeated, the deeper they get engrained into our psyche (subconscious) and the more they become our minds default setting.
As we become more and more conditioned with thinking that things on the outside will make us feel better on the inside, we live more from our I Self. As we live more from our I Self we slowly lose touch with what is really going on in our life, (truth). The more our mind becomes conditioned, the less control we have over it, the less choice we have and the less truth we see. We think we are in control, but are we? The reality is, we are being controlled like we are a puppet on a string and our Conditioned Mind Patterns is the puppeteer.
Since we are strictly looking on the outside and everything is based on that view, we try to present an outer picture that everyone will like, at least everyone in our inner circle. This way to view life is not of our own making. There are many influences, some inner and some outer, that determine this. We live in a society that influences what we wear, how we look, what we need to eat and drink so life can be merry. We are influenced as to what our social standards should be and what a person needs to do to be considered a success in the world. We are never taught that there is another way to live life: from the inside out. That there is a way to reach our inner Spiritual Potential and be our true Self, not the one that is based in I. We grow up believing that if everything looks good on the outside that's all that matters because that is how we are being judged by everyone anyhow. We are just going along with the program that society has written. The Self is what is there when we start our human existence and what is always there throughout our entire life. The I Self is what our human identification through our Conditioned Mind becomes. Our I Self blocks out our true Self. This is the core point of this book.
It really comes down to this: When situations arise, you will either be with what arises and allow the energy to pass through you, or you will store it within your psyche (subconscious) for future flare ups to occur. Once things occur and a person stops allowing the energy from passing through, that stored energy in the psyche becomes a Conditioned Mind Pattern. This stored energy remains dormant until a Conditioned Mind Pattern is activated through some sort of reminder, a trigger. It will come out in whatever reaction the conditioning in our psyche calls for.
Different Conditioned Mind Patterns react in different ways. Everyone's conditioning is different as far as what causes the reactions and how it manifest but the structure of conditioning is the same. Our Mind Patterns create reactions to this trigger or reminder. The reactions of greed, lust, envy, jealousy, anger, pride, sloth, slander and so on, are only an outward manifestation of our inner Conditioned Mind Pattern. The inner Conditioned Mind Patterns are the basis of our actions. Without these, the default setting of our mind would naturally be of love. None of the so-called problems that we have in life would ever manifest if love were the default setting of our mind.